Sky enables Dolby Digital 5.1 over HDMI on Sky+ HD boxes

26 Apr 2013

Sky+ box

Sky has confirmed it is rolling out Dolby Digital 5.1 output over HDMI to selected Sky+ HD set-top boxes.

Sky says the software update is coming to all Sky DRX8xx boxes, so the DRX890 and DRX895 Sky boxes, the latter being the 2TB Sky+ HD box.

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At the moment, Sky+ HD boxes require an HDMI cable to transmit the picture from the box to the TV or projector, and a separate optical digital cable to a home cinema amplifier to output 5.1 surround sound.

You will need to go in to Settings > Sound menu to enable the Dolby DIgital 5.1 over HDMI setting (see below, picture courtesy of SkyUser), once the software update has been pushed to your box.

Sky Dolby DIgital 5.1

The update is being sent out automatically to the relevant Sky+ HD boxes over the next two months.

The software update will then hit other Pace and Samsung set-top boxes "later in the year".

There is also a new Eco mode included in the update, which puts the Sky box in to a low power mode, using just 0.5 watts, when not in use. More details here on Eco mode.

Sky first revealed plans to enable DD 5.1 over HDMI back in July 2009 and it seems like we're finally seeing the update. The ability was already enabled on the latest Sky Amstrad multiroom box.


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Written by Joe Cox

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Comments

Now... Any chance of CEC? Not that in going to hold my breath but it would be nice. 

Eloise

The Reaper wrote:
Thanks for clearing that up.

No probs. No, it's not in any of the instructions IIRC, and the '5.1 over HDMI' update has been 'on the way' for a number of years, at least. Anyway, glad you're getting a better sound with the optical hook-up, and hope you get the HDMI update soon

Quote:
Up to now, probably stereo, which your Samsung has been converting into surround using Dolby Pro-Logic.

Thanks for clearing that up. I have to say, Sky keep that very quiet. I had a look in the instruction book that came with the Box, and there is no mention of having to connect via an optical cable to get DD5.1. From info that was provided on a Sky Forum, the version number of my box indicates that I have one of the boxes that will be getting the update. It hasn't updated yet, and I did do a forced update to see if it would. In the meantime, I have connected the optical cable to my Cinema system, and the improvement in sound is great.

Uffington wrote:
See... I told you I was dumb !!

Not at all – long ago had a Sky installer who was insistent the HDMI had to go straight from box to TV, and couldn't understand why I wanted to connect via AV amp even though I had an optical between box and amp for sound (as one had to do until this recent, long overdue upgrade).

Answer? So both picture and sound switched together when going from Blu-ray, say, to Sky, and of course so ony one HDMI needed to be connected to TV for all sources.

Anyway, no probs, and you're welcome

See... I told you I was dumb !!

 

Thanks for the help ..

 

Uffington

Uffington wrote:
BUT it only has one hdmi out which is connected to the tv...if I connect it to my av amp I lose hd pictures..so what is the point ?

You need a second HDMI cable, to run from the AV amp's monitor output to the TV.

Maybe I'm dumb, but I don't quite get this...My Sky+ box has updated..BUT it only has one hdmi out which is connected to the tv...if I connect it to my av amp I lose hd pictures..so what is the point ?

 

Uffington

Woah, mate. Don't go puttin ideas in their heads Smile

I'm suprised that Sky hasn't called it a 'HD sound pack' and charged £9.99 per month for it. ;) 

The Reaper wrote:
If I'm not getting Dolby Digital 5.1 from that connection, what am I getting?

Up to now, probably stereo, which your Samsung has been converting into surround using Dolby Pro-Logic.

I'm confused. I have my Sky+HD box connected to my Samsung Blu-Ray Home Cinema via HDMI. I've always been under the impression that if a channel is broadcasting Dolby Digital 5.1, that's what I've been listening to. If I'm not getting Dolby Digital 5.1 from that connection, what am I getting?

At the moment, It is convenience more than anything else. One cable rather than two.

Why is this such a big deal? Does the sound quality improve over HDMI, compared with an optical connection, or is it just the convenience factor?

When is this beng rolled out?

 

I have a DRX890 and I did a force update (hold backup and press sky button) last night. No change yet.

The question about why it has taken so long when it could be done with software, its because not much competition so they can do as they like basically

Ignore this - googled it now - just upgraded to multi room and 2tb box for £49. Both other boxes were the older versions.

Can someone remind me how I check if I have one of these boxes please ?

My downstairs one is made by Pace - havent checked the upstairs one yet.

in Virgin Media Samsung box   DD 5.1 I had over 2 yrs ago (it`m mean still got it!) 

If this is something that be solved by firmware WHY has it taken so long?

Finally!