Friday, September 25, 2009

Dolby Digtal 5.1 Suround Sound Audio?

I recently finished installing a surround sound audio system for my living room at home, and I have become interested in which stations pass Dolby Digital (DD) 5.1 or 2.0 channel audio.
5.1 audio stands for 4 surround speakers (one each side of the viewer), 1 center channel (dialog), and the ".1" stands for the sub woofer. 2.0 channel audio is just basic stereo audio composed of two channels of audio.

Many shows produced in HDTV (if not all) include 5.1 audio, but it takes special gear to handle the audio in most cases, so it also depends on the encoder at the local affiliates.

So as to which stations push 5.1 audio when available by market:

Rochester/Austin/Mason City:

KIMT > 5.1
KAAL > 2.0
KTTC > 2.0
KSMQ > 2.0
KYIN > 2.0 (see note at the bottom)
KXLT > 5.1

Twin Cites:

KTCA > 5.1
WCCO > 5.1
KSTP > 5.1
KMSP > 5.1
KARE > 5.1
KTCI > 2.0
WUCW > 2.0
WFTC > 2.0 (see note again)
KPXM > 2.0
KSTC > 5.1

LaCrosse/Eau Claire:

WKBT > 5.1
WEAU > 5.1
WXOW > 2.0
WQOW > 2.0
WLAX > 5.1
WHWC > 2.0
WHLA > 2.0
WEUX > 5.1

(notes: KYIN is a member of Iowa Public Television and they are rumored to be adding 5.1 audio to the HD sub channel in the coming months on all of their stations.
WFTC surprised me, but then I went and looked and in the 3 biggest markets (NYC, LA, and Chicago) Fox owned My Network affiliates are also not running 5.1 audio, so in the Twin Cities, it is probably not a high priority. WFTC is an Owned and Operated [O&O] of Fox. Also remember that only the HD sub channels include 5.1, depending on station of course.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

WEUX now in HD!

Months after the digital transition, the chief engineer for Eau Clare's FOX affiliate WEUX announced on the AVS Forum that they began broadcasting in HD this afternoon (9/10/09) at around 2:08PM. The HD subchannel is on 48.1 and the SD version is 48.2.