How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Rusty Your Own Question
Rusty, Engineer
Category: Home Cinema System
Satisfied Customers: 6059
Experience:  Let my expertise help solve your technical problems. Over 20 years electronics and sound equipment experience.
Type Your Home Cinema System Question Here...
Rusty is online now

Rusty. Just wondering, out of the 3 sound formats .... PCM,

This answer was rated:

Hi Rusty. Just wondering, out of the 3 sound formats .... PCM, Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio HD .... which do you think is the best?
Great question! PCM is 2 channel audio. It has a left and a right speaker, designed for your front speakers. It's what we've used on tape, vinyl, CDs for decades. Dolby is a digital format that carries multiple channels of audio, for up to 9.1 sound. There is also now Dolby Atmos and Dolby 3D audio, which are very complex systems. Use Dolby for 5.1 surround sound. That consists of a center speaker, a left front, left rear, right front, right rear and a sub.Use DTS Master Audio for Atmos and 3D sound. Use PCM for a sound bar. That way you won't miss out on the sounds that play through the other speakers. It will take all of the sounds from the left front and rear, as well as right front and rear, and play them through your sound bar the way the audio was intended.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Rusty .... so you are saying that my Yamaha soundbar will take a 2 channel pcm input and make it into 5.1 ??

No, it makes a 5.1 system into 2 channel PCM. You only have 5.1 if you have rear speakers. If you use 5.1 on your soundbar, you'll miss out on the sounds from the rear speakers and front center speaker. PCM is optimized for use with a soundbar.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Is PCM better even though my soundbar has a Dolby 5.1 setting and I am giving it a Dolby 5.1 input??

Well that's different! I didn't realize you had a virtual surround soundbar. Yes, go ahead and give it a 5.1 Dolby signal. It uses different speakers to give you virtual surround. It uses different speakers to send sound to bounce around the room, and in the right shaped room (usually square), it will sound like you have rear speakers, sort of...
Rusty and other Home Cinema System Specialists are ready to help you