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Sony Blu-ray DTS to DD5.1 coaxial?

  • 26 September 2017
  • 8 replies
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Hi. I note a number of forums about the failure of Sony Blu-ray players converting DTS to DD5.1 over HDMI but wondered if anyone had successfully managed the conversion using a coaxial cable that inputs into a Toslink converter?

I have a Sony BDP-s6500 and any input would be helpful before I waste any money on a digital coax to optical converter and coaxial cable.

Should add that I have asked Sony the same question but to date I've had no reply

Thanks
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Best answer by Lucid AV 26 September 2017, 13:47

I've seen threads on the Sonos forum that says this works, and threads that say it doesn't.

I think part of the issue is there are plenty of ways to get this wrong i.e. going through the TV on HDMI or setting the coax audio menus wrong. But there's only one way to get it right, and so that means the odds against success.

The only way you can really be sure is to hook up the BD player to a proper AV receiver and see what the front panel or onscreen display shows up that the amp is receiving. That's a bit of a P.I.T.A. for something that other brands manage to do without issue, but then again I suspect Sony are having their players made under license by a 3rd party so might have been cost cutting a bit too deeply and got caught out.

FWIW, the coax to optical converter shouldn't have an issue handling DD5.1, so that bit of it is straightforward. The cost of these things isn't huge either; about £12 sterling or $12-£14 USD. Similarly, coax cables aren't pricey either £1-£2 / $2-$3 online.

Your player audio settings should be:

Digital Audio Output: Auto (if set to PCM then coax will only output stereo and never DD5.1)

DSD Output Mode: Auto or Off, it doesn't really matter when there's no DSD-capable AV receiver connected

BD Audio MIX: Off (if set to On then the BD player will try to play directors commentaries and audio description along with the main sound. You don't want that.)

Digital Music Enhancer: Not relevant

Dolby D Compatible Output: On - that's the whole point of the exercise

Audio DRC: Not relevant - set this as whatever you prefer

Downmix: Surround - this should only affect the sound when the BD player is outputting PCM stereo audio. It's whether you want that sound as plain vanilla 2 channel (stereo) or if you want it with Dolby Surround encoding added. This is what you'd decode using Dolby ProLogic


I hope this helps.
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Userlevel 4
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Hi. I note a number of forums about the failure of Sony Blu-ray players converting DTS to DD5.1 over HDMI but wondered if anyone had successfully managed the conversion using a coaxial cable that inputs into a Toslink converter?

I have a Sony BDP-s6500 and any input would be helpful before I waste any money on a digital coax to optical converter and coaxial cable.

Should add that I have asked Sony the same question but to date I've had no reply

Thanks


Hi Falkirk,

It's important not to mix up cables and codecs, I'll explain.

DTS is a codec, it's a language, like French. DD5.1 is another language, like English.

In this analogy, Sonos can only understand English. If you feed it French, it doesn't understand and will sit there silent.

It doesn't matter whether the French comes over HDMI, co-ax or optical - it's still French and it won't work with Sonos. You may be able to plug an optical connection into Sonos, but if it's French you haven't achieved anything.

The only solution is to translate the French into English before it goes down the wire. They call this transcoding but very few players support it. If your player won't, any amount of adapters don't help you. As a general rule, all of the Samsung players will support DTS-DD transcoding, as will recent OPPO models - although they are expensive. Some games consoles will do it to, although I find them quite noisy to use for playing back movies.

Hope that helps.
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Thanks for the reply. The blu-ray player I have from Sony SHOULD support the DTS-DD transcoding, but I know that despite having this setting the conversion over HDMI doesn't work. I'm wondering if anyone had successfully transcoded from DTS to DD5.1 using the digital coaxial output before it hits the coax-toslink converter.

Cheers
Userlevel 4
Badge +3
I've seen threads on the Sonos forum that says this works, and threads that say it doesn't.

I think part of the issue is there are plenty of ways to get this wrong i.e. going through the TV on HDMI or setting the coax audio menus wrong. But there's only one way to get it right, and so that means the odds against success.

The only way you can really be sure is to hook up the BD player to a proper AV receiver and see what the front panel or onscreen display shows up that the amp is receiving. That's a bit of a P.I.T.A. for something that other brands manage to do without issue, but then again I suspect Sony are having their players made under license by a 3rd party so might have been cost cutting a bit too deeply and got caught out.

FWIW, the coax to optical converter shouldn't have an issue handling DD5.1, so that bit of it is straightforward. The cost of these things isn't huge either; about £12 sterling or $12-£14 USD. Similarly, coax cables aren't pricey either £1-£2 / $2-$3 online.

Your player audio settings should be:

Digital Audio Output: Auto (if set to PCM then coax will only output stereo and never DD5.1)

DSD Output Mode: Auto or Off, it doesn't really matter when there's no DSD-capable AV receiver connected

BD Audio MIX: Off (if set to On then the BD player will try to play directors commentaries and audio description along with the main sound. You don't want that.)

Digital Music Enhancer: Not relevant

Dolby D Compatible Output: On - that's the whole point of the exercise

Audio DRC: Not relevant - set this as whatever you prefer

Downmix: Surround - this should only affect the sound when the BD player is outputting PCM stereo audio. It's whether you want that sound as plain vanilla 2 channel (stereo) or if you want it with Dolby Surround encoding added. This is what you'd decode using Dolby ProLogic


I hope this helps.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
Thanks for the reply. The blu-ray player I have from Sony SHOULD support the DTS-DD transcoding, but I know that despite having this setting the conversion over HDMI doesn't work. I'm wondering if anyone had successfully transcoded from DTS to DD5.1 using the digital coaxial output before it hits the coax-toslink converter.

Cheers


This is a tricky process and it partly depends on the TV you are using, also the source material confuses further.

I thought I had a working player for some time, as I always got 5.1 output. Then I got a new blu-ray box set and all of a sudden I got total silence. Turned out that most early blu-ray discs contained a secondary audio channel that was usually Dolby Digital 5.1. Even though the primary audio track was DTS based, the secondary audio was DD5.1 and my set-up worked. However, as soon as I got a disc which didn't have a secondary DD5.1 track (it had DTS-HD and DTS) it just didn't work any more. The only solution was a new player that worked.

The TV can cause further difficulties. When devices connect over HDMI there is a "handshake" during which they negotiate which formats they have in common. If the TV doesn't support DTS at all, then the player will have to send something else - DD5.1 if available, or PCM2.0 if not. However, a lot of newer TVs do support DTS. During the handshake, the TV says it can handle DTS so they player decides to send it - this includes the co-ax/optical output too.

Hopefully the settings Lucid AV provided for you will work. Otherwise you may need to trick your TV using an EDID adapter which stops it telling the player that DTS is supported.

I wish this were easier for folks, it's even hard for many technical people to get to grips with.
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I've seen threads on the Sonos forum that says this works, and threads that say it doesn't.

I think part of the issue is there are plenty of ways to get this wrong i.e. going through the TV on HDMI or setting the coax audio menus wrong. But there's only one way to get it right, and so that means the odds against success.

The only way you can really be sure is to hook up the BD player to a proper AV receiver and see what the front panel or onscreen display shows up that the amp is receiving. That's a bit of a P.I.T.A. for something that other brands manage to do without issue, but then again I suspect Sony are having their players made under license by a 3rd party so might have been cost cutting a bit too deeply and got caught out.

FWIW, the coax to optical converter shouldn't have an issue handling DD5.1, so that bit of it is straightforward. The cost of these things isn't huge either; about £12 sterling or $12-£14 USD. Similarly, coax cables aren't pricey either £1-£2 / $2-$3 online.

Your player audio settings should be:

Digital Audio Output: Auto (if set to PCM then coax will only output stereo and never DD5.1)

DSD Output Mode: Auto or Off, it doesn't really matter when there's no DSD-capable AV receiver connected

BD Audio MIX: Off (if set to On then the BD player will try to play directors commentaries and audio description along with the main sound. You don't want that.)

Digital Music Enhancer: Not relevant

Dolby D Compatible Output: On - that's the whole point of the exercise

Audio DRC: Not relevant - set this as whatever you prefer

Downmix: Surround - this should only affect the sound when the BD player is outputting PCM stereo audio. It's whether you want that sound as plain vanilla 2 channel (stereo) or if you want it with Dolby Surround encoding added. This is what you'd decode using Dolby ProLogic


I hope this helps.


Lucid - quick question - should your settings work irrespective whether the output Is through HDMI or digital coax? Thanks
Userlevel 4
Badge +3
I've seen threads on the Sonos forum that says this works, and threads that say it doesn't.

I think part of the issue is there are plenty of ways to get this wrong i.e. going through the TV on HDMI or setting the coax audio menus wrong. But there's only one way to get it right, and so that means the odds against success.

The only way you can really be sure is to hook up the BD player to a proper AV receiver and see what the front panel or onscreen display shows up that the amp is receiving. That's a bit of a P.I.T.A. for something that other brands manage to do without issue, but then again I suspect Sony are having their players made under license by a 3rd party so might have been cost cutting a bit too deeply and got caught out.

FWIW, the coax to optical converter shouldn't have an issue handling DD5.1, so that bit of it is straightforward. The cost of these things isn't huge either; about £12 sterling or $12-£14 USD. Similarly, coax cables aren't pricey either £1-£2 / $2-$3 online.

Your player audio settings should be:

Digital Audio Output: Auto (if set to PCM then coax will only output stereo and never DD5.1)

DSD Output Mode: Auto or Off, it doesn't really matter when there's no DSD-capable AV receiver connected

BD Audio MIX: Off (if set to On then the BD player will try to play directors commentaries and audio description along with the main sound. You don't want that.)

Digital Music Enhancer: Not relevant

Dolby D Compatible Output: On - that's the whole point of the exercise

Audio DRC: Not relevant - set this as whatever you prefer

Downmix: Surround - this should only affect the sound when the BD player is outputting PCM stereo audio. It's whether you want that sound as plain vanilla 2 channel (stereo) or if you want it with Dolby Surround encoding added. This is what you'd decode using Dolby ProLogic


I hope this helps.


Lucid - quick question - should your settings work irrespective whether the output Is through HDMI or digital coax? Thanks


HDMI is where the 6500 and similar generation Sonys seem to have a problem. I wouldn't expect transcoding to work via HDMI unless the BD player is connected to an AV receiver - and then what's the point because most AV receivers from the last 5years or newer all decode HD audio anyway so there's no need to transcode it. Catch 22.

I suspect what's happening is that the HDMI handshake between the player and the TV is setting the preferences of the player, which is as it should be. But a consequence is that it's stopping the player reading the HD audio tracks because the TV isn't capable of decoding them. The unintended consequence then is that there's no signal in the HDMI chain to feed in to the DTS to DD transcoder. You'd expect that to also affect the coax side, but my guess is that the audio path there is tapping in to DTS Core rather than DTS MA. This is all very speculative though.

I have a customer with a 6500. He got it free with his Sony 4K TV. They didn't explain that it's a regular BD player but with 4K upscaling. He thought he was getting a true 4K player. Anyway, he's due an upgrade to a second sound system in the house so if I get chance I'll test my theory with his new amp.

Good luck with yours.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
If it helps any I have a Samsung BD-F6500, it transcodes DTS to Dolby fine and also supplies 5.1 fine via it's Netflix app (all over HDMI). Very capable player and worth a look if you get stuck with your Sony.

I had to use an EDID emulator but that was due to the TV only reporting itself as a Stereo device..
So how did you get on?
Did it work like you hoped?