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No dolby audio on A&E channels

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24 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   rqallen

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 02:41 PM

I am not receiving digital audio on the A&E HD channels 265, 266 (Bio HD) and 269 (History HD).

I have a HDMI cable running from my HR20/700 directly to my 1-year old Pioneer VSX-1020 receiver (and of course another HDMI connection to my TV). The front panel on the Pioneer receiver says "Digital" when it is receiving a digital audio signal such as Dolby 5.1 and simply "Stereo" when getting a standard audio signal such as from a non-HD channel.

I show "Digital" Audio on all other HD channels except those being provided by A&E. This includes my local network feeds, CNN, ESPN, and anything else that is a HD feed...EXCEPT the A&E owned channels.

I realize that not all programming on an HD channel is really HD. However, most new shows such as "The Glades" are in HD and include digital audio. The A&E website states as much at aetv.com/aehd/

Yet, that isn't what I'm getting from DirecTV, at least not according to my fairly new Pioneer receiver. I have also swapped out my HR20/700 with a new HR24 DVR that was installed in the last 2 months in another room and see the exact same issue. No dolby digital on the A&E HD channels, but I get it every other HD feed.

Can anyone else out there check and advise if you are seeing the same issue?

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#2 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 02:55 PM

It's A&E, as they're sending "digital Dolby" 2.0, but just not 5.1.
During some commercials it will shift to 5.1.
A.K.A VOS

#3 OFFLINE   rqallen

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 09:31 PM

You may be right but if they really are encoding audio in "Dolby 2.0" which would be basically nothing more than stereo, that would sure seem to fly in the face of their website (aetv.com/aehd) that states HD is "the same Dolby Digital Surround Sound used in most movie theatres." and then proceeds to advise how to get A&E HD through the cable or satellite provider.

I did suffer through about 10 or so commercials tonight but never saw any of them change my receiver's output to digital 5.1. Later on ABC I saw a repeat of a Best Buy commercial I had seen earlier and it was in 5.1.

Could it be that they "think" they are broadcasting digital 5.1 but due to some configuration error are only sending out stereo?

#4 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 09:50 PM

You may be right but if they really are encoding audio in "Dolby 2.0" which would be basically nothing more than stereo, that would sure seem to fly in the face of their website (aetv.com/aehd) that states HD is "the same Dolby Digital Surround Sound used in most movie theatres." and then proceeds to advise how to get A&E HD through the cable or satellite provider.

I did suffer through about 10 or so commercials tonight but never saw any of them change my receiver's output to digital 5.1. Later on ABC I saw a repeat of a Best Buy commercial I had seen earlier and it was in 5.1.

Could it be that they "think" they are broadcasting digital 5.1 but due to some configuration error are only sending out stereo?

I read your post, and tuned into A&E & History, and posted what I had.
Not sure if A&E is having equipment/switching problems or whether their source hasn't been 5.1 encoded.
Even on the premium Movie channels, sometimes their movies are in HD, but not 5.1 Dolby.
A.K.A VOS

#5 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 05:04 AM

Never discount the possibility of human error.

Somebody may just have a Dolby Digital encoder mis-set at A&E and everything is in 2.0 by mistake.
hangin' with the bros at 40 Eridani A

#6 OFFLINE   Athlon646464

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 05:49 AM

Never discount the possibility of human error.

Somebody may just have a Dolby Digital encoder mis-set at A&E and everything is in 2.0 by mistake.


Absolutely correct. We watch NESN (Red Sox) nearly every day, and it's always interesting to see what they will do with their audio. Sometimes they don't use the center channel for play-by-play, sometimes no surround and sometimes just plain stereo.

It has to be human error, and it happens on at least 1 of 10 broadcasts. It's both comical and mind boggling at the same time. My wife and I think the engineer in charge must be related to one of the players. :hurah:

1 HR34-700, 1 C31-700, 1 HR24-500
Original install on April 20, 2008 - HR34 & C31 installed on August 24, 2013 - HR24 installed on July 23, 2010

Press any key to continue, or any other key to cancel.


#7 OFFLINE   Tech_1438

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 07:55 AM

As far back as I can remember HistoryHD has been 2.0.

Checked a recording of "The Universe" from 9/2010, 2.0.

Good Luck!!

#8 OFFLINE   pfueri

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:51 PM

As far back as I can remember HistoryHD has been 2.0.

Checked a recording of "The Universe" from 9/2010, 2.0.

Good Luck!!


Why is this not 5.1 ? DirecTv should be shot ! If it's high def it should be 5.1 that's a fact ! The History channel and A&E should both be 5.1 .

#9 OFFLINE   texasbrit

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:00 PM

Why is this not 5.1 ? DirecTv should be shot ! If it's high def it should be 5.1 that's a fact ! The History channel and A&E should both be 5.1 .

Why? If the provider does not deliver 5.1, it won't be 5.1.....

#10 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:21 PM

Why is this not 5.1 ? DirecTv should be shot ! If it's high def it should be 5.1 that's a fact ! The History channel and A&E should both be 5.1 .

Beyond trying to figure out how you shoot a whole company, the fact is that if it is HD, the sound is broadcast in Dolby Digital.

That's it. That's all the HDTV standard requires. Dolby Digital.

It could be Dolby Digital 2.0, 2.1, 3.1, or 5.1. I've never seen 5.0 but if it's possible, then it would be completely within the Dolby Digital standards.
hangin' with the bros at 40 Eridani A

#11 OFFLINE   rqallen

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:23 PM

Well, texasbrit, your post gets to the point of this issue completely. What we don't know is if the problem is with the provider (A&E Network Television) or DirecTV. I have opened trouble tickets with both and am actively escalating as best I can. Both A&E and DirecTV owe me answers but, for now, I really don't know if this is an A&E problem or DirecTVs.

My feelings are that DirecTV isn't taking this issue seriously because, (as they explained to me) this is a "single user problem." Therefore it would be helpful if as many as possible that can verify they are only getting 2-channel stereo and not Dobly 5.1 on A&E HD channels 265 (A&E), 266 (Bio) and (269)History would also open tickets with DirecTV tech support. Feel free to reference this thread as I know they are familiar with dbstalk.com.

If the problem ends up being with A&E, then they are not broadcasting true HD programming.

Either way, I will post what I learn if/when I ever get to the bottom of this. Meanwhile, any help is appreciated.

#12 OFFLINE   texasbrit

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 07:55 AM

No, as Carl Spock posted, Dolby DD 2.0 is a perfectly legitimate digital audio standard. It might be a mistake on A&E's part, but it's not "illegal". And if the original material didn't have 5.1, the channel won't be delivering it.

#13 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 09:30 AM

Well, texasbrit, your post gets to the point of this issue completely. What we don't know is if the problem is with the provider (A&E Network Television) or DirecTV. I have opened trouble tickets with both and am actively escalating as best I can. Both A&E and DirecTV owe me answers but, for now, I really don't know if this is an A&E problem or DirecTVs.

My feelings are that DirecTV isn't taking this issue seriously because, (as they explained to me) this is a "single user problem." Therefore it would be helpful if as many as possible that can verify they are only getting 2-channel stereo and not Dobly 5.1 on A&E HD channels 265 (A&E), 266 (Bio) and (269)History would also open tickets with DirecTV tech support. Feel free to reference this thread as I know they are familiar with dbstalk.com.

If the problem ends up being with A&E, then they are not broadcasting true HD programming.

Either way, I will post what I learn if/when I ever get to the bottom of this. Meanwhile, any help is appreciated.

Let me help you here.
If you want to get this changed somehow, focus your efforts at A&E.
There isn't anything on the DirecTV side that is going to cause a 5.1 to be changed to 2.0. Their equipment simply doesn't work that way.
If you get 5.1 on any channel from DirecTV, then you're wasting "your time" calling DirecTV.
"Your problem" is with the content provider.
As I posted, with the premium HD movie channels. on the same channel, one movie will be with 5.1, while the next can be in 2.0, and the following may be 5.1.
It ALL has to do with the provider.
A.K.A VOS

#14 OFFLINE   rqallen

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 10:20 AM

I have been making a concentrated effort to work this through A&E since, as several of you have pointed out, if the original material isn't 5.1, then what I receive won't be either.

That said, I had a similar situation about 6 months ago with one of my local networks (ABC) where I was showing "stereo" on my Pioneer receiver, when I knew I should be showing "digital." It was only on their local programming not their network feeds. I was able to work through their engineer director who, at first, swore he was sending 5.1 which he confirmed he was receiving from his cable provider. About 2 days later he called back and said they found the problem which was some switch setting that had simply been in the wrong position on their feed to DirecTV.

I don't know if this will turn out to be a like situation or not, but I do know that getting through to A&E has been a challenge. But I am making headway. My question to them is simple....are they sending 5.1 or not? So far, I haven't heard back, but I think I am finally getting this question to the right people. We'll see.

I just have a hard time believing that when the A&E website (aetv.com/aehd) states that HDTV has "the same Dolby Digital Surround Sound used in most movie theatres" that they wouldn't be RECORDING their new programming, such as "The Glades," in 5.1.

If it turns out they are broadcasting 2.0, then so be it, but at least we'll all know. But so far I haven't been able to get an answer to what should be a very simple question -- is A&E broadcasting in 5.1 or not?

#15 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 10:30 AM

It's not 5.1 on any provider. You need to realize DD doesn't mean 5.1. Read here: http://en.wikipedia...._configurations
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#16 OFFLINE   rqallen

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 11:12 AM

I've learned a lot as a result of this post, including the info from the wikipedia link posted by sigma1914. Thank you. But I don't understand the comment from the same post that says "it's not 5.1 on any provider." I know this, when my Pioneer says it is receiving a "digital" signal, I generally hear my rear channels come to life as well as get dialogue from the center channel. Do I always get this, maybe not, but most of the time I do.

In the case of A&E channels, my Pioneer receiver does not say "digital," it says "stereo." If this is really an encoded dolby 2.0 as described by the wikipedia info, I can't say. At some point I can take this up with Pioneer, I suppose.

That said, I still want an answer to the question I have sent A&E and which shouldn't be that heard to answer. As regards to their new programming, what audio format are they using and subsequently broadcasting?

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that I have seen the same Best Buy commercial on a local network show up as "digital" on my Pioneer receiver (I won't say 5.1 because as I have now learned that may be incorrect) and yet show up as "stereo" when seen on A&E. That doesn't make any sense unless there is something different coming from A&E/DirecTV.

#17 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 11:31 AM

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that I have seen the same Best Buy commercial on a local network show up as "digital" on my Pioneer receiver (I won't say 5.1 because as I have now learned that may be incorrect) and yet show up as "stereo" when seen on A&E. That doesn't make any sense unless there is something different coming from A&E/DirecTV.

Here's something to try/look at:
Change the receiver to Dolby off and see what your Pioneer shows.
With my Sony, I get PCM [digital].
A.K.A VOS

#18 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 10:07 AM

If it makes you feel any better I get A&E in DD2.0 like everyone else here. My AV receiver automatically decodes it as DPLii as that is how I have my AV receiver configured.

#19 OFFLINE   cadennis2011

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 09:57 PM

I am waiting to hear more from A&E to see if they are going to actually get the Dolby 5.1. Thanks again for your patience Allen I appreciate it. You have deffinately left a not in my head as far as people I talk to.

#20 OFFLINE   rqallen

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:44 AM

2 updates:

-I have discussed this issue with Pioneer and confirmed that even when receiving "digitally encoded" stereo, the receiver with display "stereo" as opposed to "digital" since basically it is nothing more than a left and right channel.

-More importantly, I have received the following reply from A&E Networks:

--While all of our networks are digitally encoded using Dolby AC3 encoders, the only networks that currently offer 5.1 audio are Lifetime HD and LMN HD. The remainder of our HD networks will begin transmitting in 5.1 before the end of the year.

-------------------------------------------------

I have confirmed that I do received "digital" on the Lifetime HD channel (DirecTV 252). Apparently DirecTV doesn't provide LMN (253) in HD so I was unable to check that one.

Once the A&E upgrade referenced above completes by YE 2011 we will then be able to enjoy the enhanced audio provided by Dolby 5.1. Thank to all who followed this thread and particularly those providing your insight and constructive posts.





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