Answered Only getting LPCM from TV to receiver

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Silent Arts, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Silent Arts

    Silent Arts
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    Hi all,

    I have an issue with my surround setup, which I'm hoping someone can help me with.

    My TV is a Samsung 55JS8005 and my receiver is a Sony BDV-N590.

    When I play a 4K file with True HD sound, I only get "LPCM" to light up on my receiver. On the TV I've set the HDMI sound to "Bitstream". HDMI ARC is turned on, but I wouldn't think this should matter, as I'm playing this file via the Plex app on my TV?

    My question is, how do I get the best sound when playing this file from my TV and outputting to my receiver.

    I've attached a page from the manual for my receiver, which leads me to belive it can't output loseless audio through my TV :( but maybe I'm wrong.
     

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  2. Best Answer:
    Post #14 by dante01, Dec 7, 2018 (1 points)
  3. Rambles

    Rambles
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    The problem is that you are using the Plex App on the TV, and the TV is not able to passthrough HD audio to the AVR, unfortunately.
     
  4. Silent Arts

    Silent Arts
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    What if I used a Nvidia Shield hooked up to the TV or Receiver?
     
  5. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Yes, the Nvidia Shield should be able to playback 4k / HDR video and HD audio.

    But... the problem that you have is that if you connect it to your TV, as you have found out, the TV will not pass through HD audio to the AVR.

    And... if you connect it to the AVR, a quick google of your Sony model says that it will not pass through 4k / HDR video to your TV.

    Have you got, or are you getting a UHD player? Many of those have dual HDMI outputs so one for HD audio to an amp and one for HD video to the TV.

    However, even though they have got playback via DLNA or connected USB stick / hard drive, all or most of them only do refresh rate switching on discs, so it depends on how sensitive / fussy you are with those issues.

    You could use a PC as a source, if it has a graphics card with dual outputs, as that will do refresh rate switching and you can split off the audio and video.

    Or, you can get breakout boxes, such as the HD Fury, which can take an HDMI input and split the video and audio to two independent outputs. But they are quite pricey.
     
  6. Silent Arts

    Silent Arts
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    I've just borrowed a Shield from a friend and connected it to the receiver. Just using HD. But when I play the same 4K TrueHD movie, it says PCM 5.1 on the receiver. From the attached screenshot, would you say my receiver can't handle loseless audio from the HDMI 1/2 inputs? Is PCM 5.1 = loseless audio (like TrueHD, DTS-HD Master etc. ?) Maybe the issue is that Plex has to transcode a 4K to HD and also transcodes the audio from TrueHD to something else?
     
  7. Rambles

    Rambles
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    A quick Google search suggests that the Shield does support the HD audio formats so it might just be a settings issue.

    You need to check the global settings for the device as well as the audio settings in the media player.

    You are looking to turn on HDMI bitstream or pass through, as well as fudgeing any boxes to say that your audio device supports Dolby true HD.
     
  8. Silent Arts

    Silent Arts
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    Thanks Rambles.
    Will have to try that when I get home from work. But my understanding is that PCM/LPCM 5.1 is the same as those lossless audio formats?
     
  9. dante01

    dante01
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    You'd unfortunately not be able to passthrough or output multichannel PCM from a TV not equipped with eARC though. Neither S/PDIF optical or conventional ARC can convey more than 2 channels of PCM. OLder AV receivers and TVs don't come equipped with eARC so the TV wouldn't have any ability to output multichannel PCM to the receiver.

    The same goes for HD audio formats such as TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio and you'd need to make a direct HDMI connection from an external source directly to the AV receiver if wanting to convey these formats or multichannel PCM to an AV receiver in the absence of eARC compliance.

    The issue you have is that a direct HDMI connection from a source to the AV receiver in order to access HD audio formats and or multichannel PCM means that you cannot then pass UHD video from that source through the older AV receiver to your UHD compliant TV.
     
  10. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Yes, you shouldn't notice any drop in quality between multi channel PCM and Dolby True HD / DTS-HD MA in theory. But in practice they do sound different to me, on some set-ups. So if you can get them both working, it is worth trying both options and see what you prefer.
     
  11. dante01

    dante01
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    On reading the manual for the Sony BDV-N590, it would appear that the receiver/player doesn't actually pffer any support for HD formats such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio if sourced externally and is even limited to just 5.1multichannel PCM if the source is an external device?

    snapshot001.jpg

    https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/res/manuals/4418/44181441M.pdf

    The only means by which to access such formats using the device would be via discs you insert into it for it to play. This device has no ability to access or play the aforementioned formats if accessed via any of its inputs including its HDMI input.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  12. Silent Arts

    Silent Arts
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    Yes, but as I asked previously. Isn't LPCM 5.1 the same as lossless audio? So in theory the same as TrueHD, DTS-Master?
     
  13. dante01

    dante01
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    If the source device does the decoding then the resulting multichannel PCM will result in the same quality of audio you'd have gotten had you bitstreamed the undecoded audio format to the receiver for it to decode. The only difference is which device is being used to decode the audio format prior to the receiver inputting the resulting PCM data into its DAC.

    The issue you may find yourself with is that a lot of HD soundtracks are 7.1 in nature as opposed to being only 5.1. Your receiver is unable to access more than 5.1 PCM if sourced via an external source.
     
  14. Silent Arts

    Silent Arts
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    So that means, if I want to experience a losseless 7.1 HD soundtrack, I need to have the source device handle the decoding. Then I should be hearing the HD soundtrack? or is there nothing I can do if the soundtrack is in 7.1?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  15. dante01

    dante01
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    Best Answer
    Your receiver will not accept 7.1 PCM from an external source and 7.1 PCM is what you'd get in relation to most titles encoded with an HD soundtrack. There are some titles encoded with 5.1 TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, but less than there are 7.1 encoded titles. Neither the source or this particular receiver would mix down the 2 additional channels into the 5.1 channels. The source audio cannot be more than 5.1 in nature if accessing it via an external source.

    If the HD source is 5.1 and you do use the source device to decode it prior to sending it as 5.1 PCM to the receiver then the audio will be the same quality as the HD 5.1 formatted audio.

    You may find this informative:
    Blu-ray Disc Audio - Bitstream vs PCM Output - Which Is Best?

    and:
    PCM vs. Bitstream
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018

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