Dolby Digital 5.1 through Comcast

 

JonD
Unregistered guest
Can anyone out there get Dolby Digital 5.1 through Comcast - but *not* with HDTV? I've gone through a major process with them and believe that I have the correct box (again, not the HDTV box). With the cable guys there, I was able to get DD 5.1 for some HBO movies - so I know the box works and it's possible.

But for the Red Sox WS game last night, it did not come in with DD 5.1, even though Fox made a big deal at the intro. of the game that it was being broadcast in DD 5.1 (which pissed me off even more).

So I'm wondering if it's just that Comcast is too lazy to pass along the 5.1 info. from some broadcasters. Maybe HBO pays them more or demands that they pass along the 5.1 info.? i don't know.

If anyone out there can get non-HDTV, non-HBO DD 5.1 broadcasts (like the NFL), pls. let me know how.

thank you
 

Qcity
Unregistered guest
I only get DD 5.1 on my Comcast HD set top box - not on our other Comcast digital cable boxes. Comcast hasn't enabled the digital coax audio out for DD 5.1 out on our non HD set top boxes. Perhaps it's different in your area? Regarding your Fox question - if Fox is one of your analog channels the lower ones (below 100 I think?) then you can't get DD 5.1. DD 5.1 is only available on specific digital Comcast channels, not the analog ones.
 

Bronze Member
Username: 1st61

Post Number: 54
Registered: Oct-04
I am using Comcast but am not using any Comcast box. The cable is just out from the wall and connects to my TV. Is there any way for me to get DD 5.1? The TV has R&L analog composit outputs which cannot get DD 5.1 even I connect them to reveiver.
 

JonD
Unregistered guest
thanks, Qcity. i think you re right about the below 100 thing - no DD logo comes up on those channels. i am able to get DD about 100 but choose not to pay for those channels.

Fox and the networks (for NFL) are below 100 so i guess i'm out of luck. why doesn't Comcast broadcast all of their channels digitally? that doesn't make sense.

anyway, thanks for clarifying.
 

New member
Username: Sidereal

San Francisco

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-04
I have the same issue. I'd like to be able to receive 5.1 surround programming without having to shell out the cash for an HDTV. I called Comcast and they said I can get the HD box which will work with analog television picture while providing digital sound. I don't see how this can work though.
 

dielube
Unregistered guest
I have a comcast HDTV box and a Denon 3803 receiver. I can get a digital signal at the receiver, but not Dolby 5.1. The receiver in 'auto' mode will recognize this from the DVD player, but not the box. Am I missing something?
 

dielube
Unregistered guest
I have a comcast HDTV box and a Denon 3803 receiver. I can get a digital signal at the receiver, but not Dolby 5.1. The receiver in 'auto' mode will recognize this from the DVD player, but not the box. Am I missing something?
 

Toth
Unregistered guest
hey dielube I am having the same damn problem. Which set top box is it? The motorola 5100?

I have a denon 3803 and can't get a dolby 5.1 signal to register at all, even though the little digital symbol is indicating that the signal is digital... just not 5.1
 

New member
Username: Phatoneusa

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-04
Hey Im having the same problem as you I got a STAV-4180 RCA Reciever I turn on Auto and a Digital Light goes on for my DVD, Xbox, but not my Comcast Motorola 5100 HD Reciever.
 

sfcomcast
Unregistered guest
I have Comcast Digital, not HDTV, and get Dolby Digital - but only on certain channels. I have not done a thorough test, but it appears that the additional channels that come with Digital service are the ones that come in Dolby. The channels that I received in the past (when I was a non-digital subscriber) do not appear to come in Dolby digital: e.g., local broadcast networks, Fox News, etc.

Channels I watch that come in Dolby Digital include G4TV as well as the basic movie channels like Encore and those near it on the channel lineup. When these channels are selected, the Dolby symbol briefly appears on the channel bar that pops up for a few seconds. Also, the Dolby Digital indicator on my surround receiver lights up.

Note that the Comcast box I am using has a digital optical output, which is connected to my surround receiver.
 

New member
Username: Phatoneusa

Post Number: 2
Registered: Nov-04
Well when I turn to a digital channel like INHD the digital on the left goes on, but the Dolby Digital Icon doesn't and the Prologic II is what I see instead.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 11
Registered: Nov-04
I have a Comcast non HD box WITH the enabled coax out.

It took forever, but they have these. The techs will tell you they don't exist, but they do. The guy who dropped it off said they got tons of 'em in the warehouse.

Email corp. headquarters and tell 'em you're going with Voom unless they send the box out. You want the DCT2524/1612.

I have the same thing as described by JonD. I get HBO stuff in 5.1 but not any sports that I know of.
 

New member
Username: Sidereal

San Francisco

Post Number: 2
Registered: Nov-04
Well, Comcast is just a pain in the a... They don't seem to understand that I don't need the HD box, I just need the box that has the digital sound outputs.

Still looking into this and I'll report back later.
 

sfcomcast
Unregistered guest
Follow up to my post above:
Although I get a Dolby Digital signal from my non-HD Comcast box, it appears it does NOT PROVIDE DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1.

My understanding is that Dolby Digital encompasses many different formats, including 2.0 (basically, stereo) as well as 5.1 true surround sound.

One problem is finding programming that is definitely encoded in DD5.1. It looks like the Encore movie channel provides this, on certain movies at certain times:
http://www.starz.com/se/encore/dolby.html

I've watched a couple of these movies today. At the start of the movie, Encore displays a screen that indicates the movie is being presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. My receiver indicates it is getting a Dolby Digital signal (via an optical connection from the Comcast box). However, sound only comes from the front left and right speakers. If I connect a DVD player in the same manner, with a Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD playing, sound comes from all speakers.

I have contacted Comcast and all they could think of was to reset my box, which didn't do anything. It's not clear to me that they understand the difference between Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital 5.1.

Comcast's On Demand has a movie section named "Widescreen-Dolby". I don't know if this is supposed to mean Dolby Digital 5.1 - but if it is, it also apparently doesn't work: I've watched some previews of the movies in this section, and again, the sound comes from only the front left and right speakers.

If Comcast thinks On Demand will replace the video store, they're way off the mark if they can't provide the surround sound experience you get from a recent film on DVD.

It looks like my next, and last, step is to have a Comcast tech come out. Hopefully they will understand what DD5.1 is about.

Frustrated in SF
 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 14
Registered: Nov-04
a) DO NOT pay for a Comcast tech to come out. Comcast techs are retards.

b) Not every time a show says it's in surround sound is it actually provided by Comcast in surround. If you should actually be able to get it through Comcast in 5.1 AND YOU IN FACT HAVE THE 5.1 BOX, a "5.1" marker will show up on the guide when you switch to that channel.

c) Your box has an optical out? Mine has coax. What's the model # on the bottom of your box?

d) I don't see a lof of Encore stuff (if any) in 5.1 in Chicago. I always get 5.1 stuff on some HBO channels.
 

sfcomcast
Unregistered guest
Useful info, thanks.

What is a "5.1 box"? I have a Motorola box. Per the sticker on the bottom, it is: DCT2244/1661/ABCDEGL. It has a Dolby Digital logo on the front. On the back, it has both optical digital and coax digital outputs. I have only used the optical.

I have never seen a "5.1" marker on the guide. When I switch to a digital channel, the top of the flip bar displays the time in the center, and on the right, it displays the Dolby logo, the letter "D", and a speaker icon. Yours actually displays the text "5.1" there? Do you have standard definition digital cable, or HD?

I agree, most of the Encore programming is apparently NOT 5.1. If you look at the FAQ in the link:
http://www.starz.com/se/encore/dolby.html
...they explain that only some of the movies in their library are available with 5.1, and even for those movies, they have a version that is 5.1 and a version that is not. However, when I tested my system I made sure I was watching content that they claim is 5.1.

Maybe Comcast here (in San Francisco) just isn't passing on anything in 5.1. It would be nice if their service people would just tell me that, rather than acting like it's my problem
 

New member
Username: Sidereal

San Francisco

Post Number: 3
Registered: Nov-04
You might want to try the coax instead of the optical connection. I don't know why it would make a difference, but the Starz FAQ says to use coax.

I went into the SF Comcast office today (260 Portola Ave) and talked to a woman there. She seemed to understand what I was going for (unlike the boneheads over the phone), but said they were out of the box I'd need. So I'm on a waiting list. We'll see...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 15
Registered: Nov-04
sfcomcast, did you read my post two before your initial post?

Obviously we have different boxes. Mine is a non-HD Dolby box. However, if yours says Dolby and has digital audio outs, I'd imagine its capabale of 5.1

My guide does say 5.1 when I am on the right channel. I get the Dolby symbol on most channels, but when something is actually in 5.1, it does say "5.1."

I get all the channels, and the only time I ever really see anything in 5.1 is on HBO (and even then it'll only be 1 or 2 HBOs that are in 5.1). Usually HBO-E and/or HBO-W are in 5.1. I don't know if you have the same labels.

I have Comcast with a passion.
 

Anonymous
 
I found this tip on another message board and it fixed the 5.1 problem for me:

"Go into menu, main menu, setup, audio, make sure audio output is set to advanced, stereo output is at least stereo or matrix stereo. My box stopped producing audio in 5.1 when I got a software update. I made these changes and started getting 5.1 again."

I hope this helps!
 

sfcomcast
Unregistered guest
Thanks. I've done that: Audio set to "Advanced", "Matrix Stereo". Still only getting sound from front left/right speakers. I've tried several Encore movies that they claim they are providing in Dolby Digital 5.1.

When you say it "fixed the 5.1 problem"...
Are you getting sound from all 6 speakers (or at least 3), or are you just seeing "Dolby Digital" on your receiver and assuming you're getting 5.1?

Are you using Dolby Digital and not Pro Logic (which creates surround from two channels)?

Are you seeing "5.1" in the channel guide/flip bar? I don't.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 19
Registered: Nov-04
sfcomcast, do you get HBO? I doubt that Encore movies are brought in 5.1 (despite their broadcasting that message before the movie).

I supposedly should be getting a million movies/shows in 5.1, but HBO is the only channel I really get that on.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 20
Registered: Nov-04
By the way, that matrix stereo 'fix.'

A comcast retard tech told me to do that... If you are getting an actual 5.1 signal, I don't think it matter what sound compression you have the box on.
 

sfcomcast
Unregistered guest
Scott2Hotty,

No, I don't get HBO. An article in a consumer electronics publication stated that, in addition to HBO, Showtime and Starz Encore provide 5.1 programming in SD channels. It appears Comcast will be offering a Showtime trial later this month, so I'll get to see if I receive that in 5.1.

Still wondering what the "Dolby" in Comcast On Demand's "Widescreen - Dolby" movie section is supposed to mean... Dolby Digital 5.1? DD 2.0? Dolby Pro Logic II? Anybody?

 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 21
Registered: Nov-04
I understand that Starz, Showtime, Cinemax, etc. have programming in 5.1. That's what confused me when I first got my Dolby box. Unfortunately Comcast has decided only to give us 5.1 mostly on HBO. At least in Chicago, anyway.

I don't have On Demand yet, but I assume Dolby should mean 5.1.
 

New member
Username: Phatoneusa

Post Number: 3
Registered: Nov-04
I have figured it out problem is if you have a optical output in the audio you need to set it to advanced, if there is no advanced option you need to call Comcast and they send a signal to your box to enable the Advanced sound option for surround. The channels are either in Digital (2 channel/Prologic II), Stereo, or Digital 5.1. Even if its Hi-Def sometimes it's only 2 channel. I think Matrix is for Pro Logic II (anyone know for sure?). The Hi-Def in demand stuff all costs money. Widescreen on demand is probably all of the above audios. If it says Digital on the display it is 2.0 audio which shows on my reciever as Digital - Pro Logic II, if the display has a "5.1" then its in Dolby Digital.
 

Ryan1e
Unregistered guest
Hi sfcomcast and Nick A,

I was the "Anonymous" person that had said about the setting to get 5.1 surround sound. Actually, my reciever automatically changes to Dolby Digital and my receiver (Denon AVR 3805) shows that it is now getting 5.1 channels of input. Before, it was Prologic IIx and showed only two channels of input. I now get sound on all seven speakers plus my subwoofer (I have a 7.1 surround system).
About your problem , I seem to recall that there was another option about what Nick A is talking about that I selected that Dolby Digital 5.1 be enabled, but now when I go back to look, it seems to not be there to change anymore. I don't know why that would be!?!? Try going back and searching around the sound menu to see if anything like that is an option to change. Also, make sure that your receiver is set up correctly.

About Nick A's question about Matrix audio, I found this on a web site:

"Matrix Surround:

In the days before multi-channel digital audio systems like DVD, surround (originally quad, but later other systems as well) had to be squeezed into two channels for compatibility with stereo broadcasts and albums. This was never as good as having extra "real" channels, but as few people actually had four-channel tape recorders or record players, it was the best that could be done. The process of squeezing four or more channels into two and then trying to get them back again at the receiving end is called "matrixing" and the systems that do this are called "Matrix Surround" systems. Dolby, because of their prominence in the film world, became the leader at this with Dolby Pro Logic and now Pro Logic II. "

With my system, I think it uses "Matrix" for expanding 5.1 or 6.1 to 7.1, so it is using some form of this all of the time.

Sorry about the long reply! Please write back if you figure out how to fix your problem. Good luck!
 

sfcomcast
Unregistered guest
Nick A:
The Audio settings on my cable box are:
Audio output: Advanced
Compression: Heavy (although I've used Light and None also)
Stereo output: Matrix Stereo (other options are Mono and Stereo)

So when you say "set it to Advanced" I'm assuming you mean the Audio Output setting. In this case, that's already done, and I'm still getting just two channels out.

Ryan1e, as appears to be the case now with your box, there is no option I can find on my box that mentions Dolby Digital 5.1. The only audio options are those I listed above. As for my receiver, I believe it is set up correctly: I have the cable box and a DVD player connected to the same optical input on the receiver via a switch. If I select the DVD player (with a Dolby 5.1 DVD), the receiver says Dolby Digital, and sound comes from all the speakers. If I switch to the box, without changing anything on the receiver, the receiver still says Dolby Digital, but sound only comes from the front left and right speakers (again, this is when watching an Encore movie that is supposed to be in 5.1).

I've called Comcast three times about this and they had no idea as to the problem or solution, other than the box resetting which didn't work.

My next step is to contact the local Comcast VP.
 

Unregistered guest
Using comcast here in PA, and a Harmon Kardon receiver with a cable box with the optical out in the back, I get full 5.1 out of all 6 speakers when any program above channel 100 shows the 5.1 logo at lower right.
I did have to go into my receiver menu and select digital output.[ my kardon screen always showed as coax.. hope this helps..
 

New member
Username: Arrowspace90

Highland Village, TX United States

Post Number: 4
Registered: May-04
All these questions pertain to the HD "Box".

My new TV has digital "cable card slot". Anyone have this setup? Does it work for HDTV AND 5.1 sound with no box? I surely think it is supposed to. BTW, Comcast in my area says it is providing the card for no charge.
 

Chapoutier
Unregistered guest
sfcomcast: Did you ever get the problem above fixed? I'm having exactly the same problem you are (not receiving the Dolby 5.1 signal on shows that tell me they are being transmitted by Comcast in 5.1). I know it's not a receiver issues (I have a NAD t773), since like yours, mine works fine on DVDs.
 

New member
Username: Phatoneusa

Post Number: 4
Registered: Nov-04
I had them send a signal out to my box to enable the 5.1 then I had to goto the Audio options and select Advanced, try that.
 

New member
Username: Lazarus2297

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jan-05
I know this thread is about comcast, but i have digital cable also and notice that my old (non-digital cable) channels are not in dolby but when i go above channel 100 i get dolby but it isn't 5.1 the input display on my reciever reads Dolby D 2:0:0 (or something similar) I have Time warner cable and the person i spoke with said there isn't a way to get the dolby in 5.1 Are there other time warner digital cable people out there getting 5.1 DD?
 

Chapoutier
Unregistered guest
Nick: I changed the audio settings as you suggested on the comcast menu, and you are right, I'm now getting both Dolby 2 channel and 5.1 as shown on the menus. Unfortunately, I'm not getting a "pop" of white noice on my speakers when it changes from the normal audio channels to the dolby channels (only going from normal to dolby, not the other way around). Do get the same "pop"?
 

Garr
Unregistered guest
Hi all
I have a Motorola DCT 2500
and use the optical connector from the box to my receiver
I have gotten true 5.1 DD but only on Premium and PPV channels.
 

edward anderson
Unregistered guest
sfcomcast: I still have the same problem that you described. Have you got this fixed? I've tried all of the settings mentioned above. My audio options include 'Advanced' and my firmware version is 8 something.

This is so frustrating!

Someone, please help me?

Thanks,
Edward
 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 34
Registered: Nov-04
Just to double check, you have your box hooked up via an optical cable, right?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 35
Registered: Nov-04
I meant coax, not optical. You have audio through a coax, right?
 

Edward Anderson
Unregistered guest
Scotty2Hotty: I am not sure if your question was directed to me, but I'll answer.

I have tried hooking it up through coax and optical.

This is what happens. I get stereo audio for all of the channels up to 71 after that any Channel that has the dolby symbol goes quiet - no 5.1 - no stereo - no sound at all.

My premium channels are quiet and so are the HDTV channels. My provider is Comcast of Portland, Oregon.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 38
Registered: Nov-04
Call comcast and get a new HD box brought out. Maybe your box is whack.
 

New member
Username: Phatoneusa

Post Number: 5
Registered: Nov-04
That sort of sounds like your reciever is detecting the 5.1 but is not switching becuase of the box. (A guess)

Did you try going to the audio section and seeing if they audio was set to Advanced, if you don't have that option there, they need to send a signal out to your box. I run the surround out through COAX, the reciever always shows either Pro Logic II (Standard (1-99) and 2.1 on Digitals) and Dolby Digital (5.1 channels).
 

sfcomcast
Unregistered guest
I haven't posted anything in a while because I've been working the issue with Comcast. They sent some techs out and we determined that my box does output 5.1 just fine. When HBO or Showtime broadcast something in 5.1, it comes through just fine on all channels.

The problem is that some content, namely Encore, that is claimed to be in 5.1 only comes through in stereo. Actually, I also had this problem with all the Starz channels (Encore is part of Starz).

I seem to finally have the right people at Comcast looking at the issue and hope to have a resolution soon, or at least an explanation.

FWIW Comcast told me the Advanced audio settings don't have any impact on the digital outputs, they only affect the RCA/analog outputs. I recall that changing these settings seemed to have no impact on my sound (through digital optical output).

Edward Anderson, you initially wrote you had the same problem as me, but in your second post you write you get no audio at all for channels above 71 with the Dolby symbol - so it seems you have a different issue.
 

Edward Anderson
Unregistered guest
sfcomcast: Thanks for the update on your situation. Basically, I am using a Sound Blaster Platinum Pro ZS with my cable box. I've connected to my Comcast box with optical and SPDIF coax and they both give the same results.

The audio will come in as stereo for all channels below 120. 120 and above are premium channels, and as far as I can tell, the audio on these channels are Dolby digital encoded. These channels give no sound at all. I have tried all of the settings.

Default audio track: Channel default, English, Espanol, Francais, Portugues
Optimal Stereo: Yes
Audio Output: Tv Speakers, Stereo, Advanced
Compression: None, Light, Heavy
Stereo Output: Mono, Stereo, Matrix

The Compression and Stereo Output options are only available when Advanced is selected in Audio Output.

This is what is displayed in a screen titled Review Configuration:

Model: DCT
S/W Ver: 72.41
Message: 44981
Status: X5 0
A/B: Disabled
OUTPUT: 0
Region: 0
MCA: 0-21, 1-8192, 2-16611, 3-34654
Unit ID: 000-03315-80717-009
Disconnect: No
Return: RF
IPPV: Yes
Stereo: Unknown 2
IR Blast: Yes
Firmware: 08.13
NTSC/PAL: NTSC

I have a 'trouble ticket' with Comcast, and they'll be coming by to check out my box tomorrow. I'll let you guys know how it turns out.

Thanks for all of the help!
Edward
 

pyite22
Unregistered guest
This tidbit worked for me. I found it on ask.com.

"I work for Comcast of Pompano Beach. The new Motorola Interactive boxes are capable of 5.1DD. Here are the setting to turn on the DD5.1 on the Motorola boxes:

1.)Go to "Menu".
2.)Click on "Setup".
3.)Then click "Audio".
4.)Change the "Audio Output" to Advanced.
5.)Leave "Compression" at "None", and "Stereo Output" to "Stereo".
6.)Press "Exit".

Make sure your on a DD5.1 channel. After selecting a channel this can be found in the right hand top corner of the banner guide. This will tell you the type of output the channel has.

Congratulations! You should now see your DD5.1 light up on your receiver!
 

Grifter
Unregistered guest
My display lights on my stereo receiver dont light.Is it a LED and how can I repair it.
 

Unregistered guest
I have a new (today) Motorola DCT2524/1612 box, and of course had to screw with it, thinking I would be able to activate the volume control feature. Noooooo - I couldnt have left the factory settings alone! Worked fine, until I started screwing with it. Now - NOTHING!!! Nada. Can't get the TV screen to go on, now.Box and remote seem 100% operable - I think I've just messed up the codes, when I should have left it all alone!

Does ANYONE know how to reset the box to its factory settings? I've tried near everything, and don't feel like being on hold for eternity with Comcast tonite...

Thanks....
 

New member
Username: Tvhelp

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-05
I have a comcast motorola hdtv box connected to a yamaha home theater receiver. I cannot get sound out of 1 side of my home theater speakers. If I use the dvr as my source I get perfect sound, same with dvd. So I think the receiver is O.K. but that the cable box output needs to be adjuted. I have tried all of the audio setup menu options without success. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

New member
Username: Peabody

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-05
Yikes! I've struck the info jackpot here!

I just ran into a similar problem as many above have. I have a Comcast cablecard on my new HDTV. Digital optical output to my receiver. Some of the HD channels in the 700 range seem to deliver 5.1 DD just fine. Others, like ESPNHD and inHDx, will deliver a second or two of sound when they're tuned in, then the receiver will lose it and 'no more sound'. In fact, the receiver loses its ability to auto detect the "good" input.

When I attempt to force the receiver to take the input from the digital optical input, it puts an "UNLOCK" message on the display and stays silent. What this UNLOCK message is, is anyone's guess, Sony doesn't mention anything like that in their manual.

Does anyone have a guess?

Thanks

Mr. P
 

Redwoodtree
Unregistered guest
OKAY, same problem here, comcast 6412 HD dual receiver, just traded in today in the Seattle area. Sound was only coming in left/right channel and no surround on ANY channel. Spent an hour on google and found this thread. (I'm using a coax SPIF CABLE).

I called comcast. They spent five minutes telling me I didn't know what I was doing. THANKS COMCAST!!

Then they put me on hold "to go check something." The lady comes back and tells me for $14.95 they can send a code to turn on Home Theater. She says she doesn't really know what it does but it's worked for some people. I ask her if it's a one time charge, she says 'YES'. I ask her if she can only charge me if it works, she says 'YES'.

Okay, so I go ahead and have her send the signal and boom, I get full surround. Go figure. $14.95... hmm, okay, whatever, it works now.

Hope this helps.
 

Anonymous
 
I can receive dd on live tv but when i record
a show on the dvr i cant get dd to work.


 

Unregistered guest
So, I'm using the HDMI cable to connect the HD DVR to my new Sony Bravia 40" LCD, and it turns out that if I use HDMI, that the digital optical out on the Comcast box only spits out "STEREO PCM" to my Sony digital receiver, but if I go back to the component cables and unplug HDMI, voila, my receiver starts to receive "Dolby Digital" correctly. So does this mean my HDMI cable is now useless (not a cheap cable!) if I want surround sound? Or should I try coax/spif from the comcast box to my receiver?

 

Unregistered guest
if you can get off air digital. screw cable and get Directv....you will be happy!
 

Unregistered guest
Appears that I found my answer here with respect to HDMI and Dolby Surround:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archive/index.php/t-560352.html

Evidently you have to have a newer firmware that enables Dolby Surround out over digital optical out if you're using HDMI cables.

greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeattt... Looks like I'm gonna need to exchange my unit for a newer one.
 

TV Guru
Unregistered guest
Ok guys, so here's my problem, its similar to all of yours. Now I have a Motorola DCT5100, and the only thing I get DD 5.1 on is PBS and Discovery, even though all my other high def channels often say they are being broadcast in 5.1.

Now being a TV salesman at Circuit City, I know my hook ups and this techonlogy like the back of my hand. As far as I know, from being a pretty good troubleshooter, the problem of getting spotty 5.1 signals has to be on Comcast's end. Here's why:

In the setup menus for this box (their newest one), they have absolutely no audio options that refer to digital sound. This means there isn't anything you can do to affect the 5.1 bitstream.

Your Surround Sound Receiver/Amp does NOT communicate back to the Comcast HD box. It only decodes incoming dolby digital bitstreams. If you are able to get 5.1 on one channel, it means that your surround sound receiver is set up perfectly. Therefore, you are at the mercy of whatever the Comcast decides to broadcast.

To the person who posted about having them turn on the "Home Theater" code: Where you getting absolutely no 5.1, or were you getting it on only a few channels, like I am?

Here's my experienced advice to everyone:

Call Comcast, and here's how you deal with them:
1.) First, make sure you have a fiber optic or digital coax connection from your box to your surround receiver. Make sure your reciever is on the right input. A lot of Sony surround sound receivers will pull from the Digital Coax input on the DVD setting. Other recievers, like Onkyo's Harman/Kardons, and Pioneers (Denons and Yamahas are likely the same way) generally have a "Digital Input" button(s) on the front of the receiver. This will make it so that when you are on, say, "Video 1", it will know what digital input to pull from. The reason I mention this is so that you have some backing when Comcast tries to pull the "You don't know what the hell you are doing, let us send out an incompetent tech for 50 bucks" deal. Don't stand for it.
2.) When you call Comcast, the first tech support person you talk to is basically reading off of a flow chart. Realizing this will help you help them to find the answer for you.
3.) Ask them to see if your model box is capable of providing 5.1. They can check this in their database. Usually, these things are known issues. If so, or if you have spotty 5.1 like I do, ask them if they simply aren't broadcasting the digital 5.1 signal.
4.) If they give you the run around, that your box is capable of providing 5.1, and that they are indeed broadcasting all the HD in 5.1, stop your conversation with the current person, and ask to speak to a manager/supervisor.
5.) Do not settle for them charging you some $14.95 bullshit to turn on "Home Theater". That should be free. Tell them that you should not have to pay for something that is supposed to be INCLUDED with your HD service. Ask to speak to a supervisor in this situation too. Tell them that if they don't turn it on, you are switching to DirecTV or Dish Network, because they will give you 5.1 correctly, happen to be about 10 bucks cheaper per month for more programming, AND they give you a better picture. If they still refuse to wave the one-time $14.95 fee, then don't bluff. Switch to another provider.

Why does satelite give you a better picture? On high def, the quality difference is almost non-existant, except if you are really picky about your picture. The comcast boxes are known to have a noisy HD picture. The true difference is on your non-HD channels. Comcast "Digital" is only Digital on the channels that aren't included with the non-digital package. This means that your first 70 channels or so, which contains nearly all the major stations (MTV, ESPN, Comedy Central, Local Channels and Major Networks), are all going to be Analog. Satellite, on the other hand, gives you Digital on ALL of your channels (locals included). Why is this important? Analog is at the most 250i (resolution). Digital is usually 420-480i. This is a big increase. Your HDTV is generally able to output a max of 1080i. Your non-hdtv, is generally able to output a max of 480i.

If you have a CRT HDTV, the difference between analog and digital is not as critical, as with any other type of HDTV. From my experience as a TV salesman, the #1 reason we get returns on Plasmas, LCDs and LCD Projections (This includes DLPs, LCoS, DILAs, and SXRDS, which are all LCD Projection TVs) is because people plug them into cable and are extremely unhappy with the picture quality they get. To a lot of people, cable on one of these types of TVs will look like they were watching their TV with an antenna.

As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 problem, in the mean time, use the DTS Neo6 Cinema setting, or the Dolby Prologic II setting on your amp if you don't have DTS Neo6. This will sound very close to a discrete 6 channel Dolby Digital stream. For most things, except for movies, having true positional 6 channel audio is not crucial.

If nothing else, don't take bullshit from Comcast.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Scotty2hotty

Chicago, IL

Post Number: 67
Registered: Nov-04
Well said, TV Guru. Great advice.

Comcast is truly terrible. They give you the run around like no other. I HATE Comcast.
 

Anonymous
 
Many questions in this thread about cable boxes. Call your provider and tell them you want the HDTV box. They don't know and don't care if you have HDTV or not. Now you have the latest box, software, 5.1 on digital channels, and 2 sets of outputs, one would be component, the other composite, you might even have HDMI..
 

Anonymous
 
I have Comcast's latest Motorola HD-DVR box (confirmed it with Comcast last night). I am having a problem where I only here the front left and right speakers when on a Dolby Digital 5.1 station. I can faintly hear the center channel - if I turn it up really loud I can hear some mummbling. The program sounds fine....other than you can't hear anyone talk (via the center channel). My A/V receiver works fine...it auto detects the 5.1 signal coming in and switches to 5.1 mode. Other sources work fine too with my receiver (Xbox, DVDs). I am new to cable and comcast and have read through this thread but still am having a problem. Do I need to have Comcast send a signal as mentioned in the above thread? I already see the Advanced in my audio setup. Do I need to update the firmware? I am using a optical cable to a Sony receiver.
Thanks!
 

New member
Username: Timstack

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-06
Hi all, Is anyone in Northeast Philly using a Motorola DCT 2000 digital cable box and receiving 5.1 Dolby Digital???
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