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digital cable and Dolby 5.1

Old 03-23-04, 07:47 PM
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digital cable and Dolby 5.1

(I searched the forum but didn't find a thread specific to my question, so I hope someone can help me.)

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

- I have the digital cable box (Motorola DCT2224) connected to my DVD player/receiver (Toshiba SD43HT) correctly, and I am certain that the programs I am watching are 5.1, not 2.0.

- There a few options on the cable box menu. I have it set to Dolby "On," Audio Output "Advanced," Compression "Light" and Stereo Output "Matrix Stereo." Is this good, or should I have the Compression on "Heavy" or something? And do I want RF Bypass "On" or is that irrelevant to this issue?

- Does it make any difference that my set-up includes a Coaxial->Optical converter? (My cable box has only an SPDIF out. My receiver is an Optical in.)

Any help is appreciated.
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Old 03-23-04, 07:48 PM
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UPDATE: 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. So my cables work and my receiver is set up properly. The fault must be with the cable box, or the cable company's signal, right?
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Old 03-23-04, 09:27 PM
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Dunno if this is the problem, but most HBO material on digital cable is not broadcast in 5.1. More of the HD channels are, so try one of those if you have them on your system.
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Old 03-23-04, 10:01 PM
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The programs I've tried listening to in 5.1 are supposed to be 5.1. I've also tried other HBO channels and Showtime.
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Old 03-23-04, 11:46 PM
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No much help but I have a Scientific Atlanta box and I have no problem getting HBO (or other 5.1 channels) in 5.1 when the movie is being broadcast in that mode.

The box has a coaxial output which I run to the receiver.

The booklet that came with the box explained all the different ways to connect the box. I know it sounds stupid but did you see what your booklet says? Or maybe try calling the cable company or check their website?
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Old 03-24-04, 07:21 AM
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I had that same box previously including the coaxial to optical converter and had no problems getting 5.1 when it was broadcasted on HBO. I never changed any of the settings you mentioned. I do know the RF bybass has nothing to do with the sound from the coaxial output. The compression setting is basically used I think to minimize the bass, ie set to heavy is similiar to the receiver setting of "night mode". What are the other options instead of "matrix stereo" I think that may be a setting used to emulate surround sound from a pair of stereo speakers.
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Old 03-24-04, 07:42 AM
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I'll chime in on this one with a question - I originally had my cable box setup for surround on the channels that broadcast it but the cable box i had at the time wouldn't output stereo audio through the digital coax output which meant I had to change to yet another input on my receiver to get 5.1 for the shows that offered that - is this common or...? (I have a newer cable box now and haven't yet tried messing with it yet, it's the scientific american hd cable box for cox cable)

muchas gracias
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Old 03-24-04, 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by TomOpus

The booklet that came with the box explained all the different ways to connect the box. I know it sounds stupid but did you see what your booklet says? Or maybe try calling the cable company or check their website? [/B]
I don't have a booklet. I contacted my cable company and they said:

"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. "

I know my receiver is working... someone in this thread just said this model does transmit 5.1... and the programs are supposed to be in 5.1... yet the "Linear PCM" persists where it should say "Dolby."
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Old 03-28-04, 07:09 PM
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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.
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