Blu Ray HD audio is pissing me off - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 05-13-2013, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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So I finally got onto the Blu ray bandwagon after years of waiting for them to drop down in price and the technology to be refined. Even on my old 50' Sony DLP TV, 720P blu ray looks freaking awesome, I can't wait to see it on a new 1080P Samsung whenever I can swing the funds. However, the fact that Blu Ray has this HD audio that can only be decoded properly using HDMI into a HD reciever annoys the hell out of me as im stuck using digital coxial going into my older Yamaha 5.1 box setup that doesn't have HDMI inputs. Needless to say, its been really frustrating to try and adjust my sound levels and balance on my Yamaha reciever so I can freaking hear people talking in movies and then having to deal with the loud scenes without blowing out my damn speakers and sub woofer in the process cause I have tg have the volume cranked up so loud to be able to hear and understand peoples speeches. I changed the downbit setting on my Sony BX510 to Stereo instead of Surround but its still impossible to watch a Blu ray moving without constantly having to use the reciever remotes volume control to keep from pissing off my neighboors.

Anything else I can do besides either taking the optical audio out from my TV and putting it into my Yamaha HTR-5930 5.1 DTS reciever vs the the straight coaxial cable into the Blue ray player and hope that somehow it "changes" the audio balance or am I stuck with having to buy a new 5.1 surround HD sound box setup?
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post #2 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 12:12 AM
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You sound like its time to get some new stuff. There is a vendor that has really great prices on audio/video gear, accessories4less.com that I found on this web site, check it out.
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post #3 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 12:46 AM
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Your anger is not fully justified. A few things to clarify:

1. The "HD audio" in Blu-ray movies is not high definition/resolution, just uncompressed or 'losslessly' compressed. Not everyone even can tell between the old DD/dts and the new "HD audio". So your issues will likely carry over to the new formats.

2. HDMI is not the only way to "decode properly" the "HD audio". A player that has MCH analogue outs can do it as long as the non-HDMI receiver has MCH analogue inputs.

3. The wide dynamic range (the "sound levels and balance") you complain about has nothing to do with lossless or lossy compression nor the cables (optical vs coax). Your old receiver may have something to limit it like night mode or dynamic range compression.

4. Low dialogue level or poor dialogue intelligibility can also be due to centre speaker placement, calibration and room effects. Older receivers may have settings for dialogue enhancement or just increasing the channel volume.

You don't have to upgrade (some people still use optical/coax/MCH analogue) but doing so will bring other benefits in addition to the above.

BTW this thread isn't particularly a BD player issue, more of system set-up and new formats.

Edited with minor corrections.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #4 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 07:11 AM
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You don't have to upgrade (some people still use optical/coax/MCH analogue) but doing so will bring other benefits in addition to the above.

I just went from a ONKYO 6.1 non HDMI AVR with the 5.1 inputs to a new ONKYO 7.2 without, and with HDMI. I never got the audio balance right on the old AVR but with the new ONKYO and 2 new speakers, all 9 Polk RM series, and moving the rear center to the front having one top and one under panel, wired parallel, ran Audyssey once, I have a surround sound system.
Audyssey is the addition that makes the impact.
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post #5 of 30 Old 05-14-2013, 06:21 PM
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The problem is real. When DVD was king, playing audio into a TV meant the 5.1 Dolby Digital audio was downmixed to stereo. That activated a dynamic range control (DRC) function inside the DD decoder. Fast forward to Blu-ray and even if the sound is downmixed to stereo, there is no DRC on most soundtracks, particularly DTS. If you have a TrueHD disc, then the S/PDIF output will be regular DD audio and it has the DRC signals. TrueHD also carries DRC information, but it has to be turned on in the BD player. But again, since most BDs are DTS, there is no DRC function. Hence you chase the volume control.

There are some solutions, like the SRS TruVolume as build into several TV sets. Make sure your new Samsung has it.
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post #6 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Uh, can someone respond in more plain kings english?
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post #7 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 09:49 AM
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You'll want a TV with SRS TruVolume. Info.
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post #8 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 01:07 PM
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But the sony player DOES have DRC (Dynamic Range Control). 1ceTr0n, all you need to do is turn on that setting in your player and crank up you center channel until the dialog is clear. That should level out the loud and soft parts like the SRS feature the previous poster is talking about.

I agree that BD audio is annoying for us with legacy receivers without HDMI. What's more annoying to me than the crazy dynamics is the fact that many BD discs today don't even have a DD or DTS 5.1 track. They have stereo only, which sucks. So I can rent a DVD and get 5.1 and SD resolution or I can rent a BD and get 2.0 and HD resolution. But I can have both 5.1 AND HD. mad.gif
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post #9 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

But the sony player DOES have DRC (Dynamic Range Control). 1ceTr0n, all you need to do is turn on that setting in your player
The problem is that the player's DRC function only works when the soundtrack is encoded with DRC data. That only happens with Dolby soundtracks.
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I agree that BD audio is annoying for us with legacy receivers without HDMI. What's more annoying to me than the crazy dynamics is the fact that many BD discs today don't even have a DD or DTS 5.1 track. They have stereo only, which sucks. So I can rent a DVD and get 5.1 and SD resolution or I can rent a BD and get 2.0 and HD resolution. But I can have both 5.1 AND HD. mad.gif
Can you identify a few BDs that have only a stereo track where the same title on DVD has 5.1?
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post #10 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ceTr0n View Post

Uh, can someone respond in more plain kings english?
in plain English, get a new-generation receiver, the prices are lower than they ever have been, you get more for your dollar than ever before.
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post #11 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Can you identify a few BDs that have only a stereo track where the same title on DVD has 5.1?
Sure, nearly every recent title I've rented in the past year or so (off the top of my head: Life of Pi, Argo, Skyfall, Jack Reacher, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, etc.). Even the complete Star Wars BD set I got for Xmas. Here's the trick they play though. The DD or DTS 5.1 track does exist on the disc, but only on the foreign language tracks. The 5.1 tracks used to be common, but now I'm actually surprised when I get a disc that has one.

So is there some sort of list that says what tracks are on each disc?
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post #12 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 05:23 PM
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I've also noticed my Sony BDP has Audio DRC but the manual does not say it's DD only. The Auto mode says 'Performs playback at the dynamic range specified by the disc (BD-ROM only). 'Standard' mode: Performs playback at a standard compression level.

The Yamaha HTR-5930 has a night listening mode (enhancer), with manual adjustment of the centre channel and careful positioning of the speaker should be enough in most situations. I thought when I mentioned these before these are in plain and simple English.

To listen through TV speakers in 2CH with SRS TruVolume for MCH movies is not the best way forward IMO.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #13 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 05:38 PM
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My Netflix rental of Skyfall plays back (after ten minutes of forced garbage) in DTS-HD Master.

Argo as well.

In English.

wink.gif


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Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #14 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 1ceTr0n View Post

So I finally got onto the Blu ray bandwagon after years of waiting for them to drop down in price and the technology to be refined. Even on my old 50' Sony DLP TV, 720P blu ray looks freaking awesome, I can't wait to see it on a new 1080P Samsung whenever I can swing the funds. However, the fact that Blu Ray has this HD audio that can only be decoded properly using HDMI into a HD reciever annoys the hell out of me as im stuck using digital coxial going into my older Yamaha 5.1 box setup that doesn't have HDMI inputs. Needless to say, its been really frustrating to try and adjust my sound levels and balance on my Yamaha reciever so I can freaking hear people talking in movies and then having to deal with the loud scenes without blowing out my damn speakers and sub woofer in the process cause I have tg have the volume cranked up so loud to be able to hear and understand peoples speeches. I changed the downbit setting on my Sony BX510 to Stereo instead of Surround but its still impossible to watch a Blu ray moving without constantly having to use the reciever remotes volume control to keep from pissing off my neighboors.

Anything else I can do besides either taking the optical audio out from my TV and putting it into my Yamaha HTR-5930 5.1 DTS reciever vs the the straight coaxial cable into the Blue ray player and hope that somehow it "changes" the audio balance or am I stuck with having to buy a new 5.1 surround HD sound box setup?

Although newer/more expensive equipment offers the potential to improve your viewing and listening experience, you should be able to enjoy perfectly fine audio from your blu-ray player with your equipment.

Connect your blu-ray player directly to your receiver using whichever digital audio connection is available (coax or optical).
Be sure to set your blu-ray player so the audio connection you have chosen is the primary audio output.
Be sure to set your player to output dolby digital and/or dts via the selected digital audio connection (ie. "bitstream).
This should send full dolby digital or dts multi-channel audio to your receiver - although this won't be "lossless" audio, it will still be excellent quality, at least as good as you are experiencing with DVD audio.
And there is no reason channel balancing will be any different than you are used to dealing with on DVDs.

A long-time audio/video addict!
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post #15 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

I've also noticed my Sony BDP has Audio DRC but the manual does not say it's DD only. The Auto mode says 'Performs playback at the dynamic range specified by the disc (BD-ROM only). 'Standard' mode: Performs playback at a standard compression level.
The Auto mode is part of Dolby TrueHD. It does not exist in DD or DTS.
Quote:
To listen through TV speakers in 2CH with SRS TruVolume for MCH movies is not the best way forward IMO.
Quite correct. For some reason I was under the impression the OP was talking about the sound on his TV, but now I see he was using the Yamaha AVR all along. That makes Rich86's answer my choice for "thumbs up" vote. The Blu-rays ought to sound just as good as the DVDs.
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post #16 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post

My Netflix rental of Skyfall plays back (after ten minutes of forced garbage) in DTS-HD Master.
Argo as well.
In English.
wink.gif
I'm talking about lossy, not HD. I only have optical on my amp. DD 5.1 (lossy) in Spanish only on those titles for me. I guess I need to get a new amp or learn a new language.
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post #17 of 30 Old 05-15-2013, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

The Auto mode is part of Dolby TrueHD. It does not exist in DD or DTS.

I see but why different implementation of DRC between the two? It makes it rather confusing.
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Originally Posted by Rich86 View Post

Connect your blu-ray player directly to your receiver using whichever digital audio connection is available (coax or optical)....
And there is no reason channel balancing will be any different than you are used to dealing with on DVDs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

That makes Rich86's answer my choice for "thumbs up" vote. The Blu-rays ought to sound just as good as the DVDs.

We're going round in circles. The OP said at the outset that he already was using coax to the receiver and tried both surround and stereo. The complaint is too wide dynamic range and dialogue intelligibility and implies that it is different from DVDs and one of the reasons seems to be dts used predominently in BDs therefore not having DRC. So just suggesting he uses the same connection isn't going to solve anything.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #18 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

I see but why different implementation of DRC between the two? It makes it rather confusing.

We're going round in circles. The OP said at the outset that he already was using coax to the receiver and tried both surround and stereo. The complaint is too wide dynamic range and dialogue intelligibility and implies that it is different from DVDs and one of the reasons seems to be dts used predominently in BDs therefore not having DRC. So just suggesting he uses the same connection isn't going to solve anything.

I run a Sony blu-ray player (BDP-S350) to a non-HDMI Yamaha receiver (RX-V1) in our secondary home theater system using hdmi to the TV & optical digital cable for audio. It works fine. There is no reason why his current electronics should not also work fine, if they are set up correctly. Part of what I suggested mentioned making sure his player was outputting native lossy DD & DTS via his digital audio cable as the primary audio output. He also did not mention any channel balancing he has or has not done in his receiver + no speaker setup info. I expect more adjusting, reading and experimenting would serve him well.

A long-time audio/video addict!
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post #19 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I'm talking about lossy, not HD. I only have optical on my amp. DD 5.1 (lossy) in Spanish only on those titles for me. I guess I need to get a new amp or learn a new language.
On discs with HD lossless audio, there is no option using disc menu navigation to access the lossy audio version. But it is there. To reach it, select the main HD audio soundtrack from the disc. Usually the player just defaults to it. In the player's audio setup menu, set the S/PDIF output to bitstream. Make sure the "secondary audio" is turned off.

Now you will have access to regular DD and DTS bitstreams via the optical or coax output.

You are getting stereo because the player is set to output PCM on S/PDIF.
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post #20 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

I see but why different implementation of DRC between the two? It makes it rather confusing.
When DRC was first implemented in DD, the year was ~1992. It was for Movies and TV.

There was about a decade between the implementation of DRC in DD vs TrueHD. Evolution happened.
Quote:
We're going round in circles. The OP said at the outset that he already was using coax to the receiver and tried both surround and stereo. The complaint is too wide dynamic range and dialogue intelligibility and implies that it is different from DVDs and one of the reasons seems to be dts used predominently in BDs therefore not having DRC. So just suggesting he uses the same connection isn't going to solve anything.
My error was thinking that he used DVD in a downmix mode, which activates the DRC. If in full 5.1, with night mode off, he was getting the same dynamics from DVDs as from BDs.
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post #21 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

On discs with HD lossless audio, there is no option using disc menu navigation to access the lossy audio version. But it is there. To reach it,
Quote:
select the main HD audio soundtrack from the disc. Usually the player just defaults to it.
Check
Quote:
In the player's audio setup menu, set the S/PDIF output to bitstream.
Check
Quote:
Make sure the "secondary audio" is turned off.
Check
Quote:
Now you will have access to regular DD and DTS bitstreams via the optical or coax output.
On some discs yes, on the one's I mentioned and other recent titles, Spanish only.
Quote:
You are getting stereo because the player is set to output PCM on S/PDIF.
I wish that were the case. I've used this and all the other settings you mentioned since day one (my first blu-ray player several years ago), always bitstream, no downmix, no secondary.

HERE's what I'm talking about. Notice the Audio listing. English Dolby Digital 5.1 isn't there, but Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 is. That's exactly what I get when I play the disc with all the correct setting you specified above. When I select the main HD audio, I get stereo. It makes no attempt to give me any hidden lossy track.

What you're saying makes perfect sense. I know the tracks are in there somewhere because they're kind of embedded in the HD tracks. But I sure can't get them to play, no matter what I try frown.gif
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post #22 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

On some discs yes, on the one's I mentioned and other recent titles, Spanish only.
I wish that were the case. I've used this and all the other settings you mentioned since day one (my first blu-ray player several years ago), always bitstream, no downmix, no secondary.
Check tongue.gif
Quote:
When I select the main HD audio, I get stereo. It makes no attempt to give me any hidden lossy track.

What you're saying makes perfect sense. I know the tracks are in there somewhere because they're kind of embedded in the HD tracks. But I sure can't get them to play, no matter what I try frown.gif
Try disconnecting the HDMI feeding the display. Power off the player, power it back up. Hopefully the player has that "resume playback" features so you can play the movie without going thru the menus again.

I am just fishing for some sort of interaction with the HDMI that forces the player into the wrong mode. The power cycle is to force the HDMI to forget about the display just in case that is causing some sort of EDID issue.

BTW, what player are you using? Does it have the latest firmware?
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post #23 of 30 Old 05-17-2013, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Check tongue.gif
Try disconnecting the HDMI feeding the display. Power off the player, power it back up. Hopefully the player has that "resume playback" features so you can play the movie without going thru the menus again.

I am just fishing for some sort of interaction with the HDMI that forces the player into the wrong mode. The power cycle is to force the HDMI to forget about the display just in case that is causing some sort of EDID issue.

BTW, what player are you using? Does it have the latest firmware?
I have a couple of sony 390's, latest f/w. I think you may be onto something though with the EDID. I'm going to try what you said, but also try taking HDMI out of the equation entirely and see if I can get 5.1 over optical directly from the player. I used to run that way with a different tv a few years ago.
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post #24 of 30 Old 05-17-2013, 11:39 AM
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When using optical/coax, I select bitstream and leave secondary audio on. Leaving it on automatically forces the player to use the lossless tracks.

S~

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post #25 of 30 Old 05-17-2013, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by teachsac View Post

When using optical/coax, I select bitstream and leave secondary audio on. Leaving it on automatically forces the player to use the lossless tracks.

S~
Thanks, I'll try that too.
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post #26 of 30 Old 05-17-2013, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teachsac View Post

When using optical/coax, I select bitstream and leave secondary audio on. Leaving it on automatically forces the player to use the lossless tracks.
That is player dependent. Most players use the lossy audio whenever player mixing is operating so that it does not have to apply sample rate conversion as may happen with lossless audio. Plus it reduces the MIPs load on the DSP significantly to use the lossy audio.

However, regardless of whether the player sources the audio from the lossless or the lossy audio element, the secondary mixing means that the only way to get 5.1 audio from S/PDIF is to re-encode the audio, usually with a local DTS encoder.
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post #27 of 30 Old 05-17-2013, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Sure, nearly every recent title I've rented in the past year or so (off the top of my head: Life of Pi, Argo, Skyfall, Jack Reacher, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, etc.). Even the complete Star Wars BD set I got for Xmas. Here's the trick they play though. The DD or DTS 5.1 track does exist on the disc, but only on the foreign language tracks. The 5.1 tracks used to be common, but now I'm actually surprised when I get a disc that has one.

So is there some sort of list that says what tracks are on each disc?

If your blu-ray title has DTS lossless audio, then it includes the core lossy audio also. The same goes for Dolby TrueHD, as far as I have seen.
You will get lossy dolby digital if you choose Dolby TrueHD playing through a receiver that supports dolby digital but not lossless audio.
Of course you must have a receiver which decodes lossy DTS and/or dolby digital to take advantage of that.
I don't see where you mentioned what receiver you are using. Does it support DTS? Does it support multi-chanel PCM?

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post #28 of 30 Old 05-18-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

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Try disconnecting the HDMI feeding the display. Power off the player, power it back up. Hopefully the player has that "resume playback" features so you can play the movie without going thru the menus again.

I am just fishing for some sort of interaction with the HDMI that forces the player into the wrong mode. The power cycle is to force the HDMI to forget about the display just in case that is causing some sort of EDID issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachsac View Post

When using optical/coax, I select bitstream and leave secondary audio on. Leaving it on automatically forces the player to use the lossless tracks.
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Originally Posted by Rich86 View Post

If your blu-ray title has DTS lossless audio, then it includes the core lossy audio also. The same goes for Dolby TrueHD, as far as I have seen.
You will get lossy dolby digital if you choose Dolby TrueHD playing through a receiver that supports dolby digital but not lossless audio.
Of course you must have a receiver which decodes lossy DTS and/or dolby digital to take advantage of that.
I don't see where you mentioned what receiver you are using. Does it support DTS? Does it support multi-chanel PCM?
Problem solved. Thanks to all you guys for hanging in there with me. Bottom line is I'm a complete moron.

Here's what ultimately turned out to be the problem. First a little background. I have an old JVC receiver that decodes DTS and DD over optical/coax. My sony tv also passes the audio bitstream over optical. My BD player is connected to my tv via HDMI, then my tv is connected to my AVR via optical. Unlike many tv's, it actually passes the DD bitstream from all inputs through its optical out, not just from the tv tuner. So I routinely get DD just fine, so I never suspect the bitstream passthru could be the issue. Here's the kicker. Until you guys got me to experiment, I never realize it wouldn't pass DTS. Turns out all the problem titles had DTS HD tracks. So I connect the player directly to my AVR over coax, and, BAM, I get DTS 5.1 immediately. Now all I have to do is rewrite a couple of macros on my remotes and I'll be in business.

My assumption was since my tv passes the DD bitstream, it would pass all bitstreams. Turns out this is not the case.

So thanks again.

And apologies to the OP for hijacking your thread. But if you hadn't started this thread I'd never have solved my problem.
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post #29 of 30 Old 05-18-2013, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Problem solved. Thanks to all you guys for hanging in there with me. Bottom line is I'm a complete moron.
 

Hardly, unless you're one of the morons that writes/translates the manuals that are supposed to explain how to do something like this.

Glad it's working for you (finally).


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http://www.avsforum.com/t/1475769/de...ently-authored 

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #30 of 30 Old 05-18-2013, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Problem solved.

My assumption was since my tv passes the DD bitstream, it would pass all bitstreams. Turns out this is not the case.
That's because TVs understand (decode) DD signals (it's part of ATSC DTV), but since there's no presence of DTS in DTV, no need to support it.

Glad you sorted it out!
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