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Topic # 83292 13-May-2011 15:35
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I mainly wanted Freeview for the HD programming and I got all excited when I was able to get UHF to work at my location. Now I'm starting to think that maybe Freeview is just another example of not getting what you don't pay for.

First I discovered that apparently only TV One, TV2 and TV3 even bother to broadcast in HD. That's not really surprising but then I read that only TV3 broadcasts 5.1 audio while the other two just have two-channel stereo. That really did disappoint me and it leaves me wondering what the point of HD on Freeview is in the first place.

That aside, I can't seem to get any 5.1 audio reception in any case, also not on TV3, and I don't understand the reason. I have an Orton 7000 PVR with an audio digital coax output and the options menu lets me choose between PCM and RAW. I have set it to RAW and I do get good normal audio quality but my amp says it is always 48khz PCM. I'm not an expert at any of this but I believe PCM is analogue audio that has been repackaged for digital transmission. Does this just mean that TV3 is also only broadcasting two-channel analogue audio or is there an issue with my tuner or setup?




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  Reply # 468831 13-May-2011 16:31
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TV3 broadcasts two audio streams. One is dolby and one is the AAC stereo like all the other channels. You may have to switch audio streams.

TV3 dolby is 2 channel unless a full 5.1 programme comes on.

Freeview HD should have been called freeview terrestrial or freeview UHF etc. It is HD capable. Shows that are an actual HD source get shown in all their HD glory, all the rest are upscalled to1080i on TV1, TV2 and TV3. All the other channels, Prime, Maori etc are 576 (p?).

Only TV3 does 5.1 at this stage.

Freeview is the platform for digital TV transmissions. The old analogue system is soon to be turned off. That's what freeview exists for.

The UHF system is the one to go for as it can convey HD shows properly.
Satellite can't, it's only ever SD.

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  Reply # 468915 13-May-2011 21:14
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HD doesn't relate to sound quality only picture quality.

TV1 TV2 are 720p - either upscaled or native for some programmes (Shortland st has just gone native 720p from upscaled)

TV3 is native, or upscaled 1080i.




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  Reply # 468916 13-May-2011 21:20
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TV One/2 have been 1080i since about September earthquake, I think TV 2 went before quake and TV One after.




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  Reply # 468918 13-May-2011 21:24
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Spyware: TV One/2 have been 1080i since about September earthquake, I think TV 2 went before quake and TV One after.


orly, I never noticed...</goesofftocheck>





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  Reply # 468922 13-May-2011 21:32
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Rikkitic: I mainly wanted Freeview for the HD programming and I got all excited when I was able to get UHF to work at my location. Now I'm starting to think that maybe Freeview is just another example of not getting what you don't pay for.

First I discovered that apparently only TV One, TV2 and TV3 even bother to broadcast in HD. That's not really surprising but then I read that only TV3 broadcasts 5.1 audio while the other two just have two-channel stereo. That really did disappoint me and it leaves me wondering what the point of HD on Freeview is in the first place.

That aside, I can't seem to get any 5.1 audio reception in any case, also not on TV3, and I don't understand the reason. I have an Orton 7000 PVR with an audio digital coax output and the options menu lets me choose between PCM and RAW. I have set it to RAW and I do get good normal audio quality but my amp says it is always 48khz PCM. I'm not an expert at any of this but I believe PCM is analogue audio that has been repackaged for digital transmission. Does this just mean that TV3 is also only broadcasting two-channel analogue audio or is there an issue with my tuner or setup?


It isn't about bothering to transmit but about having the equipment in the first place. You won't see full scale HD until analog is shutdown and the likes of Maori, Triangle, Prime (Sky) get their acts together. Even Sky won't consider transmitting Prime in HD because of the cost. The likes of Triangle appear not even to know what 16:9 actually really is. Even TVNZ/TV3 have no HD news gathering ability. This is NZ not North America.

P.S. If you received  the DVB-S mpeg2 service you would have something to complain about. Low bit-rate macroblocky puke akin to Sky's SD service.




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  Reply # 468938 13-May-2011 22:19
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That aside, I can't seem to get any 5.1 audio reception in any case, also not on TV3

I had to play around with the settings on my Sony EX720 for some time til I managed to get 5.1 sound from TV3. I found the instruction manual slightly ambiguous and confusing. You should be able to get 5.1 if you get the setting right. Now I have the 5.1 working on TV3 both TV1 and TV2 sound are considerably lower in volume.  If I change the output to get normal sound level on TV1 and TV2 I lose 5.1 on TV3. Strange.


That's not really surprising but then I read that only TV3 broadcasts 5.1 audio while the other two just have two-channel stereo.

TV1 did broadcast 5.1 sound during the Olympic Games but that's the only time they have done so as far as I have noticed.

If you check the EPG you'll see which programs are HD and 5.1 sound. There's not many.
As you say, you get what you don't pay for.

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  Reply # 469027 14-May-2011 11:12
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The HE-AACv2 audio stream is generally between 96 and 128 kbit depending on channel, and really needs to be 160 kbit as at the moment it is a bit toppy and missing most of the bass.

A good example is a show like Glee on TV 3 where the 5.1 audio has some serious LFE but on the 2ch even the best amp in the world can only do so much.

TV One and TV 2 are now both 1080i and there is some hope that Prime with go HD some point in the near future.




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  Reply # 469048 14-May-2011 12:47
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... and then of course there's the issue that most of TV3's programmes are not in 5.1 - rather, they are nearly all in just 2.0. The problem being here that most receivers will recognise it as DD 5.1 and therefore send no signal to the centre channel. From my point of view, there are few more annoying things in TV watching land than having dialogue coming from the main speakers rather than the centre.

Our solution has been to have TV3 default to the other audio signal TV3 broadcasts, and only switch it over to DD  when it is a true 5.1 signal (eg The Good Wife; Glee - although I must point out that it's my wife who watches the latter - I just marvel at how much superior the sound on it is!).

Any further word on when TV1/TV2 will transition to DD? Wasn't the middle of this year being talked about? 

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  Reply # 469068 14-May-2011 14:42
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B1GGLZ:

I had to play around with the settings on my Sony EX720 for some time til I managed to get 5.1 sound from TV3. I found the instruction manual slightly ambiguous and confusing. You should be able to get 5.1 if you get the setting right. Now I have the 5.1 working on TV3 both TV1 and TV2 sound are considerably lower in volume.  If I change the output to get normal sound level on TV1 and TV2 I lose 5.1 on TV3. Strange.



You have something funky going on in your system.

TV1/2 should be louder than TV3 in Dolby Digital.

With TV3 in AAC all three channels are approx. equal in level.

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  Reply # 469070 14-May-2011 14:53
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jonathan18: ... and then of course there's the issue that most of TV3's programmes are not in 5.1 - rather, they are nearly all in just 2.0. The problem being here that most receivers will recognise it as DD 5.1 and therefore send no signal to the centre channel. From my point of view, there are few more annoying things in TV watching land than having dialogue coming from the main speakers rather than the centre.
 


There is nothing wrong with TV3's 5.1 broadcasts - what you have described is exactly how it's supposed to work.

TV3 broadcast in fulltime 5.1, with shows that are not 5.1 being broadcast as 2ch stereo within a 5.1 wrapper.  You shouldn't be getting audio from a centre speaker in a stereo setup. Globally many broadcasters are moving towards fulltime 5.1 broadcasts to stop end users experieicn issues or problems with amps continually clicking as they switch between 5.1 and 2ch on AC3 broadcasts as the audio moves between ad breaks and shows.

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  Reply # 469117 14-May-2011 18:09

sbiddle:
jonathan18: ... and then of course there's the issue that most of TV3's programmes are not in 5.1 - rather, they are nearly all in just 2.0. The problem being here that most receivers will recognise it as DD 5.1 and therefore send no signal to the centre channel. From my point of view, there are few more annoying things in TV watching land than having dialogue coming from the main speakers rather than the centre.
 


There is nothing wrong with TV3's 5.1 broadcasts - what you have described is exactly how it's supposed to work.

TV3 broadcast in fulltime 5.1, with shows that are not 5.1 being broadcast as 2ch stereo within a 5.1 wrapper.  You shouldn't be getting audio from a centre speaker in a stereo setup. Globally many broadcasters are moving towards fulltime 5.1 broadcasts to stop end users experieicn issues or problems with amps continually clicking as they switch between 5.1 and 2ch on AC3 broadcasts as the audio moves between ad breaks and shows.


Good description sbiddle.

jonathan18, most of the 2 channel content is created in stereo so why would you want to filter the voice to then feed it out the centre channel. It seems like it's adding an artificial process to a sound mix that has been made for a stereo environment, why would this be better?




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  Reply # 469139 14-May-2011 19:28
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After some puzzling, I worked out a series of indirect tests to pinpoint the source of my problem. Apparently the fault does not lie with the Freeview tuner or the coax cable or even TV3. Instead, it seems my Yamaha amp is not correctly processing digital coax inputs. It has a diagnostic setting that gives info about the input signal and a test DVD played on my DVR with optical output works fine with both Dolby and DTS surround. When I play the same DVD with the same audio settings on my older player with S/PDIF output, the amp says the signal is 2-channel pcm. If I set it to DTS only, all I hear is silence. I have no idea what is going on here. I don't know if this is a setting problem or an actual fault. If anyone has any ideas about this, I would be grateful to hear them.

Anyway, my Freeview tuner only has S/PDIF for digital audio so until I figure out what is going on, I'm stuck with pcm. That works fine and the sound quality is good, it's just not surround sound.








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  Reply # 469177 14-May-2011 22:58
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hdinsider: jonathan18, most of the 2 channel content is created in stereo so why would you want to filter the voice to then feed it out the centre channel. It seems like it's adding an artificial process to a sound mix that has been made for a stereo environment, why would this be better?


Why? Because, like I'd assume most people, I don't usually have the ability to sit squarely between the two main speakers while I'm watching TV! Perhaps I could shunt my wife over to the side to achieve this??!!

The reality is that it one does not have to be far from the centre of a stereo image for any dialogue (which is typically placed in the middle of the image) to sound like it is coming from the speaker closer to one's seated position (or more from that side than the other). Yes, I'm sure some people do have speakers which have such fantastic imaging that this isn't a problem. Or perhaps some people don't care hearing dialogue coming from a source removed from where the actual speaker's mouth is? I'm certainly not one of them! Our L and R speakers are not far from the TV (due to necessity rather than design), but even then I find it a disconcerting hearing someone's voice coming from a different location to their moving image. 

Following the logic of the earlier emails, I'd assume those that subscribe to this theory would watch all other TV such as TV1 and other non-5.1-encoded material in stereo as well? Heaven forbid the use of such processing as Pro Logic to assist with the appropriate placement of vocals in the centre of the image regardless of where one is sitting! I bet the reality is most people with receivers DO decode such audio using Pro Logic or similar. I just want to do the same with these non-5.1 programmes on TV3. 

I guess in the end it comes down to what one cares about - for me, it's about ensuring the appropriate location of dialogue; you appear to value other things more highly...

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  Reply # 469278 15-May-2011 13:48

jonathan18:
hdinsider: jonathan18, most of the 2 channel content is created in stereo so why would you want to filter the voice to then feed it out the centre channel. It seems like it's adding an artificial process to a sound mix that has been made for a stereo environment, why would this be better?


Why? Because, like I'd assume most people, I don't usually have the ability to sit squarely between the two main speakers while I'm watching TV! Perhaps I could shunt my wife over to the side to achieve this??!!

The reality is that it one does not have to be far from the centre of a stereo image for any dialogue (which is typically placed in the middle of the image) to sound like it is coming from the speaker closer to one's seated position (or more from that side than the other). Yes, I'm sure some people do have speakers which have such fantastic imaging that this isn't a problem. Or perhaps some people don't care hearing dialogue coming from a source removed from where the actual speaker's mouth is? I'm certainly not one of them! Our L and R speakers are not far from the TV (due to necessity rather than design), but even then I find it a disconcerting hearing someone's voice coming from a different location to their moving image. 

Following the logic of the earlier emails, I'd assume those that subscribe to this theory would watch all other TV such as TV1 and other non-5.1-encoded material in stereo as well? Heaven forbid the use of such processing as Pro Logic to assist with the appropriate placement of vocals in the centre of the image regardless of where one is sitting! I bet the reality is most people with receivers DO decode such audio using Pro Logic or similar. I just want to do the same with these non-5.1 programmes on TV3. 

I guess in the end it comes down to what one cares about - for me, it's about ensuring the appropriate location of dialogue; you appear to value other things more highly...


Good point! I have to say that I prefer to listen to stereo content in stereo. The off centre dialog doesn't bother me much. Maybe it's because I haven't got my main speakers separated by as much as I could. Like most lounge setups, my speaker positions are compromised by other furniture, doors and the fireplace, so from the viewing spot the speakers would be maybe only 30-40 degrees apart.

It'll be interesting to see what TV1 and 2 do when Dolby starts, and if they follow a different path to TV3.




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  Reply # 469364 15-May-2011 17:53
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jonathan18: I guess in the end it comes down to what one cares about - for me, it's about ensuring the appropriate location of dialogue; you appear to value other things more highly...


I'm about having content in the format it's encoded with - in this case a stereo feed delivered in stereo using L+R channels.

IMHO your logic is akin to those people who watch 4:3 TV on a 16:9 TV in fatovision just because they want to fill the whole screen.

If you want to use audio processing then you'll have to use the AAC feed. Like broadcasters broadcasting fulltime 16:9 and 4:3 content within a 16:9 frame rather than broadcasting dynamic aspect ratio's, the norm around the world is now very much a case of broadcasters encoding all content within a 5.1 wrapper. 


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