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Can I use a audio DAC on my DirectTv HD DVR box?


mr macgee
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Hi,

 

Can I use a audio DAC on my DircTv HD DVR box (model HR21) to listen to the radio stations/music channels for my 2 way stereo music?

 

I would like to be able use my audio DAC for music channels on the DirecTv box and watching movies using my stereo for sound like I do with my Mac. The model comes with 1 Digital Optical & 1 Digital (coaxial) outputs but I think it's for 5.1. I don't want to test my DAC with fear of damaging it with a wrong voltage signal going into it and there is no reference in the lame manual.

 

Not sure at all about this, I'm not a big video tech, mostly an audio guy looking to improve the sound through my DirecTV box.

 

I hope this is the correct forum, let me know if there is a better place to post.

 

Thanks,

 

Macgee

 

Lyngdorf TDA2200 int.\ Accuphase E-211 int.~ Totem \Mani's & "The One\" monitors~Bryston BDA-1 DAC~Halide HD DAC~Micromega Transport~AnTi cables & Synergistic Research cables~JohnBlue JB3~(mod) Totem orig. Model One monitors[br]Mini Mac,1.8ghz Core 2 Duo

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I can't comment specifically on your DirecTV box but most satellite boxes I've come across will somewhere in their setup let you select the Digital Output to be 2 channel (maybe PCM or Normal) or 5.1 channel (Bitstream). If you get it wrong, the worst you'll get is white noise through your DAC so keep volume down low to test as it's possible (but unlikely) to damage speakers. You may find that the output also varies per channel.

 

Hope this helps.

Eloise

 

P.S. quick google seams to confirm can be set to output PCM which will be compatible with a DAC.

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks Eloise,

 

I'll check it out but I only found a vague comment that it's only for 5.1. I read that the main problem is that the digital signal coming out of the box is in dolby format and that audio dac's can't read. This is very random internet info that I can't confirm is true.

 

All help and suggestions is greatly appreciated. It would be awesome if it can be done.

 

Cheers

 

Lyngdorf TDA2200 int.\ Accuphase E-211 int.~ Totem \Mani's & "The One\" monitors~Bryston BDA-1 DAC~Halide HD DAC~Micromega Transport~AnTi cables & Synergistic Research cables~JohnBlue JB3~(mod) Totem orig. Model One monitors[br]Mini Mac,1.8ghz Core 2 Duo

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I thought I would reply and say thank you for all the replies and help. In another forum, I received some very useful replies and as well in this one.

 

It works but jury is still out whether it's any better sounding with a DAC or not. As I was trying to A/B my tube amp had a break down. Once I fix it, I'll give more time but currently with a Enlighten Audio Design DSP-700 DAC it sounded slightly a bit thin and bright, less mid-bass but had more transparency. It was very, very similar in sounding even though the EAD DAC should be a way better DAC than what's inside the channel box.

To be honest, I need to use a proper digital 75ohm coax cable which I couldn't find in my box of goodies. I just used one regular audio interconnect cable for the digital out which is not good but wanted to see if I got sound. With the a Enlighten Audio Design DSP-700, I received a solid lock on the dig. out signal from the DirecTv box.

 

Below is a reply from AVS Forum:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr_macgee

I guess the questions is: Can I get a PCM digital signal out of the HR21 DirecTv box through any of it's available ports?

 

"You can leave your HR-21 set for 5.1 Dolby Digital and still get a PCM signal for your 2 channel DAC when it comes to those XM/Sirius music channels. Any channel that is NOT in DD, 5.1, 2.0 or DD Mono for that matter is not a problem as all those other stations, still broadcast a 48khz PCM signal....PERIOD! There is No DD AC-3 signal to be found on most of their broadcast channels.

I can't think of any stations that broadcast DD except the HD channels and their Premium SD Channel equivilants these days. For instance AMC and LMN are broadcast 48khz PCM as most of non-premium channels do.

 

I listen to The Loft on a fairly regular basis using the Xtreme DACs in my Casablanca and what I get is 2 channels of 48khz PCM, regardless of what the receiver is set to.

You can forget the USB port for audio but the TOS will work fine and I doubt any HR-21 has a coax output unless it's a "HR-21 Pro" model. I also route the HDMI output of the HR-21 to my video processor and it can output the audio via coax to the Casablanca, the video processor verifies it's a PCM signal and both units tell me it's 48khz. I'm not really certain what Glimmie might be referring to here about the AC-3 framework as the Casablanca tells me there is nothing even in the way of a DD signal present when I tune to XM and the same goes for any station that is non-HD/non premium SD, although there may be some exceptions, those stations are not the rule. Those stations will not pop up on XM/Sirius music channels to cause a problem to the OP.

 

Glimmie, if I've missed something about how this all works, please feel free to straighten out what I may have gotten wrong about the AC-3 framework, cause I'm not seeing it in play here buddy.

 

I've been listening to Vince Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" since I was 16 and after 40yrs, I'm not gonna stop now because I have better sources. Meg Griffin, another WNEW-fm N.Y veteran is also there and I still get a kick out of hearing their voices. They often speak of the glory days of FM when that old station ruled the airwaves.

So while DTV more often then not sends a signal that is even worse then what should be normal for their XM/Sirius stations, I still have to tune in from time to time, no matter how they mangle it.

Your own DACs have to be better then what you'll get out of the analog section of that DTV box of yours!"

 

Every station worked with sound through my DirecTv HR21 HD Channel box. I'm just not sure if it's sounds any better but I need to give it a chance and to do a better comparison. The one thing I did notice was that XM sounded poor to the sound coming from the HD TV channels. The sound from the XM is so unsatisfying but it is something to listen to.

 

Thanks for all the help and maybe this post will be useful to others. I certainly would be curious to find from others what they found was better in there set-up.

 

Cheers

__________________

 

 

Lyngdorf TDA2200 int.\ Accuphase E-211 int.~ Totem \Mani's & "The One\" monitors~Bryston BDA-1 DAC~Halide HD DAC~Micromega Transport~AnTi cables & Synergistic Research cables~JohnBlue JB3~(mod) Totem orig. Model One monitors[br]Mini Mac,1.8ghz Core 2 Duo

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