Author Topic: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...  (Read 9459 times)

Offline desray

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I thought there is very little discussion on the latest DSP offering (Dolby Surround Upmixer or DSU) by Dolby in this forum. There has been a lot of buzz on this DSP which replaces the Dolby ProLogic IIz or PLIIz of 2013 models. Reviews and buzz around the object-based audio format (Dolby Atmos) has been dominating most if not all the discussions on topics related to immersive sound in the WWW. I thought this thread can allow members to share their experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly side of using DSU.




I will share my experiences with DSU in due course...

Meantime, you may wish to share your experiences with the rest of the members in terms of movies mixed in the traditional 5.1/7.1 or even the DTS:X Neo 11.1 mix...you can also include your experience with 2-channel music (e.g. redbook CD played using DSU engaged), concert bluray etc.




Is DSU really a game-changer or just another "hyperbole" in the making?


I will like to hear your views on this... ;D
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 17:42 by desray »

Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 10:53 »
I think there was a review that came out a few months back where the reviewer was unimpressed with DSU for music upmixing - preferring Dolby ProLogic IIx: Music which is no longer available in this current gen of Denon/Marantz Atmos AVRs - not sure about Onkyo/Yamaha or Pioneer.

Frankly I would never upmix stereo music to multi channel so it really doesn't matter to me :)

I would imagine DSU is a game changer if you have height/Atmos speakers already enabled.

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Offline sigurros

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 10:56 »
Great thread Des.

Was re-watching Black Hawk down few nights ago and DSU made a already great original mix better. The distribution of overhead effects makes DSU worthwhile.

Will be re-watching "old" titles again and see how well DSU works.

Read in AVSforum that it may not be better for all movies.

Trying True Legend next.

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 13:06 »
I think there was a review that came out a few months back where the reviewer was unimpressed with DSU for music upmixing - preferring Dolby ProLogic IIx: Music which is no longer available in this current gen of Denon/Marantz Atmos AVRs - not sure about Onkyo/Yamaha or Pioneer.

Frankly I would never upmix stereo music to multi channel so it really doesn't matter to me :)

I would imagine DSU is a game changer if you have height/Atmos speakers already enabled.



+1...agreed with Bro Doggie here. By and large, DSU is good for movies with the traditional 5.1/7.1 mixes. But when it comes to stereo, its a totally different experience altogether. Like you, I preferred the good ole Dolby Prologic IIz Music DSP mode if I really want to have some form of multi-channel experience to go with. Sadly, there is NO MORE Dolby Prologic IIz DSP modes to fall back on. One step forward and one step backward in this scenario.

Here's my take on music. For 2 channel music listening, you can choose to engage DSU with very nice, subtle effects when there is no vocal involved...Hence for movie soundtracks or musical instruments, DSU does bring about some "elevated" sound effect that kind of "envelopes" you. But DSU didn't fare very well with artiste singing in the background. Its kinda of a hit-or-miss thing...after all, DSU is a kind of DSP that extrapolates the sound mix from the background to figure out what kind of sound "elements" can be send to the height/ceiling channels to create that "immersive" effect. So long it is "manipulated" in some ways, it ain't gonna sound natural, that much is certain.

Studies have shown that human auditory perceptivity is inclined towards the horizontal plane, rather than vertical. We tends to perceive and make "sense" out of the things we can "see" and hear things at "eye/ear" level. When it comes to sounds from the vertical plane, the Head-Related Transfer Function or HRTF to make sense of the magnitude and scale (height and positioning) of the sound from above us. Since we can't "see", the brain will attempt to "interpret" the sound mix, which can be fairly accurate at certain frequency but not of others. 

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 13:09 »
Great thread Des.

Was re-watching Black Hawk down few nights ago and DSU made a already great original mix better. The distribution of overhead effects makes DSU worthwhile.

Will be re-watching "old" titles again and see how well DSU works.

Read in AVSforum that it may not be better for all movies.

Trying True Legend next.

Yes, it is correct. NOT all titles work well with DSU engaged but most of the good reference level 5.1/7.1 would sound better with DSU engaged. I always recommended Into the Storm and Cloverfield as top in my list to showcase the prowess of DSU when it is doing it right.

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 13:22 »
Here's a short list of titles which I would recommend to watch it with DSU engaged...not in order of merit.

1) Cloverfield
2) Edge of Tomorrow
3) The Expendables 2 (with DTS Neo:X 11.1)
4) Dredd
5) The Day after tomorrow
6) Jurassic Park
7) Tears of the Sun
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 23:08 by desray »

Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2015, 15:36 »
Do you find that even with Neo:X titles, DSU does a better job of upmixing?
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Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2015, 17:17 »
Do you find that even with Neo:X titles, DSU does a better job of upmixing?

That's a very good question... in fact the reason for this thread was the result of my experience with DTS: Neo X 11.1 vs the DSU. I will share later.

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 20:44 »
Just finished watching Vertical Limit.... OMG! This is another must have to show how good DSU can do to older titles. Plenty of helicopters fly by and the gale etc on K2.

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« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 23:08 by desray »

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2015, 23:08 »
I just re-watched Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo Del Toro...and even to this date, I though it still has one of the best CGI effects. But beyond that, the film took on another level of immersion when watched with DSU engaged. The entire film is a brilliant showcase of how good DSU can enhance the already awesome sound track of older titles. Give it a spin and you will enjoy it.

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2015, 17:32 »
Just got myself a copy of Tomorrowland...and I have to say that this is one of the BEST PQ and SQ disc for me this year. This movie must be watched with DSU activated...to truly enjoy it! Available now at Laserflair for $39.90.

Offline joagib

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2015, 17:45 »
I think there was a review that came out a few months back where the reviewer was unimpressed with DSU for music upmixing - preferring Dolby ProLogic IIx: Music which is no longer available in this current gen of Denon/Marantz Atmos AVRs - not sure about Onkyo/Yamaha or Pioneer.

Frankly I would never upmix stereo music to multi channel so it really doesn't matter to me :)

I would imagine DSU is a game changer if you have height/Atmos speakers already enabled.

+1

Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2017, 19:49 »
Watching Patriots Day now with Dolby Surround Upmix. When that explosion goes off. Wow. Can really feel the debris coming from above you.
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Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2017, 17:41 »
Watching Patriots Day now with Dolby Surround Upmix. When that explosion goes off. Wow. Can really feel the debris coming from above you.

Bro, you using the atmos enabled speaker modules right - Elac Debut A4 right? As this disc contains the DTS:X MSTR track, how do you find the immersive sound between DTS:X and DSU upmixing?

Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 18:18 »
Bro, you using the atmos enabled speaker modules right - Elac Debut A4 right? As this disc contains the DTS:X MSTR track, how do you find the immersive sound between DTS:X and DSU upmixing?

I was using the DTS X and Atmos demo disc to do "call out" for each speaker.

The DTS X was less "distinct" for the "overhead" channels so I switched it to Atmos processing on DTS X and it felt more localized.

So in the end I'm using Atmos/Dolby Surround upmix on any DTS soundtrack.
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Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2017, 07:02 »


I was using the DTS X and Atmos demo disc to do "call out" for each speaker.

The DTS X was less "distinct" for the "overhead" channels so I switched it to Atmos processing on DTS X and it felt more localized.

So in the end I'm using Atmos/Dolby Surround upmix on any DTS soundtrack.

Interesting discovery. I'll try it out and share my experience later today.

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Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2017, 08:27 »
It's weird but I couldn't switch on Atmos processing on DTS X the other day.
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Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2017, 08:38 »
It's weird but I couldn't switch on Atmos processing on DTS X the other day.

Exactly...I don't recall I am able to do it but since you mentioned it so I thought I'll revisit it again. :P

Offline ronildoq

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2017, 10:41 »
It's weird but I couldn't switch on Atmos processing on DTS X the other day.

were you able to switch to atmos from DTSX master? Strange, i have never come across that availability on the Denon AVR. From Dolby To DTS Neural X yes, Atmos to DTS Neural or TrueHD yes. But never Atmos to DTS:X master or vice versa

Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2017, 11:53 »
Let me bring back the DTS 2016 Demo disc again. It might have gone to DTS HD when I paused it which allowed me to enable Dolby Upmix
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Offline ronildoq

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2017, 09:44 »
yea, i think its different with Atmos and DTSX Master, which are object based audio, unlike the younger brother of Dolby TrueHD /Digital, DTS HD, DTS, which are all channel based. The latter allows you to switch between different listening modes because of the AVR's ability to decode channel based audio. I used to like DTS in the past, somehow it sounded better than dolby, mainly because of its higher bitrate.

I think the key is in the mixing of the original soundtrack when it comes to DTS X vs Atmos. Although both are object based, the tools & plug-ins used for encoding those data makes a difference. DTS were 2-3 years behind dolby when object based audio was introduced, but i believe they will catch up soon.

The only time i switch in the listening mode is when i have a Dolby Digital signal, i will pick DTS Neural X. But for DTS & DTS HD sources, i will stick to Neural X

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2017, 10:16 »
Let me bring back the DTS 2016 Demo disc again. It might have gone to DTS HD when I paused it which allowed me to enable Dolby Upmix

Any update?

Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2017, 14:36 »
Oops. I brought the discs back but was watching Railroad Tigers. Couldn't get past 20 minutes. Then watched Sword Master.

Will try it later tonight.
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Offline Doggie Howser

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Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2017, 10:26 »
Took longer than expected - and oddly enough I didn't even need to bring the discs home. I actually have downloaded the clips for the speaker call outs and other demos so just played them through

I have noticed tho that the immersion is fantastic when I'm seated at the sweet center spot.  This is with DTS X and Dolby Atmos. Couldn't upmix DTS X to Atmos. I think I paused the playback last time when switching so the bitstream might have switched from DTS X to DTS HD for a moment.

Move off to the side of the 3 seater and the overhead sensations feel a bit less distinct. More vague. This is with Dolby Atmos enabled speakers. May be better with actual in ceiling speakers? I don't know. I did remember thinking it wasn't so obvious in the Atmos theater when I last heard it - Iron Man 3 in GV at Vivo.
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Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2017, 14:22 »
Took longer than expected - and oddly enough I didn't even need to bring the discs home. I actually have downloaded the clips for the speaker call outs and other demos so just played them through

I have noticed tho that the immersion is fantastic when I'm seated at the sweet center spot.  This is with DTS X and Dolby Atmos. Couldn't upmix DTS X to Atmos. I think I paused the playback last time when switching so the bitstream might have switched from DTS X to DTS HD for a moment.

Move off to the side of the 3 seater and the overhead sensations feel a bit less distinct. More vague. This is with Dolby Atmos enabled speakers. May be better with actual in ceiling speakers? I don't know. I did remember thinking it wasn't so obvious in the Atmos theater when I last heard it - Iron Man 3 in GV at Vivo.

Thanks for the confirmation and update...My experience is a bit different than yours. I have no issue with the "sweet spots" 2 seats maybe due to the room width is less than yours? For reflection to work effectively, the "sweet spot" requires Audyssey calibration to work right the first time...you may wish to reconsider re-doing your Audyssey calibration? I have very good consistent results regardless where I sit. If done right, it CANNOT be just the "MLP or Prime seat" that sounds great.

Offline Doggie Howser

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2017, 19:16 »
I guess might depend on how far apart the speakers are.

I remember first time I watched ST Into Darkness TrueHD and the way the spear was thrown left and right past Bones and Kirk - it was so much more noticeable when I was in the MLP in more than a few different setups

Sitting on the sides definitely felt less noticeable.
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Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2017, 20:33 »
I guess might depend on how far apart the speakers are.

I remember first time I watched ST Into Darkness TrueHD and the way the spear was thrown left and right past Bones and Kirk - it was so much more noticeable when I was in the MLP in more than a few different setups

Sitting on the sides definitely felt less noticeable.

I will try to share my experiences in setting up my Dolby Atmos enabled speakers soon and you hit the jackpot that distance is definitely one of the attributing factors.

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2019, 13:13 »
Reviving this thread to see if anyone has any good experience using the DSU (Dolby Surround Upmixer). We used to lament that the Dolby Pro Logic IIz was the "best" for movie and music listening if "done right"...Dolby had made a bold move to replace the Pro Logic IIz DSP modes (CInema & Music) with just one single DSP - i.e. DSU.

Since most of our discussions tends to revolve around Dolby Atmos and perhaps a little bit DTS X (due to limited titles) and let's not forget that many bros here owned numerous bluray titles before the "Object-based" sound mix era kicks in in 2014 with the intro of Dolby Atmos.

Let's talk about your experience with DSU on some of the older bluray collection that does not have Atmos sound mix in it. Do you prefer to switch on DSU for that "matrixed" height channel information to be activated or stick with the native sound format - meaning, if the bluray title feature Dolby TrueHD, do you stick with Dolby TrueHD track or you allow your AVR to throw in the DSP mode (DSU) just to get a better listening experience?

I will like to hear your views...if there are certain titles which really make the DSU mode "shine"...pls do share as well.

Offline wechnivag

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2019, 13:36 »
Slightly different, but I read that you can bypass the DSU limitations to Dts-hd tracks by setting your source to decode and output LPCM instead of dts-hd, and the avr will upmix LPCM to atmos. Is it true?

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Offline desray

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Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2019, 13:48 »
Slightly different, but I read that you can bypass the DSU limitations to Dts-hd tracks by setting your source to decode and output LPCM instead of dts-hd, and the avr will upmix LPCM to atmos. Is it true?

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Never heard before and why would anyone want to do that? For me, a true object based sound mix should always be the preferred choice over everything else. Any form of down-mixing to “trick” the AVR deciding to output Dolby Atmos makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. But if you are talking about the update that rid DSU as a viable alternate DSP mode for non Dolby tracks. Then that’s different but that’s besides the point.

Just out of curiosity, where did u get this info of DTS HD MSTR to LPCM and allow AVR to upmix to Atmos? If it’s viable, what’s the experience like? Any firsthand empirical review perhaps?



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« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 13:51 by desray »

Offline wechnivag

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2019, 19:02 »
Never heard before and why would anyone want to do that? For me, a true object based sound mix should always be the preferred choice over everything else. Any form of down-mixing to “trick” the AVR deciding to output Dolby Atmos makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. But if you are talking about the update that rid DSU as a viable alternate DSP mode for non Dolby tracks. Then that’s different but that’s besides the point.

Just out of curiosity, where did u get this info of DTS HD MSTR to LPCM and allow AVR to upmix to Atmos? If it’s viable, what’s the experience like? Any firsthand empirical review perhaps?



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Not sure where I read it... Some forum.. And by LPCM I mean full 8ch LPCM, not downmix to 2ch pcm stereo... Just that the player decodes vs the avr decodes...yup the intention is to bypass the DSU restriction to dolby tracks only..

I don't have an atmos or DSU capable avr so that's why I asked the question. Sorry to OT and derail.

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Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2019, 19:13 »
Not sure where I read it... Some forum.. And by LPCM I mean full 8ch LPCM, not downmix to 2ch pcm stereo... Just that the player decodes vs the avr decodes...yup the intention is to bypass the DSU restriction to dolby tracks only..

I don't have an atmos or DSU capable avr so that's why I asked the question. Sorry to OT and derail.

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No apologies needed. I understand it will decode to 8 Channel Multi-PCM (MPCM) by the bluray player (source) but I am wondering why go such the length to get Dolby Atmos from a DTS-HD MSTR track simply to circumvent the limitations of the DSU not able to be apply to DTS mix. In fact, DTS Neural X (though many  users claim it did not do better than the DSU) but from my experience DSU works better with native Dolby tracks in the likes of DD 5.1 DD+ and Dolby TrueHD and not so much for DTS mix...so the firmware restrictions for DSU to apply for Dolby's very own mix is actually better - for Dolby to protect its IP and also to prevent DTS mix from using Dolby's DSP mode (DSU).

Offline bluepill193

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2019, 20:06 »
A strange thing I notice with DSU and DTS neural x is that with neural X, I tend to get double echo of the dialogue. This is usually with DD or DD+ from Netflix, through my marantz sr7010 (7.1.4), with the same audyssey setup.

Offline ronildoq

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2019, 20:16 »
A strange thing I notice with DSU and DTS neural x is that with neural X, I tend to get double echo of the dialogue. This is usually with DD or DD+ from Netflix, through my marantz sr7010 (7.1.4), with the same audyssey setup.

Strange, what type of echo is that? I used to like dts neural x when I had the avr previously, not too bad the listening mode, some movies feel nicer with neural x on... 

Could it be the TV sound from hdmi ARC playing at the same time ?

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2019, 21:16 »
A strange thing I notice with DSU and DTS neural x is that with neural X, I tend to get double echo of the dialogue. This is usually with DD or DD+ from Netflix, through my marantz sr7010 (7.1.4), with the same audyssey setup.

I knew what you meant...it happened to my Denon X7200WA as well. It seems to be an issue with DTS Neural X only. DSU is fine. But on my Anthem MRX 720 Receiver, I have no issue with DTS Neural X. My suggestion, turn off DTS Neural X for any form of DSP processing for your height channels instead use whatever native format it has - e.g. if the movie itself contains DTS or STD-HD MSTR, stick with the native sound mix and don't engage any form of DSP. Same goes for DD 5.1 and DD+ media clips.



« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 21:21 by desray »

Offline bluepill193

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2019, 12:50 »
Yup now I only use DTS for native DTS material.
@ronildoq: no this happens just for dialogue, other sounds not so obvious. Maybe some bug with coordinating time delay with DTS neural X.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 12:53 by bluepill193 »

Offline ronildoq

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2019, 20:55 »
Yup now I only use DTS for native DTS material.
@ronildoq: no this happens just for dialogue, other sounds not so obvious. Maybe some bug with coordinating time delay with DTS neural X.

Smearing of image can be nasty, best go with the respective listening modes... is this only with the Denon ? Or the rest of the avr experience similar issue ?

Online francis wu

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2019, 21:07 »
On my Marantz SR620, Neural X only available when the source is DTS X.  Is this normal?

Offline desray

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2019, 21:08 »
On my Marantz SR620, Neural X only available when the source is DTS X.  Is this normal?

No. I think what you are trying to say is DTS Neural X upmixing only apply to DTS tracks like DTS-Core (lossy) and DTS-HD MSTR (losseless). DTS X will not be able to apply any upmixing.

Online francis wu

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Re: Your experiences with Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU)...
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2019, 21:41 »
You are right, I was a little confused initially but I m seeing that + Neural X is now showing on all the DTS and DTS MA on the display screen!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 23:34 by francis wu »