no surround for blu-ray main movie on 5.1 receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-09-2012, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Technics SA-DX750 receiver. It's only capable of playing Dolby Digital and has no DTS decoder built in. No problem playing DVDs in 5.1 surround. Also plays the previews on Blu-ray discs in 5.1 surround. However, when the main movie plays, I lose all sound. I have tried two new Blu-ray players, a Toshiba and a Sony, with the same result.

I did manage to get sound from the Blu-ray movie when I enabled PCM down-sampling for DTS signals on the Blu-ray players. The sound came out as Dolby-Pro Logic on my receiver.

Using a digital audio coax connection from Blu-ray to receiver, and have made sure that Dolby Digital is enabled in the Blu-ray audio settings for the player and the movie. I don't believe either of the player have built in decoders.

Any ideas? Is my receiver just not decoding the new Dolby formats found on Blu-rays (Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD)?
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-09-2012, 09:29 PM
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You already answered your own question, it sounds like. That receiver is not capable of playing the higher rez codecs like True HD and DTS Master Audio. Does your bluray player have a set of 5.1 analog outs? If so, you could just upgrade your receiver to one that has a 5.1 multichannel analog input. You'd have the player doing the decoding and send the signal via the analog 5.1 connections. Otherwise you'll need to upgrade to a new HDMI receiver that supports those formats.

And depending on what you have for speakers, it's usually worth it to have access to the high rez tracks. The lossless soundtracks sound very impressive.
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-09-2012, 10:30 PM
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Most Blu-rays have dts-MA tracks, which are output as regular DTS over optical and coax when the player is set to bitstream. Since your receiver lacks a DTS decoder, you get no sound with that setup.

If you set the player to decode the track and send PCM, you'll get usable audio. But, it will only be stereo since optical and coax do not support multichannel PCM. Your best bet (if you don't get a new AVR) is to set the player to surround encoding when downmixing to stereo and then using ProLogic decodiing the AVR. The player will fold a real center channel and a mono surround channel into the stereo signal and ProLogic will extract them back out. You get halfway decent surround that way.

You're fine with BDs that have Dolby tracks since the player will send DD 5.1 over optical when you play a TrueHD track.
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Neither of my players has analog outputs, they are both basic sub $100 players with only the digital coax and HDMI outputs.

It sounds as if I may have to upgrade my receiver...too bad!! Really happy with my 5.1, was just interested in Blu-ray for the picture quality. Some may say why not go all the way for the true experience, but now I'm looking at a 300-500 dollar upgrade rather than just $89- $100. To the untrained ear, such as mine, the difference in sound quality from a 5.1 system to the TrueHD is really not important.

BIslander, are you saying if I had a Blu-ray player with an optical output to my receiver the TrueHD would come out as 5.1? I thought that coax and optical accomplished the same result.

Thanks for your replies/help!
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 06:21 AM
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^^
No. Optical and coax use the same SPDIF protocol and both have the same limitations. I am saying you are fine with Dolby sources, but not DTS. Unfortunately, most Blu-rays have DTS tracks. You might consider a PS3. I believe it can be set to re-encode DTS sources for output as DD 5.1. It's one of the few players with that feature. But, you'd still be looking at a fairly pricey upgrade.
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 07:10 AM
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I would look at getting an entry-level (maybe even used) receiver in your case. If you're located in the US, you should be able to find one for less then $200 quite easily.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-11-2012, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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As Summa stated, I suppose I answered my own question. Have confirmed Blu-ray discs do not contain stand-alone Dolby Digital soundtracks in English, they all use the Dolby TrueHD or Digital Plus format, or for DTS they use the Master Audio format. None of these formats are backwards compatible with older 5.1 Dolby Digital receivers. You may downsample a DTS signal from the player to your Dolby receiver, but it will come out as Pro-Logic.

I won't be upgrading my receiver anytime soon, so much for Blu-rays. Keeping the Blu-ray player as it plays DVD's just fine, and I get my 5.1 surround.

Maybe they'll come out with some sort of sub-100 dollar Dolby converter where you can take a TrueHD signal and convert it to plain Dolby Digital. Have no idea if that's possible, though.
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-11-2012, 08:58 AM
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IMO a new receiver would be well worth it. Not only for the new HD audio formats but also for the HDMI and other video switching. Most receivers up convert and allow you to use a variety of input video cables and output to the TV via HDMI.

I went from 3 sets of component video cables and 2 fiber optic cables and 2 sets of rca cables (for zone 2) and now everything is connected via 3 HDMI cables and done.

Shawn
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-11-2012, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldKlaw View Post

As Summa stated, I suppose I answered my own question. Have confirmed Blu-ray discs do not contain stand-alone Dolby Digital soundtracks in English, they all use the Dolby TrueHD or Digital Plus format, or for DTS they use the Master Audio format. None of these formats are backwards compatible with older 5.1 Dolby Digital receivers. You may downsample a DTS signal from the player to your Dolby receiver, but it will come out as Pro-Logic.

I won't be upgrading my receiver anytime soon, so much for Blu-rays. Keeping the Blu-ray player as it plays DVD's just fine, and I get my 5.1 surround.

Maybe they'll come out with some sort of sub-100 dollar Dolby converter where you can take a TrueHD signal and convert it to plain Dolby Digital. Have no idea if that's possible, though.

AFAIK, every TrueHD track has (either embedded or alongside, I forget) a non-hd track. Otherwise, I couldn't get surround via SPDIF from my player, but I can. Semi-similarly, the DTS lossless system is an extension on top of a lossy DTS encode, so the lossy version is there and would be transferred via SPDIF, or via HDMI if the handshake told the player the receiving unit could not handle the lossless encode. Seems to me you should be fine with any of the dolby encodes on BD, but if your receiver cannot decode any DTS, you're stuck there. SO if you don't want to upgrade something, you only need to avoid DTS BDs AFAIK.
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-11-2012, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldKlaw View Post

Maybe they'll come out with some sort of sub-100 dollar Dolby converter where you can take a TrueHD signal and convert it to plain Dolby Digital. Have no idea if that's possible, though.

GoldKlaw - It's been explained several times in this thread - BDs with TrueHD are no problem as backwards compatibility assures that a DD 5.1 version will be fed over S/PDIF connections. The same would be true of discs with DD+ tracks, except that there aren't any DD+ releases on BD.

Your problem is a very old AVR that can't decode DTS, which is a pretty big issue given that the vast majority of BDs only have DTS tracks. You have three choices:

(1) Get a new AVR.

(2) Get a player that can handle your AVR's lack of DTS decoding. That would be a player with multichannel analog outputs, provided your AVR has matching MCH inputs. Or, get a PS3 that can convert DTS to DD 5.1.

(3) Set the player to output DTS tracks as PCM, not bitstream, using surround encoding when downmixing to stereo. Then, apply ProLogic in your receiver. You get surprisingly good surround that way.

The first two options involve some expense. The third is free.
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-11-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback.

Pro Logic doesn't make use of of my rear surround speakers, so I'm not satisfied going that route.

Am I to understand that my old DD A/V receiver SHOULD be able to take a regular DD signal from a Blu-ray TrueHD or DD Plus track, as long as the Blu-ray disc supplies those formats? If thats the case, then I go back to my original problem, where when I select the DD soundtrack on a disc, I get no sound whatsoever. Connection being used is from the player to receiver is SPDIF. Does the actual Blu-ray player need a built in decoder for this to happen?
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-11-2012, 07:07 PM
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If you play a TrueHD track and set the player output to bitstream, the player will send DD 5.1 instead. The software makes sure that happens. There's no player decoding involved.

If you aren't getting sound, you may have a player or receiver setup problem. Or, some older AVRs cannot handle the higher bitrate used on BDs. Perhaps that's the case with yours.
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-11-2012, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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BIslander, I think you hit it. My receiver can't process signals above 48Khz (although that limitation is only specified for PCM downsampling, not DD).

Funny I didn't see an option for "bitstreaming" in my player's menu (Sony). I'll have to double-check. Won't matter anyhow, if my receiver can't speak the language.
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-11-2012, 10:31 PM
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48kHz is the sampling rate, not the bitrate. Nearly all BDs are 48kHz. The bitrate measures the amount of data being sent. DD 5.1 runs at 640 kbps on Blu-ray and 448 kbps, or less, on DVD. Some older receivers can't handle the 640k rate.

Sony players have a digital audio setting where bitstream = Dolby Digital and DTS. The other option for those settings is PCM, which means the player decodes the track instead of sending it to the AVR for decoding.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-12-2012, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Got it, thanks for clarifying, BIslander. Finally got my DD 5.1 surround off two Blu-rays I tested, Super 8 and Passchendaele. Issue wasn't sampling or bitrates, and I was wrong about TrueHD not being backwards compatible. As you and JHAz pointed out, Blu-rays containing TrueHD will be processed fine by my Dolby Digital 5.1 system. I'm sol for any BD's that have only DTS audio soundtracks (yes I know I can downsample those), but for now, Daddy's happy again! Now to watch my first Blu-ray, with full audio, Passchendaele.

Thanks for all the help - gave me the drive to figure this out and not give up!
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post #16 of 18 Old 04-10-2012, 09:28 AM
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Sorry to revive an old thread but I ran into the OP problem last night while watching Super 8 on Blu-ray. I got surround sound, however, all of the dialog came out of the R & L front speakers. Nothing came out of the center speaker. During the menu, the sound would come out of the center. Also, the other tracks available in DD 5.1 were in different languages. I played those to test and center speaker had dialog.

So what is the fix for this? Didn't see what the OP did to fix his issue. Would prefer not to have to update my receiver if not needed as I'm not an audiophile by any means

I have a Yamaha HTR-6050 BTW.
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-25-2013, 06:26 PM
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Same as hank 3 here, for the most part.I have HDMI to TV, then Coax from TV to Yamaha HTR-6030. Is the TV the likely problem? Or is it a passthrough, relying on the receiver for decoding?
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post #18 of 18 Old 11-25-2013, 06:37 PM
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Most TVs only pass stereo from external devices. Try connecting the device to the AVR and the AVR to the TV.
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