No surround sound from Marantz-Paradigm HT after upgrading from dvd player to bluray


New member
Username: Vishwajit_pantvaidya

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-10
I have been using my Marantz SR5200 receiver and 5.1 Paradigm speakers with a Panasonic DVD player for past several years. With the optical audio output of the DVD player connected to the receiver's optical audio input, I was able to hear good surround sound from all speakers. Now I have upgraded to Samsung BD-P1600 bluray player and the optical audio output of bluray player is connected to receiver's optical audio input. When I play a DVD movie in the bluray player and the player is setup to output a PCM signal, I hear only stereo sound from the front 2 speakers. When I change the blueray player setup to output bitstream (reencoded), I get surround sound, but the volume from the speakers is almost inaudible. Is the Marantz receiver not compatible with the blueray player? If not, how can I correct this?

Silver Member
Username: Mccambley


Post Number: 758
Registered: Jun-05
It sound lke a set up problem or the Samsung is a lemon. Bitsteam is the correct setting. Make sure that the blu-ray movie's audio is set to 5.1, try a Digital Coaxil connection. Does this happen on all movies?

New member
Username: Vishwajit_pantvaidya

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-10
Thanks Casey.
The Bluray player has following 3 settings in audio setup. Here are the results I got in each case when using the optical o/p to connect to my receiver:
1. PCM: outputs stereo only
2. bitstream(reencoded) - outputs surround sound but audio level is extremely low, almost inaudible
3. bitstream(audiophile) - outputs only to center channel

The BD-P1600 manual mentions the following at 2 different places:
a. optical cable connection is recommended when connecting to a non-HDMI amplifier but in this case discs with LPCM soundtracks will only be heard over front 2 channels
b. if optical cable is used, multichannel sound may not be heard

The question that I have now is:
- do movie DVDs in US have LPCM soundtracks?
- even if they do, why did my older Panasonic DVD player deliver surround sound when connected to same receiver using optical o/p

I have tried playing only DVD on the blyray player so far. Am going to be trying a bluray movie today.

New member
Username: Vishwajit_pantvaidya

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jan-10
Tried a bluray movie now, here are the results with that:

1. PCM: still outputs stereo only
2. bitstream(reencoded) - outputs DTD surround sound, audio level is higher than for DVD but still lower than with Panasonic DVD player
3. bitstream(audiophile) - outputs Dolby Digital with full surround sound at expected level

As mentioned earlier the stereo output in #1 and the lower audio o/p in #2 are expected and documented in the BD-P1600 manual. So my conclusions are:
- the player will not play DVD with proper audio with the optical connection, so I either need to try out a different player or an HDMI receiver
- bluray discs will play well in the bitstream(audiophile) mode.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

New member
Username: Vishwajit_pantvaidya

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jan-10
I did a couple of things and now DVD audio seems almost where it needs to be:

1. updated player firmware from 2.04 to 2.05
2. set player dig o/p setting for dynamic compression to off

Now while playing a DVD, the player still behaves same with PCM / bitstream (reencoded) settings. But with bitstream (audiophile) setting, I get proper surround sound. I think the dynamic compression change made the difference - the BD-P1600 manual does say that "When Movie soundtracks are played at low volume or from smaller speakers, the system can apply appropriate compression to make low-level content more intelligible and prevent dramatic passages from getting too loud."
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