Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) / Atmos over HDMI ARC - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 345 Old 03-24-2016, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) / Atmos over HDMI ARC

DD+ can carry Dolby Atmos from smart TV apps to an AVR or Soundbar. So far, few TVs support this feature.

There is a lot of misinformation about this topic, and I'm moving a recent discussion here from the Vizio 2016 P Series thread, because it was getting too off topic there.

The technical basics: Dolby Digital Plus (technical term: E-AC-3) is an IEC-61937 audio format with a frame rate of 192 kHz, as opposed to the older Dolby Digital (AC-3), which has an IEC frame rate of 48 kHz. DD can carry channel based audio with up to 5.1 channels, while DD+ can carry up to 7.1 channel based, as well as Dolby Atmos object based audio.

IEC based interfaces in consumer devices are SPDIF (on both RCA and optical connectors) and HDMI ARC. The latter is an audio connection from an HDMI input (e.g. on a TV) to an HDMI output (e.g. on an AVR). It travels the opposite direction from the normal HDMI video/audio connection, hence the name "Audio Return Channel".

HDMI ARC has capability negotiation, using HDMI CEC messages, while SPDIF does not. This means, an ARC source (TV) can determine which audio formats are understood by the ARC receiver (AVR, Soundbar), while an SPDIF source can just try and send stuff and hope for the best. Mainly for this reason, SPDIF is usually limited to the 48 kHz realm (DD, DTS and stereo PCM), and often can not support the 96 and 192 kHz formats (96 kHz PCM, DD+, DTS-HD High Resolution). Cables and connectors are another limiting factor, often not supporting the frequency range for 192 kHz.

ARC is mainly used when an AVR or an HDMI connected Soundbar are used with a TV. Audio that originates from the TV, such as from the tuner, from OTT ("Over The Top") apps like Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, etc., or even from other HDMI inputs to the TV, can be sent to the sound device without the need for an extra cable.

Many TVs have both an SPDIF output as well as ARC on one of the HDMI inputs. This gives users the option to use SPDIF or ARC.

Now, this was all fine and dandy while there was only 48 kHz audio. TVs were built with chips that had just one audio output, and that audio was sent to SPDIF and ARC at the same time. But now there is Atmos. BD and UHD Blu-ray, Vudu UHD streams, and other sort of "premium" content comes with "premium" immersive audio, mostly Atmos. A lot of TV maker did not prepare for that, and are still downgrading DD+ content to DD before sending it out on ARC. So, we get plain 2.0 or 5.1 with the spiffy new UHD HDR 4K video.

Slowly TVs are starting to support this, in particular Dolby Vision TVs (though not all of the initial ones). I'll work on maintaining a list of TVs, AVRs and Soundbars that support DD+ over ARC, since this information is often hard to find. If you encounter a device, let me know and I'll add it to the lists.

Please find the lists below.

Last edited by scarabaeus; 08-09-2016 at 10:54 AM.
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post #2 of 345 Old 03-24-2016, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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List of TVs that support DD+ over ARC

List of AVRs that support DD+ over ARC
  • Denon AVR-X7200W
  • Denon AVR-X5200W
  • Denon AVR-X3300W (Thanks, @godfatherip)
  • Denon AVR-S710W (Thanks, @Tripknotix)
  • Marantz SR7010
  • Onkyo TX-NR3010
  • Onkyo TX-SR444
  • Onkyo TX-NR525
  • Onkyo TX-NR646
  • Pioneer VSX-90 (Thanks: @vincois)
  • Pioneer SC-1522k (Thanks: @waxhell)
  • Yamaha RX-A3050 (Thanks: @shortyg83)
  • Yamaha TSR-7810

List of Soundbars that support DD+ over ARC
  • TBD
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Last edited by scarabaeus; 08-22-2017 at 12:38 PM.
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post #3 of 345 Old 03-25-2016, 02:23 AM
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Thanks for starting this. I do believe I had the technical basics right, I like to think I'm pretty informed. I'm still skeptical that ARC can (in its current incarnation) support more bandwidth than SP/DIF. Certainly anything is possible, especially with HDMI negotiation. Given the HEC channel is two-pin, similarly to ARC, and has 100mbit bandwidth, the two-pin ARC connection certainly is theoretically capable of much more than SP/DIF.

I wish I had access to more data. However, I believe that the HDMI ARC connection is implemented in the SOC as a pin-through connection with an SP/DIF encoder/decoder at either end. I can't even tell if that SP/DIF encoder is part of the SOC or external to it. Regardless, that would be the most sensible implementation given the goals of the feature. Given it seems the framing protocol used by ARC is the same as SP/DIF (as we've both said), it wouldn't be surprising this is the implementation.

That said, I absolutely realize that DD+ is within the bandwidth allowed by SP/DIF (and therefore ARC), which I've mentioned. Further, I also see that there is a bytecode reserved in the IEC-61937 code published on an MSDN page for DD+. So, I don't think we're in disagreement that DD+ is supported, in theory. However, given it's outside the SP/DIF spec, the question is whether or not newer ATMOS enabled receivers included a decoder for the format given ARC originally tied itself to the SP/DIF spec and that originally never included the bytecode to designate DD+. I'm glad you've started this thread to help determine which sink devices can support it.

Regarding ATMOS, I didn't see anything in the DD+ info (that I can access freely anyway) that says it can carry the ATMOS object metadata. I just saw it allowed 15 discrete channels. However, if it does carry the object data, that's great news. Regardless, I suppose lossy compressed 15-discrete channel ATMOS is better than no ATMOS at all.

Finally, what ARC can support in the future is certainly "limitless". I don't think we're in disagreement there. However, if its current implementation includes an SP/DIF en/decoder on either side, any changes to support higher bandwidth (e.g. lossless multi-channel) signals would certainly require new hardware. However, depending on the implementation it also could mean that a firmware update could allow DD+ to be supported in the current generations. Not sure what the market is for people to upgrade their hardware (again) to support lossless over ARC, but I'd especially hope that DD+ over ARC would not require another upgrade.
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post #4 of 345 Old 03-25-2016, 02:57 AM
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Googling "dolby atmos" and "audio return channel", all I could find is this 8/13/2014 article:

http://www.twice.com/news/audio/dolb...-rollout/49857

"In other comments, Eggers said Dolby recommends the use of set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and game players to play back the Atmos soundtracks of streaming services, at least for now. TVs with embedded streaming services, he explained, are unlikely to pass an Atmos-enabled Dolby Digital Plus stream, or a standard channel-based Dolby Digital Plus stream, though their HDMI audio return channel to an AVR. “We’re working with TV manufacturers to ensure Dolby Digital Plus goes over the audio return channel” he said. It’s unclear whether any TV currently available will do so, he said."
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post #5 of 345 Old 03-25-2016, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I have two Blu-rays with DD+ Atmos tracks, besides the Dolby demo discs (which are not publicly available), in case someone needs content to try this.

One is the french language track on the U.S. release of "American Sniper" (even though is says 7.1 on the packaging):


The other is the main track on the spanish 3D release of "Mortadelo y Filemón contra Jimmy el Cachondo":


The free "Atmos Bundle" on Vudu also has Atmos/DD+.
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post #6 of 345 Old 03-25-2016, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
Thanks for starting this. I do believe I had the technical basics right, I like to think I'm pretty informed. I'm still skeptical that ARC can (in its current incarnation) support more bandwidth than SP/DIF. Certainly anything is possible, especially with HDMI negotiation. Given the HEC channel is two-pin, similarly to ARC, and has 100mbit bandwidth, the two-pin ARC connection certainly is theoretically capable of much more than SP/DIF.

I wish I had access to more data. However, I believe that the HDMI ARC connection is implemented in the SOC as a pin-through connection with an SP/DIF encoder/decoder at either end. I can't even tell if that SP/DIF encoder is part of the SOC or external to it. Regardless, that would be the most sensible implementation given the goals of the feature. Given it seems the framing protocol used by ARC is the same as SP/DIF (as we've both said), it wouldn't be surprising this is the implementation.

That said, I absolutely realize that DD+ is within the bandwidth allowed by SP/DIF (and therefore ARC), which I've mentioned. Further, I also see that there is a bytecode reserved in the IEC-61937 code published on an MSDN page for DD+. So, I don't think we're in disagreement that DD+ is supported, in theory. However, given it's outside the SP/DIF spec, the question is whether or not newer ATMOS enabled receivers included a decoder for the format given ARC originally tied itself to the SP/DIF spec and that originally never included the bytecode to designate DD+. I'm glad you've started this thread to help determine which sink devices can support it.

Regarding ATMOS, I didn't see anything in the DD+ info (that I can access freely anyway) that says it can carry the ATMOS object metadata. I just saw it allowed 15 discrete channels. However, if it does carry the object data, that's great news. Regardless, I suppose lossy compressed 15-discrete channel ATMOS is better than no ATMOS at all.

Finally, what ARC can support in the future is certainly "limitless". I don't think we're in disagreement there. However, if its current implementation includes an SP/DIF en/decoder on either side, any changes to support higher bandwidth (e.g. lossless multi-channel) signals would certainly require new hardware. However, depending on the implementation it also could mean that a firmware update could allow DD+ to be supported in the current generations. Not sure what the market is for people to upgrade their hardware (again) to support lossless over ARC, but I'd especially hope that DD+ over ARC would not require another upgrade.
Yes, you are right that ARC is usually implemented as an SPDIF port on the chip. DD+ has been part of IEC 61937 for a very long time, actually since DD+ is around, because that is the specification where the codec's transport is defined.

I have encountered many external SPDIF ports and cables, RCA and optical, as well as some HDMI cables, that were not capable of handling DD+, so be aware of this when testing different scenarios. I found that AVRs from the last few years generally support DD+ on both SPDIF and ARC, but I have not done any extensive testing, so take this with a grain of salt. And I'm not sure about HDMI connected Soundbars, have to do more research.

And, as with most of these technology advancements, it's more about natural turnover of equipment. Nobody (except some of us crazies here on AVS) with swap out an one year old AVR or TV for the current model just to get DD+. But if it gets in the market, more and more people will have it over time.

NB: I think the correct spelling is "S/P-DIF", as in "Sony/Philips Digital Inter Face". But either way is fine, not like there are other similar acronyms to confuse it with.
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post #7 of 345 Old 03-25-2016, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke M View Post
Googling "dolby atmos" and "audio return channel", all I could find is this 8/13/2014 article:

http://www.twice.com/news/audio/dolb...-rollout/49857

"In other comments, Eggers said Dolby recommends the use of set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and game players to play back the Atmos soundtracks of streaming services, at least for now. TVs with embedded streaming services, he explained, are unlikely to pass an Atmos-enabled Dolby Digital Plus stream, or a standard channel-based Dolby Digital Plus stream, though their HDMI audio return channel to an AVR. “We’re working with TV manufacturers to ensure Dolby Digital Plus goes over the audio return channel” he said. It’s unclear whether any TV currently available will do so, he said."
Cool. I also found this slide-pack which implies that DD+ does, indeed, support Atmos meta-data.

So, it seems if the TV set can send DD+ to the receiver over ARC and the receiver has the decoder that lossy ATMOS is available.

Of course, this still doesn't mean one should connect their BD player to the TV and expect ARC to pass ATMOS back (it very likely won't, especially since @scarabaeus implies above most BD disks don't have a native DD+ track, so even if it would pass through the native track, there isn't one to pass, and it probably won't transcode). But, I suppose we already knew that.

To that end, I suppose I eat my hat. ATMOS is potentially available via ARC through DD+. Ugh, I hate being wrong, lol. @scarabaeus , I apologize for my comments in the Vizio thread.
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post #8 of 345 Old 03-25-2016, 02:35 PM
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We know anything on the DTS:X front at this point?
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post #9 of 345 Old 03-25-2016, 03:29 PM
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Looking forward to a list of confirmed AVRs as I am in the market for one, but won't buy until I know it supports this.

As for first confirmed supported receivers Matt McRae did say that one of their test devices for DD+ and ATMOS was the Onkyo TX-NR646 and it worked fine.
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post #10 of 345 Old 03-25-2016, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by energizerfellow View Post
We know anything on the DTS:X front at this point?
As I just posted in the Vizio thread: I have absolutely no clue whether DTS-HD HR supports DTS:X or not. Dolby has been very up front about Atmos being supported by both TrueHD and DD+, with a particular eye on OTT and broadcast for DD+. No such statement or info from DTS. I only know that HR is their 192 kHz audio solution, equivalent to DD+.
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post #11 of 345 Old 03-26-2016, 11:52 PM
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I posted in the Vizio P thread... But wouldn't a dedicated HDMI out from the TV solve all the issues (other than needing to run an additional cable)?

Sent from my S7 Edge
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post #12 of 345 Old 03-27-2016, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkalel View Post
I posted in the Vizio P thread... But wouldn't a dedicated HDMI out from the TV solve all the issues (other than needing to run an additional cable)?

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... As others have written... There actually isn't any sources that are outputting lossless sound anyway... So this is currently a moot point.

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post #13 of 345 Old 03-27-2016, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkalel View Post
I posted in the Vizio P thread... But wouldn't a dedicated HDMI out from the TV solve all the issues (other than needing to run an additional cable)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkalel View Post
... As others have written... There actually isn't any sources that are outputting lossless sound anyway... So this is currently a moot point.
Well, that would be a solution, but it would get complicated with the current HDCP and CEC implementations, which rely on the TV being the one and only end point of the HDMI connection.

There are scenarios where uncompressed over ARC would make sense, e.g. when you have a Blu-ray player connected to a TV, and the TV is sending all audio to a high-end soundbar.
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post #14 of 345 Old 03-28-2016, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarabaeus View Post
Well, that would be a solution, but it would get complicated with the current HDCP and CEC implementations, which rely on the TV being the one and only end point of the HDMI connection.

There are scenarios where uncompressed over ARC would make sense, e.g. when you have a Blu-ray player connected to a TV, and the TV is sending all audio to a high-end soundbar.
Yeah, other than ease of implementation, I don't know why the HDMI committee would have been so short sighted. But, I suppose the political reality that lossless tracks can only be sent encrypted complicated the design of an ARC link that supported them too much to bother. However, it does sort of piss me off, since IMO, they had a prime opportunity to get away from the "receiver as the hub" paradigm. Of course, then they'd need a "Video Overlay Return" lol, so I could see my receiver menus on the TV, lol. So....

Anyway, back on-topic.
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post #15 of 345 Old 03-29-2016, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Found a relatively cheap way of testing AVRs for support.

Step 1: Buy an Insignia RokuTV from Best Buy, 24", $160, model # NS-24ER310NA17
Step 2: Set up the TV with a free Roku account and a free Vudu account
Step 3: Enable "HDMI ARC" in "Settings" --> "System" --> "Control other devices (CEC)"

Step 4: In Vudu, get the free Dolby Atmos "Digital Bundle"

Step 5: Connect the ARC HDMI output of the AVR to HDMI 1 of the RokuTV
Step 6: Play a clip of the bundle

You should now get Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby Atmos on the AVR. Make sure CEC is enabled on the AVR as well.
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post #16 of 345 Old 03-29-2016, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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(Cleanup of post 1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
I see that DD+ can be transferred over IEC 61937, which is SP/DIF protocol, and looking at the DD+ specs it does max out at a similar bandwidth as SP/DIF. So, I suppose it is possible that if the source and sink can negotiate support for DD+ then DD+ (i.e. E-AC-3; a compressed format that has a higher channel count (15) than DD (i.e. AC-3) at 5.1) could be sent.

I still wonder about the ability of the existing crop of receivers to support decoding DD+ over ARC. Of course, with this particular set, that is moot as the set itself can't send it.

That said, you're still wrong in your prior assumption that DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD could be transferred over ARC. It lacks the bandwidth and there are AACS concerns as these formats are not allowed to be transferred (in any lossless form, anyway) over an un-encrypted link (e.g. ARC). The only way these formats could be sent is re-encoded (I suppose to DD+ to lose as little as possible).
I never said anything about DTS-HD MA, only DTS-HD HR, which is DTS' equivalent of DD+ (192 kHz based, not 768 kHz like MAT/TrueHD and DTS-HD MA). Future HDMI revisions might add support for this, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
Moreover, DD+ can not entirely address @thomasfxlt concerns regarding Atmos, as that is an object model in meta-data which DD+ does not appear to carry. Best case, the TV renders all the objects into the 15 discrete channels supported by DD+, encodes to DD+, and the receiver then maps those discrete channels to your Atmos speaker configuration. This would fall short of the ideal, which would be to allow the receiver (which has knowledge of your particular speaker configuration) to render the object data in the stream. DD+ may be a better wrapper for the discrete channels of DTS:X (though even that supposedly now has object model support).
DD+ has full support for Atmos. The Dolby demo Blu-rays have a selection at the top of the menu to switch between TrueHD and DD+. While not lossless, it still sounds remarkably well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
Anyway, I'm done beating this off-topic horse. The net result is that ARC is not an ideal carrier in any way if audio fidelity is a concern. I'll also agree that this was a "short-sighted" decision by the HDMI committee, but eliminating an SP/DIF connection between the source and sink was the goal, and that goal was achieved in the quickest, easiest to implement, way -- make ARC equivalent to coax SP/DIF with HEC controls to tell the sink when data is being sent its way.
Putting it like this, then ARC is SPDIF plus additional bandwitdh plus automatic capability and connection negotiations.
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post #17 of 345 Old 03-29-2016, 04:43 PM
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Thanks for your testing, this is helpful info.
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post #18 of 345 Old 04-13-2016, 10:35 AM
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DD + and DD ++

Is Dolby Digital Plus (+) the same as Dolby Atmos and is the designation for Dobly Atmos DD ++ ?
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post #19 of 345 Old 04-13-2016, 10:41 AM
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Other methods to receive Dolby Atmos

I have a Samsung JS8500 4K and am getting a Yamaha YPS-5600 Dolby Atmos soundbar. Since using the apps such as Netflix or Vudu from the TV will not work for Atmos as they will not send this over ARC, are there streaming devises that would work. An an example I understand the Samsung K8500 4K disk player has the Netflix app and I assume Vudu so I could send Dolby Atmos from the player to the soundbar and send the video directly to the TV (it has two HDMI outs). I believe this would then give me Dolby Atmos.

Are you aware on any other streaming devises that would do this as well.
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post #20 of 345 Old 04-13-2016, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator1 View Post
Is Dolby Digital Plus (+) the same as Dolby Atmos and is the designation for Dobly Atmos DD ++ ?
Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) can carry channel-based audio with up to 7.1 channels, or object-based Atmos audio. If a DD+ stream with Atmos is sent to an older AVR that does not understand Atmos, it will see it as a 7.1 stream.

Atmos can also be carried in TrueHD, which is lossless, and features the same fallback to 7.1 on non-Atmos equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator1 View Post
I have a Samsung JS8500 4K and am getting a Yamaha YPS-5600 Dolby Atmos soundbar. Since using the apps such as Netflix or Vudu from the TV will not work for Atmos as they will not send this over ARC, are there streaming devises that would work. An an example I understand the Samsung K8500 4K disk player has the Netflix app and I assume Vudu so I could send Dolby Atmos from the player to the soundbar and send the video directly to the TV (it has two HDMI outs). I believe this would then give me Dolby Atmos.

Are you aware on any other streaming devises that would do this as well.
If you connect an external streaming device, then you would connect those to the HDMI inputs of the Yamaha. This way you are not using ARC, but instead get Atmos over the normal HDMI connection, in TrueHD.

Most streaming devices, and pretty much all Blu-ray players can send Atmos in TrueHD and DD+ over HDMI, without the need for ARC.

So, when you get the soundbar, you connect your cable box, blu-ray player, roku or whatever other devices you might have, to the 4 HDMI inputs of the Yamaha, then run one HDMI cable from the Yamaha's HDMI/ARC output to the HDMI/ARC input of your TV. To watch any of the external devices, you switch between them on the soundbar and leave the TV on the one and only HDMI input. When you watch any smart apps, or the OTA tuner, on your TV, the audio (plain stereo PCM or Dolby Digital up to 5.1, no Atmos) will be sent back to the Yamaha via ARC.

If you get the Samsung 4K player, you can connect the main HDMI output of that to the first HDMI input of the Yamaha, it supports 4K and HDCP 2.2. No need to do the separate video / audio workaround.
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post #21 of 345 Old 04-13-2016, 01:37 PM
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Hello,

So I have a small dilemma. I recently purchased a denon x7200wA for Dolby Atmos. I was planning on purchasing the new LG e6 or g6 primarily because it will support both HDR10 and dolby vision. The denon will not support Dolby vision pass through so I wanted to know if, hypothetically, another uhd player that supported both HDR and dv came out with 2 hdmi outs would i be able to use this to get the Dolby vision and Atmos or is there something else I'm overlooking.

Thanks for any help, through on a hypothetical question
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post #22 of 345 Old 04-13-2016, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, that should work, as intended, you are not overlooking anything.

However, unfortunately, the 2016 LGs don't seem to support DD+ over ARC, so you won't get Atmos from the TV's apps to your Denon.
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post #23 of 345 Old 04-14-2016, 04:04 AM
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Thanks a lot i appreciate the feedback
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post #24 of 345 Old 04-14-2016, 04:16 AM
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Does anyone know if the new Sony X930D / X940D UHDTV sets can stream DD+ over ARC? Say, from the inbuilt Netflix app? Or any other app that can stream DD+ or ATMOS?

Thanks.

Yamaha RX-A3060 7.1.4 Receiver [+Sony Power Amp for Rear Height] / Sony KD-65Z9D / JVC HD1 DILA Projector / 90" screen / OPPO UDP-203 UHD blu-ray / Apple TV 4K
Ascension Summoner 3-way Front Speakers / Ascension 3-way Centre Speaker / Peachtree D5 Surrounds / Yamaha NS-555 3-Way Rear Speakers / ERA D4 x 4 Height Speakers / Rythmik Audio F15HP Sub
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post #25 of 345 Old 04-16-2016, 12:02 AM
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Home Theatre shouldnt be this complicated

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkalel View Post
... As others have written... There actually isn't any sources that are outputting lossless sound anyway... So this is currently a moot point.

Sent from my S7 Edge
Uhhh... not really, my Samsung UBD-K8500 4k Blu-Ray player can stream lossless as well as my PC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by scarabaeus View Post
Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) can carry channel-based audio with up to 7.1 channels, or object-based Atmos audio. If a DD+ stream with Atmos is sent to an older AVR that does not understand Atmos, it will see it as a 7.1 stream.

Atmos can also be carried in TrueHD, which is lossless, and features the same fallback to 7.1 on non-Atmos equipment.

If you connect an external streaming device, then you would connect those to the HDMI inputs of the Yamaha. This way you are not using ARC, but instead get Atmos over the normal HDMI connection, in TrueHD.

Most streaming devices, and pretty much all Blu-ray players can send Atmos in TrueHD and DD+ over HDMI, without the need for ARC.

So, when you get the soundbar, you connect your cable box, blu-ray player, roku or whatever other devices you might have, to the 4 HDMI inputs of the Yamaha, then run one HDMI cable from the Yamaha's HDMI/ARC output to the HDMI/ARC input of your TV. To watch any of the external devices, you switch between them on the soundbar and leave the TV on the one and only HDMI input. When you watch any smart apps, or the OTA tuner, on your TV, the audio (plain stereo PCM or Dolby Digital up to 5.1, no Atmos) will be sent back to the Yamaha via ARC.

If you get the Samsung 4K player, you can connect the main HDMI output of that to the first HDMI input of the Yamaha, it supports 4K and HDCP 2.2. No need to do the separate video / audio workaround.
Came across your article a bit too late, Ive literally spent 40 hours over the last month or so trying to get 7.1 over ARC.

Here's my .02 cents that may help someone else from enduring the pain I went through, as well as a question or two I have.

1) A few posts in this thread were discussing what was possible bandwidth wise with ARC. (Other than what it already does, which is NOT A DAMN THING a Toslink SPDIF cable wont do) The article in the link below states that Dolby True-HD and DTS-HD can be sent over HDMI using ARC according to someone from the HDMI consortium, (for whatever that's worth)

hometheaterreview.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-arc-audio-return-channel

2) It sucks that nowhere in my TV documentation or my 4k Blu-Ray documentation does it mention that is you are using ARC that your audio will be limited to 5.1. . That sure would have been handy to have known before I drove myself crazy trying to get this all to work.

3) With my Samsung 4k player I originally had it connected to the HDMI port on my Samsung JS8600 but eventually realized it was only being fed 5.1 source material when using ARC. I guess I should have questioned why the 4k Blu-Ray player has 2 HDMI ports, but the manual never mentions WHY you would need 2 HDMI outputs other than the fact that if your AVR doesen't support UHD passthrough then you should use 2 HDMI cables from the Blu-Ray player, one to the AVR and the other to the TV. And yes, it probably is better to just use one cable from the Blu-Ray player to the AVR (as long as it supports passthrough) and you will end up using one less HDMI port on your TV but be aware if using both a Samsung TV and Samsung Blu-Ray player BD-Wise will no longer be able to be enabled in the Blu-Ray/TV menu options. (really don't see how its useful anyway but I guess someone might) One question I have is why in the blu-ray player audio setup does it let you choose either PCM, uncompressed bitstream, or DTS-Re-encoded or Dolby Digital Re-encoded. I understand the first 2 options, but what use would someone have for DTS re-encoded or Dolby Digital Re-encoded?

I admit I havent upgraded my home theater in over 10 years so im out of loop with the latest technology but in the past iv'e always taken the approach of keeping it simple and would connect all my devices to the AVR and then feed the TV with one source signal. This time, after reading both the AVR manual and the TV manual I made the biggest mistake of all, which is believing that this CEC crap and HDMI ARC technology would actually be useful. And my first instinct was to not use it and stick to my traditional methods of connections between the AVR and the TV but a few things in the manual made me rethink things and use CEC and ARC.

1) To be able to play xbox one games I had to set the TV's picture mode to "Game Mode" which meant I needed to provide the xbox one it's own input to the TV unless I wanted all my devices on the AVR to be watched in "Game Mode" on the TV since they all shared a single input.

2) I wanted to connect my PC to the TV and the manual stated that you need to set the input type to "PC" on the TV, thereby needing another separate HDMI input on the TV.

2) The Samsung manual mentioned that if you have a Samsung Blu-Ray player and a Samsung TV you should enable BD-Wise, which to quote them "When you connect a Samsung product and a Samsung TV with BD Wise to each other via HDMI, and BD Wise is on in both the product and TV, the product outputs video at the video resolution and frame rate of the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray Disc, or DVD disc". Well, call me crazy, but that sounds like I should connect them together, right????? Another good time for the manual to state that my audio may be limited to 5.1 since I will be using ARC for audio from the TV to the AVR. That sure would have been nice to know before I drove myself crazy trying to get this all to work.

If your a consumer that thinks logically, (which I assume most are) it's not unreasonable to think that if your being touted a "new technology" (eg, ARC) then its safe to assume it offers more than what the previous technology offered (eg Toslink SPIDIF) BUT YET IT DOESEN'T! And when you see movies available for purchase and buy one (eg, M-GO) to STREAM or DOWNLOAD to a USB storage device connected to your TV, you would think it's safe to assume that the audio stream the movie supports (eg, DTS-HD) will get to the AVR from your TV over ARC without being downgraded.(Or at the very least the TV would offer a HDMI port designated as passthrough for the audio to the AVR)

I guess what all these TV MFG's are really saying is "HEY CONSUMER, WE BUNDLED APPS INTO THE TV SOFTWARE SO YOU CAN ENJOY MULTI CHANNEL AUDIO FROM YOUR AVR OR SOUNDBAR WITH ARC TECHNOLOGY AND EVEN THOUGH YOUR STILL LIMITED TO 5.1 YOU HAVE ONE LESS CABLE TO DEAL WITH SO ITS ALL WORTH IT!!! WOOO HOOO!

What a bunch of crap
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Last edited by gbrandon; 04-16-2016 at 12:06 AM. Reason: duplicate text
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post #26 of 345 Old 04-16-2016, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrandon View Post
Uhhh... not really, my Samsung UBD-K8500 4k Blu-Ray player can stream lossless as well as my PC.
I think he was referring to OTT streaming services, aka Apps inside TV. Those do not currently provide any lossless audio options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrandon View Post
Came across your article a bit too late, Ive literally spent 40 hours over the last month or so trying to get 7.1 over ARC.

Here's my .02 cents that may help someone else from enduring the pain I went through, as well as a question or two I have.

1) A few posts in this thread were discussing what was possible bandwidth wise with ARC. (Other than what it already does, which is NOT A DAMN THING a Toslink SPDIF cable wont do) The article in the link below states that Dolby True-HD and DTS-HD can be sent over HDMI using ARC according to someone from the HDMI consortium, (for whatever that's worth)

http://hometheaterreview.com/everyth...return-channel
The statement there is:

"It doesn't currently support the passage of Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio, although a representative from the HDMI Forum told me that this support is possible and could find its way into a future HDMI version."

The keyword is "future". Maybe wait for what HDMI 2.1 will bring us?

As for the current ARC, let's do the math. Audio on ARC is transported as an IEC61937 stream (16 bit per sample / data word) inside an IEC60958 stream (32 bit per sample), with two "channels". The bit rate is therefore the sample rate times 64. For Stereo, DD and DTS, it's 48 kHz * 64 = approx. 3 MBit/s. For DD+, with a rate of 192 kHz, it's about 12.3 MBit/s. This jump from 3 to 12 MHz appears to be already too much for the ARC wire inside some HDMI cables. For TrueHD or DTS-HD MA, the rate is 768 kHz, resulting in nearly 50 MBit/s. HDMI specifies a cycle time of 8 nSec for the HEAC differential signal, that would be 125 MHz, which is needed for the 100 MBit Ethernet function, so that would theoretically be enough for TrueHD. But, so far I do not know of any devices that even attempt to do this (let alone implement Ethernet over HDMI), and another issue has to do with rights management. HDCP and other content protection require that uncompressed audio is forwarded with protection (HDCP) in place, and ARC does not support HDCP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrandon View Post
2) It sucks that nowhere in my TV documentation or my 4k Blu-Ray documentation does it mention that is you are using ARC that your audio will be limited to 5.1. . That sure would have been handy to have known before I drove myself crazy trying to get this all to work.
Yes, this is usually hidden very deep in the documentation, if even mentioned at all. Usually they imply this info by grouping Optical and ARC into one audio output category, and then state globally that it's limited to DD. This is unfortunately the norm right now on TVs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrandon View Post
3) With my Samsung 4k player I originally had it connected to the HDMI port on my Samsung JS8600 but eventually realized it was only being fed 5.1 source material when using ARC. I guess I should have questioned why the 4k Blu-Ray player has 2 HDMI ports, but the manual never mentions WHY you would need 2 HDMI outputs other than the fact that if your AVR doesen't support UHD passthrough then you should use 2 HDMI cables from the Blu-Ray player, one to the AVR and the other to the TV. And yes, it probably is better to just use one cable from the Blu-Ray player to the AVR (as long as it supports passthrough) and you will end up using one less HDMI port on your TV but be aware if using both a Samsung TV and Samsung Blu-Ray player BD-Wise will no longer be able to be enabled in the Blu-Ray/TV menu options. (really don't see how its useful anyway but I guess someone might) One question I have is why in the blu-ray player audio setup does it let you choose either PCM, uncompressed bitstream, or DTS-Re-encoded or Dolby Digital Re-encoded. I understand the first 2 options, but what use would someone have for DTS re-encoded or Dolby Digital Re-encoded?
I agree, neither of this makes much sense.

The second HDMI out for audio is a workaround for older AVRs. Most people keep their AVRs longer than any other of their equipment, and new features are often not supported. The same happened in the early days of 3D, there were also Blu-ray players with two outputs because most AVRs did not support 3D pass-trough. When you get a new AVR, you can simply connect your UHD player's main output to the AVR, and the AVR output to the TV, and everything should work as expected. I would suggest to wait until all the hubbub with HDR10 and DolbyVision has been settled, and AVRs that support both are available. So far the Samsung has problems with some AVRs that are supposed to supposed HDR10, and nobody knows about DV yet, because there are no source devices.

The re-encode options are so that the player can mix secondary audio or menu sounds with the main audio, and still light up the Dolby or DTS logo on the AVR. PCM would be just as good.

The only way this would be useful is to avoid another pitfall for ARC. If your Samsung TV would support DD+ over ARC, the Blu-ray player would send either TrueHD (which is on the disc, bitstream pass-through) or PCM (decoded), depending on the EDID of the TV. TrueHD would be too much for ARC, and PCM too little. A DD+ re-encode of the TrueHD 7.1 audio would allow the TV to pass it trough ARC to the AVR. As you can tell from how convulted this becomes, ARC is really best for audio from the TV itself, and not so much for audio received from other HDMI inputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrandon View Post
I admit I havent upgraded my home theater in over 10 years so im out of loop with the latest technology but in the past iv'e always taken the approach of keeping it simple and would connect all my devices to the AVR and then feed the TV with one source signal. This time, after reading both the AVR manual and the TV manual I made the biggest mistake of all, which is believing that this CEC crap and HDMI ARC technology would actually be useful. And my first instinct was to not use it and stick to my traditional methods of connections between the AVR and the TV but a few things in the manual made me rethink things and use CEC and ARC.

1) To be able to play xbox one games I had to set the TV's picture mode to "Game Mode" which meant I needed to provide the xbox one it's own input to the TV unless I wanted all my devices on the AVR to be watched in "Game Mode" on the TV since they all shared a single input.

2) I wanted to connect my PC to the TV and the manual stated that you need to set the input type to "PC" on the TV, thereby needing another separate HDMI input on the TV.

2) The Samsung manual mentioned that if you have a Samsung Blu-Ray player and a Samsung TV you should enable BD-Wise, which to quote them "When you connect a Samsung product and a Samsung TV with BD Wise to each other via HDMI, and BD Wise is on in both the product and TV, the product outputs video at the video resolution and frame rate of the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray Disc, or DVD disc". Well, call me crazy, but that sounds like I should connect them together, right????? Another good time for the manual to state that my audio may be limited to 5.1 since I will be using ARC for audio from the TV to the AVR. That sure would have been nice to know before I drove myself crazy trying to get this all to work.

If your a consumer that thinks logically, (which I assume most are) it's not unreasonable to think that if your being touted a "new technology" (eg, ARC) then its safe to assume it offers more than what the previous technology offered (eg Toslink SPIDIF) BUT YET IT DOESEN'T! And when you see movies available for purchase and buy one (eg, M-GO) to STREAM or DOWNLOAD to a USB storage device connected to your TV, you would think it's safe to assume that the audio stream the movie supports (eg, DTS-HD) will get to the AVR from your TV over ARC without being downgraded.(Or at the very least the TV would offer a HDMI port designated as passthrough for the audio to the AVR)

I guess what all these TV MFG's are really saying is "HEY CONSUMER, WE BUNDLED APPS INTO THE TV SOFTWARE SO YOU CAN ENJOY MULTI CHANNEL AUDIO FROM YOUR AVR OR SOUNDBAR WITH ARC TECHNOLOGY AND EVEN THOUGH YOUR STILL LIMITED TO 5.1 YOU HAVE ONE LESS CABLE TO DEAL WITH SO ITS ALL WORTH IT!!! WOOO HOOO!

What a bunch of crap
I agree. Two conceptions in the industry have lead to this debacle:
1) TV makers thought the main (and only) advantage of ARC was that it eliminated one extra cable (SPDIF / TOSLink from the TV to the AVR).
2) Us audio enthusiasts wanting 7.1 or better are considered a "niche" and are only reluctantly being catered to.
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post #27 of 345 Old 04-25-2016, 03:16 PM
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I have received Atmos signal from the Cast channel of the new P-series to a Pioneer VSX-90(FW ver. 1-283-009-507-193). I was playing Mad Max from VUDU to observe the DolbyVision and the DD+ audio. I also received Atmos streaming Mad Max from VUDU from the Roku 4. The Roku 4 also supports 4K 60 with 10 bit color in the interface. However, I did not receive DolbyVision from Marco Polo using the Roku 4, only from the Netflix app on the P-series tablet.
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post #28 of 345 Old 04-25-2016, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincois View Post
I have received Atmos signal from the Cast channel of the new P-series to a Pioneer VSX-90(FW ver. 1-283-009-507-193). I was playing Mad Max from VUDU to observe the DolbyVision and the DD+ audio. I also received Atmos streaming Mad Max from VUDU from the Roku 4. The Roku 4 also supports 4K 60 with 10 bit color in the interface. However, I did not receive DolbyVision from Marco Polo using the Roku 4, only from the Netflix app on the P-series tablet.
Now if the Roku 4 would also support HDR which it does not, then you would be able to get HRD and Atmos from one streaming unit. Currently I don't think there is a streaming devise available that streams HDR and Dolby Atmos. We need one that would handle streaming for Dolby Atmos; HDR 10 and Dolby Vision.
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post #29 of 345 Old 04-25-2016, 08:30 PM
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Now if the Roku 4 would also support HDR which it does not, then you would be able to get HRD and Atmos from one streaming unit. Currently I don't think there is a streaming devise available that streams HDR and Dolby Atmos. We need one that would handle streaming for Dolby Atmos; HDR 10 and Dolby Vision.
I was getting HDR and Atmos from the VUDU app from Vizio's tablet. Then today for some reason with that app I am not getting Atmos. Looks like they updated that app and may have broke receiving Atmos. But yes, I wish the Ruku would support HDR in the content from the apps.
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post #30 of 345 Old 04-26-2016, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I have received Atmos signal from the Cast channel of the new P-series to a Pioneer VSX-90
Thanks, added the Pioneer to the list.
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