• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Is High Def Audio possible?


Established Member
I think I must be going mad! I am convinced I read not long ago that an update had allowed the 360 to output some of the Hi-Def audio formats (DD+ & DTS HD I think). Not only that but one of my friends mentioned it soon after and asked why I was still outputting basic DD5.1.

Having heard how uncompressed audio sounds on Blu-Ray from my PS3, the only thing stopping me picking up HD-DVD bargains is the fact that the sound coming from my 360 HD-DVD is really very poor. And believe me once you have experienced Hi-def audio through a decent sound system, you won't want to go back to basic DD5.1 sound!

I do have an Elite but it is currently connected via optical (so I know I would not be able to use Dolby True HD, DTS Master or uncompressed via that) but I would have expected to used the compressed formats, i.e. DD+ & DTS HD.

I will probably be buying a new AV amp soon that has enough HDMI inputs to connect everything I have in this way but if the 360 can't and never will output any of the Hi-Def audio formats then I'll be concentrating on Blu-ray from now on and I may be able to get round having to buy a new amp for the time being.

I just can't seem to find any up-to-date information on this so I'd be grateful for comments. :smashin:


Established Member


The 360 player software decodes all the above codecs [Dolby Digital+, DTS, TrueHD, LPCM, MPEG] in software, mixes anything that needs to go together, re-encodes it into Dolby Digital and then sends that to your receiver. So, don't be alarmed when your receiver still says "Dolby Digital" even if you've selected DTS in the menus.


Now lets move on to the Xbox 360 with HD DVD add-on. The Elite's HDMI port cannot handle 5.1 channels due to hardware limitations, so multi-channel audio can only be sent via S/PDIF. At least you get a choice of which encoder is used to re-encode the audio: WMA Pro, DTS or Dolby Digital. Opinions vary on which is the best choice, but in theory at least the preference is the order I described, assuming your receiver can handle it...

All the Xbox allows you to select is what you wish the decoded audio to be re-encoded to for Optical / HDMI Output; Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 or WMA Pro 5.1.

Conversely I purchased a PS3 2 months back; it decodes all HD Audio formats & output them as PCM to my Receiver over HDMI (If you want Bit-streaming of HD Audio formats you'd want to look into a stand-alone Blu-Ray player) :)

Or of course you could seek out a stand-alone HD DVD player.


Established Member
The Elite's HDMI port cannot handle 5.1 channels due to hardware limitations, so multi-channel audio can only be sent via S/PDIF.
So even if I get a new amp and connect the 360 by HDMI, I still need an optical connection for the audio? That is just ridiculous :eek: What is the point of even having an HDMI output on an Elite then?

That's my mind made up then. I'll be using my PS3 for all HD movie viewing from now on and I shan't be buying any more HD-DVDs.


Established Member
Sorry, my mistake - I misread the post; yes, you can indeed use HDMI also, but it's the same restrictions for output as Optical - Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 or WMA Pro 5.1.

MicK: Sorry I should have said "cannot handle 5.1 channels UNCOMPRESSED" so no, you shouldn't need to use the audio adaptor cable when using HDMI audio. Sorry for the confusion.

The latest video from AVForums

Is 8K TV dead? Philips OLED+907, Pioneer LX505 AVR plus B&W 700 S3 Reviews & Visit + AV/HiFi News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom