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IgniteTV Surround Sound

Resident Expert
Resident Expert

There have been several threads discussing IgniteTV surround sound over the years.  The issue with IgniteTV audio is complex and difficult to follow.  This thread is intended for Audiophiles who have their IgniteTV boxes connected to AVRs.

Until recently, any programming that you record has resulted in what I call "improperly encoded DD5.1"  It appears that this issue has been resolved, but other issues still remain.  Here's a summary:

1. I believe that OD (and "live") programming was always available in DD5.1, provided that the original programme was sent by the "broadcaster" as DD5.1. Some programming that will not be proper DD5.1 is programming that was originally DD2.0. This includes programming like the Sopranos, which is quite a few years old and probably originally DD2.0. I tested other OD programming like recent movies and they were proper DD5.1.

2. What is Improperly Encoded DD5.1? This occurs when a broadcaster or service provider sends a DD5.1 signal, however, any programming that was originally DD2.0 only has audio out the left-front and right-front speakers. There is no audio coming from the centre speaker or the surround speakers. The only way to get (proper) surround sound for this sort of programming is to set the IgniteTV box to stereo and use DPLII in the AVR to decode the incoming 2 channel signal (PCM2Ch from the box) to surround sound.

3. DD2.0 Broadcast Channels: There are some channels that always broadcast DD2.0. These channels will still have Improperly Encoded DD5.1 with no audio out the centre and surround speakers. These include channels like TVO, The Weather Network, CP24, Stingray Channels including, unfortunately, the two Stingray 4K music channels. Although I can't be certain, the following other channels are also affected in this way. TFO, CBLFT, PBS/WNED, TSC, any originally SD channels, etc.

4. Always DD5.1 Broadcast Channels. There are some channels like CBC that always send a DD5.1 signal, however, you will get proper DD5.1 audio when the original programme was DD5.1, however, if the original programme was DD2.0, you will get improperly encoded DD5.1, with no audio from the centre/surround speakers. This is CBC's choice and is not a Rogers issue. This can be very confusing for some people not familiar with all this

5. So, recorded programming now follows the above paragraphs, rather than being different from live programming (assuming Expert or DD output setting)

6. Disney+. I checked a few programmes and they were all proper DD5.1, even some "older" programming.

7. Other Apps Like Netflix. It is my understanding that most programming on Netflix is proper DD5.1. I believe that most programming on YouTube is PCM2Ch and may end up producing Improperly Encoded DD5.1. Not sure about other apps since I don't have them.

8. There is one more step for Rogers to take to make things work properly for audiophiles and that is to provide us with DD2.0 signals for those channels that are DD2.0. In this way the AVRs can decode these signals to provide surround sound for these channels and DD5.1 for (proper) DD5.1 channels without switching the audio output in the IgniteTV box. 

You can now set the Audio Output of the IgniteTV box to Expert or DD, instead of stereo and most programming will now be proper DD5.1, but not all, as discussed above.

@CommunityHelps : You may wish to forward this information to your IgniteTV audio experts.  I'm happy that the audio from IgniteTV recordings is better. (still not resolved for DD2.0 programming/channels)


Re: IgniteTV Surround Sound

I'm a senior advisor

and the worst TV station out there is CBC. Commercials are in DD5.1 but their shows are in DD2.0 so you get massive volume flucuations. Commercials very load, shows very soft.

The other partulare show that has bad audio is America's Got Talent on City-TV. It attempts to be in DD5.1 with words spiking into DD5.1 but stays in stereo. Just quick blasts of volume occasionally.

Re: IgniteTV Surround Sound

Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Biollw wrote:...Just quick blasts of volume occasionally.

I also hear this on some programming. I believe what happens is that the broadcaster is using some sort of volume leveling device/algorithm.  When the background audio is soft, if the narrator comes on again at a louder level, the volume of the dialogue/narrator will be loud until the volume level algorithm/device kicks in after about a second or so.  I hear this on nature programming which I watch a lot.  But this is getting off the topic of this thread. 😉

PS. I watch CBC a lot and I don't have a huge volume difference between DD5.1 and DD2.0 programming.  Perhaps it's the way I have my speaker levels set.  PPS, not all CBC programming is DD2.0.  For example, The Nature of Things is DD5.1.  I believe Hockey is DD5.1.  

Re: IgniteTV Surround Sound

Resident Expert
Resident Expert

I'm pleased to report that Rogers is no longer sending improperly encoded DD5.1 for DD2.0 channels (as discussed in points 2, 3 & 8 of post 1) .  This means that channels like TVO, TSC, TWN, CP24, Vision, PBS, and most importantly Stingray Now4K and Stingray Festival4K, which are DD2.0 are getting through to my AVR as DD2.0.  I can decode these using DPLII for proper surround sound on those channels.  Same for any SD channels which are DD2.0 like Stingray Music Channels, etc.


The only channels that are now improperly encoded are the broadcasters (like CBC and their affiliates) which send DD5.1 signals all the time. The programming on these channels will be improperly encoded unless the original programme is DD5.1, in which case you'll have proper DD5.1.  This has nothing to do with Rogers.


The above assumes you've set the IgniteTV box audio output to DD or Expert. If you set the box to Stereo, you'll get 2channel PCM to your TV, or sound bar, which is just fine for those devices and the Stereo setting will often eliminate any audio synch issues that some people have reported on their TVs.


I'm not sure when this change took place, but I believe it's pretty recent. Thanks Rogers for finally getting your audio correct.  I hope this doesn't revert at some future date.

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