Good question. Doesn't your manual say? I'm pretty sure there aren't any dvd's with discrete 7.1 so it might end up being a moot point anyway. They might just be matrixed. Sorry I couldn't be any more informative. Dan
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You have to read the manual.
I own a Denon 4806 receiver and the last pair of channels can be configured for 7.1, or as a pair of separate two channel remote speakers. That pair of channels can also be configured to help biamp the main speaker channels.
The manual is what you gotta read. (Mine is dense as road tar, but it has to be read in order to set stuff up.)
All the controls for these changes have to be viewed through a video monitor to activate.
There are movies, DVD's with discrete rear channel information (6.1 or 7.1, the 6th channel is dicrete rear channel info only, totally separate and different than side channel signal) that is completely separate from the side channel information, I do know this.
I have read the manual but there is no clear cut answer to my question there. The reason I ask is so I know whether or not to upgrade to a new 7.1 receiver in order to get the discrete rear channel information. Thanks again for all the help and advice.
I have a 3803 (I think that's the number) and as I recall those additional two channels are there so you can switch between them and the 'regular' rear channels--the manual makes a distinction between movie and cd sound. I agree with those who say read the manual--even though you already have. There is SO much material and they are poorly written that I have read parts of mine 10 times before I 'got' it....and I have been in hifi a long time. I am not aware of true discrete dvds, but I don't pay any attention to video. SACD's are 5.1 at most. good luck!