Technical FAQs

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about products from Datasat Digital Entertainment. In legacy products, there's information on products related to Datasat Digital Sound.


What should I consider when installing a Datasat product?

For closed or multi-unit rack-mounted installations, you should consider:

The ambient temperature within the rack may be greater than room ambient temperature. The maximum temperature for the equipment in this environment is 50 degrees centigrade.
Installation should be such that the amount of air flow required for safe operation is not compromised, and that uneven loading does not occur.
Check nameplate ratings to avoid overloading of supply circuits that could have an effect on over-current protection and supply wiring.
Reliable grounding of equipment is maintained. Particular attention should be paid to supply connections when connecting the power strips.
A quality surge/spike suppressor power strip is recommended to protect your hardware.

Where can I find the latest software version for my unit?

The latest software version information is given in the document support section of our website.

What does the warranty cover?

Depending on its serial number, every Datasat product is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for 12 months to three years from date of purchase. All requests for repairs or replacements should be directed to your authorized Datasat dealer. If a new unit becomes defective BEFORE 90 days of service, Datasat will warranty a repair or exchange of the item at no charge. After 90 days, Datasat will repair and return the item at no charge.

Where can I get the latest pricing and parts information?

All pricing and parts inquiries should be directed to your authorized Datasat dealer. If you do not have a dealer, you can find the closest dealer to you on the right hand side of the page.

Where can I get the latest pricing and parts information?

Datasat Digital Entertainment Ltd has registered with the relevant authorities and our compliance number is WEE/CE0052TQ. Our UK customers can bring product back to us and we will dispose of it accordingly.


How many audio channels are available with the AP20?

The standard AP20 features 16 channels of digital and analog input and output. An eight channel version is available that provides an easy upgrade path to the 16 channel version.

What types of content can I play through the AP20?

The AP20 supports all digital cinema releases as well as a wide range of alternative content. The standard AP20 contains five HDMI connectors for video pass-thru in addition to support for consumer formats such as DVD and Blu-ray.

Can I play video content through the AP20?

Yes. The standard AP20 contains five HDMI connectors for video pass-thru. It supports HDMI 1.3 compliant digital audio with video.

Can the AP20 assist with room optimization?

Yes. The AP20 is the only cinema processor to feature Dirac Live, the leading room optimization technology. It delivers true working impulse response correction and mixed phase filter technology to produce a transparent and true-to-source sound.

Can I save room settings for different forms of content?

Yes. You can establish profiles that identify inputs, outputs, filter and channel gain settings. You can then transfer a profile to an identical room and load the profile there through a USB drive.

What management features does the AP20 contain?

The AP20 comes with extensive touchscreen controls. In addition, it can be managed remotely through RS232 or Ethernet networking as well as wirelessly through smart phone and iPad controls.

What sound controls are included within the AP20?

You receive 31 bands of third octave equalization and three bands of parametric equalization per channel. In addition to channel gain and phase inversion control, there are also individual bass and treble controls.

What digital audio formats does the AP20 support?

The AP20 includes audio decoders for Dolby® AC3 as well as DTS® Master Audio/DTS ES/DTS 5.1 and Neo6.

Why will my AP20 not power on?

If your unit will not power up, make sure the rear panel power switch is ON and the unit is plugged into a working AC outlet protected by a surge protector. Verify the the surge protector is powered and working. If your AP20 is mounted in a rack and a breaker is used for the rack ensure that the breaker is functioning. If the problem persists, contact your theater technician.

Why does my front panel display keep going dim?

The display automatically dims when not touched for a few seconds. Touching the display screen will brighten it again.

Why can’t I get sound in the auditorium?

First check to make sure that the Mute button is not muted. Check that the fader level is not set to zero (0). If it is zero, then turn the knob to increase the volume. If the fader is red, then unmute the AP20 by touching the muted button. Check that the AP20 is in the correct format.

How do I adjust the volume in the booth?

Touch the monitor button to open the Monitor window, then touch the + or – to adjust the monitor volume.

The AP20 is playing the wrong sound in the auditorium. What do I do?

Verify the AP20 is in the correct format. You’ll find the current format is highlighted in the bottom row of the display. Touch a different format to change your selection. If the format you want is not listed, it has not yet been set up. You should contact your theater technician.

What do I do if the front panel fader is not working?

The AP20 comes with a touch screen workaround that you can use until your theater technician can address the issue.


What is the XD20?

The XD20 is a digital media playback solution for both film audio and high definition video. It delivers eight independent audio channels of high quality digital surround sound. Datasat Digital Sound soundtracks can be loaded directly via disc. The audio is synchronized to the film through auto-sensing of Datasat’s timecode on the physical film.

How do I load content onto the XD20?

Content is downloaded from a disc to the XD20. Load the disc into the unit and the contents will be automatically downloaded. Once downloaded, remove the disc. The content will not play directly from the disc. It will only be played from the hard drive when the Datasat unit sees a valid timecode that matches the contents of the drive.

Does the XD20 support video?

Yes. The XD20 supports a wide range of video formats and can playback in standard and high definition video. It can store and playback up to 88 hours of pre-show video and stills as well as up to 17 hours of high definition alternative content.

Is the XD20 network-ready?

Yes. The XD20 comes with Gigabit Ethernet built-in as well as a range of RS-232 and other connectors to allow direct connection to external devices such as video projectors or Access projectors.

Does the XD20 have access capabilities?

Yes. The XD20 has an optional CSS system that is used to playback access discs which contain subtitles, front or rear captions, or narration tracks for a single feature. The same proprietary timecode used to sync the feature’s soundtrack discs in players are also used by the CSS system for ease of operation.

What are the XD20 option keys?

Option keys are used to ‘unlock’ installed options inside the XD20. An option key is included if your XD20 has an option installed. The option key is unique to the unit and cannot be used to unlock another XD20. Contact Datasat customer support if you’ve lost an option key and need to restore an option.

I have a Datasat print but no discs. What should I do?

First check to make sure that the soundtrack is not already loaded onto the hard drive. If the soundtrack is not listed in the XD20 contents then you will need to contact the film distributor for a replacement disc.

What should I do if the film is not in synch or doesn’t sound right?

Follow this simple process:
Switch off the XD20
Listen to the film and verify that analog is playing properly
Let the film finish playing in analog
Get your technician to perform a full Datasat quality check and verify synch with the demo film. Allow at least an hour for this test.

I have set my cinema processor properly but my volume is still too loud. What can I do?

Check to ensure that the sound levels need adjusting once you have switched the cinema processor to Datasat Digital Sound. If it does, the simplest method is for your technician to perform a Datasat sound check and adjust the volume from there.

My XD20 won’t switch into digital sound. Why not?

There could be a number of reasons. Start by verifying that the movie you wish to play is loaded on to the hard drive. Check that the film is properly threaded through the Datasat reader and the film has a timecode. If the film doesn’t have a timecode, you’ll need to request a Datasat print from the film distributor. If there is a timecode and the film is on the hard drive, check that the timecode cable is properly connected from the reader to the XD20. If the timecode LED is still blinking after this, you’ll have to perform a complete system check.

If the timecode LED is solid but the audio LED is not lit and you have conducted the tests above. You should check that the version of the movie on the hard drive matches the film by checking the feature title on the disc label and the feature language.

If the blue audio LED is flashing at regular intervals, the XD20 is reporting that the soundtrack is not in the Datasat format. Check the automation system on the XD20 to ensure it has the correct audio format selected. If the correct Datasat format is not selected first then the XD20 does not pulse the Datasat format and the audio LED blinks.

Why does the film keep switching in and out of Datasat Digital Sound during the show?

If the XD20 does not see timecode for four seconds, it auotomatically switches the cinema processor to the default analog. Check that the green LED on the timecode reader is glowing brightly and steadily while the film is running. If it is blinking, check the reader’s voltage using TN-E550 that is posted in our online support. You can also troubleshoot the problem using TN-E698 – also in our support section.

If the light on the drive is on solid when the film is playing, it means the drive cannot read the disc. Try swapping discs. If the problem follows the disc then the disc is faulty and needs replacing. If the problem follows the drive then the same is true of the drive.

If drop-out occurs at the same place(s) in the movie, it indicates that the fault will lie with the reel. Call the film distributor and request replacement reels for those that are dropping out.

How do I set XD20 playback levels?

Go into the menu to play test tones. Consult the user manual for full details.

How do I test the XD20 automatic default functions?

Go into the menu to play the automation test. Consult the user manual for full details.


Legacy Products

How do I set playback levels for Datasat products?

It depends on the model of cinema processor you are connecting to but most processors require an audio input signal of 300mV RMS. For our legacy products:

DTS-6 / DTS-6D: Use the DS5 Setup disc and play track 2 (test tones).
DTS-6AD: See the manual and follow steps for A-chain and B-chain.
DTS XD10P: See the manual and follow steps for A-chain and B-chain.

How do I calculate the offset (delay)?

Thread the film through the projector and count frames from the DTS reader’s lens to the projector picture gate. Multiply that by 1.25 and subtract one. The result is your offset. Enter that number into your playback unit’s offset setting. If you have a DTS-6 or DTS-6D, you will need to round the result off to the closest whole number in order to enter it in the player.

How do I test the automatic default functions of Datasat products?

DTS movie discs made after June 1996 are programmed so they automatically default the cinema processor to the optical format present on the film. This is true for all DTS players, except the DTS-6.
The defaults on the DTS-6 are only A-type or SR-type which are selectable via jumpers on logic breakout boards (which are connected to the cinema processor). DTS units will also pulse the cinema processor to NON-SYNC at the end of a feature film after playing in DTS Digital Sound. Testing this function is done differently on each unit.

DTS-6 / DTS-6D: Use the DS5 Setup Disc and play track 20 (automation pulse test).
DTS-6AD: See the manual and follow steps in Section 9.

How does the Datasat system affect other manufacturers sound equipment?

Below are a list of common formats that Datasat products are interoperable with:

Dolby® CP50, CP100, CP200 Operation
When Datasat switches to digital, the normal signal paths are interrupted and Datasat Digital Sound will be inserted just prior to the Dolby® EQ cards, in effect taking over the cinema processor (CP200: Program automation optical default format to either “04” A-TYPE or “05” SR — which ever the film requires). When Datasat switches out of digital, the cinema processor is released to function as normal and default to the format previously selected.

Dolby® CP45, CP55, CP65, CP500, CP650 UltraStereo, and Smart Operation
Datasat will automatically pulse the audio processor to the digital format when it sees valid timecode and first plays the Datasat Digital Sound track. Whenever Datasat drops out of digital, a pulse will be sent to switch the cinema processor back to the optical format. At show end, however, Datasat will switch the cinema processor to NON-SYNC.

Dolby® DA10 / 20
Datasat can be connected to the Dolby® SR-D system without affecting its performance. The DA20 connects to the appropriate Datasat breakout board. When Datasat is not playing, the DA10/20 output is routed through the breakout board to the cinema processor. When Datasat is playing, the DA10/20 is switched out and the Datasat Digital Sound track is sent to the cinema processor.

Dolby® SA10
Datasat cinema processors such as the Datasat-6AD and XD10P can connect its analog surround signals to the SA10 input. The SA10 unit will then take the left surround and right surround signals and decode them for left surround, back surround, and left surround channel output.

The Datasat system does not affect, nor connect to, the SDDS™ system.