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Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed recently that quite a few movies on MCHD are not being broadcast in Dolby Digital. Recent examples include:
- Zombieland
- Star Trek
- It Might Get Loud
- Michael Jackson:This is it

It's not a technical issue at my end as some movies on MCHD are 5.1, and usually Bell flags the start with their 5.1 splash screen.

And of course Movie Central touts themselves as showing many quality HD movies in 5.1 sound....and w/o any easy way to contact them and complain. Besides, I'm buying MC thru Bell - I expect them to put the pressure on MC.

So before I dedicate about an hour of my time on hold at Skydish to be told that Bell has no control over what MC sends them......has anybody else also noticed this?
 

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Yes i watched zombieland in standard as well,thought it was my yamaha receiver,very frustrating to pay hundred dollars a month and new releases aren;t 5.1!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am in Western Canada and therefore The Movie Network is not available. However, it would be useful to know whether TMN is broadcasting any of the following with a proper 5.1 soiundtrack. If they are, then Movie Central is screwing up. If not, then I guess the studios are sending out substandard HD copies for whatever reason.

- Zombieland
- Star Trek
- It Might Get Loud
- Michael Jackson:This is it

So are any easterners getting the full 5.1 for these movies in HD?
 

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I happened to record the raw transport streams for "Star Trek" and "It Might Get Loud" on Movie Central HD recently via Shaw Direct. I made some spot checks and can confirm the former was in AC3 2.0, but the latter was in AC3 5.1.
 

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On TMN-HD

Star Trek was DD5.1
It Might Get Loud was not only DD2.0, but also a 4:3 upconvert during the first few airings. I complained to TMN and the following airings may have been different - I didn't bother checking since I watched the first version.

I am recording the other two movies in the next few days and if I remember, I'll post here.

TMN/MPix, etc now do the occasional 4:3 upconvert. This is due to the fact that they cannot always get the HD version of a movie (sometimes a timing issue) and also because the SD and HD channels now have the same schedules. A few years back the HD channel was totally "separate" from the SD channel, therefore, not airing any movies they didn't get in HD. As I stated earlier, most of the movies on TMN are now DD5.1. A few years ago, most of the movies were not.
 

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It's also worth pointing out that just because a provider distributes a 5.1 audio stream doesn't mean the movie soundtrack is 5.1. I've noticed a number of ordinary 1930-1950s movies that were never more than Academy mono show up as 5.1 and some at-best matrixed films, too.

I haven't checked recently, but HDNet Movies in the US seemed to send everything in 5.1 regardless of the original. I don't know if this was their doing, or their supplier's, but a number of these faux-5.1 audio streams were awful. The soundstage drifted back and forth and individual effects would pop out of random speakers. When I had the original source in a two-channel matrix format for comparison purposes, my pre-processor sounded much more realistic.
 

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Yes, some of the movies have actually been remixed during the telecining or remastering, in which case you'd get this particular director's (or technicians) DD5.1 mix. In other cases it's simply "upmixed" by the broadcaster, as indicated in the DD5.1 FAQ to which I've already provided a link in post 3. Direct link on the topic below:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=64024

National Geographic upmixes all their programming. TCM may or may not. Astral/TMN doesn't seem to upmix. I would suggest that any channel that has DD5.1 24/7/365, that there is some upmixing going on since not all programming is available in DD5.1.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To their credit, and much to my surprise, I got an immediate response from Movie Central. Not that the response is particularly helpful.....
Dear Viewer,
Thank you for your inquiry regarding Dolby 5.1 sound in our HD programming.
Providing a top notch theatre experience is a priority for Movie Central, however High Definition is a new and evolving technology and there are many factors involved in providing movies in Dolby 5.1. Currently, not all movies in the HD format are available to us with Dolby 5.1 sound. As you may already know, HD movies are produced in a completely separate format from our other movies. This means, there may be times when movies on our main channel will broadcast with 5.1 sound but the same movie in HD will not.
That said, we will continue to attempt to acquire HD films in Dolby 5.1 sound. As HD technology evolves more programming in HD will become available with the full quality video and audio that one would expect. In addition, your feedback will be shared with the appropriate departments for their consideration during the ongoing planning of our network.
Thank you for being a Movie Central subscriber.​

Sigh.
 

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Currently, not all movies in the HD format are available to us with Dolby 5.1 sound.
There might be two key words in this quote. Firstly, TMN and MC do not seem to always get the same HD movie masters, despite the fact that they have stated that they "pool" their orders with the studios for additional leverage - i.e. they sometimes end up with different masters. They often differ with regard to OAR and DD5.1 as we have tracked on this forum.

Secondly, almost all new movies are available as DD5.1, however, due to timing (delivery) or "Canadian piracy concerns", sometimes the studios do not provide them to Canada, or MC or TMN, etc, as discussed in the previous linked thread and several other threads discussing OAR, DD5.1 movies.

Really though, the
High Definition is a new and evolving technology
might have been an acceptable excuse in 2001 when I first subscribed to HD, this excuse is simply no longer valid TEN years later and you may want to tell them that.
 

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I got an immediate response from Movie Central. Not that the response is particularly helpful.....
You received a "copy & paste" pre-formatted reply taken from a list in Notepad.

I highly recommand you to reply back and ask for a human reply, mentionning you asked around other MC and TMN subscribers and you're not the only one with the problem and it doesn't make sense that TMN would broadcast the SAME movie in a different audio format than MC...
Anyways, it's not fair that you cannot subscribe to TMN to be sure to obtain 5.1 movies while MC ain't able to buy and broadcast the same movies (from the same source) properly.
 

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This has nothing to do with BTV. MC must have the movies in DD5.1.
Apparently, it does. Right now I have both Shaw and BTV, and the movie "Last Christmas" is in 5.1 on Shaw and in 2.0 on BTV. I am comparing the MC HD channels on both providers.
 

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Are you getting any DD5.1 on BTV? Could this be a STB or connection issue? The signal should simply get passed by the provider, but it's possible that BTV could screw up since they change all signals to 720P too...
 

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Obviously BTV are screwing things up. DD5.1 was OK on their other channels. I didn't know they were doing this, it is the first time I have a chance to compare side by side Shaw and BTV.
Shaw looks sharper too on the HD channels, btw, which was to be expected.
 

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Suggest you report this to MC - you're more likely to get a response than with BTV - perhaps copy BTV. They are a premium network and you should be able to get their premium service. TMN have always been very responsive to customer issues - not sure about MC.
 

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I can confirm the same issue. I have BTV and every time I check MC-HD at random lately all the movies have been 2.0 and not dd 5.1
 

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I've also noticed over the last few weeks that MC HD movies on Bell that are "supposed" to be 5.1, like they are on Shaw, are not only 2.0 but have noticeably low volume. I have to turn the volume way up when watching them now. This seems to be another indication that Bell is fiddling with the MC audio somehow.
 
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