Blu Ray player that converts to Dolby Digital 5.1

  • 24 March 2016
  • 56 replies
  • 12931 views


Show first post

56 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +2
DD+ would be a big help.

Or if you don't have the rears, you can just use LPCM or analog - much easier. :)


DD+ isn't going to happen without HDMI.
Userlevel 2
Badge
DD+ would be a big help.

Or if you don't have the rears, you can just use LPCM or analog - much easier. :)


DD+ isn't going to happen without HDMI.


Technically TOSLINK can and does carry DD+ as well as DTS-HD HR, at least up to the Blu-Ray bandwidth of both, it's just a very unusual implementation (and on no consumer audio gear that I know of). But I have a TV that will happily output it over POF.

But, yes, HDMI is the way to go to remain relevant. Even on AVRs, the optical and coax digital audio ports are already disappearing in favor of more HDMI, with unbalanced analog audio handily outnumbering the digital audio inputs - which was definitely not the case 5-10 years ago.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
There is minimal benefit to allowing PLAYBAR to receive a low quality DD+ signal over optical. It should support the full quality, otherwise where is the benefit? Any broadcaster sending DD+ is likely to also send a standard AC3 stream along with it.

The game changer here is going to be when Apple announces the new Apple TV set top box. Currently Apple are well behind the game, they don't support 4k, HDR or modern audio codecs. The new TV box will sort this and create a product the Sonos care about. They've never really cared for disc owners, they're a streaming company, so they see the future of PLAYBAR as Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.

Sonos has always wanted to appeal to the Apple crowd - iPhone controller came well before Android, they supported iTunes from day one, they added ALAC support, they even created an iPhone dock product. They watch Apple and follow what they do.

When Sonos owners start buying the new Apple TV device it will make Sonos step back and go "does this work with our kit?" The answer will be "not very well".
Userlevel 2
Badge
Any DD+ source is required to send an AC-3 stream as well by its very nature - it contains an AC-3 bitstream with extensions (hence E-AC-3). Most things, including a 15 year old receiver I know of, will read a DD+ as a DD stream if it's output over TOSLINK... Sonos does not. No idea why, but it doesn't.

A lower bandwidth DD+ bitstream over TOSLINK is still the same bitstream as a Blu-Ray uses with DD+, so it's as close to, "Full quality," as you're likely to get. Particularly with surround content with heavy use of the rear channels, there's a big difference in performance over ordinary Dolby Digital.

I definitely agree about the Apple TV though - and the next generation may not even have TOSLINK out at this point. HDMI is much more Apple-like, with a single AV cable, which would leave Sonos scrambling.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
I sincerely doubt the new Apple TV will have TOSLINK, even Amazon didn't bother on the 4k FireTV - they expect anybody using one to have compatible audio.

The problem with codecs is licensing. To add AC-3 to a device, you have to license it from Dolby. To add E-AC-3 you need another license which adds to costs.

The AC-3 licensing is fairly open, you can decode AC-3 into a bitstream and do what you like with it. The Sonos mesh allows you to pipe the decoded audio into another room. So you can watch a movie or TV in DD5.1 in the LIving Room and hear the sound in the next room through the Sonos player in there.

DTS licensing is a lot more restrictive. You can decode DTS locally on the device and output it to local speakers, but cannot output anywhere else. To do so requires a second license. For Sonos to support DTS, they would need to purchase a DTS license for every Sonos player ever made. Clearly the costs outweighed the benefit.

Several similar soundbar products also skip DTS, likely for similar reasons. If you've for a sound bar and wireless surround speaker, you likely need a DTS license for all of them. In Sonos' case, the wireless surround is the music speaker, adding to complication.

I'm not familiar with DD+ licensing, but I expect it may be similar to the DTS licensing - otherwise I expect it would be more widely adopted.

We're going to see the same thing happen with HDR video formats - Samsung refuse to pay for Dolby Vision.
Thank you for the additional information about codec licensing, most informative.
Badge
So, I’ve determined from this forum that if I upgrade my 2014 Samsung blu-ray player, I’ll be able to ditch my optical switcher. Currently, in my Samsung TV audio settings, Dolby Digital is grayed our; my only choices are PCM AND DTS Neo 2.5. My TV is a 2014 Samsung as well. Am I correct in assuming that the Blu-Ray does the converting and I’m good with my current TV?
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
What Blu-ray player have you got?, if it's Samsung have a good look through the audio menus first.

I've heard many people mention you can't select DD out on the Samsung TV's unless it is actually receiving it at the time, you may already have all the equipment you need?.
Badge
No, it’s grayed out on TV. I have the BD-F7500.
Badge
Keithmac... I've gotten a lot of answers and help in this forum. I'm hoping that the newer model blu-ray (8500) will decipher the audio signal successfully and pass that on to my Samsung TV. The audio menus for the BluRay player list all of the options but, when selected, they don't accomplish the task thus, I think, my not being able to select the same on the TV.
Badge
What Blu-ray player have you got?, if it's Samsung have a good look through the audio menus first.

I've heard many people mention you can't select DD out on the Samsung TV's unless it is actually receiving it at the time, you may already have all the equipment you need?.


Hi, Keith... I ended up ordering the BD-J6300 from Crutchfield. The advisor "seemed" knowledgeable and, I didn't need the added bells and whistles of the 8500 so, I'm giving this one a shot. If it doesn't work, back it goes and I stick with my optical switcher until I upgrade my TV in the distant future.
Badge
I thought I'd post my solution - thanks for everyone on this Forum who helped me. I bought a Samsung BD-J6300 to go with my Samsung UN50H6350 TV (2014). I fired it up, made the connections, removed the optical switcher from the mix and then applied the Dolby Digital 5.1 setting in the Audio Settings menu of the 6300. I got sound so, success in that regard. I attempted to apply the same DD 5.1 setting on my TV but, it remained grayed out no matter what kind of disc I put into the blu-ray player. My SONOS app continued to show that the Playbar was receiving/producing "Stereo" and not DD 5.1. I then set both blu-ray and TV to "PCM" and called it good. It appears that my "ancient" 2014 TV is the limiting factor. Or, my 61 year old brain. I currently have inquiries in to J-Tech and Flexson asking if their HDMI switchers work "on the fly" and will somehow get my SONOS to output The Full Monty and not something I need to settle for. A new TV isn't happening in the near term. Thanks to all who helped.
Userlevel 3
Badge +5
Samsung BD-H6500 converts dts to Dolby 5.1. I’ve connected it to an optical splitter (CYP AUD-41) so that I can connect it directly to my Playbase. This is because my Samsung TV doesn’t pass the Dolby signal from the Samsung DVD player to the optical out. (However it does pass the Dolby signal from an Apple TV.) Unbelievable I know.

I have this exact problem! Why does it work with Apple TV and not with a Blu Ray player??
Badge
Good to know ProfMadrid... I was hoping to eliminate optical switchers completely. What brand is the CYP AUD-41? Is it an automatic process or, does one have to use a remote? Also, do you plug your TV into a second port on the switcher so you can get audio through your SONOS when not using the BD-H6500? Thanks.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
I thought I'd post my solution - thanks for everyone on this Forum who helped me. I bought a Samsung BD-J6300 to go with my Samsung UN50H6350 TV (2014). I fired it up, made the connections, removed the optical switcher from the mix and then applied the Dolby Digital 5.1 setting in the Audio Settings menu of the 6300. I got sound so, success in that regard. I attempted to apply the same DD 5.1 setting on my TV but, it remained grayed out no matter what kind of disc I put into the blu-ray player. My SONOS app continued to show that the Playbar was receiving/producing "Stereo" and not DD 5.1. I then set both blu-ray and TV to "PCM" and called it good. It appears that my "ancient" 2014 TV is the limiting factor. Or, my 61 year old brain. I currently have inquiries in to J-Tech and Flexson asking if their HDMI switchers work "on the fly" and will somehow get my SONOS to output The Full Monty and not something I need to settle for. A new TV isn't happening in the near term. Thanks to all who helped.

My Samsung LED TV is 8+ years old, I ended up using a KWMOBILE EDID emulator on the HDMI lead from my Samsung Blu-ray (and another one for my Virgin Media Tivo).

This allows the Blu-ray/ Tivo to supply 5.1 over the HDMI.

Basically when connecting HDMI inputs they do a "handshake", and the TV reports itself as a Stereo device hence why the Blu-ray only feeds the TV stereo signals. The EDID emulator goes between the TV and Blu-ray and tells the Blu-ray that the TV is 5.1 compliant.

Maybe worth a try for you? (try one first).
Badge
Thanks, Keithmac... I'll look into that. So, the HDMI from the Blu-Ray "in" to the KWMOBILE EDID then from there another HDMI into the TV, right? If so, this sounds like the best solution thus far. Thanks again.
Badge
Keithmac... I just ordered that EDID Emulator from Amazon (via a German company). It it works with the Blu-ray, I might just get one for my cable box. Thanks again for replying to this thread. It was a big help.
Userlevel 3
Badge +5
I thought I'd post my solution - thanks for everyone on this Forum who helped me. I bought a Samsung BD-J6300 to go with my Samsung UN50H6350 TV (2014). I fired it up, made the connections, removed the optical switcher from the mix and then applied the Dolby Digital 5.1 setting in the Audio Settings menu of the 6300. I got sound so, success in that regard. I attempted to apply the same DD 5.1 setting on my TV but, it remained grayed out no matter what kind of disc I put into the blu-ray player. My SONOS app continued to show that the Playbar was receiving/producing "Stereo" and not DD 5.1. I then set both blu-ray and TV to "PCM" and called it good. It appears that my "ancient" 2014 TV is the limiting factor. Or, my 61 year old brain. I currently have inquiries in to J-Tech and Flexson asking if their HDMI switchers work "on the fly" and will somehow get my SONOS to output The Full Monty and not something I need to settle for. A new TV isn't happening in the near term. Thanks to all who helped.

My Samsung LED TV is 8+ years old, I ended up using a KWMOBILE EDID emulator on the HDMI lead from my Samsung Blu-ray (and another one for my Virgin Media Tivo).

This allows the Blu-ray/ Tivo to supply 5.1 over the HDMI.

Basically when connecting HDMI inputs they do a "handshake", and the TV reports itself as a Stereo device hence why the Blu-ray only feeds the TV stereo signals. The EDID emulator goes between the TV and Blu-ray and tells the Blu-ray that the TV is 5.1 compliant.

Maybe worth a try for you? (try one first).


OMG you totally helped me solve the same issue with my setup. I used my Fospower HDMI switch (which I was trying to eliminate from my setup) to call for 5.1 and THEN the blu ray player sent re-encoded Dolby D to my TV.

What a crazy process just to get 5.1 to work. Thanks for the info!
Badge
Let us know how it goes when you set it up and, for my addled brain, "how" you configured it, the settings you used...etc. Thanks, DTS or bust.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
Thanks, Keithmac... I'll look into that. So, the HDMI from the Blu-Ray "in" to the KWMOBILE EDID then from there another HDMI into the TV, right? If so, this sounds like the best solution thus far. Thanks again.

Yep thats right, I bought some shorter hdmi leads and tucked the KWMOBILE emulators behind the DVD and Tivo they are only small.

Mines been faultless so far.

Let me know how you get on!.
Badge
Thank you, Keithmac... The device is being shipped from Germany so, I won't be posting anything soon but, I'll certainly let you, and others, know how it works out.
Userlevel 3
Badge +5
If you can find most Oppo players they will do it. Oppo doesn't make them anymore but they made the best. The other routes, if you are massively upgrading, make sure your HDTV/UHDTV has that option for the optical output. I have a Sony 4k in my bedroom and that is what I rely on in there.
Badge
Someone mentioned much earlier in this thread (> 1 year ago) that the recommended 4k player models were no longer made.

FYI - for others looking for a solution to the "DTS problem", I just purchased the Samsung UBD-M8500. It has the option to convert DTS audio to Dolby Digital. For this purpose, I recommend this model.
I can _finally_ listen to all of my Blu-ray (and DVD) disks that only have DTS!! (05/21/2019)

For those of us with a lot of DVD and Blu-ray (more than I care to admit) it seems a little absurd to have a $1800 surround sound system and have to go out and spend a couple hundred more if we actually want to _hear_ our DVD's and Blu-rays. < / Whining >

So I'll stop my whining and enjoy the setup!! (For music, the system has been great! Awesome flexibility for multiple rooms with stereo pairing setups!!)

-Brad
Badge
This is Brad in Alaska. Hope you're doing okay after the recent rash of Shark Tornadoes you've had to endure. We're still getting aftershocks here. But I digress.

I wouldn't call it "whining". I was in the same boat until I bought that little German box with the dip switches on it. I at least get a Dolby 5.1 conversion and, I too would have liked the Sonos products to be a bit more versatile in their ability to handle multiple audio types. I mean, not that I can hear such subtle high, lows, or anything else.

I looked into the M8500 and ended up getting the model right under it but, as I wrote previously, I still got the small device. Being that it was a year ago, as I think back on it, I believe that it was the limitation of my Samsung TV. Always something. Thanks for the reply, Brad.
Someone mentioned much earlier in this thread (> 1 year ago) that the recommended 4k player models were no longer made.

FYI - for others looking for a solution to the "DTS problem", I just purchased the Samsung UBD-M8500. It has the option to convert DTS audio to Dolby Digital. For this purpose, I recommend this model.
I can _finally_ listen to all of my Blu-ray (and DVD) disks that only have DTS!! (05/21/2019)

For those of us with a lot of DVD and Blu-ray (more than I care to admit) it seems a little absurd to have a $1800 surround sound system and have to go out and spend a couple hundred more if we actually want to _hear_ our DVD's and Blu-rays. < / Whining >

So I'll stop my whining and enjoy the setup!! (For music, the system has been great! Awesome flexibility for multiple rooms with stereo pairing setups!!)

-Brad

Reply