Cable Box-Digital Sound Output- How has your experience been?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Derek B, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Derek B

    Derek B Stunt Coordinator

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    I will be getting a Motorola DCT5100 soon and I can't wait to hear digital sound for movies and music. Let me know how it sounds.

    I am hoping it will be no different than the sound produced by a DVD. I hope that I am not let down. Also,
    Will the Box decode all programs and output digital sound?

    Thanks
     
  2. WallyBal

    WallyBal Extra

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    I'd like the answer to that one myself....[​IMG]
     
  3. Garrett Adams

    Garrett Adams Supporting Actor

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    Dolby D 5.1 or 2.0 should sound similar to a DVD. Comcast at present, and cable in general I presume, does not offer the Dolby EX or DTS formats. Your Comcast system is probably like mine with analog channels 2-99 and digital on channels above 100. The 5100 has a A/D converter in the box using PCM for the analog channels. Both the converted analog and digital signals are sent digitally through a single cable to your receiver (toslink or cable).
     
  4. Derek B

    Derek B Stunt Coordinator

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    Are the Analog channels converted into digital 5.1? Also, aren't all the channels essentialy digital since they are going through the digital cable box?
     
  5. Shawn McCann

    Shawn McCann Auditioning

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    With my cable company, I only get digital audio on the digital channels (100 and up). On the digital channels, I don't notice much of a difference between the analog and digital audio streams, other than the digital is not as loud.
     
  6. Jay Foster

    Jay Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I have the same box already. It actually does not appear as "digital" as you might think. When I play a DVD my receiver "lights up" all my speakers. When I go to a digital channel it "lights up" only my 2 front speakers.

    By the way, something that WILL drive you nuts. When you change channels from a digital channel to a channel that is not digital, you have to switch the digital button on your receiver (or the receiver's remote) and vice-versa. It drives me crazy. I hope the new box fixes this problem.
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    That’s a function of your receiver, not the cable box, as is obvious by the fact that you have to change a setting on the receiver’s remote. Some receivers will automatically switch from analog to DD or two-channel PCM depending on what signal is present. Others you pre-set those settings for each input.

    Still – if the cable box manufacturers would output a digital PCM signal for the analog channels, that would solve the problem. However, that would require the addition (and expense) of A/D converters, so don’t hold your breath.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. Andy Goldstein

    Andy Goldstein Stunt Coordinator

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    i'm running the moto 6200 box. i either get dd 2 channel or dd 5.1, or analog 2 channel, depending on the particular show i'm watching. sounds very good, well worth the cost (minimal) and effort (none, really) to hook it up. and my reciever, at least, will automatically switch between dd and surround modes.

    ag.
     
  9. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Wayne is right. They have a limited amount of space, so it sounds like they do add some additional compression. I asked our local provider, Comcast, about it and they said they didn't, but the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.

    DJ
     
  10. Adam.Heckman

    Adam.Heckman Second Unit

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    I also am running the 6200. The only thing about it is that they use very heavy compression on the sound, but for TV watching, it's more than enough. Especially when I flip back to a standard broadcast. Definately with the cost.
    Take it easy.
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    My "digital cable" box has a plate over the coaxial digital output. It doesn't even have S-Video.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. Derek B

    Derek B Stunt Coordinator

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    What are the major differences between the 5100 and 6200 as far as sound is concerned?

    Also, Am I going to have to wire up the L/R analog RCA cables for sound? I mean, Are the analog channels going to be digitally processed and be sent through the Digital Coaxil line so that I do not have to set up the L/R RCA analog lines?
     
  13. Garrett Adams

    Garrett Adams Supporting Actor

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    I answered this in my post earlier. The analog channel sound is also passed through your digital hookup. A L/R analog RCA cable hookup is not required.
     
  14. Derek B

    Derek B Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I got my DCT 5100 yesterday. I am not as impressed as I hoped I would be, but it is definitely better than the 2100.

    I do not have a High Def TV so the only reason I got the upgrade was for the sound quality and processor speed.

    The processor speed is much quicker, about 4 times faster.

    The Sound is definitely better. The only channels I have noticed that RCN Cable broadcasts in surround are the HD channels which I have only 4 and they are all local channels, CBS, NBC, ABC, & KQED. All the analog channels must be converted by the box into digital format, but not surround becuase none of my channels light up on the receiver. On the HD channels, mostly only the L & R channels light up. Only once have I seen 5.1 channels light up. Only one channel consistently has L/R and Center lighted up.

    Over all, the analog channels sound much better, with out the noise that was apparent before through the L/R RCA's.

    As far as video is concerned, all the lower numbered channels have a lower quality signal. They are simply not as sharp, but more grainy looking. I am not sure why this is. I have tried all the modes that the box is capable of. I wonder if I had a HD tv if the Non-HD channels would look better.

    My questions are these:

    1. Will the analog channels ever send out a digital surround to my receiver?
    2. WHy do the lower channels look like crap?
    3. Why do I lose the Cable Box graphics in the HD channels and not the Non-HD channels?
    4. Scrolling through the menu is much quicker, but actually changing channels does not seem to be any quicker. In fact, some channels lag a couple of seconds before the signal is de-scrambled. Why isn't it faster?


    I would say the sound improvement and menu navigation speed increase are worth the extra $5 per month rental fee. I guess all I need to do now is actually buy an HD tv to get the full experience.
     

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