Onkyo NR709 & Sony Blu-Ray - not getting digital audio

Prethen

Standard Member
I'm probably doing something dumb, but I'm not getting the proper digital audio out of my Sony BDP-S560 Blu-Ray to my new Onkyo TX-NR709. My Blu-Ray worked great with my older Onkyo when I used a Coaxial audio connection. However, I'm trying to only use the HDMI input.

My Onkyo has the BD input sourced from HDMI1 (and that's how I've connected the Blu-Ray player). I reset the Sony Blu-Ray player to output the Audio via HDMI (instead of Coax as it was with the old Onkyo). All the other settings are left alone. I completely detached the Coax.

I play Blu-Rays that should have Dolby Digital 5.1 at a minimum (and one has DTS-HD), but even though the video is fantastic, the audio doesn't appear to be coming in as Dolby Digital. The PCM icon on the Onkyo is lit up at the time the disc is playing. I hit the "Movie" DSP button on the remote and cycle through all the standard DSP stuff available, but none are Dolby Digital. In fact, I would expect, as with my old Onkyo, if the signal is coming in correctly, that my receiver should automatically set/force me to the Dolby Digital (and/or DTS-HD Master) setting.

What might I be forgetting here? This one is driving me nuts.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
You should be getting either Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio from Blue-ray titles if bitstreaming the audio from the player to the amp via HDMI. If you've not set the amp to bitstream and it is set to PCM, the player will be decoding the audio onboard before sending it as PCM. The PCM audio is no worse than the native HD format, but if you'd rather stream the native format to your amp for it to decode then you must configure the player to bitstream HDMI audio. I think this may be the cause of your problem?
 

Prethen

Standard Member
Hmmmm....I'll have to double check. Based on the (online) manual for my player, I think I did set up everything correctly (can't tell now since I'm not at home).

If for some reason, I end up sending PCM format, what do I set my DSP to on the Onkyo..."DIRECT"? Would DIRECT give me the ability to hear DTS-HD MASTER if that's what the movie is capable of sending?

Thanks!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Hmmmm....I'll have to double check. Based on the (online) manual for my player, I think I did set up everything correctly (can't tell now since I'm not at home).

If for some reason, I end up sending PCM format, what do I set my DSP to on the Onkyo..."DIRECT"? Would DIRECT give me the ability to hear DTS-HD MASTER if that's what the movie is capable of sending?

Thanks!

You don't need DSP for discrete surround formats. Set your amp to straight or DIRECT if this is the Onkyo equivalent. The amp will now play exactly what is sent to it. You do not need nor can you select a discrete format via the amp. These formats are on the disc and are not something created by the amp. You can choose audio options via the discs menu options, usually under the languages heading or by pressing the AUDIO button on the remote for your player.
 
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KUBBY

Standard Member
Sounds to me that the Sony is not sending the signal as a Bitstream. The PCM light is illuminating.


K.
 

Prethen

Standard Member
Yeah...I gotta look into that. The strange thing is that since it was previously hooked up to my other Onkyo and worked fine with digital streaming, I thought I would just need to change the audio out to HDMI and I should be good. It's a bit odd. Hopefully, I'll figure it out.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Yeah...I gotta look into that. The strange thing is that since it was previously hooked up to my other Onkyo and worked fine with digital streaming, I thought I would just need to change the audio out to HDMI and I should be good. It's a bit odd. Hopefully, I'll figure it out.

The HDMI audio settings are seperate to those for S/PDIF optical and coax. You need to set the player so that the HDMI audio output is bitstream and not LPCM or PCM.
 

Prethen

Standard Member
Okay, I finally got the setup the way I had anticipated it should work. For standard Dolby Digital movies it worked when I retested a DVD today (probably didn't work correctly previously because I had the player's output set to coax and didn't notice until later during my first set of testing yesterday that it should have been HDMI).

Blu-rays with DTS-HD Master was a different story. There is a setting on the Sony Blu-ray for BD Audio to be set either to Mix or Direct. I believe it was set to Mix all this time (for my old Onkyo) and all DVD's (including DTS) seem to source just fine to the receiver which automatically picked up the right decoding. The comment for Mix relates to allowing for mixed audio content from the interactive audio and secondary tracks. When I switched this to Direct (only outputs primary audio...no commentary track???? gotta check this out later) then I got the receiver to automatically detect the DTS-HD Master as expected.

I suppose whenever I want to listen to commentary, I might have to switch to Mixed which appears to output PCM.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Okay, I finally got the setup the way I had anticipated it should work. For standard Dolby Digital movies it worked when I retested a DVD today (probably didn't work correctly previously because I had the player's output set to coax and didn't notice until later during my first set of testing yesterday that it should have been HDMI).

Blu-rays with DTS-HD Master was a different story. There is a setting on the Sony Blu-ray for BD Audio to be set either to Mix or Direct. I believe it was set to Mix all this time (for my old Onkyo) and all DVD's (including DTS) seem to source just fine to the receiver which automatically picked up the right decoding. The comment for Mix relates to allowing for mixed audio content from the interactive audio and secondary tracks. When I switched this to Direct (only outputs primary audio...no commentary track???? gotta check this out later) then I got the receiver to automatically detect the DTS-HD Master as expected.

I suppose whenever I want to listen to commentary, I might have to switch to Mixed which appears to output PCM.

The player has to decode the different audio components before it can mix them together so this is why you get PCM with that setting. You can leave the mix setting as is and stream PCM. PCM is not of a lesser quality, it is just what is left after an audio format is decoded and it will match the HD audio bit for bit. The only real advantage to bitstreaming the HD format itself is that your amp can then show the native format type on its display. Your amp decodes this format and turns it into PCM, but your amp doesn't tell you this. PCM is the data language used to convey digital audio. All devices that deal with digital audio use PCM eventually, it is just a matter of you not knowing it or you not being able to see it happen when bitstreaming the HD formats to an AV amp.
 

Prethen

Standard Member
Yeah, it probably seems silly, but I like the idea of seeing my receiver light up with those words! However, I do appreciate your responses as it puts it all in perspective. If for some reason, I cannot hear commentary properly, I'll switch back to Mixed mode.

Thanks again!
 

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