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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My local cable provider recently added Universal HD to its HD channel lineup. I have watched several movies on the channel and have noticed that even though everything is showing 5.1 DD, there is only sound coming from Front left and right channels?

Has anybody else had any experiences with the sound on Universal HD?
 

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Not everything they broadcast is in 5.1 surround, but there are a few programs that are. If you aren't getting anything from your surround speakers, then there is something wrong in your receiver setup. Make sure you have both the cable box and your AV receiver set for Dolby Digital bitstream.
 

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There is nothing wrong with his set up. This is normal for Universal HD. I've noticed it and others have as well. A/V Receivers detect the audio as 5.1, but only the FL and FR channels are active. I watch Conviction and Surface on UHD and occasionally check out a movie, never heard anything from the rear channels.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mehs /forum/post/0


There is nothing wrong with his set up. This is normal for Universal HD. I've noticed it and others have as well. A/V Receivers detect the audio as 5.1, but only the FL and FR channels are active. I watch Conviction and Surface on UHD and occasionally check out a movie, never heard anything from the rear channels.

Yep, same goes for Farscape and Stargate Atlantis.
I manually switch over to my analog audio connection and use DPL2x.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by petergaryr /forum/post/0


Not everything they broadcast is in 5.1 surround, but there are a few programs that are. If you aren't getting anything from your surround speakers, then there is something wrong in your receiver setup. Make sure you have both the cable box and your AV receiver set for Dolby Digital bitstream.

NO. You are completely wrong. Universal HD is very incompetent when it comes to sound. Other providers know how to correctly handle 2.0 surround sources. They either broadcast it as 2.0 or correctly convert it to 5.1 so that the center sound remains in the center.


This is NOT the case with Universal. When they have a 2.0 source, they send it out as 5.1, but do not correctly covert it. The center channel is lost and instead is sent to the right and left front speakers. It is beyond me how Universal can be so incompetent in how they handle 2.0 sources, given how essentially every other broadcaster knows how to do this correctly.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl L /forum/post/0


Yep, same goes for Farscape and Stargate Atlantis.
I manually switch over to my analog audio connection and use DPL2x.

Yes. Sadly, this is the only way to get around Universal's ignorance in handling 2.0 sound sources. Universal HD should be ashamed of how they are showing their ignorance or complete ambivalence to the correct handling of 2.0 sources. Especially for a channel that claims to be a leader in HD.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Stein /forum/post/0


The center channel is lost and instead is sent to the right and left front speakers. It is beyond me how Universal can be so incompetent in how they handle 2.0 sources, given how essentially every other broadcaster knows how to do this correctly.

Converting 2.0 to 5.1 is not considered correct by everyone. A common method is using a PL2 decoder. It's not a perfect conversion because the stereo image is usually degraded. This affects both the 5.1 and 2.0 viewers. It can be argued that leaving the stereo as 2.0 is better as it allows one to hear the material as recorded.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVOD /forum/post/0


Converting 2.0 to 5.1 is not considered correct by everyone. A common method is using a PL2 decoder. It's not a perfect conversion because the stereo image is usually degraded. This affects both the 5.1 and 2.0 viewers. It can be argued that leaving the stereo as 2.0 is better as it allows one to hear the material as recorded.

I certainly wouldn't disagree with what you're saying. It would be fine with me if 2.0 sources were broadcast as 2.0 and the broadcaster can switch to 5.1 for 5.1 sources.


But at least most broadcasters who send 2.0 sources as 5.1 are in the ballpark. Universal HD is way out there in another galaxy. Perhaps that's why they call themselves Universal. Between their bizarre sound formatting and the endless Bose commercials, I find I watch fewer and fewer Universal HD programs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Stein /forum/post/0


NO. You are completely wrong. Universal HD is very incompetent when it comes to sound. Other providers know how to correctly handle 2.0 surround sources. They either broadcast it as 2.0 or correctly convert it to 5.1 so that the center sound remains in the center.


This is NOT the case with Universal. When they have a 2.0 source, they send it out as 5.1, but do not correctly covert it. The center channel is lost and instead is sent to the right and left front speakers. It is beyond me how Universal can be so incompetent in how they handle 2.0 sources, given how essentially every other broadcaster knows how to do this correctly.

His original post said he is apparently not getting anything out of the rear channels at all (at least on the movies he has seen so far). If that is true for every show, then there is something wrong with his setup or provider.


I can assure you that UHD as carried by D* has very active surround sound. I've watched many episodes of Battlestar Galactica with correct rear directional information on a Denon receiver.


Even if UHD is sending out just a 2.0 signal, if he turns on Dolby PIIx, there should be rear derived information at the very least. That would at least tell us whether the rears are properly functioning.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by petergaryr /forum/post/0


His original post said he is apparently not getting anything out of the rear channels at all (at least on the movies he has seen so far). If that is true for every show, then there is something wrong with his setup or provider.


I can assure you that UHD as carried by D* has very active surround sound. I've watched many episodes of Battlestar Galactica with correct rear directional information on a Denon receiver.


Even if UHD is sending out just a 2.0 signal, if he turns on Dolby PIIx, there should be rear derived information at the very least. That would at least tell us whether the rears are properly functioning.

The only program I've heard recently in actual DD 5.1 has been Surface. Everything else shows up as DD 5.1 on my AVR, but I only get DD 2.0. I only hear sound from my right and left speakers. And I can't switch to Dolby PLIIx without hooking up an analog connection. But, that is just stupid since nearly every other HD channel I get does 5.1 and 2.0 correctly.
 

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As mentioned, many decoders cannot enable the PL2 decoder if directly fed with 3/2L AC3 (DD5.1).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by petergaryr /forum/post/0


His original post said he is apparently not getting anything out of the rear channels at all (at least on the movies he has seen so far). If that is true for every show, then there is something wrong with his setup or provider.


I can assure you that UHD as carried by D* has very active surround sound. I've watched many episodes of Battlestar Galactica with correct rear directional information on a Denon receiver.


Even if UHD is sending out just a 2.0 signal, if he turns on Dolby PIIx, there should be rear derived information at the very least. That would at least tell us whether the rears are properly functioning.


I don't believe I have a problem with my setup, every other HD channel works fine in 5.1. I have a Yamaha 5890 and a Motorola HD DVR. Everything that is shown on Universal registers as 5.1 on my Yamaha, but the only active channels are FR and FL. I've watched BG on Universal and its 2.0, even though a 5.1 signal is being sent.

I thought it might be a problem with my cable provider, but since a lot of others on here are experiencing the same problem it must be at Universal.


Good thing I mainly watch Universal HD for Equalizer, which wouldn't be in 5.1
 

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Nothing wrong with your set-up. Nearly everything shown on Universal HD is 2.0. Even movies such as APOLLO 13, DAYBREAK, etc are only in 2.0. Idoubt that they have ever presented even one film in 5.1 What bugs me is that all their ads tout the amazing 5.1 audio they supposedly provide. Most extreme case of false advertising I've seen in a while and they should be taken to task for it
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrusnak /forum/post/0


Nothing wrong with your set-up. Nearly everything shown on Universal HD is 2.0. Even movies such as APOLLO 13, DAYBREAK, etc are only in 2.0. Idoubt that they have ever presented even one film in 5.1 What bugs me is that all their ads tout the amazing 5.1 audio they supposedly provide. Most extreme case of false advertising I've seen in a while and they should be taken to task for it

Actually Dragonheart was on in DD5.1 and it sounded great.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Rain /forum/post/0


The only program I've heard recently in actual DD 5.1 has been Surface. Everything else shows up as DD 5.1 on my AVR, but I only get DD 2.0. I only hear sound from my right and left speakers. And I can't switch to Dolby PLIIx without hooking up an analog connection. But, that is just stupid since nearly every other HD channel I get does 5.1 and 2.0 correctly.

More than just Surface is actually DD5.1. Most of the newer shows are.


The ones we know for certain which are 5.1 on UHD are:


Battlestar Galactica, ER, Law and Order, Sons & Daughters, Conviction, pretty much any new TV series.


As for movies it's pretty much a mixed bag. For example, About a Boy was 2.0 and Undercover Brother was 5.1 and both were produced the same year. Don't ask me why UHD does what it does.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi /forum/post/0


More than just Surface is actually DD5.1. Most of the newer shows are.


The ones we know for certain which are 5.1 on UHD are:


Battlestar Galactica, ER, Law and Order, Sons & Daughters, Conviction, pretty much any new TV series.


As for movies it's pretty much a mixed bag. For example, About a Boy was 2.0 and Undercover Brother was 5.1 and both were produced the same year. Don't ask me why UHD does what it does.

I noticed Battlestar Galactica in 5.1 last night, but I've heard it in 2.0 at other times. Law and Order: SVU is never in 5.1 whenever I watch it.
 

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I just finished watching the Battlestar Galactica "The Story So Far" special on UHD that I had DVR'd. The rear channels were quite active. It is true that not all shows on UHD are 5.1 since some of there original sources never were.


However, if you are NEVER hearing anything from the rear channels, then carefully re-check all the Dolby Digital settings on each piece of equipment in your chain.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl L /forum/post/0


Actually Dragonheart was on in DD5.1 and it sounded great.

The presentation of DH I saw certainly was not 5.1 (via Comcast). A disappointment as I've heard the DTS laserdisc (and ended up having to play it in sync with the film). No problem with my connections...everything is fine with a 5.1 presentation on every other channel or disc format.
 
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