you are correct, TVs can decode DD on the ATSC tuner, this is a function of the tuner! BUT, NO TV decodes DD on an HDMI input. TVs are stereo devices. The EDID on every TV tells the source to send stereo at whatever bitrate it supports.
Also to go even further, most TVs do not pass DD through an HDMI input to the optical digital output of the TV. When you are on an HDMI input of any Samsung TV, go to sound menu and try to change the SPDIF output format to DD or DTS, you cant, they are grayed out. The DD and DTS options are only available for built in tuner and streaming apps. This is what sucks about adding a Surround bar like the B&W Panorama to a TV that has HDMI sources. what could be as easy as running a single optical cable from TV to bar wont get you 5.1 sound to the bar. You have to run optical or coaxial digital from each source to the bar.
Thank you very much for the clarification. TV's decode DD, but rarely other than in the RF chain feeding the ATSC/QAM tuner (actually, just after demod and demux). Agreed.
While HDMI has the capability of passing DD, I think you are correct that in most cases audio that arrives at a TV via HDMI is not decoded as DD there, and that it rarely if ever is passed back out through the optical output of a TV. Again, we're agreed. Not that any of that even matters.
And don't fret over the haters; they will eventually screw themselves into the ground. Ignore them; the rest of us are still here with you and generally speaking we are not here to take cowardly pot shots at you for sport from behind the safety of a keyboard. You're pissed, and frustrated, and rightfully so.
I think we can all agree that there are audio dropouts due to transmission and reception, but I also think those are pretty rare compared to audio dropouts from the STB to the AVR via DD, which seem to be much more common.
A few posters here seem not to realize the importance of what I posted earlier, which is that DD is the ONLY audio transmitted with an HD channel over ATSC, cable, or DBS. Any non-DD audio feeds connected from the STB are generated from that DD source, typically a stereo 2.0 mixdown. And that is a process that will not generate drop-outs of its own.
What that means is that since the problems lie typically in the DD link from STB to AVR and rarely manifest in the stereo 2.0 audio outputs, DD as the source and DTV as the provider can't really be at fault for not providing coherently-solid audio to the STB. This points to the problem being after that point in the chain, either a faulty DD pickoff and retransmit from the STB, or an interopability issue with the consumer-grade DD decoder as it listens for DD from the STB.
If its the first problem, which is uncommon, you should consider getting them to replace the HR24. If it is the second problem, which has a long history of being a common problem, you should first up rev firmware in the AVR. Then either consider a different AVR or just don't use DD.
But that it might be a problem prior to the uplink or in transmission is not borne out by the low number of complaints, and that it might be a problem in poor reception is something easily determined, and not very likely.
Edited by TomCat, 16 January 2013 - 06:48 PM.