Trying to find a DAC or converter to downmix Dolby Digital 5.1 to 2.0 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-06-2018, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Trying to find a DAC or converter to downmix Dolby Digital 5.1 to 2.0

Hello,

I have a tv (projector actually) hooked into my 2.0 audio system in the basement. Unfortunately, my cable box (which I use to watch Netflix) defaults to a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 digital output for Netflix. The default cannot be changed. So, every episode of a show or movie I watch starts with no sound until I change the audio to stereo in the Netflix menu. The cable box itself is set to output stereo and does so for TV, but not for Netflix.

I found a DAC on ebay that will do the conversion from 5.1 to 2.0 for me. This took care of the problem but the DAC is pretty low caliber (not really in line with my mid-fi system) and the signal it outputs is very weak for whatever reason. I have to crank the volume up.

I am searching for alternatives. My blu ray player is an Oppo BDP 95 and it doesn't look like it will be of any help. I see that the 105 could have taken care of this for me but alas, I have the 95 and do not really want to go through selling that and getting a used 105. Does anyone know of a "good" DAC that would downmix 5.1 to 2.0 or some kind of converter that could downmix it and output to toslink (which I would send to a DAC)?
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-07-2018, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by thib67 View Post
Hello,

I have a tv (projector actually) hooked into my 2.0 audio system in the basement. Unfortunately, my cable box (which I use to watch Netflix) defaults to a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 digital output for Netflix. The default cannot be changed. So, every episode of a show or movie I watch starts with no sound until I change the audio to stereo in the Netflix menu. The cable box itself is set to output stereo and does so for TV, but not for Netflix.

I found a DAC on ebay that will do the conversion from 5.1 to 2.0 for me. This took care of the problem but the DAC is pretty low caliber (not really in line with my mid-fi system) and the signal it outputs is very weak for whatever reason. I have to crank the volume up.

I am searching for alternatives. My blu ray player is an Oppo BDP 95 and it doesn't look like it will be of any help. I see that the 105 could have taken care of this for me but alas, I have the 95 and do not really want to go through selling that and getting a used 105. Does anyone know of a "good" DAC that would downmix 5.1 to 2.0 or some kind of converter that could downmix it and output to toslink (which I would send to a DAC)?
You failed to mention what is the input to the dac. HDMI, optical, coax? If you google dac to convert dolby digital 5.1 to RCA you'll get many hits. None looked to be even mid-fi. Seems to be a niche type product and I doubt you are going to find much. Most would do this function as part of a AVR.

What are you using as your netflix source? If you use your 95 for netflix, you can use the dedicated stereo outputs (not the multi channel analog outputs for netflix. The 95 will then decode and down mix any netflix audio signal to 2.0. You can use the multichannel ones as well and configure them in the speaker config menu to stereo only.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-07-2018, 02:45 AM
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@thib67 ,

Out of interest... What's the make and model number of your cable box?

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post #4 of 8 Old 12-07-2018, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
You failed to mention what is the input to the dac. HDMI, optical, coax? If you google dac to convert dolby digital 5.1 to RCA you'll get many hits. None looked to be even mid-fi. Seems to be a niche type product and I doubt you are going to find much. Most would do this function as part of a AVR.

What are you using as your netflix source? If you use your 95 for netflix, you can use the dedicated stereo outputs (not the multi channel analog outputs for netflix. The 95 will then decode and down mix any netflix audio signal to 2.0. You can use the multichannel ones as well and configure them in the speaker config menu to stereo only.
The input to the DAC is optical. I had forgotten that the Oppo even had Netflix! I messed with it today. Although I was able to get the desired stereo output, the version of Netflix on the Oppo looks ancient and it didn't seem possible to update it.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-07-2018, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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@thib67 ,

Out of interest... What's the make and model number of your cable box?
It is an Arris MP2050NR. I think it might be the culprit. On another system at home, I tried changing the XBox audio output to stereo and the Netflix app on that Xbox followed suit (stereo output after the change). I don't really want to hook an Xbox into the basement system to solve this problem though, in part because it would require another HDMI run to the projector for video and I am already using both HDMI inputs on the projector for the cable box and the Oppo.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-11-2018, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by thib67 View Post
It is an Arris MP2050NR. I think it might be the culprit. On another system at home, I tried changing the XBox audio output to stereo and the Netflix app on that Xbox followed suit (stereo output after the change). I don't really want to hook an Xbox into the basement system to solve this problem though, in part because it would require another HDMI run to the projector for video and I am already using both HDMI inputs on the projector for the cable box and the Oppo.
HDMI switches are readily available. You'd only need one HDMI cable connecting to the projector.

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post #7 of 8 Old 12-12-2018, 12:10 PM
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There is something called an - HDMI Audio Extractor - which appears to be what you need.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...udio+Extractor

These have HDMI In and Out, and RCA Analog and sometime Optical Out.

What is the source of your Netflix? ROKU or other Streaming Box? BluRay Player? TV? Other?

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post #8 of 8 Old 12-24-2018, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
There is something called an - HDMI Audio Extractor - which appears to be what you need.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...udio+Extractor

These have HDMI In and Out, and RCA Analog and sometime Optical Out.

What is the source of your Netflix? ROKU or other Streaming Box? BluRay Player? TV? Other?

Steve/bluewizard
Thanks Steve. My source for Netftlix is actually my cable box, which has an HDMI and an optical out. If the extractor would allow for 2 outs (one hdmi to the projector and one optical), then it definitely would have worked. I am not sure if it does that or not. I did not think of spiltting out the HDMI audio signal and went down another path, looking for a device to work with the optical out from the cable box, take that 5.1 signal down to 2.0 and then and output optical to a DAC. After a considerable amount of digging, I found one device that would do this. It is made in Taiwan. I ordered it from a company in Australia and it works!

The name printed on the device from the manufacturer is a Universal Dolby Digital / Analog Audio Converter. There seem to be a couple of companies stamping there name on it. Just summarizing here in case someone else ends of searching for this, the device has optical in, optical out and will downmix dolby digital 5.1 to 2.0.

Thanks,

Pete
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