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post #121 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 09:55 AM
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I haven’t tried it yet but I believe that the FireTV will convert DD+ into plain DD and output it via TOSLINK. In the settings menu there is a setting Dolby Digital over Optical. It also mentions that with this setting stereo audio is sent out via HDMI.
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post #122 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 10:06 AM
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If it's only sending stereo over HDMI with that setting, the DD will also be stereo. (DD is fully-capable of stereo - that's what gets sent out if you use the TuneIn Roku channel.)

The only reason I haven't upgraded to a newer Roku for 1080 Amazon is I need the optical from my Roku XD|S to get discrete surround - if I was going to settle for a stereo output, I could use any Roku's stereo output jack.

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post #123 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post

In the settings menu there is a setting Dolby Digital over Optical. It also mentions that with this setting stereo audio is sent out via HDMI.
I see settings for the optical and for the hdmi outputs, each of which has stereo as default, but can be set to Dolby Digital Plus. Both can be set to DD+.[CANCEL! Apparently both cannot.] (I have mine set that way, but as yet I haven't actually observed anything but stereo outputs.) Dolby claims about DD+, "It’s fully compatible with existing A/V entertainment systems and has the flexibility to adapt to any bandwidth delivery requirements."* So I'm hoping that my receiver will see the DD+ in its hdmi input as DD.

*http://www.dolby.com/us/en/professional/technology/home-theater/dolby-digital-plus.html

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post #124 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

I see settings for the optical and for the hdmi outputs, each of which has stereo as default, but can be set to Dolby Digital Plus. Both can be set to DD+. (I have mine set that way, but as yet I haven't actually observed anything but stereo outputs.) Dolby claims about DD+, "It’s fully compatible with existing A/V entertainment systems and has the flexibility to adapt to any bandwidth delivery requirements."* So I'm hoping that my receiver will see the DD+ in its hdmi input as DD.

*http://www.dolby.com/us/en/professional/technology/home-theater/dolby-digital-plus.html

Googlle "Dolby Digital Plus backwards compatible" and you'll see all the articles saying it's not. There's a Doby Labs piece that is careful to say that DD+ can be converted to DD, not that DD decoders can play it.

You'll find that your AVR will not be able to understand DD+. You'll get simple stereo at best. - if that.

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post #125 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 11:41 AM
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You'll find that your AVR will not be able to understand DD+. You'll get simple stereo at best. - if that.
Not so. I'm right now watching "The Station Agent" (under Movies -> Recent additions to Prime), and my Pioneer AVR says it is receiving DD 5.1. The AVR input is from AFT's hdmi output, which is set to DD+ in the Settings menu.

What I said above about setting both optical and hdmi to DD+ is incorrect. Apparently you can only set one of them to DD+. (That is not good for me -- I need both to be DD+.)

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post #126 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

Not so. I'm right now watching "The Station Agent" (under Movies -> Recent additions to Prime), and my Pioneer AVR says it is receiving DD 5.1. The AVR input is from AFT's hdmi output, which is set to DD+ in the Settings menu.

What I said above about setting both optical and hdmi to DD+ is incorrect. Apparently you can only set one of them to DD+. (That is not good for me -- I need both to be DD+.)

Would you please do an experiment for me? Set the optical output to DD+, set HDMI to stereo, and see if your AVR can play DD 5.1 from the DD+ stream on the optical linki!

I eagerly await the result!

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post #127 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 01:16 PM
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Would you please do an experiment for me? Set the optical output to DD+, set HDMI to stereo, and see if your AVR can play DD 5.1 from the DD+ stream on the optical linki!
I didn't do exactly this, because I don't like to plug/unplug cables, but I did something similar, which leads to the conclusion that DD+ on optical is also well behaved. I have the AFTV hdmi out connected to my AVR, as mentioned, and the optical out connected to surround headphones. The headphones have a base unit with indicator lights showing whether it is getting DD on its optical input. Watching the same movie as before, I changed the AFTV audio setting to DD+ on optical (and stereo on hdmi), and the AVR display showed that it was now receiving stereo, and the headphones display showed it was now receiving DD. Then I changed the AFTV audio setting back to DD+ on hdmi (and stereo on optical). The displays now showed what they should: DD 5.1 on the AVR and the headphones display showed it was no longer receiving DD.

I did as you suggested and googled to find discussions of DD+ downward compatibility. I gather it's complicated. I don't know that the AFTV is actually sending DD+ to my devices, and anyhow, they are relatively recent models, so they may have DD+ decoders.

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post #128 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

I followed that link, and even read the user manual available on that page, and while that would allow me to make an optical connection to my old Yamaha 5.1 AVR while sending the Roku's video on to my projector, there's notihing in there about converting the audio encoding used to Dolby Digital. (To play disks I use my Oppo's analog output, set to downmix 7.1 to 5.1.)

Since my AVR does not know Dolby Digital Plus, just Dolby Digital, and both Amazon and Netflix use DD+ on their 1080 streams, I'd still be out of luck. Apparently, the advantage of DD+ is that it enables greater compression, mitigating the increased bandwidth used by 1080 over 720.

I did some checking on line: DD+ is not natively playable by DD deciders - it needs to be converted.

Roku apparently dropped the optical jack because it didn't want to pay licensing fees to Dolby in order include conversion - it just passes through whatever signal it gets.

If Monoprice had ponied up for the license fees to do the conversion, you can bet that would be a headline feature of the box - it's not even mentioned in the manual

Eventually, I'll get a receiver that handles DD+, which will most likely also have HDMI inputs, rendering this device unnecessary!

That's a tough situation. I helped a co-worker set up his TV, and he ended up with a similar situation, as his TV was really ornery about what it would output over optical- surround sound seemed to be beyond the capabilities of this thing- so we had to do direct optical to the AVR. Luckily in his case, all he had was a cable DVR and an XBOX ONE, both of which have optical.

Can the Oppo suck in HDMI video for processing, and spit out optical audio in the process?
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post #129 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 05:37 PM
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BiggAW: It's possible that the 103/105 series of Oppos can, but I have the 93, which doesn't have an HDMI input.


GregLee: Without knowing whether you surround headset's base unit knows DD+ and whether the Kindle Fire can downconvert to DD, I guess I'm still in the dark! But thanks.

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post #130 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 06:20 PM
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And what’s really exciting is that Dolby Digital Plus is completely backwards-compatible with Dolby Digital. So older AV receivers can still get 5.1 surround from an encoded Dolby Digital Plus streaming source, provided it gets the audio via its digital coax or digital optical input. For modern AV receivers and televisions, anything with HDMI 1.3 or higher connections will decode Dolby Digital Plus just fine.
from What is Dolby Digital Plus?

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post #131 of 143 Old 04-14-2014, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

GregLee: Without knowing whether you surround headset's base unit knows DD+ and whether the Kindle Fire can downconvert to DD, I guess I'm still in the dark! But thanks.

DD+ doesn't run on S/PDIF, neither coax nor optical, not even S/PDIF over HDMI (e.g. HDMI-ARC).

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post #132 of 143 Old 05-04-2014, 11:40 PM
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I can confirm that AFTV output plain Dolby Digital (5.1) over optical (toslink) output. The HDMI will be stereo in this mode.

You cannot make DD over HDMI with this box....only from optical.
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post #133 of 143 Old 11-27-2014, 08:31 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the info on the DD 5.1 functionality with Fire TV. I'm going back and forth as to whether I'd like the Fire TV Stick or the Fire TV, and the optical out on the Fire TV is a selling point, ONLY if I can get Dolby Digital 5.1 on my 2005 receiver (Sony HT-DDW670) when playing back Netflix or Amazon content.

I'll make the leap of faith and go for the Fire TV now and hope I'll get 5.1 (not Plus) with this device.
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post #134 of 143 Old 12-06-2014, 01:30 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the info on the DD 5.1 functionality with Fire TV. I'm going back and forth as to whether I'd like the Fire TV Stick or the Fire TV, and the optical out on the Fire TV is a selling point, ONLY if I can get Dolby Digital 5.1 on my 2005 receiver (Sony HT-DDW670) when playing back Netflix or Amazon content.

I'll make the leap of faith and go for the Fire TV now and hope I'll get 5.1 (not Plus) with this device.
Did your leap of faith work out? I'm in the same boat, needing DD 5.1 over optical for my AVR. I just ordered one - which hasn't shipped yet - and eagerly await your reply.

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post #135 of 143 Old 12-07-2014, 02:29 PM
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I got my Fire TV the other day, and it wasn't registered to my account, it refuses to register to my account after many attempts to log in, and telephone support can't seem to do anything about it. I'll give it another shot on Monday, I would just return it and re-order another one, except that I got the Cyber Monday deal on mine. What a crappy user experience so far for Amazon- usually they do a lot better than this!
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post #136 of 143 Old 12-08-2014, 11:59 PM
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Unhappy Disappointed by the video

I got and set up my Amazon Fire TV box tonight. It does indeed send DD 5.1 over optical if you select "Dolby Digital over Optical" under Settings / Display and Sound. Unless I locked it at 720p, it auto-negotiated 1080p with my projector.

However, the video I got from Amazon Prime - all "HD" and thus implicitly 720 - looked "haloed" around titles and not particularly sharp - by comparison my old Roku XD|S gives a beautifully-sharp and clean image from those same streams. I thought it might be that my projector does a better job of upscaling, so I tried locking the Fire TV at 720, but there was no improvement.

Vimeo gave me some true 1080, which looked beautiful - but the Roku can do that as well.

I didn't find any 1080 from Prime - and I looked at an episode of Warehouse 13's third season, the beginning of Star Trek Into Darkness, and few other things. I may well send it back and return to my old Roku.

Bummer. I'll try again in a few years, when Amazon has migrated most of its programming to 1080p or at least made a box that looks as good at 720 as my Roku.

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post #137 of 143 Old 12-09-2014, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post
I got and set up my Amazon Fire TV box tonight. It does indeed send DD 5.1 over optical if you select "Dolby Digital over Optical" under Settings / Display and Sound. Unless I locked it at 720p, it auto-negotiated 1080p with my projector.

However, the video I got from Amazon Prime - all "HD" and thus implicitly 720 - looked "haloed" around titles and not particularly sharp - by comparison my old Roku XD|S gives a beautifully-sharp and clean image from those same streams. I thought it might be that my projector does a better job of upscaling, so I tried locking the Fire TV at 720, but there was no improvement.

Vimeo gave me some true 1080, which looked beautiful - but the Roku can do that as well.

I didn't find any 1080 from Prime - and I looked at an episode of Warehouse 13's third season, the beginning of Star Trek Into Darkness, and few other things. I may well send it back and return to my old Roku.

Bummer. I'll try again in a few years, when Amazon has migrated most of its programming to 1080p or at least made a box that looks as good at 720 as my Roku.
Amazon (and I'm betting all stream providers) like to have their apps dynamically scale the quality to match the available bandwidth. I'm wondering if their in-box programming does a worse job than the app they supplied to Roku in some ill-conceived attempt to lessen the impact upon them?

Clarify though, because I'm confused: Why "lock it at 720"? Your projector is a 1080p projector, no?

Send this to all your friends! When will this stupidity end? So hysterical: Vertical Video Syndrome --- a PSA.
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post #138 of 143 Old 12-09-2014, 01:10 PM
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I thought that maybe the Fire TV box's upscaling from 720 to 1080 might have been inferior to the projector's own upscaling, since the projector showed me 720 or 1080 from the Roku depending on what the source was, and was internally upscaling the 720.

With the Fire TV sending everything to the projector at 1080, it seemed possible that its upscaling might not be as good as the projector, so I tested that theory by telling the Fire TV to send 720. It looked exactly the same as when it was sending upscaled 1080.

I was only getting around 15Mbps last night, and one of the commenters here said that that could be the problem, that he only got 1080 when he changed his service to 50Mbps. I usually get 60 - 70 Mbps. I'll test it again tonight. (Last night, when I first installed the box, my connection was running slow because I was also doing a download of Mavericks to recondition a Mac Mini to sell it.

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post #139 of 143 Old 12-10-2014, 12:05 AM
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Thumbs up Keeping the Fire TV

I decided that last night, with the connection running in the low teens in Megabits/second because early in the evening I was downloading OS X Mavericks upstairs to refresh my Mac Mini to sell it, wasn't a fair test of the Fire TV.

Tonight, with the connection running in the mid-thirties in Megabits/second, I still didn't get 1080 ("UHD") on Amazon Prime, but the 720 image (upscaled by the Fire to 1080) looked like 1080, without the "halos" around titles I complained about yesterday, and with good detail on eyelashes (and not just on close-ups). It now looks as good as the Roku always has.

I have to work on the connection from my main router on my second floor down to the one in my basement theater, since drinking from the firehose upstairs I'm getting 84.57 MB/s - apparently I have to get up to around 50 MB/s in the theater for 1080, according to one commenter. I had been getting 60 - 70 in the theater, so I'll troubleshoot that connection. I think it may need a new power supply for the downstairs MoCA box.

Bottom line is that I'm keeping the Fire TV and giving my Roku XD|S to my daughter to drive her 720p flat panel, which was my original plan.


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post #140 of 143 Old 12-13-2014, 01:46 AM
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Unhappy Can't get "HD 1080" even with a 60Mbps feed!

I got my connection speed in my theater up to 60 Mbps by getting a new power supply for that MoCA box (MoCA - "Multimedia over CoAx" - is similar in concept to Powerline networking over the AC wiring, but in a much quieter environment). I tested that speed by using a laptop plugged into the theater's router and going to speedtest.net - this speed is to the outside world, not just from upstairs to downstairs.

That should be more than enough to get 1080 on Amazon Prime from my brand-new Amazon Fire TV box, but I have yet to find anything labeled better than "HD" at the bottom of the screen - which means 720p. Looks as good as my Roku XD|S, which means very nice, but it's not 1080.

I watched in full two consecutive episodes from the third season of Warehouse 13, with the box automatically going from one to the next. Then I watched in full the Robin Williams movie Hook. Every 20 minutes or so I checked the resolution by tapping either the Pause or OK buttons. At no point did it say anything other than simply
"HD."

Any suggestions? I'm running wired, not wireless, with plenty of speed, and I don't see any place in the Fire TV's settings to fiddle with to fix this. I tried unplugging the Fire TV to reboot it, but it didn't make any difference.


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post #141 of 143 Old 12-13-2014, 01:42 PM
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Lightbulb

Another thing to consider is that I've been reliably getting HDX (1080p) from VUDU through my Oppo Blu-ray player plugged into the same router as the Fire, so I don't think its a LAN speed issue. (The Fire is standing on edge, wedged between the Oppo and my AVR.)

I'll try the VUDU app on the Fire to see what happens - but if it's a matter of Amazon Prime being throttled I'll be quite upset.

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post #142 of 143 Old Yesterday, 10:55 PM
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The price of the Amazon Fire just dropped $20 to $79. No idea for how long.

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The price of the Amazon Fire just dropped $20 to $79. No idea for how long.
It says Holiday Deal, so probably only for a few days.
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