Ok this is a tricky one. Looking for anyone who can help with center channel issues w/Xbox & Denon, Google has been no help. Appreciate help.

Mizzymooma

Active Member
So I have Xbox one s as my main media player running through denon x3500 running a 5.1.2 setup. But am having issues with my center channel disappearing under certain circumstances.
So normal blu ray playback always gives me center channel. Xbox is set to let receiver decode audio.
Netflix gives me center channel audio when watching most things, but occasionally a movie like "the prestige" will give me no center channel. The Xbox audio for streaming is set to 5.1 uncompressed.
Amazon prime and All4 give me no center channel audio at all unless I set Xbox audio to stereo.
Can anyone please explain these unusual occurrences. Its really annoying playing something with my normal settings (5.1 uncompressed or bitstream out) and having to dig into the Xbox settings to change to stereo due to finding no center channel audio. And why does this happen only when playing certain things via Netflix. Its really confusing and I struggle to find the logic. What is also strange is that when the center speaker dissapears the vocal audio does come through but only on the L&R channels.

Really appreciate any help with this as its really got me stumped. Thanks
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I guess the simple answer is that these movies are not encoded with a 5.1 soundtrack, only stereo, so there's no audio to route to the speaker. No doubt when you select stereo, the amplifier applies a Dolby pro logic effect to create pseudo surround including a centre channel.

The fact that the vocals are present in the stereo mix supports this theory. Can you just change the avr to a different decoding option when watching content with just a stereo soundtrack?
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Some Netflix films originate from a 2.0 source, but Netflix broadcasts them as 5.1 with the centre and surround channels silent, just like black and white films are broadcast in colour, although they don't have any colour components.

Your AVR has an option to expand 2.0 to 5.1 algorithmically which you have presumably enabled. Adjusting the XBox to force a stereo output allows the AVR to expand it, whilst leaving the XBox to send the broadcast 5.1 (that is 5.1 but with no content on the centre and surround channels) will of course not provoke the AVR to treat it as stereo. Should you wish to watch a Netflix 5.1 transmission of a 2.0 source as stereo transmission, so that your AVR can then synthesize the other channels, you will need to continue with the fiddle you are currently using.

Your Bluray player, unlike Netflix, will transmit a movie with a 2.0 soundtrack as 2.0, so that will work as expected.
 

Mizzymooma

Active Member
Some Netflix films originate from a 2.0 source, but Netflix broadcasts them as 5.1 with the centre and surround channels silent, just like black and white films are broadcast in colour, although they don't have any colour components.

Your AVR has an option to expand 2.0 to 5.1 algorithmically which you have presumably enabled. Adjusting the XBox to force a stereo output allows the AVR to expand it, whilst leaving the XBox to send the broadcast 5.1 (that is 5.1 but with no content on the centre and surround channels) will of course not provoke the AVR to treat it as stereo. Should you wish to watch a Netflix 5.1 transmission of a 2.0 source as stereo transmission, so that your AVR can then synthesize the other channels, you will need to continue with the fiddle you are currently using.

Your Bluray player, unlike Netflix, will transmit a movie with a 2.0 soundtrack as 2.0, so that will work as expected.
Thank you, that does make sense. So there is nothing wrong in a settings sense, its all purely down to bad audio programming in streams. I expect this is why all shows on All4 are missing centre channel info. Probably best to just leave as stereo output then the receiver can do all the upmixing albeit from a stereo signal as opposed to a 5.1. Really hope this kind of thing gets sorted. Thanks for the detailed response.
 

Mizzymooma

Active Member
I guess the simple answer is that these movies are not encoded with a 5.1 soundtrack, only stereo, so there's no audio to route to the speaker. No doubt when you select stereo, the amplifier applies a Dolby pro logic effect to create pseudo surround including a centre channel.

The fact that the vocals are present in the stereo mix supports this theory. Can you just change the avr to a different decoding option when watching content with just a stereo soundtrack?
Yes I tried to play with the sound modes but none created a 5.1 mix with a centre channel. I guess I could change to multi channel stereo on the shows/films that give me problems, its just a shame that the audio info from these apps tricks the avr into thinking its getting 5.1 so it applies no upmixing. The only solution is to have everything set to stereo so at least the avr knows to upmix. Quite shoddy in 2020 really. These apps leave a lot to be desired. Glad I still enjoy physical media!
 

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