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HDMI Audio Options???????

Discussion in 'Vizio Co-Star' started by twosted, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. twosted

    twosted New Member

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    I just got my Co-Star yesterday and hooked it up. I ran through all of the setup and everything works great except it is not not outputting DD 5.1. I looked at the users manual and it says there is an option in the Settings>Audio menu for HDMI Out. Problem is that option is not there.

    Just to clarify I have gone through numerous troubleshooting steps.

    I have a Directv HR22-100 connected to the Co-Star via HDMI. The Co-Star is then connected to my Vizio xvt3d554st also via HDMI. From there I have an optical out cable from the tv to my Sony Str-dg520 receiver.

    If I remove the Co-star from the equation (Directv box connected directly to the TV) I get full DD 5.1. It's only when I add the Co-Star that I loose the DD 5.1. I also tried replacing the HDMI cable between the Directv box and the Co-Star but it didn't help.

    Any Ideas?
     
  2. jmcgeejr

    jmcgeejr New Member

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    This is a known bug, I chatted with tech support, they are working on a fix, currently the co-star isnt able to output 5.1 only 2.0.
     
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    IMO I wouldn't describe this as a "bug" - but rather a business decision on Vizio's part to eliminate the licensing fee involved (in order to market the Co-Star at only $99). If you want 5.1 sound the best option might turn out to be the upcoming Sony GTV Blu-Ray player.
     
  4. wizziwig

    wizziwig New Member

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    I'm not sure that passing through undecoded compressed audio requires a license - it's just arbitrary binary data. The problem is that by default the GTV OS decodes everything to PCM (requiring a license if original is AC3/DTS) so it can run it through a global mixer to combine audio from different apps. I think it even supports re-encoding this mixed result back to AC3/DTS but that requires yet more license and reduces quality because of re-encoding. Only Sony seems to offer true passthrough without decoding/reencoding 5.1 sources.
     
  5. amartin

    amartin New Member

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    Isn't 5.1 passthrough listed as one of the specs though? I would think that this is a "bug" if they planned on supporting it.
     
  6. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I feel certain that HDMI input and pass through over HDMI does not require licensing fees, the devices on either side have paid those fees and the Co-Star does nothing to the data. As far as I know playing files and outputting DTS and DD bitstream to be decoded by an attached decoder does require licensing fees.
     
  7. Silasrye

    Silasrye New Member

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    5.1 pass through is indeed a listed spec, I just checked

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. twosted

    twosted New Member

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    +1

    http://www.vizio.com/resources/downloads/costar_specs.pdf

    The main reason I got this was for the 3D and 5.1 Passthrough. I originally had a Logitech Revue and it couldn't do either. Guess I'll have to run simulated DD until they come up with a fix.
     
  9. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Pass through over HDMI input to HDMI output should work for Dolby Digital 5.1, otherwise nobody would want to connect their cable or satellite or OTA STB to the Co-Star and that shouldn't require licensing, at least I would hope not. To carry the Netflix logo, the player would be required to handle DD 2.0 but probably not DD 5.1 and I would hope that Vizio has licensed the Co-Star to handle DD 5.1 from all sources, apps, decoding, and bitstream.
     
  10. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    There's a long thread with a raging debate about 5.1 pass-through on AVS Forum. Some swear it works - some swear it doesn't work. Others claim it's dependent on the model.

    TVs with 5.1 Passthrough from HDMI to SPDIF

    IMO the issue is probably an HDCP limitation imposed on the HDMI as mentioned in post #43 from the thread:


    "It is unlikely that ANY TV will pass 5.1 from HDMI sources and then out to a SPDIF Toslink output. The main reason for this is it would violate the HDCP licensing agreements and standards. It is an unfortunate side affect of the movie industry protecting itself. They don't want original source material from things like BD or DVD players passed through.

    Consider part of the issue:


    The problem is HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content protection), which is implemented by the HDMI interface. In the case of, say BluRay->HDMI->TV->OpticalOut->AVR; the TV is acting as what the HDCP standard calls a 'repeater' for the audio (receives signal, processes (or not) and then sends it along). The audio must be HDCP encrypted when sent to the next HDCP device, and this is where things fall apart. HDCP is not implemented on the Optical interface. If the signal can't be encrypted, then the audio quality must be downgraded, or not sent at all.


    Any implementor of HDCP must pay a royalty and is bound by this license agreement. So you don't have to read the whole thing, here is the pertinent section:


    3.3.2.2 DVD-Audio Content may be passed to the following digital outputs and shall accurately transmit Digital CCI and ISRC Information:
    3.3.2.2.1 To HDCP protected DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort or UDI outputs as expressly provided by section 5.3 of these Compliance Rules, if the Presentation Device is also a Repeater.
    3.3.2.2.2 To Legacy Digital Audio Outputs. Legacy Digital Audio Outputs shall be limited to 1.5 times normal speed, unless the pitch is corrected to the pitch at normal speed. In addition, such outputs shall comply with the following requirements:
    (a) Limitation on Sound Quality. Sound quality of Legacy Digital Audio Outputs when playing Linear PCM and Packed PCM streams shall be equivalent to CD-Audio Quality or less."
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  11. amartin

    amartin New Member

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    I don't think you're talking about the same issue. I think here we're talking about passthrough from hdmi to hdmi. The issue in that thread is hdmi to spdif.
     
  12. twosted

    twosted New Member

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    Well my TV does pass DD 5.1 from HDMI to the Optical out. As I said in the OP without the Co-star I get DD 5.1, but with the Co-star I only get 2 channel.
     
  13. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    The Revue will pass 5.1 HDMI>optical, I just checked with a Saturday Night Live episode and a Bones episode recorded OTA with both TiVo and Revue set to DD. The Yamaha receiver lights up Dolby Digital 5.1 whether directly from TiVo or through the Revue. As far as I know, it works properly and isn't screwing anything up but I will do further testing.
     
  14. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    OK admittedly this is not my area of expertise but the point I was trying to make in my previous post is that it seems as though the problem with the Co-Star is that HDCP through the HDMI is preventing the pass-through of DD 5.1. If so then even if your TV has the proper decoder the device itself (Co-Star) must be "certified" to "pass-through" without HDCP kicking in. Would this be correct?

    I believe the following thread is a better reflection of my point:

    HDMI pass trough of Dolby True HD/ DD 5.1 audio - Page 2
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  15. twosted

    twosted New Member

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    Yes you are correct. But the Revue won't pass DD 5.1 over HDMI.


    http://www.googletvforum.org/forum/logitech-revue/2666-fix-coming-audio-problem.html
     
  16. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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  17. amartin

    amartin New Member

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    Don't know if that is true. What is true is that vizio is advertising that they'll pass through 5.1 sound.
     
  18. jmcgeejr

    jmcgeejr New Member

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    I just want reiterate this is a bug with the current firmware, the section in the firmware to make changes to the audio output is missing, Vizio knows this and are working on it. It has nothing to do with passthrough or any licensing issues it's just the ability to tell the co-star what your audio setup is.
     
  19. wizziwig

    wizziwig New Member

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    Problem is they don't state what format it passes through. Nowhere does it state it passes through DD or DTS. They may just be referring to 5.1 PCM or AAC.

    As I previously posted, the issue is a bit complicated because the GTV mixes its video and audio into whatever is coming in on the HDMI input. Think of some of the notification sound effects that the OS generates. It has to somehow combine those with whatever is coming in from your cable box. There is no way to mix audio into a compressed audio format such as DD/DTS without decoding it first - and that requires a license, loss in quality, and potential lag from real-time audio re-encoding. For them to offer true bitstreaming/pass-through, they would need to turn off the Android audio mixer entirely and not play any sounds at all from the Android apps while you're watching TV or playing media.
     
  20. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    It is good that Vizio is working on a fix but pass through shouldn't require telling the Co-Star which audio you are using, you want PCM, Dolby Digital, MP3 or whatever to work just as if the Co-Star isn't in the chain and in my opinion, should be default when watching whatever is connected to the HDMI input. That has nothing to do with the setting to tell the Co-Star how to handle audio from files and internet streaming.
     

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