ATV 4th Generation and audio on Onkyo receiver

scouser75

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Hi guys,

I hooked up a 4th generation Apple TV to my Onkyo TX-NR3010 receiver today.

I rented Moonlight and Beauty and the Beast 2017 (the latter's for the kids!!) but when I play the films the audio format I'm getting is 'All Channel Stereo'. Surely this can't be right, can it? I was expecting Dolby Digital at the least seeing as I rented the 1080p HD versions of the films.

The Onkyo receiver by default plays the original audio version of films, so it's not as though I need to change the audio format manually to get it to play Dolby Digital. But even then, I did change the format to see if I can get Dolby Digital, but it wasn't there. I can get Dolby X etc, just not Dolby Digital.

Does this sound normal to you guys?
 

archer75

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Hi guys,

I hooked up a 4th generation Apple TV to my Onkyo TX-NR3010 receiver today.

I rented Moonlight and Beauty and the Beast 2017 (the latter's for the kids!!) but when I play the films the audio format I'm getting is 'All Channel Stereo'. Surely this can't be right, can it? I was expecting Dolby Digital at the least seeing as I rented the 1080p HD versions of the films.

The Onkyo receiver by default plays the original audio version of films, so it's not as though I need to change the audio format manually to get it to play Dolby Digital. But even then, I did change the format to see if I can get Dolby Digital, but it wasn't there. I can get Dolby X etc, just not Dolby Digital.

Does this sound normal to you guys?
That's normal. The ATV decodes the audio and sends out PCM to the receiver which will only show something like multi-in or PCM. Personally I don't care for this as it doesn't always decode properly. Just a few days ago I was watching something and the ATV was sending the audio to the wrong speakers. Much of what should have been in the front was moved to the back speakers.
Most of the time it seems to work ok.
 
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archer75

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According to Dolby, appleTV always decodes audio streams and passes out modified audio (that's because Siri needs to speak).
You can enforce it to DD5.1 alas, this is not the original stream but internally re-encoded mix.
http://developer.dolby.com/News/Dolby_Audio_Support_on_Apple_TV.aspx
That's BS. Other devices have their assistants that speak and don't have to decode on the device. They can pass through audio just fine. Apple has said they have atmos support on their roadmap. Though I HIGHLY doubt we'll ever see HD audio support. Best you can do for that is infuse or MrMC but it's going to decode TrueHD/DTS-MA. Still no atmos for DTS:X in any form.
 
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scouser75

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I'm growing increasingly reluctant to watch any film that has in its true form high visual and audio features (blade runner, ghost in the Shell, Marvel films etc) on Apple TV. It seems you just won't get to fully experience the quality.
 

archer75

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I'm growing increasingly reluctant to watch any film that has in its true form high visual and audio features (blade runner, ghost in the Shell, Marvel films etc) on Apple TV. It seems you just won't get to fully experience the quality.
That's why I use my Nvidia Shield for movies. Netflix, youtube and amazon I also use the shield for. All other streaming apps I use the ATV.
 

scouser75

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Guys, can someone please help me figure this out. I'm getting the following output for Moonlight.

Input: HDMI 1
PCM 48khz
2.0 ch

Output THX Cinema
5.1 ch

Does this mean that the original moonlight soundtrack from iTunes is in 2.0 and that my receiver is converting t to a 5.1 ch audio track?
 

archer75

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You have your audio on the receiver set to THX cinema. So it's trying to do some processing to the track. Dolby Pro Logic is commonly used for taking 2 channel tracks and trying to make them more surround like.
You will have all kinds of settings on your receiver for audio output. And what they're called can vary by receiver. I typically leave mine on surround. Then it just plays whatever it's given. Or tries to convert to surround on 2 channel sources but it's fake surround. My super old Onkyo does have THX mode but I never used it.

Because one of my receivers is atmos I can set it to surround + something(the name escapes me at the moment) which will play the DD or DTS track the source has and then try to process sounds for the ceiling speakers.
I believe my yamaha receiver just calls it surround decode.

Best you can do for the ATV is to set it's audio to best available. It's the only way to get 5.1 or 7.1, your receiver will show multi channel in. But it's the best your gonna get from it.
 
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scouser75

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Thanks Archer. My concern is that the input from the film itself is 2.0 ch. But it said on the info on iTunes that it's a 5.1 track.

I tried various audio settings on the receiver (Dolby cinema, all channel audio etc) but the input (as expected) remained at 2.0.

Surely a 2.0 track on a modern film can't be right from Apple?
 

archer75

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Thanks Archer. My concern is that the input from the film itself is 2.0 ch. But it said on the info on iTunes that it's a 5.1 track.

I tried various audio settings on the receiver (Dolby cinema, all channel audio etc) but the input (as expected) remained at 2.0.

Surely a 2.0 track on a modern film can't be right from Apple?
Is your ATV set to best audio quality? The only way to get 5.1 from it is if all settings are correct.
 

scouser75

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Is your ATV set to best audio quality? The only way to get 5.1 from it is if all settings are correct.
Yup. I've checked all the settings on ATV and my receiver. i might just do a reset of ATV and see what happens.
 

scouser75

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When you guys play rented films - via a receiver - do you see Dolby Digital on the receiver?
 

scouser75

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Multichannel in is what I see. That's what you're supposed to see if the settings are correct.
I see All Channel Stereo. But it's the "Input 2.0 ch" that's making me think something isn't right. I'd have thought it should be input 5.1 ch.
 

scouser75

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Thank you to Archer75 and Priitv.8 I think I've sorted it. I just finished watching Guardians of the Galaxy. I managed to get 5.1 Dolby Digital and all seems to be well. However, I have to say, the sound quality was atrocious. And like Archer mentioned in post 2 of this thread, at times the sound was being sent to the wrong speakers. There's a scene in this film where someone is firing a gun from he front left, but the sound was coming from the rear right!

I think I might use iTunes only for films that have low visual or audio value and for films I'm not too fussed about watching in full quality.
 

archer75

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The thing is, you shouldn't see dolby digital 5.1, only in very few cases and generally not itunes movies. You really do want multichannel. Best audio available for the ATV and surround decode on the receiver. This yields the best possible audio for what the ATV is capable of.
And you shouldn't have to set your receiver to another format to get it. Just leave it on whatever it's surround decode option is. It should auto adjust based on what it's being fed. By choosing something else you're forcing your receiver to try to process the sound and it could come out with what you're hearing.
 
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scouser75

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I have 3 Audio options - AC3 Passthrough, Dolby Digital 5.1 and then a foreign language option.

If I choose AC3 Passthrough I get the input as 2.0ch and output as 5.1ch.

If I choose the DD 5.1 I get the input as DD 5.1 and output as DD 5.1.

I thought the DD 5.1 would have been the best audio.

My AVR automatically adjusts itself depending on which of the above options I choose.
 

archer75

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That's strange your only have 3 options on your receiver. Mine has a ton. Mono, stereo, virtual, surround(this is the that switches) Neural, some others. But the surround one is the only one that auto changes based on what it's getting. All the other modes are the stereo doing some processing of its own.
With anything other than the ATV i'd want to see DD, DD+, atmos, TrueHD, etc. from my receiver. Best available on the ATV results in multichannel audio as it's decoding and passing out PCM. It's the only way to get DD+ 5.1 and 7.1 from it.

Reading the manual I see you have a direct mode on there. Give that a shot if you haven't. With the ATV doing the decoding, direct on your recevier just passes it to the speakers without doing any processing of its own. The reason I think your audio is coming out of the wrong channel is because the receiver is processing the audio to DD 5.1 but that's not the feed it's actually getting.

Receivers and their settings can be confusing. I have 2 in the house, different brands, and the settings aren't consistent between them so I have to figure out what to have each set it to achieve the same results. Receivers have a ton of different processing or listening modes and we want to make sure we aren't using any of them. Just passthrough the decoded audio the ATV gives it or decode the audio it gets from other sources.
 
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scouser75

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Archer, Apologies. I meant the film itself has 3 options. AC3 passthrough, DD 5.1 and foreign DD 5.1.

Once I've selected any one of the above options, my AVR auto selects either All Channel Stereo (for AC3) or Dolby Digital for DD 5.1.

My AVR has loads of output options from Dolby Digital to Dolby Theatre, X, PLII X etc
 

archer75

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Archer, Apologies. I meant the film itself has 3 options. AC3 passthrough, DD 5.1 and foreign DD 5.1.

Once I've selected any one of the above options, my AVR auto selects either All Channel Stereo (for AC3) or Dolby Digital for DD 5.1.

My AVR has loads of output options from Dolby Digital to Dolby Theatre, X, PLII X etc
ah, gotcha. I'd probably go with all channel. With the ATV audio setting set to best available or auto or whatever it's called now. See how that works for you.
 

priitv8

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The thing is, you shouldn't see dolby digital 5.1, only in very few cases and generally not itunes movies. You really do want multichannel. Best audio available for the ATV and surround decode on the receiver. This yields the best possible audio for what the ATV is capable of.
This is the trick here! PCM multichannel means that surround is decoded on appleTV. AVR only receives uncompressed stream for each channel. The channel ordering is determined by Dolby Digital (Plus) decoder on appleTV.
It all comes down to EDID for appleTV to decide which formats does the receiver support.
Excerpt from EDID dump on mine:
Code:
Data Block Collection #2 - Type 1
    Audio Type Block
        Supported format:    Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPƒ), on 8 channels
        Supported freq:        32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz
        Supported samples:    16 bit, 20 bit, 24 bit

        Supported format:    AC3, on 6 channels
        Supported freq:        32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz
        Maximum bitrate:    640kHz

        Supported format:    DTS, on 6 channels
        Supported freq:        32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz
        Maximum bitrate:    1536kHz

        Supported format:    DD+, on 8 channels
        Supported freq:        44.1kHz, 48kHz

        Supported format:    MLP/Dolby TrueHD, on 8 channels
        Supported freq:        44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz

        Supported format:    DTS-HD, on 8 channels
        Supported freq:        44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz

        Supported format:    DTS-HD, on 8 channels
        Supported freq:        44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz

        Supported format:    One-bit audio (SACD), on 6 channels
        Supported freq:        44.1kHz
 
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