Music Format - PCM /5.1 surroud sound


Nov 21, 2008
Hyderabad India
Hi All,
Just bought some audio CDs costing around Rs 50 each to play it on my newly bought AVR ( Onkyo 606 )..

The format on the AVR shows as PCM 44.1 KHz on the display of AVR.

Want to know if i am expected to get the true 5.1 surround experience ..Does PCM mean 5.1 or its just stereo and my AVR is upscaling it to give me surround experience as in other cable channel songs etc.

Apart from PCM/DD/DTS, you should also be able to see whether it is 2.0/5.1 (signal info) on your AVR. Use the display button on the remote or something similar to get this info.

CDs typically have 2.0 recordings only, hence you have to use DD PL-II or DTS Neo etc modes on your AVR to distribute a CD signal to more than 2.0 speakers.
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PCM is a format for how the audio signal is generated. For audio CDs its always 2 channels. the 44.1 KHz is the frequency of the signal. Google to see what they mean if you are still interested.

If you wanted 5.1 channels audio signals you need to play a multichannel SACD, DVD-Audio or High Definition audio such as those in blu-rays. These are streamed as independent PCM signals.

On most AVRs you can "fake" 5.1 signal from an audio CD by using certain DSPs such as 5 or 7-channel stereo or such. These plays all channels via all speakers so you wont get high fidelity signal
Can 5.1 channels in SACDs be streamed as PCM (apart from DSD via HDMI)? I am not able to find any such option on Pio-610?
PCM is converted digital form from original recorded signal.
Then it has to get converted to analoge to here sound.
In CDs PCM is 2.0 & AVR DSP can either play as it is(Direct or Stereo mode) OR convert to 5.1(prologic/neo/all ch stereo mode)

Choice is yours,which you do like.
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