Question about Yamaha RX-V1500 Receiver

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RXV 1500, I am unable to get 5.1 audio

I have set up the receiver with a Bluray player and a DLP TV 1080i.
The audio does not seem to be working correctly

In an attempt to resolve the issue I just changed some cables.
I now have an HDMI from the bluray straight to the TV and a toslink cable from the bluray to the DVD optical input.

The diplay on the amp shows PCM. I ran through the amp and bluray config settings and they seem to be set to 5.1 sound.

The display on the amp shows L and R speakers only. The center, surrond and sub do not light up. My brother has an smaller unit and his lights up all 5 speakers

i have tried changing the input mode, only auto detect works.


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  • Anonymous Nov 09, 2008

    same problem with same hookups. 1080 P Plasma TV and Playstation 3. Help please

  • mranthro Jan 14, 2009

    I have the exact same problem.  The speaker check function shows all my speakers hooked up correctly.  They light up in order when they are checked during auto setup.  But when playing, only front and left light up, as if only these were detected.

  • Repo Man Jan 15, 2009

    I thought that I updated all when I found the solution. 

    The information from Yamaha was correct however you still need to check the digital audio output from your DVD, Bluray drive. 

    Some if not all optical drivers I set to PCM for digital audio. 
    To receive 5.1 or higher change the digital output to bitstream. 

    Once I made the change I my sound was in 5.1. 

    Why this information is so hard to find I am not sure. I have noticed that MS Xbox 360 and some Digital cable boxes change bitstream to read Dolby Digital. If all adopted similar changes this would be an easy settings change. 

    I hope this helps


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Just got off the phone with Yamaha customer support, who were very helpful.  The display on the amp, in the lower right hand corner, displays the source input, not the output.  So, for example, you can be watching cable tv, and the cable tv is sending a 2-channel stereo signal to your receiver.  Your amp shows only L and R.  But since it has a processing system, depending on the processing program you have chosen it will probably distribute that sound to all five speakers.  You will be confused, because you hear sound from all speakers but you only see L and R lit up.  You will believe that you are not getting 5.1 sound.  And you will be correct: you aren't, because the source is not sending you a five-channel signal.  That's where I got panicked.  So the Yamaha representative said, insert a DVD that you absolutely know contains a Dolby Digital audio.  I inserted Shaolin Soccer DVD, went straight to a scene in the middle, and bingo!  The center and surround right and left speaker lights lit up!  So there is the 5.1 surround sound.  It will light up when it detects that kind of sound from the source.  Otherwise it will probably give you a sort of "fake" 5-channel sound that it creates from a 2-channel source.
Now the question becomes, are your connections getting the 5-channel sound to the amp correctly?  I just confirmed that my DVD, connected with a Coaxial cable to the Yamaha, does get 5.1 surround sound, if the sound is encoded in the DVD.  I have not tested this yet with video games or Blu-Rays; I will post again if and when I confirm that this works on a PS3.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009

  • mranthro Jan 15, 2009

    OK, now I am even more confused than before.  As noted, the Yamaha was receiving only 2 channels, but when I put a DVD in my DVD player (not my PS3), it did detect 5 channels.  Great.  After reading your post, however, I decided to try the same thing in my PS3.  To my astonishment, the PS3 is outputting only 2 channels.  Ack!

    I went into Sound Settings, then Audio Output settings.  Then it asks you to select the cable you are using.  I have an HDMI connecting the PS3 to my HDTV, with a standard RCA connecting the TV to the Yamaha.  Then it asks me to select Automatic or Manual.  If I go to Automatic, I notice it says only PCM 2-channel output is selected.  So I go to Manual and check Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1.  Then I save the settings.  But when I put in a Blu-Ray disc, the Yamaha tells me it is receiving only 2 channels (displays only L and R).  I go back into Audio Output settings, and the Dolby Digital and DTS boxes are unchecked again, and the Automatic is selected with only 2-channel outputs listed.  In other words, my new settings are not sticking.  As a result, I am not getting true surround sound through the PS3.  I will try to find the answer to this problem; meanwhile, any suggestions?

  • mranthro Jan 15, 2009

    All righty.  Problem fixed.  Like the rank beginner that I am, I was unaware that RCA cables are simply incapable of transmitting Dolby or other cinema surround sounds.  So when I sent the Blu-Ray signal to my TV through an HDMI cable, and the TV sent it to the amp through the RCA cables, the Dolby encoding was lost and all I got was Yamaha's imitation DSP, which is pretty good but not the same.

    So I went online and looked at a few other forums, and the solution was buying optical cables.  I got a 4-foot optical cable, and linked it from my PS3 to the "CD" optical input on the back of the Yamaha.  Then I went back into the PS3's Sound Settings and from there into Audio Output settings.  I selected the optical cable instead of HDMI.  Now the video signal goes through the HDMI cable to the TV, but the audio signal goes through the optical cable to the Yamaha.  I put in a Blu-Ray disc with Dolby Digital sound, waded through the menus, played a scene and ... bingo!  All 5 speaker lights lit up on the Yamaha, indicating true cinema surround sound.  Problem solved.  

    By the way, then I did this nifty thing with the Yamaha where you can change an optical input's name, so now when I press "CD" it displays "PS3"... nifty.

    Now I have Dolby coming from the DVD player through a coaxial cable, and from the PS3 through the optical cable, both successfully; only thing left to mess with is the cable box.  I'm just waiting for a program I know to have Dolby sound to come on, and we'll see; I also hooked up the cable box directly to the amp with an optical cable.  But the DVD and Blu-Ray problems are definitely solved.


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