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post #1 of 37 Old 04-12-2015, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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HBO Now 5.1 streaming

I apologize if this is discussed to death already, but I don't have time to spend the afternoon searching for answers.... I was hoping to watch Game of Thrones tonight in 5.1 from HBO from my Macbook Pro. Is this even possible?

I've configured my Macbook to play in 5.1 through an HDMI/Mini Display Port cable. But when streaming through my PC I can't get anything to actually play in 5.1. For example, Breaking Bad will play fine in 5.1 when streaming through my Blu-Ray player, but I can't get it to play in 5.1 playing in Safari on my Macbook Pro.

I have a feeling it's not possible, but I just want to make sure.... Out of curiosity, does Game of Thrones stream in 5.1 through an Apple TV device?

I really appreciate any help here.
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post #2 of 37 Old 04-12-2015, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenwood Ave View Post
I apologize if this is discussed to death already, but I don't have time to spend the afternoon searching for answers.... I was hoping to watch Game of Thrones tonight in 5.1 from HBO from my Macbook Pro. Is this even possible?

I've configured my Macbook to play in 5.1 through an HDMI/Mini Display Port cable. But when streaming through my PC I can't get anything to actually play in 5.1. For example, Breaking Bad will play fine in 5.1 when streaming through my Blu-Ray player, but I can't get it to play in 5.1 playing in Safari on my Macbook Pro.

I have a feeling it's not possible, but I just want to make sure.... Out of curiosity, does Game of Thrones stream in 5.1 through an Apple TV device?

I really appreciate any help here.

Probably doesn't help; but it streams DD 5.1 via my HR-44 DTV HBO on demand (just watched last episode from last year getting ready for new season tonight).
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post #3 of 37 Old 04-13-2015, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Greenwood Ave View Post
Out of curiosity, does Game of Thrones stream in 5.1 through an Apple TV device?

I really appreciate any help here.
According to this thread it seems to.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1863720

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post #4 of 37 Old 04-13-2015, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenwood Ave View Post
Out of curiosity, does Game of Thrones stream in 5.1 through an Apple TV device?

I really appreciate any help here.
I can confirm that HBO Now streams in 1080p and DD 5.1 on the ATV 3 since I just took advantage of their free one month trial subscription.

I guess I'll see if there is enough content to keep me paying the $15/month fee.

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post #5 of 37 Old 04-13-2015, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys. According to a source I've now looked at, if you are playing Netflix (or presumably HBO Now) on a computer, it will not be in 5.1 (and I think not HD either). This may have to do with piracy control. I suppose if I want 5.1 I'll have to get one of these devices, but I'm not sure I care that much. I just kept thinking there was some setting on my MacBook I had to adjust.
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post #6 of 37 Old 04-13-2015, 04:05 PM
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With a pc/laptop connected to a HDTV, you can stream Netflix at 1080 HD quality-only when using IE. Firefox, Chrome and presumably Safari 7 others, the Netflix website player will be limited to 720 HD.

Make sure your picture quality settings on all your Netflix profiles, is set to either ''High'' or ''Auto''. (Your account>My Profile>Playback settings)

Edit..and a quick scan over your initial post shows that your are using a Macbook. So, just...ignore what I just posted.

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post #7 of 37 Old 04-17-2015, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post
I can confirm that HBO Now streams in 1080p and DD 5.1 on the ATV 3 since I just took advantage of their free one month trial subscription. I guess I'll see if there is enough content to keep me paying the $15/month fee.
I revisited the quality streaming question this morning by playing the first episode of the new season for Game of Thrones with the ATV3.

Below is the screenshot of the 10 minute average which is approximately 4.7 Mbps.



My reason for checking the stream rate was because the picture looked soft or at least not as sharp as to what I would consider HD 1080p.

So while it may stream as HD 1080p the bit-rate seems to be on the lower end of the scale.
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post #8 of 37 Old 05-15-2015, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenwood Ave View Post
I apologize if this is discussed to death already, but I don't have time to spend the afternoon searching for answers.... I was hoping to watch Game of Thrones tonight in 5.1 from HBO from my Macbook Pro. Is this even possible?

I've configured my Macbook to play in 5.1 through an HDMI/Mini Display Port cable. But when streaming through my PC I can't get anything to actually play in 5.1. For example, Breaking Bad will play fine in 5.1 when streaming through my Blu-Ray player, but I can't get it to play in 5.1 playing in Safari on my Macbook Pro.

I have a feeling it's not possible, but I just want to make sure.... Out of curiosity, does Game of Thrones stream in 5.1 through an Apple TV device?

I really appreciate any help here.
I think we've wandered around the question but no one has really answered this question.

The question is about audio, not about video or resolution or quality of video. It's about getting 5.1 streamed through to a quality AV receiver (in my case an Onkyo). I have HDMI chosen as my output, but the Onkyo, which can display how many channels of input it sees, really only sees left and right.

I have manually selected "Dolby Pro Logic 2 Movie", which seems to be doing ok. I am wondering what's the best I can do. If there is true 5.1 encoded in the stereo signal I'm seeing through the HDMI or not. When I am playing through the headphone out (I also have that run over to the stereo) it's more obvious there are only 2 channels.

iTunes is a completely different beast and whether or not people have streamed previous seasons of GOT or other hbo shows from itunes to their stereo is irrelevant. iTunes is an apple product and it's obvious they "bothered" to decode that and send the info over the hdmi channel properly.

The question really boils down to whether flash player and/or Silverlight in a browser can decode 5.1 (or other PCM) through HDMI to a receiver.

Thanks for any help.
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post #9 of 37 Old 05-16-2015, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by storkinsj View Post
I think we've wandered around the question but no one has really answered this question.
Yes, I still haven't found a definitive answer to this question, but I've kind of given up. Loving the new season of Game of Thrones though, and really looking forward to True Detective.

Quote:
I have manually selected "Dolby Pro Logic 2 Movie", which seems to be doing ok. I am wondering what's the best I can do. If there is true 5.1 encoded in the stereo signal I'm seeing through the HDMI or not. When I am playing through the headphone out (I also have that run over to the stereo) it's more obvious there are only 2 channels.
I'm just learning about this stuff myself, but from what I understand it seems unlikely that true 5.1 is encoded in the stereo signal. As I'm thinking of it, Dolby Pro Logic can either up-mix to 5.1 or decode 5.1 that's been matrix encoded at a stereo signal. I'm thinking that this is an obsolete way for 5.1 content to be encoded this way (again, as I currently understand it), so I suspect the receiver is up-mixing stereo content. Does this make sense and sound correct to you?

Quote:
The question really boils down to whether flash player and/or Silverlight in a browser can decode 5.1 (or other PCM) through HDMI to a receiver.
One thing that I read somewhere online (can't remember the source) is that both Netflix and HBO NOW specifically don't stream their content in 5.1 to web browsers due to piracy issues. Sounds plausible I suppose.
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post #10 of 37 Old 05-16-2015, 12:39 PM
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FWIW, HBO Go definitely streams their content in 5.1 via AppleTV 2 (and probably other stb's as well). I would imagine that HBO Now is the same. It could be a limitation of trying to stream it thru your MBP.
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post #11 of 37 Old 05-16-2015, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post
FWIW, HBO Go definitely streams their content in 5.1 via AppleTV 2 (and probably other stb's as well). I would imagine that HBO Now is the same. It could be a limitation of trying to stream it thru your MBP.
Absolutely these are different software mediums even though they both happen over Apple's OS X:

AppleTV: Streaming happens through dedicated provider software compiled to output to HDMI because HDMI is guaranteed to be available

Mac computer: We're going to a web site and Flash or Silverlight is handling the decoding.

I have not seen anything that definitively states the browser can't do 5.1.

I am checking in with some friends who've worked on Flash over at Adobe. But even if the player can handle it, doesn't mean hbo streams that.

I will try an experiment with the ipad and the hbonow app. That doesn't really prove anything since the app is a completely different animal.
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post #12 of 37 Old 05-17-2015, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storkinsj View Post
Absolutely these are different software mediums even though they both happen over Apple's OS X:

AppleTV: Streaming happens through dedicated provider software compiled to output to HDMI because HDMI is guaranteed to be available

Mac computer: We're going to a web site and Flash or Silverlight is handling the decoding.

I have not seen anything that definitively states the browser can't do 5.1.

I am checking in with some friends who've worked on Flash over at Adobe. But even if the player can handle it, doesn't mean hbo streams that.

I will try an experiment with the ipad and the hbonow app. That doesn't really prove anything since the app is a completely different animal.
I submitted your question to HBO Now and their reply was:

Quote:
HBO Now - Dolby Digital 5.1 using Macbook Pro...

The HBO NOW service does not allow you to connect your device to a TV or external display using HDMI cables or other connectors. For the best viewing experience see, “What devices is HBO NOW compatible with?”.

Thank you,
HBO NOW Customer Support
So although it doesn't really answer the question it implies there is no support for DD 5.1 for any browser app.
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post #13 of 37 Old 05-17-2015, 07:10 PM
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I submitted your question to HBO Now and their reply was:



So although it doesn't really answer the question it implies there is no support for DD 5.1 for any browser app.
The good news is they actually can't block a browser from playing content over HDMI. F 'em.

Yes it would be good if you press them on the 5.1 question. A computer doesn't need to be using HDMI to get 5.1 playback, although it seems like the best way.
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post #14 of 37 Old 05-17-2015, 07:15 PM
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The good news is they actually can't block a browser from playing content over HDMI. F 'em.

Yes it would be good if you press them on the 5.1 question. A computer doesn't need to be using HDMI to get 5.1 playback, although it seems like the best way.
Sometimes it's hard to understand why things happen the way they do.

HBO Now was completely blackmailed by the cable and satellite providers for a while. I'm not sure the terms of the final deal that kept them from losing their ability to broadcast on cable while having an independent internet service, but part of it may be "we will only support high quality 1080p to televisions through cable and satellite based devices"

Obviously there is no way to stop a sufficiently determined person from figuring it out but that's likely what's going on here, since it's pretty much cake to get that working now, and since netflix isn't dealing with comcast, they went whole hog on internet streaming from the start.

BluRay still beats them all. Love me my PS3.
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post #15 of 37 Old 05-30-2015, 08:23 AM
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Unfortunately, I don't think I'm alone here in saying that I am LONG PAST caring about anything HBO does or does not do. They have clearly made their choices, and if those choices should turn around and bite them, well, tough s**t, HBO.

Nuff said...
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post #16 of 37 Old 05-30-2015, 01:03 PM
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Anyone who currently has Now can tell us what's available to them? Everything including past series are are they using a Hulu like model?
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post #17 of 37 Old 06-02-2015, 11:15 PM
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I too am having problems with getting 5.1 surround using HBO Now streamed via Apple TV.

I am connected via HDMI to my receiver and HDMI to my TV.
I have set Dolby Digital to ON (and not auto).

When using the Now app to watch a movie like Dawn of the Apes, I'm getting 5.1. Sweet. But when I watch GoT or Veep, I'm back to two channel stereo. The funny thing is my receiver (Sony STR-dg910) says that it's receiving a 5.1 signal in all cases.

It's super frustrating as I cancelled my cable with Comcast where I was getting GoT in 5.1.
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post #18 of 37 Old 06-03-2015, 11:44 AM
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I too am having problems with getting 5.1 surround using HBO Now streamed via Apple TV.

I am connected via HDMI to my receiver and HDMI to my TV.
I have set Dolby Digital to ON (and not auto).

When using the Now app to watch a movie like Dawn of the Apes, I'm getting 5.1. Sweet. But when I watch GoT or Veep, I'm back to two channel stereo. The funny thing is my receiver (Sony STR-dg910) says that it's receiving a 5.1 signal in all cases.

It's super frustrating as I cancelled my cable with Comcast where I was getting GoT in 5.1.
There's something definitely up with your Sony receiver since I get both Veep and GoT in DD 5.1 using the Apple TV 3 and Denon 2309CI.

Try setting the receiver to auto...and for that matter double check all of your sound settings using your owner's manual.

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post #19 of 37 Old 06-04-2015, 07:36 AM
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There's something definitely up with your Sony receiver since I get both Veep and GoT in DD 5.1 using the Apple TV 3 and Denon 2309CI.

Try setting the receiver to auto...and for that matter double check all of your sound settings using your owner's manual.
Can you confirm you're using HBO Now and not HBO Go?
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post #20 of 37 Old 06-04-2015, 08:18 AM
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Can you confirm you're using HBO Now and not HBO Go?
Yes, I'm using the HBO Now app on ATV3.

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post #21 of 37 Old 07-27-2015, 01:25 PM
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So are you guys saying that HBO Now streaming is not HD on a PC and that it can't be output from a PC via HDMI to a TV either? I have been pondering getting HBO Now but either of those would be a dealbreaker. Their website says you can watch it on a computer and doesn't mention anything about reduced quality.
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post #22 of 37 Old 07-27-2015, 03:56 PM
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^^^ The first month is free, so sign up and see how good-or bad, the video quality is for you.

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post #23 of 37 Old 07-28-2015, 09:51 AM
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^^^ The first month is free, so sign up and see how good-or bad, the video quality is for you.
I am doing the one month free trial of HBONOw and I think the video is awful compared to even a standard DVD. I can only get stereo sound. I am using my HTPC to view from a browser. I watched season 1 and 2 of GoT on standard DVDs played by the same HTPC. It was light years better in both video and sound quality(5.1)
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post #24 of 37 Old 08-24-2015, 09:48 AM
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I am doing the one month free trial of HBONOw and I think the video is awful compared to even a standard DVD. I can only get stereo sound. I am using my HTPC to view from a browser. I watched season 1 and 2 of GoT on standard DVDs played by the same HTPC. It was light years better in both video and sound quality(5.1)
I am coming to the same conclusion about awful video, I have had HBO Now for a couple of weeks and am watching on Firefox on a PC connected to my TV with HDMI. My ethernet is wired but I see very noticeable stuttering and lost frames multiple times while watching a show, and the sound is definitely 2 channel only. If it is still like this at the end of my free month, I will cancel and wait for a PS3 app before getting it again. Extremely frustrating that they are handicapping playback on PCs. I am being an honest customer but would have a better experience if I wasn't.
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post #25 of 37 Old 08-24-2015, 10:23 AM
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I signed up for the free trial Saturday. And my experience viewing on the pc matches earlier posts. The picture quality is astoundingly poor-Hulu and Youtube are superior to what I'm seeing. Not the quality one one expects coming from a brand as vaulted as HBO.

Dazed and confused over high tech.

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post #26 of 37 Old 08-24-2015, 11:23 AM
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I've been checking out reviews on Google Play since they enabled Now for Chromecast and it looks like a good service to stay away from. With Showtime on Hulu+ I get all seasons of episodes while I read that HBO is playing "we'll only let you see some of our precious jewels" for almost twice the price.
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post #27 of 37 Old 08-24-2015, 11:46 AM
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^^ I was also surprised over the content made available on Now. Yes, the service is a little over 5 months old, and it was unrealistic to expect the entire 40 yr HBO catalog to be featured at launch, all at the same time, but given the breath and depth of what they've produced and or accumulated over the years, I was hopeful of a more dynamic range of movies-older ones especially, to be on.
Based on what's there now, I won't need to go beyond the free trial. I was thinking I'd at least keep it for a few months.

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post #28 of 37 Old 08-25-2015, 08:00 AM
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HBO Now went live for Fire TV / Fire Stick over the weekend, been mostly dissapointed with it so far. No Dolby support is my biggest complaint, second is the video quality- which seems to take longer to stabilize to HD than either Amazon or Netflix. The GoT title sequence? Most of the cast titles are illegible for almost a minute after you've started playing. Even the Amazon Prime HBO selections are delivered in better quality than this.

Hoping it's simply 1.0 issues and it'll be addressed soon. If not, I'll just cancel now and re-up next spring for GoT season six.
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post #29 of 37 Old 08-25-2015, 09:13 AM
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So I guess the video isn't just bad on PCs, it's bad on everything.
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post #30 of 37 Old 08-25-2015, 10:38 AM
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HBO Now looks and sounds fine on the Apple TV 3. Game of Thrones is in Dolby Digital 5.1.

I just tried watching GoT on my iMac and it looks and sounds fine.

I have TWC 15/1 service so it's not that I have screaming fast internet speeds but it's proven adequate for all my streaming needs.

I've had HBO Now since it debuted on Apple devices with no problems at all.

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