Digital Cable Receivers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick Larkin, Aug 8, 2001.

  1. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Does anyone have a new digital cable box? Does it have a digital sound out jack on it? The sales guy is telling me I can hook it into my existing 5.1 system. Do any channels broadcast in 5.1 mode?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Vishwa Somayaji

    Vishwa Somayaji Stunt Coordinator

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    This may be different for different regions. Here in Canada, the most popular box is the one made by General Instruments and it does have a coaxial digital output. However, in my area, not all channels have digital outputs. Some channels are analog only, even after subscribing to digital cable. I am not sure of the availability of 5.1 DD.
     
  3. Gene Severn

    Gene Severn Stunt Coordinator

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    Here in my area of Connecticut, my cable company is in the process of upgrading to digital cable using the Scientific Atlanta 2100 series box which has a digital audio coax out. It also has an s-video out.
     
  4. Steve Bourgeois

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    Gene, who is your cable company?
    I have AT&T broadband in Massachusetts and am stuck with a Motorola DCT-2000 with only composite video and analog audio outputs.
    An equipment upgrade would be welcomed by me!
    Steve
     
  5. John Cavacas

    John Cavacas Agent

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    Here in Toronto, the digital boxes have coax out, and s-video out. Some of the shows on the Movie network (think HBO but in canada) are broadcast in 5.1 dolby digital. The rest just in doulby digital surround.
     
  6. Gene Severn

    Gene Severn Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve,
    My cable company is Tele-Media. They are relatively small privately owned company serving the Naugatuck Valley in Connecticut (Waterbury down thru Shelton). I feel that there is something to be said for this small company who is taking the time to upgrade the whole infra-structure from the main pole to pole trunk cable to the splitters in every house. I think it had finally dawned on them that with the old analog system they were getting their corporate butts kicked by satellite dish owners.
    Gene
     
  7. Jeff Blair

    Jeff Blair Second Unit

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    I have Time Warner her in Austin. They are using the SA 2000 and 2100 here. The back of our box's have both a S-video and RCA outs. As for the digital signal, it only has a coax out. I am hoping that sooner or later they will have a optical out, but I am just wishing. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Jeff Blair
    Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
    - Abraham Lincoln
    My DVD's
     
  8. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    So, has anyone actually used their digital sound output jacks? does anyone broadcast in 5.1?
    I'll be getting my box today. I suppose I'll have to get an optical cable for my DVD player sincce this box will most likely only have coaxial.
    But if no one broadcasts in 5.1, its not worth the cost of the optical cable.
     
  9. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    I've got a Pioneer box with a coax digital out, s-video, composite-video, coax-vid, left and right analog audio outs.
    The problem comes in when you switch from a pre #100 channel with analog sound to a post #100 channel with digital sound. The box can only control the volume of the analog sounds and the volume doesn't get high enough to equilibrate with the digital volume.
    You have to have the receiver's remote in hand all the time to quickly drop the volume when you reach a digital audio enabled channel. I haven't seen any channel in 5.1, my receiver is always auto choosing DPL II on the digital channels. HBO may be doing it, but I don't have any premiums outside of the MLB extra Innings package.
     
  10. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    I just upgraded to Time Warner's basic digital package in Houston (Tuesday night). I've got the digital coax out plugged into my HT receiver.
    You do get digital sound where digital sound is available. It is definitely an upgrade over the analog sound performance. I have not yet, however, experienced any DD. I am not currently subscribed to Showtime, which shows some movies in DD, or HBO which just started showing some movies in DD. I haven't heard of any other channels broadcasting in DD as of now so I'll have to wait on that angle.
    Todd.
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    "He'll flip you, flip you for real."
     
  11. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    I just went to Dolby's site. They have a list of shows currently aired in 5.1. Here's the link: http://www.dolby.com/ht/pa.in.0107.d...ist.html#shows
    Here's the list:
    ABC
    NYPD Blue
    Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco
    Cinemax
    Road Trip
    DirecTV
    Almost Famous
    Charlie's Angels
    Hollow Man
    Red Planet
    Remember the Titans
    Space Cowboys
    The 6th Day
    HBO
    Band of Brothers (miniseries)
    Dinner with Friends
    The Contender
    The Perfect Storm
    What Lies Beneath
    Showtime
    Queer as Folk
    Stargate SG-1
    The Chris Isaak Show
    Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City
    Being John Malkovich
    Bringing Out the Dead
    Double Jeopardy
    Flawless
    Ghostbusters 2
    Just the Ticket
    Moll Flanders
    Pitch Black
    Rules of Engagement
    Runaway Bride
    Sister Mary Explains It All
    Snow Day
    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
    Stigmata
    Teaching Mrs. Tingle
    The Limey
    The Ninth Gate
    The Story of Us
    The Thomas Crown Affair
    Varian's War
    Varsity Blues
    Walter and Henry
    Whatever It Takes
    Who Killed Atlanta's Children?
    STARZ!
    American Pie
    Bicentennial Man
    Bring It On
    Coyote Ugly
    Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
    Disney's The Kid
    Final Destination
    Heavy Metal 2000
    High Fidelity
    Love & Basketball
    Man on the Moon
    Mission to Mars
    Music of the Heart
    Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
    Price of Glory
    Shanghai Noon
    Summer of Sam
    The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
    The Watcher
    Twin Dragons
    Todd.
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    "He'll flip you, flip you for real."
     
  12. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    OK, I got my box today. Now I'm thoroughly confused.
    Its a General Instruments.
    From what I can see, there is no digital coax connection. There are two "screw-on" cable jacks. One takes the cabe in, the other goes out to the TV.
    Then, there are the usual sets of RCA jacks. OUT: Audio L, Audio R, and Video and AUX Audio In, L and R. Don't know what that's for!
    Then there are two plugs both labeled "DATA" and one says "High Speed" and one says "Out of Band." I have no idea what these are either.
    finally, one last plug labelled "IR" and above it is "Low Power" or something.
    No S-Video and no digital sound output jacks.
    The wierd thing is that the front is clearly labelled "Dolby Digital" with the logo. Anyone have any idea whats up with this box?
     
  13. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Patrick,
    If you look at the Motorola site (Motorola bought General Instruments) you'll see that there are options for the DCT2000 box you have. Two of them are S-Video and SPDIF output for Dolby Digital.
    The setup does decode Dolby Digital but I bet only 2.0 or downmixed output to L/R analog on your setup.
    Go to this link http://gicout50.gic.gi.com/GIHomepa.nsf/?Open
    and click on Addressable Terminals, then click on Digital ATSC Interactive Network Systems. Then click on DCT2000.
    I've just ordered my digital cable but I won't be able to get one until August 31st. Here in Vancouver its Shaw cable and we get Motorola/GI boxes. I chose to buy it since there's a special on for boxes at $99 CDN.
    Patrick
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    My DVD Collection
    [Edited last by PatrickM on August 09, 2001 at 09:41 PM]
     
  14. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    I'm not sure I understand the downmixing you refer to or how to hook it up so I get at least LR and center.
    My box is a GI DCT1134, by the way.
     
  15. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Patrick --
    One more thing -- are you buying the box through your cable company?
     
  16. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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  17. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Patrick,
    The potential downmixing I'm thinking of is when a 5.1 signal is output onto left and right analog outputs. And, the other thing is that we always think of Dolby Digital as a multi-channel format but in reality they (the program providers and cable company) could be just using Dolby Digital 2.0.
    Yes, I am buying it from the cable company. I believe the model we get here is the DCT2000 with Motorola on the front. My parents have a couple already since my dad subscribes the NFL Sunday Ticket.
    I believe your model is an older one that was designed before the Motorola buyout of GI. I'll have to search to see if I can find info on that one.
    I forgot about the LCR thing. If it is Dolby Surround and you get DD2.0 from the L/R analog outputs you could use these into your surround receiver and at least get Dolby Prologic or DTS:NEO 6 if you have a receiver that does that.
    Other than that, without a 6 channel analog output or a digital connection you won't be able to get DD5.1 from that box.
    Patrick
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    My DVD Collection
    [Edited last by PatrickM on August 10, 2001 at 10:02 AM]
     
  18. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Thanks. I downloaded a pdf on the 1000 and 2000 series. Seems the 2000 would meet my needs.
    Downmixing to just L and R would cause dialogue and such to emanate from L and R. I hate that. [​IMG]
     

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