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Should Broadcasters Be Banned From Transmitting "fake" 5.1 Audio?


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I don't know about anyone else, but personally, I'm tired of broadcasters that send out stereo audio as 5.1. it can make it tricky to determine whether it is native 5.1 or not.

I'd rather perform an upmix at my end, this way I can easily tell whether it's real or fake based on what my receiver says it's receiving, i.e. 2/0/0.0 or 3/2/0.1. It also gives me the ability to watch it "straight" or "direct" without any audio processing ever going on.

What do others think?

*For those who don't know, fake 5.1 is where the broadcaster receivers a stereo signal and upmixes it to 5.1 prior to broadcast.

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If the audio at the broadcaster's end is 2.0 then it should be broadcast as 2.0, even if that 2.0 contains a surround mix. Leave it up to the viewer's equipment to dematrix the surround etc. IMO what's worse is the broadcaster transmitting the audio as 5.1 but in reality only L/R audio, the other channels are silent or not even present.

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But what about upscaled SD as HD, this is a worse sin I think. I guess the plus for doing the fulltime 5.1 is that for those people who have older receivers, they don't cope too well with the switching between 5.1 and 2 between the advert breaks (no audio for a few secs, or worse, the receiver has a hernia and stops decoding the audio), and perhaps one of the reasons 7 and 9 here in Sydney decided to do the fulltime 5.1 in the first place?

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one of the reasons 7 and 9 here in Sydney decided to do the fulltime 5.1 in the first place?

I find it hard to believe that they did it thinking of their viewers :huh:

I'm on the fence, it really doesn't bother me either way, having said that, it would be nice to know when it is "Real" surround. But as you said Dig, if it's tricky to determine if it's 5.1 or not, what's the difference? They must be doing it alright!

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I find it hard to believe that they did it thinking of their viewers :huh:

I'm on the fence, it really doesn't bother me either way, having said that, it would be nice to know when it is "Real" surround. But as you said Dig, if it's tricky to determine if it's 5.1 or not, what's the difference? They must be doing it alright!

think about the people with 2ch setups or listen through the tv. It'll have been upmixed and need to be downmixed again. It also means people with 5.1 don't get a choice of upmixing algorithms to suit their tastes.

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I find watching HD on nine most annoying when the ads come on as my receiver switches from dolby digital to 5 ch surround. When the broadcast is in dolby digital I need the sound level up higher than when watching a 5 ch broadcast, so I have to mute ads ever time they come on. Maybe I've got a wrong setting but the ads are much louder

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We get stuff all 5.1 here in Tas, all the HD channels are received in DD 2.0 except for the occasional program on ABC HD.

WIN HD used to have a few shows and movies in 5.1, but that seems to have stopped since GO started.

I am on Central Qld coast and haven't seen anything at all in DD5.1 for at least a year, although I don't check ABC HD very often.

Sway

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We get stuff all 5.1 here in Tas, all the HD channels are received in DD 2.0 except for the occasional program on ABC HD.

WIN HD used to have a few shows and movies in 5.1, but that seems to have stopped since GO started.

Hey, I am not sure that ABC HD transmits at all in 5.1.

I have managed to receive 9 7 10 in 5.1 for some shows, but never from ABC or from SBS or even community 31 here in Melb.

Is it true that ABC HD transmits in 5.1 ??? wow.. that's a newey..

also, if you are having trouble recieving 5.1 , then check you are not on GO or 72 which are standard definition channels and dont

transmit 5.1...well that's been my experience here in Melb anyway.

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Hey, I am not sure that ABC HD transmits at all in 5.1.

I have managed to receive 9 7 10 in 5.1 for some shows, but never from ABC or from SBS or even community 31 here in Melb.

Is it true that ABC HD transmits in 5.1 ??? wow.. that's a newey..

also, if you are having trouble recieving 5.1 , then check you are not on GO or 72 which are standard definition channels and dont

transmit 5.1...well that's been my experience here in Melb anyway.

I've just got off the phone to a very Brief ABC technical representative who assures me that ABC channel 20 is ALWAYS transmitting in AC3, which ought to mean I guess that the surround speakers should be activated.

perhaps the content itself is not surround, but the news for example is certainly front 2 channels only , despite 20 HD channel being viewed and when I move across to 70 HD the rear 2 speaker indicators on the amp come on, so something is amiss.

I know that 7,9 do transmit their news in full surround...so why is ABC different. I have yet to see an ABC HD in surround sound..

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Surround does NOT mean 5.1. Surround can be on good old analogue for example as long as the tuner supports stereo. Mr Dolby supported a method of putting surround sound into a stereo signal, and this has been used for *ages* by broadcasters etc. So yes, they probably send "surround" on their stereo AC3 ABCHD, but hey, they do the same on their MPEG-1layer2 SD service too, and in fact, 99% of the stuff shown on ABCHD is just the SD image upscaled anyway.

So AC3 does not mean 5.1 either, dolby digital (i.e. AC3) can be 1,2,3,4,5,5.1,etc channels.

So yes, he was 100% correct, ABCHD is definitely AC3, but is 99.99999999% AC3 stereo, with maybe 1 or 2 shows a year that are 5.1 audio (e.g. ABC broadcast "Oils on the water" in 5.1 on ABCSD a few years ago!). You are nearly never going to get real HD on ABCHD, let alone discrete AC3 5.1 audio (i.e. it is only surround encoded 2 channel AC3 really).

edit:

To get surround happening on a stereo (however surround encoded) source, you need to tell your amp to do a Dolby Pro-logic decode (or nero 6.1 or whatever surround processor you want to try on your receiver/amp).

I notice a tonne of surround on Doctor Who for example, even though it is broadcast in stereo surround. Stereo surround can get some ok rear action happening, as long as the mix is right and not buggered by the broadcasters first.

Edited by tonymy01
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Stereo surround can get some ok rear action happening, as long as the mix is right and not buggered by the broadcasters first.

Which is why I would like the faked ie, flagged as 5.1 when there is only L/R data or all 6 channels are present but only L/R have anything in them, as when the audio is flagged as 5.1 some AMPs will not attempt to do surround decode as the audio is '5.1' already.

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Hey, I am not sure that ABC HD transmits at all in 5.1.

I have managed to receive 9 7 10 in 5.1 for some shows, but never from ABC or from SBS or even community 31 here in Melb.

Is it true that ABC HD transmits in 5.1 ??? wow.. that's a newey..

also, if you are having trouble recieving 5.1 , then check you are not on GO or 72 which are standard definition channels and dont

transmit 5.1...well that's been my experience here in Melb anyway.

United States of Tara (as an example) was in 5.1 on ABC HD every week, other Docos from time to time have been 5.1

I'm not "having trouble recieving 5.1", thanks for letting me know that Go and 72 (62 here) are SD channels :rolleyes:

As I stated in my post, there used to be quite a few programs broadcast hare in Tas in 5.1, especially on the WIN (9) HD channel before GO was introduced (back then WIN HD also used to have a few different shows to the SD channel as well). I asume this is a bandwidth or similar problem along the same lines as the reason we only get TDT SD (TEN SD) and ONE HD in Tas and not all three channels (ie. no ONE SD).

Also FYI there have been, in the past, instances of ABC transmitting 5.1 on the ABC SD channel :P

Edited by BigBadBaz
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  • 3 weeks later...
United States of Tara (as an example) was in 5.1 on ABC HD every week, other Docos from time to time have been 5.1

I'm not "having trouble recieving 5.1", thanks for letting me know that Go and 72 (62 here) are SD channels :rolleyes:

As I stated in my post, there used to be quite a few programs broadcast hare in Tas in 5.1, especially on the WIN (9) HD channel before GO was introduced (back then WIN HD also used to have a few different shows to the SD channel as well). I asume this is a bandwidth or similar problem along the same lines as the reason we only get TDT SD (TEN SD) and ONE HD in Tas and not all three channels (ie. no ONE SD).

Also FYI there have been, in the past, instances of ABC transmitting 5.1 on the ABC SD channel :P

We watched Tara last night on ABC HD and no rear action at all.

Dead as K Rudd. :lol:

So what's up with that?

Paul.

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We watched Tara last night on ABC HD and no rear action at all.

Dead as K Rudd. :lol:

So what's up with that?

Paul.

Yep, you would also have noticed the logo said ABC 1 instead of ABC HD, it's all to do with getting ready for the 24 hr news channel. Doubt there will be any more 5.1 on ABC HD as the changover to ABC NEWS 24 (or whatever it's called) gets closer.

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Yep, you would also have noticed the logo said ABC 1 instead of ABC HD, it's all to do with getting ready for the 24 hr news channel. Doubt there will be any more 5.1 on ABC HD as the changover to ABC NEWS 24 (or whatever it's called) gets closer.

For the last couple of weeks, EVERYTHING on ABCHD has lit up the DD5.1 display on my HT receiver.

Cheers

Sway

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For the last couple of weeks, EVERYTHING on ABCHD has lit up the DD5.1 display on my HT receiver.

Cheers

Sway

I've notice that as well (Adelaide) but no sound out of centre speaker and slightly more volume out of the left speaker. How hard can it be to balance it at their end?

Edited by ExcessiveGBH
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I've notice that as well (Adelaide) but no sound out of centre speaker and slightly more volume out of the left speaker. How hard can it be to balance it at their end?

You'd be amazed...

Like with the DAB+ transmission of 'ABC Classic FM' in Brisbane for instance:

This morning I reported to the ABC the fact that the audio level of left channel of ABC Classic FM in Brisbane is about 4dB lower than the right channel. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for a response.
Edited by ChaosMaster
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I've notice that as well (Adelaide) but no sound out of centre speaker and slightly more volume out of the left speaker. How hard can it be to balance it at their end?
And they should either DPL decode/transcode the stereo source (that they are bound to be using) to the 5.1 channels, or send it as stereo, as a receiver can't DPL/surround decode a discrete 5.1 source (as I have mentioned before in this thread), and so it sounds shocking just coming out of my left & right speakers when I have been so used to a 6.1 setup for a long time (well, 5.1 and then upgraded a while ago).
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Its cynical to say [and certainly they should send dd2.0 not fake 5.1] but at least when abc hd news starts we will presumably be back to mpeg2 or dd2.0 on abc1 so at least we can apply dts neo6 /pl2/ pl2x/ces7.1 to match shows we presume to be matrix encoded [like dr who] .

Hopefully bandwidth issues will kill this fake 5.1 ; it follows that the ' flagship hd news channel :huh: ' does not need the 'premier' fake 5.1 ; 2.0 whatever will do ; or are they that stupid [rhetorical question B) ]

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hate this fake 5.1 as well. damn why is it so hard to give us surround sound. I know they want to waste away every spare crumb on multi channelled dribble. but gee is true 5.1 such a big ask apart from the fake flagged version !

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The Formula One telecast (the race and the qualifying) on ONE HD is definitely in 5.1......and it is fantastic....

I find that Channel 7 has more 5.1 programming than Channel 9....(HD)....Channel 9 often "shows" up on my receiver as 5.1 but...it is just simple 2 Channel Stereo....

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