My solution to a TV that doesn't pass Dolby Digital 5.1

  • 6 December 2014
  • 3 replies

I too have be having the issue of my older TV not passing Dolby Digital 5.1 to my Playbar.  For reference I have the following components:

Dish receiver VIP622
PlayStation 3
Apple TV (2nd Gen)

Connection to the TV, in order:
Source from above 
Kinivo 501BN 5 port HDMI switch
Monoprice HDBaseT wall plate extender

TV:  LG 60PC1D

With the above setup I was not able to get a DD5.1 signal to the Playbar using any of the sources, but when using the internal tuner in the TV the digital signal was passed to the TV.  Just like many other people on this forum I have found this to be really frustrating but I feel that I have finally found a solution.  I added the following box just before the HDMI input into the TV.

From Amazon: ViewHD Premium HDMI to HDMI + Audio (SPDIF + RAC L/R) Audio Extractor

This box essentially has an HDMI in and HDMI out along with an optical output.  On the side of the box there is a switch that allows you to configure the audio settings.  You can select, pass, 2.1 or 5.1.  That setting changes the EDID data being presented to the source, translated that means the the audio extractor when set to 5.1 will request a DD5.1 signal from the source regardless of what the TV is looking for.  

With audio extractor set to 5.1 and the optical cable removed from the TV and connected to the extractor and the Playbar I am able to get a 5.1 signal into the Playbar, Sucess with some caveats.  The Playbar will not shut off with the TV, you must also shut off the source, it will not auto switch between audio and TV as the signal from the extractor never goes away.

The performance of this setup has been great except for the issues stated above, on a lark I decided to leave the audio extractor connected between the source and the TV and plug the optical cable back into the TV and to my surprise I am getting a 5.1 signal from the TV to the Playbar, the perfect setup.

YMMV but it looks like it wasn't a problem for the TV to pass the 5.1 signal, it was the fact that it would not request anything other than stereo from the source.  With this setup everything is working perfectly.  Hopefully this helps out.

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3 replies

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Hi and thanks for posting this. Hopefully you may be able to help (similar TV)

I purchased a playbar yesterday and connected it to my LG 50PC1DA, no sound from the TV 😞 everything else works via the LAN (Napster/Ripped CDs from Media Server)

I only have 2 x HDMI inputs and things are already getting a bit messy.

HDMI 1 = Gaming PC, Wii U and XBOX One via a HDMI auto switch (Duronic HDS3 Mini 3 Port Gold HDMI Auto Switch)

HDMI 2 = SKY HD and PS4  via a HDMI auto switch (Duronic HDS3 Mini 3 Port Gold HDMI Auto Switch)

All this works perfectly. However (I'm not techie) would introducing 2 x ViewHD Premium HDMI to HDMI + Audio (SPDIF + RAC L/R) Audio Extractor's you have successfully used work if I place one between the TV and each HDMI port?

Going from your success, I'm hoping I could, but worried the switcher may become problematic.

Any thoughts? Thanks
Are you able to get any sound out of the optical port on your TV, that would be the first issue I would dig into. From what I have heard some TVs will only start outputting audio on the optical output after the internal speakers have been disabled.

If you were to use the audio extractor it would get pretty messy having one on each HDMI port going to the TV.  It may be worth taking a look at a HDMI switcher with enough ports to allow you to connect everything to a single input on the TV, at that point you could use the audio extractor to either feed sound directly into the Playbar or "fool" the TV into passing a 5.1 signal.
Thanks for your informative input!

My old TV does not pass a 5.1 signal and has only one HDMI input; as a result, I own an HDMI switch to connect my three sources (cable box, Mac Mini, Blu-Ray player).

Question: In order to obtain surround sound from a Sonos Playbar and two Play 1's, how do I connect this ViewHD Premium HDMI to HDMI + Audio (SPDIF + RAC L/R) Audio Extractor ?