Why can't new equipment play old material

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MidiMagic

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Why are the newest devices unable to play the surround recording from just a few years ago?

Most of my material (especially movies) are in Dolby Surround, and they do not provide that in new equipment anymore. Why? Is it the stupid royalties?
 

Sonik Wiz

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Why are the newest devices unable to play the surround recording from just a few years ago?

Most of my material (especially movies) are in Dolby Surround, and they do not provide that in new equipment anymore. Why? Is it the stupid royalties?
The newest devices CAN play surround recordings from a few years ago. Dolby surround is more than a few years ago. Quit complaining all the time. Maybe think what you can contribute to QQ other than griping about all the stuff you don't like.
 
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par4ken

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Why are the newest devices unable to play the surround recording from just a few years ago?

Most of my material (especially movies) are in Dolby Surround, and they do not provide that in new equipment anymore. Why? Is it the stupid royalties?
Dolby surround can be decoded by any surround equipement. Best IMHO through vintage quad decoders or Surround Master. We do not need Dolby Surround anymore with discrete formats readily available. While I share your frustration (to some extent) re lack of support, backwards compatibility etc., you can't support every obsolete format forever!

Why do you need it in new equipment anyway? Doesn't your current equipment already support it? There is always a lot of good used stuff for sale on eBay etc. for bargain prices, so who cares if it is still supported in the new equipment?

Dolby Surround is ancient by now so you would think that there would no longer be any royalties, patents must be expired by now?
 

kfbkfb

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Actually, many TV shows produced in the 1990s (ST:TNG for one) have Dolby Surround encoded stereo soundtracks, maybe Dolby Labs could devise a simplified Dolby Pro-Logic decoder (a more modified Dolby B NR scheme to deal with the 2 types of Dolby Surround encoding) that could be implemented in software and require it in any device that includes any sort of Dolby surround sound decoding system.


Kirk Bayne
 

jaybird100

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I'm confused, modern AV amps have a Dolby Surround mode. Admittedly it's compatible rather than precisely the same decoder, but is that a problem?
That new Dolby Surround mode has nothing in common with the previous versions, including Pro Logic II. The new version is upmix only, and will not properly decode the previous versions, nor any other matrix format. Any Regular Matrix decoder, including QS decoders, and the Surround Master, will do the job quite nicely with Dolby Surround-encoded material.
 

Owen Smith

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That new Dolby Surround mode has nothing in common with the previous versions, including Pro Logic II. The new version is upmix only, and will not properly decode the previous versions, nor any other matrix format. Any Regular Matrix decoder, including QS decoders, and the Surround Master, will do the job quite nicely with Dolby Surround-encoded material.
But won't it do a half decent job of the upmix on Pro Logic II encoded material? There is plenty of phase information for it to work with. Having not experienced the new Dolby Surround (but I will soon) I don't know how well or badly it performs.

I do agree that it's pretty bad to remove those modes. How much trouble would it have been for Dolby to continue including decode modes that already exist in their firmware? Not much I suspect.
 

par4ken

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That new Dolby Surround mode has nothing in common with the previous versions, including Pro Logic II. The new version is upmix only, and will not properly decode the previous versions, nor any other matrix format. Any Regular Matrix decoder, including QS decoders, and the Surround Master, will do the job quite nicely with Dolby Surround-encoded material.
SQ decoders work well also, perhaps better than QS because Lf, Rf, C and S all decode from the proper position. QS Hall mode would be close as well but they don't decode the front channels!

I prefer to use the surround mode of each type decoder which pull the sound apart rather than leaving only a few sound effects in the rear!
 
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Owen Smith

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SQ decoders work well also, perhaps better than QS because Lf, Rf, C and S all decode from the proper position. QS Hall mode would be close as well but they don't decode the front channels!

I prefer to use the surround mode of each type decoder which pull the sound apart rather than leaving only a few sound effects in the rear!
Unfortunately modern AV amps have no SQ or QS decoders builtin, and many amps have no multi channel analogue input to allow one to be connected.

Personally I've accepted defeat. I have enough issues with my current amp I've ordered an Arcam AVR31. This has no multi channel analogue in and no Pro Logic II or other legacy decoders. I have no legacy quad gear to worry about, the only thing I'm losing is Pro Logic II and Dolby Surround decoding.
 

jaybird100

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But won't it do a half decent job of the upmix on Pro Logic II encoded material? There is plenty of phase information for it to work with. Having not experienced the new Dolby Surround (but I will soon) I don't know how well or badly it performs.

I do agree that it's pretty bad to remove those modes. How much trouble would it have been for Dolby to continue including decode modes that already exist in their firmware? Not much I suspect.
They removed Pro Logic II because no new product is being released that uses it, and they don't care about the users who have libraries of VHS tapes and laserdiscs that use that format. A sad, but true, fact. Plus, it saves them money not to include those chips. We're the ones who lose out. As for the new system doing a decent job of upmixing encoded material, there's a difference between upmixing and decoding. The new system is different enough from the Pro Logic II, that you won't get anything close to what was intended. An external decoder, such as a Surround Master, could do the job quite well. Problem is, most new receivers and processors don't have the multi-channel analog inputs needed to connect the SM. That's the main reason why I won't update my receiver.
 

barfle

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Yeah, just try finding a recent EVR player, or even Sanyo V-cord II! Laserdiscs are yet another bastard son that’s been written out of the will, along with those delightful dual-tone-arm stereo record players.

Lots of legacy formats that simply died ages ago would make a list almost as long as some of thise “Volume II” threads here. Keeping the handful of those that I have alive is one reason I’m so freaking busy.
 

kfbkfb

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There's always the Hafler/DynaQuad [speaker matrix] way of decoding (original) Dolby Surround (just build yourself a speaker switch to make your surround speakers operate from the difference signal instead of the individual speaker outputs on your multichannel amp/receiver).


Kirk Bayne
 

somethingcleveridunno

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Why are the newest devices unable to play the surround recording from just a few years ago?

Most of my material (especially movies) are in Dolby Surround, and they do not provide that in new equipment anymore. Why? Is it the stupid royalties?
Because receiver makers want to save $3 on a $1200 receiver by dropping the PLII circuit.
 

jaybird100

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Yeah, just try finding a recent EVR player, or even Sanyo V-cord II! Laserdiscs are yet another bastard son that’s been written out of the will, along with those delightful dual-tone-arm stereo record players.

Lots of legacy formats that simply died ages ago would make a list almost as long as some of thise “Volume II” threads here. Keeping the handful of those that I have alive is one reason I’m so freaking busy.
And yet there are still several of us who continue to use this antiquated technology. Go figure.
 

jaybird100

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There's always the Hafler/DynaQuad [speaker matrix] way of decoding (original) Dolby Surround (just build yourself a speaker switch to make your surround speakers operate from the difference signal instead of the individual speaker outputs on your multichannel amp/receiver).


Kirk Bayne
It's still not completely accurate. It'll do, in a pinch, for some, but I, for one, want more.
 

par4ken

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Unfortunately modern AV amps have no SQ or QS decoders builtin, and many amps have no multi channel analogue input to allow one to be connected.

Personally I've accepted defeat. I have enough issues with my current amp I've ordered an Arcam AVR31. This has no multi channel analogue in and no Pro Logic II or other legacy decoders. I have no legacy quad gear to worry about, the only thing I'm losing is Pro Logic II and Dolby Surround decoding.
I still don't understand why everyone has to buy brand new. Lots of good used stuff out there at bargain prices, with the features you are looking for!
 

Owen Smith

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They removed Pro Logic II because no new product is being released that uses it, and they don't care about the users who have libraries of VHS tapes and laserdiscs that use that format. A sad, but true, fact. Plus, it saves them money not to include those chips.
Never mind VHS tapes and laserdiscs, there are plenty of DVDs of films with Dolby Surround soundtracks. And for many of them if they ever get Blu Ray releases they will probably still have the original Dolby Surround encoded soundtracks. The money simply isn't there to remix films for discrete multi channel audio if the film itself never had one in the first place.

Pro Logic decoding is not a seperate chip. These days this is all software in a generic DSP chip that processes the audio.
 
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Owen Smith

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I still don't understand why everyone has to buy brand new. Lots of good used stuff out there at bargain prices, with the features you are looking for!
And they probably have capacitors that are on the way out, have bashed up casework, and other issues. I've spent several years keeping a look out for something that fulfills my requirements and not found anything. I want UPNP streaming, FM and DAB+ tuner (which few products ever had), HDMI audio in, line level analogue audio out that works when playing digital sources, among others.

I own an Arcam DV137 DVD/SACD universal player (my previous player to my Oppo 95, kept in case DVD-A or SACD playback becomes difficult to buy). The DV137 has a Pro Logic II decoder in, but reading up from the manual that can only output to the multi channel analoge outputs and my new amp can't input that. Also the DV137 has no audio inputs to run external stuff through the Pro Logic II decoder, though admittedly it's mainly old DVDs I'd want to keep Pro Logic II for.

Now if someone would sell a multi channel analogue in to HDMI converter box, I'd buy one immediately and hook it up to my DV137. That would get me Pro Logic II decoding of Dolby Surround encoded DVDs.
 

kfbkfb

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Or...maybe the DTS company could be convinced to offer a matrix decoding mode specifically for (original) Dolby Surround in the group of matrix based fake surround sound creation systems/modes DTS already offers.

I'm sure Dolby Labs would be beyond thrilled if DTS stepped in and saved the day by providing fairly accurate decoding of Dolby Surround (maybe use Ultra Stereo and mention the ability to decode "other matrix encoded surround sound movie soundtracks").



Kirk Bayne
 

gene_stl

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I got interested in electronics in 1959 and have read, built ,repaired and somehow or another been active since then.
I took my first computer course (Fortran on an IBM 1130 with a washing machine sized drum as a disc drive) in 1969. I have built my own computers and kept up as Windows has forced advancement of OS and hardware.

I turned away from the audio hobby in about 1994 which I had been a pretty hardcore stereophile when my audio buddy died. When I returned in 2016 it took me like a year and a half of hard study just to get all the multichannel and digital formats figured out. Perhaps I am slow.

This is a very complex and spensive hobby. Sometimes stuff doesn't play for mystery reasons. Like those times that your computer acts up mysteriously and then just as mysteriously fixes itself. And you will never ever know what it was that happened.

Similarly we all have different things we want but there often aren't enough of us wanting it to justify someone building it commercially. I actually am amazed at the variety of gadgets you actually can buy from china and from the home theater installation industry.

Input selectors and volume controls especially come to mind. But some folks want balanced now and others unbalanced. details details details
 
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