Here is my review of Cignal Dolby Channel.
My Fibr/Cignal Plan
Given my PLDT Fibr Plan 3500, I upgraded to avail of Triple Play PLUS in order to watch Cignal Digital TV Channels. The Triple Play PLUS includes 56 Channels, 9 of which are HD. This is a bundled package from PLDT Fibr and is independent of the standard Cignal Digital offering which I previously thought was the only way to avail of such services.
This Cignal package currently comes with one channel that offer Dolby audio and that is the Fox Movies Premium HD Dolby [Channel 103].
Content wise, Cignal Dolby Channel 103 covers a variety of prime movie selections, some TV series like the Walking Dead and other stuff like live events, concerts and award-wining documentaries.
Being an avid movie viewer, I appreciate the movie selections featured in this HD channel, some of which I have not yet seen or downloaded yet. (Yes, I am download movies and prefer to spend my leisure hours watching them.)
HD wise, Channel 103 is at par with my movie downloads, I prefer to download and watch Bluray 720p or 1080p movies. I only download movies which are 4GB or higher, typically 8GBs for 1080p.
Cignal’s video is at par with these type of movie quality viewing, the images are crystal clear and the difference between non-HD channels is really top notch.
For the Dolby audio, I must admit that it took me awhile to evaluate it. I am an amateur audiophile, I have a stereo setup but now prefer to use my headphones connected to the amplifier so I can watch and listen in private, especially at night when the kids are doing their studies.
First off is configuring the Cignal’s box so that the audio output is Dolby instead of PCM. The next series of photos will help explain and show my setup better.
Below is my 3 channel speaker setup with the center channel on below the LCD, it used to be a 5-channel channel system but I seldom have use for the rear end channels so have installed them on another video/audio setup in another room instead.
The Cignal video box on top, my amplifer at the bottom, it’s an old Yamaha receiver, notice the heavy duty black cord plugged into the amplifier’s headset outlet in the bottom left portion of the amplifier.
The extra long 10 feet extension cable connects to my Gardo 80i headphone for long-distance viewing. That’s a good working distance when you are using a big LCD TV, 50 inches or bigger.
At the back panel the LCD, I used the optical digital audio out to connect the audio to the amplifier. The Cignal box uses an HMDI connection to the LCD (not shown).
Now that the setup is complete, I switched back and forth from the usual PCM audio to the Digital Dolby audio. I first, I couldn’t hear any difference, because I learned that I have to apply the changes first (pressing the blue button on the remote) and exit the setup menu in order for the correct audio mode to take into effect.
Once that is done, I can readily hear the difference between the usual sound output and that of the Dolby Digital. The Dolby Audio by far offers a much fuller sound. It is comparable with the sound of my movie downloads as well.
Since I couldn’t distinguish any difference between HD downloaded files in terms of audio and video quality, watching movies through this channel is a quick way to relax and not have to wait for downloads to be finished. One only needs to see the schedule of movie screen times to know what movies are available and when.
I recommend Cignal Dolby Channel to those requiring high quality audio and video. Hopefully Cignal can release more Dolby channels to its Triple Play plans in the near future.