Is there a Media Streamer which outputs Dolby over HDMI

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by Jon Weaver, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    You would think that they would all do this, but I have currently tried a Panasonic and WD TV Live streamer and neither will output Dolby (or any 5.1 audio) out of HDMI (as I don't have any optical connections free).

    This could indicate a problem with my amp/setup.. But if I unplug the HDMI cable from the streamer and connect to my PS3 or DVD with no config change, I get Dolby..

    So does anyone know with 100% certainty (because they are using one) of a media streamer which outputs Dolby over HDMI?

    My fingers are crossed that someone has an answer.

    Jon
     
  2. next010

    next010
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    WDTV Live definitely outputs Dolby 5.1 over HDMI, not sure whats going wrong there.

    Go into setup->audio\video output

    Under audio output there are three options stereo, digital pass-through via optical and digital pass-through via HDMI which is the one you want.

    If you have digital pass-through via HDMI already enabled, something is going wrong. Try using the manual option instead of auto when selecting pass via HDMI, you can then pick what formats are to be passed, so just select Dolby & nothing else then see if that works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  3. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    I spent all night on this and can't make it work and then didn't get any sleep whilst the problem ran around in my head.

    I installed my WD TV, and first installed the Firmware update.. Then I went into settings and configured "Pass Through Via HDMI" and ticked on "Dolby Digital Amp"..

    Then I played a video which I know is DD/AC3.. And the amp never changes from "Pro Logic II".. It even said it was "Dolby Digital" on the on-screen message, but the amp didn't reflect this.

    I then went to my PS3 and streamed the exact same file and the amp jumped straight over to "Dolby Digital" as I expected (So I know the file in question is Dolby).. Just to rule out DNLA, I put the file on a stick and tried it locally and it was the same.

    Then I went back and forth trying everything.. I even removed the HDMI cable from the WD and plugged it into the PS3 and got DD. This proves the cable, and amp. When its plugged in the WD, it will not signal my amp to go to DD.. And its starting to worry me as the Panasonic streamer I tried before did the same thing.

    In contrast everything else I have (DVD, PS3) will do DD over HDMI.

    I did notice that there was a 1.21 F/W update on my amp, and considering I was at 1.11 I figured there might be some changes.. But it didn't help.

    I am now at a complete loss as to what to do.. I simply can't find any way to get the WD to trigger my amp to go to DD.

    I did a lot of searching/reading and it seems that some people have had similar problems, and some posts state that WD say there is no DD over HDMI.. But its hard to work out whether this is factual or not.

    Does anyone have any thoughts? Anything??

    Jon

    Edit: I should point out that when I go into "Automatic", I get a list of what my amp supports and it only says "Channel 2".. So I have done everything manually and ticket the relevant boxes instead.. But this point is key, since the 'Auto' setup doesn't even get notification from the Amp that it can support other standards!

    I would like to explore this further.. Does anyone know whether you would expect the list to show more? I am thinking now that this is the root of the problem.. It seems that the amp isn't able to talk to the WD and tell it what modes it supports.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  4. next010

    next010
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    Thats some bad luck all right, it would appear to be a HDMI handshaking issue, your amp for whatever reason is not talking to the WDTV.

    Do you have any other HDMI cables you can test with ?

    The only solution I ever came up with for HDMI handshaking is by using a display cloner, these boxes take the input and clone it to two HDMI outputs but they also have a beneficial side effect in that they also tend to resolve handshaking problems in the few times I've encountered this. Might work or might not, hard to say but it's cheaper than buying another box.

    As to other devices well, maybe a Mede8er as that uses a Realtek chip or The Little Black Box as that uses an Amlogic chip, WDTV was a Sigma chip which used by Dune/Popcornhour as well so might want to avoid those.
     
  5. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    Yep.. I think this is the root of the problem....

    I just took 30mins with a clear head to do some tests.

    I plugged a cable into an input on the AMP and worked though all of the HDMI devices I have.

    1. Panasonic DVD Player (This has options for RAW and PCM)

    RAW = Dolby Digital
    PCM = 2 Channel PCM
    2. Wii-U (Only an option for PCM) - This shows PCM (5 Channel) on the amp

    3. PS3

    When I go into Auto, I am shown the list of modes which are supported and only see 2 channel
    Manual.. I can tick all the boxes my amp suppports

    If I set it up for PCM, I get 5 channel PCM.. DD gives my Dolby and DTS, DTS.. .So its fine

    4. WD TV Live

    Just like the PS3, Auto shows 2 Channel.. But when I go into Manual and ticket Dolby an/or PCM, I just get 2 channel PCM.

    5. WD TV Play (Borrowed from a colleague)

    Less options than the Live, and no ability to do Auto or Manual.. But the same thing happens.. 2 channel


    So I think the crux of the problem is that I don't get the hand-shaking and the WDTV thinks it only support 2 channel.. And I assume that when you click "Dolby", the WD box says "hang on, you don't support that" and it doesn't allow it.. Unlike the PS3 which just says "go for it and accept the consequences"

    I am not sure that if my findings on the PS3 is a red herring, but it certainly looks like the same issue...


    The question now is whether its

    1. A Fault
    2. A Bug
    3. Yamaha arn't interested in declaring the modes their amp supports so this is intentional behavour

    I have tried different cables and all 4 ports on the amp, so I wonder if a factory reset might help on the amp? Atleast I know where the problem lies, or atleast I think it does!

    Jon

    Edit: I am getting more and more convinced this is the cause.. I asked my mate to do a test on his Onkyo.. He goes into Auto on his PS3 and get a list of modes which are supported.. So clearly, there is something wrong with my amp.. Atleast I know what the problem is and have a CHANCE of fixing it....
     
  6. next010

    next010
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    2. A bug is most likely from what you describe.

    Yamaha did something on this model that deviates from the norm and makes anything running through it thinks it only supports 2 channel. In hindsight the Panny media streamer was probably fine all along and it's the amp.

    I assume the Yamaha isn't operating is some special sound mode, it's set to auto or something akin to that and decode whatever is passed to it.

    Google search shows this
    Code:
    On mine
    Setup/Function/HDMI
    Control=Off
    Standby Throughput=Off
    Audio Out=Amp
    Resolution=Through
    Searching Google with your Yamaha model number and HDMI handshaking may lead to more accurate results.
     
  7. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    Absolutely right about the Panny.. Clearly the amp is declaring its only 2 channel (or not declaring at all).. Now I am 99.9% sure its a handshaking issue, I have something to search on.. I will look at the options tonight to see if there is anything which could explain this behavior..

    Another interesting fact is that my PS4 is doing something similar too. Optical is 5 channel.. HDMI 2 channel. And I have a feeling its all related to this!!! I just didn't see the pattern until we started down this route...
     
  8. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    Oh dear.. Yamaha just told me something which could be BAD! Can't fault their service though as they pulled out the same Amp as me and a PS3 and did some tests.

    Apparently (according to them), the amp doesn't tell the connected box what it supports, the master device does, which is the TV.. And in my case, this is a basic Panasonic Plasma with ZERO capability

    This is why the amp is telling my PS3 (And WD TV) that I can only support 2 channel.. And where as the PS3 lets me over-ride this, the WD does not.

    So in conclusion it might be my choice of TV which could be to blame, just because its cheap!

    Buy. When I question his statement and said "are you sure after all this would mean you couldn't output DTS-HD for example unless the TV supported it", he back tracked.

    So I am not entirely convinced.. But what is for sure, is that this is the problem.. My amp, for what ever reason is now giving its 'modes' to the attached device.. And it looks like I need to spend the weekend trying to debug this.

    Apparently, i can take a dump of the config, so I can re-initialize it to see if that helps.

    At the end of the day, WD are still a tiny bit to blame as it shoud work like the PS3 does and let you over-ride the settings.. But they are entitled to design this how they want and it works right for everyone else.

    Jon
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  9. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    ITS FIXED!!! THanks to Dante01 over on the Reciever forum. I decided to put a post asking for help from someone who has the RX-V3900 amp like mine.. And he came up with the idea of changing the Bypass settings from "AMP+TV" to "AMP", so the end devices are totally unaware of my TV.

    And it worked. Immediatly, the list of modes appeared on my PS3 in Auto mode and my WDTV gave Dolby right away, with no manual setup!

    I am thrilled and thank everyone for their help.. This was an Amp problem after all, and embarrasing for Yamaha that they didn't even suggest this.

    The question now is whether to keep the Panasonic which is a nice cheap streamer and bound to work.. Or keep the WDTV.. I think the smart money is on the WD.. Isn't it??
     
  10. next010

    next010
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    Yeah the WDTV is the more capable of the two, anyway good it hear it's fixed.
     

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