PCM Audio vs Dolby Digital

When you need to keep track of digital audio recordings, there are two main technologies you can use. People usually use Pulse-Code Modulation to turn analog audio into its digital version, but it’s not the only way. There are two channels of stereo digital sound in PCM audio on a DVD, so it’s a two-track stereo digital audio track. Dolby Digital is used for multi-channel applications, such as surround sound for home theaters, film audio, and other things.

It uses channels on the left, right, and center with different types of formats. It means that you have five tracks and a subwoofer if you have Dolby 5.1.

From a technical point of view, most people think PCM is far worse than Dolby Digital because it doesn’t have as many channels. The truth is that this comparison isn’t as simple as it seems. PCM Audio vs Dolby Digital, which is the best for you?

The Basics of PCM

After more than a century of serving its customers, PCM is still providing their basic sound stream transmission service. They added an algorithmic technique to the devices in order to deliver analog audio streams. No matter what you transmit via it, it will always work. Both uncompressed and compressed sound data may be sent using this technology A device using this method decodes data received and transmits it to the receiving end for further processing.

Regular PCM, which uses quantization levels based on amplitude, is one of two forms of PCM. Another is LPCM, which stands for Linear Pulse Code Modulation. Audio files may be sent using any of these formats, but the mechanism of doing so stays the same. Every time a PCM-capable device gets data, it decodes it before sending it on to the recipient.

With its ability to handle both digital and analog audio input, PCM has remained popular for decades. Because most AVRs are optimized for PCM, this is the most common connection type for CD players.

Pulse Code modulation Advantages:

  • It sends the signal out evenly.
  • It is safe to send data through.
  • There is no loss of data when modulation is done.
  • Add or remove channels quickly with this tool.
  • Noise and interference can’t get in the way of it.
  • It is very good at balancing the signal-to-noise ratio and the bandwidth.

Pulse Code Modulation Disadvantages:

  • When the modulating signal changes between samplings, this can cause overloading.
  • The transmission of the data needs a lot of bandwidth.

The Basic of Dolby Digital

Dolby Digital is known for its multi-channel facilities. If you have a sound system of different types of sound technologies like film audio, surround sound, or home theaters and the same kind of features. Dolby Digital will be perfect for you for this kind of situation because it applies right, center, and left channels, including its different formats. However, Dolby Digital started its journey in the cinema of Batman Returns in 1992; in a very short time, it reaches a vast number of people and gives the service of the powerful audio system. Generally, it is designed for big rooms or home theater-type sound systems. It creates high-quality sound, making a cinema hall-like feeling and giving you a viewing entertainment at house. Its higher and latest technology provides the best audio quality.

You can use five tracks and a subwoofer for a sound system if you use Dolby 5.1 sound system. These five channels include the right surround channels, left stereo, center channel, and stereo left and right front channels. You can ask if it gives us five channels, then why it is called 5.1. The reason is there is an LFE channel means a Low-Frequency Effects channel for the subwoofer. It is considered as the 0.1 channel since it only works if a rumbling bass impression is required.

When viewing a High-Definition TV station, the audio formatting is commonly within the Dolby Digital structure. This selection gives up to 5.1 channels that provide you with hearing pleasure. If you’ve got that material ready to apply at your house, you can get the full advantages from this advanced technology.

Dolby’s Digital Advantages:

  • The software is easy to access
  • It efficient to work with significant software
  • Provides excellent audio for music
  • It transfers channel levels to disc

Dolby’s Digital Disadvantages:

  • Quality degradation of the audio and video due to the high compression levels

Is PCM Better Than Dolby Digital?

Multi-channel applications, such as home theaters, film audio, and similar, use Dolby Digital. Various formats are used on the left, right, and center channels. For Dolby 5.1, which is the standard, you have five speakers and an additional subwoofer in your system.

Using Pulse-Code Modulation, an analog sound can be converted into a digital one. PCM is most often seen on DVDs, indicating the presence of a stereo digital audio track with two channels. In a technical sense, PCM is considered inferior to Dolby Digital since it has a less  of channels. However, the truth is rather different.

The choice between PCM and Dolby Digital for sound quality is based on whether you want uncompressed or compressed sound. The first choice is stereo, while the second offers a variety of codecs and levels of compression to choose from.

The Differences Between PCM and Dolby Digital

Almost all Blu-rays and DVDs now feature Dolby Digital, a cutting-edge technology that allows for multi-channel sound. Although 99.9 percent of contemporary systems can accept DTS or DD, PCM is an uncompressed data stream that the player may create from the Blu-ray for use in AVR receivers. In addition, PCM may play a little amount of sound that resembles a system administrator’s commentary. There is a possibility that these additional noises might be included into the stream.

According to one theory, the decoded audio stream may be slightly altered by various audio players and receivers, resulting in a difference in audio quality.
In addition to the greatest bit rate and individual frequency, the number of channels that may be conveyed via the PCM stream is also restricted.

Factors that make pulse code modulation better than Dolby digital:

Digital formats

It is possible to employ Dolby’s compressed data formats in DVDs and surround formats. Stereo and the surrounding environment may be compressed and saved using DTS or Dolby digital techniques.

So, depending on the necessity of the data transferred, pulse code modulation becomes a better solution than the Dolby digital.

Uncompressed PCM

Pulse code modulation transmits audio uncompressed, reducing the amount of data that is lost when compressing. There are several advantages to using pulse code modulation over Dolby digital when it comes to compressing blue-ray discs.

Transmission mediums

Pulse code modulation uses a variety of ways to communicate stereo and surround sound from the source to the receiver, depending on the nature and purpose of the sent signals. High definition multimedia user interface (HDMI) or optical are examples of digital approaches.

Pulse code modulation requires a huge amount of bandwidth to transmit uncompressed digital formats, hence the optimum alternative for transmission is a high definition multimedia interface.

Pulse density modulation and enhanced pulse code modulation are used to send audio from the microphone to the signal processor in modern telephones.

In contrast to pulse code modulation, pulse density modulation delivers little signal interference at a reasonable cost while being simple to operate.

To send a signal, Dolby digital employs six distinct audio channels. As a result, it becomes less noticeable in the acoustic information that is sent. There are times where Dolby digital is useful for mixing noise, as with speakers that each have their own independent channel.

Which One Is Better For Your Current Setup?

The first step in figuring out which one is preferable is to figure out how to connect your television to the input you have. With a DVD player, PCM is your best bet when it comes to playing back a video file.

But if your HDTV station uses Dolby Digital, you’re good to go, as Dolby Digital is the standard for all HDTV audio, and it can produce 5.1 channels. Dolby Digital technology can only be used to its greatest potential if you have the appropriate home theater equipment. Even though PCM lacks compression, it is best to utilize it if you just have TV speakers to play your audio.

As a result, employing Dolby with your TV speakers increases the likelihood of hearing muffled tones and reduces the clarity of the audio. However, if you have an ARC-enabled TV, you may still increase the audio quality in either PCM or Dolby Digital format.

Best Televisions To Use For Your PCM Or Dolby Digital Sound

LG NanoCell 85 Series 75-Inch TV

The NanoCell display on this television is one of the handful that will be available in 2022.

Four times the resolution of regular HD yields a vivid image with approximately 8.3 million active pixels. Combining this advantage with Dolby Digital’s superior audio quality results in an unforgettable viewing experience.

A better backlight balance may be achieved by using the LG NanoCell 85 Series in conjunction with your PCM settings, particularly with local dimming.

For a more immersive experience, you’ll receive deeper blacks, increased contrast, and realistic sound. With its artificial intelligence platform, upscaling, and automated settings, you don’t need to do anything to receive great sounds.

TCL 75-inch 5-Series 4K UHD TV

There is no way you can overlook this TCL model if you’re looking for a smart TV for your living room at a reasonable price.

Using QLED technology and the Roku software, it could produce an outstanding outcome. By pairing an Alexa device with your TV, you may enable voice control. With Dolby Vision HDR illuminating the way, the visual quality is excellent.

The TCL 5-Series TV’s sound may be customized with only a few menu choices. Even if you don’t get an owner’s handbook, the procedure is simple. One eARC input and three additional HDMI inputs are provided so that you may sync your audio and video sources for the greatest possible viewing experience.

SunBrite TV 55-inch 4k Ultra high definition

The SunBrite television is designed to meet the demands of its clients. Outdoor entertainment may be provided by installing a television outdoors or under a passageway.

Sound quality and interference are minimized in the system’s design. The television has three High Definition Multimedia Interfaces and a High Definition Multimedia Audio return channel that may be used to link the television and the audio system through a single high-speed HDMI.

SunBrite’s direct LED illumination is another feature that provides for enhanced outdoor visibility. High-quality sound transmissions are ensured by using pulse code modulation (PCM).

KUVASONG 55-Inch SunReadable Television

As a source of enjoyment at home, the Kuvasong 55-inch sun-readable television provides efficient acoustics.

Since the sound effects it produces may be heard for a long distance, it can also be mounted outside. An integrated sound system employs digital audio technology to produce high quality sound and default volume settings without the addition of any home theater components with the television.

They may more easily pick their favorite digital audio technology and match the configurations of their equipment using the television settings. With a brightness rating of 1,050 nits, the Kuvasong 55-inch sun-readable television has a beautiful picture.

Final Thought

In your home theater, PCM Audio vs Dolby Digital has enough differences that they are separate audio entities that you can’t mix and match together.

If you’re an audiophile, you might agree that a compressed file is better than an uncompressed one. Most people want the best sound quality from their system. That’s why Dolby Digital is always going to win the fight. It has more ports.

When you don’t have any of those channels at home, PCM is the next best thing you can do. If you have a TV that has an automatic setting, you can use it without having to think about anything else.


This FAQ is here to solve your problems regarding these two audio system.

Is PCM The Same As Dolby Digital?

Pulse-Code Modulation (PCM) and Dolby Digital seem to be two types of digital audio signals that are different from each other. Conventional PCM is used to transform analogue audio signals into their digital equivalents.

Why is Dolby louder than PCM?

Dolby Digital is known for making audio signals that are much louder than those made by PCM. Dialog Normalization is a unique feature in the Dolby digital design that makes it easier for people to understand what is being said.

What Is The PCM Setting On TV?

PCM stands for “pulse-code modulation,” and the goal of this set – up is to make the sound you’re hearing more clear. It was made to be used with a device that connects to your TV through the HDMI port.

How Do You Change The PCM On A Dolby Digital Samsung Tv?

Before you do anything else, go to your settings and choose Sound. Next, click on Select Expert Settings. Then, choose Digital Output Audio Format from the drop-down menu.

Does PCM Support Dolby Digital?

All PCM audio signals are sent through two-channel stereo digital audio tracks that send them to each other. Dolby Digital 5.1, on the other hand, sends sound through five tracks, so PCM can’t play it.

Should I use PCM or auto?

Auto means that when you play a standard DVD, the audio will be sent through Bitstream. HD DVDs will be sent through PCM. This means that AUTO is the best way to get the best sound out of HDMI. I think that’s right, but you’re also relying on producers to make sure the flags are right.