Computers & Electronics

Toshiba's ARC/Passthrough from hell

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 15th, 2018 1:02 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2013
996 posts
111 upvotes
Mississauga

Toshiba's ARC/Passthrough from hell

TV in question : Toshiba 55L510U18.
HDMI extractor : (Link)

Set up :
1. Rogers NextBox -> Input 1 on HDMI switcher/ extractor -> TV.
2. Chromecast -> Input 2 on HDMI switch/ extractor -> TV.

When I'm watching TV, I get 1080i, and 5.1 surround sound (whether I'm connected to my home theater via Toslink from the TV, or Toslink from the extractor.
When I use the Chromecast, I only get PCM and hence no 5.1. (Using Netflix, Stereo will give me 2 channel audio, and when I choose Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 - there's no sound at all. no matter where the Toslink is connected.)

I read that DD+ won't pass through optical, and I needed HDMI passthrough. So I have a 3rd HDMI cable from the 3rd Extractor input going to the HDMI output port on the HT (there's no HDMI input.)

Is there a way I can get 5.1 on Chromecast/ Netflix? (Short of returning the TV..)
33 replies
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2013
996 posts
111 upvotes
Mississauga
Yes, optical can pass 5.1, but not Dolby Digital Plus. (Regular Dolby, yes.)
Unfortunately Netflix titles are all DD+ now.
Deal Guru
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Feb 24, 2003
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I didn't know that Netflix is DD+ only.

I just got a 4k TV with only 1080p sources.
Deal Addict
Feb 12, 2010
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Netflix is DD+ only. Depending on what equipment is at the other end of the HDMI, the Netflix app will send 2 channel audio or DD+ audio. I don't think Chromecast manages the audio stream it's just passthru. Can your TV or Home theater decode DD+ or just DD?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2013
996 posts
111 upvotes
Mississauga
Well, the TV has ARC but according to Toshiba, the ARC is only for HDMI CEC and not for passthrough (although it does pass through Digital TV audio for 5.1, it won't passthrough HDMI audio. And this is a 2016 TV! Go figure.)

I believe the HT is able to decode DD+ (it worked fine with my previous Vizio TV and it's passthrough) but somehow I think it's the TV that's blocking it.
Deal Addict
Feb 12, 2010
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The TV has no fault. Netflix will not send DD+ audio if it knows that after all the passthrus the destination can't decode DD+. It will always default to 2 channel audio.
The solution is to have a device that can decode DD+ audio or convert DD+ to DD, but the original DD+ signal has to come thru HDMI cable not optical.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2013
996 posts
111 upvotes
Mississauga
Maybe my previous TV was able to downscale DD+ to DD, because I never had surround issues with Netflix. Oh well.
I'll just return this to Best Buy and buy another Vizio.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2013
996 posts
111 upvotes
Mississauga
Update : I have the Samsung HT-D5100, which apparently does support DD+. Link.
So now I have a Chromecast (2), a HDMI switch and a HT system that all support DD+. But I get nothing.

Suggestions?
Deal Addict
Feb 12, 2010
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I don't think there is anything you can do at this point with the devices you have.
Samsung HT-D5100 is just a simple older Blu-ray player without HDMI input port. Does it have apps? Probably too old to have a working native Netflix app, right?
Not sure if this is even possible, but I wonder if there are HDMI switches that could take DD+ (E-AC3) received from HDMI input and convert it to DD or AC3 for output by optical SPDIF? A switch/extractor like that would work for your situation. It would be connected like this: Chromecast -> HDMI switch -> video to TV & converted DD audio via Optical to HomeTheater unit.
Alternatives:
- get a soundbar that can decode DD+ so you can plug in the Chromecast directly then the video will continue from soundbar to TV.
- upgrade the Blu-ray player to a new one that has native Netflix and can decode DD+, OR a player that has an HDMI input, like OPPO (https://www.lifewire.com/blu-ray-player ... ts-1846523)
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2013
996 posts
111 upvotes
Mississauga
For getting a sound bar that can decide DD+, is it not the same as having the current HT that can decode DD+ anyway?
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apoorv wrote:
Jan 13th, 2018 7:23 am
For getting a sound bar that can decide DD+, is it not the same as having the current HT that can decode DD+ anyway?
Can you describe your previous working setup. Chromecast & Rogers box were connected directly to Vizio TV and then optical cable connected to HT? Why did you get the HDMI switch?
Your home theater doesn't have HDMI input to get DD+ and convert it to DD. A newer soundbar will have HDMI inputs and will be able to get a direct signal from Chromecast, decode DD+ from Netflix and reproduce via its speakers.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2013
996 posts
111 upvotes
Mississauga
Previous set up was Chromecast directly into the Vizio TV, and another HDMI cable towards the HT - and nothing else was needed.
I've had the HDMI switch from before. Just never needed to use it with the Vizio TV.
Deal Addict
Feb 12, 2010
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Can you try to plug everything ike this: HT into HDMI 1 (ARC) port, then Chromecast into HDMI 2. Go to Toshiba's settings to: Sound -> Digital Audio Output -> select Auto (not PCM). Not sure if this will work, but the logic is that the sound from Chromecast will be passed as original DD+ back to HT via ARC on HDMI 1. Again, not sure if this will work. Can you try?

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