5.1 surround sound from satellite movies

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by FinlandBlue, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. FinlandBlue

    FinlandBlue
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    I have just installed a 5.1 home theatre system, and get 5.1 surround sound from my DVD movies. I am NOT getting 5.1 surround sound from movies through my Canal+ satellite box, even though the movies are in 5.1 format.

    Is it normal that movies though satellite don't deliver 5.1 sound, or is there some setting I should look for?
     
  2. RayB

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    Are you connecting to your amp using the optical digital out on the Sky+ box as this is the only way to get dolby digital
     
  3. FinlandBlue

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    No, I'm connecting it to the TV via scart, and then from the TV to the amp via audio L and R.

    So, I should route the satellite box optical digital out directly to the amp?
     
  4. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    If you want DD 5.1, the connection has to be digital (i.e. optical or co-axial).
     
  5. FinlandBlue

    FinlandBlue
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    If satellite box is connected to the TV by scart, and TV and DVD/amp is connected by scart, is that not enough digital connections to transfer 5.1 surround sound frmo satellite movies through the amp speakers?
     
  6. Parklife

    Parklife
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    No it is not. You need to connect the Sky and other satellite receiver to your amp using a digital cable (optical or co-axial). Scart will just transmit stereo sound. Scart is not digital it is analogue.
     
  7. FinlandBlue

    FinlandBlue
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    Thanks for that - I learnt something new and important today! :)
     
  8. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    I think you need to look up the diffference between Dolby Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1

    Dolby Surround can be decoded by a Dolby decoder to produce surround sound from any encoded stereo source, and can be fed from an analogue source. Dolby Digital is a digital bitstream that carries separate channels of audio, and has to be fed into the decoder via an optical or co-axial digital link. The main difference between the two is the separation between the channels - it's poor on surround, and very good on DD 5.1.
     
  9. RayB

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    Also, even for non dolby surround (pro logic) and stereo transmissions you should still get better sound using a digital connection to the amp and letting the amp process the sound rather than using analogue connections and letting the satellite box process the sound.
     
  10. bobmeister2k

    bobmeister2k
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    Hi guys,

    Newbie i'm afraid...

    Recently purchased a PV500 and a SCHT530 surround sound kit.

    Have Sky+ with an optical out slot and want to get DD from Sky.

    Does the fact that the DVD/AMP has only L+R and scart inputs mean that I can't plug an optical into the DVD player to get DD through Sky or is there some clever cable that can be optical one end and L+R/Scart at the other that I can run from Sky+ to my SCHT530.

    Sorry for being dumb,
    Thanks!
     
  11. skips

    skips
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    sadly there is no way of converting an optical lead to scart. the only way of getting digital signals from sky to an amp is via optical or coax - 1 lead that carries the digital bit stream.
    By the way, i am planning on upgrading to Sky+ today (2.5hr queue on the phone at the mo, so am waiting a bit) - whgat channels are in DD5.1??

    thanks

    skips
     
  12. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    You need a decoder (or an amp with a decoder) for DD 5.1
     
  13. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Sky Movies 1, 2 & 3, and The Disney Channel.
     
  14. skips

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    cheers nick
    Won't be making use of that option then, not going for the prem mixes, can't really justify the extra, when dvds are out there. the extra tenner a month is enough just for the privalige of having a HDD in the box! don't suppose box office has DD5.1? - mind you, bring on SkyHD, depending on the cost!!!
     
  15. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    If you can't justify the cost of premium channels, I doubt whether the initial cost of HD will appeal either :)

    Sky Box Office used to be in DD 5.1, but they switched it to Sky Movies 1, 2 & 3. I suppose they have a limited amount of encoders ?
     
  16. urbanlegend

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    im ordering the jvc TH-S11 home cinema system.its all new to me but will i be able to get surround sound from my sky plus box?the reason i say this is because it shows no optical output.saying that it has dts and dolby prologic II.is this not surround?will not the phono inputs give me dd 5.1?am i sounding really thick??? :p
     
  17. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Dolby surround is a matrixed sound system which can be decoded from any good quality stereo feed. Dolby digital is a system which has a digital bitstream carrying discrete audio channels which needs to be decoded by a Dolby Digital decoder, and this bitstream can only be transmitted via an optical or co-axial source.

    Both Dolby Surround and Dolby Digital can be called "surround sound", but with Dolby Digital the separation between the audio channels is much better, and (being digital) it also gives a much better sound than analogue Dolby Surround.
     
  18. urbanlegend

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    ok thanks nick.so in effect i will get surround sound but not the best ie didital.thats okay to be honest aas the system was a real bargain @ £85.so long as ive got surround sound from it im happy considering the price.thanks for the help nick much appreciated.will i still get sound from all 5 speakers with this set up just connecting with a scart plug?or is there a better way?sorry complete novice here.
     
  19. b00mcl1ck

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    Nick,

    Are you sure that Sky Movies are bradcast in 5.1. I have had sky+ for a week or so and I am only getting stereo channels even on Sky Movies 1,2 & 3. I am going out from the sky box via optical to a Marantz SR440 Surround Amp. AM i missing something here? The same cable from my XBox into the same socket gave me 5.1.

    Mark
     
  20. goatlips

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    Not all sky movies are 5.1.
     
  21. Phantom Phixer

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    Check the NOW/NEXT banner. It will say DD if the film is in Dolby Digital and DS for Dolby Surround.
     
  22. Knyght_byte

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    to make this easier to understand for some people who are having trouble grasping the technical terms.........

    If you connect your sky box by scart only then you get stereo L & R output to your TV, which you can then send the sound from the TV outputs to your surround amps. When this stereo signal gets to your surround amp, the amps Dolby Pro Logic surround processor can take that stereo information and try and move some of the sound to the surround speakers as well as the main centre speaker. Some programs, mostly newer ones create their stereo sound using certain patterns that your amps surround processor can take better advantage of, giving slightly better surround, whereas older TV programs, especially 1970's mono sound programs will almost always have very poor chance of sounding surround sound. What i have just said applies even when a program is listed as being Dolby Digital, because you are using just Scart it will not be going to your amp as Dolby Digital, just stereo analogue. Also, what i have said in this paragraph applies if you use the stereo Left and Right outputs on the Sky/satellite box direct to your amp, they can only carry a stereo analogue signal, however modern programs have very effective stereo signals that a surround processor can make quite good surround sound from, Star Trek Voyager often sounds quite good as an example.

    If you want proper full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround that you find on DVD's, then firstly you need to check the programs listing, although Sky movies 1, 2, 3 and Disney have Dolby Digital content, only some of the films are in Dolby Digital, a lot are still in Dolby Surround (which is the stereo signal that can sound good when fed to a Dolby Pro Logic amp). If you click the 'i' for information on the film you are considering, when the info box comes up, look on the top right, usually you see a bunch of letters there, if you see DS, thats Dolby Surround (the stereo version that can be made to sound vaguely surround soundish), if you see DD then the film is in Dolby Digital...but to listen to it in glorious Dolby Digital 5.1 channel sound your sky/satellite box must be connected up using the optical output (or possible a coaxial digital out if the satellite box has it) which is connected to a suitable receivers optical input. Then you can let your amp decode the sound in to 5.1 channels of surround goodness :)

    cliff notes:
    1) Scart or phono L&R connection only allows a pseudo surround sound. Older programs will mostly come from the centre speaker, newer programs/films will have a little bit of surround effect providing its pertinent, dont expect Have I Got News For You to have much rear channel sound, whereas Star Trek Voyager may.....
    2) Using Optical output will give you proper Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, but only if the program itself is recorded in DD 5.1, this will be shown on the programs information box on Sky with a DD in the top right corner instead of a DS.
    3) You cannot convert Optical output to any other form of cable without a reasonably expensive convertor box, this is because phono type cables are electrical, Optical is lightbeam. So if your surround amp does not have Optical inputs then you need to either purchase a convertor which isnt cheap, or get a different surround amp, and make sure it decodes Dolby Digital signals.

    hope this helps clear things up, its a little longwinded, but using less technical terms...lol...i think...heh
     
  23. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Make sure your Sky+ box optical audio settings are set to "DOLBY DIGITAL" and not "STEREO". Don't worry, all non DD material will still be output in stereo.
     
  24. Phantom Phixer

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    You do not seem to understand what Dolby Surround is.

    It is more than a stereo signal. It is actually a 4 channel signal having centre and mono rear signals encoded within the analogue stereo. This is decoded by a Dolby Pro Logic amplifier to give 4-channel surround.

    Agreed, many stereo signals can be enhanced by surround sound systems even if they do not contain Dolby Surround signals.

    Apologies. In my previous post when I said NOW/NEXT banner I did in fact mean the INFO banner.
     
  25. Knyght_byte

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    and that Dolby Surround signal is transmitted as a stereo signal, it simply contains the right information for a Pro Logic decoder to assign the right info to the correct channel, in a similar way that DD EX or DTS ES Matrix assign some of the rear L & R channels sound to create a rear centre channel........and you can access the DS sound through the stereo L&R outputs on the Sky box so this means it is transmitted as stereo.
     
  26. BOBCARB

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    how about telewest cable, do they send anything in 5.1?
     
  27. Knyght_byte

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    a few people i know have been struggling to get stereo from telewest, nevermind 5.1.......lol

    but i dunno if they get 5.1 or not, try checking their website, im sure if they do it they will say so....
     

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