All good questions!
1. Yes, you are right. With regular DVD (not HD-DVD or Blu-ray) DTS is considered the best, because it's the least compressed. Dolby digital is the next best, and the standard for DVD. Dolby Digital can be 1.0 (Dolby DIgital Mono); 2.0 (Dolby Digital Stereo), 4.0 (Dolby Digital Surround), or 5.1 (Dolby Digital 5.1). Most older movies (pre-1950's) may be the mono variety, so watch out for those. Roughly 95% of newer movies will be of the Dolby Digital 5.1 variety.
2. Pro Logic is Old School...so if you're receiver has true Pro Logic processing, it's going to be via line-level RCA cables (the red and white ones). Most newer receivers will accept digital inputs (coax or optical) and rather than pro-logic, will output the better quality pro-logic II, but you can still get pro-logic II via the RCA cables. It's still taking a stereo signal and synthesizing it into 5.1.
3. No doesn't need to be digital, can be analog too.
4. Dolby digital and DTS MUST use the digital connection. Optical or Coax - same diff.
5. This is up to you. I personally prefer the original source, so I'm mostly listening to my music in stereo. But some people (especially ones that just buy a big set of speakers!) want to hear ALL of the speakers, all the time. You're right that the pro logic modes anchor more of a center image which is truer to the original stereo soundstage. The other effects are going to be more reverb, and more surround channel info.
5. pro logic ii movie mode extracts 5 full range channels from the stereo source, with an auto-balance feature to always anchor dialogue and voice to the center channel - movie mode is not user-adjustable. The music mode is user adjustable (dimension, center width control, panorama mode). The autobalance is turned off in music mode.
Hi, I am a newbie in home theatre sys, and I just bought a entry level sony HT-DDW700 system $179 in BestBuy. My room is small, so it is sufficient. But I have some questions about the technology side:
1.) in terms of quality, would I say the scale is the following?
pro logic < pro logic II < dolby digital < DTS (of cuz there are more but just comparing what I have in the receiver now)
2.) must pro logic be pass thru analog (red/white) plug? Or optical/coaxial cable is fine too?
3.) must pro logic II be pass thru optical/coaxial cable? Or analog (red/white) cable fine too?
4.) must dolby digial & DTS be pass thru optical/coaxial cable?
5.) if the input is stereo (specifically music), which effect is better? Pro logic, pro logic II, or some field mode in SONY such as "Digital Cinema Sound", or yet those surround mode such as "Hall, Jazz, Concert"? I really am confuse about all those modes. All I know is the pro logic or pro logic II seems to centralize the signer's vocal in the center speaker, while those surround mode spread the sound to all speaker to give a "hall feel"
6.) what's the diff between pro logic II movie and pro logic II music mode?