Question Any ideas how to get 5.1 working on PS4 using ARC?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Stluke1877, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    Dear All,
    I have a PS4, Panasonic 4K CX680 TV and SONY BDV N5200.
    I do have other workarounds but if I connect PS4 direct to TV and attempt to use ARC function it will not output 5.1 under any circumstances no matter what settings I change on the receiver or on the PS4.
    I can happily and easily get 5.1 DD through ARC on my Sky HD box so I know it's possible.
    Any tips or magic solutions would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks,
     
  2. dante01

    dante01
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    TVs do not generally passthrough multichannel audio if accessed via external devices connected to their HDMI inputs. Besides which, most audio content and especially games audio output via a Playstation will be multichannel PCM which cannot be conveyed via ARC.
     
  3. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    Thank you very much for the reply! That's really strange as I have my sky HD box connected directly to the TV in HDMI and I get 5.1 DD through my receiver using ARC. Didn't understand why PS4 will not do the same
     
  4. dante01

    dante01
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    What audio formats are you attempting to passthrough? AS I said, ARC can't convey multichannel PCM, but also cannot convey HD formats such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio. ARC is limited to stereo pCM or SD 5.1 formats such as Dolby Digital or DTS.
     
  5. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    Just simply DD. No matter what I try it steadfastly refuses to output anything other than PCM 2.0. Sky HD no problem whatsoever but PS4 seems to be a law unto itself. Even more galling since the blu Ray receiver is Sony
     
  6. diver5

    diver5
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    The settings on my PS4 are PCM, Dolbly Digital or DTS. When you choose one your just choosing the order preference they are used in rather than explicitly using just one.

    My PS4 is connected through my amp but whatever setting I set the PS4 to I always get 7.1 as a minimum into the amp (playing games or the dash board). As ARC is limited to 5.1 I wonder if this could be the reason?
     
  7. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    It could be. I have tried every combination of settings on the amp and on the PS4 switching HDCP off HDMI control off etc. The PS4 either has an ARC issue or I'm being a dimwit. Either option is possible
     
  8. diver5

    diver5
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    Do you have a standard 5.1 DVD movie you could try playing (on the PS4) to see if you get 5.1 through the ARC with just a 5.1 source?
     
  9. JonJ

    JonJ
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    Hi,
    I have a PS4 and Sony TV with a Yamaha soundbar connected via ARC. I confirm that the TV (as per other posts) does not allow 5.1/DTS through ARC. I have the PS4 connected direct to the soundbar.
     
  10. Oswald

    Oswald
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  11. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    Good idea I will try that later at home see if it does it. My gut feeling is its a PS4 specific issue with ARC but then my knowledge is so limited I wanted the opinions of people that know far more than me! I wonder if there's anyone out there that can confirm they have got 5.1 working in this setup on PS4 through a receiver/amp?
     
  12. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    Oswald, thank you I will check that thread out and see if there's a solution...
     
  13. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    Seems the PS4 is riddled with HDMI audio issues...
     
  14. mbmapit

    mbmapit
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    Is it going in to HDMI port 2? This is the only port that supports ARC on your TV.
     
  15. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    Receiver goes into HDMI 2 (ARC) sky in HDMI 1 works perfect with ARC, IF I PUT PS4 in HDMI 1 absolutely no chance
     
  16. andy1249

    andy1249
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    ARC is a set of optional CEC commands within the HDMI interface.
    The problem is that these are " optional" and not standardised.

    Some devices use the standard CEC commands , but any manufacturer that has their own CEC command set uses those instead.

    Sony have their own, called " bravianet" , and these are only guaranteed to work with other Sony equipment of the same generation.

    Because of this ARC / CEC is generally an unreliable mess, and where at all possible you should forget about it and just connect directly to the receiver and or use a universal remote like a harmony.

    The fact that Sky works and your PS4 does not simply means that sky are using a command set that is compatible with the rest of your equipment but the Sony does not.
    Its not a fault as such, Sony would call it a "feature" and suggest you get more Sony gear.
    Thats the way it is with ARC / CEC at the moment and its not likely to change, you will get similar issues with other manufacturers.
    Samsung = anynet
    Panasonic = Vieralink and so on ....
     
  17. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    Andy thank you. I guess it's one of those things although maybe I was over optimistic that 2 of the 3 components involved (PS4 and surround sound) are both SONY! You are right of course, I can (and do) connect directly to the receiver I was just experimenting with picture quality on both SKY and PS4 by connecting directly to a 4K TV set and not having the blu Ray receiver add an extra level of processing if that makes sense. Just frustrating SKY can do 5.1 DD through ARC with a Sony blu Ray system and a Sony PS4 can't
     
  18. andy1249

    andy1249
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    Sony blu ray to sony PS4 should be fine, stick the panasonic in between and it becomes a compatibility issue between Bravialink and Vieralink....there is pretty much nothing you can do about that unfortunately.
     
  19. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    That makes sense although my OCD part of my brain wonders why Sky to Panasonic to Sony works and Sony to Panasonic to Sony doesn't! C'est la vie I suppose although I bet I don't stop trying to "fix" it!
    Really appreciate the info
     
  20. dante01

    dante01
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    The Playstation uses standard HDMI CEC and no mention of Bravia is made within its HDMI settings. ARC is a subset feature of HDMI CEC and has nothing to do with various interpretations of HDMI Control being employed by the different TV manufacturers. If there is an issue with ARC associated with a device then it is due to the manufacturer not correctly implementing ARC. ARC is not open to interpretation and is a set standard. THe source is not the device dealing with the ARC signal. You can turn HDMI control completely off onboard the Playsation and you should still be able to convey audio from the TV to the AV receiver. The Playstation is playing no part in the conveyance of audio via ARC and is simply the source of the audio. Likewise, the SKY box has nothing to do with ARC and is simply the source of the audio being conveyed. Iys HDMI CEC capabilities play no part in this and you can turn HDMI Control off onboard the STB and still convey audio from the TV to an AV receiver via ARC.

    I'd suggest the issue nothing at all to do with incompatibility and more a matter of how the PLaystation outputs various types of audio. For a start, games are output as multichannel PCM as opposed to Dolby Digital or DTS because the console needs to decode the audio itself in order for it to then be able to mix in audio it creates. As I said before, ARC can only convey 2 channels of PCM data and is limited to the same audio as associated with S/PDIF optical. In fact ARC uses the same S/PDIF protocol as optical or digital coax. Also note that Disc based media such as DVDs or Blu-rays don't automatically bitstream audio if the console is set to bitstream via the main settings. The console will output multichannel PCM from such sources unless you first insert a disc and play it before then pressing the "Options" button on the PS4 controller, select settings and set Audio Format to "BITSTREAM (DIRECT)". The console retains that setting for all future discs of this type. Again, if this wasn't already done then the console would have been outputting multichannel PCM and not Dolby Digital or DTS and ARC cannot convey more than 2 channels of PCM data.

    I'm also not sure how you are managing to passthrough Dolby Digital 5.1 from your SKY box? TVs other than Sony sets cannot passthrough multichannel audio accessed from external HDMI devices.

    All in all, the solution is to make a direct connection from the source to the AV receiver and this is what is usually suggested regarding any HDMI source. It is recommended not to connect sources directly to a TV via HDMI and passthrough audio to the receiver for the very reasons you are having issues with.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  21. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    I have no idea to be honest but I am DEFINITELY passing through 5.1DD from Sky to Panasonic TV. Sky is directly connected to TV via HDMI 1 and has no connection with blu Ray receiver whatsoever. I then have receiver connected to TV via HDMI 2 ARC. I set receiver/blu Ray to TV input and it most definitely outputs 5.1 DD from sky (dependant on channel eg Sky movies HD)
     
  22. dante01

    dante01
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    Read my modified post above, especially this section:

     
  23. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    It all started off a with an experiment in picture quality to be honest. I agree going through receiver is the optimum route for sky and PS4 which I can do easily. Perhaps it's me, my brain doesn't like a problem I can't understand:).
     
  24. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    So if understand correctly there's absolutely no point even trying the ARC route for games as they output PCM so it will always be stereo?
     
  25. andy1249

    andy1249
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    Dante, for ARC to function, HDMI CEC must be on on the ARC device and on the receiver, in that respect it is a subset of CEC and cannot work without it.

    Different proprietary CEC command sets ( note ...NOT the optional standard commands) do prevent HDMI CEC from working between different devices and as a result are known to cause ARC to fail.
    Its a regular occurance.

    Obviously, by connecting directly ARC is not needed and bypasses the whole issue, so that is the best way to go if possible.
     
  26. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    That makes sense as well because ARC does not even function if I disable it on blu Ray. I know and I will connect directly but when you get something in your head...:) Would not have even thought twice but when I had sky working I thought"why not try it with PS4 as well"?
     
  27. dante01

    dante01
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    Correct, although you can force the console to bitstream the audio, but this would result in the absence of audio created by the console for use in the game.
     
  28. dante01

    dante01
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    The console and the SKY STB are not ARC devices. Only the TV and the receiver are ARC enabled.
     
  29. Stluke1877

    Stluke1877
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    All of you thank you so much for your help and indeed knowledge. Seems I cannot use ARC and 5.1 certainly for gaming on PS4. Slightly off topic but connected to what I was trying to do in the first place- my blu Ray rceiver BDV-N5200, if I connect my PS4 or any other component to it with HDMI, how do I know if it simply passes through the video signal or if it is attempting some sort of processing? Read the manual cover to cover but as with most Sony literature it's not the clearest!!
     
  30. PSM1

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    Could the 'issue' be that the Sky box is dumb in terms of HDMI control/CEC? As far as I remember Sky has no HDMI control built into it while the PS4 does. I may be wrong but would this mean that the Sky box would not 'see' the TV as a stereo source but the PS4 would. Hence the PS4 would modify its sound output to match what it thinks is receiving it i.e. the TV while the Sky box would blindly just send the sound that has been set within the Sky box itself? This could be why 5.1 is forced through with the Sky box but not the PS4? All the above could be complete rubbish but may form an explanation.
     

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