No Netflix 5.1 or HD video 5.1 audio FAQ

I’m a new adopter to the WD LIve PLus product, and suffered through a bunch of surround sound issues with the WD yesterday.  Found a lot of threads with users with similar issues.  Here is what I found to hopefully help someone else so they don’t need to suffer like I did.  :slight_smile:

1)  Netflix.  With the latest firmware, you can watch HD video with 5.1 surround sound via HDMI or optical.  Mine wasn’t working, so I logged into my netflix account to see what was up.  Turns out with changes to Netflix to accomidate customers with ISP bandwdith caps, your Netflix account defaults to the lowest bandwidth.  That means grainy sub-VHS quality and 2 channel sound.  Select the best quality, and you get HD video + 5.1 surround again.

2)  5.1 audio from local movies:  As much as the latest firmware is supposed to pass AAC audio through the HDMI and optical, it seems that 5.1 ends up coming through as en empty Dolby Digital container, with no channels (so no audio).  This is typically found on MP4 movies.  If you download the free app “Handbrake”, you can open the movie, and in the audio tab, select “AC3 passthgrough”.  And then re-encode.  This will fix the issue, and you’ll get 5.1 output.  If you re-encode and leave the AAC in there as track #1, you will need to select the different audio source when the movie is playing.

For my setup, I wanted to be able to use the WD TV Live Plus in the main TV room over HDMI, as well as pass it into my AVR’s zone 2 so I could watch it in other rooms in my house.  Best solution is to:

1)  Connect the HDMI to the main zone.

2)  Connect the optical cable, and select “optical passthrough” for the audio.

3)  Connect the component video cable for zone 2.

So now, I can pass 3 channels of component video + coaxial bitstream audio throughout my house, and watch HDMI+optical audio in the main zone.

Hope this helps someone out.

I should also add, if you run into issues with no audio (from Netflix or otherwise), a simple power on/off with the remote will reset the box, and it should be fine.

none of that helps, no audio in Dolby Digital with netflix with optical pass through, will play stereo but no 5.1