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Surround Sound on Top Up TV (Read 6898 times)
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Surround Sound on Top Up TV
Nov 18th, 2007 at 9:58pm
 
We've had the following question mailed to us by a site visitor:

"I am pretty sure that Dolby Digital is not transmitted within Freeview but is this the same with the Topuptv film channels? As myself & many others have thousands of pounds worth of A/V sound systems, you would have thought if paying for a service DD would be encoded in at least channels that would benefit from Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound."

Our understanding is that Dolby Digital surround sound isn't transmitted on TopUp TV. Anyone have any comments on this? On the same subject, how much surround sound content (if any) is found on  Freeview?
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purple-bobby
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Re: Surround Sound on Top Up TV
Reply #1 - Nov 19th, 2007 at 12:18am
 
TCM shows mainly old mono movies, my AV amp says 48kHz PCM stereo on the several I tried. I sampled a few programmes in the library - all 48kHz PCM stereo.

As far as I know, only Stereo (2.0 ) is transmitted, some times with un-signalled Dolby Pro Logic style centre (sum of left and right) and surround (difference of left and right delayed 25ms ). It would/should be possible to transmit more than 2 channel sound, but you would still need the stereo for all those DVB-T receivers that don't support higher numbers of channels. I think it was decided to go with MPEG multichannel (and not Dolby or DTS ) which many AV amps don't understand (this could be the case with the tests above.)

When the broadcasters are trying shovel quantity over quality, then in their minds, Dolby Pro Logic over stereo is going to be good enough and most people wont notice.

If the competition is Sky - the Sky digital STB doesn't appear to have a digital audio output - AFAIK, Sky HD gets 5.1 sound (and digital audio output). DVB-T/DTT (Freeview/TopUp/Setanta ) are not going to beat Sky on channels, but they could beat them on quality.

It's annoying, you get a 5.1 speaker set up in your living room and make sure your DVB-T/Freeview receiver(s) have digital audio outputs and all that comes out is stereo - you even have to manually flip a switch to make it do Dolby Pro Logic.

If there were a vote, I would vote for 5.1 sound, even at the loss of a shopping channel or +1 channel  Cry
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