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Bv11 Nvidia Shield Netflix - no 5.1 audio

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Marcello
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Marcello posted on Tue, Mar 28 2017 11:46 AM

Hello, I was wondering if anyone has managed to output 5.1 audio from the Netflix app on the Shield. 

O matter what I try I get stereo only. Netflix says that the output device must support Dolby Digita plus for surround sound to be enabled but somehow it does not work. At some point I doubted the 11 supported DD+ so I removed the speaker grille and check the service label to confirm and it does indeed support the standard. 

Any tips? The net is full of similar complaints but none are related to B&O. 

Thanks in advance,

Marcello

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Michael
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Michael replied on Tue, Mar 28 2017 10:20 PM
Marcello:

Hello, I was wondering if anyone has managed to output 5.1 audio from the Netflix app on the Shield.

O matter what I try I get stereo only. Netflix says that the output device must support Dolby Digita plus for surround sound to be enabled but somehow it does not work. At some point I doubted the 11 supported DD+ so I removed the speaker grille and check the service label to confirm and it does indeed support the standard.

Any tips? The net is full of similar complaints but none are related to B&O.

Thanks in advance,

Marcello

I also don't have surround on the shield. Super annoyed at it. Seems that the android app Netflix has developed ..sucks. It doesn't detect properly. After a few weeks it stops noticing 4K ability as stucks at Hd instead. Happened twice here and always stereo sound. On my Apple TV I get Netflix surround and on PlayStation 4 too I believe.
Michael
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I have the same issue on my Avant 55" with Nvidia Shield TV. I get 4K netflix but only stereo sound. On Apple TV I get Surround but no 4K (since it doesnt support it). I haven't contacted netflix about it because the only way to get contact with them is by phone.

 

Also, after a few weeks 4K usually stops working on netflix @ Nvidia Shield TV - downgrading itself to HD graphics. I haven't found a good solution to that isolated issue yet except for resetting the box to factory defaults.

 

boskonay
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Just to chime in that I've the same issue.

Shield on both Avant 85 and BeoVis 14, neither will play 5.1 (they will try, but the sound is choppy and echoey).

 

Apple TV on the same TV's will do 5.1 no issue

Marcello
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I think the problems lies in the shield ability to only decode and output DD Plus and not DD (licensing issues I gathered from googling... we are not alone).I have done some further testing with Amazon Prime (If you want to give it a go and you're not a member I think there is a free trial). All Amazon Originals (like Goliath just to name one) are marked as 5.1 and I only get PCM 2.0

Plex on the other hand decodes DD and DD Plus and transforms into PCM 5.1, but there is apparently no way to get an untouched DD+ stream to the TV from the Shield (the kind where sound info displays "DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS" - only way to get that has been to use Plex's DLNA server)

So it's pretty clear that it's a Shield issue in my opinion, and not the individual app's developers. I think it has poor to nonexistent capabilities do detect the TV abilities to decode DD+ (and judging from all your contents even more important stuff like 4K). Since the Shield is on B&O's "Idea Catalogue" it would be good if they rang Nvidia and let them know... :D

And to get even more pissed off, here is my chat with Manson from Nvidia Customer Care.

Please note that "Concluded from end user" actually means "The customer hit so hard the END CHAT button like we used to smash a traditional phone to hang up in the good old days".

 

47:08 AM]Hi, my name is Mansoor. How may I help you?
[06:48:24 AM]Marcello : Hello Mansoor. I received today my Shield TV 16 GB. There is no way to output 5.1 sound to my TV. My TV is a Bang & Olufsen Beovision 11 and it supports and decodes Dolby Digital Plus. I tried both Netflix and Amazon Prime apps. I already spoke to Netflix and they say the problem is on the shield...
[06:48:31 AM]Mansoor: Hello Marcello,
[06:53:34 AM]Mansoor: I am sorry to know that
[06:53:43 AM]Mansoor: Since when are you facing this issue?
[06:54:28 AM]Marcello : Today. I received it today.
[06:56:40 AM]Mansoor: Have you installed the latest updates for the device?
[06:57:45 AM]Marcello : Yes it installed automatically when I powered it up for the first time. The Netflix app does not show a Dolby Digital track available. And both Netflix and Amazon Prime output only stereo sound, not 5.1.
[06:59:01 AM]Mansoor: What is TV model number you are using?
[06:59:26 AM]Marcello : Brand is Bang & Olufsen, model is Beovision 11
[06:59:42 AM]Marcello : It supports Dolby Digital Plus.
[07:00:31 AM]Mansoor: Have you connected the SHIELD Android TV to the TV directly using the USB cable?
[07:01:18 AM]Marcello : You mean the HDMI cable. Yes
[07:01:27 AM]Mansoor: Yes
[07:01:38 AM]Marcello : Yes I did
[07:02:25 AM]Mansoor: Are you using HDMI 2.0 cable version?
[07:03:40 AM]Marcello : No, I'm not using 4K. My TV is Full HD 1080p, not 4K. HDMI 2.0 is not required for Surround sound.
[07:06:06 AM]Mansoor: Have many HDMI ports do you have the TV?
[07:06:16 AM]Marcello : 5
[07:06:39 AM]Marcello : they are all the same
[07:07:14 AM]Mansoor: Do you have another HDMI cable with you?
[07:09:01 AM]Marcello : I tried 2 cables already. the cable works. It's your device which does not detect that my tv is compatible. Apparently I am not the only one many people have the same problems
[07:10:20 AM]Mansoor: Have you tried Youtube app?
[07:11:50 AM]Marcello : I'm not interested in youtube, I'm interested in Netflix which is the reason why i bought your product sorry.
[07:12:06 AM]Marcello : Obviously you cannot help me.
[07:12:08 AM]'Marcello ' disconnected ('Concluded by End-user').

 

 

Michael
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Marcello:

I think the problems lies in the shield ability to only decode and output DD Plus and not DD (licensing issues I gathered from googling... we are not alone).I have done some further testing with Amazon Prime (If you want to give it a go and you're not a member I think there is a free trial). All Amazon Originals (like Goliath just to name one) are marked as 5.1 and I only get PCM 2.0

Plex on the other hand decodes DD and DD Plus and transforms into PCM 5.1, but there is apparently no way to get an untouched DD+ stream to the TV from the Shield (the kind where sound info displays "DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS" - only way to get that has been to use Plex's DLNA server)

So it's pretty clear that it's a Shield issue in my opinion, and not the individual app's developers. I think it has poor to nonexistent capabilities do detect the TV abilities to decode DD+ (and judging from all your contents even more important stuff like 4K). Since the Shield is on B&O's "Idea Catalogue" it would be good if they rang Nvidia and let them know... :D

And to get even more pissed off, here is my chat with Manson from Nvidia Customer Care.

Please note that "Concluded from end user" actually means "The customer hit so hard the END CHAT button like we used to smash a traditional phone to hang up in the good old days".

47:08 AM]Hi, my name is Mansoor. How may I help you? [06:48:24 AM]Marcello : Hello Mansoor. I received today my Shield TV 16 GB. There is no way to output 5.1 sound to my TV. My TV is a Bang & Olufsen Beovision 11 and it supports and decodes Dolby Digital Plus. I tried both Netflix and Amazon Prime apps. I already spoke to Netflix and they say the problem is on the shield... [06:48:31 AM]Mansoor: Hello Marcello, [06:53:34 AM]Mansoor: I am sorry to know that [06:53:43 AM]Mansoor: Since when are you facing this issue? [06:54:28 AM]Marcello : Today. I received it today. [06:56:40 AM]Mansoor: Have you installed the latest updates for the device? [06:57:45 AM]Marcello : Yes it installed automatically when I powered it up for the first time. The Netflix app does not show a Dolby Digital track available. And both Netflix and Amazon Prime output only stereo sound, not 5.1. [06:59:01 AM]Mansoor: What is TV model number you are using? [06:59:26 AM]Marcello : Brand is Bang & Olufsen, model is Beovision 11 [06:59:42 AM]Marcello : It supports Dolby Digital Plus. [07:00:31 AM]Mansoor: Have you connected the SHIELD Android TV to the TV directly using the USB cable? [07:01:18 AM]Marcello : You mean the HDMI cable. Yes [07:01:27 AM]Mansoor: Yes [07:01:38 AM]Marcello : Yes I did [07:02:25 AM]Mansoor: Are you using HDMI 2.0 cable version? [07:03:40 AM]Marcello : No, I'm not using 4K. My TV is Full HD 1080p, not 4K. HDMI 2.0 is not required for Surround sound. [07:06:06 AM]Mansoor: Have many HDMI ports do you have the TV? [07:06:16 AM]Marcello : 5 [07:06:39 AM]Marcello : they are all the same [07:07:14 AM]Mansoor: Do you have another HDMI cable with you? [07:09:01 AM]Marcello : I tried 2 cables already. the cable works. It's your device which does not detect that my tv is compatible. Apparently I am not the only one many people have the same problems [07:10:20 AM]Mansoor: Have you tried Youtube app? [07:11:50 AM]Marcello : I'm not interested in youtube, I'm interested in Netflix which is the reason why i bought your product sorry. [07:12:06 AM]Marcello : Obviously you cannot help me. [07:12:08 AM]'Marcello ' disconnected ('Concluded by End-user').

I know 5.1 Netflix on Nvidia shield TV works for many other people. It might be a problem in how the shield or Netflix detects what is possible and not. We know the B&O tv supports the Dolby necessary, and HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 (in my case). And still fails. The software seems two years old too, Netflix on the shield..
Marcello
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Michael:

I know 5.1 Netflix on Nvidia shield TV works for many other people. It might be a problem in how the shield or Netflix detects what is possible and not. We know the B&O tv supports the Dolby necessary, and HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 (in my case). And still fails. The software seems two years old too, Netflix on the shield..

I'm starting to believe that the BV11 does not support DD+ from HDMI, but only from USB or DLNA. I exported the BV11 EDID using a Mac and it only returns support for LPCM, DD (AC3), and DTS but no DD+ (EAC3). Here's an extract :

Data Block Collection #3 - Type 1

Audio Type Block
Supported format: Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM), on 8 channels
Supported freq: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz, 192kHz
Supported sample sizes: 16 bit, 20 bit, 24 bit

Supported format: AC3, on 6 channels
Supported freq: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz
Maximum bitrate: 640kHz

Supported format: DTS, on 6 channels
Supported freq: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz
Maximum bitrate: -512kHz

So, if the above is reliable (and I honestly can't see why i shouldn't), the Shield is not at fault, but B&O is guilty of providing misleading information in the BV11 specs sheet, where Dolby Digital Plus is clearly mentioned (without discriminating between internal and external sources).
As for you guys with the Avant, I would not know, but I have the feeling it should work.
I sent a request to Beocare with the specific question "Is DD+ (EAC3) supported from HDMI sources?" but they are taking their time in getting back to me...
Michael
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Nice dig Marcello. I've reached out to Nvidia and we are investigating too. I bought a PS4 pro which does give my surround sound. I guess by DD+. Maybe the EDID data from the beovision is misleading/false but since the PS4 allows the output and also Apple TV I'm not so sure. They must be using the same codec (right?). Netflix doesn't really let you see much info. Maybe they just decode internally and send as PCM (I haven't checked yet/don't remember). If so, maybe that's the flaw with the Nvidia shield..

So many things that can be wrong :)
Marcello
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Michael:
Nice dig Marcello. I've reached out to Nvidia and we are investigating too. I bought a PS4 pro which does give my surround sound. I guess by DD+. Maybe the EDID data from the beovision is misleading/false but since the PS4 allows the output and also Apple TV I'm not so sure. They must be using the same codec (right?). Netflix doesn't really let you see much info. Maybe they just decode internally and send as PCM (I haven't checked yet/don't remember). If so, maybe that's the flaw with the Nvidia shield..

So many things that can be wrong :)

Are you sure it's DD+ and not DD? I have a PS4 too and I have never seen any options to have higher quality than vanilla DD/DTS. 

The best way to check is to play something, access SETUP--> SOUND ---> SOUND INFO on the BV and you should either get "DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1" or "DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS".

As for the Shield, it's now pretty clear that it behaves this way:

If the HDMI sink supports DD PLUS, it will let you select the "English 5.1" track in Netflix (that's what Netflix told me - obviously I have never seen it since the TV is considered not compatible)

If it does not, the Netflix app picks the Stereo track. There is no decoding made on the shield because they did not license the rights from Dolby. It simply passes through audio (and Netflix software doesn't do any audio conversion, it's either DD+ or Stereo).

On the other hand, Plex on the Shield takes a DD+ tracks and converts it on the fly to PCM 5.1, which is ok.

Michael
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Marcello:

Are you sure it's DD+ and not DD? I have a PS4 too and I have never seen any options to have higher quality than vanilla DD/DTS.

The best way to check is to play something, access SETUP--> SOUND ---> SOUND INFO on the BV and you should either get "DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1" or "DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS".

As for the Shield, it's now pretty clear that it behaves this way:

If the HDMI sink supports DD PLUS, it will let you select the "English 5.1" track in Netflix (that's what Netflix told me - obviously I have never seen it since the TV is considered not compatible)

If it does not, the Netflix app picks the Stereo track. There is no decoding made on the shield because they did not license the rights from Dolby. It simply passes through audio (and Netflix software doesn't do any audio conversion, it's either DD+ or Stereo).

On the other hand, Plex on the Shield takes a DD+ tracks and converts it on the fly to PCM 5.1, which is ok.

I'll check today if I can. I have been emailing back and forth with Nvidia and I've been looking into the tech specs for the beosystem 4 and Avant 55 2014. Both is said to feature Dolby digital plus capabilities (even my v1-40 is!). So it should technically work. The issue I can imagine is either if B&O stopped paying royalties and removed it by firmware or that the firmware is flawed either in the B&O system software or Nvidia Shiels TV. Since I get surround sound from Netflix on both PS4 pro and Apple TV 4(and 3) and just not from Nvidia shield Tv I want to start looking at the issue from there.

Marcello, did you reach out to B&O about the codec for DD+ and EDID confusion?
Marcello
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Michael:

The issue I can imagine is either if B&O stopped paying royalties and removed it by firmware or that the firmware is flawed either in the B&O system software or Nvidia Shiels TV. Since I get surround sound from Netflix on both PS4 pro and Apple TV 4(and 3) and just not from Nvidia shield Tv I want to start looking at the issue from there.

Marcello, did you reach out to B&O about the codec for DD+ and EDID confusion?

It decodes DD+ from DLNA/USB (let's call them internal sources), so I don't think they would remove it for HDMI sources only. And I would be surprised if there was a different license for HDMI sources vs internal.

Beocare did not answer so this morning I tried an alternate way through my dealer and their direct B&O support contacts in Denmark. I will let you know as soon as I get an answer.

 

Michael
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Marcello:

It decodes DD+ from DLNA/USB (let's call them internal sources), so I don't think they would remove it for HDMI sources only. And I would be surprised if there was a different license for HDMI sources vs internal.

Beocare did not answer so this morning I tried an alternate way through my dealer and their direct B&O support contacts in Denmark. I will let you know as soon as I get an answer.

I agree - it shouldn't matter whatever source. Maybe they messed the EDID info up and then they should fix it by software. Thanks for putting so much effort behind it! :)
Marcello
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Update - I think I figured it out and I have to partially eat my hat with B&O.

I found an old Amazon Fire TV box which I had bought years ago and never managed to use it mostly because I was not supposed to import it from the US and it was a geolocation mess.

This device is different in the sense that it has 3 settings for Dolby Digital Plus:

- Auto Detect
- Force Dolby Digital Plus
- Disable Dolby Digital Plus

Whereas the Shield and the Apple TV detect DD+. As we previously discovered, if the TV does not supply properly its capabilities, the Shield will default to Stereo, while the Apple TV will output standard, non-plus DD.

If I force Dolby Digital Plus on the Fire TV and play an Amazon Prime Video, surprise surprise I get a DD+ signal to the TV
If I select auto detect, the signal becomes normal Dolby Digital.

So the TV supports DD+ via HDMI, but if your source does not have the ability to force its output and only relies on auto detection via EDID, it will not work.

Now I just need somebody ad B&O patient enough to listen to all of this...

The initial feedback from B&O has been "Apparently it's a problem with the shield but I will analyse more" - but that was before I remembered having a Fire TV in some cupboard.

Michael
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Marcello:

Update - I think I figured it out and I have to partially eat my hat with B&O.

I found an old Amazon Fire TV box which I had bought years ago and never managed to use it mostly because I was not supposed to import it from the US and it was a geolocation mess.

This device is different in the sense that it has 3 settings for Dolby Digital Plus:

- Auto Detect - Force Dolby Digital Plus - Disable Dolby Digital Plus

Whereas the Shield and the Apple TV detect DD+. As we previously discovered, if the TV does not supply properly its capabilities, the Shield will default to Stereo, while the Apple TV will output standard, non-plus DD.

If I force Dolby Digital Plus on the Fire TV and play an Amazon Prime Video, surprise surprise I get a DD+ signal to the TV If I select auto detect, the signal becomes normal Dolby Digital.

So the TV supports DD+ via HDMI, but if your source does not have the ability to force its output and only relies on auto detection via EDID, it will not work.

Now I just need somebody ad B&O patient enough to listen to all of this...

The initial feedback from B&O has been "Apparently it's a problem with the shield but I will analyse more" - but that was before I remembered having a Fire TV in some cupboard.

Interesting and wow great job Marcello! At the same time I have contact with tier L2 support at Nvidia and they are tying to reproduce it in the US and seem stuck as well. It's a shame if it is a programming error B&O haven't worked out in three years..

Marcello
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Marcello replied on Tue, Apr 11 2017 10:37 AM

Beocare, one week later answered to my direct enquiry with them (which was done prior to my extensive testing) with the following:

I have conferred with the responsible Product Manager and received the following response:
BeoVision 11 supports Dolby Digital Plus via HDMI. Please check the output setting in the Nvidia Shield if it has been changed to Stereo.
 
Please do not hesitate contacting your Bang & Olufsen retailer for further assistance.

Hopefully, the enquiry through my dealer will trigger a better response, because right now I'm at the stage where I'm thinking to sell all my gear and never buy B&O again. Not because of the issue itself, but because of this kind of attitude.
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