Is there a way to play movies with either true HD or DTS HD audio from a retina macbook pro? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-26-2012, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I'm trying to find new ways to enhance the audio from movies played from a computer through my AVR. As it stands I usually use the movies stored on a NAS and played through a WDTV (new version) via wifi. There is no problem with this but in researching it appears I am not capable of playing HD audio sources. I apologize if this question has been asked many times before but I can't seem to find any articles or posts relating to playing movies with either True HD or DTS HD sources or how I might go about that.

For my computer equipment I have a retina macbook pro, Win 7 64 bit computer, a ps3, and a Synology NAS and I am using a WDTV through a Onkyo tx-nr 3008 into 5.2 surround sound.

I have several computer parts laying around from my last build that I can probably turn into a HTPC if I buy a case for it if that is necessary. I really appreciate any advice or even a starting point as I would just like to learn how to improve my sound as much as possible. I have researched for a couple days and have not really found what I am after.

Thanks
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-26-2012, 07:12 AM
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I don't believe OSX does it yet.

I haven't tried it, but I've read it can be done in Windows. I believe XBMC can do it, but it requires a mod.
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-26-2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange_Days View Post

Hi,
I'm trying to find new ways to enhance the audio from movies played from a computer through my AVR. As it stands I usually use the movies stored on a NAS and played through a WDTV (new version) via wifi. There is no problem with this but in researching it appears I am not capable of playing HD audio sources. I apologize if this question has been asked many times before but I can't seem to find any articles or posts relating to playing movies with either True HD or DTS HD sources or how I might go about that.
For my computer equipment I have a retina macbook pro, Win 7 64 bit computer, a ps3, and a Synology NAS and I am using a WDTV through a Onkyo tx-nr 3008 into 5.2 surround sound.
I have several computer parts laying around from my last build that I can probably turn into a HTPC if I buy a case for it if that is necessary. I really appreciate any advice or even a starting point as I would just like to learn how to improve my sound as much as possible. I have researched for a couple days and have not really found what I am after.
Thanks
Here is a related post when someone asked the same set of questions after buying a sandy-bridge Mac Mini
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1383566/so-is-there-a-definit-answer-the-2011-macmini-could-do-hd-audio-bitstream/0_50
I realize it's old, but one of the first responses remains true. Bitstreaming HD audio requires
  1. hardware
  2. drivers
  3. software

The hardware and MPC-HC will get you there, but unless something has changed you'll have to boot windows and use one of two methods to get it right. From windows you can either use LAV audio filters or the Shark007 codec pack, and I don't know if either of those devs have any interest in creating OSX versions.

Also, to be honest I usually can't tell a lot of variation between the HD audio and their core 5.1 versions (DD and DTS) when the AVR is set at the same volume, but many other people seem to notice a difference
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-26-2012, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Here is a related post when someone asked the same set of questions after buying a sandy-bridge Mac Mini
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1383566/so-is-there-a-definit-answer-the-2011-macmini-could-do-hd-audio-bitstream/0_50
I realize it's old, but one of the first responses remains true. Bitstreaming HD audio requires
  1. hardware
  2. drivers
  3. software
The hardware and MPC-HC will get you there, but unless something has changed you'll have to boot windows and use one of two methods to get it right. From windows you can either use LAV audio filters or the Shark007 codec pack, and I don't know if either of those devs have any interest in creating OSX versions.
Also, to be honest I usually can't tell a lot of variation between the HD audio and their core 5.1 versions (DD and DTS) when the AVR is set at the same volume, but many other people seem to notice a difference

Thanks,

I have been continuing my research since I posted this and have come to the same conclusion that I will need a windows based machine to be able to bitstream the HD audio. I am mostly doing this just as a project really and I hate to leave something out there unfinished when I know it can be done smile.gif I think that is a problem for many of the folks on here who go a few or many steps past where most people would have given in and said "It's good enough".

I will continue my research and see if I can do what I'd like without needing additional hardware but it looks like the macbook won't be a part of it for now at least. I was hoping that it would be easier with that since it finally came out with a HDMI port built in.

Thanks for the help
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-27-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange_Days View Post

Thanks,
I have been continuing my research since I posted this and have come to the same conclusion that I will need a windows based machine to be able to bitstream the HD audio. I am mostly doing this just as a project really and I hate to leave something out there unfinished when I know it can be done smile.gif I think that is a problem for many of the folks on here who go a few or many steps past where most people would have given in and said "It's good enough".
I will continue my research and see if I can do what I'd like without needing additional hardware but it looks like the macbook won't be a part of it for now at least. I was hoping that it would be easier with that since it finally came out with a HDMI port built in.
Thanks for the help

No prob

Also, to clarify, your Macbook Pro is plenty capable of accomplishing your goal. Just buy a W7 license and use bootcamp. It's just a driver issue, no new hardware required
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-23-2012, 07:22 PM
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Does that mean that this could be done through Linux too? It's more friendly to me, and maybe I could convince myself to do everything with a Mac but run Plex from Linux.

In either case, could one just run a VM rather than boot into windows through bootcamp? Then it's much more palatable.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-24-2012, 08:25 AM
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you'll have to ask Linux guys about the HD audio thing. Linux isn't that popular in the HTPC space, so the software is limited like OSX, maybe more.

I would second the Windows 7 lincense. Your OSX disc should have all the Windows drives. Actually, there is a nice problem that will install all the drives you need. I use a mac mini for an HTPC with Windows 7 only (no OSX), and it made it a lot easier.

Plex doesn't support HD audio on any platform. I don't think it would be an issue the server, but the front end player doesn't support it. Maybe with XBMC and the mod for HD audio and the Plex addon, you may be able to do it with direct playback. Have Plex transcode such as for set top boxes (appletv, roku, etc) or mobile devices which is what PMS does if direct play is not supported.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-24-2012, 05:42 PM
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osx will play multichannel audio you just havve to convert the dts hd or truehd to LPCM

LPCM is uncompressed audio
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-09-2012, 08:57 AM
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Hello,

I have almost the same question - I want to play MKVs with Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD MA with my macbook pro (Late 2011).

Sound should be put through to my Receiver (Onkyo SR-308) via HDMI.

I bought a macbook because I want to use Mac OS, so trying to install win 7 on my mac isnt really an option cool.gif

As far as I know it shoult be possible with one of the following players:

1. Mac blu-ray player (MacGo)
2. DVD Fab media player
3. VLC (probably not)

Nevertheless it does not work...

option 1 - MacGo - only delivers DTS (not HD MA) to the receiver
also option 3 - VLC - only delivers DTS (not HD MA) to the receiver

option 2 - DVD Fab media player - delivers DTS HD MA .... but does not run fluently and you cant hear the sound - macbook seems to be to slow, should not be the case with the ati radeon 6770 graphic card.

Perhaps one of you guys can help me with this movie players...

Thanks in advance and kind regards smile.gif

Thomas
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-10-2012, 08:16 AM
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If you're in OS X I still don't believe Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD MA is possible with any of those methods, at best you'll get "core" DTS or AC3. The only way to get high rez audio in OS X is to convert to LPCM, as was already mentioned. That's been mentioned on several threads already, not sure if there's a way to do that now entirely within OS X or if you still need Windows software to do it.
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-22-2013, 07:44 PM
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The way I got to play hd audio through my reciever and macbook is to play it through the mini opticle port and not hdmi cable because that only supports 2 ch. there are many mac players that support both version of hd as well as passthrough
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-21-2013, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadesfactor View Post

The way I got to play hd audio through my reciever and macbook is to play it through the mini opticle port and not hdmi cable because that only supports 2 ch. there are many mac players that support both version of hd as well as passthrough

I believe that optical cable will not play any HD audio. At best, it will pass through the core. The core would be DTS or Dolby and not the HD version. This is a limitation of optical.
HDMI can pass through (technically) HD audio streams. OSX / EFI by Apple does not natively support HD audio pass through. To get HD audio, the easiest bet is to use bootcamp and fire up Windows with XBMC and output through HDMI to a receiver/AVR to handle the HD audio stream pass to it. The only other alternative is to convert the HD audio stream to LPCM stream which Apple should be able to pass through with no issue.
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post #13 of 15 Old 06-21-2013, 11:17 PM
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what the above said is correct. No HD audio through optical cable such as Toslink. Need HDMI, which can handle the bandwidth requirement for the HD video and lossless HD audio.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-23-2014, 08:56 PM
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hi, has anyone found a solution for this? ive tried bootcamp windows 8.1...it doesn't even support normal dts/dolby. im on macbook pro 13" retina.

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post #15 of 15 Old 03-24-2014, 05:33 PM
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As I've understood it, Windows 8 is not prepared for the HD audio bitstream, you need Windows 7. I have no answer on the MacBook usage, but can confirm that it is possible using the Mac Minis HDMI output, Windows 7 and MPC with LAV extensions properly installed. And since the retina macbooks have HDMI outputs, I dont see why not...

And as someone mentioned earlier, the difference between a 5 channel 1,5 Mbps DTS core and DTS-HD tracks are hard to spot - but if you want to bitstream DTS-ES (6.1) or 7.1 audio, you need the HD formats. Also; sometimes DTS HD MA tracks are not included, but "DTS High Res" flash up on my pre pro, which are bitrates from the 1,5 Mbps core up to HD MA bitrate (which varies depending on channels and usage). The Dolby/DTS tracks are definitely preferred here, since I usually get the channels mixed up, trying to use LPCM, so center is in back left... Bitstream audio is on point every time.

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