• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Modern AVR’s and Processors - Super Annoying Shortcoming

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
Older AVR’s and processors could easily apply Pro Logic or DTS: Neo 6 when fed a 2-channel PCM source which would matrix the left and right channels and utilize the center speaker. Increasingly, every AVR/Processor I’ve used are completely incapable of doing this. You can use Multi Channel or All Channel Stereo, but if you engage any surround mode, the center channel stays silent.

My Onkyo RZ50 does this, all Denon and Marantz models I’m aware of do this. It’s ridiculous.

Why does this oversight exist?
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,221
Likes
6,268
Location
PNW
AVRs and pre-pros still have both a DTS and Dolby upmixer that still use the center (and surrounds if you have them). They have different names now, tho.

ps looking at the RZ50 page on listening modes, still seems to use center. My relatively recent Denon definitely uses the center....
 
Last edited:
OP
Dougey_Jones

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
AVRs and pre-pros still have both a DTS and Dolby upmixer that still use the center (and surrounds if you have them). They have different names now, tho.
Have you actually tried what I’m describing?

I have always used an HTPC, and windows is always in “Stereo”, because when you play a file encoded with a surround track, it passes that successfully to the Receiver. This works whether it’s PotPlayer, MPC or VLC.

However, since the receiver is receiving a hard coded 2.0 track, for example watching YouTube or a RedditStream, it’s impossible to make it utilize the center channel unless I use All Channel Stereo.

What’s even more annoying, is that the surround modes DO send info to the rear channels, but not the center.

Prove me wrong.
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,221
Likes
6,268
Location
PNW
Have you actually tried what I’m describing?

I have always used an HTPC, and windows is always in “Stereo”, because when you play a file encoded with a surround track, it passes that successfully to the Receiver. This works whether it’s PotPlayer, MPC or VLC.

However, since the receiver is receiving a hard coded 2.0 track, for example watching YouTube or a RedditStream, it’s impossible to make it utilize the center channel unless I use All Channel Stereo.

Prove me wrong.
Yes, I tested my Denon 4700. My older Denons and Onkyo do as well. I tested with 2ch audio tracks but not from a computer. I use a variety of sources and haven't had any issue with using the center channels on any of my avrs. Be a pretty useless upmixer if it didn't work that way. I can't prove you wrong since I am not in your house....but would love to see if I could get it working for you. I'd suspect your audio settings in the computer, tho.
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,221
Likes
6,268
Location
PNW
Have you tried another 2ch source other than your computer?
 
OP
Dougey_Jones

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
Yes, I tested my Denon 4700. My older Denons and Onkyo do as well. I tested with 2ch audio tracks but not from a computer. I use a variety of sources and haven't had any issue with using the center channels on any of my avrs. Be a pretty useless upmixer if it didn't work that way. I can't prove you wrong since I am not in your house....but would love to see if I could get it working for you. I'd suspect your audio settings in the computer, tho.
If you feed the AVR a stereo analog source it will work, I’m strictly talking about a 2.0 PCM input that’s hard coded as L/R.
 
OP
Dougey_Jones

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
Have you tried another 2ch source other than your computer?
This is a very specific problem, and it’s not isolated to one manufacturer. It’s an old vs new thing. I have older AVRs lying around that don’t have this issue.

It’s unique to newer chipsets, they won’t force matrix a hard coded 2ch source whereas older stuff will.
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,221
Likes
6,268
Location
PNW
What do you mean by hard coded 2ch source? What is the audio setup in your computer and how connected to avr?
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,221
Likes
6,268
Location
PNW
If you feed the AVR a stereo analog source it will work, I’m strictly talking about a 2.0 PCM input that’s hard coded as L/R.
I generally don't use a computer connected to my avr, but when I did I had no problem using the upmixer with 2ch material, and that was via hdmi.

ps just plugged my laptop to 4700 via hdmi and center works fine on upmixers (Dolby and DTS)
 
Last edited:
OP
Dougey_Jones

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
What do you mean by hard coded 2ch source? What is the audio setup in your computer and how connected to avr?
Instance 1) Computer HDMI —> RZ50

Instance 2) Computer HDMI —> TV —> Optical Out to AVR.

It really doesn’t matter how you slice it. Unless you have a computer connected to a modern AVR and the sound card output set to “Stereo”, then don’t discount what I’m saying.
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,221
Likes
6,268
Location
PNW
Instance 1) Computer HDMI —> RZ50

Instance 2) Computer HDMI —> TV —> Optical Out to AVR.

It really doesn’t matter how you slice it. Unless you have a computer connected to a modern AVR and the sound card output set to “Stereo”, then don’t discount what I’m saying.
As I just added above, I am currently listening to two ch with center working fine via hdmi from my laptop. My laptop doesn't indicate it's set to stereo, it's just showing its using the Denon's HD Audio Driver....not even sure on this one how I'd limit it to two ch, which I wouldn't necessarily want at all when using hdmi, I'd want it to work with all audio.
 

sarumbear

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
7,604
Likes
7,333
Location
UK
Older AVR’s and processors could easily apply Pro Logic or DTS: Neo 6 when fed a 2-channel PCM source which would matrix the left and right channels and utilize the center speaker. Increasingly, every AVR/Processor I’ve used are completely incapable of doing this. You can use Multi Channel or All Channel Stereo, but if you engage any surround mode, the center channel stays silent.

My Onkyo RZ50 does this, all Denon and Marantz models I’m aware of do this. It’s ridiculous.

Why does this oversight exist?
What function on your old devices allowed you to achieve what you want.
 
OP
Dougey_Jones

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
As I just added above, I am currently listening to two ch with center working fine via hdmi from my laptop. My laptop doesn't indicate it's set to stereo, it's just showing its using the Denon's HD Audio Driver....not even sure on this one how I'd limit it to two ch, which I wouldn't necessarily want at all when using hdmi, I'd want it to work with all audio.
If you right click on the speaker icon in the task tray it should say stereo, or 5.1 or 7.1 or Atmos if you have the app installed.
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,221
Likes
6,268
Location
PNW
If you right click on the speaker icon in the task tray it should say stereo, or 5.1 or 7.1 or Atmos if you have the app installed.
The "stereo" box is checked off. I'm not sure I've used this laptop via hdmi until now. Seem to remember on my previous laptop I'd need to change that to multich.
 
OP
Dougey_Jones

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
What function on your old devices allowed you to achieve what you want.
On older AVR’s either “auto” surround or Pro Logic II X will matrix basically anything, with no regard for what the original PCM format is.
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,221
Likes
6,268
Location
PNW
On older AVR’s either “auto” surround or Pro Logic II X will matrix basically anything, with no regard for what the original PCM format is.
Still my experience with the 4700's upmixers (Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X)
 
OP
Dougey_Jones

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
For additional context, this is problem I just deal with at home by switching to all channel stereo if I have to. But I’m that guy in my family and friend group who periodically upgrades everyone’s stereo.

So this weekend I go to upgrade a friends setup to a newer receiver. Their primary source is a PC.

We’re going through the new receivers features and she’s like, why doesn’t the music play out of the center speaker anymore?!

I of course say, you need to switch it to all channel stereo.

“Why can’t I just leave it on auto surround like the other one?!”

So I had to reinstall the old AVR. Girls don’t like pressing additional buttons.
 

sarumbear

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
7,604
Likes
7,333
Location
UK
On older AVR’s either “auto” surround or Pro Logic II X will matrix basically anything, with no regard for what the original PCM format is.
I guess that is because various Dolby surround formats like Pro Logic was an analogue system and when you feed a digital 2.0 signal they fail.
 
OP
Dougey_Jones

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
I guess that is because various Dolby surround formats like Pro Logic was an analogue system and when you feed a digital 2.0 signal they fail.
No, I’m saying the old chipsets succeed and the new ones fail.

This is a problem on my RZ50. I watch the NFL and NBA in a web browser through my HTPC and I can’t get the center channel matrixed unless I use all channel stereo.

Every single surround mode turns the stereo source into a 4.0 mix with no center.

Swear on me mum. Why would I make something like this up? It’s terrible..

My best theory for why this is happening, is that Windows 10 is sending the AVR a multichannel PCM signal, where the C/SR/SL channels are blank, so the AVR is receiving a surround mix with blanked channels, so it thinks it’s doing what it’s supposed to.
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,221
Likes
6,268
Location
PNW
I changed from "stereo" on laptop to 7.1 and it did cut out the whole upmixing thing (didn't get to surrounds as well as center), with AVR showing multich input. I remember some streaming services would act like that a few years back (send to avr as multich lpcm and negated the ability to apply the upmixer).
 
Top Bottom