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TiVo and Surround Sound

Discussion in 'Virgin Media Forum' started by twitchthethird, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. twitchthethird

    twitchthethird Member

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    Hi guys,

    Newly registered on the forum in the hope that you can fix this problem that I cannot get my head around.

    I've just moved in to a new house and my landlord/roommate has cable with TiVo. I've bought with me a Sony 5.1 surround sound system that I've had for a couple of years but I cannot for the life of me get the sound to play through the surround no matter how I connect the bloody thing.

    The hardware:

    TiVo box - Samsung manufactured (initially connected via HDMI to TV)
    TV is a Philips 37PFL5522 (Philips 37PFL5522D 37in LCD TV review - TV - Trusted Reviews)

    The surround sound system is a Sony STR-KS1000 which I know to be fully working as I've tested it in other set ups on every possible input. I've also ensured the Tivo box was set to Dolby Digital (not PCM)

    Now to the problem:

    I cannot get the SS to 'pick up' and output the audio from the Tivo box in any way shape or form.

    The tivo box has HDMI, Scart and Optical Audio outputs. At first I tried connecting everything with HDMI as follows:
    TiVO >>>HDMI>>> Sony SS >>>HDMI>>> TV

    This worked is as far as changing the inputs on the SS affected the output of video but nothing happening regarding the sound. It was as if the SS was just ignoring the sound carried on the HDMI.


    So then I thought, I'll try the optical jack since the Tivo and SS both have them making the set up:

    TiVo >>>HDMI>>> TV
    TiVo >>>Optical>>> Sony SS


    But still no dice - i was checking that I was on the right inputs at every point so I don't believe I was doing anything extra stupid.

    At this point I was running out of ideas so I tried the first set up with the optical on top of it so the audio was carried on 2 paths essentially but still nothing.

    Lastly I tried a scart to RCA input and I'm still getting nothing on any of the RCA/Phono inputs on the SS.



    Absolutely stumped now and I can't think of any other configuration to set it all up in so if anyone can shed any light that would be much appreciated. It seems to me I'm missing some sort of obscure setting somewhere but I really dont know.




    HELP!
  2. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    You should be getting Dolby Digital when and if present if connecting the TiVo to your Sony audio system via HDMI. I can only suggest you test using the BBC's HD channels because they always use Dolby Digital. Note that not all content is transmitted or broadcast using Dolby Digital and even when it is utilised, this is no guarantee that the audio will be anything more than stereo 2 channel Dolby Digital.

    I'd read your Sony sound system's manual to ensure you've configured it correctly in order for it to access audio via HDMI source inputs.

    I'd also suggest that if you Sony sound system as a setting for HDMI audio passthrough that you set such a setting to AMP and not to TV or TV + AMP.

    Another suggestion is to powr all components down at the mains and then power them up again, just in case there's an HDMI handshake issue? This would force an HDMI handshake between all the HDMI connected components.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  3. twitchthethird

    twitchthethird Member

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    Yeah I had read about that, but I should be getting 2.0 or 2.1 sound at least on regular programmes through the SS surely? As it stands I literally get nothing.


    I'll give the handshake reboot a try - My housemate has got everything set up with some sort of standby-saver type deal though so I may not be able to unless its plugged in near the TV - I shall investigate.

    HDMI Audio Passthrough I'm guessing just means that the SS will or won't 'intercept' the audio signal depending on whether its enabled or disabled respectively?


    EDIT:

    I found the manual of the device online: http://pdf.crse.com/manuals/2661769142.pdf and read through it but I couldnt see anything that looked pertinent. If anyone can be arsed to have a flick through in case ive missed something that would be much appreciated.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  4. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    HDMI audio passthrough has to be set to AMP or the TiVo will only output audio formats your TV can handle. If the TV lacks the ability to handle Dolby Digital encoded audio then you'd not gey any audio if the receiver's HDMI passthrough is set to TV or TV + AMP when the TiVo's audio output is set to Dolby Digital and while such audio is present. There doesn't appear to be an HDMI audio passthrough setting on the receiver anyway so it is of no importance.

    Does the Dolby Digital icon light up on the front of your receiver when outputting a signal to it from the TiVo while viewing a channel that uses Dolby Digital?

    I can see nothing within the manual that would result in what you are experiencing. You should be getting audio via the HDMI connection from the TiVo to your Sony receiver.

    Does the Sony setup work with other HDMI audio sources?
  5. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    In your receiver's AUDIO menu, set DEC. PRI to DEC. AUTO if not already set to this option.
  6. twitchthethird

    twitchthethird Member

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    Ill see if I can find a channel outputting Dolby. I presume a recorded film or something from one of the channels that used the dolby audio format will preserve the signal and work just as well?

    Will changing that setting alter the passthrough?

    Ill try out the couple of things you suggested tomorrow. Thanks for the help dude.
  7. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if content you recorded was broadcast with DD audio then it is saved as such on the TiVo irrespective of your audio output settings.

    No, the setting ensures that if DD audo is detected then it will be processed. The other options would prevent DD audio from being allowed.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  8. Passingbat

    Passingbat Active Member

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    Apparently some of the BBC channels (BBC1 I think) are having intermittent problems with 5.1 audio actually being transmitted when it is actually present, so I'd test on a different channel.

    Any of the current US shows on Sky One or Sky Living should have 5.1. I'm pretty sure that Nikita on Friday at 9:00pm Sky Living is in 5.1 if you can't find anything before then to test on.
  9. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    The issue is that BBC1 HD is sometimes being broadcast using stereo PCM as opposed to Dolby Digital. See here:


    http://www.avforums.com/forums/virgin-media/1806967-bbc-one-hd-wheres-dolby-gone.html


    All content, whether it be stereo or 5.1 is ordinarily encoded by BBC1 HD as Dolby Digital, but this is strictly speaking relevant to this topic though ;)

    Dollby Digital doesn't necessarily mean 5.1 and the majority of HD channels broadcast using Dolby Digital irrespective of whether or not the content actually has a native 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track or not. The vast majority of content on such channels will be broadcast as stereo Dolby Digital not 5.1 Dolby Digital.

    Criminal Minds is aired quite a lot on SKY Living HD and this show has a native 5.1 Dolby Digital audio soundtrack. A lot of the more recent films shown on Film4 HD will also include a 5.1 audio soundtrack.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  10. Passingbat

    Passingbat Active Member

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    Thing is, the simple point I was making is that ATM BBC1 is not the channel to test for 5.1 on, because if the OP is not getting 5.1 on a BBC 1 broadcast, he doesn't know if it's his equipment that is faulty or a problem with the Red Bee playout of the channel.

    Current US shows on Sky channels are one of the best and most reliable sources of 5.1, hence the suggestion as a test source.
  11. Passingbat

    Passingbat Active Member

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    Agreed channel 4's bunch of HD channels are a good source, but I've known shows that are definitely 5.1 that have (accidentally?) been broadcast in stereo. I can't recall ever seeing that on Sky.
  12. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    I get the impression that the OP isn't getting any Dolby Digital content, be it 5.1 or stereo. I think the issue more one of getting DD rather than it being a matter of 5.1 audio? Even if the broadcast is only in stereo, it would still show up as Dolby Digital if watching those channels that transcode all audio as Dolby Digital. Even the ad breaks will show up as stereo Dolby Digital on the Channel 4 and SKY HD channels. If the OP can get stereo Dolby Digital then he will also be able to receiver DD 5.1 content, but he currently gets nothing at all if the content is encoded using Dolby Digital. In fact, I get the impression he cannot get any audio from the TiVo whether it be Dolby Digital or PCM in nature?


    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  13. twitchthethird

    twitchthethird Member

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    Yep, as above. I didn't get round to messing with it today but the issue I have is that it seems like the TiVo box isn't outputting the sound via HDMI or optical. I know this to be false however as when the Tivo is connected to the TV via HDMI, sound plays correctly (irrespective of DD or 5.1 or any of that since obviously it's just a TV).

    I can't imagine the SS receiver is just 'incompatible' with the output of a TiVo box surely? I must be missing a setting on the Sony set somewhere. I'm yet to try the AUDIO menu tweaks you suggested or 'rebooting the handshake'. Partly because I couldn't even get the effing remote to work earlier - but I'll solve that separately :/


    I would like to get ANY sound out of the SS at this point, be it 2.0, 2.1, 3.1 or 5.1 (Dolby or otherwise) but that's not happening.
  14. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    As I suggested previously, try setting DEC. PRI to DEC. AUTO on your Sony surround sound system if not already set to this option.

    Also try using the AFD AUTO mode (Press the A.F.D. button repeatedly until you get this mode).

    Also, I know it sounds silly, but ensure you've not accidentally engaged the mute button and that the master volume isn't set to minimum!



    If still no joy then I'd suggest you reinitialise the receiver and reset it to its factory default settings:

    Put the receiver into standby and then hold down the standby button on the receiver itself until “INITIAL” appears on the receiver's front panel display. This will reset every setting on the receiver back to their default factory settings. Performing the reset would mean you'd need to reconfigure everything from scratch again, such as speaker settings etc.

    The following are all erased from memory and reset:

    • All settings in the LEVEL, TONE, SUR, TUNER, AUDIO and SYSTEM menus.
    • The sound field memorised for each input and preset station.
    • All sound field parameters.
    • All preset stations.
    • MASTER VOLUME is set to “VOL MIN”.
    • Input is set to “DVD”.

    This is basically back to how the receiver was configured the day you lifted out out of its box.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  15. twitchthethird

    twitchthethird Member

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    Ok, FML.

    Other than it being plain broken, anyone know why the remote might have stopped working abruptly?


    I've checked the batteries :p
  16. twitchthethird

    twitchthethird Member

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    Solved it.

    It was as I thought, some stupid obscure setting. In the end I went in to the AUDIO menu, then to the V2 Audio setting and assigned it to OPTICAL rather than AUTO.

    It turns out this receiver isnt able to pick up audio via the HDMI and its purely a passthrough for the picture signal so using the optical was my only option.


    Cheers for your pointers and advice guys!

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