5.1 Dolby Digital with Sky+HD

Snichy

Novice Member
I was doing some research online about 5.1 surround sound from Sky+HD and how to reconfigure my setup when I came across numerous other posts and info around the internet about Sky+HD not outputting 5.1 surround.

However, I would appear to have perfect 5.1 surround sound coming out of my Sky+HD box using HDMI (not optical or coaxial and is a Samsung Sky+HD box, not just SkyHD) and I really dont know why people say you cant. My box is at least a year old and I am using it with a Panasonic BTT-370 home cinema system (with cables from Amp (HDMI Out) to TV (HDMI In) and cable from Sky+HD (HDMI Out) to Amp (HDMI In).

I connected up my system with an optical cable for the audio just to check and it didnt sound anywhere near as good but now I dont use the digial audio cables at all and only use HDMI and I still get 5.1 surround sound when watching Sky (as well as Blu-Ray). Can anyone explain why as I would be interested to know!? Maybe my amp/processor is converting the audio to 5 channels? If I start using Optical cables for the audio, will I see a dramatic increase in the quality/range of the sound?
 

logiciel

Moderator
"Maybe my amp/processor is converting the audio to 5 channels?"
Not just maybe, definitely, as it would with any sound source if you let it.
When there is 5:1 audio on a channel or in a programme you need the optical connection.
It's only the very recent Sky receiver that outputs 5:1 on HDMI.
 

Snichy

Novice Member
So would there be a noticeable improvement in sound if I start to use Optical or would it be similar or the same if I continue to let the amp convert the HDMI audio to 5.1?
 

Broadz

Well-known Member
So would there be a noticeable improvement in sound if I start to use Optical or would it be similar or the same if I continue to let the amp convert the HDMI audio to 5.1?

The amp isn't converting the stereo output from the HDMI connection to 5.1 - it is converting it (at best) to Dolby Pro-Logic II, which isn't a patch on true DD5.1.

You won't notice any difference at all on the majority of channels being broadcast on a Sky+ HD box - because apart from the Sky Movie channels and some of the HD channels, everything else broadcast via a Sky box is PCM stereo only. Your amp will upscale PCM stereo to DPL if you tell it to via the HDMI input, it probably isn't automatically upscaling your optical connection to DPL which is why you are still hearing it in just two channel audio via the digital connection.

But, if you tune to a channel which really is broadcasting a DD5.1 soundtrack, then the difference between DPL via HDMI, and DD5.1 via optical (or digital coaxial) should be like chalk and cheese.
 

kevkbuk

Distinguished Member
But, if you tune to a channel which really is broadcasting a DD5.1 soundtrack, then the difference between DPL via HDMI, and DD5.1 via optical (or digital coaxial) should be like chalk and cheese.

This. I've no experience of the all in one system you have but there should be a clear difference.
 

Snichy

Novice Member
Thats great, thanks. Cant wait to get home and test it out with newly connected Optical cables.

Now I just have to work out how to tell the amp to ignore the audio from the HDMI and use the optical instead! Im in for a fun night :thumbsup:
 

logiciel

Moderator
You only need one optical cable - Sky machine to sound system.
The sound system's manual should have a simple instruction on how to assign the required audio source to the input setting - in your case to give precedence to the optical source over the HDMI on the satellite input.
 

lowei

Novice Member
Hi
I have been advised that you can get dolby digital by using the new small skyhd+ box and coaxial lead. Is this correct?
 

Broadz

Well-known Member
Hi
I have been advised that you can get dolby digital by using the new small skyhd+ box and coaxial lead. Is this correct?

Yes - every Sky+ HD box except the original Thomson supports digital coaxial out as well as optical out.
 

logiciel

Moderator
I have been advised that you can get dolby digital by using the new small skyhd+ box and coaxial lead. Is this correct?
Was that a serious question? :confused: The answer is yes.
 

AV Happy

Well-known Member
Logi,
You mentioned 'It's only the very recent Sky receiver that outputs 5:1 on HDMI' which box outputs over hdmi, i was not aware of any which output via hdmi, will my new 1TB DRX895 box send it via hdmi???

Thank you
 

Broadz

Well-known Member
Logi,
You mentioned 'It's only the very recent Sky receiver that outputs 5:1 on HDMI' which box outputs over hdmi, i was not aware of any which output via hdmi, will my new 1TB DRX895 box send it via hdmi???

The latest Sky HD (non-PVR) box. None of the Sky+ HD boxes do. If you have a 1Tb box, you have Sky+ HD. That can't.
 

logiciel

Moderator
will my new 1TB DRX895 box send it via hdmi?
It's the receiver that does 5:1 on the HDMI socket, and yours - and mine - are PVRs, which don't.:mad:
It's just a silly Sky thing that can be a nuisance - do you have any problem with optical or co-ax?
 

AV Happy

Well-known Member
Logi
I'm putting 5.1 to my amp via optical with no problems which to be honest works best for me as I like the sky hdmi straight to the tv for regular viewing. It was just out of curiosity as I had not heard of hdmi audio on a sky box before
 

logiciel

Moderator
You do it the same way as I do:thumbsup:, and the new receiver with 5:1 over HDMI is a very recent introduction.
 

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