Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using Telus Optik for about 5 years with the CIS430 PVR and Actiontec V1000H modem/router. Generally everything has worked OK. However for audio until recently I have been using a 2.1 speaker system (stereo plus a small subwoofer), so I have been unaware of any possible problems with the surround channels for Dolby 5.1. This setup with 40" TV is in the family room.

Recently I added a second TV and Denon AVR with 5.1 speaker setup in the living room. The TV is a Sony XBR55X700D (55" 4K capable). This system is fed from a 25 foot HDMI cable connected to the CIS430 PVR which still runs the family room TV. All video sources are HDMI and go into the Denon AVR which is connected to the TV by HDMI.

I now connect the original 40" TV to the PVR with component video cables, so the PVR runs both TVs. Actually the PVR also feeds a third TV (20" in kitchen) by composite video.

What I've noticed with the living room setup is there is usually no audio from the surround channels, or very low volume surround audio. The Denon receiver tells me there is usually Dolby Digital sound or Dolby Surround with all 5 channels active (L/R, center, SR/SL, LFE). I know there is normally no surround sound when a channel is just playing a news program, but there should be decent surround volume when they are playing a recent movie.

I know there is a bit of surround audio present because I can raise the surround levels by 12 db using Denon AVR settings, and when I do that the surround audio begins to sound reasonable.

I've tested the 25' HDMI cable and it's OK. The system gives good 5.1 audio when I switch to a different source such as a Blu-ray player or an Apple TV 3.

I suspect the problem is the Telus CIS430 PVR. maybe related to the HDMI output. I have not yet tried a TOSLink optic cable for audio, would need to get a 25 footer.

Has anyone else had a similar problem? My next step will be to call Telus, I suspect they will just tell me to stop using HDMI.

I'm undecided about updating my Telus boxes such as the PVR (maybe that would fix the audio) and modem/router, and data rate. Currently I'm on the 15 MBit plan but get about 18/9 download/upload. Telus has fibre on my street and wants to get everyone upgraded and paying more, but I find 18/9 is OK for me.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
56,825 Posts
Have you run Audyssey on the Denon? That should "balance" your speakers. Have you run the test tones and are the surround speakers providing good audio on the test? Do you have the surround speakers connected to the surround outputs. Make sure they're not on the "rear" outputs.

Make sure that the audio output from the Telus STB is set to Dolby Digital and not PCM. This should be in the STB audio menu somewhere. If you press "info" on the Denon, it should show the input signal. Is it showing DD5.1? Most HD channels have DD5.1 while most SD channels are DD2.0, which the AVR can decode to DPLII. See:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/30-57s-home-theatre-faqs/17870-faq-whats-available-dd5-1-a.html

As you noted, you will hear mostly the centre channel when listening to news, but an action movie should have some surround sound. Many commercials also have lots of surround. Interesting that you get good surround from other sources...

Edit - the Denon will "remember" the surround mode for each input. Make sure to check the audio menu of the Denon to ensure you have selected the correct mode. For example, for DD2.0 (or PCM) signals I usually select DPLII Cinema for "TV" and DPLII Music for music. For DD5.1 signals I select "standard" as that gives me DD5.1 output on my Denon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,675 Posts
Surround audio is typically lower in volume and less prominent than front speaker audio. Some content may make it prominent but that is not typical. Surround sound is there for enhancement and effect, not mainstream content. It's most often heard for off screen sounds, such as a door opening, audience cheering or some other event to the side or back.

It's possible that the surrounds are slightly lower in volume due to lower efficiency, placement or distance. Running the Audyssey setup is very good advice and should fix that. Note that the setup is optimized for a single listening position. The microphone, if used, should be in a central or most frequently used listening location. Also, the speakers can be tested in the speaker setup using a test tone. They should all sound about equal in volume. A useful setting for some stereo content, such as music, is 'all channel surround.' With that setting, the music should be immersive, similar to a car sound system and all speakers should sound equal in volume. Just don't overdrive the surround speakers if they are much smaller than the front speakers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for those replies.

Yes I have run Audyssey, generally I rerun it after making small adjustments to the speaker locations (and sometimes I experiment with a different speaker for the center). Good volume from all speakers. I re-checked the speaker wires connected to the receiver (Denon AVR-S720W, 7.1 capable) to make sure I'm using the connectors for Surround R/L and not "back" surround R/L.

Also the white noise tone speaker level test adjustment from the receiver gives approximately equal levels from all 5 speakers (plus subwoofer but of course it just gives a low rumble).

The PVR only has two "Digital Audio Output" settings: "Stereo" and "Surround Sound". I recall there were more settings selections available a couple of years ago. Tonight I will unplug the connections to the 40" TV and 2.1 speaker system in the family room to see if that makes any difference, maybe having multiple TVs connected makes the PVR confused.

Another thing I might try is to run the PVR output HDMI cable direct to the TV and then get audio from the TV to the AVR, maybe by ARC.

BTW the speakers are old but passable/tolerable sounding and give decent results with action Blu-ray and Netflix movies, although not current audiophile grade for sure. 25 tear old Paradigm Phantoms for fronts and Paradigm Titans for surround, also a new Pioneer center channel and Klipsch 10" subwoofer. I am considering replacing the Paradigms and Pioneer center but want to make sure the rest of the system is running properly first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,675 Posts
The correct connection in most cases is HDMI to AVR and then to the TV. Going to the TV and then AVR will often reduce sound quality with surround content. I would use the PVR Info button to check audio input and output status. That should show which channels are active with various sources and program content. It should show Dolby Digital and 5.1 input channels active with most HD content. Output channels will depend on AVR setting but it should show DD5.1 when set to DD with DD5.1 source. It will show 7.1 channels active with DD EX and 7.1 speakers configured.

The issue could be the source content or TV channel. I've seen some TV channels encode audio incorrectly. They will take a Dolby PLII signal and encode it on a DD5.1 carrier in stereo. Very few, if any, receivers will decode the surround sound it that case, nor should they. There were a lot of Hollywood movies on TV that had DD PL or PLII instead of the original DD5.1 a few years ago. Don't know if that is still the case. However, they were properly encoded on 2 or 3 channels as they should be.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top