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Surround Sound - Optical Input?

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Old 01-02-2009, 01:49 PM   #1
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Default Surround Sound - Optical Input?

If I have HDMI going out from my cable box and DVD player into my Panny Plasma can I take the optical audio out from the television itself into my receiver to get surround sound channels from both sources?

At the moment I have a digital coaxial cable running from my cable box to my receiver, but the surround sound doesn't seem to be happening, though I did get stereo. I tried the same cable from my DVD player into the receiver and got the same result. It's weirder still, because my previous DVD player provided surround sound using the same cable routed the same way. It ocurred to me that my DVD player may simply not output surround sound, but I would think it does. I mean, why would they mount coaxial and optical digital outputs just to output stereo left and right?

Anyway, I noticed that the TV had a digital optical output and wondered if it passes surround sound channels from the selected input device. I was thinking about picking up the cable on my way home, but I want to make sure it'll do the trick.

As always, thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:01 PM   #2
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In most TV's that I know if, the optical out is for the built in digital tuners (ATSC/QAM) in the TV. It will most likely not pass the other inputs as such. But as 2 channel/Dolby Prologic like you are experiencing now and or sudo surround. But try it a see for yourself. I heard some of the new TV's on the market can now do it, but have not seen a ny myself yet.

Kinda strange about you digital coax issue.. Since you are using HDMI to the TV, you may need to activate the the digital audio output in the DVD players audio settings to DD 5.1 and or set it to Bitstream. If you do see it set to PCM, change it to bitstream and you should be fine. The same goes for your cable box.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:12 PM   #3
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Yeah, it's weird. The coax worked just fine using this same receiver, but the DVD player is new and an unknown quantity. The receiver has one optical and one coaxial input, so I have to choose which one to use for the DVD player and use the other input for the cable box. I hoped the optical out of the TV would solve the problem. So far I haven't bought the optical cable and previously just took surround sound out of the DVD player with the coax, which worked fine. The DVD player is a cheap upconverting Insginia to hold me over until I scrounge up the cash for a PS3, but I'm pretty sure it outputs surround sound channels. I guess I'll need to double check.

I notice that the cable box gives me an audio option to output HDMI or digital, but I didn't get surround sound with either option and got sound out of the TV speakers even when I selected "Digital", which was connected to the receiver. Hmmmmm ...

In any case, thanks for the response. Appreciated.

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Old 01-02-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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I used to have my setup simular to yours with my old Toshiba UC player and Sat box... I went HDMI out for the DVD/sat players to the TV and optical out for both to my receiver and it worked fine. But like I posted above I had to go into the DVD's audio settings and change the digital audio out from HDMI to optcal. I also had to change PCM to Bitstream. Then everything worked great. It sound like a simular issue for you since your equipment seems to be functioning properly.?. I didn't have to do anything for my Vip622 (Dish) if I remember rite. But remember, not all shows/programs on cable will broadcast in DD 5.1. Many don't.. And if they don't it will be converted to simple PCM 2 channel or pro logic. So make sure when you a checking everything again that you are on a DD 5.1 broadcast.. You should get sound from both the HDMI (TV speakers) and optical (SS receiver) when you enable "digital".. That sound normal.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:13 PM   #5
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ive got a panny plasma and i have my ps3 and xbox hooked up to it. ps3 with an hdmi and the xbox has the 3 hd cables and the two sound cables. then i ran an optical cable from the tv to my surround sound reciever and it worked.

didnt change any settings or anything.. if the surround sound isnt coming out of all the speakers then mess with the settings on the reciever. mine was set on "Hall" and sound was only coming out of two speakers. i changed it to pro logic and now it comes out of all 5

hope that helps. good luck
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:52 AM   #6
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I struggling with the same thing. So if I get a optical digital cord and put it to my TV and receiver I should get sound out of both my DVD and Cable box? This really clears things up for me. Hope it works.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaPimp27 View Post
ive got a panny plasma and i have my ps3 and xbox hooked up to it. ps3 with an hdmi and the xbox has the 3 hd cables and the two sound cables. then i ran an optical cable from the tv to my surround sound reciever and it worked.

didnt change any settings or anything.. if the surround sound isnt coming out of all the speakers then mess with the settings on the reciever. mine was set on "Hall" and sound was only coming out of two speakers. i changed it to pro logic and now it comes out of all 5

hope that helps. good luck
If you see "Pro Logic" you are hearing the pseudo surround produced when a receiver gets a stereo signal and artificially splits it to the speakers, not true surround.

Just for testing, try attaching one of your items directly into the receiver with an optical cable, not into the tv, and see if true surround comes on. There should be a little display on your receiver showing which speakers are active, two or the whole surround set up. If you see five little lights, that's surround, if you see two, it's the fake surround.

When I first got my hd set up I thought I was getting surround out of the tv's optical, but it was the pro logic stuff, not real surround. There is a big difference between the two.

Up until now, HD tv's optical would output surround ONLY when the tv was using it's own internal tuner. I think it's still that way and you are in effect not fully hearing the surround sound unless you go directly into the receiver and bypass the tv, with digital coax or optical.

Last edited by clearday; 01-03-2009 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaPimp27 View Post
ive got a panny plasma and i have my ps3 and xbox hooked up to it. ps3 with an hdmi and the xbox has the 3 hd cables and the two sound cables. then i ran an optical cable from the tv to my surround sound reciever and it worked.

didnt change any settings or anything.. if the surround sound isnt coming out of all the speakers then mess with the settings on the reciever. mine was set on "Hall" and sound was only coming out of two speakers. i changed it to pro logic and now it comes out of all 5

hope that helps. good luck
Yeah, but as I stated above, you are not getting true DD 5.1/DTS. You are only getting Dolby Prologic matrixed between the 5 speakers. Kinda like a simulated surround. Still decent but not nearly as good as true DD 5.1/DTS.. But if that sounds good enough to you and solves your connection issues, all is well.

Ooops, clearday beat me to it. Sorry for the dual post.
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Last edited by Bigloww; 01-03-2009 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clearday View Post
If you see "Pro Logic" you are hearing the pseudo surround produced when a receiver gets a stereo signal and artificially splits it to the speakers, not true surround.

Just for testing, try attaching one of your items directly into the receiver with an optical cable, not into the tv, and see if true surround comes on. There should be a little display on your receiver showing which speakers are active, two or the whole surround set up. If you see five little lights, that's surround, if you see two, it's the fake surround.

When I first got my hd set up I thought I was getting surround out of the tv's optical, but it was the pro logic stuff, not real surround. There is a big difference between the two.

Up until now, HD tv's optical would output surround ONLY when the tv was using it's own internal tuner. I think it's still that way and you are in effect not fully hearing the surround sound unless you go directly into the receiver and bypass the tv, with digital coax or optical.
Thanks for the info.. i will mess with the settings some more.. the reciever is kinda old and im not an audiophile so it sounds good too me.. i also hooked up two subs to the receiver and that makes it sound real..

ill try to adjust the settings and see if i can find another setting besides pro logic that works. thanks
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