BR LPCM tracks working in OSX w/ Plex and HDMI Mac Mini - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-15-2012, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a copy of my post over on the Plex forums. Thought some might be interested.



So I've been doing a bunch of other stuff on my Windows HTPC recently and hadn't really tested the new 2011 Mini that I got to replace an 'old' one in one of my rooms.

Today, as I was sitting around by myself checking on some file playback, I decided to test out playback of those BR's I have with LPCM soundtracks (Arlington Road, 3:10 to Yuma, etc), just to see what the Mini would do with them in OS X.

Lo and behold, though the Mini defaulted to the DD soundtracks, when I switched to the lossless soundtracks, they played!!

And, when I check the info pane, here is what I see:



And, on my Onkyo 905, it is displaying 'Multich' and is displaying the appropriate number of channels, which is what it should be displaying when playing back a multichannel cpm soundtrack.

Because of this, we should be able to get pcm playback of all of the other lossless formats by converting them with clown_BD to LPCM in Windows.

For reference, here is an example of what happens when I play back the native DTS-HD soundtrack of American Psycho on Plex:





As you can see on the top line, though you can see at the far right that the source is 2967 kb/s, Plex is just transmitting the DTS core at 1536 kb/s (as expected).

Given these observations, you should be able to play back ALL of your lossless format BR's (and HDDVD's) pn Plex in OS X by ripping your Blu-rays using:

1) a Windows computer
2) Clown_BD and AnyDVD HD
3) just rip it to an LPCM track m2ts file and you're ready to go.

And, for your BR's that were uncompressed LPCM soundtracks to start off with, all you need is MakeMKV to get lossless audio with an HDMI-containing Mac Mini!!


Again, if everybody already knew this, I apologize.
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-15-2012, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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And, just to show that this can, in fact, be done -- the screen cap below is playing back an M2TS file I made of 'Batman Begins' (which has a TrueHD soundtrack) on HDDVD. I converted the TrueHD soundtrack to PCM using Clown_BD. I had originally made it because of the framerate bug that MakeMKV has with HD DVD rips.

But I guess there's now an added benefit to it on my new Mini!!


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post #3 of 22 Old 01-18-2012, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
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So I guess everybody already knew about this? No sour grapes or anything (srsly) -- it's just a great step for me. Now I can use Plex on OS X for all of my BR's in my main HT, and have full lossless sound w/o having to move my Windows machine there (granted, it would be nice to be able to use my Ceton tuner on the same machine as my media server, but Plex on Os X crashes about 1/20th as frequently as WMC crashes, and my wife, nanny, and toddler are all quite happy about that...).

Only downside is some extra work.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-19-2012, 03:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, and just so that those who have their doubts about DTS-MA soundtracks decoded to LPCM w/ ClownBD can have their concerns put to rest, here is 'Sunshine,' a movie w/ a DTS-MA soundtrack, on my mini after using ClownBD to convert the track to LPCM:

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post #5 of 22 Old 01-21-2012, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

So I've been doing a bunch of other stuff on my Windows HTPC recently and hadn't really tested the new 2011 Mini that I got to replace an 'old' one in one of my rooms.

Do you have the Mini with the Intel graphics or with the ATI graphics?
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-21-2012, 07:17 PM
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Good find!
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-21-2012, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom gremlin View Post

do you have the mini with the intel graphics or with the ati graphics?

ati
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-23-2012, 01:40 AM
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That would be fantastic! I'll definitely will have to check this myself. I just replaced a PCH A210 for a Mac mini (with Plex) and was a little bummed about the loss of HD audio. Do you know if LCPM streams as 2-channel audio to the iPad Plex client (e.g. Constellation) or will a second 2-channel audio stream be needed for this?
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-23-2012, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanjumper View Post

That would be fantastic! I'll definitely will have to check this myself. I just replaced a PCH A210 for a Mac mini (with Plex) and was a little bummed about the loss of HD audio. Do you know if LCPM streams as 2-channel audio to the iPad Plex client (e.g. Constellation) or will a second 2-channel audio stream be needed for this?

I'm gonna have trouble checking on this, as I retained a lossy soundtrack along with the lossless on all of my ripped files so that my older Mac Mini's (with toslink), my Boxee Boxes w/o attached rcvrs, and my iOS clients would have something to use as a default.

Frankly, I'd advise that you keep a lossy soundtrack with these files in case you add less robust players or rooms w/o receivers in the future. You never want to have to re-rip everything just to save a GB or so. But just remember -- when you have a DTS or DD soundtrack, Plex doesn't require a separate 2 channel soundtrack for your iOS or non-DD/DTS-capable clients. It can downmix them to stereo.

My $.02.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-23-2012, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

But just remember -- when you have a DTS or DD soundtrack, Plex doesn't require a separate 2 channel soundtrack for your iOS or non-DD/DTS-capable clients. It can downmix them to stereo.

Yup, I knew that. Good news (for me at least): I confirm your finding and also Plex downmixes LPCM to my iPad Plex client!

I cannot believe that nobody had found this (playing lossless audio on the 2011 MacMini)! Wonderful find! Thanks for taking the time to post it.
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post #11 of 22 Old 01-23-2012, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanjumper View Post

Yup, I knew that. Good news (for me at least): I confirm your finding and also Plex downmixes LPCM to my iPad Plex client!

I cannot believe that nobody had found this (playing lossless audio on the 2011 MacMini)! Wonderful find! Thanks for taking the time to post it.

You're welcome.

To be honest, given the lack of responses (and you can probably tell from the tenor of the OP), I just figured that what I had posted had to already be known. It's not like it's complex or hard to discover.

Of course, then I googled it, and couldn't find anything.

Then again, I guess there aren't that many folks who bother to keep the lossless tracks in Mac households, and, given my number and variety of players and media (and Windows/ OS X machines), I guess it would take something of a cross-platform, multiple-playback-machines environment like mine to even discover it.

But it is a bit odd that there hasn't been a single response to the topic over on the Plex forums (well, none that weren't me responding to myself).
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-23-2012, 04:43 PM
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Or on the Mac forums!!

May be it will take some time as most people might only "believing after seeing"
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-23-2012, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanjumper View Post

Or on the Mac forums!!

May be it will take some time as most people might only "believing after seeing"

lol I posted it over on MacRumors in the 'AppleTV and Home Theater' thread like a week ago, and got no responses.

It probably would've gotten more responses in the Mac Mini hardware forum, but, after posting it on 3 different forums already and given the largely silent response, I figured maybe I was just crazy for being so excited about this serendipitous discovery.

At least I'm not the only weirdo.
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post #14 of 22 Old 01-23-2012, 06:18 PM
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Well, you might still be the only one but at least I am excited too!
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post #15 of 22 Old 01-23-2012, 09:20 PM
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Dont make too much of a fuss or the Cupertino killjoys will remove it with an OS update! :-)
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post #16 of 22 Old 01-24-2012, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
I posted it over on MacRumors in the 'AppleTV and Home Theater' thread like a week ago, and got no responses...It probably would've gotten more responses in the Mac Mini hardware forum, but, after posting it on 3 different forums already and given the largely silent response, I figured maybe I was just crazy for being so excited about this serendipitous discovery

I don't think you're crazy for being excited, but perhaps I can offer an explanation why it seems others aren't as excited: 1) a smaller percentage in these forums than you think has purchased a bluray drive and started ripping them, 2) most blurays have DTS-HD/Dolby TrueHD, which means 3) your "convert to LPCM" discovery necessarily(?) involves a Windows PC and purchasing Windows software which many Mac users are loathe to resort to, 4) some Mac users who are already ripping with MakeMKV find that the DTS and DD core extracted by MakeMKV is pretty darn good on its own and wonder what all the fuss is about lossless high def audio or 5) there are still many folks who haven't upgraded to a newer AVR with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD yet and are happy to wait for front ends to add support for passthrough for those codecs.

If there were a way to do the conversion to LPCM staying within OS X, i.e. rip with MakeMKV and convert with "x" I suspect the reaction would have been different.

Sorry I didn't post to say thanks for your effort, I did appreciate reading about your tests.
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-24-2012, 12:46 PM
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All true but at least the question/mystery if the MacMini/OSX system could natively playback lossless audio is now solved (although far from perfect as I'm sure we would all have preferred the DTS/Dolby HD formats)!
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post #18 of 22 Old 04-12-2012, 10:16 AM
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7.1 PCM or FLAC do not work correctly with PLEX or XBMC under Mac OS X. Only 5.1 channels are output to the A/V receiver, even if you have your Mac set for 7.1 under Audio Midi Setup. The rear 6 & 7 channels are "empty" as PLEX is not parsing them. Once this is fixed, then there will be a nice 7.1 solution under Mac OS X. 5.1 FLAC/PCM work great in PLEX though.
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-13-2012, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

3) just rip it to an LPCM track m2ts file and you're ready to go.

Thanks for starting a good thread. I'm new to Clown_BD and I don't understand this step. When choose audio output format in the GUI, I only get the options Unconverted, Core, AC3 and DTS - and no LPCM. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks,
Christian
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-13-2012, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitwize View Post

7.1 PCM or FLAC do not work correctly with PLEX or XBMC under Mac OS X. Only 5.1 channels are output to the A/V receiver,

Are you sure it is OSX that is the problem? I can't make this work on neither OSX or my Bootcamp partition. Rear channels are just lost on my iMac, it seems.
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post #21 of 22 Old 12-13-2012, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by christian12345 View Post

I can't make this work on neither OSX or my Bootcamp partition. Rear channels are just lost on my iMac, it seems.

After a whole lot of fiddling, I actually got XBMC to output 7.1 DTS on the bootcamp partition.
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post #22 of 22 Old 05-21-2013, 03:17 PM
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Could I please ask NOD a question.

In the screenshot of your 'Batman Begins' M2TS file the audio is follows:

D(Audio: pcm_bluray (HDMV / 0x564D4448), 48000 Hz, 5.1(side), s32, 6912 kb/s) P(aq:95%, kB/s:6747.15)

I tried your technique of converting the TrueHD track to LPCM using my UK version of 'Batman Begins' on Bluray with Clown_BD (v0.79) on my iMac (Mid 2010) running Bootcamp (Windows 8).

However when I ran the resulting M2TS on Plex, the audio was only s16 (not s32) and the bitrates were much lower than in your screenshot:

D(Audio: pcm_bluray (HDMV / 0x564D4448), 48000 Hz, 5.1(side), s16, 4608 kb/s) P(aq:62%, kB/s:4497.17)

Do you have any suggestions of what I need to do you get s32 sound like yours?
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