Yamaha RX-V4600 rear speaker volume;dvd vs VCR

Howdy. I recently purchased a Yammi RX-V4600 for the HT setup. I am kind of new at this so please bear with me. I have gone through the auto setup, used the manual setup and basically read the owners manual like a bible (front to rear & rear to front for days) Can anyone enlighten me on a couple of things please.
1) When I play a VCR tape with Dolby souround encritped audio the system works & sounds awsome. "Goldeneye" movie is the best. Cars, bullets, everything seem to come from in front go behind me etc. When I watch movies using the DVD or the satelite, the rear channel speakers are all but not there. Most everything seems to come from the front three speakers. If I put my ear to the rear speakers, I can hear very small audible sound, but it is very minimal and is almost like a small echo. What's the deal? The only way I can get any volume (to the rears) while watching DVD or satelite is setting the system to 7 channel stereo. But then it isn't in surround, is it....?
2) Also I have listend to movies in avery type of surround setting the unit has. Some are pretty good, some are deplorable and reek of echo & bad delay.
Dolby 5.1, DTS, PLX, PLXII, etc.? When I play a DVD, which one of the plethora of multi chennle settings should I set the unit to, or does the unit pick the right one on "auto"?
These settings are driving me crazy...
Equipment: Sony DVP-NSN900V DVD/SCD palyer, Yammaha RX-V4600, 5 speakers (no sub yet) front large & receiver set to large & EQ set to "check;front" for bigger front mains.
Thanks for any input.
"The old grey matter just ain't what is used to be"
Your DVD player and Cable box digital out is not properly setup, they are both likely on PCM, they need to be set on bitstream or Dolby Digital.

I am currently using a Yamaha as a pre/pro. Here are some basics. As dedwards said check the DVD player to make sure its set to dolby digital anhd not PCM.

Your 2 questions are basically part of one. Your 4600 can "auto" select between analog, dolby digital 5.1 and DTS. PLX is Pro logic( you would set for most all of your VHS movies). PLXII- adds rear surround channel.(Presently you have a 5 speaker set up so this wouldnt effect you.When you refer to the rear speakers, you are actually talking about your left and right surround speakers. If you added another set of surrounds you would have rear surrounds.) REMEMBER-you aren't always going to hear sound from the surrounds, only when you have encoded material that calls for it. Example, if you played a Music DVD such as Eric Claptons crossroads. You will hear sound due to the fact that is the way the material was engineered.

Which setting you pick depends on what material you are listening to and what you think sounds better.

Look at the DVD you are playing. it will say how it is encoded(dts,dolby digital, etc). Try each one see which sounds better to you. From your dvd menu pick which format first(lets say DTS) then(if you dont have the yamaha in "auto" select mode) set the receiver to match.

BTW- once you get a sub. set your mains to large, center to large, and surrounds to small. This will send the bass signals to your sub and give you much better "surround sound" quality...

hope this helps.....dzigon
Thanks a lot for your help. I will give it a look into.
Now if I only knew what "PCM" means...
I will review the setting once more.
Pulse Code Modulation=PCM

For you it means 2 channels only, no 5.1

Look under the "Audio" Menu in your Cable box and DVD
pcm is basically the 2 ch stereo setting. Go to your DVD menu. Under sound you should have a choice between pcm, dolby digital, and maybe dts. If you pick pcm you are only going to get stereo sound and no sound through your surround speakers. hope this helps... ph is 631 382-2243 if you need help