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    Posted Jul 10, 2011
    1:43:48 PM
    Help Me Understand The HDMI 5.1 DD Issue

    I have a Cisco IPN-4320 DVR connected to my tv with HDMI.  I have optical from the DVR to an Onkyo surround sound receiver.  Normally, I watch tv with the surround sound system turned off.  I get sound from the DVR to tv via HDMI.  When I want surround sound, I turn on the Onkyo receiver and get sound from the DVR to Onkyo via optical.  If I leave the Cisco DVR set on stereo, I get simulated surround sound, or I can change the DVR to surround sound and get 5.1.  I would prefer to just leave the DVR set on surround sound, but if the Onkyo is turned off, I don't get any sound from the DVR to the tv via the connected HDMI cable.  Why is that?  This is the exact same setup I used with Charter cable and it worked.  I did a search here and found threads where people are saying U-Verse now transmits 5.1 via HDMI.  Is that not correct or is there something about the way I have my DVR wired that is preventing this?  I'm confused on this issue.  Thanks.

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    Jul 12, 2011 9:43:06 AM
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    Well, I'm back to the HDMI cable and manually switching between stereo and surround sound.  The component cables were great until I split the signal between my tv and Slingbox and the picture was unacceptable.  I'm not willing to switch my Slingbox to S-video, so I guess I'll just stick with this for now.

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    Help Me Understand The HDMI 5.1 DD Issue

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    Jul 10, 2011 2:07:50 PM
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    ACE - Master
    Edited by aviewer on Jul 10, 2011 at 2:15:25 PM

    I think the reason you get no TV sound (when set to surround) is that the DVR is programmed to send appropriate sound signal via HDMI based only on your manual options setting.

    It expects you to specify whether or not your TV is capable of decoding surround,

    Seems like the HDMI connection should have the TV specifying what sound to send, just like it does the aspect option.

    If you connect with component cables your manual option setting applies( like it does on the optical sound output). If you connect with HDMI the HDMI interface specifies the aspect setting - watch the blue light go out.

    In the real world if there are two outputs, there need to be two option settings.

    In the case of HDMI sound the response to what the TV requires is missing. Therefore, there is no auto switch between HDMI connected devices an optical connected devices.

    For the aspect option, it can get in the way trying to use component for one device and HDMI for the other.

     

    Maybe the bottom line is that the manual option should only apply to the analog output (component or optical)  and the HDMI option should be determined by feedback from the receiving device (usually TV).

    *The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

    Re: Help Me Understand The HDMI 5.1 DD Issue

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    Jul 10, 2011 2:19:33 PM
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    Thanks, but can you simplify this to something I can understand?  With the DVR set to surround, does it send a signal to the tv via HDMI or not?

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    Jul 10, 2011 3:33:30 PM
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    When set to stereo, the U-Verse boxes output PCM (uncompressed) 2-channel audio on both the optical and HDMI connections.

    When set to surround, the U-Verse boxes output Dolby Digital (compressed) 5.1-channel sound on both the HDMI and optical connections.

    The cause of your problem is that your TV does not support Dolby Digital audio over HDMI. So when you have the box set to surround, the TV will not get audio.

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    Jul 10, 2011 3:38:32 PM
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    Ok, now that's an explaination I can understand.  I'll check my tv manual and see if there is a setting to allow 5.1 over HDMI.  Now, why did it work with the Charter Motorola box?  Does that mean the Charter box could output 5.1 over optical and stereo over HDMI at the same time?

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    Jul 10, 2011 3:53:31 PM
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    Actually, that can't be the problem.  I have a blu-ray DVD connected by HDMI to my receiver and HDMI from the receiver to the tv, and I get surround.  So, the tv does accept 5.1 via HDMI.

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    Jul 10, 2011 5:13:41 PM
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    OK, I've read enough threads and Google searches that I'm sure this is a U-Verse problem.  My equipment or wiring setup is not the problem.  I guess I could try and have AT&T swap out my Cisco DVR, but I don't think I'm up to that hassle.

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    Jul 10, 2011 6:06:23 PM
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    Interesting...my two Cisco set-top boxes don't have this problem.  Just the Cisco DVR.  Maybe I should move the DVR to the bedroom, where I don't have a surround sound system and put a set-top box in the family room, where I have the surround sound system.

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    Jul 10, 2011 7:16:33 PM
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    Edited by jimgfitzgerald on Jul 10, 2011 at 7:17:42 PM

    Does anyone have anymore ideas on this?  I have tried the on-line chat support to no avail.  I have tried unplugging the optical to my receiver and R/L audio to my Slingbox to no avail.  I have tried resetting the RG and DVR to no avail.  I tried to enter a work order on the U-Verse website, but it just took me in circles and I was unable.  Is there an internal menu (hidden menu) somewhere on the Cisco IPN4320?   How is the easiest way to request at&t bring me another DVR?

    Re: Help Me Understand The HDMI 5.1 DD Issue

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    Jul 11, 2011 5:59:00 AM
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    Edited by jimgfitzgerald on Jul 11, 2011 at 6:00:19 AM

    I think I need to narrow this down and determine if the problem is the Cisco DVR or my Samsung tv.  The fact that I don't have this problem in two other rooms with Cisco STB's makes me think it's the DVR, but those are also newer Samsung tv's.  Later today, I'll bring the small flat screen tv from the kitchen and plug it into the DVR and see if I am able to leave it set on surround.  If so, then it's my tv.  If not, it's the DVR.  If the problem turns out to be the DVR, then I may move it to the bedroom and put a STB in the family room.  That would be easy enough except I have my Slingbox and Roku connected to the DVR.

    Re: Help Me Understand The HDMI 5.1 DD Issue

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    Jul 11, 2011 9:30:04 AM
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    OK, I figured it out.  It's this particular Samsung tv and how it handles 5.1 over HDMI.  It is supposed to accept it, but for some reason, it won't accept it from the Cisco DVR.  There must be something about the way U-Verse sends it that the tv can't deal with.  To verify this, I moved our small Samsung flat screen from the kitchen and plugged it into the HDMI cable from the DVR and was able to receive sound via HDMI.  So, I think my choices are to just deal with it or switch from HDMI to component cables.  I might also be able to simply add R/L audio cables from the DVR to my tv for sound and keep HDMI for video.  There is a set of R/L jacks on my tv that are assigned to one of the HDMI jacks for use with DVI.  I think I'll try that first.

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    Jul 11, 2011 11:47:02 AM
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    It appears the only work around is component cables.  I did some research on my model Samsung tv and there are issues with HDMI.  Some people have replace circuit boards, etc. to resolve the issue, but it's not worth that for me.  I would switch to component, but I would have to downgrade my Slingbox from component to S-video or move the Slingbox to another tv.  So, for now, I'm stuck with having to manually switch back and forth between stereo and surround.

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    Jul 11, 2011 11:57:24 AM
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    ACE - Master
    You did not report on why the analog Jacks did not work. This is the thing I suggested in the beginning. What is your model TV? I will look at the manual to see if there is a setting. Better yet post the link to the manual.

    Why not move the DVR (as you proposed) With phase 2 the DVR needed to be at the most used TV to allow backup of live TV. With phase 3 the DVR should be at the least used TV to open up the extra channel.

    If you want to use component, you can connect both slingbox and TV with Y connectors.
    *The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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    Jul 11, 2011 11:59:39 AM
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    If it's any consolation, I have 2 Sony flat screens.  One is a 40XBR3 and the other is a 52XBR9.  The 40XBR3 will not get audio thru the TV speakers if set to "surround" but the 52XBR9 will.  The 40 only has 2 built in speakers and the 52 has 4.  Nothing I can do to make the 40XBR3 receive surround though.  I guess it's just to old.

    "If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

    *The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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    Jul 11, 2011 12:13:26 PM
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    Edited by jimgfitzgerald on Jul 11, 2011 at 12:23:55 PM

    I don't know why the analog jacks won't work, but I just get a pop, then nothing. I think the audio follows the video and needs a video source to activate the audio.  My tv is a Samsung LN-S4096D.  There are no options for mixing and matching video and audio sources.  There are lots of threads about defective boards, etc.  Swapping the DVR and STB would not solve the problem.  Also, it's just my wife and I and we rarely use more than 2 HD streams at a time.  I guess I could use Y-connectors if I wanted 10 wires hanging behind my tv in addition to a bunch that are already back there.  Thanks.

    Re: Help Me Understand The HDMI 5.1 DD Issue

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    Jul 11, 2011 12:15:38 PM
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    My tv is supposed to accept surround sound through HDMI.  I guess there is some sort of defect that's probably not worth fixing.  It's $89 for the guy to come diagnosis it.

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    Jul 11, 2011 1:40:12 PM
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    ACE - Master
    I looked through the manual - the only thing I could find is SRS - If I read it correctly the SRS accepts the 5.1 and simulates it on two speakers.

    SRS is on/off by button on the remote or menu selection.

    Did you try that?
    *The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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    Jul 11, 2011 1:46:44 PM
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    Yep, it makes no difference.  I basically tried everything.  The tv is pretty simple, actually.  As much as I hate to, I may try the component option with splitters to share the signal with my Slingbox.  I would only need 3 splitters since the Cisco DVR has two pairs of L/R audio jacks.  I already have a good set of audio cables, so I would need to purchase 3 video cables and 3 splitters.  Thanks for your help.

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    Jul 11, 2011 5:30:03 PM
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    Edited by jimgfitzgerald on Jul 11, 2011 at 5:36:11 PM

    What can I use to split the component video signal that won't degrade the picture quality significantly?  Where can I get them?  Maybe I should just bite the bullit and switch my Slingbox to S-video and keep the tv picture quality as good as possible.  Only problem here is I'm using my Slingbox S-video input for my Roku.  All of this just because I don't want to manually switch back and forth between stereo and surround sound on my U-Verse DVR.  I guess I could ditch the Roku feed since I can watch Netflix directly from their website and there is now a Netflix app for my Droid.

    Re: Help Me Understand The HDMI 5.1 DD Issue

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    Jul 11, 2011 6:14:58 PM
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    You have options & you can decide what is best. I searched radio shack for the Y adapter & found a deluxe model. You should be able to find one less expensive. I have seen concerns about the quality of connection, but have not had a problem doing it. If it is bad you can return it.

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3909665
    *The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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    Jul 11, 2011 6:35:13 PM
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    Thanks.  $15 for 3 adapters is no problem.  I'm really concerned that switching from HDMI to 1/2 a component video signal might be a significant degrade of the picture.  I know moving my Slingbox from component to S-video would be a hugh degrade.  I'll decide tomorrow if I feel like fooling with it and, if so, ride over to Radio Shack.  As you say, I can alway return them.  I think a high quality picture is probably more important than trying to eliminate the manual switching back and forth between stereo and surround sound.

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    Jul 11, 2011 10:40:15 PM
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    I just decided to go ahead and try component video.  I unplugged the component cables going to my Slingbox and plugged them into the tv.  The colors are way more vivid and the picture seems much better.  Also, as expected, I can leave the DVR set on surround sound with or without my receiver being on.  I guess tomorrow I will go to Radio Shack and pick up some splitters for the three component video cables and hook my Slingbox back up.  If that doesn't work, I'll try S-video to the Slingbox.

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    Jul 12, 2011 9:43:06 AM
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    Well, I'm back to the HDMI cable and manually switching between stereo and surround sound.  The component cables were great until I split the signal between my tv and Slingbox and the picture was unacceptable.  I'm not willing to switch my Slingbox to S-video, so I guess I'll just stick with this for now.

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