TV Audio Issue

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Brian*T, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Brian*T

    Brian*T Auditioning

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    Hello everyone. Is there any way to convert audio from a TV? I currently have a MONO TV, and I wanted to know if I can change the output to Stereo; if that is at all possible. I hate to get a new TV for just that reason, so any help would be great. The only reason I need stereo because when I hook it up to my receiver, obviously it only has one channel of sound. Thanks alot
     
  2. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    The standard approach would be to buy a "Hi-fi" stereo VCR (or its modern day equivalent-- the DVR), and use that component's tuner.

    And of course, with a stereo TV tuner, you don't just get stereo. Many shows are recorded in Dolby surround, So connect up the VCR, swith your receiver to ProLogic (or one of its descendants) and enjoy the slightest wisps of surround effects.

    More recently, many shows have been produced with a Dolby Digital track, but watching "House" or "CSI" and the like in 5.1 requires some sort of hdtv tuner. But that's an (considerable) added expense, is best enjoyed with a hdtv set, and depending on your location, may not even be available without a hefty monthly subscription.
     
  3. Brian*T

    Brian*T Auditioning

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    alright, ill have to try that out, (totaly sliped my mind). Ok, how about Dish network, will their regular equipment have an audio output on the back, or only the DVR models? I was thinking of getting satelite, and this could help my decision...thanks again
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Yup, any sat receiver or DVR will have stereo outs (and probably a digital out as well).
     
  5. Brian*T

    Brian*T Auditioning

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    thanks guys...merry christmas
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    A lot of shows with Dolby Surround encoded soundtracks have very audible and very directional sound effects-they just don't have as much sonic detail as with Dolby Digital or DTS (and aren't full range signals like Dolby/DTS can be).

    A few weeks ago the Sci-Fi Channel was showing The Abyss and I remembered how good sonic effects can be when using a matrixed surround format. I am EXTREMELY familiar with this movie and its soundtrack because when I sold HT gear back in the early/mid 90s it is one of three movies-in Hi-Fi Stereo VHS form-we usually used to show people what "home theater" was all about (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Terminator II were the others). All we had back then was Dolby Pro-Logic (DPLII was several years away).

    Anyhoo, as soon as the movie's opening titles were running I knew Sci-Fi wasn't transmitting in stereo & I still don't know why they stopped either [​IMG] (actually everyhting overall sounded awful: 100% mono & no lower or upper bass-like a $10 transistor radio). FYI: A stereo signal is needed so the Dolby Decoder has two channels to compare to derive the surround (and center) channels. So for the hell of it, I popped my copy into my Hi-Fi Panasonic and....WHOOSH.....all those fun effects were back: sailors giving depth warnings were clearly emanating behind me, including other various submarine noises; when the alien blows by its loud/bubbly bow wave races past and behind me; later, a nasty electrical short circuit buzzes back there; and when they have to send up the distress buoy it starts out in front and zooms "over" you and behind. This is all in the first 5 minutes of the show. The rest of the movie has more of the same.

    And in the Star Trek movie, when the Klingon moon of Praxis blows up, its huge shockwave rushing from the front & passing over Sulu's ship and behind us ALWAYS got everyone's attention during those demos.

    The only reason I can think of that TV's Dolby Surround can sound bad is that during times of bad reception, the tuner could be partly blending the left and right channels-this is automatically done in many FM radio tuners to help eliminate static but still have some audible left/right separation. But since the best performance of the Dolby system depends on a 100% division of channels, any blending can really reduce the surround effects. This is just a theory though.

    BTW: if you're using a Dolby Surround system, either the oldest version called Dolby Surround (no center channel or sub output), or the newer one, Dolby Surround Pro-Logic (with center, sub and better rear channel performance), if you are using a dvd player with it via the player's analog left/right RCA jacks: if the disc's audio menu offers it, use either the "stereo" option or (duh) the "Dolby Surround" option. Stereo & 5.1 multichannel soundtracks require very different mixing techniques, so these tracks are mixed totally separately from each other. Most of the time a Dolby Surround DEcoder can pull out some nice ambient effects, and sometimes even directional ones, from many stereo tracks; and if the movie's audio engineer put together the track using a Dolby Surround ENcoder (fed with the required *mono* dedicated surround signal along with a center signal) depending on the movie you can get the effects I described above.

    But if you use the dvd's 5.1 track, the player will downmix all those tracks (IIRC minus the LFE channel) into just a left and right signal. Then you'll get a random mish mash of effects that your Dolby Surround decoder may or may not be able to do anything useful with, along with possibly having a "hazy" stereo image in front of you.

    BTW2: Dolby Surround and Dolby Pro-Logic can also be used with music with varying degrees of success. Actually, CDs with Dolby Surround encoding have existed for years and are still being sold. Classical can sound awesome with it-the addition of real hall reverb makes for a much grander listening experience.
     

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