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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What streamers are able transcode from DD+ to old school DD and output the old school DD signal as bitstream to a TV?

The reason I’m asking is that with certain streaming services (such as Disney+, Crave), the internal app of the TV (a Sony 900F) will only output 2 channel stereo from the TV to receiver.

The TV is connected to the receiver via optical (the receiver pre-dates ARC). It’s my understanding that the TV will not transcode/convert the DD+ signal from Disney to standard DD and thus defaults to 2 channel stereo due to bandwidth limitations of optical. Netflix and Amazon output DD just fine while other apps fall back to stereo.

I know that the Nvidia Shield will transcode DD+ and output old school DD to the TV, which in turn will correctly passes the DD bitstream to the receiver over the optical connection. I’ve tested one, and it works.

Are there other streamers which can also transcode DD+ to DD (i.e. Roku, Amazon, Google with TV)? I'm looking for other possible options that are less costly than Nvidia Shield (though the Shield is however less costly than a new receiver). Thanks
 

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What streamers are able transcode from DD+ to old school DD and output the old school DD signal as bitstream to a TV?

The reason I’m asking is that with certain streaming services (such as Disney+, Crave), the internal app of the TV (a Sony 900F) will only output 2 channel stereo from the TV to receiver.

The TV is connected to the receiver via optical (the receiver pre-dates ARC). It’s my understanding that the TV will not transcode/convert the DD+ signal from Disney to standard DD and thus defaults to 2 channel stereo due to bandwidth limitations of optical. Netflix and Amazon output DD just fine while other apps fall back to stereo.

I know that the Nvidia Shield will transcode DD+ and output old school DD to the TV, which in turn will correctly passes the DD bitstream to the receiver over the optical connection. I’ve tested one, and it works.

Are there other streamers which can also transcode DD+ to DD (i.e. Roku, Amazon, Google with TV)? I'm looking for other possible options that are less costly than Nvidia Shield (though the Shield is however less costly than a new receiver). Thanks
Roku 2020 Ultra (4800) - $70-100
FireTV Stick 4K, other recent FireTV devices (except the Lite) - $30-50
Tivo Stream 4K (Dolby decoder is broken however) - $20-50
Walmart ONN HD Streaming Stick/4K Streaming Box - $25-30

EDIT: Added ONN devices
 

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Apple TVs will as well. Obviously not cheaper than the Shield TV though, unless you buy used.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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A couple years ago I bought an older 2016 model year Roku Ultra (model #4640) - only that one had an optical audio output port and the extra hardware to convert DD+ 5.1 to DD 5.1, this was for use with an older Denon receiver without HDMI ports.
The 2017 and later Roku Ultra models however got rid of the optical port and the DD+ to DD conversion hardware, so I had to find a source on amazon back then that still sold new older 2016 Roku Ultras, but back then they did sell for well under $100 (half the price of Nvidia Shield TV Pro today)
Now it would probably require looking for used 2016 Roku Ultra models on ebay, etc. - but might find one at a good price.
 

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A couple years ago I bought an older 2016 model year Roku Ultra (model #4640) - only that one had an optical audio output port and the extra hardware to convert DD+ 5.1 to DD 5.1, this was for use with an older Denon receiver without HDMI ports.
The 2017 and later Roku Ultra models however got rid of the optical port and the DD+ to DD conversion hardware, so I had to find a source on amazon back then that still sold new older 2016 Roku Ultras, but back then they did sell for well under $100 (half the price of Nvidia Shield TV Pro today)
Now it would probably require looking for used 2016 Roku Ultra models on ebay, etc. - but might find one at a good price.
FYI, the Ultra 2020 (4800) decodes Dolby to HDMI (including transcoding DD+ to DD) for output (which is what the OP wants).

So while they did drop Dolby decoding in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Ultra models, they brought it back for the 2020 (4800) model.

And while you can find used 4640s on eBay, they usually dont sell for less than $70-80 - which is what you can currently get a 4800 for ($70)
 

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If a optical audio output is needed, I don't believe the 2020 Ultra has that particular output that only the 2016 Ultra did.
I agree that upgrading the receiver is the best long term solution, thats what I eventually did and now I have even atmos capability!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I don’t necessarily need toslink out from the streamer. This is how I plan to set it up:

Streamer (outputs DD bitstream) ---> HDMI ---> TV (DD bitstream passthrough) ---> toslink ---> receiver (decodes DD bitstream)

An updated ARC receiver is a possibility, but want to explore other possible options. Other than not having ARC, I’m happy with the receiver I have and don’t feel the pressing need to replace it, at least not just yet.

Thanks to everyone for your input!
 

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Make sure your particular TV can pass multichannel audio formats from an HDMI port to the toslink optical audio output port. Some TVs (like my Panasonic ST50 plasma) did not do so and would only output stereo from an HDMI port, multichannel audio on it only worked from internal sources like the tuner and internal apps that had plain DD5.1 (not DD+) though it does support Arc for HDMI to HDMI multichannel audio passthru, but that required a receiver with HDMI ports and Arc capability.
Hence why I had to get the 2016 model Roku Ultra with its own optical port to connect directly to the old receiver.
 

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Sounds like in this case the "TV" is the weak link. Does the TV not have HDMI out, so it can pass through to the receiver? If not, better wiring would be to send the streamer straight to the AV receiver (HDMI) and then pass through the video to the TV (HDMI). This way you get the best sound from streamer direct to AV receiver which is more capable to decode various audio codecs. The downside of this is since your TV (and possibly AV receiver) does not have ARC/eARC then you'll need to have the toslink cable between TV and receiver to handle audio in the case where you want to use the built in TV tuner or TV smart apps if it has any. I am in a similar position. I have an older 2015 or 16 Vizio TV that predates ARC. For me to listen to multi-channel sound from a direct TV source into the receiver I have to use toslink optical. But the old style "smart apps" that are on that TV are so outdated that they aren't smart anymore and I have HDHomeRun running on my streamer boxes so usually when I want to watch live TV I just use that instead of the TVs internal tuner. So mostly that TV just gets used as a streamer monitor and video display device for my receiver. AV Receiver becomes the master audio and video switch at that point and the TV is just a display. It does require that the receiver be used for all audio processing for everything but that's what I usually want anyway. The TV by itself sounds like crap in comparison. If you just want to listen to the streamer through the TV speakers then this same wire setup will work if you have audio pass-through on the receiver. If the receiver doesn't have audio pass-through then yes you'll need a splitter. You can then split your HDMI from streamer to go direct to both TV and receiver simultaneous. Splitters are fairly cheap these days. Depending on your use case, might be the better move. Good luck
 
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I don’t necessarily need toslink out from the streamer. This is how I plan to set it up:

Streamer (outputs DD bitstream) ---> HDMI ---> TV (DD bitstream passthrough) ---> toslink ---> receiver (decodes DD bitstream)

An updated ARC receiver is a possibility, but want to explore other possible options. Other than not having ARC, I’m happy with the receiver I have and don’t feel the pressing need to replace it, at least not just yet.

Thanks to everyone for your input!
Adding another set of Dolby decoding devices: Walmart's ONN Streaming devices (both will transcode/convert DD+ to DD) $25-30
 
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