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Timothy28

join:2006-05-13
Lewisville, TX

Home theater help

Ok, i need some help with my new home theater system. I have this. »www.amazon.com/Sony-BDVN790W-Blu ··· duct_top. My problem is getting 5.1 surround sound. The way i have it configured is HDMI from the motorola qip 7100 p2 stb to the HDMI input on the home theater system then HDMI from the systems output to the HDMI 1 port on my tv. I have read problems with getting 5.1 over HDMI.

So i bought this digital optical cable. »www.walmart.com/ip/GE-HD-Fiber-O ··· 16561363. I hooked it from the back of the stb to the back of the system but it still says 2.0 dolby digital no matter what channel i tune to. I know the cable works because if i turn the home theater system to the tv input i hear the audio. If unplug the optical cable the audio stops. I assume the audio coming through the tv input is 5.1 but i can't say for sure since there's no video for me to click display and find out and there's no way that i know of to get video from the cable box using hdmi to the tv input. Is there another way i can set this up?


Steely
I rise when the sun goes down
Premium
join:2000-10-15
Princeton Junction, NJ
kudos:1

1 edit
According to at least one Amazon reviewer and a follow-up comment, the Sony might be displaying 2.0 DD when it is, in fact, correctly outputting 5.1.

You should be able to tell what's going on by setting the receiver to a direct or pure audio output mode and then tuning your STB to an HD movie channel that you know is broadcasting in 5.1. If you hear sound only from the front left and right speakers, you're not getting 5.1 surround. If the center and rear channels are active with discrete channel info, the display is incorrect but the audio is working correctly.

It's also possible you got a bum unit. If it's under warranty, you might want to try swapping it out for another.

Timothy28

join:2006-05-13
Lewisville, TX
said by Steely:

According to at least one Amazon reviewer and a follow-up comment, the Sony might be displaying 2.0 DD when it is, in fact, correctly outputting 5.1.

You should be able to tell what's going on by setting the receiver to a direct or pure audio output mode and then tuning your STB to an HD movie channel that you know is broadcasting in 5.1. If you hear sound only from the front left and right speakers, you're not getting 5.1 surround. If the center and rear channels are active with discrete channel info, the display is incorrect but the audio is working correctly.

It's also possible you got a bum unit. If it's under warranty, you might want to try swapping it out for another.

Ok, thanks! that helps a lot actually. Judging by what you said i think its working correctly. I only hear dialogue from the center channel. All other sounds are from the left, right and rear surround speakers. This is my first home theater system. So i didn't know if the surround sound from the rear speakers was supposed to be more noticeable.

marc3565

join:2009-10-08
kudos:1
in quieter scenes you don't hear the rear speakers as much. But if you walk right next to them you can usually pick it up. Big action scenes you should really hear the rear speakers.

kes601

join:2007-04-14
Virginia Beach, VA
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to Timothy28
A lot of programming is not going to be in 5.1 surround anyway, so you won't always get 5.1. Check out primetime programming on the networks and you are pretty much guaranteed 5.1.

Also, somewhere on the board there is a thread where if you have audio alerts enabled it disables 5.1 surround until after you reboot the box.

PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

said by kes601:

Also, somewhere on the board there is a thread where if you have audio alerts enabled it disables 5.1 surround until after you reboot the box.

Rebooting will not solve the issue with audio alerts alone. You have to disable them first and then restart the STB.


Steely
I rise when the sun goes down
Premium
join:2000-10-15
Princeton Junction, NJ
kudos:1
I didn't know about the 5.1 issue with audio alerts. Must have missed that thread! Thanks to you and kes601 See Profile for bringing it up here.


Steely
I rise when the sun goes down
Premium
join:2000-10-15
Princeton Junction, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Timothy28
said by Timothy28:

I only hear dialogue from the center channel. All other sounds are from the left, right and rear surround speakers.

When you're testing, just make sure that your Sony is set to NOT convert two-channel audio to matrix (simulated) surround sound, such as Dolby Pro Logic II. Otherwise, you may not be able to differentiate between true (discrete) surround and the artificial surround created by your receiver's processor.

said by Timothy28:

This is my first home theater system. So i didn't know if the surround sound from the rear speakers was supposed to be more noticeable.

If you're using wireless rear speakers it's possible the sound level and/or quality is being compromised by a less-than-optimal signal or poor amplification.

PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Steely
said by Steely:

I didn't know about the 5.1 issue with audio alerts. Must have missed that thread! Thanks to you and kes601 See Profile for bringing it up here.

See »5.1 Audio no longer shows on some channels. Based on what I'm seeing, it still applies.

Timothy28

join:2006-05-13
Lewisville, TX
reply to Steely
said by Steely:

said by Timothy28:

I only hear dialogue from the center channel. All other sounds are from the left, right and rear surround speakers.

When you're testing, just make sure that your Sony is set to NOT convert two-channel audio to matrix (simulated) surround sound, such as Dolby Pro Logic II. Otherwise, you may not be able to differentiate between true (discrete) surround and the artificial surround created by your receiver's processor.

said by Timothy28:

This is my first home theater system. So i didn't know if the surround sound from the rear speakers was supposed to be more noticeable.

If you're using wireless rear speakers it's possible the sound level and/or quality is being compromised by a less-than-optimal signal or poor amplification.

Thanks, i've made sure sound mode is off. So i can't even change it to dolby pro logic at all. So it shouldn't be simulating anything.


Tarheel72

join:2005-12-18
Plano, TX
reply to Timothy28
Hi Timothy, I am over in Plano. Since you are dealing with DD5.1 and not lossless audio (like BluRay) you can get the same audio stream from HDMI, optical or digital coax cable. You can run your video direct from the STB to the display via HDMI and run the audio direct from the STB to the HT receiver via digital coax or optical (digital coax is the RCA type cable, not the round coax that comes from the wall). Plug it into an input on your HT receiver, tune to that input and see what the receiver saves it is receiving. That should tell you what you have and removes the display from the equation.

In theory you should be able to route the HDMI through your HT receiver and it should pull the audio stream from it and pass the video stream on to the display. But in practice this does not always work flawlessly. There are multiple issues with the switching of the audio and video signals within the chain. The only real reason for running multiple HDMI inputs to a receiver and then one HDMI output to a display is to make it neat and have only one video cable going to the display. But you are perfectly free to route the video direct to the display from every source, provided there are sufficient inputs on the display. I send video from a BluRay, my STB and an xBox direct to the display, and send audio from each of these devices to the processor. This removes any switching glitches. The extra cables don't bother me and it just means that when I switch the display inputs I also switch the processor inputs.

For your BluRay player you want to use either HDMI, or if you have 6 channel analog connections you can use those as well, to connect to your HT receiver. Either of those will get you full lossless audio. Optical or digital coax will work but you will get a slight loss in fidelity. But to be perfectly honest, unless you have a professionally calibrated system in a media room environment it is unlikely you will notice the difference between full lossless audio and what is transmitted over optical/digital coax, which is itself a higher bitrate version of normal 5.1 anyway (DTS or DD).
--
Go Heels!

Timothy28

join:2006-05-13
Lewisville, TX
said by Tarheel72:

Hi Timothy, I am over in Plano. Since you are dealing with DD5.1 and not lossless audio (like BluRay) you can get the same audio stream from HDMI, optical or digital coax cable. You can run your video direct from the STB to the display via HDMI and run the audio direct from the STB to the HT receiver via digital coax or optical (digital coax is the RCA type cable, not the round coax that comes from the wall). Plug it into an input on your HT receiver, tune to that input and see what the receiver saves it is receiving. That should tell you what you have and removes the display from the equation.

In theory you should be able to route the HDMI through your HT receiver and it should pull the audio stream from it and pass the video stream on to the display. But in practice this does not always work flawlessly. There are multiple issues with the switching of the audio and video signals within the chain. The only real reason for running multiple HDMI inputs to a receiver and then one HDMI output to a display is to make it neat and have only one video cable going to the display. But you are perfectly free to route the video direct to the display from every source, provided there are sufficient inputs on the display. I send video from a BluRay, my STB and an xBox direct to the display, and send audio from each of these devices to the processor. This removes any switching glitches. The extra cables don't bother me and it just means that when I switch the display inputs I also switch the processor inputs.

For your BluRay player you want to use either HDMI, or if you have 6 channel analog connections you can use those as well, to connect to your HT receiver. Either of those will get you full lossless audio. Optical or digital coax will work but you will get a slight loss in fidelity. But to be perfectly honest, unless you have a professionally calibrated system in a media room environment it is unlikely you will notice the difference between full lossless audio and what is transmitted over optical/digital coax, which is itself a higher bitrate version of normal 5.1 anyway (DTS or DD).

I see what you're saying, but i'm not sure that would work for me. The bluray and HT aren't separate things. Its an all in one bluray home theater system. If i do that i know i'll be able to hear the audio but i don't think i'll be able to see the HT's display to see what audio its outputting.