Poor sound from rental Blu-Ray discs

Hi all, I'm back to the 'Gon after an absence. I just bought a Samsung 55" LED LCD 3D TV and Samsung Blu-Ray 3D disc player. My pre-pro is a Sherwood Newcastle P-965 without HDMI. The Blu-Ray player only has HDMI out and coaxial digital audio out (no analog out) so I am using the coaxial audio out into the pre-pro.

Here's the problem. When I play a standard rental DVD from Netflix, the audio sounds fine, multi-channel surround like I am used to. When I play a purchased Blu-Ray 3D disc, the audio is also fine. When I play a rental Blu-Ray disc from Netflix, the audio sounds horrible -- like monaural, or possibly center channel only, going through 7 speakers. There is no background music or ambiance or sound effects -- the movie sounds eerily quiet except for dialog.

I went into the Samsung Blu-Ray player's audio menu and tried all the settings: outputting as PCM vs. bitstream unprocessed vs. bitstream re-processed into Dolby or DTS; multi-channel compatible vs. downmixed into stereo; and downsampling on (48 kHz) or off (96 kHz). The best results were bitstream unprocessed, multi-channel compatible, downsampling off, with the pre-pro set to "Auto" decoding. This works fine for standard DVD or purchased Blu-Ray, but as mentioned, rental Blu-Ray discs sound horrible, like they are monaural.

The Samsung dealer says that rental Blu-Ray discs from Netflix do not offer lossless audio, even through HDMI. Can anyone confirm this? Is that why the audio sounds so poor on rental Blu-Ray rental discs?

One final complicating factor is that my pre-pro has been having faults recently, so it is probably time to get a new HDMI 1.4 pre-pro anyway. But I would still like to know why the Blu-Ray rental discs sound so bad when the standard DVDs and purchased Blu-Rays discs sound fine.
I am by no means an expert, but do play Netflix Blue-Ray DVDs. Using an older Oppo player, these sounds as good as DVDs or better. Occasionally, we will receive a Netflix Blue-Ray disc that simply does not play, but this is rare.
Don't know, but I did watch Looper on Blu-ray from Redbox last night. Redbox rents Blu-ray discs for $1.50. The audio was full DTS HD Master Audio and it sounded great. But I know that in order to get the Hi-res codecs like Dolby TruHD and DTS HD Master Audio you need to have the HDMI v1.3 or later, or a Blu-ray player that has discrete multi-channel analogue outputs via RCA connectors.

I have a Samsung 3D tv also and I know that in order to get a 3D video signal sent through the receiver you need HDMI v1.4.
I did notice the "The Hunger Games" rented from Netflix only offered standard Dolby surround. None of the blu-ray sound formats, DTS-Master, etc. came up in the menu.
Store bought copy has all the sound formats.
This has been a topic that has come up on Scott Wilkinson's podcast, Jome Theater Geeks. I believe that you are correct that some rental disks do not have the lossless audio. Personally I have not come across it with any of my rental disks. Listen to episode 141 and I believe that they talk about it.
Since your Samsung BR player does not have analog outputs, if you want to get lossless DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD, you will have to get a receiver or pre-pro that decodes DTS-HD and Dolby True HD, and connect to your BR player via HDMI. You cannot get lossless Blu-ray audio via coaxial.

My setup is connected in this way, and I have rented hundreds of BR movies from Netflix, and I get the lossless audio on all of them, no problem.
I see that I may have been a bit ambiguous there. I meant to say my connection is via HDMI.
Looks like Lionsgate has removed all lossless audio from rental disks. There are several threads all over the place on the topic. Not sure if other studios have followed the same practice. I rented Hunger Games off an Apple TV so that's why I didn't notice it there.
No, not all Lionsgate films. I just watched Arbitrage(Lions Gate) from Netflix and it did have DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
I just had a friend over who works in the film industry in LA. He confirmed that we are NOT getting everything from many rentals (ie Netflix). You will see/hear a difference when comparing a rental to a full store bought blueray. However, he was impressed with VUDU streaming 1080.
I do not buy blu-ray or dvd discs, I rent exclusively. Once I've seen a movie, I have no desire to see it again, so purchasing movies don't make sense for me.

I rent blu-ray from Netflx and Redbox and I've never had a problem with sound from any of their discs, standard def or blu-ray.
Thanks for all the responses. I would like to narrow down my question to the following: does anyone watch Blu-Ray discs with the audio going through digital coaxial (not HDMI, not multi-analog) into the pre-pro or receiver, and if so, are you hearing good surround quality or are you hearing something very inferior, like monaural sound? I know I can't get lossless formats with my setup, but I just want to get the same Dolby or DTS I enjoyed with my standard DVDs and standard DVD player.
I use an old Pioneer Elite Blu Ray player connected through coax to my Yamaha receiver to play Blu Rays. The sound is fine. It sounds better than a traditional DVD, since the Dolby Digital bit rate on the Blu Ray is higher than on DVDs. This is a secondary system, so the new formats are not an issue. I use my own purchased Blu Rays. I have not tried rental ones.
I had the same experience renting 'Hunger Games' from Redbox. I wrote redbox an email complaining and they gave me coupons for two free rentals. I hope other studios don't follow Lionsgate lead.

For the op, sorry I can't help more but if you could provide specific titles that would be helpful.