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· Difficulty Concen........
Directv, 5 LNB Slimline Dish, HR34-700, HR44-500, C31-700, C41-700, 2 DIRECTV SWM16, 2 Zinwell WB68
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In the past few months I have noticed a trend on Comedy Central dropping the Dolby Digital all together and now just in stereo.

Right after I also lost Dolby Digital on HBO and Showtime during the "previously on last weeks episode" segment of every program and the commercials proceeding them. Then when the show in question fires up, it jumps to DD.

Am I alone in this?
 

· Genius.
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have you tried resetting your receiver?
 

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litzdog911 said:
Comedy Central stuff is not DD5.1 audio. And most HBO and Showtime shows only have DD5.1 audio during the actual show, not the trailers or commercials.
I know they do that, but why? Is 5.1 more expensive and do they actually save money on those brief moments that 2.1 is on? I can't think of any other reason to do this.

Rich
 

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litzdog911 said:
I've wondered the same thing. I have no idea why they cycle the DD5.1 signal on and off that way.
Doesn't it depend on what DD the original content was encoded with? If so, they may just be passing it through, rather than upconverting 2.1 to 5.1, if that's even an option.

Also by properly coding it, it gives your AVR the right information, if you wanted to use some special effects mode that it offers. E.g., if the AVR thought 2.1 was already 5.1, it might not try to create any rear channel effects.
 

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Rich said:
I know they do that, but why? Is 5.1 more expensive and do they actually save money on those brief moments that 2.1 is on? I can't think of any other reason to do this.

Rich
I don't think cost is the reason. Standard/Basic networks don't broadcast commercials in 5.1, why should the pay networks?
 

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Steve said:
Doesn't it depend on what DD the original content was encoded with? If so, they may just be passing it through, rather than upconverting 2.1 to 5.1, if that's even an option.

Also by properly coding it, it gives your AVR the right information, if you wanted to use some special effects mode that it offers. E.g., if the AVR thought 2.1 was already 5.1, it might not try to create any rear channel effects.
Is it possible to upconvert 2.1 to 5.1?

I do think it's possible that all the stuff that's in 2.1 prior to the program playing in 5.1 was deliberately recorded in 2.1, but, if not a financial concern, then what?

Rich
 

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Rich said:
Is it possible to upconvert 2.1 to 5.1?
I don't see why you couldn't 2.1 to 5.1, just with no center or rear sound in those channels.

But then your AVR might think it's true 5.1 and leave it alone, instead of creating interpolated center and rear channel info on the fly, if that's what you want it to do.
 

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Being a stickler, 2.1 and 5.1 are both Dolby Digital. So would be 2.0, 3.1, or 4.0. They are all Dolby Digital.

And I bet the real reason is source related. It doesn't cost Comedy Central any more to put out a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal than it does a Dolby Digital 2.1 signal. There's no reason not to broadcast it if the mix is in the original source.
 

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litzdog911 said:
I've wondered the same thing. I have no idea why they cycle the DD5.1 signal on and off that way.
It may be something they do to make sure that that the end user's decoders are in the appropriate mode. Kind of like resetting to make sure all the cobwebs are cleared out.
 

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I'm running into a bit of a different problem lately with DD 5.1. For months we have been struggling with center channel clarity. It isn't the amp, it isn't the calibration, it certainly isn't the speaker ($300 Paradigm). I've become convinced it's the mix.

For most series we have noticed that the dialog is just very poorly mixed against the special effects, and the clarity of the dialog, even with the other channels greatly attenuated is not very good. What I'm observing, is there is a LOT of intentional (for dramatic effect) mumbling going on.

Either that or my hearing (and simultaneously my wife's) is going in the dumpster.:)

There are two things I have done to reduce the impact of the problem:

Turn off DD 5.1 (in the amp, not the D* box) and run either of these two "modes":

Stereo

All Channel Stereo

Either of these produce much better dialog. I have also noticed that there are few shows where the dialog mix is much, much better than others, in particular NCIS: LA.

Since many of the shows we like are dialog intensive, we have taken to not using DD 5.1 much any more.

(NCIS, White Collar, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, Rizzoli and Isles, Covert Affairs, Suits, Necessary Roughness (which is particularly bad much of the time), Franklin and Bash, Common Law, The Glades, Longmire (can be very bad), Eureka (usually very good), and Pawn Stars (usually very good). Lastly, The Herd is almost always very solid (but it's all talk and no real mix))

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that in the above series, special effects take a big back seat to clarity of dialog.

(...and yes, I have played extensively with channel levels with an SPL meter and pink/white noise generator...I still see garbage in - garbage out. No amount of level adjusting seems to make up for poor mixing/miking/dramatic mumbling in the first place, making DD 5.1 and above of marginal value except in "special effects" dominated movies.)
 

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hasan said:
I'm running into a bit of a different problem lately with DD 5.1. For months we have been struggling with center channel clarity. It isn't the amp, it isn't the calibration, it certainly isn't the speaker ($300 Paradigm). I've become convinced it's the mix.

For most series we have noticed that the dialog is just very poorly mixed against the special effects, and the clarity of the dialog, even with the other channels greatly attenuated is not very good. What I'm observing, is there is a LOT of intentional (for dramatic effect) mumbling going on.

Either that or my hearing (and simultaneously my wife's) is going in the dumpster.:)

There are two things I have done to reduce the impact of the problem:

Turn off DD 5.1 (in the amp, not the D* box) and run either of these two "modes":

Stereo

All Channel Stereo

Either of these produce much better dialog. I have also noticed that there are few shows where the dialog mix is much, much better than others, in particular NCIS: LA.

Since many of the shows we like are dialog intensive, we have taken to not using DD 5.1 much any more.

(NCIS, White Collar, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, Rizzoli and Isles, Covert Affairs, Suits, Necessary Roughness (which is particularly bad much of the time), Franklin and Bash, Common Law, The Glades, Longmire (can be very bad), Eureka (usually very good), and Pawn Stars (usually very good). Lastly, The Herd is almost always very solid (but it's all talk and no real mix))

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that in the above series, special effects take a big back seat to clarity of dialog.

(...and yes, I have played extensively with channel levels with an SPL meter and pink/white noise generator...I still see garbage in - garbage out. No amount of level adjusting seems to make up for poor mixing/miking/dramatic mumbling in the first place, making DD 5.1 and above of marginal value except in "special effects" dominated movies.)
I've had that problem with my Panny plasmas that don't have sound systems attached to them. No amount of adjusting the sound on the TVs seems to make the dialogue clear, just garbled. The TVs I do have sound systems on (all Sony AVRs except for a Sammy Home Theater), I have adjusted so that the dialogue comes across clearly (or as clear as the content allows). Both the Sammy and the Sonys have attachments that allow for the center speaker to be heard clearly and the other speakers are balanced out. Didn't work well with the Sammy, I had to adjust that myself, but the Sony's automatic speaker adjustment works really well.

I've got a huge center speaker on one of the systems. Let a salesman at Crutchfield talk me into it. Around $3-4 hundred, like yours. Way too much speaker for what I need.

Rich
 

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hasan, I watch many of those same shows, in fact most of them, and I'm not having any trouble at all hearing the dialog through my HT using the "normal" DD settings. Its not global so it has to be something with your setup. Bad d* box, problem with your center channel, or something askew with your surround sound setup. BTW, I also have a complete Paradigm, setup, but my center was a little bit pricier...
;)
 

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CCarncross said:
hasan, I watch many of those same shows, in fact most of them, and I'm not having any trouble at all hearing the dialog through my HT using the "normal" DD settings. Its not global so it has to be something with your setup. Bad d* box, problem with your center channel, or something askew with your surround sound setup. BTW, I also have a complete Paradigm, setup, but my center was a little bit pricier...
;)
Yup, I'm thinking it's his AV system too. I really like the new way to set up speakers with the long-wired microphone (except for the Sammy HT). I'd guess it works for most folks as well as mine does. Only paid ~ $300 for my Sonys, I'd think a more expensive one would work as well or much better.

Not that we're trying to talk you into a new AV system, Hasan.....:lol:

Rich
 

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hasan said:
I'm running into a bit of a different problem lately with DD 5.1. For months we have been struggling with center channel clarity. It isn't the amp, it isn't the calibration, it certainly isn't the speaker ($300 Paradigm). I've become convinced it's the mix.

For most series we have noticed that the dialog is just very poorly mixed against the special effects, and the clarity of the dialog, even with the other channels greatly attenuated is not very good. What I'm observing, is there is a LOT of intentional (for dramatic effect) mumbling going on.

Either that or my hearing (and simultaneously my wife's) is going in the dumpster.:)

There are two things I have done to reduce the impact of the problem:

Turn off DD 5.1 (in the amp, not the D* box) and run either of these two "modes":

Stereo

All Channel Stereo

Either of these produce much better dialog. I have also noticed that there are few shows where the dialog mix is much, much better than others, in particular NCIS: LA.

Since many of the shows we like are dialog intensive, we have taken to not using DD 5.1 much any more.

(NCIS, White Collar, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, Rizzoli and Isles, Covert Affairs, Suits, Necessary Roughness (which is particularly bad much of the time), Franklin and Bash, Common Law, The Glades, Longmire (can be very bad), Eureka (usually very good), and Pawn Stars (usually very good). Lastly, The Herd is almost always very solid (but it's all talk and no real mix))

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that in the above series, special effects take a big back seat to clarity of dialog.

(...and yes, I have played extensively with channel levels with an SPL meter and pink/white noise generator...I still see garbage in - garbage out. No amount of level adjusting seems to make up for poor mixing/miking/dramatic mumbling in the first place, making DD 5.1 and above of marginal value except in "special effects" dominated movies.)
We have had a lot of instances of center channel dropout on playback of recordings on the HR34. I found the fix, I shake the HR34 and it comes back.

Definition DTV DVR = POS
 

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"Jerry_K" said:
We have had a lot of instances of center channel dropout on playback of recordings on the HR34. I found the fix, I shake the HR34 and it comes back.

Definition DTV DVR = POS
Correction, your DVR is. I'm sure you won't find anyone else that needs to shake or stir their DVR.
 

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Jerry_K said:
We have had a lot of instances of center channel dropout on playback of recordings on the HR34. I found the fix, I shake the HR34 and it comes back.

Definition DTV DVR = POS
I don't need to shake my HR34 for anything. It's probably a result of all that jostling yours does while you drive down the road. You clearly have a bad DVR or all the bumps in the road have made it bad.
 

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RunnerFL said:
I don't need to shake my HR34 for anything. It's probably a result of all that jostling yours does while you drive down the road. You clearly have a bad DVR or all the bumps in the road have made it bad.
Sounds like the bad old days when you had to beat the DuMont severely about the head and shoulders to get the TV to work.

Rich
 
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