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· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To begin, I've searched but found nothing about the following. Of course I might have used the wrong search terms, if so - sorry. :(

Dish Network and a 501 receiver were installed in my house yesterday - this was a 1-antenna, 1-receiver installation. This morning I went out and purchased an optical cable so that I could enjoy DD broadcasts. After snapping in the cable and listening to various premium movie channels (I have all of them), I found that I am either doing something wrong or there's a problem somewhere in my system. What I was hearing was that just about all the movie channels were sending sounds to the front left and right speakers only - the center, rears, and LFE were silent. The indicator on my HT receiver (Sony STR-DA333ES) showed me that only the RF and LF were active, which verified that my ears weren't playing tricks on me. I did find a couple of channels which the display on my HT receiver showed that there were 5 channels of information with the movie, but the display (and my ears) also showed that information was being fed only to the front left and right. The LFE display was dark. I thought I might have a problem with my optical cable, so I switched the cable with the one from my DVD player - this made no difference.

I've been a "C-bander" for the last 8 years. With C-band it seemed that about 95% of the analog movies were in surround sound, 4% were stereo, and the remainder were monaural. If I'm not doing anything wrong and the sounds I'm getting are all the Dish system offers, then I've taken a big step backward in audio technology. Hopefully though this is not the case and someone can tell me how to get the full sound capabilities from my system.

BTW - I'm VERY happy to say the overall picture surpasses the C-band video on my 50" Toshiba RPTV! :D

TIA, Bill
 

· Hall Of Fame
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#1 - there aren't that many DD channels out there - HBO-E and HBO-W, SHO-E and SHO-W, and some (but not all) of STARZ. Probably a few others that I missed as well as quite a few of the PPV channels.

#2 - Even if the channel provider is doing DD, that DOESN'T mean they are doing DD5.1. That depends on the program itself and how it was recorded / supplied to Dish. I've seen several shows on HBO-E (a DD channel) that display out as Dolby ProLogic, but I've also seen some recent movies that were DD5.1 as well.

You may need to do a "reset" by hitting the red power button on your remote, then turning it back on again. My E* receiver (a 4900) sometimes has problems kicking into DD mode and this usually re-starts it.
 

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By default, I think the 501 is set to send PCM only, rather than DD/PCM. You should check in Menu, System Setup(6), Dolby Digital(8) to ensure that Dolby Digital/PCM is seleted.
 

· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Originally posted by Chaos
By default, I think the 501 is set to send PCM only, rather than DD/PCM. You should check in Menu, System Setup(6), Dolby Digital(8) to ensure that Dolby Digital/PCM is seleted.
I had done that before I posted my above message. Since I posted the message I figured out how to get DD 5.1 to work - there was a setting in my HT receiver that I had overlooked. But I just checked across the premium movie channels and found that there were 2 DD 5.1 movies and all the rest were 2-channel stereo PCM. Doesn't Dish ever transmit in surround sound?

- Bill
 
G

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About 95% of the stuff that is two channel stereo (either Dolby Digital 2.0 or PCM) is Pro-logic.

Sounds like you might need to force your reciever to recode the prologic signal from the optical source.

Many lower-end and older DD recievers cannot process optical signals into prologic. If you find this is the case then you'll probably want to use analog for everything except 5.1 DD stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Originally posted by MrAkai
About 95% of the stuff that is two channel stereo (either Dolby Digital 2.0 or PCM) is Pro-logic.

Sounds like you might need to force your reciever to recode the prologic signal from the optical source.

Many lower-end and older DD recievers cannot process optical signals into prologic. If you find this is the case then you'll probably want to use analog for everything except 5.1 DD stuff.
Hummm - That's weird, but at least you've given me a start on solving the problem. I'll check my receiver documention (whta little I got with the receiver) and see if there's any way to force the receiver to recode the prologic signal from the optical source. If I can't figure it out, I'll find a HT receiver forum and ask the users there.

Thank you very much MrAkai - you have been a BIG help!

- Bill
 

· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Originally posted by MrAkai
Sounds like you might need to force your reciever to recode the prologic signal from the optical source.
My HT receiver is one of the most capable but least user-friendly I've ever seen. But - I twiddled with the various settings and all my sounds are great now! What a difference going from 2-channel to surround!!

As one who recently went from C-band to DISH, I'm seeing many improvements and NO reason to go back.

Thanks for the help everyone,
Bill
 

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Sony receivers are strict on interpreting Dolby Digital 2.0 signals. While most receivers regard all DD 2.0 signals as likely to be surround sound and decode them as such, Sony will only apply pro-logic to 2.0 tracks that have been specifically flagged as "2.0 Surround". I go into a little more depth on the subject in the "E* DD 5.1 Question... " thread in this forum.

-Lyle J.P.
 

· AllStar
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Actually, this sort of brings up a question I've had for a while. . . how soon before more stuff will be broadcasted in at least 2 channel dd. . . practically EVERYTHING is linear pcm on my reciever. . . I have a heart attack every time I see the DD light go on.
 

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Actually, everything is being upconverted to linear PCM and fed to your receiver. The audio on all Dish channels is supposedly 192 kbps mp2 audio (except the CD audio channels which are 224 kbps mp2 audio, or VCD standard if you prefer).

-Lyle J.P.
 

· AllStar
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Originally posted by Lyle_JP
Actually, everything is being upconverted to linear PCM and fed to your receiver. The audio on all Dish channels is supposedly 192 kbps mp2 audio (except the CD audio channels which are 224 kbps mp2 audio, or VCD standard if you prefer).

-Lyle J.P.
wait, so its standard mp2 audio, and I'm changing to to pcm?

When will ac3 be more widespread?
 

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No, the dish receiver changes the mp2 audio to linear PCM before it is sent out of the optical digital port. Your receiver is just receiving the PCM data it's being fed.

Originally posted by scooper
Going from PCM to DD for everything will require more bandwidth, not to mention that the source programming for most is only stereo at best, and some channels only mono.

I don't see much more beyond more Premium movie channels ever getting DD.
Again, Dish doesn't use PCM on any channels, only mp2. And with good reason, as an ordinary PCM audio track at 44.1 sampling rate (CD standard) takes up more than 4 times the banwidth of a 5.1 Dolby Digital track :eek2: Heck, if they were using PCM on all their channels they'd be killing themselves trying to get converted to Dolby Digital just to save space!

-Lyle J.P.
 
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