Audio problems with HDMI and Toslink

Just picked up one of these players primarily to stream netflix and hulu using a lot less power than my xbox. I also have a small collection of .mp4, .mkv and .avi files on my buffalo nas that so far have seemed to work quite well.

My problems so far have related to audio. I had the Live SMP hooked up to my marantz 7001 AVR via HDMI initially using pass through auto detect. Even though this receiver is DD only (does not decode DD+), I was pleasantly surprised to find the Netflix 5.1 titles I tried lit all all 6 channels on the receiver and seemed to work fine. Unfortunately, when I try to watch a Netflix title with stereo sound, I get no sound whatsoever. Hulu and local media files seem to play stereo just fine. I looked at the receiver and the PCM input indicator light was blinking when playing a netflix stereo track which I assume means something bad. The auto detect feature indicated that I had 7.1 channel LPCM, which I am supposed to, but I tried changing this to 6 and 2 channel with no change in my ability to hear stereo sound from Netflix tracks.

At this point I figured might as well try toslink since I have a spare cable lying around and initially it worked beautifully. I got DTS audio from an mkv file and both 5.1 and stereo sound from Netflix titles depending on their audio tracks. Victorious, I turned the device off and proceeded to gather the family around the projector. After showing off for an hour or two, I turned everything off. When I turned it back on later, all of sudden the audio would drop out on all material (DTS, DD 5.1 and stereo) every few seconds. I did some reading at it seems that the optical jack on the WDTV is a little finicky so I tried wiggling the cable and succeeded only in completely killing all sound from the toslink cable. After several power cycles and more plugging and unplugging of the cable at both ends, still no sound from optical.

I’ve switched back to using HDMI, which still works for everything but stereo Netflix titles. Anyone have any suggestions for how to either get stereo to work through HDMI or get the optical out working again? I ordered another cable just to check that, but otherwise, I don’t know where to start. Thanks.

If you connect the HDMI cable to the TV can you get stereo sound?

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I have been using Toslink on my Onkyo TX-SR700E, since i bought the SMP a few months ago, without any problems.

Do you see light (don’t look directly in/at it!!) when you unplug the cable at the receiver end while playing a file on the smp?

You mentioned the sound died while wiggeling it so it seems either the cable is broken or the connection.

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Sadly my projector does not have speakers. I suspect that if everything were downmixed to stereo it would work, but I’ll have to check.

I have a new toslink cable arriving tomorrow. I will check then to see if the old cable was transmitting any light. I’ll also try a full reset to factory defaults with the new cable to see if that shakes something loose. 

Well this just gets stranger. The old optical cable started doing intermittent sound again after not playing any sounds for a day or two. I got a new cable, plugged it in and no sound whatsoever. I checked the receiver end of the cable and it is illuminated by a red light, but it does not appear to be flashing or blinking (not sure if it should or not). 

Next on my list of things to try are a full reset to factory setting and another optical port on my receiver. 

Any other thoughts? If only stereo sound would work with Netflix over HDMI I could forget about the Toslink entirely. 

Well I think I’ve now tried absolutely everything. I’ve replaced the Toslink cable with a brand new one, tried a different port on the receiver and did a full factory reset. After trying all these things, still no sound. I do see a red light at the receiver end of the cable, but no sound. I have to assume this is a hardware problem at this point. 

This would be a non-issue if only I could get stereo material on netflix to play through HDMI. 

Any thoughts? Anyone else have similar problems?

I did a little more troubleshooting. If I select stereo output, I get stereo sound for netflix. On my receiver it shows up as 2 channel PCM. If I switch it to HDMI pass through though, 5.1 sound comes through fine but stereo sound does not. My receiver’s PCM indicator blinks which I believe indicates it is getting a signal, but cannot “lock” onto it. Yes, I suppose I could simply toggle between stereo and pass through in setup every time I want to watch Netflix, but if it works for both types of content by changing those settings, I don’t understand why it wouldn’t work over HDMI all the time.

The optical digital out issue is even more annoying. It was working perfectly and then started skipping and then stopped working. I’ve tried changing cables, tried a different WD TV SMP, different optical digital inputs on my receiver and even jiggling the cable as some other users have reported. At one point, I got skipping audio again, but that only happened once and I have not been able to get any sound despite power cycles and firmware resets. 

This all seems like software/firmware to me but I would appreciate any feedback from other users. Thanks.