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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound

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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound

I'm having the same issue on "Network Programming", CBS, NBC are the primary examples and only on "live" programming - The Voice, America's Got Talent, The Grammy's have muted center channel. Commercials, normal network TV - Ellen, NBC Nightly News, Magnum, etc are fine. I don't have this issue with HBO or Showtime on cable or Netflix, Prime streaming with the set top box. If I use over the air the sound is fine. When watching anything on other devices the sound is fine. Blu-Ray 4k, Fire Cube Streaming, etc. produce Dolby Atmos with no issues. Most of the regular programming is fine in Dolby Digital. Seems to be an issue with the Dolby Digital Plus encoded content and the post-processing equipment Comcast is using isn't compatible or configured correctly. As a digital video engineer I know it is not the equipment I use - Denon AVR X6500H, 7.2.4 Atmos, Klipsch, LG C-8 OLED

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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound

@Divitom Finally someone with the same issue as me. I wish I could be of some help but I'm stumped too.  Did you resolve this yet? I've noticed this issue even within the same show. When watching SNL, the monologues and the skits sound just fine with the center channel loud and clear in 5.1  But when the musical act comes on and they start singing, that's when the center channel goes dead. The receiver still displays 5.1 though. I'm not surprised to see you mention shows like The Voice, Grammy's, AGT as those all involve some sort of singing or musical performance.

 

This is a recent issue though.  I've had the same setup for 3-4 years now and this only started a few months ago.

 

I'm running optical cable right from my box to my Denon. My Denon is old and doesn't have HDMI inputs so I can't try that way. I've tried different optical cables, different speakers though but the result is the same.   I hope to find the same show on a streaming platform so I can see how that behaves but I haven't been able to find such a show yet.

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Expert

Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound

Whether a show is produced with 5.1 (or 7.1) Surround Sound depends on how the show (live, commercial, taped) was produced. The channel only mentions the best possible to be transmitted.

 

It is also possible for a particular channel to only be transmitting a copy of a show in only stereo even if a original copy exists with 7.1 or 5.1 S.S. This has always been the case. Nothing new here.

 

National Geographic has programing produced in 2160p, HDR, with 7.1 Surround Sound. It is only shown that way on Streaming Broadband, or OTA, etc., in countries that have 4K already.


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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound

So then why do you think it changes mid-show for me and only during musical performances? And other people I've asked watching the same show on different platforms don't have the same issue. 

 

Did the TV industry recently change how they film and record audio on their shows?  This is a recent issue for me. Maybe it's just a network channel issue.  I'll have to see if I can find similar shows on traditional cable channels.  Or could just the xfinity box be near its end of life?

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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound

There is always a chance it could be the box. However; getting a replacement box is "ifffy" at best because of Covid 19, and whether Comcast has enough personnel in your area to handle a replacement right now.


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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound

I just noticed this yesterday.  I have a Marantz 7500 receiver, and when listening to the Xfinity Music Choice channels or the Pandora app on Xfinity, it goes to stereo. But when viewing a recorded show or network TV it goes back to 5.1.  The audio setting on the box are all set to 5.1.  Only thing I can think of is that not all the channels on Xfinity are broadcast in 5.1.  Any other ideas?

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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound


@Joeortiz wrote:

I just noticed this yesterday.  I have a Marantz 7500 receiver, and when listening to the Xfinity Music Choice channels or the Pandora app on Xfinity, it goes to stereo. But when viewing a recorded show or network TV it goes back to 5.1.  The audio setting on the box are all set to 5.1.  Only thing I can think of is that not all the channels on Xfinity are broadcast in 5.1.  Any other ideas?


MusicChoice currently is stereo on the X1. are you connected directly to the sound bar or to the TV by the X1 set top box?



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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound

I did some experimenting with this and found some interesting info. I checked the four major network channels in my area at different times throughout the day and the NBC and FOX affiliates were the only ones to consistently broadcast audio out of the center channel. ABC and CBS hardly ever sent anything through the center channel, save for the random commercial or The Bachelor. I checked local news, national news, primetime shows, and daytime filler on all networks.

 

My dad is in the same market as me but is running a Yamaha receiver and DirectTV so I asked him to do the same experiment.  He got the same results as I did! So now we know my equipment is working fine but something is odd at these stations or their networks.  Still strange to me because I've had many 5.1 setups in my adult life and this seems like a relatively recent issue to me. 

 

I did some googling and it seems some live singing performances are forced into stereo because mixers don't want to mess with making singing in 5.1 sound good. Not sure if I interpreted this article correctly: http://www.remotewest.com/the-penseive/some-notes-on-51-and-music.html

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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound


@markopur wrote:

I did some experimenting with this and found some interesting info. I checked the four major network channels in my area at different times throughout the day and the NBC and FOX affiliates were the only ones to consistently broadcast audio out of the center channel. ABC and CBS hardly ever sent anything through the center channel, save for the random commercial or The Bachelor. I checked local news, national news, primetime shows, and daytime filler on all networks.

 

My dad is in the same market as me but is running a Yamaha receiver and DirectTV so I asked him to do the same experiment.  He got the same results as I did! So now we know my equipment is working fine but something is odd at these stations or their networks.  Still strange to me because I've had many 5.1 setups in my adult life and this seems like a relatively recent issue to me. 

 

I did some googling and it seems some live singing performances are forced into stereo because mixers don't want to mess with making singing in 5.1 sound good. Not sure if I interpreted this article correctly: http://www.remotewest.com/the-penseive/some-notes-on-51-and-music.html


Did you do the same test watching the stations over the air (antenna)? You would likely find 5.1 signals from CBS and ABC. Of course it depends on how the local channels handle 5.1 audio signals.


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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound

No but that's an experiment I want to do. I don't have an OTA antenna yet but live only a few miles from the tower so I should get a good signal. 

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Re: Not all HD channels giving me 5.1 surround sound


@markopur wrote:

No but that's an experiment I want to do. I don't have an OTA antenna yet but live only a few miles from the tower so I should get a good signal. 


That would be a good idea. I get 57+ local channels using an indoor amplified Radio Shack antenna. A high quality antenna. Not the cheap types found at Walmart, etc.


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