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HELP! Do I need to buy a HD DVD player for True 5.1 surround

Home Theatre Systems

shail

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Dear all,
I am a new member and want your expert advice. My set up consists of
  1. Samsung 40" LCD 40D550
  2. Denon AVR 1311
  3. Polk Audio RM6750 Speakers
  4. NO DVD/HD Player as of now
The very reason I bought this specific Samsung TV is that it supports many video and audio format including Bluray, Divx, mp3, mp4, avi etc through its two USB ports. Now the problem is that I am not able to get surround sound on my set up when played from USB. The files I am playing are all HDs (720 or 1080p).
Is it because I am using optical cable to connect TV's audio out to the AVR? Does optical support surround?
Can I not play a DVD rip stored on USB to get a surround using Optical cable?
If not, I may have to buy a DVD player, so the next obvious question is which one? I am really confused!!! :sad:
Please help me!!!!!

Thanks in advance,
Shail
 
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dillihifi

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I am not too sure but I think you will not be able to 5.1 from the optical connected to the TV. Rather you need to use some sort of media player / DVD player with USB and connect the optical from the DVD player/media player to the AVR to get 5.1 sound.
 

elangoas

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Now the problem is that I am not able to get surround sound on my set up when played from USB. The files I am playing are all HDs (720 or 1080p).
Is it because I am using optical cable to connect TV's audio out to the AVR? Does optical support surround?
Looks like probably your source (Avi & other formats) you are playing in your USB doesn't have surround sound on the file. If you are sure that it does have surround channels, check whether the TV Audio output settings is set to multichannel and not Stereo.

Co-axial / Optical both support surround
 

shail

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I am not too sure but I think you will not be able to 5.1 from the optical connected to the TV. Rather you need to use some sort of media player / DVD player with USB and connect the optical from the DVD player/media player to the AVR to get 5.1 sound.
Any particular reason you believe so, dilihifi?
 

shail

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Looks like probably your source (Avi & other formats) you are playing in your USB doesn't have surround sound on the file. If you are sure that it does have surround channels, check whether the TV Audio output settings is set to multichannel and not Stereo.

Co-axial / Optical both support surround
Thanks. elangoas! I believe the source has surround sound encoded. There is indeed an option on my TV set up to change the speakers to 'external' and another option of S/PDIF out where I see option for Dolby DIgital but it is disabled and PCM selected by default. Not sure what I need to change in terms of setting to change it. I tried to change the various sound modes available and tried changing the S/PDIF output option, but it did not allow the change as usual. :mad:
Probably that's why I am not getting surround out from TV. Any ideas here?
 

anm

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pcm on optical is 2 channel only. Change it to dolby digital. If you set it to dolby digital, I THINK everytime there is a stereo signal available to the TV, you will have to change back to pcm. This should not be too much of a hassle though.
 
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dillihifi

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As far as I remember from the manual I read that only HDTV broadcasts (i.e. over the air HDTV broadcasts which we currently do not have any in india) will o/p 5.1 through the optical in all other cases it will be a downmixed stereo.
 

vaibhavyagnik

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Also there are various sound formats. most of the times when playing an mp4 or mkv, the file will have surround but will be encoded in aac rather than dolby digital. the TV by default will be processing aac and sending it as PCM which your reciever can process. by the way aac is not processed by majiority of AVRs. your best bet is, take the file to be played to a computer, play it on the computer with some player, look for the sound and video codecs. ensure that the audio codec is indeed DD 5.1, then play it on the TV, selecting DD 5.1 in sound and look what the reciever says in display, is it PCM or DD 5.1
 

shail

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As far as I remember from the manual I read that only HDTV broadcasts (i.e. over the air HDTV broadcasts which we currently do not have any in india) will o/p 5.1 through the optical in all other cases it will be a downmixed stereo.
Hi @dilihifi which manual are you referring to?
 

dillihifi

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I found it on my manual i.e. the one for the samsung LCD TV.
 
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shail

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Also there are various sound formats. most of the times when playing an mp4 or mkv, the file will have surround but will be encoded in aac rather than dolby digital. the TV by default will be processing aac and sending it as PCM which your reciever can process. by the way aac is not processed by majiority of AVRs. your best bet is, take the file to be played to a computer, play it on the computer with some player, look for the sound and video codecs. ensure that the audio codec is indeed DD 5.1, then play it on the TV, selecting DD 5.1 in sound and look what the reciever says in display, is it PCM or DD 5.1
Thanks, vaibhav. i will try it today and will let you know.
 

baijuxavior

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Shail, since your files are 720p or 1080p, they most probably will have surround sound. However some files can have two audio streams. One stereo and another 5.1. Also most of the mp4 and mkv files are encoded with aac audio. Also DVD players can't play 720p or 1080p. Even Blu-Ray plyers not able to play many files downloaded from net. So it is better to buy a HD media players from Asus, WD, etc. But before that please ensure your videos are 5.1. You can download a few demo files from DTS THX Dolby WMV Movie Distributor VOB Trailers.
 

dillihifi

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I also was browsing through the manual for d550 from the samsung india site where under the external connections it says the following :


"Connect the Optical cable between the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT (OPTICAL) jack
on your TV and the Digital Audio Input on the Home Theatre.

When following the connection above, the Optical jack only outputs 2 channel
audio. You will only hear sound from the Home Theatres Front Left and Right
speakers and the subwoofer. If you want to hear 5.1 channel audio, connect
the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT (OPTICAL) jack on the DVD / Satellite Box (i.e.
Anynet Device 1 or 2) directly to the Amplifier or Home Theatre, not the TV."


Further a few pages below the manual also states that :

"When the receiver (i.e Home Theatre) is set to On, you can hear sound
output from the TVs Optical jack. When the TV is displaying a DTV (air)
signal, the TV will send out 5.1 channel sound to the receiver. When the
source is a digital component such as a DVD and is connected to the TV
via HDMI, only 2 channel sound will be heard from the receiver."


Though nothing regarding playback of movies from USB is mentioned, it seems that the TV can decode the 5.1 audio signals but cannot bitstream it to the receiver.

Another tangential thought. Can anybody verify that if ARC (HDMI 1.4) is used do we get surround on the receiver via HDMI.
 
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shail

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I also was browsing through the manual for d550 from the samsung india site where under the external connections it says the following :


"Connect the Optical cable between the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT (OPTICAL) jack
on your TV and the Digital Audio Input on the Home Theatre.

When following the connection above, the Optical jack only outputs 2 channel
audio. You will only hear sound from the Home Theatres Front Left and Right
speakers and the subwoofer. If you want to hear 5.1 channel audio, connect
the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT (OPTICAL) jack on the DVD / Satellite Box (i.e.
Anynet Device 1 or 2) directly to the Amplifier or Home Theatre, not the TV."


Further a few pages below the manual also states that :

"When the receiver (i.e Home Theatre) is set to On, you can hear sound
output from the TVs Optical jack. When the TV is displaying a DTV (air)
signal, the TV will send out 5.1 channel sound to the receiver. When the
source is a digital component such as a DVD and is connected to the TV
via HDMI, only 2 channel sound will be heard from the receiver."


Though nothing regarding playback of movies from USB is mentioned, it seems that the TV can decode the 5.1 audio signals but cannot bitstream it to the receiver.

Another tangential thought. Can anybody verify that if ARC (HDMI 1.4) is used do we get surround on the receiver via HDMI.
That's a very helpful piece of information! You may be right about the TV's capability of decoding 5.1 (as it does in case of DTV). But as nothing is mentioned about USB, I am not 100% sure. I will try downloading some surround files and run again to make sure if it works! Will update you. THANKS!
 

shail

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Shail, since your files are 720p or 1080p, they most probably will have surround sound. However some files can have two audio streams. One stereo and another 5.1. Also most of the mp4 and mkv files are encoded with aac audio. Also DVD players can't play 720p or 1080p. Even Blu-Ray plyers not able to play many files downloaded from net. So it is better to buy a HD media players from Asus, WD, etc. But before that please ensure your videos are 5.1. You can download a few demo files from DTS THX Dolby WMV Movie Distributor VOB Trailers.
Thanks, @baijuxavior. I will download some trailers to see if TV can decode and stream it to AVR. If it does, I will be a happy man! :p
 

mailalok

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I've LG LD650 Model and when I Play HD movies from USB I've getting 5.1 dolby digital audio from optical out(provided the movie have got 5.1 audio as some movies are with stereo sound also).
I changed the digital audio out setting to AUTO(default was PCM).
May be the setting are different in Samsung but since it has got optical out then it should suppport 5.1 audio.

/Alok
 

sam9s

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take the file to be played to a computer, play it on the computer with some player, look for the sound and video codecs. ensure that the audio codec is indeed DD 5.1, then play it on the TV, selecting DD 5.1 in sound and look what the reciever says in display, is it PCM or DD 5.1
No need to take the file anywhere ..... just down a small tool called Media Info. Instal and then right click on the file opt media info from the windows context menu and you will have all the information about Audio and Video codes used .....

For your issue, if you ask me most of the TVs that play media files off USB only support DD5.1 (AC3). So make sure your file is in the correct audio format, or you TV can support audio other than DD.

Although with a Denon AVR 1311 at your disposal, I'd say getting a small media player that bit streams (All current media players do Bit Stream) is the best bet as then you can let your AVR do all the decoding stuff which make you safe with almost all the A/V formats.
 
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shail

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OK, here is the update. I downloaded some DD trailers from a torrent, but as they were in iso format, i converted them with a software called makemkv into mkv files. When I played these files and the results were stereo. I was really sad but did not want to lose it so soon. Called the Samsung customer care in Bangalore and talked to a technical person. From what she told me, I understood that there are actually two Audio Out ports (both optical) in my TV. And, for 5.1 I need to connect the optical to the port labelled Digital Audio Out. Another change that I had to do was on the SPIDF setting. I selected external, and changed the speaker mode to Dolby from PCM. I did and played the trailers again ... and WOW... I have DD sound on my set up now. It was really IMPRESSIVE!!! :D
I am a happy man! :D Thanks all of you for your valuable inputs.
 

shail

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No need to take the file anywhere ..... just down a small tool called Media Info. Instal and then right click on the file opt media info from the windows context menu and you will have all the information about Audio and Video codes used .....

For your issue, if you ask me most of the TVs that play media files off USB only support DD5.1 (AC3). So make sure your file is in the correct audio format, or you TV can support audio other than DD.

Although with a Denon AVR 1311 at your disposal, I'd say getting a small media player that bit streams (All current media players do Bit Stream) is the best bet as then you can let your AVR do all the decoding stuff which make you safe with almost all the A/V formats.
@sam9s thanks for this software! I downloaded and it's really helpful. Such a quick way to know the type of the source file! WOW...:clapping:
 

shail

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And now, I am getting greedy :). What are the different types of 5.1 formats? I browsed and understood that there something lossless surround! Does it mean HD? And for that, probably I need to use an HDMI cable only (and it wont work on an optical). Is that right? If yes, then there is no way I can have lossless surround through my TV to my AVR. If yes, what do you recommend? An HD player, a DVD player with an HDMI port, a BD player or a media player?
 
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