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Optical Audio problems, center channel no sound?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Optical Audio Problem - No Center Channel sound?

I just noticed this issue today, but I don't know that anything has changed.

My Xbox 360 is hooked up to a Pioneer VSX-815 via Optical. The Xbox 360 is set to DD w/WMA, but I have tried just DD 5.1 as well.

I have sound on all channels except the center channel. There is simply no sound on the center channel.

If I switch to the FM radio input or my HD-DVD player, there is sound on the center channel. If I move the 360 Optical to another optical input on the receiver, there is no change.

Anyone else having similar problems?
post #2 of 21
did you check and make sure the both optical and 360 cables are seated properly in their slots/and or not dirty?

sorry for the basic question, i had a similar audio issue and my 360 cable was loose.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I checked, but I will check again.
post #4 of 21
What game were you playing when you observed this? I don't have them, but I'm pretty sure that both CoD2 and CoD3 are known to not use the center channel.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
I tried:

1. Guitar Hero 2
2. Halo 2
3. South Park episodes from the Video Marketplace
4. An audio CD

With all of the above, the center channel was dead. I could not find anything on the 360 that /would/ play sound via the center channel.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macros73 View Post

I tried:

1. Guitar Hero 2

I'll bet it's something on your receiver... probably a setting or something. When I play Guitar Hero 2 via Dolby Digital, all the guitar "bum notes" come directly through the center.
post #7 of 21
A shot in the dark here:

For some reason is your receiver set to run the optical input in "Phantom center" mode? I know in the "old days" some receivers had that option for people that didn't own a center channel.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
It almost sounds like the center channel is coming out the back channel, thinking more about it. I have a 7.1 setup. Like I said, functions normally with other inputs. But I do get sound on the rear speakers. Just not the center.

I'll check for a phantom center setting.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macros73 View Post

Optical Audio Problem - No Center Channel sound?

I just noticed this issue today, but I don't know that anything has changed.

My Xbox 360 is hooked up to a Pioneer VSX-815 via Optical. The Xbox 360 is set to DD w/WMA, but I have tried just DD 5.1 as well.

I have sound on all channels except the center channel. There is simply no sound on the center channel.

If I switch to the FM radio input or my HD-DVD player, there is sound on the center channel. If I move the 360 Optical to another optical input on the receiver, there is no change.

Anyone else having similar problems?

On my Onkyo receiver, I accidentally pressed a speaker button and lost sound on my center speaker. If my receiver is set to anything besides "Speaker A" (Speaker B or Speaker A+B), I lose surround sound capabilities. It could be that you have an incorrect setting for the channel that your Xbox 360 is connected to.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hmm. I played NHL 07 last night. I heard announcer's comments via the center channel.

Can someone pop in Halo 2 and tell me if they have sound from center?
post #11 of 21
I have Halo 2. Sounds do come through the center. The best way to check is to throw a grenade directly in front of you. The explosion will come out of the center channel.
post #12 of 21
Its wierd I have bee struggling with this as well.

I have a denon AVR-2807 and for a while I was running 5.1, I then went out and bought two speakers to use as back surrounds.

I noticed in playing Halo 3, that when I am using PLIIx it seems as though the only sound coming through my center is dialogue (the idiot 10 year olds making wierd sounds in the lobby for example, or the characters talking in Single player), but in game it seems as though the gun, grenade, and explosions sounds have been incorporated into my left and right channels....very annoying/confusing...
post #13 of 21
In RockBand's Dolby Digital mode, there's perfect 5.1 surround.

Sometimes the vocals or bass guitar is isolated in the center channel... it's cool to put an ear to the speaker and hear just what that vocalist or player is doing.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stea1thv View Post


I noticed in playing Halo 3, that when I am using PLIIx it seems as though the only sound coming through my center is dialogue (the idiot 10 year olds making wierd sounds in the lobby for example, or the characters talking in Single player), but in game it seems as though the gun, grenade, and explosions sounds have been incorporated into my left and right channels....very annoying/confusing...

You can thank Bungie for that one. Those geniuses thought removing the center channel for anything but dialog was a bright idea. Hence the terrible sound you're experiencing.

That one at least, is a game problem not receiver problem.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirakaski View Post

Refer to the OP. This is not a game problem we are talking about. It seems to be a hardware problem.

Wasn't talking to you bud, I was responding to stealth's post, hence the quote.
post #16 of 21
I have GHIII and nothing comes out of my center channel. Using 5.1 dd with optical cable. It just depends on the games. Like COD4 comes out on all speakers.
post #17 of 21
Different games use different methods of mixing. Some games don't use the center channel, some do. It depends on the game and what audio engine the developers used for steering and effects. The Guitar Hero games play the music through the left and right for a very good reason (see below).

I can answer the question as to why audio CDs, stereo vids from marketplace, etc. don't use the center channel: To make it so the bitstream can remain 5.1 at all times, stereo sources are mixed into the left and right channels ONLY in the 5.1 bitstream. This is done in the hardware mixer so other things like system sounds, custom soundtracks, etc. can be properly handled and mixed in realtime for output. This is why you can't use any kind of post-processing (such as DPL-II or DTS:Neo-6) when playing stereo CDs on the 360 UNLESS you change output to stereo instead of 5.1 first.

The only way you could have center and surround audio with stereo material with output set to 5.1 would be for the 360 itself to apply post-processing, which would mean it would have to process stereo to DPL-II, then encode the result to a 5.1 bitstream. There's no dedicated hardware in the 360 to perform stereo to DPL-II conversion before encoding to 5.1.

So to the OP, your system is likely working as intended. You should, however, get sound from the center channel with certain games and definitely when playing DVDs or marketplace vids with 5.1 audio. In those cases, the 5.1 info is properly placed in the respective channels by the hardware mixer for output to the optical port.

One thing I should mention: You should still get phantom imaging near center if your left and right speakers are well calibrated and placed, just as you would with a stereo-only rig. Sounds equal between left and right should appear to emanate from in between the speakers unless you have issues that put the two speakers out of phase with each other. For 360 games that only use 4-channel steering (as Halo 3 does), you should still get placement of sounds equally between left and right that should still phantom image to center fairly well.
post #18 of 21
Oh no...now it looks like I will have a controller in hand and ear to the center to see if I have sound.....
post #19 of 21
This is a hardware mixer problem. SFX that should be in the center channel (any of the sounds made when you cycle through the dashboard, any sounds cycling through game menus, game sounds like guns etc) get mixed in to the L/R channels at an extremely low volume. You can't hear your gun AT All on Halo 3 SP playing a reference levels. THIS IS NOT A GAME PROBLEM. I guess I will have to post something on You Tube so everyone can see what we are talking about here. I'll borrow my brothers system and hook it up the exact same way to compare.
post #20 of 21
I have the same problem. I have one of the newer Xbox 360 premium models with HDMI. I'm using the official HDMI cable/ AV dongle set. It worked fine until yesterday. Now when I play games I'm not getting anything from the center channel. Sounds that should be in the center channel are coming from the left and right fronts. Only games and the dashboard are effected. DVD 5.1 works fine. And if set the output to digital sterio, the prologic on my Logitech z-680 has no trouble using the center channel. So its definately an Xbox problem and not the speaker or wire or reciever.

Heres the thing. I would like to figure out if the problem is with the xbox itself or the AV dongle thing. Because I'd rather not go through the trouble of getting another Xbox replaced if the problem is with the attachment and not the actual console. Conversely I don't want to waste money on a new hdmi cable set if thats not where the problem lies.

So what we need is for everyone with this problem to be more specific about which version of the Xbox 360 they have, what cables they're using, that sort of thing. Maybe then we can find a pattern, figure out where the problem lies.
post #21 of 21
COD4 uses surround expertly so if you have it, jump into a private match on the map Backlot. Go to the tank thats on fire and spin around. If you cant hear the fire when itsin front of you, you have problems.
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