Networking WD HD Live - USB vs. Cat-6 Ethernet

Hello All.  Thanks in advance for anyone who may be able to assist.  I have been running the WD HD Live for roughly a year now with very good success.  Until the last few weeks, I have been running my movies (blu-ray and dvd) off a WD Elements external hard drive.  Until recently, I had very good success playing .ISO and .MKV DVD movies and .MKV Blu-ray movies.  Now, I am not able to play .ISO versions of my DVD and Blu-ray movies - WD HD Live no longer recognizes the .ISO format.  That is not the main reason for this post, but if anyone has a suggestion on how to get that file format recognized I would appreciate it.

The main reason for this post is due to an issue that I’ve been experiencing with the Audio.  My Pioneer VSX-1018AH receiver automatically detects the audio format (DTS, for example, will automatically be detected and appear on the screen of the receiver) and plays the movie in that audio format.  That was occurring fine when I was connecting the WD Elements external hard drive via USB directly to the WD HD Live.  Recently, I ran a Cat-6 ethernet cable through my basement to my WD HD Live in my living room.  All connections are working perfectly and I am able to play movies directly from my Synology DS1511+ without any skips, delays, etc.  The only oddity is that my Pioneer VSX-1018AH receiver no longer automatically detects that a movie is running DTS audio like it used to when connected directly to the WD HD Live via USB.  The movies only run in standard Dolby Digital.  I get audio and video without a problem, but I would like the proper audio format to be detected automatically (like it used to) rather than just defaulting to standard Dolby Digital audio format.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this?

In case it is helpful, these are the relevant components within my home theater system:

  • WD HD Live (firmware 1.04.22)
  • Pioneer VSX-1018AH (connected to WD HD Live via HDMI)
  • Synology DS1511+ NAS (5 - 2TB hard drives running RAID5 - appears as Media Center in WD HD Live)

If it says Dolby Digital, then it’s receiving Dolby Digital.   And if it’s receiving Dolby Digital, it’s because that’s what the audio track is.   

The WD has no way of transcoding DTS into Dolby Digital, so the file must have Dolby inside it.  There is no “Default,” except for Stereo, and Stereo is sent as PCM, not Dolby.

I have a Pioneer in the same family as yours, and it’s working correctly…  How is your Live connected to the Pioneer?

I have a Sumsung PS50C550 plasma TV connected HDMI to the WDTV Live box. The audio from the Samsung TV is connected optically to a Yamaha RXV457 5.1 amplifier. The audio from the WDTV Live box is also connected optically to a Yamaha RXV457 5.1 amplifier. On some DVD and bluray titles I can switch between the Samsung TV input and the WDTV Live input and hear the difference. The WDTV Live seems to loose digital information. It may be the case that a 5.1 amplifier handles digital streams differently to a 7.1 amplifier.

I would suggest that you use an optical interconnect between the WDTV Live and the amplifier. Switch between the sources and listen for any differences. Manufacturers will not disclose technical details of the components they use. The audio should be identical. If there is a difference you will know that the HDMI and optical audio streams are decoded by different decoding streams.  

In my case I have not bothered to investigate farther. The issue only affects a few DVD and bluray titles and I switch over to the Samsung TV digital decoding.  

It also may be the case that I live in Australia and the issue only affects Australian PAL DVD and bluray titles.

Thanks for your reply.  Sorry for my delay in responding.  I connect my receiver via HDMI to my WD HD Live, and the receiver is HDMI to the TV.

Just to clarify, the setting of standard Dolby DIgital on my receiver is something that I set manually.  Through a button on the front of the receiver or the remote.  It is not being detected by the receiver.  When I backup my Blu-rays, I only do a main movie backup and select the DTS Master audio which is pretty standard on the Blu-rays.  All other audio formats do not exist within the .ISO or .MKV file that I create.

At this point, I believe that I am down to the issue either being with (1) the CAT-6 Ethernet Cable and it’s capabilities of transferring audio over it -or- (2) a limitation or setting within the Synology DS1511+ that does not exist or needs changing.

My assumption is that CAT-6 Ethernet should be able to transfer both audio and video with a .ISO or .MKV file without any loss of functionality, but I don’t exactly know how to confirm that.  I am further confused that my receiver detects, and clearly plays the DTS audio for this same file (my receiver will switch its display from the manually set “Dolby Digital” to “DTS” automatically), when it is connected via USB on an external hard drive to the WD HD Live.  

I have a feeling it has something more to do with setting up the Media Center on Synology, but would like to know if anyone can give more guidance.

Thanks again for the help.

When you’re using NETWORK SHARES, It’s not sending “Audio” and “Video” stuff.   It’s just sending the file in its own raw format.

If you’re using MEDIA SERVERS,  it’s up the MEDIA SERVER itself how it sends the data.     In your case, it sounds like somehow the media is being “Transcoded” to some other format.

SInce you’re using a Synology NAS, you ought to be able to use Network Shares and avoid the whole issue.