Onkyo TX-NR609 - how to play PCM 5.1 from Blu-Ray?


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Aug 10, 2019
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I am new to Blu-Ray and have been updating some of my DVDs with Blu-Ray. Most have Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master, and my Onkyo has no problem playing these formats. On the Onkyo I have the 'Listening Mode Preset' as follows:

Dolby D/Dolby D Plus/TrueHD & DTS/DTS-ES/DTS-HD both set to 'Straight Decode'. This produces the correct output from the AVR when I have set the Blu-Ray disc (player is set to 'bitstream') to HD audio.

Now we come to PCM 5.1 uncompressed and it is here that I don't appear to be able to hear HD sound, as when I change the Blu-Ray from DD 5.1 to PCM 5.1 I don't see any improvement - in fact I think it is worse!

On the Onkyo setup option of 'Listening Mode Preset' for 'BD/DVD', can anyone tell me what to configure in the other sound formats other than those listed above? Under Listening Mode Preset I am looking at the following:

Analog / PCM / Digital

Mono/Multiplex Source

2ch Source

Dolby D/Dolby D Plus/TrueHD - NO PROBLEM - set to 'Straight Decode'

DTS/DTS-ES/DTS-HD - NO PROBLEM - set to 'Straight Decode'

Other Multich Source

So, which of the above should I set for PCM 5.1 to get the correct HD sound, and to what setting?

Thanks for any assistance.



Hi, I have the had the same problem with my TXNR807, until someone sent me this infor saying because I had set my TCI opt cable for sound then the PCM 5.1 would be transfered "loss" to 2.0, as the OPTICAL/COAX cant down up to THD, MAHD, MTHD. So my audio goed thriugh my HDMI 1.4V and highlighted none as my audio in. I did the same with the PS3 but changed that to Linear PCM as My PS3 is a fat one and the new ones can do the PCM 5.1 FAT PS3's couldnt, well some anyway. My Onkyo I set to PLXii MOVIE OR PLII THX CINEMA, EVEN ONE OF THE PRO-LOGIC GAME SETTINGS. Of course you've highlighted (*) next to your audio inputs if your using them, leave it blank if your not. Oh and check to see if Xbox now do PCM5.1, I havent used my elite for a while, I just remember around 2007 or 08, they only had PCM2.0 and no PCM 5.1 may be worth checking. Any sound from my COAX from PC to amp are set to DD etc, and the PCM/ANALOGUE TO THE ONES I mentioned. It may be nothing but I'll put this up, if it helps great, if not sorry

Dolby TrueHD
What it is: Dolby TrueHD is a "lossless" compression codec. Although it is compressed to take up less disc space than a PCM track, once decoded it is bit-for-bit identical to the studio master (at either 16-bit or 24-bit resolution, at the discretion of the studio). It may help to think of it like a ZIP file that holds a PCM track. Once you unZIP the file, you get a 100% identical copy of the original PCM, without compromising any sound quality.
Level of support: TrueHD is an optional format on Blu-ray. And since TrueHD is not built in a core+extension configuration, Blu-ray discs that contain a TrueHD track are also required to contain a standard Dolby Digital AC-3 track for compatibility with players that don't support TrueHD.

How to get it:
  • Toslink or Coaxial SPDIF - SPDIF cannot carry a TrueHD signal. If using this connection type, the player will automatically revert to playing back the standard Dolby Digital AC-3 track instead.
  • HDMI - If the player does not support TrueHD, it will revert to the standard Dolby Digital track. Some players may decode the TrueHD to PCM and transmit it over any version of HDMI. Other players will instead transmit the TrueHD bitstream to a receiver for decoding (HDMI 1.3 required).
  • Multi-channel analogue - Either the Blu-ray player will decode the standard Dolby Digital track, or (on some models) will decode the TrueHD and convert it to analogue.
Uncompressed PCM is the native format of the digital audio masters for movie soundtracks. Dolby and DTS are merely compression formats that reduce the size of those original files. Standard Dolby Digital and DTS are "loss" compression formats, meaning that they throw away parts of the original data in order to shrink the file size. By design, they do this by removing portions of the signal that human ears are less sensitive to first. However, with careful listening, you can often tell that something is missing.

Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are both "lossless" compression formats. Once decoded, they will restore the original files without any loss of data. Think of them like ZIP folders that store the original PCM soundtrack. When you play a Blu-ray with either Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio, those formats must first be decoded to PCM (like un-Zipping the folder). The resulting PCM file will be bit-for-bit identical to the original master. That PCM must then be converted to analogue and amplified out to your speakers. Decoding of lossless audio formats can occur in either the disc player (in your case, the PS3) or the A/V receiver. When you do it in the PS3, you can transmit the resulting PCM file to your receiver by HDMI. In theory, it should not make much difference whether you decode the TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio tracks in the player or the receiver. They all wind up as PCM anyway. Some audiophiles may argue that transmitting PCM from a disc player to a receiver can introduce jitter, but the severity of this problem (if it is really a problem) are highly debatable. All versions of the PS3 have the ability to decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio internally. You should set all audio output options to Linear PCM for this, and connect the console to your receiver by HDMI. Only the PS3 Slim can transmit Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio in native bitstream format, so that the receiver will do the decoding. For that, set the PS3 Slam's output options to Bitstream. The original ("fat") PS3 does not have this ability. If you set that one to Bitstream, it will down covert the TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio tracks to standard loss Dolby Digital or DTS quality first. To avoid this, you must use the Linear PCM output setting.


Thanks for the information.

I've been playing a bit more and have got it to work.

From the setup menu I go to 'Listening Mode Preset' & 'BD/DVD'. From 'Other Multich Source' I select 'Straight Decode' and now when I select 'Uncompressed PCM 5.1' on the Blu-Ray DVD I get HD surround sound 5.1 - the Onkyo front panel displays 'Multichannel' (which is for PCM multichannel sources as written in the manual).

For 'Listening Mode Preset' changes to take effect you have to power cycle the AVR.



AHHH, I'll have to change my BD player, didnt think of that, same with my soundcard for PC and HD settings in that soundcard, cheers for that


Changes were made on the Onkyo, just so we are clear (you said you would change your BD player).



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