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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

So I currently own Samsung F6400 TV + Harman Kardon AVR 445 + Klipsch 5.1 system. The problem is that AVR is a bit old and it can not process audio signal through HDMI. So I've used optical cable to connect my TV to AVR. I don't have media player so TV acts as a player too.

 

Am I missing something if I set Digital Out as PCM? I mean quality wise. If I set Digital Out as DD or DTS/Neo I can hear the difference, but unfortunately about the half of the movies then is out of audio sync. Any ideas?
 

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If your TV outputs DD 5.1, you'd lose true surround sound using PCM. Optical is limited to two channels of PCM. But, in terms of quality, PCM is as good as it gets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander  /t/1522353/tv-sound-settings-pcm-vs-surround#post_24476733


If your TV outputs DD 5.1, you'd lose true surround sound using PCM. Optical is limited to two channels of PCM. But, in terms of quality, PCM is as good as it gets.
So if optical limited to two channel there is no difference if the movie/concert audio track is in surround or stereo?
 

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Optical is limited to stereo PCM. It does multichannel Dolby and DTS. But, yes, with PCM, a stereo source is just as good as a 5.1 source. In fact, it may be better if it is a dedicated stereo mix rather than a 5.1 downmix.
 

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You need to get a new AVR, unless you are satisfied with 2-channel sound.


You are flogging a dead horse there.


A HK 1700 is only $299.
 

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Or... connect whatever external devices you are using to the HK AVR using optical or coax.

Use the optical out from the TV only if you are using the TV's internal tuner (and set to DD).


Depending on what you are connecting:

HDMI "in" to the AVR from external sources.

HDMI "out" from AVR to TV.

Optical or coax from external sources to AVR.


More info would help for specific suggestions/recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1522353/tv-sound-settings-pcm-vs-surround#post_24477225


Or... connect whatever external devices you are using to the HK AVR using optical or coax.

Use the optical out from the TV only if you are using the TV's internal tuner (and set to DD).


Depending on what you are connecting:

HDMI "in" to the AVR from external sources.

HDMI "out" from AVR to TV.

Optical or coax from external sources to AVR.


More info would help for specific suggestions/recommendations.
My connection looks now like this:

TV --Optical--> AVR

XBOX --HDMI--> TV

TurnTable --Coax--> AVR

 

So as I understand there is no way that I can pass 5.1 sound through optical cable with the current set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1522353/tv-sound-settings-pcm-vs-surround#post_24476961


You need to get a new AVR, unless you are satisfied with 2-channel sound.


You are flogging a dead horse there.


A HK 1700 is only $299.
What about HK AVR 161?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarolisD  /t/1522353/tv-sound-settings-pcm-vs-surround#post_24477277



My connection looks now like this:

TV --Optical--> AVR

XBOX --HDMI--> TV

TurnTable --Coax--> AVR


So as I understand there is no way that I can pass 5.1 sound through optical cable with the current set up.

Again....

If you're using the TV's internal tuner for TV reception (antenna), set to DD (or both DD/PCM) and connect to AVR.

Turntable.... non issue

Leave HDMI from XBox to TV and run optical from Xbox to AVR for DD.


There's no need to buy a new AVR IMO.
 

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television audio content (assuming you are over the air) is going to be in dolby digital and it won't matter whether you decode it to PCM in the TV or in the receiver, it's still decoded DD. IMO, a person would be better off passing the DD to the receiver so you preserve multichannel when it is present. Presumably the receiver has the ability to sync the audio, but you may have to do it manually and would want to look through the user manual for that info.


When the HDMI handshake occurs between the XBox and the TV, the TV tells the XBox that it (the TV) is a stereo device, so the XBox will send only stereo sound. You lose whatever surround content is present in the content being played on the XBox. To preserve the multichannel, you'd need to go to the HK from the XBox . . . and of course you couldn't use HDMI.
 

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Some TVs will pass DD 5.1 from HDMI inputs. If your set has that feature, you can simply leave the connections as you have them. But, from the OP, I gather you have audio sync issues when routing multichannel tracks through the TV. That's a different sort of problem and may require you to run the audio directly to the AVR from each source device.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander  /t/1522353/tv-sound-settings-pcm-vs-surround#post_24478029


... and may require you to run the audio directly to the AVR from each source device.
Yup... suggested that twice.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarolisD  /t/1522353/tv-sound-settings-pcm-vs-surround#post_24477277



My connection looks now like this:

TV --Optical--> AVR

XBOX --HDMI--> TV

TurnTable --Coax--> AVR


So as I understand there is no way that I can pass 5.1 sound through optical cable with the current set up.

Yes. The last time I checked, no TV will output 5.1 content in the original 5.1 format unless it is comes through the TV's antenna input (Over the Air broadcasts).


Confirm with the TV's user manual; or look at the AV Receiver's display panel when using the Xbox; or, with the Xbox connected only to the TV, put your ear up to the center/surround speakers and listen.


Adding the digital cable between the Xbox and Receiver while Hdmi is also connected to the TV will give you discrete 5.1 surround, but this usually results in an echoey phase issue because of simultaneous audio playback from the TV speakers and the Surround System speakers. Muting TV audio will resolve the problem.


Though PCM playback CAN provide an uncompressed, lossless signal, its a moot point with the given setup. All of the content will be compressed when outputting audio to the Receiver with optical/coax cables.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by UndersAVS  /t/1522353/tv-sound-settings-pcm-vs-surround#post_24479823


Yes. The last time I checked, no TV will output 5.1 content in the original 5.1 format unless it is comes through the TV's antenna input (Over the Air broadcasts).
You may want to check again.
Most Smart TVs output multichannel from their own apps. And, increasingly, TVs will send DD 5.1 from HDMI and USB inputs. Some even do DTS.
Quote:
Though PCM playback CAN provide an uncompressed, lossless signal, its a moot point with the given setup. All of the content will be compressed when outputting audio to the Receiver with optical/coax cables.
No. There's no compression associated with S/PDIF connections. PCM is limited to stereo. But, it's not compressed.


The OP here needs to see if he can fix the sync issue when he sets the TV output to DD. if not, then he needs to see if a direct audio connection to the AVR from a device like the Xbox will give him multichannel audio that's in sync with the picture.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander  /t/1522353/tv-sound-settings-pcm-vs-surround#post_24479965


You may want to check again.
Most Smart TVs output multichannel from their own apps. And, increasingly, TVs will send DD 5.1 from HDMI and USB inputs. Some even do DTS.

Sure. Thanks for the info. The last time I checked was about five years ago when I bought my last TV. Which is why I recommended that the OP refer to his TV manual and audio equipment. You know, the next paragraph. The part that you didn't quote

Quote:
No. There's no compression associated with S/PDIF connections. PCM is limited to stereo. But, it's not compressed.

I see a little confusion which might have been avoided had my explanation been a little more thorough, but, "yes", there is compression associated with s/pdif where Dolby and multi-channel soundtracks are concerned.


You had brought up PCM audio quality when discussing Dolby/PCM options, and reduction of 5.1 surround to two-channel PCM. There's no argument from me that the optical cable will deliver an uncompressed two channel signal. However, if you take compressed 5.1 Dolby and convert it PCM, then you ultimately have a lossy PCM soundtrack. Even Dolby two channel and mono sources are likely to be compressed. Thus, I tend to disagree with your opinion that "in terms of quality, PCM is as good as it gets."


Two channel sources such as music CD's, wav and flac files will play without compression. However, the TV's Dolby setting won't alter playback, so that becomes a moot point.
Quote:
The OP here needs to see if he can fix the sync issue when he sets the TV output to DD. if not, then he needs to see if a direct audio connection to the AVR from a device like the Xbox will give him multichannel audio that's in sync with the picture.

Okay then! I've got a little time to kill. With all of these new TV improvements, I might as well check and see if the Samsung F6400 has a feature to correct audio delay issues. USER MANUAL PDF


The first thing I notice on page 91 is the 'SPEAKER SETTINGS' feature. I would probably choose the 'EXTERNAL' setting, which turns off the TV's speakers and eliminates echoey type phase issues.


But more importantly; go to page 93 and you'll find a solution for audio synching. Verbatim:


"–– Audio Delay --

Lets you correct timing mismatches between the audio track and the video when you are watching the TV and listening to digital audio output from the TV through an external device such as an AV receiver. When you select the Audio Delay function, a slider screen appears. Adjust the option value using your remote control (0ms ~ 250ms)"


Another possible source of audio synch lies with media content providers, such as Netflix. Occasionally a problem exists with the material, not the playback hardware. KarolisD, if you haven't already fixed the problem, Good Luck. That is a very nice TV you have. Hope you're enjoying it.
 

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Not sure why you told the OP that TVs only output 5.1 from their own internal tuners if you really meant that his TV might do so from Its own apps and other sources. At any rate, things have changed in the five years since you last checked. That is useful information for the OP.


As for PCM, I gather you are saying the PCM setting will not improve the audio quality, which is true when the TV does the decoding. But, I believe the OP was asking whether using PCM instead of DD would degrade the audio. The answer is "no", it will not. One of two things will happen: if the TV does the decoding, it will decode the compressed DD track and downmix that to stereo. There is no additional compression beyond what was done originally by the DD encoder. Alternatively, if the source device does the decoding and downmixing based on the HDMI handshake with the TV, which is often the case, then a lossless source on Blu-ray could actually produce an uncompressed PCM output - better quality than the DD 5.1 that would be output over S/PDIF. Again, in both cases, the PCM setting does not add any more compression.


Bottom line here: using PCM will not degrade the audio, although it will limit him to stereo. You may have found a solution for his sync issues which would allow him to use the multichannel output when it's available.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander  /t/1522353/tv-sound-settings-pcm-vs-surround#post_24487713


Not sure why you told the OP that TVs only output 5.1 from their own internal tuners if you really meant that his TV might do so from Its own apps and other sources. At any rate, things have changed in the five years since you last checked. That is useful information for the OP.

My bad on that one.Given the current TV, I was wrong . I guess stating "the last time I checked" and "check the TV manual and components" was not emphasized strongly or clearly enough.
Quote:
As for PCM, I gather you are saying the PCM setting will not improve the audio quality, which is true when the TV does the decoding. But, I believe the OP was asking whether using PCM instead of DD would degrade the audio. The answer is "no", it will not.

Agreed.
Quote:
One of two things will happen: if the TV does the decoding, it will decode the compressed DD track and downmix that to stereo. There is no additional compression beyond what was done originally by the DD encoder.

Agreed.
Quote:
Alternatively, if the source device does the decoding and downmixing based on the HDMI handshake with the TV, which is often the case, then a lossless source on Blu-ray could actually produce an uncompressed PCM output - better quality than the DD 5.1 that would be output over S/PDIF..

If Karolis had access to Blu-ray content, then that would be a possibility.The TV can't handle high resolution audio on Blu-ray discs, and the manual doesn't describe, so we can't be certain.. However, we're back to moot points.Karolis uses an Xbox which cannot play Blu-ray discs, so this just confuses the discussion.
Quote:
Bottom line here: using PCM will not degrade the audio, although it will limit him to stereo. You may have found a solution for his sync issues which would allow him to use the multichannel output when it's available.

That's the way it seems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Thanks for the posts guys. Just to be clear the speakers are set to external as you guys offered and I don't have any issues with the cable TV. Let's look into my situation from different point of view. The goal is to get the multichannel content from my PC on my TV without loosing audio quality. The route right now looks like this:

 

PC --> USB Flash --> TV --> Optical Out --> AVR. I just wanted to be sure that TV is not the bottle neck of the whole set. I was trying to find if TV can simply bypass multichannel signal on the TV's manual without any luck. I can see DTS or Dolby Digital flashing on AVR if multichannel concert or movie is on the USB stick. So can I assume that everything is alright?

 

I was thinking about different set. Can you you please check it if I am not missing anything:

 

PC --> WiFi Router with NAS server --> WiFi media player with 5.1 analog audio out to the AVR and HDMI for the TV (video only).
 

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If your AVR reports that it is getting DD 5.1 and DTS from the TV output, then you are good to go. If the source material is DD 5.1 or DTS, there's no loss of quality. If the source material on the stick is TrueHD or dts-MA, then you would be losing quality as optical is limited to DD 5.1 and DTS.
 
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