Stereo vs. DD 5.1 feed on a Playbase only system

  • 11 April 2017
  • 2 replies

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Any references to differences when listening to a stereo PCM feed into a Playbase vs. a 5.1 single, assuming no additional sub or surrounds? Not sure sweating the lack of DD 5.1 signal from my TV is worth it if not actually having the additional speakers available. I understand the Playbase will matrix a stereo signal into a simulated 5.1, but any feedback if using an actual DD 5.1 feed is sonically better in a playbase only environment?

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2 replies

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Hello CB_Audio,

Thanks for the question. The PLAYBASE itself is capable of handling a 3 .0 Dolby Digital signal (Left, center & right channels). This would allow the PLAYBASE to output the discrete audio for those channels and would not need to matrix any information to the center channel. This will result in a livelier front sound stage and provide a better left to right panning effect. As you indicated with a PCM signal, the PLAYBASE is processing the signal and directing audio to particular channels. Both sound formats will provide a pleasurable listening experience. However, Dolby Digital may provide a more dynamic listening experience
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Chris - Thanks for the reply. I did subsequently add an HDMI switch and do now have a 5.1 signal from the TV to the PLAYBASE. The sound is indeed noticeably better than the PCM stereo feed, pending of course on content, but is clearly a livelier experience. Only issue I am currently experiencing is random sound dropouts for a second every once in a while. It could be attributable to the HDMI switch and the dropouts do not appear in the same place if rewound and played back (on the DVR), so are not from the source.