Spectrum 201-T DVR Surround Sound

I just received a Spectrum 201-T DVR in the Austin, TX market.

Its settings allow me to set the audio to Digital Surround Sound via HDMI.

However its audio output is stereo only.

I get ausome surround sound from my Arris DCX3600 and DCX3510 DVR's via HDMI.

Is there a way to get surround sound out of the Spectrum 201-T in my market?

Lead Moderator

Re: Spectrum 201-T DVR Surround Sound

Good morning.

Are you using a receiver for the surround sound? If so what type? Can you tell us a bit about what steps you have taken to troubleshoot the issue? Have you done reboots of the devices involved and in what order please? Have you tried alternate ports on the TV or a new HDMI cable to rule those out? Was this a self install or had a technician swapped the box for you. Had the previous cable box been defective or had you just added a new piece of equipment/TV to the home? 


Julia R.
Spectrum-Social Media Customer Care
Lead Moderator-Community Forums


Re: Spectrum 201-T DVR Surround Sound

Hello Julia,

After hours of trying everything, I got surround sound out of the Spectrum 201-T DVR!

Repeatedly switching the "Audio Digital Output" setting between "HDMI" and "DolbyDigital"

caused the 201-T to suddenly start outputting Surround Sound rather than Stereo.

(note:  This setting must be "HDMI" to get any sound out of the DVR on the HDMI port)

(my Sony amplifier automatically switches to surround the moment it detects surround)

I then unplugged and re-plugged the HDMI cable at the 201-T

and the output immediately reverted back to Stereo.


Repeatedly switching the "Audio Digital Output" setting between "HDMI" and "DolbyDigital"

caused the 201-T to suddenly start outputting Surround Sound rather than Stereo.

My Arris DVR's never have this problem.

The moment the HDMI cable is plugged in to the Arris DVR's

my amplifier immediately goes into Surround Sound mode.

 I found reference to this same 201-T problem and solution on another non-Spectrum forum.


To help others who may have this issue:

I am using a Sony Receiver that automatically checks the incoming HDMI signal and switches to Dolby Surround if a surround signal is detected coming from the DVR.

I am using a 3-foot length of high frequency HDMI 2.0 cable with Ethernet and 3D.

The Spectrum 201-T is a new DVR that I added with my Arris DCX3600 and DCX3510 DVR's.

Together with a Spectrum technician I rebooted the 201-T several times.

I went to <Settings> <Quick Settings> <Devices> repeatedly and changed all audio settings.

The setting that controls the audio output via the HDMI cable is "Audio Digital Output"

The options are:  HDMI, Dolby Digital, and Other

This setting must be set to HDMI to enable the DVR to output sound on the HDMI cable.

To confirm that the problem was specifically with the Spectrum 201-T DVR:

I started the same live program on both the Spectrum 201-T and the Arris DCX3600

The 201-T was outputting Stereo.  The DCX3600 was outputting Surround Sound.

I disconnected the two HDMI cables at the two DVR's and reversed them.

The amplifier immediately selected surround sound mode on the DCX3600 HDMI input.

The amplifier immediately selected Stereo mode on the 201-T HDMI input.

I also reversed the coax cable inputs to the DVR's.  The problem stayed with the 201-T.


I believe the 201-T firmware may be  incorrectly deciding that it should output in Stereo.

When conditions are perfect, it attempts to sync up in surround sound mode and succeeds.


Very best regards,



Re: Spectrum 201-T DVR Surround Sound

Yes, I have this DVR and it has to be on HDMI for DD to work if using HDMI output.  Also it hangs and will say HDMI with no DD out, so you have to select Dolby Digital and then back to HDMI.  I just recently decided to try TW/Spectrum again and had to do this the first day.  Most of the time it is holding the setting. It did lose it once or twice doing a reboot but not every time.  I think it will lose it if the power goes off. 


HDMI means you are using that as a output. If you select Dobly Digial it thinks you are using the audio digital output jack and not HDMI. They have it worded strange.