So, you have just learned that there’s an interesting thing or technology in TVs called “PCM.” Right?
You must be wondering whether you are using it right now or not. And if you are not using, why are you not using, and how can you use PCM?
If that’s the case with you, first, you need to know, “What does PCM exactly mean on a TV?”
PCM stands for Pulse Control Modulation. It’s a technology that converts audio from analogue to digital.
It’s definitely not enough information!
To know every important thing about PCM, you have to read this article till the end without missing any part.
Introduction to PCM:
You already know that PCM is a technology used in the sound system of almost every modern TV to convert analogue audio signals to digital signals.
But what does that even mean?
In simple words, PCM converts inaudible audio signals of gaming consoles or film formats (like Blu-ray) to audible digital signals.
But how is it new?
How is it different?
The first thing is that it isn’t a new technology, and the second thing is that it has many wonderful features that make it different and better than other technologies of the same kind.
For example, It enables TVs to transfer uncompressed audio signals directly to external devices, which gives an enhanced audio experience.
Does My TV Have PCM?
Most probably, YES!
These days, PCM is being used in almost every smart TV, and your TV is one of them. Right?
Should You Set Your TV To PCM Or Dolby Digital?
When talking about two of the most used types of audio in TV, PCM and Dolby Digital come into play. That’s why we are with their complete comparison.
Don’t know what Dolby is? Dolby Digital is also quite a famous technology, just like PCM. Some people prefer PCM, while others go for Dolby.
If you are tangled between them, here are the pros and cons of both of them so you can decide which one is better for you.
Pros of PCM:
- High and Smooth Audio: The uncompressed nature of PCM plays a great role in its working. One of its jobs in this whole thing is to ensure that exceptional sound quality keeps delivered at the same quality to enhance the whole experience of the listener.
- Minimal Delays: Minimal delay might sound like a con, but it is an advantage of using PCM. As you know, audio industry delays are high in numbers, which means that minimal delay is a good thing. It offers real-time sound delivery without significant processing delays, resulting in immediate audio response.
- Direct Audio Control: PCM provides direct control over audio adjustments. One of the most demanding things a user want is control over sound so that he can fine-tune the sound according to his preferences.
Cons of PCM:
- Higher Bandwidth Requirement: Here, uncompressed nature plays a bad role as it makes the whole technology use higher bandwidth. Due to this, more network resources or storage space are used.
- Lack of Surround Sound Encoding: PCM typically supports stereo or 2.0 channel audio. Some people love it, but others don’t because it means PCM doesn’t provide a full surround sound experience.
Pros of Dolby Digital:
- Immersive Surround Sound: The biggest disadvantage of using PCM is the biggest advantage of using Dolby Digital, and this is why they are competitors. Dolby Digital’s multi-channel support enables a captivating surround sound experience.
- Data Compression Efficiency: Dolby Digital uses quite amazing compression algorithms that efficiently reduce file sizes. It is a great thing because Dolby does it while maintaining satisfactory audio quality. It means that you can stream content without much storage.
- Compatibility with Home Theater Systems: Want a home theatre at home and want seamless integration for a complete audio setup? You can’t find any better technology than Dolby Digital.
Cons of Dolby Digital:
- Lossy Audio Compression: Not every time, but in some cases, it is seen that Dolby Digital’s compression process isn’t as smooth as it should be.
- Limited Dynamic Range: Another con related to Dolby Digital’s compression is here. The process of compression limits the dynamic range of audio. Due to this, the contrast between soft and loud sounds sometimes gets ignored.
Summary: Final verdict about both is that both are good at some parts while bad at others. Choosing one just depends on your preferences. If you uncompressed audio quality and direct control over the sound, go for PCM. But for fans of compatibility and efficient data compression, Dolby Digital is a suitable option.
How to Use PCM on Your TV?
Now, if you have made up your mind that you are going for PCM instead of Dolby, then you must also know how to use it on your TV.
- Firstly, you need to go to the Audio Settings from the settings menu on your TV by pressing the “Menu” button on your TV remote.
- After that, look for the “Audio” or “Sound” options. Use the arrow buttons on your remote for this.
- In the audio settings, “Audio Output Format Once” is your next destination.
- Here, find the “Audio Output” or “Sound Output” option. This is where you can choose the audio format.
- Now, find PCM or “Pulse Code Modulation” and select it as the preferred output format.
- Save and confirm the changes by clicking on the “Save” or “Apply” button on the screen. This step is quite important, so don’t miss it at any cost.
- Test it to ensure PCM is working correctly. You can test it by playing some audio or video content on your TV.
Note: Depending on the model and brand of your smart TV, the names of terms and options used in the procedure above might look unfamiliar. So, you have to adjust that!
Conclusion (Essential Tips):
You now have a solid idea of what a PCM mean on TV. Right?
But while using this technology, you might get in trouble, and for that, we have a few tips and tricks:
- Keep checking for software updates from time to time. Manufacturers often release updates that can improve your experience.
- External audio devices such as soundbars or AV receivers should always be ready to receive PCM audio if desired. Check the user manual and stuff for this.