I have my PS3 set to bitstream and all works well on netflix but the Cinemanow app seems to result in my PS3 decoding internally to 7.1 PCM. What this means is that stereo tracks are output as 7.1 with only 2 active channels so I can't apply any decoding in my receiver to expand to 7.1, I also can't apply DPLIIx decoding to 5.1 tracks, instead they are output as 7.1 with the rear channels inactive.
Does anyone know the correct PS3 settings to get proper bitstream output from the Cinemanow app?
I do not believe it is actually only playing the L & R channels of a 7.1 soundtrack. I am pretty sure most of the videos on Cnow are stereo only, hence why the dialog is intelligible even though it is playing back on only 2 channels. The majority of dialog is produced by the center channel and if only the L & R channels were being played back, you would only hear reflections that the mixers added to those channels to convey a sense of fullness. It would sound faint and echoey. Up until recently, Cinemanow only offered this stereo audio option and that is still the only option available on the SD versions of their content. They now offer Dolby Digital Plus on the HD versions although, oddly enough, I just watched the HD version of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on the service on my PS3 and it was in straight stereo again. I used to work in their Production dept, still have many contacts there and have heard rumors that the new owners are, for whatever reason, looking to dump Dolby Digital. I have not heard what they are planning to replace DD with but, it seems, they may just be going back to straight stereo again. They are a woefully out of touch from a technical standpoint and the new owners have no experience whatsoever in the EST and VOD world. Perhaps they are looking to save on licensing and feel that their customers will be fine with just regular stereo that, since it is being decoded by the PS3, will not even allow most receivers to recognize the signal as such and apply Dolby Pro Logic decoding. In any case, while what you are hearing is not necessarily fine, it is what Cnow is providing, for better or worse. I will buy another new release in HD and check to see if the 2 channel audio on The Hobbit 2 was an anomoly or if it is, indeed, the new status quo for the service. I will update accordingly if I see any more activity on this thread.
I just watched The Hobbit 2 in HD and was appalled to discover that I only got a stereo soundtrack. Unacceptable, in my opinion. Is it that hard to provide the proper soundtrack?
OK so it is not just me. This 2 channel track is the only audio track available on Cinemanow as of the writing of this post. I have checked many of the other new releases in my library and found this to be the case with all of the titles I checked. Is there anyway to exert any pressure on the company to restore Dolby Digital or offer DTS, as they have claimed that they do in some press releases? It seems fraudulent to tout that you offer popular 5.1 audio tracks and then discretely remove them without mentioning it.
I tried submitting feedback via the customer support section of the website (which I cannot access from home, it seems to think I don't live in North America), but I am not sure if it worked. I entered everything in the boxes and hit submit, then the screen just cleared, with no acknowledgement or indication that anything went through. So who knows if they are listening.
I keep seeing some films offered in dts but that is specific devices.
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