Audio Options

Watt Tyler

Member
In the setup menu, under Audio Options, you can select "Stereo" or "Multi-channel"
The manual tells you what the options are but doesn't really throw any light on the significance of the choice you make. It has a table - which I don't understand! - about what digital output you get under various circumstances.

Can someons please explain what the options mean?

As far as I know, I'm not using any digital audio. My audio goes to the TV via HDMI (maybe that's digital?) and to a Hi-Fi system via SCART (for those occasions when serious music is being broadcast).

When I first had the HDR-FOX T2 nearly two years ago, I concluded that the audio sounded clearer if I selected "Stereo". Now I'm not so sure!

TIA.

WT
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Quite simple: if you select "stereo", the HDMI sound stream is down-converted to stereo whatever the broadcast source is. If you select "multi-channel", the HDMI carries surround-sound if the broadcast is carrying surround-sound (ie HiDef channels only, and then only if the programme has surround-sound). This will not affect the SCART or Phono (analogue) sound outputs, and I am not sure about the optical output (I think it carries the same data as the HDMI sound stream).

There is also an issue with volume control: if you select "multi-channel", the Humax volume level may* no longer affect the HiDef channels (depending on the TV).

There is a Things Every... topic pending on this subject.

* Updated in response to the subsequent discussion
 

Brian

Administrator
Staff member
There is also an issue with volume control: if you select "multi-channel", the Humax volume level no longer affects the HiDef channels.
This is ONLY the case if you are using the optical output, as this is fixed. The Humax volume level DOES affect HD channels via the HDMI output, but some devices do not seem to support this feature.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
This has been mentioned, I know, and presumably that is your experience, but my experience is that it ends up with a fixed volume, and lots of posts reported this when the subject was current. How do you account for the difference?
 

Brian

Administrator
Staff member
It is probably down to the way that different manufacturers interpret the HDMI standards.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
So what do you propose then? The data is sent at fixed volume plus a control signal which should (if implemented) control the TVs volume setting?

Depending what proportion of TVs actually implementation this feature "correctly", I think it is a bit strong to say the Humax does affect HDMI volume - it would be more appropriate to say that it may affect volume.

It is possible the same is true of the optical signal - it's just that nobody has experienced it changing.

Well, what do you know: my Samsung has got the variable volume syndrome! Mind you, HDR3 connected to it is running 1.02.32 whereas HDR1 connected to an LG (with fixed volume syndrome) is on 1.02.20.
 

Brian

Administrator
Staff member
So what do you propose then? The data is sent at fixed volume plus a control signal which should (if implemented) control the TVs volume setting?
The HDMI carries more than one audio stream, the multi-channel stream may be at a fixed volume, but the stereo stream should be variable, and it is probably this stream being picked up by the Samsung TV.
Depending what proportion of TVs actually implementation this feature "correctly", I think it is a bit strong to say the Humax does affect HDMI volume - it would be more appropriate to say that it may affect volume.
It would be interesting to know which makes of TV do support variable HD volume, as the last 3 different makes of TV have done for me.
It is possible the same is true of the optical signal - it's just that nobody has experienced it changing.
I don't think that this is the case.
Well, what do you know: my Samsung has got the variable volume syndrome! Mind you, HDR3 connected to it is running 1.02.32 whereas HDR1 connected to an LG (with fixed volume syndrome) is on 1.02.20.
I don't think that firmware version matters, this feature has been available with all versions that I have tried.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Perhaps opening this issue up again means we can pin it down once and for all.
The HDMI carries more than one audio stream, the multi-channel stream may be at a fixed volume, but the stereo stream should be variable, and it is probably this stream being picked up by the Samsung TV.

If that is the case, why do we need to select "stereo" or "multichannel" at the Humax end? Your statement implies that both are being sent. Also, this effect occurs regardless of the broadcast stream (as long as is HiDef), so any eventual theory needs to account for that.

We can take a survey to see which firmware/TV combos are affected; anybody got suggestions for tests that will extract more info?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Test: with audio options set to "multichannel" and a HiDef broadcast channel playing, does the Humax volume control affect the TV sound output level?

Mostly tested with Breakfast on BBC ONE HD, presumed non-surround:

HDR/1.02.20, LG 32LD690: fixed volume (Typical - this is the combination I used most often until recently!)
HDR/1.02.32, Samsung 32EH5000: variable volume
HD/1.02.29, Vivitek Qumi: variable volume
HD/1.02.29, Luxor 46-822-TBV: variable volume
HD/1.02.29, Bush IDLCD32TV22HD (2006): variable volume (Grand Day Out)
HDR/1.02.20, Samsung 32EH5000: result pending
HDR/1.02.32, LG 32LD690: result pending
 

Dave_G

Member
on a similar subject - my hummy is connected to the TV HDMI, and the TV to my amp by optical. do you think I should be able to get surround sound (where available) sent to my amp this way? Or will it depend on how my TV processes it? I suppose I ought to send the hummy sound direct to the amp, but my amp only has one optical input (I think!) and I need the TV connected, which only has optical output...
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It depends. The optical output of the TV is intended for sending surround sound data to an external processor, but it might only apply to broadcast not HDMI. You need to check the specifications for your TV.

It should be easy enough to test though (presuming there is surround-sound being broadcast at the time) - the theatre amp probably has an indicator to show what audio stream is being received. Try comparing between Humax-via-TV source and TV tuner source (and for good measure Humax direct).
 

Brian

Administrator
Staff member
on a similar subject - my hummy is connected to the TV HDMI, and the TV to my amp by optical. do you think I should be able to get surround sound (where available) sent to my amp this way? Or will it depend on how my TV processes it? I suppose I ought to send the hummy sound direct to the amp, but my amp only has one optical input (I think!) and I need the TV connected, which only has optical output...
The optical output on my Samsung TV will only output 5.1 sound from it's own tuner, anything 5.1 connected via HDMI is only output in stereo.
My amp has only got one optical input, but I have 3off HDR-FOX T2's connected via a 3-Way optical switch.
 
Top