digital cable and Dolby 5.1

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by MattCA, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. MattCA

    MattCA Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    (I did the search thingy and couldn't find an answer to my query, so here we go.)

    I am trying to hear movies on HBO in Dolby 5.1 audio, but the indicator on my receiver says only "Linear PCM" and "Dolby Pro Logic II."

    - I posted my problem on the dvdtalk forums and someone there said the Motorola DCT2224 *is* capable of outputting 5.1 sound. Someone on the hometheaterforum said the 2000 series is not. When I emailed my cable company, they didn't indicate that it's not. This is the model they've always given out to customers. I've got three of them in my home. I can't find any more information about the box online.

    - I have the digital cable box (Motorola DCT2224) connected to my DVD player/receiver (Toshiba SD43HT) correctly. I connected a second DVD player to my receiver using the same setup (DVD player->Coaxial->converter->Optical->DVD player/receiver) and it recognized and decoded Dolby Digital and DTS from a DVD.

    - For my cable box settings, I set Dolby to "On," Compression to "Light" and Stereo Output to "Matrix Stereo." There are no additional audio settings for the box. I am going to try unplugging the box and plugging it back in after a few hours to see if it resets itself where there are more options.

    - My cable company says: "If we receive the signal in Dolby 5.1, it is passed through. The rest of the settings you can adjust to which sounds best to you." And they were of no more help. I emailed them again about the possibility of the box "downmixing" to 2.0 and am waiting to hear back.

    - I am certain that the programs I am watching are 5.1, not 2.0. HBO says so right before a program starts, and the on screen TV Guide info also indicates it's 5.1.

    Any help is appreciated.

    PS: Should I really be concerned? Will a movie or TV series broadcast over HBO sound much better in Dolby 5.1 than PCM stereo decoded with Pro Logic II? Is there a noticeable difference, in other words.
     
  2. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    do you have a digital connection, coax or optical, from your cable box?

    oops, did you change your post?
     
  3. Jim Lenneman

    Jim Lenneman Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2000
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I used to have a Motorola DCT 2224 box with a digital coax (SPDIF) out connection. However, it never was able to pass a DD 5.1 signal, PCM only.

    When I went to Motorola's website looking for info, the manual for the 2224 states that it will pass a digital audio signal. In contrast, the manual for the DCT 5200 box states it will pass a DD 5.1 signal. I assumed that the difference in these descriptions was intentional and the 2224 won't give you DD 5.1.

    To my ears at least the DD 5.1 signal from the 5200 does sound a lot better on HBO than DPL II etc.

    Jim L
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    But if you have chosen "Matrix Stereo" you will not be passing a digital signal but rather a pro-logic signal, right? My cable box has a "Digital Audio" choice that works great.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    If the box is outputting PCM, which is stereo only, then you will not get 5.1. That means, if the box does not have a setting for bitstream vs PCM, or something similar the way a DVD player does, then it doesn't actually output 5.1. Based on what you said, this is the case.
     
  6. MattCA

    MattCA Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There is no setting for bitstream that I can find. My cable company insists the DCT2224 passes through 5.1. They won't give me a box in the 5000 series because I don't have HDTV.
     
  7. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    nm
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    To me there is still a noticable difference between DD 5.1 and PLII, but PLII does a good enough job that TV and stereo DVDs generally still sound better than stereo. If the cable company isn't going to charge you, have them come out and PROVE the box will pass 5.1
     
  9. MattCA

    MattCA Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks to sycho on the dvdfile forums for solving my problem. I needed to hit "info" on my remote and select "Dolby 5.1" for that particular program. No clue why my cable company didn't advise me to do that.
     

Share This Page