Xbox One doesn't support Surround through Optical?!

#1 Edited by big_jon (5708 posts) -

What does this mean? I have been reading this tonight and I am now feeling pretty disappointed.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2013/11/20/state-of-sound-xbox-one-does-not-support-dolby-digital-via-optical-output.aspx

I have A Sony surround 5.1 boxed surround sound system, it has 3 HDMI in and 1 HDMI out, the issue is that I have always used the Optical in for sound because of the input lag Created by piping through the receiver to the TV.

This is even worse because I literally just upgraded from my 46" Sony to a 46" Samsung UN46EH5300 LED TV, the reason souly for the fact that it has half the input lag of my old TV at 23ms, and I am into competitive shooters a lot of the time.

So do I have any options? I mean this seems like a pretty crappy decision by Microsoft to me. I also have a pair of Astro A40's which are also getting the nerf here too it seems.

I posted this to Tested as well, I hope you duders can help me here.

#2 Edited by TrafalgarLaw (1026 posts) -

Your options would be cancelling your (pre)order or live with it, they're not going to fix this anytime soon, maybe with a revision/new SKU.

#3 Edited by Syed117 (387 posts) -

I've been wondering about this as well. I don't understand how the hell someone thought not including dolby 5.1 output from the optical was a good idea.

It's definitely not the majority, but lots of people use surround headsets that decode an optical 5.1 signal. Astro, Turtle beach, tritton.

I have these two decoders

Both take an optical in, but only the creative supports DTS. The optical out apparently send out a DTS signal so I think I lucked out.

I just hope the creative decoder does what I need it to do.

This probably won't get fixed. What is more likely to happen is companies making new hardware that decodes a DTS signal for surround headphones. I'm sure we will see new decoders from all the major manufacturers.

Will see on Friday, but it's just an absolutely stupid oversight on Microsoft's part.

#4 Posted by golguin (3833 posts) -

I also have 5.1 surround sound with optical. I have my 360 and Wii connected to my TV (the new consoles will connect the same way). The TV feeds into the surround sound with optical. It's the only way to get surround sound out of every device connected to the TV.

I didn't even know sound lag was a thing. I've never heard of it happening.

#5 Posted by big_jon (5708 posts) -

@syed117: When you consider that you have to chose between increased input lag or stereo sound it is certainly pretty stupid.

Can you explain this decoder? How much does one cost?

#6 Edited by big_jon (5708 posts) -

@golguin said:

I also have 5.1 surround sound with optical. I have my 360 and Wii connected to my TV (the new consoles will connect the same way). The TV feeds into the surround sound with optical. It's the only way to get surround sound out of every device connected to the TV.

I didn't even know sound lag was a thing. I've never heard of it happening.

It's not sound lag, it's if you pipe the HDMI through the receiver into the TV it creates image lag.

Also you are likely not getting surround sound if you are going through your TV, it is much more likely that it is outputting stereo to your receiver.

#7 Edited by Syed117 (387 posts) -

@golguin said:

I also have 5.1 surround sound with optical. I have my 360 and Wii connected to my TV (the new consoles will connect the same way). The TV feeds into the surround sound with optical. It's the only way to get surround sound out of every device connected to the TV.

I didn't even know sound lag was a thing. I've never heard of it happening.

You're lucky that your TV even passes a surround signal through the optical out. Most TVs only pass stereo.

@big_jon said:

@syed117: When you consider that you have to chose between increased input lag or stereo sound it is certainly pretty stupid.

Can you explain this decoder? How much does one cost?

The Sony surround system I use introduces virtually no lag. It's the only reason I use it. It's a very basic receiver and 5.1 system.

The 360 has optical output that is always sending out a 5.1 signal. There is no option or setting. If you plug an optical into the back, you will get a dolby 5.1 signal out. That cable goes into the decoder and it's turned into the surround signal that you get with almost all surround headphones. Astros, Turtle Beaches, and most Trittons work this way.

The optical out at the back of the PS3 works the same way, but you need to change the settings to send out that signal.

The Ear Force DSS is the older turtle beach model. It's also the better version. The new one isn't as good, but I'm not sure if it supports DTS.

The creative is very old. I've had it for 6 or 7 years, but stopped using it after I got the Ear Force.

The turtle beach decoder by itself was $60 or $70. Astro Mixamps are more expensive.

#8 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4328 posts) -

Wait, seriously? Fuck that nonsense.

@golguin said:

I didn't even know sound lag was a thing. I've never heard of it happening.

It does and it's the worst.

#9 Posted by Nhoj_Sllew (173 posts) -

I dunno if this effects me

I run from my tv into the receiver (not optical but was thinking of switching to it, currently have an older receiver will be getting a newer one soon)

if I get a newer receiver and run the optical straight from the tv will that cause lag or any issues?

#10 Edited by big_jon (5708 posts) -

@syed117: I have an Astro Mix amp, it is the original, not sure if it will work, but I am more worried about my surround sound system, is it possible that they can both decode DTS audio into 5.1?

#11 Posted by demonknightinuyasha (457 posts) -

Sound stuff seemed to work pretty well on the 360 and PS3 from what I could tell, why does it seem like everything is so fucked out the gate this time around?

Here I thought my biggest sound issue this gen was going to be the Wii U not allowing you to output sound out of a non-HDMI source if you are using HDMI for video (though I guess they've fixed that at this point).

#14 Posted by big_jon (5708 posts) -

No wait, he's talking about through the HDMI in.

#15 Posted by Aussiepowa (33 posts) -

@big_jon:

oh my bad saw this article and thought it was related ...sorry

#16 Edited by Syed117 (387 posts) -

We talking about two different things here.

The optical issue is for people who need a Dolby 5.1 signal for either headphone decoder or receiver that does not support DTS. Apparently optical will ONLY output DTS and not standard Dolby 5.1. That's the issue.

The hdmi in issue is different. That has to do with a surround signal passing through that port and being carried to whatever the tv is plugged into. The problem being that you won't get surround from a cable box that is plugged into the xbox one and then into a receiver. The hdmi in is only transmitting a stereo signal. For now.

#17 Posted by tourgen (4426 posts) -

There is no way, I can't believe there isn't 5.1 out on the optical line. They probably messed up a setting or something.

#18 Posted by big_jon (5708 posts) -

@syed117 said:

We talking about two different things here.

The optical issue is for people who need a Dolby 5.1 signal for either headphone decoder or receiver that does not support DTS. Apparently optical will ONLY output DTS and not standard Dolby 5.1. That's the issue.

The hdmi in issue is different. That has to do with a surround signal passing through that port and being carried to whatever the tv is plugged into. The problem being that you won't get surround from a cable box that is plugged into the xbox one and then into a receiver. The hdmi in is only transmitting a stereo signal. For now.

Looking into it I think my Receiver may be able to decode DTS which I would be very grateful for, but I still am wondering about what this means for the Astro Mixamp specificity. Astro said on their facebook page that the Mixamp pro can still do 5.1 and 7.1 through a bunch of tech jargon, but I have the 2009 Mixamp and they did not specify about that one.

#19 Posted by golguin (3833 posts) -

@big_jon said:

@golguin said:

I also have 5.1 surround sound with optical. I have my 360 and Wii connected to my TV (the new consoles will connect the same way). The TV feeds into the surround sound with optical. It's the only way to get surround sound out of every device connected to the TV.

I didn't even know sound lag was a thing. I've never heard of it happening.

It's not sound lag, it's if you pipe the HDMI through the receiver into the TV it creates image lag.

Also you are likely not getting surround sound if you are going through your TV, it is much more likely that it is outputting stereo to your receiver.

It's for sure 5.1. I originally tested it (and did it again now) with the rain scene fight from Hero. Rain drops fall from the BL and BR while voice comes from the center.

For video games Left 4 Dead 1/2 is the best test. There are time when you literally can't see if zombies are coming from the front or back and my 5.1 surround sound revealed them all. It's most useful for finding special infected since they were usually hiding in places that you couldn't see and I'd track them by sound.

#20 Posted by dgtlty (152 posts) -

Dolby is coming later apparently. Picking up my console in a few hours and a little dosappointed myself (I run all my consoles through Astro Mixamp). Albert Penello made a statement on Neogaf:

Dolby Digital is coming post launch. This was a SW scheduling issue pure and simple, and I know people are disappointed, but we will have it.

Anyone with an HDMI receiver should be fine, as we pass the uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 through HDMI as well as DTS. Even if you have a Dolby only HDMI receiver (which I'm not sure exists), you will still get 5.1 or 7.1 sound since those receivers should accept uncompressed surround.

For the Dolby only headsets, my understanding is that these will work but you will only get stereo audio since we only pass Stereo and DTS through the optical port. I have not tested this myself, but I'm told it works. Regardless, I understand this is an inconvenience, but again we're going to have Dolby coming.

This is unrelated to the HDMI-IN "Surround Sound" beta. To clarify, we default HDMI-IN audio to be converted to Stereo. However, we do have a feature you can access in TV settings/Troubleshooting that enables Surround Sound in "beta" form. If you check the box, and you get Surround, you're golden. We found some inconsistencies in STB's during testing and decided to disable it by default to insure a good initial setup experience for people.

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#21 Posted by big_jon (5708 posts) -

Atleast it is coming then.

#22 Posted by adipolle (1 posts) -

Not all HDMI receivers will work. Some of the older ones (I have a Sony 5.1 HTIB) do not have an audio return channel (ARC). So, I have my Xbox 360 connect via component and audio through optical. If I buy the Xbox one and connect via HDMI, I will only receive video input from the receiver/home theater system. For audio, I will have to have to skip the receiver and use the TV speakers (not happening)!!! Blerg. I'm not spending money on a New HDMI receiver either and so till MS fixes this, I'm not upgrading. Besides, I have my Xbox 360 games that are not backwards compatible-another reason not to upgrade-looks like it will be call of duty on my circa 2006 Xbox 360 for a while :)

#23 Posted by big_jon (5708 posts) -

Thankfully my receiver does decode DTS, though my Astros still don't. But the update will fix that eventually so.

#24 Edited by Mike17032 (72 posts) -

Glad I found this post, as I had no idea this was even going on.

My receiver is old enough that it doesn't have HDMI in it, so I was using optical and it was set to stereo. Lucky for me it does support DTS, so I changed the setting. Forza sounds MUCH better now, the exhaust sound of the car actually sounds like it's behind me (from the hood view), it's awesome.

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