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Getting 5.1 channel separation in any other format other than Blu Ray

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Question : When I play my Blu-Ray movies, I get terrific channel separation - voices are all front middle, effects are all behind me, music is front and wide. But when I play a movie through any other device (audio piping through optical cable) I always get a muddy mix of all audio coming through all channels. It's terrible.

Just last night I was watching Wrath of the Titans (source Comcast On Demand) and I've got whatshisname from Avatar talking from behind me and it's true on literally anything I watch that's not sourced from the Blu Ray player (Sony HTIB). The audio goes from HDMI from Comcast to my TV and then optical from TV to HTIB. LG claims that they pass through 5.1 over the optical pass through. I'm starting to have my doubts.

I've also got a bunch of movies on an NAS connected through ethernet. Again, I play the movie and the mix is muddy. Again, ethernet into the TV, optical out to the HTIB.

The HTIB will always display "LPCM" briefly when the audio starts.

Suggestions? (Please don't say spend $10,000 to get a better system smile.gif )
post #2 of 13
I would first get in to the audio menu on the TV then under digital audio out select dolby digital.
post #3 of 13
It sounds like you're only getting 2.0 through your optical cable from your tv. As already suggested, check the audio settings in your cable box and in your television. It should be set to Dolby Digital. With most DVR cable boxes if it's set to PCM you are getting 2.0 audio. MOST TELEVISIONS WILL NOT PASS DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 TO THEIR AUDIO OUT PORTS EXCEPT FROM OVER THE AIR ANTENNA TRANSMISSION. I would suggest wiring your set up different. I see no need to run the optical from the cable box, then to the TV, then to your AVR. You are connected from the cable box to the TV with HDMI. That already gives you audio and video without needing the theater speakers if you don't want them on. That's how I also have my theater wired. Here is the solution to your problem. Run the optical cable from the cable box to the HTIB. This will allow you to receive Dolby Digital 5.1 from the cable box. Remember to turn the volume off on your TV when you use surround sound. Or you will hear voice delay echo problems between the surround speakers and the TV speakers if you don't turn the TV volume off.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post

It sounds like you're only getting 2.0 through your optical cable from your tv....
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post

...I always get a muddy mix of all audio coming through all channels....

...and also sounds like you may have your receiver set to 5-Channel Stereo mode.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post


...Suggestions? (Please don't say spend $10,000 to get a better system smile.gif )

You could probably get by with only spending $9,998.biggrin.gif
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
The tv does not support Dolby digital. Bummer.

Which is weird because lg says they pass 5.1 through lpcm. Clearly not.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post

The tv does not support Dolby digital. Bummer.

Which is weird because lg says they pass 5.1 through lpcm. Clearly not.
This is correct. LPCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation) over S/PDIF (optical) is 2 channel only and NOT 5.1. 5.1 is only available by Dolby Digital or DTS (proprietary packet formats) over S/PDIF. Not many TV's pass DD or DTS from HDMI to S/PDF. Most only pass LPCM.


Even if your TV will pass DD or DTS then you must select one of them for the output from the BD player. If you select 5.1 LPCM, TrueHD or DTS MA on your BD to output through the HDMI to your TV, then there is no way to send that back over S/PDIF.
Edited by William - 6/10/13 at 4:45pm
post #7 of 13
You should connect your devices directly to the HTIB rather than using your TV as a hub. The usual setup is video and audio from each device to the receiver and then a single video connection from the AVR to the TV. The receiver processes the sound and passes the video through to the display. If you set up your system that way, you'll get discrete 5.1 from many more sources than you are getting now.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

You should connect your devices directly to the HTIB rather than using your TV as a hub. The usual setup is video and audio from each device to the receiver and then a single video connection from the AVR to the TV. The receiver processes the sound and passes the video through to the display. If you set up your system that way, you'll get discrete 5.1 from many more sources than you are getting now.

Agree but I have at least two digital outs and one in on the HTIB. I bought an optical splitter but you have to flip it manually and it's sort of sucky.
post #9 of 13
What HTIB do you have?
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

What HTIB do you have?

It's the Sony all in one with wireless rear speakers... 770???

Hard to remember.
post #11 of 13
If you have the BDV-E770W, there are two digital audio inputs, one optical and one coax. If neither device has a coax output, get an optical-coax converter from a place like monoprice.com. If you have more than two external devices, then the switch will be needed.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

If you have the BDV-E770W, there are two digital audio inputs, one optical and one coax. If neither device has a coax output, get an optical-coax converter from a place like monoprice.com. If you have more than two external devices, then the switch will be needed.

Cable box is most frequent. Also have Xbox and Tv is dlna client. Oh and this is rich - the tv only has optical out but it only outputs stereo. Ugh.

I should just optical from xfinity to 770 and be done with it.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post

. Oh and this is rich - the tv only has optical out but it only outputs stereo. Ugh.

Yeah, they only intend on getting 5.1 from the TV's internal tuner. There are some TVs that do pass along 5.1 from HDMI connected sources, but obviously buying a new TV is like, the very last option, correct? smile.gif

You could look at getting an optical switch with a remote, such as this:

http://www.amazon.com/SW200-Composite-Selector-Compatible-Satellite/sim/B00062NHTS/2

That way you keep your HTIB (if you want) and get everything to play nice.
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