Digital Audio Out? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 05-22-2008, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Do any of the CECB's allow digital audio out via digital coax or optical connection to my surround sound receiver? I've looked at several and have not seen that function. Is it not possible or not allowed? I would like to take advantage of the surround if possible.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 44 Old 05-22-2008, 11:37 AM
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I believe it's not allowed. It's unfortunate. However the rule does not prevent s-video or even component video, as long as they are 480i. I hope some reputable company does make one with s-video or component out later this year.
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post #3 of 44 Old 05-22-2008, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help! That's too bad, I thought I would be able to use my system for that. Oh well...
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post #4 of 44 Old 05-22-2008, 07:26 PM
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You can use your system for that. You just can't use a cripplebox (CECB) to do it with.
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post #5 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 12:01 AM
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I have yet to see a CECB box that is "crippled". They all do what they are meant to do just fine - that is, receive digital OTA stations.

People really need to read the CECB box sticky at the top of this forum before they post.

Digital audio out is a Home Theater-related feature, and Home Theater and HDTV are luxuries, not necessities. The federal government is not in the business of subsidizing anyone's audio-video hobbies.
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post #6 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 05:17 AM
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I would agree with you if DD was not included as an integral and important part of the digital broadcast. To arbitrarily disallow the advantage of this design feature is unnecessarily restrictive. I would further agree if Channel Master was not required to pull their offering and cripple it to make it comply with the program.
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post #7 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 05:42 AM
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Although I don't agree with your opinion that CECB boxes are crippled, I do wish they would allow digital outputs.

I can only assume that the rationale for not having digital outputs was that no "old" TVs have digital inputs.
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post #8 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 07:38 AM
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But a huge number of old TV's have component video inputs offering a higher quality picture.yet no CECB's accommodate that feature. I know they had to draw the line somewhere but when it comes right down to it, isn't stereo ultimately a luxury? A CECB would be functional and fulfill the alleged purpose if it had only a monaural RF output. As best I know, all TV's accept that unless they're so old they have only 300 ohm inputs. What about those people?
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post #9 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I have yet to see a CECB box that is "crippled". They all do what they are meant to do just fine - that is, receive digital OTA stations.

People really need to read the CECB box sticky at the top of this forum before they post.

Digital audio out is a Home Theater-related feature, and Home Theater and HDTV are luxuries, not necessities. The federal government is not in the business of subsidizing anyone's audio-video hobbies.

I spent several hours prior to posting looking and only found a few non-direct answers to my question. I also reread the sticky and it contains NO info on digital audio. I found one about a possible hack/work around but nothing else. I might of missed it, but I felt that a direct and clear post might help myself learn and help others during a future search.

This is neither a hobby or a major passion of mine, i just have a cheap Sony in a box system. I just don't see why the audio channel should be blocked/down sampled. I understand the limit on video output, that makes sense. The audio simply does not. The tuner is getting the info and it seems to me that it would be easier/cheaper to allow the audio than downsample it.
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post #10 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bouldrey View Post

But a huge number of old TV's have component video inputs offering a higher quality picture.yet no CECB's accommodate that feature. I know they had to draw the line somewhere but when it comes right down to it, isn't stereo ultimately a luxury? A CECB would be functional and fulfill the alleged purpose if it had only a monaural RF output. As best I know, all TV's accept that unless they're so old they have only 300 ohm inputs. What about those people?


75 to 300 ohm tv rf transformers are common and available for less than three dollars. if people replaced their 300 ohm twin lead cable the down lead is now 75 ohm coax and they would have those in place already.

many who use the stereo audio output don't do so for the luxury of stereo but to get the audio loud enough to hear without distortion, it requires an external amplifier which are stereo by default now.
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post #11 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hphase View Post

Although I don't agree with your opinion that CECB boxes are crippled, I do wish they would allow digital outputs.

I can only assume that the rationale for not having digital outputs was that no "old" TVs have digital inputs.

Plus keeping the cost down. No sense in forcing folks to pay for a digital out that they can't possibly use.
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post #12 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDennis View Post

I spent several hours prior to posting looking and only found a few non-direct answers to my question. I also reread the sticky and it contains NO info on digital audio. I found one about a possible hack/work around but nothing else. I might of missed it, but I felt that a direct and clear post might help myself learn and help others during a future search.

This is neither a hobby or a major passion of mine, i just have a cheap Sony in a box system. I just don't see why the audio channel should be blocked/down sampled. I understand the limit on video output, that makes sense. The audio simply does not. The tuner is getting the info and it seems to me that it would be easier/cheaper to allow the audio than downsample it.

The purpose of the CECB program is to keep older still working tv sets out of the landfill while they are in working order. These older working sets do not have digital audio so having that feature wouldn't be part of the CECB program.

If you have digital a/v equipment already then the government feels that you probably have enough money to buy DTV equipment without a subsidy. There is DTV equipment not in the CECB program that you could buy to meet your needs.
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post #13 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post

The purpose of the CECB program is to keep older still working tv sets out of the landfill while they are in working order. These older working sets do not have digital audio so having that feature wouldn't be part of the CECB program.

With the value of hindsight we can now see that some of the rules do needlessly cripple the CECBs. Digital audio was around long before March 2007 so I'm not willing to say that no analog TVs had that and it should of been allowed optionally. Maybe LG Electronics would have paid more attention to audio problems if it had been. Some analog TVs definitely have component inputs so component (SD) outputs should have also been allowed optionally. Analog pass-through or optionally a non cable ready NTSC tuner should have been a requirement. Manufacturers would have still been free to leave out optional features to hold down costs.
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post #14 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 11:46 AM
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I think we need some middle level boxes. On one hand, you have the $160 Samsung DTB-H260F, which has HDMI out and digital out, but is expensive and in some areas not as slick as some of the CECB boxes. On the other hand you have the CECB boxes, such as the Zenith DTT900 that are awesome, except no component output or no digital audio out because it's not allowed by the coupon program.

If they will make a DTT990 with HDMI/Component out and digital audio out, and sell it for say $80, then I think a lot of people will buy it.

When dish network announced the DTVPal (aka TR-40), they also announced a higher end model that will have recording capabilities and better output capabilities. I hope more of these CECB box manufacturers will capitalize on their experience and produce these middle level boxes.
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post #15 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 12:29 PM
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There are some middle level boxes. Some of them are mentioned on this forum if you search around hard enough. Tivax would be one brand. And there will probably be more eventually. There's no rush or pressing need to bring them out now because they're not going to be coupon-eligible anyway.
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post #16 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammer View Post

With the value of hindsight we can now see that some of the rules do needlessly cripple the CECBs. Digital audio was around long before March 2007 so I'm not willing to say that no analog TVs had that and it should of been allowed optionally. Maybe LG Electronics would have paid more attention to audio problems if it had been. Some analog TVs definitely have component inputs so component (SD) outputs should have also been allowed optionally. Analog pass-through or optionally a non cable ready NTSC tuner should have been a requirement. Manufacturers would have still been free to leave out optional features to hold down costs.

We Home Theater enthusiasts have been paying good money for that kind of stuff all along - why should they be giving it to people practically for free now? All this is about is replacing the access to the OTA analog stations that the government is taking away.

The only thing I'll give you is the analog pass-thru part - and they seem to be correcting that now.
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post #17 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 03:51 PM
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If read the government specs for these convertor boxes you will see that s-video is optional, but anything "better" is simply not allowed (no component, no DVI, no HDMI, no USB, no firewire). Also the audio is limited to stereo vis the white+red RCA jacks. I'm really suprised that they required yellow+red+white output, I would have thought it would have been RF (coax) only - diconnect the antenna from the TV, connect to back of new box, connect included coax from box to TV; would have kept it simple for average person.

One of the silly requirements for the box: it must tune digital channels 2-69, but as of 02-17-2009 when analog goes away, so does channels 52-59.
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post #18 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rdgcss View Post

One of the silly requirements for the box: it must tune digital channels 2-69, but as of 02-17-2009 when analog goes away, so does channels 52-59.

Not silly at all, unless you expect people to hold off using their boxes until 2/17/09. Here in Chicago, there are three digital stations currently broadcasting in the 52-69 range.
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post #19 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 04:20 PM
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Here in the Raleigh market - 4 out of 7 are in 52-60.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #20 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jll544 View Post

Not silly at all, unless you expect people to hold off using their boxes until 2/17/09. Here in Chicago, there are three digital stations currently broadcasting in the 52-69 range.

Yes, but they're all in the 52-59 range.  There are none above 59, and my understanding is that there are no ATSC digital channels anywhere in the US on physical channels 60-69.  Yet the boxes can tune up through 69 and go all the way to 69 when they scan.  Scanning the 60-69 range is already a waste even before 2009-02-17.

{EDIT: No, that's not a waste either.  There are ATSC stations using physical channels in the 60-69 range after all, in Los Angeles for example.}

If they included NTSC tuners, scanning for analog stations up through channel 69 would make sense.

(Do LP and CA stations and repeaters with analog signals on channels 52-69 have to move by 2009-02-17 even if they stay analog?)
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post #21 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dattier View Post

(Do LP and CA stations and repeaters with analog signals on channels 52-69 have to move by 2009-02-17 even if they stay analog?)

They will be allowed to operate on those channels until the new license holders (auction winners) are ready to actually use that spectrum. That could be months or in some cases more than a couple of years.
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post #22 of 44 Old 05-23-2008, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dattier View Post

Yes, but they're all in the 52-59 range. There are none above 59, and my understanding is that there are no ATSC digital channels anywhere in the US on physical channels 60-69.

My point remains valid: requiring CECB's to tune above 51 is not "silly".

Quote:
Originally Posted by dattier View Post

Yet the boxes can tune up through 69 and go all the way to 69 when they scan. Scanning the 60-69 range is already a waste even before 2009-02-17.

And by over-analyzing this non-issue, more time has already been wasted than what would be lost waiting for the box to scan those ten channels.
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post #23 of 44 Old 05-24-2008, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammer View Post

They will be allowed to operate on those channels until the new license holders (auction winners) are ready to actually use that spectrum. That could be months or in some cases more than a couple of years.

Thank you.
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And by over-analyzing this non-issue, more time has already been wasted than what would be lost waiting for the box to scan those ten channels.

So you forbid discussion of anything that doesn't interest you, or which no longer interests you.
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My point remains valid: requiring CECB's to tune above 51 is not "silly".

Indeed it is not.  Requiring them to tune above 59 is the silly part.

EDIT: No, that's not silly either.  There are ATSC stations using physical channels in the 60-69 range after all.  Jll544 was right all along that the scan should reach to 69.
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post #24 of 44 Old 05-24-2008, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dattier View Post

Requiring them to tune above 59 is the silly part.

Wrong. Please do not spread misinformation.
In the Los Angeles market, there are five stations currently broadcasting digital in the 60-69 range.
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post #25 of 44 Old 05-24-2008, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jll544 View Post

Wrong. Please do not spread misinformation.
In the Los Angeles market, there are five stations currently broadcasting digital in the 60-69 range.

OK.  In the past few minutes I happened to see the same information about Los Angeles from another member on another AVSForum thread and was already planning to come back here to retract my error.  I had been misinformed and unknowingly erred by repeating something that I truly thought was accurate.  It was my honest belief, based on something that I had read about the DTV conversion.

You could have corrected me politely, without the accusation of intentionally spreading misinformation.  Thank you for the information about current DTV channel assignments, JLL544, but no thank you for the uncalled-for manner of presentation.

I was mistaken, and I retract it.  There is good reason for ATSC tuners to scan up to channel 69.  Perhaps DTV stations in the 60-69 range must move as of 2009-02-17 [I'm not assuming either way whether they do or not], but tuners on the market today have to operate today.

Rather than breaking the flow of this thread by deleting my two previous posts with the mistake and confusing the issue for readers who see jll544's quotes of them, I'll add corrigenda to them.
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post #26 of 44 Old 05-24-2008, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dattier View Post

So you forbid discussion of anything that doesn't interest you, or which no longer interests you.

I made a minor jest about over-analyzing, and you attacked me as if I were trying to repeal the First Amendment

Quote:
Originally Posted by dattier View Post

You could have corrected me politely, without the accusation of intentionally spreading misinformation. Thank you for the information about current DTV channel assignments, JLL544, but no thank you for the uncalled-for manner of presentation.

Thank you for the retraction, dattier, but no thank you for your own uncalled-for manner of presentation.
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post #27 of 44 Old 05-24-2008, 02:30 PM
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What are the choices for sub-$100 DTV receivers which allow 5.1 digital pass-through? Obviously, they would not be coupon eligible based on the above information.
Or would it be better at this point to wait until newer models come out?
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post #28 of 44 Old 05-24-2008, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jll544 View Post

Not silly at all, unless you expected people to hold off using their boxes until 2/17/09. Here in Chicago, there are three digital stations currently broadcasting in the 52-69 range.

None the ones in my area are 52+ -- so I assumed

I now assume that these 52+ channels will revert to their analog frequencies Feb 17
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post #29 of 44 Old 05-24-2008, 05:48 PM
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Also a bad assumption. Of the 5 Raleigh stations assigned on digital 52-69
WUNC moves from 59 to 25 (analog is 4)
WRAL moves from 53 to 48 (analog 5)
WTVD moves from 52 to 11 (analog 11)
WNCN moves from 55 to 17 (analog 17)
WLFL moves from 57 to 27 (analog 22)

So really - the best answer is it depends on the station. Some are, and some aren't, for various reasons, all of them valid.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
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post #30 of 44 Old 05-24-2008, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgcss View Post

I now assume that these 52+ channels will revert to their analog frequencies Feb 17

If they can and they want to.  Consider Scooper's information about Raleigh:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

Of the 5 Raleigh stations assigned on digital 52-69
WUNC moves from 59 to 25 (analog is 4)
WRAL moves from 53 to 48 (analog 5)
WTVD moves from 52 to 11 (analog 11)
WNCN moves from 55 to 17 (analog 17)
WLFL moves from 57 to 27 (analog 22)

In Chicago, WLS is moving its digital transmission from 52 to 7, which is its analog channel, but WXFT's analog channel is 60 (digital is 59) and WGBO's is 66 (digital is 53), so their analog channels are also unavailable.  Instead, WXFT-DT is moving to 50 (currently the analog channel of WPWR, whose digital channel is staying on 51), and WGBO-DT is moving to 38 (currently the analog channel of WCPX, whose digital channel is staying on 43).
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