Digital cable - digital sound?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by JayBee, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. JayBee

    JayBee
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    I have Telewest digital, and currently have the audio going from the SCART output into my amp. All coming through in stereo, fine and dandy. However....

    This may seem a dumb question, but if I'm paying for digital cable, shouldn't I be able to actually receive digital sound :confused: . I notice that some programs show dolby digital surround sound in their credits (e.g. The Simpsons). Can I get surround sound through 2 audio channels, or do I have to get Telewest to change/tweak the box in order for that to work. Or is the fact that this is digital cable a pretty pointless marketing gimic that just means the signal (usually) gets to the box without crapping up, but doesn't provide me with any decent ways to use the signal with my digital equipment?

    Just wondering

    Thanks

    JayBee
     
  2. Starburst

    Starburst
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    The sound is carried digitally within the mpegII data stream it is then decoded by the STB to produce the audio along side the picture data. The STB outputs the audio as an analogue signal via the scart or phonos, if your STB has an optical output then the audio is sent digitally over that connection but it is still only stereo on TW, NTL, DTT and most of SKY.
    If you want actually digital surround audio output (Dolby Digital) then you will need an appropriate STB with the right connections and TW will also have to broadcast the format which at the moment only SKY do for their SKY+ users.

    As far as I know The Simpsons still only use Dolby Surround on the audio tracks which will give you mono surround effect.
    Quite a few of the US shows now carry DD 5.1 soundtracks as the format is used on High Def television and the digital cable networks.
     

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