I'm not getting surround sound :-(

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream 4K' started by JeffLeites, Jan 21, 2021.

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  1. JeffLeites

    JeffLeites New Member

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    Jul 5, 2011

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    I have the Tivo plugged into an HDMI Audio Extractor. The Extractor is connected to my TV via an HDMI cable, and my A/V receiver via an optical cable.

    As you can see in the attached photo, the setup turned on the Dolby Digital and DTS settings, my receiver shows it's getting Dolby Digital 5.1 (3/2), and all 5 speakers and sub woofer are active.

    I've tried several HBOmax movies including WW84, but I only get stereo sound from the the Right and Image.jpg Left speakers. No sound from any of the others.

    Help!
     
  2. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 27, 2014
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    Most apps are using DD+. Add that to to your selections. I dont know if this will solve your problem but I do know DD+ is used so ATmos can be piggybacked off it.
     
  3. blackngold75

    blackngold75 Active Member

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    Mar 9, 2010
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    In my case, I had an older AV receiver that couldn't do DD+ or DTS-HD (looked like what you see) so I was only getting surround from OTA broadcasts, no surround from Netflix or Prime, for example. I bought a modern receiver, and now I get surround sound from those same streaming sources.

    In my setup, the TS4K is connected directly to my AV receiver.

    Also, the TS4K always indicates it is sending Dolby Digital even when the program source is not.
     
  4. JeffLeites

    JeffLeites New Member

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    Jul 5, 2011
    Unfortunately, I can't add to my surround selections. Clicking on those switches don't do anything, the DD and DTS were set automatically.

    My receiver is an older one that just does DD and DTS. No HDMI input, that's why I run it through an HDMI audio extractor. The TS4K is advertised as DD and DTS compatible, so I expected it to work. I also get DD from OTA broadcasts as well as DVD and BluRay.
     
  5. JeffLeites

    JeffLeites New Member

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    I did some more testing. I found how to manually set the sound format. I tried them all on, all off, and each one individually. I got the same results no matter what... no surround, just stereo with the same A/V display.
    I was ready to blame my HDMI Audio Extractor, but then I connected my notebook computer to it and played a sound test 5.1 DVD. The DVD played perfectly.

    So my feeling is if my audio system can play a DVD in 5.1 DD through the same cable as the TS4K, the fault is with the TS4K or the Android system it is using. It is not meeting its advertised specifications.
     
  6. KD - Tech

    KD - Tech New Member

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    May 16, 2020
    If I'm not mistaken, the HBO Max app lost Dolby Digital 5.1 when the app was updated last month for WW84. The update that gave it 4k dolby vision & dolby atmos for WW84 also caused the loss of multichannel sound for everything else. I would test your DD 5.1 settings with a different app.
     
  7. JeffLeites

    JeffLeites New Member

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    Jul 5, 2011
    Can you recommend a movie on a free app that should work?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  8. KD - Tech

    KD - Tech New Member

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    May 16, 2020
    Sorry, I don't have a recommendation. The other apps I use that have 5.1 use DD+.
     
  9. StreamerUser

    StreamerUser New Member

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    Jan 24, 2021
    Most streaming services are using DD+ (E-AC3) for their primary audio stream now: in order to hear that audio, some device in the chain must be able to decode DD+ for output (e.g. AVR/soundbar) or otherwise transcode it into DD (AC3) for legacy equipment that only supports DD (e.g. Streamer/TV).

    This can be further complicated by the fact that some apps/services adjust their available audio output relative to the host system configuration (e.g. NetFlix) such that if DD+ support isnt detected/configured (for 5.1 output), only PCM 2.0 output is provided.

    Your HDMI extractor doesnt support decoding, just passthrough, so its doing what it was designed to do - extract and pass: DD (AC3) and DTS from HDMI to Optical. Its not transcoding/converting DD+ to DD, so that leaves it up to the TS4K (unless you have a newer TV, which generally have DD+ decoders, and most can transcode DD+ from HDMI to DD output via Optical).

    So it probably isnt working "as advertised" - though it advertises Dolby decoding support (TiVo Stream 4K | Make your favorite apps feel like TV "Decoding: Dolby Digital/Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos"), it doesnt specify how/what each format is decoded into; one generally presumes a DD+ decoder can transcode into DD (a Dolby licensing requirement), but the TS4K doesnt seem to do that, nor does it have a setting for it (such as the Shield).

    Perhaps the current beta firmware , which does supposedly have audio fixes, addresses this issue and others.

    Otherwise, if you do have a more recent model year TV, try connecting to/through it from HDMI to Optical and see if it trancodes the DD+ to DD.
     
  10. JeffLeites

    JeffLeites New Member

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    Jul 5, 2011
    Dolby claims that DD+ will work on existing DD A/V systems:

    "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."
     
  11. StreamerUser

    StreamerUser New Member

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    Jan 24, 2021
    (emphasis mine)

    You may want to carefully re-read that statement, paying attention to the sentence and specific word emphasis I provided.

    Yes, it will work on existing systems - AFTER being converted/transcoded to DD. DD+ is not directly backwards compatible with DD, though DD+ decoders are required by license to convert to DD if necessary for output to legacy DD-only equipment.

    Dolby can claim this conversion/transcoding (and not decoding & re-encoding) due to the fact that DD+ streams contain substreams which are formatted in such a way as to be easily converted to DD.

    And something has to do the conversion/transcoding, and that something is a Dolby DD+ (or higher) decoder - it cant be the DD-only decoder on the legacy equipment, it cant recognize the DD+ encoding.

    (This is what the TS4K is doing wrong - either its not decoding DD+ (as advertised), or the decoder isnt configured/configured properly. Notice that the TS4K doesnt have a "passthrough or convert" option, or a "best available option", or a "Dolby processing" option, etc, like all the other competitive devices)

    To give you a rough analogy: Imagine you write a letter, formatted with a header address, body content, footer P.S. info etc. (That's DD) Since that cant be directly handled by the USPS, first you fold it in thirds, then you put it an envelope, seal the envelope, and then address it. (That's DD+)

    The other person gets the envelope but cant tell what it is or read it, so they open the envelope, take the letter out, unfold it, and now read it. (THAT'S the DD+ to DD conversion process)

    Ultimately, its a failure of the TS4K - clearly it has an Atmos-level capable Dolby decoder (NetFlix requires this in order to allow Atmos support via its app), but the claimed/advertised (and clearly present) Dolby decoder either isnt configured or configured properly (the latter is more likely since the Atmos support exists and somewhat functions).

    Again: There is no "passthrough/convert" option (e.g. Roku) , no "best available" option (e.g. FireTV), no "Dolby processing" option (e.g. Shield).

    Considering the significant historical issues with Dolby output since the TS4K was released, and considering the general state of the firmware code/quality in general, its safe to say its just bad/missing code (someone with the latest beta firmware should extensively test the Dolby output etc)

    Again, if you have a more recent model year TV, try connecting through it, as it may decode DD+ from HDMI input to DD for Optical output.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
  12. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 27, 2014
    Southern CT
    I was whining about a lack of ATMOS on certain platforms in spite of having ATMOS the day before. Well people...it seems that (at least for my TCL tv and my Yamaha receiver) the CEC must be on in the tv as well as the receiver and the glorious ATMOS is back on wherever I expect it. I turned off CEC at night cuz I wanted music from the Yamaha but also wanted the tv off. This led to the ATMOS disappearing. I remembered I had turned off cec and after turning it back on all was groovy. Boss. Hip. The cats pajamas.
     

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