SAP not working on Digital TVs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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So I was watching some shows last night, at CBS' Rob said that it had "SAP available in Spanish"... I clicked my MTS button on my TV and didn't work, tried another TV from another brand, it also didn't work.

Tried my computer which has a TV Tuner, set the SAP to primary audio and still didn't work...

Two questions here:

Does SAP available programming even possible on Digital TVs, which now use "MTS" for additional audio channels? (SAP is stated as analog audio channel).

Or

Was CBS blatantly lying about having a second language on this show or other shows and I'm here like a moron trying to find it?

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post #2 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrLar View Post

So I was watching some shows last night, at CBS' Rob said that it had "SAP available in Spanish"... I clicked my MTS button on my TV and didn't work,?

It works just fine with digital Tv...if your local affiliate passes it ..which few do..

Bob

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post #3 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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So if it comes to that, maybe our crappy local channel is not broadcasting the SAP portion of the programs it seems... makes matters worse when this is a border town (El Paso Tx) and they aren't broadcasting the shows available in Spanish language, perhaps they aren't interested in the huge potential spanish speaking people that could watch their shows..

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post #4 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrLar View Post

So if it comes to that, maybe our crappy local channel is not broadcasting the SAP portion of the programs it seems... makes matters worse when this is a border town (El Paso Tx) and they aren't broadcasting the shows available in Spanish language, perhaps they aren't interested in the huge potential spanish speaking people that could watch their shows..


I'm sure anyone interested in Spanish langauge broadcasting can pick-up the stations from over the border. Maybe the station you were watching feels that it isn't worth the expense because of that?
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post #5 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I see the losing potential viewers if they had all SAP available programming with actual SAP being broadcasted.. Juarez is twice as big as El Paso, and many HDTVs are being purchased

I have friends accross the border who want to watch American shows, but they don't understand english too well, if they had the SAP available they could, told them last night to watch this show, was on the phone with them giving them instructions to press the MTS button on their TVs and no avail.. that

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post #6 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

It works just fine with digital Tv...if your local affiliate passes it ..which few do..

Why would "few" carry SAP? It can't cost much to do it Unless they just don't know, which in a market like El Paso would be tough to believe.
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post #7 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hphase View Post

Why would "few" carry SAP? It can't cost much to do it Unless they just don't know, which in a market like El Paso would be tough to believe.

It doesn't cost much for network SAP pass thru "IF" the HD/SD encoder has multiple audio pairs..and is fairly easy to do..the biggest issue with SAP is the ID10T user issue...a LOT of viewers are NOT smart enough to know they have inadvertantly selected SAP and call the Tv station complaining about their Tv speaking Spanish (or in my case having weather audio on the .3 sub)
I get calls almost everyweek from viewers over SAP. And walking some thru changing it can be quite arduous... especially when "it doesn't do this with any OTHER channels only YOURS"...

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post #8 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 04:26 PM
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I don't see many stations carrying SAP, but I would be curious what other 'alternative' programming some others might hear on SAP.

For example, WKAR in East Lansing, MI carries their FM broadcast signal (WKAR-FM) as a SAP on their PBS Create channel. Likewise, they carry WKAR-AM as an SAP on their PBS World. Really kind of cool as they pick up the audio directly from the audio mixing board in-studio, so the AM sounds like FM, and the FM is CD quality. Kinda neat if you want to listen to the radio via TV with no static and better sound quality (if you pipe your audio into your A/V receiver).
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post #9 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozzmonster View Post

I don't see many stations carrying SAP, but I would be curious what other 'alternative' programming some others might hear on SAP..

On my FOX stations, I carry SAP..(as it's own virtual channel too) which.. for MOST NFL and NASCAR programs..and some Baseball..there is no spanish..and is nat sounds only no announce..this makes a race without DW yakkin much better! Playoff games usually have spanish VO.

The Simpsons has descriptive video on SAP: "Homer sits on the couch farting as Marge's nose curls and Bart runs screaming from the room".

On my MeTv subchannels..SAP is National Weather Service audio. This drives granny six pack nuts at times as she cannot understand why we have that guy giving the weather on ALL the time and not the audio from Beverly Hillbillies and Hawaii 5-0..On subs that carry weather radar, it is multiple NWS stations from the area.

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post #10 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 04:34 PM
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SAP is the alternate language portion of the multichannel television sound (MTS) extension to the old NTSC standard. Since all but a few LPTV stations (which don't normally offer MTS) are no longer broadcasting NTSC, SAP is no longer available for the vast majority of programming.

The current ATSC OTA standard and QAM cable standards use a standard MPEG-2 transport stream that can contain more than one audio feed. MPEG-2 and its inherent flexibility have superseded MTS, including SAP.

An ATSC or QAM channel should contain metadata that at least shows that there are other audio streams, and ideally say what they contain. IME much of the receiving equipment (TVs, DVRs, tuner adapters) that I've used has poor support for many features, including getting the other audio streams.

My year-old Samsung TV has a "MTS" button on the remote, but pressing it only brings up a "Not Supported" message. Even the setup menu has no way to do anything about audio streams. A LG TV/video & computer monitor that I bought at the same time has a "SAP" button that brings up a dialog box, but "ENGLISH" is the one and only option. My HD TiVos have settings buried deep in the Settings menu, but can't tell what alternate languages are actually available, and has no easy access like a button on the remote that would make it possible to switch audio streams while viewing.

So far the best way I have to see and hear other audio streams is by using TSReader with a supported tuner on a Windows PC.

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post #11 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post

So far the best way I have to see and hear other audio streams is by using TSReader with a supported tuner on a Windows PC.


I have no issue with the majority of the receivers and Tv's I have with SAP/MTS/multiple audio pids..etc..it works fine. But some sets are real dogs when it comes to SAP, really poor design and implementations as you say.

Of course, I been configurinng ATSC-QAM-MPEG-DVB transports streams, PSIP, and SI since 1997. SAP has to properly implemented to work right.,
and even then it doesn't make up for clueless viewers!

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post #12 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

I have no issue with the majority of the receivers and Tv's I have with SAP/MTS/multiple audio pids..etc..it works fine. But some sets are real dogs when it comes to SAP, really poor design and implementations as you say.

While on one hand it's nice to be able to tune in LPTV stations and NTSC cable channels, the fact that most of these don't have MTS to begin with it's a waste of a button that could have been used to view and select the available MPEG audio streams. I would have thought that they'd have better MPEG support by now. I really doubt that the average buyer of a new widescreen HDTV set intends to use it to primarily watch NTSC broadcasts.

Quote:


Of course, I been configurinng ATSC-QAM-MPEG-DVB transports streams, PSIP, and SI since 1997. SAP has to properly implemented to work right., and even then it doesn't make up for clueless viewers!

Pretty much everything must be properly implemented to work right. Back in my day, TV broadcasters still feared the FCC, and maintained their signals carefully. At least I did!

I might expect a TV station in a triple-digit market to leave PIDs undefined in the PAT and/or PMT. But not in the top three O&O markets!

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post #13 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post

I might expect a TV station in a triple-digit market to leave PIDs undefined in the PAT and/or PMT. But not in the top three O&O markets!

Oh, you'd be surprised how many current tv engineers can't properly explain
what a PID is..much less a PAT and/or PMT..or even the VCT.

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post #14 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozzmonster View Post

I don't see many stations carrying SAP, but I would be curious what other 'alternative' programming some others might hear on SAP.

For example, WKAR in East Lansing, MI carries their FM broadcast signal (WKAR-FM) as a SAP on their PBS Create channel. Likewise, they carry WKAR-AM as an SAP on their PBS World. Really kind of cool as they pick up the audio directly from the audio mixing board in-studio, so the AM sounds like FM, and the FM is CD quality. Kinda neat if you want to listen to the radio via TV with no static and better sound quality (if you pipe your audio into your A/V receiver).

The same is true this side of the pond with OTA digital TV - though we don't treat radio stations as sub-channels tied to TV stations, they get their own unique 'channel' numbers (in the 700s) and have full EPG (aka PSIP) data for 7 days, allowing PVRs to record radio as well as TV programmes (very useful for radio documentary and drama and specialised music shows). Most (all?) also have their own digital text service (so you get a basic text image with the audio stream - often carrying additional information - like phone numbers for call-ins, track playing info etc.)

It also has the advantage that you get stations previously only available on AM in higher quality (though there are also internet delivered versions in reasonable quality as well).

The BBC broadcast 11 radio stations on their SD digital TV mux - Radios 1-4, 5Live, Radio 4 Extra, 5Live Sports Extra, 1Xtra, 6Music, BBC World Service and BBC Asian Network and additional stations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are also around 13 commercial stations on the other SD digital TV muxes. It works quite well as a radio-on-TV platform. (The nationwide HD mux doesn't carry radio services)

We also have audio description (aka narration) for the visually impaired on most of the mainstream TV channels (to save bandwidth on OTA it's a lower-bandwith mono 'narration only' feed that is mixed with the main programme audio at the receiver rather than a fully pre-mixed separate stream). In Wales there is an equivalent of SAP I believe - so that content with both English and Welsh audio can be broadcast.
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post #15 of 61 Old 01-20-2012, 11:30 PM
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The only station in Bakersfield that uses SAP is KCET's translator, sometimes for Spanish and sometimes for descriptive audio. I wish the Spanish stations would use SAP to broadcast an English dub.

It seems like fewer stations are using SAP with digital than what did with analog. Is this becasue with analog when a station bought a stereo encoder SAP was included automatically at no extra charge, but with digital it requires extra equipment to add SAP?

Speed Daemon, the reason your tvs won't tune SAP is undoubtably becasue your local stations don't broadcast SAP. I think FCC rules require every digital tuner to be able to tune SAP. All of my digital sets will tune SAP, including a cheapo Durabrand 13 incvh tube set and an Auvio battery operated portable.

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #16 of 61 Old 01-21-2012, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

Oh, you'd be surprised how many current tv engineers can't properly explain what a PID is..much less a PAT and/or PMT..or even the VCT.

I wouldn't be surprised one bit. It's like finding a TV engineer who really knows what goes on inside waveguides. I swear that I once had to convince a worried ACE that nobody had stolen the center conductor from the round waveguides that the station used! LOL

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post #17 of 61 Old 01-21-2012, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

TSpeed Daemon, the reason your tvs won't tune SAP is undoubtably becasue your local stations don't broadcast SAP.

Yes, I know. Thanks.

Quote:


It seems like fewer stations are using SAP with digital than what did with analog. Is this becasue with analog when a station bought a stereo encoder SAP was included automatically at no extra charge, but with digital it requires extra equipment to add SAP?

Neither. Digital TV doesn't support FM audio at all, so therefore no SAP. In digital, they either add another audio stream for other languages, or put their foreign language programming on another sub-channel.

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post #18 of 61 Old 01-21-2012, 02:44 AM
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I know that digital tv doesn't support FM audio. SAP stands for Second Audio Program. Some tv sets call the button "SAP" others "MTS" (Multichannel Television Sound). The same button works for digital channels or analog channels. Maybe the terms are vestigal holdovers from the analog days, but there are lots of vestigal terms in the English language. Very few of us have literally "dialed" a phone recently, but we still refer to placing a call as "dialing". Why should tv be different? "Don't touch that dial" has been heard on tv long after sets had channel selector dials, and the phrase isn't going to stop now. Some people will always refer to all 60 Hz video as "NTSC" and all 50 Hz video as "PAL".

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #19 of 61 Old 01-21-2012, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post

I wouldn't be surprised one bit. It's like finding a TV engineer who really knows what goes on inside waveguides.LOL

Absolutely..Engineers who truly understand RF are few and far between these days with no new blood coming in....I had one guy (here on this forum in fact) argue with me that ERP from a low gain antenna with high TPO would perform the same as ERP from a high gain antenna with lower TPO...

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post #20 of 61 Old 01-21-2012, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

Absolutely..Engineers who truly understand RF are few and far between these days with no new blood coming in....I had one guy (here on this forum in fact) argue with me that ERP from a low gain antenna with high TPO would perform the same as ERP from a high gain antenna with lower TPO...

Because his Spread Sheet said so.! I hear that all day long from people who are office engineers with excel, but can not operate a spectrum analyzer...

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post #21 of 61 Old 01-21-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

The same is true this side of the pond with OTA digital TV We also have audio description (aka narration) for the visually impaired on most of the mainstream TV channels (to save bandwidth on OTA it's a lower-bandwith mono 'narration only' feed that is mixed with the main programme audio at the receiver rather than a fully pre-mixed separate stream).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

The Simpsons has descriptive video on SAP: "Homer sits on the couch farting as Marge's nose curls and Bart runs screaming from the room".

You'll be seeing more of this soon in the US. A new law will require some transmission of "audio description." You'd be surprised to see how many shows are already "described." There are plans to do something in the US that is similar to what the UK is doing. Heck, the DTV system was designed to do it (narration-only tracks) from the get-go, but it didn't catch on back then.
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post #22 of 61 Old 01-21-2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hphase View Post

You'll be seeing more of this soon in the US. A new law will require some transmission of "audio description." You'd be surprised to see how many shows are already "described." There are plans to do something in the US that is similar to what the UK is doing. Heck, the DTV system was designed to do it (narration-only tracks) from the get-go, but it didn't catch on back then.

Yep - though I'm not that surprised.

A lot of recent Blu-rays and DVDs (not just UK releases - Swedish and Danish releases have been similar) I've bought have had audio navigation (so you don't have to be able to see the menus to select what you want) and audio description on them.

In the UK the main 5 networks carry between 14-25% of their output with audio description - with some kids and drama networks (these genres have higher levels of narrative content and thus are more likely to be described) hitting >40% of output.

http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsig...vel_ofcom.aspx
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post #23 of 61 Old 01-22-2012, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

.. I've bought have had audio navigation (so you don't have to be able to see the menus to select what you want) and audio description on them.

That's the issue here..you can easily switch to SAP without knowing it..

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post #24 of 61 Old 01-23-2012, 06:53 AM
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Part of the problem is that every CE manufacturer wants to control the "look and feel" of their interface, and they all fail woefully at getting it "right."

Even for folks like us (who seem to be asked to fix everybody's TV sets) just finding the menu button on the remote can be an adventure. Not to mention figuring out which functions are in each category. The CE vendors refuse to be told what to do make things more straightforward for their customers.

It's similar to the situation in automobiles. We've standardized on which side of the car the steering wheel is (on a territory-by-territory basis) and where the ignition key, gas pedal and brake are located. Then it gets a bit less-standardized, such as windshield wiper controls, high-beams, and horn controls. While there are only two choices for which side the of the car the fuel goes into (does anyone still have to flip the license plate down to filler up?) the gas gauge doesn't always tell you which side. And, if you need to release the filler door, you don't always know where to look. Window controls are all over the place, and forget about running the radio or navi system. Frequent renters know all about these issues.

I really don't want Government telling me what to do all the time, but can't we do something to make remote controls a little more universal? Microsoft and Apple seem to be completely opposite of each other in some parts of their interfaces, but at least they are consistent within their own worlds. It's not that I don't want to look or think, but there are some things that I'd just rather "know."
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post #25 of 61 Old 01-23-2012, 07:10 AM
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yea, it's pretty bad when we engineers have trouble figuring it out..

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post #26 of 61 Old 01-23-2012, 07:16 AM
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We used to do a Spanish translation of a couple of our daily newscasts on the analog SAP channel. The rest of the time, there was a tape (cartridge machine...remember those?) loop that said, "You are listening to the Secondary Audio Program, S-A-P channel of KSL-TV".....
It then explained what the SAP channel was used for, and how to switch back to the main channel audio.

We got calls all the time, telling us, "I've been listening to this stupid announcement on my TV for weeks. When are YOU going to fix it?"

Here we go again!

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post #27 of 61 Old 01-23-2012, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

That's the issue here..you can easily switch to SAP without knowing it..

And if you get the descriptive audio, you have some guy telling you what you're seeing on the screen. If you didn't know it was an alternative sound track, you'd wonder whose idea it was to have add a narrator to the show.

NOW: my post on AVS Forum.
NEXT: someone else's post on AVS Forum.
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post #28 of 61 Old 01-24-2012, 07:15 AM
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I've noticed that many stations that have a second audio channel either use only one side (left-only or right-only), or make the audio sound very low-level, or very tinny.
Seems like some sort of "interval signal" would be preferable....maybe, during lulls in the audio, a quiet "Spanish Alternate Language Channel" or "Descriptive Video Service" voice-over could be whispered (a "Voice-Under"??).
That might be better than compromising the audio quality.

As I understand it, the DD system can transmit a single, mono dialog channel for the various second-language, DVS, etc functions, and substitute it for the standard dialog channel, while retaining the full 5.1 surround....but, it takes a second DD Decoder in the receiver (for the additional DD stream). Since manufacturers won't pay for the second license, they don't build 'em that way, so that negates the entire system. So, auxiliary audios wind up being mono or stereo, to save bandwidth that would be required for, say, two (or three) full 5.1 audios.

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
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post #29 of 61 Old 01-24-2012, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

As I understand it, the DD system can transmit a single, mono dialog channel for the various second-language, DVS, etc functions, and substitute it for the standard dialog channel, while retaining the full 5.1 surround....but, it takes a second DD Decoder in the receiver (for the additional DD stream).

If you add more decoders, you can combine as many audio tracks as you want.

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post #30 of 61 Old 01-24-2012, 01:55 PM
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If you add more decoders, you can combine as many audio tracks as you want.

Exactly!
You need one decoder to do the first stream, of up to 5.1.
Then, the second decoder finds the "mono" stream of Spanish, or whatever. Then, you matrix them together in to a 5.1 Spanish channel, or a Descriptive Video Channel, or whatever. Direct the second decoder to another stream, and there's the French...or, Swahili....or whatever you want. Those additional streams just take enough bandwidth to pass the one dialogue channel.

I wonder if those same boxes that were programmed to do USDTV could be built to do something like this, since everything was just done in software?
(I can't remember who built those, right now. I'd have to go look at a few downstairs.)

You'd just have to market them to the specialized viewers in the public. The niche might be in the DVS market, or in a locale like San Francisco, with a large ethnic community....say, movies in full 5.1 surround, in Chinese and English, both.

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