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Pikesville, MD

Netflix and Dolby Digital Plus

I posted on an earlier thread that I wanted to get Netflix in surround sound on a ROKU box but my receiver didn't have an HDMI port.
»Roku device and receiver without HDMI port

Following some suggestions and research I came across the WDTV Play. It costs $70 has an optical audio port and got good reviews from CNET and Ars Technica. It's getting slammed on the Amazon reviews but I think this is because many of the reviewers were expecting it to perform like some of Western Digital's more high end products.

So the problem's solved, right?

I then come across this article that tell's me Netflix is using Dolby Digital Plus and that if you have an older receiver (like I do) that doesn't support Dolby Digital Plus the surround sound won't sound correct.
»www.durhamcomputerservices.com/t ··· und.html

But then I read that Dolby Digital Plus is in fact compatible with older Dolby Digital supported equipment. Can someone clear this up for me?


Montgomery, IL
·AT&T DSL Service
Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) is a newer codec than previous Dolby Digital or even DD surround EX.

If your receiver is not specifically capable of this new format then you should not consider that your receiver will handle it based on some article.

You will might get some sort of audio but it will not be an accurate sound field. Meaning you may just be surounded by sound but it would be the same audio coming from each speaker rather than a proper seperation of channels. Or perhaps only sound from the front speaker. Or maybe no sound at all.

Da Man

Hanover, PA
reply to oneworld255
From DDP whitepaper.
By means of an elegant conversion process, Dolby Digital Plus bitstreams, regardless of their source bit rate, are repackaged into a standard Dolby Digital format at 640 kbps. The conversion process does not decode the signal to PCM and reencode it, therefore avoiding the
introduction of compounding coding artifacts. If the source is of sufficient quality, the repackaged 640 kbps Dolby Digital stream enables better sound with legacy A/V receivers than standard Dolby Digital broadcast audio, which is limited to 448 kbps.
tl;dr EAC3 is transcoded to AC3 with minimal quality loss.