No center channel


I’ve recently bought a new Sony receiver STR-DG720 and I’m having problems with sound coming from optical input.

All my mkv’s AC3 sound misses the center channel. Only the rest of the channels plays ok.

If I put the WD TV Live player on Stereo the sound comes ok. Also the if i set the receiver on 2ch the center channel mixes with the front speaker and i can hear it in stereo mode.

Any one had this problem?


Welcome to the forums.

It sounds more like a problem with your AVR than the Live – the Live will pass through correctly mastered AC3 5.1 audio just fine.

You can post the MediaInfo on a file just to see, but I suspect you’ll need to check out your receiver and find out what’s wrong with the settings there (you also might try HDMI input if your receiver supports that).

I’ve tested the AVR connected to a PS3 with a bluray disk and the sound worked perfectly.

Also worked from a dvd player connected thru HDMI to the AVR.

The only problem is when i connect the WD TV Live player to the AVR on HDMI or optical. I have no sound from center channel.

The receiver also says DolbyDigital 3/2.1 or DTS 3/2.1. When connected to PS3 it’s says Dolby Digital 5.1.

Like Mike says, post the MediaInfo text for one of the files you’re trying.

This is from one of the files.

ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 5 frames
Format settings, GOP             : M=4, N=5
Muxing mode                      : Container profile=Unknown@4.1
Codec ID                         : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                         : 1h 47mn
Bit rate                         : 9 940 Kbps
Width                            : 1 920 pixels
Height                           : 824 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 2.35:1
Frame rate                       : 23.976 fps
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits
Scan type                        : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.262
Stream size                      : 7.30 GiB (92%)
Writing library                  : x264 core 104 r1703 cd21d05
Encoding settings                : cabac=1 / ref=5 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=7 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.15 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=0 / chroma_qp_offset=-3 / threads=12 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=0 / interlaced=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=23 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=9940 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=2:1.00
Language                         : English

ID                               : 2
Format                           : AC-3
Format/Info                      : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension                   : CM (complete main)
Muxing mode                      : Header stripping
Codec ID                         : A_AC3
Duration                         : 1h 47mn
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 640 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth                        : 16 bits
Stream size                      : 492 MiB (6%)
Language                         : Chinese

ID                               : 3
Format                           : UTF-8
Codec ID                         : S_TEXT/UTF8
Codec ID/Info                    : UTF-8 Plain Text
Language                         : English

I’m going to guess that’s a badly formed file (the language is Chinese which tends to make me think this).

Do this – try a known good MKV file (the best thing to do is to use Handbrake and encode something from a DVD or blu-ray but you will also need a ripper if you don’t have one.  However, both DVDFab and AnyDVD have free trial versions you can use) and use the High Profile preset but change the output type to MKV and pass through the AC3/DTS tracks.

If this plays correclty (and I suspect it will) then you know the problem is with your file and not the Live (as it almost surely will be).

I’ve done it.

It was the AVR after all.

After a factory defaults reset to the AVR  and some fiddling with the cables the center channel now works.



Interesting!   Too bad there’s no way to tell now what setting was doing that!

Bits me.

Another thing that I don’t understand is why WD choose only the optical output to send digital sound.

Now that’s not the HDMI cable is supposed to do? :angry:

Well, that’s a different issue.   Yes, the HDMI should (and does) carry digital audio.   I don’t use the optical on any of mine, and I get 5.1 surround out HDMI…  

BUT, the device on the other end of the cable MUST be able to decode it.   If your HDMI is going directly to your TV, the TV must either decode or pass-through the signal to a decoder, or it’s not going to work.

I’m now using the latest beta firmware (1.03.40) and no sound comes thru hdmi cable, except when in stereo.

Thru optical cable works great now.

The AVR should have no problems decoding any sound format, except trueHD.

The specs says:

  • Digital Cinema Sound™ Technology : Yes
  • Dolby® Digital Decoding : Yes
  • Dolby® Digital EX Decoding : Yes
  • Dolby® Pro Logic® Decoding : Yes
  • Dolby® Pro Logic® II Decoding : Yes
  • Dolby® Pro Logic® IIX Decoding : Yes
  • dts® 96/24 Decoding : Yes
  • dts® Decoding : Yes
  • dts® NEO:6 Decoding : Yes
  • dts®-ES Decoding : Yes

My setup is something like this now:

HD STB connected to TV thru HDMI and TV connected to the AVR thru optical cable (no need the receiver power on all the time i watch TV)

PS3 connected thru HDMI to AVR and AVR connected thru HDMI to the TV

WDTV Live connected thru HDMI to the AVR and AVR thru HDMI to TV = no sound

WDTV Live connected thru HDMI to the TV and Optical cable to AVR = sound (DD, DTS all of them)

The problem now is i have just one optical cable. If the player passes thru digital audio thru HDMI i don’t need to buy another cable.

Thx for support :slight_smile:

My guess is you WILL need to buy another cable, albeit an HDMI one.

But first make sure your settings do say “Digital” and not  the third choice (which outputs to Optical without outputting trhough HDMI, for those folks who don’t want their TVs to play the sound).  If this is true, then by all means try another HDMI cable, preferably 1.4 certified (if you live near a Best Buy you can try out a very $$$ one and then return it if it doesn’t make a difference – or even if it does to get one somewhere else).

Then look to see if your AVR actually gets center channel sound from the Live – nearly all modern AVRs will tell you what channels they are receiving.  If it says it is not receiving it try swapping the HDMI cables you do have, taking the one to the TV and putting it from the Live to the AVR.  If neither then gets the center channel TO the AVR, then try the more expensive one from Best Buy.

Mike. It’s not the cable.

If it works on a PS3 at 1080P and 5.1 sound, it must also work with WDTV.

My guess is the firmware.

I think i’ll try a older one or the custom firmware from b-rad and then tell you what happend.

You can definitely try, but it can still be the cable – different devices require different cables, and the Live IS particularly sensitive to HDMI 1.4 (we know that makes it work better).

But best of luck to you.

martzipan wrote:

Mike. It’s not the cable.

If it works on a PS3 at 1080P and 5.1 sound, it must also work with WDTV.

My guess is the firmware.

I think i’ll try a older one or the custom firmware from b-rad and then tell you what happend.

I hope that assumption does not come back to bite you. When troubleshooting assumptions are not valid and nor are guesses.

After a reset to the player and then resetting the audio to digital the sound works now.

There you go. No problems with the cables.

My guess was the firmware because I’ve tested my PS3 when I purchased it with a cheap cable and the image keep disappearing. Then I’ve purchased some Sony HDMI 1.3 cables and all my problems disappeared.

The WD it’s using the same Sony cables. Believe me, PS3 uses lot’s more bandwidth.

martzipan wrote:

 Believe me, PS3 uses lot’s more bandwidth.


Nah, they use the exact same amount of bandwidth when the display and audio modes are the same.

But good that you found the issue!