Problems with Digital to Analogue Stereo Audio Converter connecting Sky+HD to Amp - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-03-2012, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi

I got Sky+HD installed this weekend and was looking forward to connecting it to my Home Cinema System for 5.1 surround. My Home cinema is a fair bit older, doesn't accept hdmi or optical input but still produces a good sound so I'm reluctant to replace unnecessarily. It is a Phillips HTS3500S http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-HTS3500S-Multichannel-Cinema-playback/dp/B00096J3GW/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Knowing this I read up on forums that you can use a Digital to analogue converter to hook them up, use an optical lead to output from the Sky box, into the converter, then output using Coaxial cables (Red and White) into the Audio in on the Amp to listen to the Sky sound via Aux. I've had the converter bought in advance and only just got the chance to try it this weekend. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0038M3ID8/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

Sadly the sound doesn't work correctly at all. The Sound doesn't output at all with the Sky box set to output through the optical lead in 'Dolby Digital', though when it's set to 'Normal' it does output sound but very quietly. The fact that sound comes through at all leads me to believe that the optical lead works (the red LED shines through as it should). When connected from the Sky box directly to the Amp the Coaxial leads pumps sound into the Amp but only simulated 5.1 not true Surround.

Does anyone have any ideas how to correct this? I'm beginning to think that the converter is faulty and may need correcting but I could do with some input on how to solve this. I've never used optical cables before but they only fit one way and if sound was travelling into the system (when set to 'normal') that would lead me to believe that I'd connected everything correctly.

Any help/advice would be gratefully received!
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-03-2012, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcCass View Post

Hi

I got Sky+HD installed this weekend and was looking forward to connecting it to my Home Cinema System for 5.1 surround. My Home cinema is a fair bit older, doesn't accept hdmi or optical input but still produces a good sound so I'm reluctant to replace unnecessarily. It is a Phillips HTS3500S http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-HTS3500S-Multichannel-Cinema-playback/dp/B00096J3GW/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Knowing this I read up on forums that you can use a Digital to analogue converter to hook them up, use an optical lead to output from the Sky box, into the converter, then output using Coaxial cables (Red and White) into the Audio in on the Amp to listen to the Sky sound via Aux. I've had the converter bought in advance and only just got the chance to try it this weekend. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0038M3ID8/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

Sadly the sound doesn't work correctly at all. The Sound doesn't output at all with the Sky box set to output through the optical lead in 'Dolby Digital',

Bzzzt! Bzzzt! If you attach a Dolby Digital output to the input of a Stereo DAC you will likely as not either get noise or nothing.


If you can set the unfortunately unidentified Sky Box (you like to make mysteries, we don't like to solve made-up mysteries) to PCM, stereo or something like that, there's a chance that it will work.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-03-2012, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey

Sorry if I was a bit unclear on the specs of the Sky box. Here are the connection specs http://help.sky.com/tv/set-up-your-box/set-up-your-skyhd-box

I was under the impression that the DAC would take the Dolby input and just change it into an analogue signal for the amp to understand. The feedback on the Amazon site all indicates that the Sky+HD box should be set to Dolby. That was partly what I found so confusing.

Thanks for any feedback/ advice. All very appreciated.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-03-2012, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcCass View Post

Hey

Sorry if I was a bit unclear on the specs of the Sky box. Here are the connection specs http://help.sky.com/tv/set-up-your-box/set-up-your-skyhd-box

I was under the impression that the DAC would take the Dolby input and just change it into an analogue signal for the amp to understand. The feedback on the Amazon site all indicates that the Sky+HD box should be set to Dolby. That was partly what I found so confusing.

Thanks for any feedback/ advice. All very appreciated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcCass View Post

Hey

Sorry if I was a bit unclear on the specs of the Sky box. Here are the connection specs http://help.sky.com/tv/set-up-your-box/set-up-your-skyhd-box

I was under the impression that the DAC would take the Dolby input and just change it into an analogue signal for the amp to understand.

A straight stereo DAC will not do that.

If you want to handle a Dolby Digital signal you usually need an AVR or a surround processor.
Quote:
The feedback on the Amazon site all indicates that the Sky+HD box should be set to Dolby. That was partly what I found so confusing.

Thanks for any feedback/ advice. All very appreciated.

My feedback is that with vacuous documentation like that, Sky really wants to have a big queue of calls on their help line.

This is the best info I found:

http://helpforum.sky.com/t5/Sky-Programming-Channels/How-to-get-the-most-from-your-TV-Guide/ta-p/731466

"
Programme Information

Using your TV Guide you can access a full synopsis for any programme listed including, episode details, programme information, additional options i.e. subtitles, audio description, dolby digital sound at the touch of a button.

Using your Remote Control :

1. Highlight the required programme within the TV Guide
2. Press the i button on your remote control for information
3. A pop-up box with the programme synopsis and additional information will be displayed.
"

That unfortunately is as good as it gets.

In can you haven't figured it out, what you need to do next is to try all the options that are with the Dolby setting and see what works best.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-03-2012, 08:42 AM
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From the bit of googling I did, you are dealing with the idiosyncrasies of the Sky HD box. I am assuming you have hooked it up to your TV using HDMI. If so, the sky box negotiates the number of channels and correctly arrives at two channels stereo. It then proceeds to set its optical output to 2 channels just the same! This is the case even if the original sound track is 5.1. This is why you got sound even though as Arny said, you weren't supposed to since that DAC doesn't support Dolby Digial.

The reason the levels are so low is bug in the Sky box just the same. If it has an internal volume control, set it to max output to help but seems like that is just the nature of the beast.

Here is a short thread with folks talking about both: http://helpforum.sky.com/t5/Sky-HD-SkyHD-Sky-3D/Digital-Optical-Audio-cable-to-Sky-box-or-TV/td-p/423171

You have two options:

1. Use analog *video* output from sky to your TV. The optical output will then be 5.1. You will then need to covert the optical to toslink using a device that supports dolby digital. Your processor does have digital audio in but it is coax. Here is an example device in your neck of the woods that my search popped up: http://www.amazon.co.uk/POF-830-Optical---Coaxial-Converter-Optical/dp/B0015LNV2M/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1354552398&sr=1-2

2. Get an AVR and route the HDMI connection through it.

Of course Internet information may be wrong so proceed at your own risk smile.gif.

Amir
Founder, Madrona Digital
"Insist on Quality Engineering"

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post #6 of 6 Old 12-05-2012, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. It really was helpful, Clearly I've bought the wrong item from Amazon. I've returned it and have this beast winging it's way to me as we speak:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006RG2BUS/ref=pe_217191_31005151_3p_dp_1


Hopefully should do the trick
smile.gif
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