DTS to Dolby 5.1 conversion

frodawgg

Novice Member
OK, so I'm pretty sure I'm plumb out of luck, but I just wanted to confirm before making any unnecessary decisions.

I recently started a very modest theater set-up; my basement is small and I don't really have the money for high-end stuff.

The 5.1 receiver I got--once again, inexpensive and lower-end--is the RCA RT2781HB U. While it only does Dolby Digital and PLII, that's fine, and it sounds good (I would prefer lossless, but that's a budgetary thing and an issue for another day). However, I quickly realized I can't watch DTS movies in discrete 5.1; it downmixes and I have to use PLII. The Sony Blu-ray player I'm using is good, but rather old, and it can output both Dolby and DTS, but I guess it doesn't transcode (which I don't think is a BD player's duty anyway).

I've been searching high and low for solutions, and I found that they have converters (I have an HDMI/optical splitter/audio extractor, but that doesn't transcode, either--just passthrough), and they say you can convert and output the surround via the analog RCA plugs. Great! Nope. My receiver only has L/R, not six channels. What should've been an easy fix is not an option. Welp, that's what I get for going cheap.

IS there a way to listen to my DTS in discrete 5.1 somehow through optical or HDMI? Any devices do this? Or are my only options to either accept what I have and deal with it or drop money on another receiver?

Thank you so much! I know I'm probably not going to be happy with the answer, but it's better to know than to wonder.

Jason
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
You get can a DD/DTS/hd avr for literally peanuts. Just do that
 

frodawgg

Novice Member
So, I was correct in assuming my only option is just to get a new receiver? Just trying to exhaust any other possibilities.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Does the device you are sourcing the audio from have the option to decode the formatted audio itself prior to then outputting it as multichannel PCM via HDMI?

Simply configure your source device to do the decoding. It will then output the audioi as multichannel PCM which your AV receiver should be able to process? You may even be able to portray HD sources if doing this?

Not that if the source is a TV then you wouldn't be able to do as I've suggested. The PCM option on TVs results in all audio being downmixed and only 2 channel PCM being output.
 

frodawgg

Novice Member
I'm not in front of it, but I believe it's just stereo PCM. And, as I interpret it, I don't think that would matter, as my receiver only does Dolby? My FireStick is fine because that outputs Dolby and I've watched BDs with TrueHD which have either been converted or had their ac3 core utilized.

I don't understand why things just can't be universal... (I mean, I do, but it sucks 😞🤣)
 

frodawgg

Novice Member
I would have no problem buying something with peanuts. I don't like eating them, so what else am I going to do with them?
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Who is pricing their components in peanuts?
or do you mean figuratively?

1080p DD/DTS/hd 7.1 avr is pretty much cheap as chips
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
it is extremely unlikely that your AV receiver would not be able to handle multichannel PCM. PCM is basically what the codecs onboard your AV receiver are used to decode the Dolby encoded audio to. THe PCM data is then input into that AV receiver's DAC prior to amplifying each channel relative to each of the speakers present.
 

rc789

Active Member
Chips are a bit like AV gear. Sometimes they are the perfect chip hitting all the right spots and other times they’ve never tasted so bad.

We can try a topping of peanuts which some swear blind will create audio nirvana yet others think they are vegetable oil.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Browse classifieds, pickup something like yamaha 671 era amp, that is modern but not too new to have high value.

If you plan to have converter you'll need encoder and you'll pay licensing cost for that. A pc will be able to do it. They'll be sound quality loss also as it's one lossy format to another

You'll be able to pickup one for a song.
 

frodawgg

Novice Member
it is extremely unlikely that your AV receiver would not be able to handle multichannel PCM. PCM is basically what the codecs onboard your AV receiver are used to decode the Dolby encoded audio to. THe PCM data is then input into that AV receiver's DAC prior to amplifying each channel relative to each of the speakers present.
Possibly, but the Blu-ray player only outputs stereo PCM I believe, so even if I downmix the DTS to PCM, I'm only getting two channels. The FireStick and my DVR are Dolby, so those aren't an issue.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Possibly, but the Blu-ray player only outputs stereo PCM I believe, so even if I downmix the DTS to PCM, I'm only getting two channels. The FireStick and my DVR are Dolby, so those aren't an issue.


I'd find that hard to believe? Most players will include an option to decode the formatted Dolnu or DTS encoded audio onboard the player and then output it as multichannel PCM via HDMI.

Note that the player would not be "downmixing" the DTS formatted audio and it would be decoding it.

What is the make and the model of the player in question?
 

frodawgg

Novice Member
I'd find that hard to believe? Most players will include an option to decode the formatted Dolnu or DTS encoded audio onboard the player and then output it as multichannel PCM via HDMI.
Possibly. I'll look again, but I seemed to remember it specifically saying 2-channel PCM, and I think the manual or the Sony site confirmed that. It's an older model, so maybe things have changed since then. However, I'll recheck.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
On a Sony player there are usually 2 digital audio output options, Auto and PCM.

The PCM option will result in the player decoding the formatted audio itself. This will result in multichannel PCM being output via the HDMI output to an AV receiver HDMI input. THe AUTO option bitstreams the encoded audio via the player's outputs.

If using optical then this is limited to 2 channel PCM. Don't use the optical output and use the HDMI output to convey the audio. HDMI can convey multichannel PCM.

You'd also be advised not to engage the DOWNMIX setting and to leave it set to SURROUND.

Most Sony players also have a Dolby D Compatible Output setting. THis will convert all DTS encoded audio to Dolby Digital if turned on.




Again, it helps if you state the exact model of player you have.
 

frodawgg

Novice Member
On a Sony player there are usually 2 digital audio output options, Auto and PCM.

The PCM option will result in the player decoding the formatted audio itself. This will result in multichannel PCM being output via the HDMI output to an AV receiver HDMI input. THe AUTO option bitstreams the encoded audio via the player's outputs.

If using optical then this is limited to 2 channel PCM. Don't use the optical output and use the HDMI output to convey the audio. HDMI can convey multichannel PCM.

You'd also be advised not to engage the DOWNMIX setting and to leave it set to SURROUND.

Most Sony players also have a Dolby D Compatible Output setting. THis will convert all DTS encoded audio to Dolby Digital if turned on.




Again, it helps if you state the exact model of player you have.
OK, all that seems familiar.

The model is Sony BDP BX1.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
OK, all that seems familiar.

The model is Sony BDP BX1.


You may be correct with that player and from what I can determine, it would limit the output to just 2 channel PCM if it detects that the destination device is unable to handle or decode the format the audio is actually encoded with. This would be if using HDMI to convey the audio from the player to the AVR.

To try determine whether this is actually the case or not, you can try the following settings on that player:
  • SEt AUDIO OUTPUT PRIORITY to HDMI
  • Set AUDIO (HDMI) to AUTO
  • Set BD AUDIO SETTING to DIRECT


If the player can output multichannel PCM and if the AVR receiver is able to process this, but not DTS encoded audio then the player shoukld detect this and decode anything encoded with DTS onboard the player. If you only get 2 channel PCM though then this indicates that either and or the player and the AV receiver haven't the ability to either convey multichannel PCM or process it when receiving it.

FRom the manual:

by default 2022-01-30 at 17.45.54.png


by default 2022-01-30 at 17.45.32.png


But no mention of you getting anything more than just 2 channel PCM relative to SD DTS or Dolby Digital encoded audio.



Neither does that player appear to include the DTS to Dolby Digital conversion option included on some other models.
 
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