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post #1 of 10 Old 08-17-2015, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Exclamation More XBO surround issues...

I'm having some weird issues related to getting surround sound from my Xbox One's optical out.

I have the audio settings as: HDMI audio - uncompressed stereo (HDMI connected straight to TV), Optical out - Bitstream (goes to 5.1 surround AVR), Bitstream format - Dolby Digital

My first problem is that there is almost no sound in the surround channels. I have my surround system calibrated to equal levels all around (tested w/ separate Blu-ray player and internal test tones). I've tried a handful of XBO games (Witcher 3, ACIV: Black Flag, AC: Unity, Batman: Arkham Knight), and none of them have much of anything going on in the surround channels beyond basic ambient sounds, and even those are at very low volume. This is odd, as ACIV: BF had amazing surround when I played it on my 360. I remember being able to hear the game dialog circle around me as I rotated the camera on 360. On XBO, dialog just dies whenever a character isn't in the L/C/R channels.

It's as if the XBO is outputting upsampled 2-channel 'virtual' surround as a DD 5.1 signal - but why on earth would it do that?

Then I tried watching a DVD on the XBO, and ran the on-disc 'THX optimizer', which seems to confirm my above suspicion. There was no discrete 5.1-ch separation; the left and right surround channels bleed into the fronts, and they're not even close to the same volume. They're down at least 6-10 dB (ie, less than half the volume they should be).

What the heck is the XBO doing in its surround mixing, and how do I fix it? At this point it sounds dramatically worse than the 360 it replaced...
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-25-2015, 10:25 AM
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I have similar issues - I've just gone back to stereo.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-26-2015, 10:52 PM
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Make sure you use the feedback and/or report a problem on the console to report this. The more negative feedback and complaints they get, more likely they address it


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post #4 of 10 Old 05-14-2018, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WRXpilot View Post
I'm having some weird issues related to getting surround sound from my Xbox One's optical out.

I have the audio settings as: HDMI audio - uncompressed stereo (HDMI connected straight to TV), Optical out - Bitstream (goes to 5.1 surround AVR), Bitstream format - Dolby Digital

My first problem is that there is almost no sound in the surround channels. I have my surround system calibrated to equal levels all around (tested w/ separate Blu-ray player and internal test tones). I've tried a handful of XBO games (Witcher 3, ACIV: Black Flag, AC: Unity, Batman: Arkham Knight), and none of them have much of anything going on in the surround channels beyond basic ambient sounds, and even those are at very low volume. This is odd, as ACIV: BF had amazing surround when I played it on my 360. I remember being able to hear the game dialog circle around me as I rotated the camera on 360. On XBO, dialog just dies whenever a character isn't in the L/C/R channels.

It's as if the XBO is outputting upsampled 2-channel 'virtual' surround as a DD 5.1 signal - but why on earth would it do that?

Then I tried watching a DVD on the XBO, and ran the on-disc 'THX optimizer', which seems to confirm my above suspicion. There was no discrete 5.1-ch separation; the left and right surround channels bleed into the fronts, and they're not even close to the same volume. They're down at least 6-10 dB (ie, less than half the volume they should be).

What the heck is the XBO doing in its surround mixing, and how do I fix it? At this point it sounds dramatically worse than the 360 it replaced...
I've just bought a One X and it has the same issue: surround sound tests supplied as extras on DVD movies fail on the surround speakers when using the Bluray player and app.

Isnt it amazing that years can go by since the OP and Microsoft still can't get the audio out of the Xbox in the correct, unbroken format?
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-15-2018, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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@psb962 I'm still here, and I did eventually solve my problems (though I don't use the XBO as a BR player) with surround in gaming.

I had to compromise my surround levels between my standalone BR player (was outputting decoded multichannel PCM) and XBO (outputting bitstream Dolby Digital). The calibration of my AVR that worked properly for multichannel PCM from the BR player didn't work with the XBO (as I outlined in my OP), and vice versa.

I eventually relented and had my BR player output bitstream DD/DTS, just like the XBO. Then I recalibrated my surround speakers, and I've had much better surround in games ever since.

Honestly, I've never tested if it maintains absolute channel separation on the surround channels, as I figured it was as good as I was going to be able to get it anyhow, as the XBO doesn't have any audio adjustments to really make that would 'fix' that anyway.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-15-2018, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by WRXpilot View Post
@psb962 I'm still here, and I did eventually solve my problems (though I don't use the XBO as a BR player) with surround in gaming.

I had to compromise my surround levels between my standalone BR player (was outputting decoded multichannel PCM) and XBO (outputting bitstream Dolby Digital). The calibration of my AVR that worked properly for multichannel PCM from the BR player didn't work with the XBO (as I outlined in my OP), and vice versa.

I eventually relented and had my BR player output bitstream DD/DTS, just like the XBO. Then I recalibrated my surround speakers, and I've had much better surround in games ever since.

Honestly, I've never tested if it maintains absolute channel separation on the surround channels, as I figured it was as good as I was going to be able to get it anyhow, as the XBO doesn't have any audio adjustments to really make that would 'fix' that anyway.

May problem is more than levels, I am getting wrong speakers..fronts instead of surrounds. I'd be interested to know if yours does that too on a a THX or similar surround test like they included on many DVDs
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-18-2018, 05:21 PM
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May problem is more than levels, I am getting wrong speakers..fronts instead of surrounds. I'd be interested to know if yours does that too on a a THX or similar surround test like they included on many DVDs
Can someone at least reassure me that if i ever got a receiver tha accepted HDMI then I'd be able to get surround sound that wasnt borked? It seems the problems are with the optical connection using DD or DTS.

I think the Xbox is reading the DD or DTS off the media and then re-encoding it (wrong) for some reason, but you only see the results of that over the optical.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-25-2018, 06:42 PM
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This issue has resolved itself. I have no idea how, but all the DVD tests now work perfectly in the Blu ray app over optical. Software update in last 3 days perhaps..?

EDIT: I figured it out. After I noticed the problem I joined the Xbox Insider program. While I was away last few days it DL'd and installed a pre-release OS (#1805). So it seems this pre-release has fixed the issue I noticed with the deployed release.

Last edited by psb962; 05-27-2018 at 09:13 AM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-24-2018, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by psb962 View Post
This issue has resolved itself. I have no idea how, but all the DVD tests now work perfectly in the Blu ray app over optical. Software update in last 3 days perhaps..?

EDIT: I figured it out. After I noticed the problem I joined the Xbox Insider program. While I was away last few days it DL'd and installed a pre-release OS (#1805). So it seems this pre-release has fixed the issue I noticed with the deployed release.
Nuts. I bought an HDMI receiver instead of trying your solution - figured it was about time to stop depending on the Xbox -- I had also grown to notice that surround was just broken in this config. I used to be an insider but got frustrated with all the updates. Sometimes you just want to watch TV, not wait for the Xbox to update. And yes, this was even with the background updates on.

I'm still happy with my purchase and glad to not have to rely on the Xbox for literally everything, but... now I'm in a different world of hurt... DDPlus (Atmos) drops signal between the Xbox and the new Yamaha. So I'm stuck using DTS or plain DD5.1. I suspect the Xbox has bugs, though now I'm forced to either join the insider program or try another Atmos/DDPlus capable device to test, though the new receiver has a generous mfg warranty, I suppose.

Considering that Atmos and DDPlus played a huge piece of my decision to finally upgrade, I hope I can sort this in the next few days.

P.s. I also opted to get a Roku a while back because I got so tired of waiting on the promised Xbox Miracast feature. Boy am I glad. All I need to completely get rid of the bug-ridden Xbox is a new BluRay player and Nintendo Switch. Seriously, I'm not sure who's running the show there, but the quality has gone out the window.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-24-2018, 03:54 PM
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Nuts. I bought an HDMI receiver instead of trying your solution - figured it was about time to stop depending on the Xbox -- I had also grown to notice that surround was just broken in this config. I used to be an insider but got frustrated with all the updates. Sometimes you just want to watch TV, not wait for the Xbox to update. And yes, this was even with the background updates on.

I'm still happy with my purchase and glad to not have to rely on the Xbox for literally everything, but... now I'm in a different world of hurt... DDPlus (Atmos) drops signal between the Xbox and the new Yamaha. So I'm stuck using DTS or plain DD5.1. I suspect the Xbox has bugs, though now I'm forced to either join the insider program or try another Atmos/DDPlus capable device to test, though the new receiver has a generous mfg warranty, I suppose.

Considering that Atmos and DDPlus played a huge piece of my decision to finally upgrade, I hope I can sort this in the next few days.

P.s. I also opted to get a Roku a while back because I got so tired of waiting on the promised Xbox Miracast feature. Boy am I glad. All I need to completely get rid of the bug-ridden Xbox is a new BluRay player and Nintendo Switch. Seriously, I'm not sure who's running the show there, but the quality has gone out the window.
The Xbox support forum is awash with Atmos issues. Put together a clear, well-referenced post so that others can verify the problem. On that forum, if the initial support guy fades away having solved nothing (as they do) ask for a Tier 2 support guy - if you get one, they engage by email and are helpful. Also, rejoin the Insider program and then use the 'Report a Problem' button that appears on shutdown to spell out what isnt working right. Above all else, the xboxinsider subreddit/forum on Reddit seems like the best place to actually get help.

Don't let them get away with doing nothing: I posted an 'Idea' on Xbox User Voice to have a revamp of the audio system and associated menus and codecs. Unfortunately the mods buried it deep within a thread on another idea.
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