Frustrated - No 5.1 Audio from Netflix via Roku 3?? - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 47 Old 11-22-2015, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bob332 View Post
Are you saying that people streaming on their phones or tablets are getting different content from netflix than a tv or computer?

Just out of curiosity, not if this would make a difference and I am going to try it out today and see if I see/hear any differences, is assuming you have a phone w/ MHL capabilities and hook the phone up and see if that changes the audio for netflix? I know this is not an ideal setup as as far as I know it is a 100% cable connection - MHL adapter into phones USB port, then HDMI cable from MHL adapter to TV, plus you will be using wifi vs an ethernet cable for connectivity. I honestly do not think my phone will be able to handle 1080p w/ DD or DD+ as it is an HTC ONE X, about 2 or 3yrs old, but I will give it a try as soon as I find my MHL adapter. The MHL adapter I have is just one I picked up when I needed to get some more micro and mini usb cables and some different sized patch cables and was curious about the MHL setup, so I am not running a 'high end' MHL adapter if there is such a thing, at least other than packaging.

So then w/ Amazon Video, you just have to have a Prime account and the video is a free part of thag service? That is what I am extrapolating from what I have been reading.

Hulu+ will be good for my wife as I looked through their TV section and there were a lot more TV programs she watches than what Netflix offers, but it just so happens they look to fit better for her TV watching tastes. Will be signing up for that trial today so I can do a fair comparison between netflix and hulu+. I just don't have the time to add the Amazon Video into the mix to have all 3 at the same time, I personally really don't watch that much tv but when I do, I would like to watch what I want to watch.

The bonus with all of this is that getting rid of cable will hopefully be doable, will still be able to get the local stuff through it for free as I have a decent sized obstacle between me and the broadcasting towers 50MI or so away, so I had already tried quite a few antennas within reason (live in a condo so am somewhat limited as to where I can put a antenna).

Appreciate the info and best of luck to you,
Bob
I watch on our TV for the most part, but would assume what I watch on the computer is the same (I don't stream to my smartphone). As far as sound, I only have Stereo on the computer so no audio test there.

Amazon's Prime selection is similar to Xfinity's On-Demand system - some movies are free, some you have to pay for.

Just remember, when you drop Cable, you still have to pay for the pipe, AKA broadband or something from AT&T, and with all the cordcutting going on, wouldn't be surprised if they eventually raise the rates for Internet only subscribers :-(.

Have fun with your new entertainment options! I don't know what the interface is like on your TV, but found the "Smart" part of my Panasonic's was really poorly executed, compared to the Roku. BTW, my Roku 3 only outputs HDMI, so not even any analog L/R RCA jacks, if that matters to you. The new Roku 4 that just came out DOES have an Optical Audio Out, but don't know if it would convert DD+ to DD for your Denon to read if you stream from Netflix.

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post #32 of 47 Old 11-22-2015, 04:29 PM
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Yeah, I figure the cable company may up the internet only people but that is ok , I am still saving a lot compared to the hd dvr stuff I had.

Well, I signed up for Hulu+ and cannot get DD audio on anything even though I am selecting the HD only stuff in searches, so seems we have the same problem, just reversed. I have also setup my ps3 w/ the netflix and hulu apps and going through the ps3, I still get the DD from netflix and only 2 ch from hulu+. The apps on the tv and ps3 for the hulu seem to be identical - i thought it was slow on the tv and figured on the ps3 it would speed up, but no such luck, still very laggy on the ps3. I haven't messed around enough w/ the netflix app on the ps3 to see how it compares to the tv as I just checked it really quick to see if DD would come through. One thing I do notice is that in the hulu apps when on the tv or ps3, I can only select 2Mb/s video, and not 3.2Mb/s like on my computer, so it looks like I definitely may need to make a new cable for the tv. Also what I cannot understand is when I do a network test on the ps3, I cannot get a speed reading for it although I have it setup correctly, and have tried it both as more of an automatic setup vs a hard setup in the network areas of the ps3 with the same results. This may be why I only getting 2ch audio - for some reason not enough bandwidth getting to the tv/ps3.

You are correct how hulu is much more TV related vs movies, for my searches for the movies I have looked for I am getting about a 1:5 ratio of stuff I find on hulu vs netflix.

I did see the roku 4, but I honestly do not plan on getting a 4k tv, well for as long as I live in this condo which will probably be for quite some time. My sitting distance from the 50" display is 8-9' which seems to be very good and the way the room is setup, the TV has about 1" on each side of it - the 55" version would not have which I was going to go for when I got this one but after measuring it was a no go.

I will keep this updated as I go through my learning curve, hell maybe there is some setting in the hulu app for audio I have not found....

There is always the option of getting a new receiver, but again, the way the room is set up, I can't utilize anything more than 5.1, only 5.2 at the most but honestly volume is not the problem as I can get over 100dB (cannot remember what I maxed out as, will have to look for my old threads as I did a dB test as I borrowed a friends dB meter. Will update if I can find the accurate SPL readings I had from back when I first got everything set up.

Good luck to you too,
Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noonin View Post
I watch on our TV for the most part, but would assume what I watch on the computer is the same (I don't stream to my smartphone). As far as sound, I only have Stereo on the computer so no audio test there.

Amazon's Prime selection is similar to Xfinity's On-Demand system - some movies are free, some you have to pay for.

Just remember, when you drop Cable, you still have to pay for the pipe, AKA broadband or something from AT&T, and with all the cordcutting going on, wouldn't be surprised if they eventually raise the rates for Internet only subscribers :-(.

Have fun with your new entertainment options! I don't know what the interface is like on your TV, but found the "Smart" part of my Panasonic's was really poorly executed, compared to the Roku. BTW, my Roku 3 only outputs HDMI, so not even any analog L/R RCA jacks, if that matters to you. The new Roku 4 that just came out DOES have an Optical Audio Out, but don't know if it would convert DD+ to DD for your Denon to read if you stream from Netflix.

Last edited by bob332; 11-22-2015 at 04:35 PM.
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post #33 of 47 Old 11-22-2015, 05:07 PM
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Well, turns out it is not the ethernet cable going to the tv or ps3 afterall. I decided to do a test on my laptop via ethernet connection on the same switch (GbE) that is going to the tv/ps3. Laptop has GbE and on the home LAN I can saturate the connection going back to the home server at over 100MB/s due to having SSDs in both the laptop and in the home server.

Anyway, right at the switch w/ a 6' patch cable, cat5e (store bought), I get 65/10Mb/s consistently. I disconnected, moved to the tv/ps3 cable and got the same - 65/10Mb/s consistently on my home made cable, with the ping test being basically the same (below 15ms to the same server I tested at both connections, one was 11ms, the other location was 14, but I know if I try that in an hour it will probably more than likely be different anyway, so I would consider that a non-issue).

The hunt continues....

Bob
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post #34 of 47 Old 11-23-2015, 07:24 AM
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Hulu audio is limited to stereo only.

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post #35 of 47 Old 11-23-2015, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob332 View Post
Yeah, I figure the cable company may up the internet only people but that is ok , I am still saving a lot compared to the hd dvr stuff I had.

Well, I signed up for Hulu+ and cannot get DD audio on anything even though I am selecting the HD only stuff in searches, so seems we have the same problem, just reversed. I have also setup my ps3 w/ the netflix and hulu apps and going through the ps3, I still get the DD from netflix and only 2 ch from hulu+. The apps on the tv and ps3 for the hulu seem to be identical - i thought it was slow on the tv and figured on the ps3 it would speed up, but no such luck, still very laggy on the ps3. I haven't messed around enough w/ the netflix app on the ps3 to see how it compares to the tv as I just checked it really quick to see if DD would come through. One thing I do notice is that in the hulu apps when on the tv or ps3, I can only select 2Mb/s video, and not 3.2Mb/s like on my computer, so it looks like I definitely may need to make a new cable for the tv. Also what I cannot understand is when I do a network test on the ps3, I cannot get a speed reading for it although I have it setup correctly, and have tried it both as more of an automatic setup vs a hard setup in the network areas of the ps3 with the same results. This may be why I only getting 2ch audio - for some reason not enough bandwidth getting to the tv/ps3.

You are correct how hulu is much more TV related vs movies, for my searches for the movies I have looked for I am getting about a 1:5 ratio of stuff I find on hulu vs netflix.

I did see the roku 4, but I honestly do not plan on getting a 4k tv, well for as long as I live in this condo which will probably be for quite some time. My sitting distance from the 50" display is 8-9' which seems to be very good and the way the room is setup, the TV has about 1" on each side of it - the 55" version would not have which I was going to go for when I got this one but after measuring it was a no go.

I will keep this updated as I go through my learning curve, hell maybe there is some setting in the hulu app for audio I have not found....

There is always the option of getting a new receiver, but again, the way the room is set up, I can't utilize anything more than 5.1, only 5.2 at the most but honestly volume is not the problem as I can get over 100dB (cannot remember what I maxed out as, will have to look for my old threads as I did a dB test as I borrowed a friends dB meter. Will update if I can find the accurate SPL readings I had from back when I first got everything set up.

Good luck to you too,
Bob
Looks like Hulu doesn't stream 5.1/1080P , at least on a free trial (and possibly the low cost plan). Here is a discussion started a while ago but has some 2015 updates. I didn't read every bit).
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/184-vi...dio-5-1-a.html

Here is a comparison of the three choices (if you haven't already read similar analyses) , from September 2015, so pretty current...
http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-th...instant-video/

So many ways to go now, so many tec details to understand, it's no wonder so many folks just go iEverything and never look back...You, I, and most everyone here on AVS are not one of them and enjoy some of the detective work and flexibility of more open systems than Apple, but for me, only to a point ;-).
Continue to let us know who things come together for you...we all learn from each other here on AVS :-).

Last edited by Noonin; 11-23-2015 at 08:18 AM.
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post #36 of 47 Old 11-23-2015, 12:26 PM
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Thanks for the links. That makes more sense now. So I would assume that the low cost option of hulu+ is pretty much going to be 2.1 and 480p w/ occasional 720p content. It would have been nice if they just stated that, but I understand from a biz standpoint why they do not. At least my LAN got a once over and at least all is well on that end .

I too can understand why some people go the iEverything route, but I just cannot do it. I have an iPad2 a friend bought for me as a gift when they first came out. IMHO, the device is much harder to use if you need to go deeper than just the surface. In the past I have programmed, designed/assembled under microscope/programmed embedded projects, so I like to get my hands dirty as I did that stuff for fun, just to learn. Like you said, many on here do like to get their hands dirty, so the iWorld just doesn't work for us. But for just email/web browsing and headphone movie viewing, I am sure it works out excellent for 90%+ of the people that use it.

Again, I definitely appreciate your assistance and it seems that at this point in time, Hulu+ would be good for TV viewing so it is still a contender as my wife really doesn't care if she can watch a movie where the audio may hit 100dB (while needing it for the visual/audio immersion that I enjoy) and have things coming from behind you and you not only hear it coming, but the audio brings it in and then whatever object it was, comes into video and the audio follows it as if it were happening in reality.

I also liked the speculation in the articles that things are being done behind the scenes and that is possibly why there are so many different issues with people saying they are getting this and that while you or I or anybody else is sitting there scratching their head because they have the capability to be receiving the same exact stream but are not, as the streamers test things out. It will be nice when x265 becomes more mainstream.

Again, thanks for all the assistance, you have helped me realize that I was not going crazy, haha.

Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noonin View Post
Looks like Hulu doesn't stream 5.1/1080P , at least on a free trial (and possibly the low cost plan). Here is a discussion started a while ago but has some 2015 updates. I didn't read every bit).
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/184-vi...dio-5-1-a.html

Here is a comparison of the three choices (if you haven't already read similar analyses) , from September 2015, so pretty current...
http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-th...instant-video/

So many ways to go now, so many tec details to understand, it's no wonder so many folks just go iEverything and never look back...You, I, and most everyone here on AVS are not one of them and enjoy some of the detective work and flexibility of more open systems than Apple, but for me, only to a point ;-).
Continue to let us know who things come together for you...we all learn from each other here on AVS :-).
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post #37 of 47 Old 03-03-2016, 02:20 PM
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RE: "...dumping non-all HDMI gear..."

Sounds nice, but unfortunately HDMIarc is "non-HDMI gear" too.

OTA TV tuners have to output DD5.1 for processing and the ONLY output is Optical, Coax, or ARC.

Why in the world was ARC set equal to Optical???

So what will be next? ARC-II?
__________________________

Actually, now might be the worst time to upgrade an AVR because of the ARC deficiency. And because 4k OTA is coming and I'll bet for sure it will have sometime with uber bandwidth that won't fit through ARC or Optical.

HDMI 2.3a w/ARC-II... how's 'at sound?

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post #38 of 47 Old 01-31-2017, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelZ View Post
Netflix does not stream 5.1 DD but it does output 5.1 DD+. You cannot output DD+ via optical out, there is not enough bandwidth.
Looks like DD+ should automagically play in 5.1Ch on DD equipment, which should include optical connections.
https://www.dolby.com/us/en/technolo...ital-plus.html
https://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/...l-plus-faq.pdf

I'm having the same issue with a Roku Streaming Stick plugged into my LG 47LB6300. In the Roku audio settings, HDMI reports TV has DD/DTS capability. In Netflix/Vudu programs, the only audio options shown are 2Ch. Three other platforms (Xbox360 via HDMI, WD ScreenPlayDX via HDMI, and TV's internal Netflix/Vudu apps play content in DD 5.1 via optical from TV to Sony STR-DB930 AVR. The Roku is the only element in the whole setup that won't play 5.1Ch.
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post #39 of 47 Old 02-01-2017, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybob View Post
Looks like DD+ should automagically play in 5.1Ch on DD equipment, which should include optical connections.
https://www.dolby.com/us/en/technolo...ital-plus.html
https://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/...l-plus-faq.pdf

I'm having the same issue with a Roku Streaming Stick plugged into my LG 47LB6300. In the Roku audio settings, HDMI reports TV has DD/DTS capability. In Netflix/Vudu programs, the only audio options shown are 2Ch. Three other platforms (Xbox360 via HDMI, WD ScreenPlayDX via HDMI, and TV's internal Netflix/Vudu apps play content in DD 5.1 via optical from TV to Sony STR-DB930 AVR. The Roku is the only element in the whole setup that won't play 5.1Ch.
Dolby DD(ac3) max is 640kb/s at max 5 channels, whereas Dolby DD+ has a max of 6144kb/s and up to 15 channels. The optical and coaxial outputs were designed for a max of 1500kb/s which is DTS max. Dolby DD+ is quite a bit of a different beast than the original. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Digital_Plus
I use an amazon fire tv box and it will transcode the DD+ to DD which works great over the optical or hdmi. The Rokus do not at this time transcode the DD+ but there is a rumor that the new Roku4 will be able to do that in the near future. Your other devices are transcoding the signal from DD+ to DD that is why you can get it.

Last edited by MichaelZ; 02-01-2017 at 04:30 PM.
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post #40 of 47 Old 02-02-2017, 05:53 AM
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Dolby DD(ac3) max is 640kb/s at max 5 channels, whereas Dolby DD+ has a max of 6144kb/s and up to 15 channels. The optical and coaxial outputs were designed for a max of 1500kb/s which is DTS max. Dolby DD+ is quite a bit of a different beast than the original. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Digital_Plus
I use an amazon fire tv box and it will transcode the DD+ to DD which works great over the optical or hdmi. The Rokus do not at this time transcode the DD+ but there is a rumor that the new Roku4 will be able to do that in the near future. Your other devices are transcoding the signal from DD+ to DD that is why you can get it.
I see what you're saying about transcoding, and thank you for giving me the word to describe that. I'm sill confused because in the two links from Dolby Labs (quoted below) it sounds to me as though that transcoding is already baked into the DD spec such that anything that can play DD should already be able to also dumb down DD+ and play it, too.

"Compatibility with Current Equipment
Equipment with Dolby Digital Plus will unlock its full feature set, including 5.1- and 7.1-channel capability (depending on the program).
If your system includes only Dolby Digital, you'll still get 5.1-channel surround sound, with the highest-quality Dolby Digital signal possible—Dolby Digital Plus content is easily converted to a traditional Dolby Digital signal."
And
"Is Dolby Digital Plus content backward-compatible?
Because Dolby Digital Plus is built on core Dolby Digital technologies, content
that is encoded with Dolby Digital Plus is fully compatible with the millions
of existing home theaters and playback systems worldwide equipped for
Dolby Digital playback. Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks are easily converted
to a 640 kbps Dolby Digital signal without decoding and reencoding, for
output via S/PDIF. The 640 kbps bit rate, which is higher than the standard
448 kbps used on DVDs, is fully compatible with all existing Dolby Digital
decoding products such as A/V receivers, and can provide higher-than-DVD
quality from Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks when played back through
existing systems."
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post #41 of 47 Old 02-02-2017, 05:19 PM
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From the Wikipedia article:
"Media players and downmixing

... players can take advantage of the legacy 5.1 AC-3 bitstream embedded in the E-AC-3 bitstream, transmitting just the AC-3 bitstream with no modifications."
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post #42 of 47 Old 02-04-2017, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybob View Post
From the Wikipedia article:
"Media players and downmixing

... players can take advantage of the legacy 5.1 AC-3 bitstream embedded in the E-AC-3 bitstream, transmitting just the AC-3 bitstream with no modifications."
A part you are missing is the "Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks are easily converted
to a 640 kbps Dolby Digital signal without decoding and reencoding, for
output via S/PDIF.". In other words the equipment must strip out the core ac3 tracks from the DD+ making it DD. The amazon fire tv box I have does a transcode I believe since the ac3 output is always 640kb/s and some of the cores are usually 480kb/s or less from netflix. Rokus do not convert the signal at all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelZ View Post
A part you are missing is the "Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks are easily converted
to a 640 kbps Dolby Digital signal without decoding and reencoding, for
output via S/PDIF.". In other words the equipment must strip out the core ac3 tracks from the DD+ making it DD. The amazon fire tv box I have does a transcode I believe since the ac3 output is always 640kb/s and some of the cores are usually 480kb/s or less from netflix. Rokus do not convert the signal at all.
My understanding is still that the Roku passes the signal via HDMI to my TV, which should then convert the signal for optical output to my receiver. No?
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post #44 of 47 Old 02-07-2017, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybob View Post
My understanding is still that the Roku passes the signal via HDMI to my TV, which should then convert the signal for optical output to my receiver. No?
I need to repost this, I was incorrect on this post (it was a long day programming). Anyway, a Roku (if set to output DD+) can pass DD+ to a device if the EDID of the device via HDMI shows the device can handle DD+ (if not it sends stereo). Now if your TV can convert OR transcode the DD+ to DD and the send it out via optical to your receiver then yes that should work. But that said, I have not seen any TV that can do that much less playback the DD+ themselves. BTW, most soundbars don't support DD+, only DD or DTS.

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post #45 of 47 Old 02-13-2017, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelZ View Post
I need to repost this, I was incorrect on this post (it was a long day programming). Anyway, a Roku (if set to output DD+) can pass DD+ to a device if the EDID of the device via HDMI shows the device can handle DD+ (if not it sends stereo). Now if your TV can convert OR transcode the DD+ to DD and the send it out via optical to your receiver then yes that should work. But that said, I have not seen any TV that can do that much less playback the DD+ themselves. BTW, most soundbars don't support DD+, only DD or DTS.
Right. And by my reading of the Dolby materials I quoted in a post above, any TV that can play DD SHOULD be able do this conversion or transcoding. Right?
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post #46 of 47 Old 02-21-2017, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybob View Post
Right. And by my reading of the Dolby materials I quoted in a post above, any TV that can play DD SHOULD be able do this conversion or transcoding. Right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by flybob View Post
From the Wikipedia article:
"Media players and downmixing

... players can take advantage of the legacy 5.1 AC-3 bitstream embedded in the E-AC-3 bitstream, transmitting just the AC-3 bitstream with no modifications."
I think that's only possible when E-AC3 (DD+) is being used for more channels rather than for greater compression. In other words, a 7.1 E-AC3 track contains a "core" 5.1 AC3 (DD) track that the player can transmit over standard SPDIF. At the time E-AC3 was conceived, this was the most plausible scenario since streaming media hadn't really taken off fully. In this scenario, the compression method is identical to standard AC3.

In the case of Netflix, they are taking advantage of the higher compression ratio of E-AC3 to reduce bandwidth rather than add additional channels. As a result, there is no "core" AC3 track since the increased compression is not compatible with AC3. The player could convert it, as I believe the FireTV does and maybe some others, but it's a full decode-encode process.

Just an educated guess here.
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post #47 of 47 Old 06-15-2017, 07:46 AM
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I think that's only possible when E-AC3 (DD+) is being used for more channels rather than for greater compression. In other words, a 7.1 E-AC3 track contains a "core" 5.1 AC3 (DD) track that the player can transmit over standard SPDIF. At the time E-AC3 was conceived, this was the most plausible scenario since streaming media hadn't really taken off fully. In this scenario, the compression method is identical to standard AC3.

In the case of Netflix, they are taking advantage of the higher compression ratio of E-AC3 to reduce bandwidth rather than add additional channels. As a result, there is no "core" AC3 track since the increased compression is not compatible with AC3. The player could convert it, as I believe the FireTV does and maybe some others, but it's a full decode-encode process.

Just an educated guess here.
Interesting; and that makes some sense.

I've reached out to Dolby, but they don't really interact with end-users, so I didn't expect or get a reply. I contacted a friend who happens to work there and he was all interested, looking into the issue around the office, until our conversation got to about the same point where this conversation is. Then he lost momentum.

I made a case with LG three times about their firmware for my TV not meeting the Dolby spec to pass through the DD portion of the DD+ HDMI signal to the optical out. The first two times I got nothing. This third time, because my other HDMI devices work to produce DD, a rep sent it up as a "new device" (Roku Stick) compatibility firmware review because my series TV has not yet been officially certified or tested by LG to work with the Roku Stick. They told me to keep on the lookout for a possible email seeking clarification. If anything comes of it I'll report back.
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