i'd really like someone on here that REALLY knows what they are talking about to clear this up. there's are my observations: there's hasn't been a lot on this subject, but in my experience, there isn't much of a difference between the two in handbrake encodes. correct me if i'm wrong, but handbrake "downmixes" the 6 discrete channels of AC3 to a PLII mix. now, PLII is a 6 channel format also and that "AC3 downmix" is faithfully re-created in PLII, right? when i set my receiver to PLII "movie" i get the same sounds coming out of the same speakers as with AC3. dialog in the center and sound effects in the left, right, rear left, rear right, and subwoofer. from what i understand, PLII is a full range 20hz-20khz format with full 360 degree placement. now PLII has been sold as a way to get 2 channel mixes into a pseudo surround sound. like a CD mixed in stereo to sound like it's in surround. now i remember when the gamecube came out and it only supported PLII, the game designers were jazzed cause they had full 5.1 control in the format and it wasn't a whole lot different than DD 5.1. has anyone done any real tests between AC3 and PLII to hear a difference?