Dolby 5.1


Do we espect to get Dolby support on Tablo soon?



This would require the Tablo to record 2 audio tracks. One the original 5.1 audio track and two the transcoded Stereo audio track.

Reason: devices like the Roku cannot playback 5.1 audio.

I can only assume this will not be soon as it’s a pretty big fundamental change.

The Roku can play 5.1 AC3, I do it all the time. It also can play DD+

Certainly storing both audio streams and picking one to serve based on the client wouldn’t qualify as a fundamental change. Never-the-less, I also assume it won’t be soon as Tablo appears to be in no danger of starting the project.


No it cannot decode those formats. It only passes through the DD and DTS audio. You must have your Roku connected to an AVR. No HDTV decodes DTS. A lot of HDTVs do not decode DD (aka AC3) over HDMI.

@theuser86 Right, it passes AC3 I might have misunderstood the your use of the term “playback”.

Hopefully Tablo starts working (edit:finishes) on this feature ASAP. I have had multiple people tell me its the only reason they wouldn’t buy one.

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There seem to be two problems with the Tablo that their engineers just haven’t solved yet despite working on them for over a year.  One is the hard drive compatibility issues, and the other is the AC3 surround sound support.  

If the Tablo folks can get those two issues resolved, it would go a long way with the consumer base.  
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While Tablo can certainly “work on this”, as other have mentioned, this really has a lot more to do with limitations with your frontend setup, which as some have already mentioned means something more than your typical low cost tiny box (e.g. Roku).   Now, that’s “old HDMI” as things transition to HDMI 2.0 (likely means you’ll throw away a bunch of equipment), then it will support 7.1 sound.  So maybe the best answer (if you don’t mind the HDMI 2.0 upgrade path), is for Tablo to support passing the data and for something like Roku (4?) to handle HDMI 2.0.

That explanation really doesn’t make very much sense to me. I don’t see how almost every other major streaming platform I have used can support surround sound on the Roku except for Tablo has anything to do with HDMI 2.0.


No Roku can decode 5.1 AC3 (aka DD) audio. It only passes it through over HDMI to your HDTV or AVR. Many people do not have an AVR thus need to have 2 audio tracks to support playback for everyone - one 2.0 AAC track and one 5.1 AC3 track. It’s not as simple as everyone thinks.

I may be one of the few but all 4 of my TV’s can decode AC3 5.1… The oldest TV is 9 years old. No AVR needed, sound is output thru the TV speakers.


Mayb HDTVs do not decode 5.1 AC3 over HDMI.

And Why do you need 5.1 AC3 to drive your two Stereo speakers on your HDTV?

@theuser86 I don’t really mind which device is doing the decoding, I just think it should be possible. I don’t think its easy or simple, but if every other company can do it I think Tablo could as well if they dedicate enough resources to it.

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HDTV CAN decode AC3 over HDMI. I do it all of the time.

I only brought it up because in this thread you told philsoft that “A lot of HDTVs do not decode DD (aka AC3) over HDMI.”.

That is why I stated maybe I was lucky before I stated that all of my HDTV’s can & do decode & playback AC3.

At least in my case I would not need a second 2 channel audio. We would only need a 5.1 AC3 channel. That way our AVR could get the whole surround experience & the TV’s could still play thru their speakers if needed.

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Devices (ATV, Roku…) can get AC3 Dolby and if device attached to it has not Dolby support It will able to make Downmix to Stereo mode, isn’t it? Tablo had just to pass the stream and whatever devices receive it will handle it?
What you think?


That is my point. The Roku cannot decode 5.1 AC3, it cannnot downmix 5.1 AC3 to Stereo.

And if you do have a TV that handles a passthrough signal, it works, it’s just that it’s not part of the old HDMI spec, so it’s something where you have to own the equipment that supports it. For you folks claiming that 5.1 is supported by HDMI, it’s not not not unless you alread have higher end HDMI spec’d equipment (the Roku 3 doesn’t qualify as far as I know). Pass through is a very different thing and requires that your frontend equipment handles the data somehow. But you are wrong to tell the world that HDMI does 5.1 sound… that’s just misleading.

(however if you can prove that the whole world now owns frontend TVs and/or AVRs off their TV that can handle the signal, I’ll agree with you)

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This is really quite a silly argument. Why all the technicality? Obviously the people who want 5.1 surround sound already have a receiver. Pass through 5.1 is all we need. The whole world doesn’t need a receiver, but it is an important enough feature for media consumption which enough people care about and who own the necessary equipment that every other company supports it.

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The point is that the Tablo would have to record 2 audio streams. A 2.0 AAC and 5.1 AC3 track.