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post #1 of 9 Old 02-16-2013, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Edit: forgot to add: OSX 10.8.2, and Sound Effects play through the digital out to the 805.


I do not remember seeing anything about this, previously.
I just sold my 2009 mini because I found that I could use a bluetooth keyboard to get all the A/V I wanted from my Mac Pro (early 2009), where all my files are stored, connected using HDMI. I had no problem with XBMC sending the video and audio when playing mkv Blu-ray rips (last attempted about 10-days ago when I listed my mini on ebay). Yesterday, I attempted to use the Mac Pro again, got video but no audio of any kind using XBMC. I checked XBMC's forums but got lost in the jargon. I then attempted to play the same mkv rips with VLC. Perfect video and audio* (DTS and Dolby come through fine). Reattempted XBMC, still no audio. Installed the latest version of XBMC, no joy.
If you have any ideas about what I can do to fix/trouble-shoot I'd really appreciate it!

Mac Pro (early 2009)
2.66GHz Xeon
8GB DDR3
Connected HDMI via a Kanex Mini DisplayPort Adapter to HDMI 1080p Video w/Digital Audio through a Onkyo 805 to a Sony 52XBR5


* had audio delay on some rips until I changed the Audio midi Setup to "Encoded Digital Audio"... it automatically changes back each rip... apparently.

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post #2 of 9 Old 02-17-2013, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
I checked XBMC's forums but got lost in the jargon.

Unfortunately, XBMC is such a good player that can be adapted and customized--it does put more of the onus on the user to get up to speed on the jargon, you have to familiarize yourself with "the jargon" so you know what the different settings mean and what people are talking about.
Quote:
Connected HDMI via a Kanex Mini DisplayPort Adapter to HDMI 1080p Video w/Digital Audio through a Onkyo 805

So you were using this Kanex adapter just fine direct from the Mac Pro and some version of XBMC? And didn't change a thing on the Mac Pro nor plug or unplug anything into the AVR? Didn't upgrade any other software, and no change to OS X?
Quote:
I then attempted to play the same mkv rips with VLC. Perfect video and audio* (DTS and Dolby come through fine)...had audio delay on some rips until I changed the Audio midi Setup to "Encoded Digital Audio"... it automatically changes back each rip

did you mean to say "it automatically changes back after playing each rip?" If so, what does it change back to, something like 16/44.1 or 48? If so, that's normal, MIDI should only switch to encoded digital out when it needs to, then switch back. What's not right in your setup is you having to manually switch it to encoded digital out just to get passthrough...that should be detected automatically anytime you're trying to pass AC-3 or DTS through to your AVR. And this is with VLC only, right, you didn't have to do this Audio MIDI switching to encoded digital out previously with XBMC did you?

When you have XBMC set up right you never need to go into MIDI, when you choose the DD 5.1 or DTS track in a file it'll switch to encoded digital out automatically behind the scenes. Then switch back to whatever you typically have MIDI set to for music.
Quote:
Installed the latest version of XBMC, no joy

OK, so you were on some "older" version of XBMC, do you know which one? Jargon, I know, they all have funny names but also a number and letter usually. And then downloaded and installed the latest version, which is what? This is important because if you read in the Mac XBMC forum there will be lots of threads about x release breaking y, and there's been a lot of them since I think they completely re-wrote the audio engine. That means what works for me in 10.7.5 and 10.1, the version I'm still running because it has been so solid I am loathe to upgrade, may not be working with the same settings in the newer version you're using.

Do you have a SuperDuper clone, can you boot up off of that to go back in time and test? Can you figure out which versions of XBMC you're trying?

My guess is 1) there's a known bug in whatever version of XBMC you're now using or 2) your answer lies in System Settings > Audio Output settings, between switching things around manually in Audio MIDI and downloading different versions of XBMC and perhaps upgrading something else in the meantime, there's something in the current player settings (XBMC as the player, not Audio MIDI) that is thwarting you. So re-check the audio ones, but it could also be something in the Video > Playback settings, like a sync playback to display setting or adjust refresh rate to match video, because with those turned on you're necessarily involving audio because the video clock is related to audio.

Sorry that's not more specifically helpful...
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-18-2013, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

Unfortunately, XBMC is such a good player that can be adapted and customized--it does put more of the onus on the user to get up to speed on the jargon, you have to familiarize yourself with "the jargon" so you know what the different settings mean and what people are talking about.
So you were using this Kanex adapter just fine direct from the Mac Pro and some version of XBMC? And didn't change a thing on the Mac Pro nor plug or unplug anything into the AVR? Didn't upgrade any other software, and no change to OS X?
did you mean to say "it automatically changes back after playing each rip?" If so, what does it change back to, something like 16/44.1 or 48? If so, that's normal, MIDI should only switch to encoded digital out when it needs to, then switch back. What's not right in your setup is you having to manually switch it to encoded digital out just to get passthrough...that should be detected automatically anytime you're trying to pass AC-3 or DTS through to your AVR. And this is with VLC only, right, you didn't have to do this Audio MIDI switching to encoded digital out previously with XBMC did you?

When you have XBMC set up right you never need to go into MIDI, when you choose the DD 5.1 or DTS track in a file it'll switch to encoded digital out automatically behind the scenes. Then switch back to whatever you typically have MIDI set to for music.
OK, so you were on some "older" version of XBMC, do you know which one? Jargon, I know, they all have funny names but also a number and letter usually. And then downloaded and installed the latest version, which is what? This is important because if you read in the Mac XBMC forum there will be lots of threads about x release breaking y, and there's been a lot of them since I think they completely re-wrote the audio engine. That means what works for me in 10.7.5 and 10.1, the version I'm still running because it has been so solid I am loathe to upgrade, may not be working with the same settings in the newer version you're using.

Do you have a SuperDuper clone, can you boot up off of that to go back in time and test? Can you figure out which versions of XBMC you're trying?

My guess is 1) there's a known bug in whatever version of XBMC you're now using or 2) your answer lies in System Settings > Audio Output settings, between switching things around manually in Audio MIDI and downloading different versions of XBMC and perhaps upgrading something else in the meantime, there's something in the current player settings (XBMC as the player, not Audio MIDI) that is thwarting you. So re-check the audio ones, but it could also be something in the Video > Playback settings, like a sync playback to display setting or adjust refresh rate to match video, because with those turned on you're necessarily involving audio because the video clock is related to audio.

Sorry that's not more specifically helpful...

ADDED: 1PM PST: just opened two mkv BD rips with VLC. It appears Audio Midi is working automatically now. However, XBMC will not open at all.

Hi chefklc. Thanks. I knew you had extensive experience with XBMC (your responses to other posters convinced me to change from Plex to XBMC) and hoped you would help. I understand (now) it's my responsibility to get into XBMC and I'm learning now, but I posted here to hopefully get a quicker solution when I realized my XBMC "knowledge" was minimal.

Rather than specifically answer each of your responses (and possibly introduce more communication errors) maybe it would be more productive for me to be exacting in my situation:

Up to ~15-days ago:
- My late 2009 mini was connected to the Onkyo 805 via the Kanex adapter, and all media was (and still is) stored on my Mac Pro (early 2009): Mac mini->Kanex adapter->HDMI->Onkyo 805, media sourced via wired ethernet from the Mac Pro.
- XBMC (the most current version: I update all my software when updates become available using the Apple Software Update and/or TechTracker) was installed on both computers.
- I ripped BD's and tested the rips on the Mac Pro, but played my mkv rips using the mini (wired ethernet). The current version of XBMC worked (video and audio) on both computers, and I never went into Audio Midi (having read your admonitions against willy-nilly use of the app).

~15 days ago:
- I decided that using two computers to watch movies was excessive and moved the Kanex adapter to the Mac Pro to see if I could eliminate the mini from the mix.
- I just disconnected the adapter from the mini and connected it to the Mac Pro: Mac Pro->Kanex adapter->HDMI->Onkyo 805.
- On the Mac Pro, I double-clicked on a mkv BD rip, XBMC started up, and the movie played perfectly through my Onkyo 805 (outstanding video and DTS 5.1 audio).
- I tested several other mkv BD rips and they all worked perfectly also.
- I then tested DVD Player for some Video TS rips of DVDs. They also worked perfectly.
- I listed the mini for sale.

- I watched another mkv rip a few days later, video and audio played perfectly via XBMC.

A couple days ago:
- I attempted a mkv BD rip viewing. XBMC started up and the video showed up on my TV, no audio on the Onkyo 805.
- Then I did what I said in my original post, attempting to trouble-shoot the problem:
- - 1st thing I noticed was that alert sounds did go to the Onkyo 805 through the Digital Out while XBMC was sending video but no audio.
- - I tried the two audio choices available in the rip in XBMC (DTS 5.1 and mono, I think) and got no sound.
- - I tried a DVD rip using DVD Player and sound went through (Digital Out selected in the Audio System Preference).
- - I attempted several mkv BD rips, still no sound w/XBMC.
- - I then opened a mkv rip with VLC and it played correctly, the audio was DTS 5.1 at the Onkyo 805 (it indicates the audio input).
- - I replayed the same rip using XBMC, no audio.
- - I replayed the same rip w/VLC, and the audio to the Onkyo 805 was stereo, not DTS 5.1! This seemed to occur randomly with several other mkv BD rips via VLC.
- - That's when I checked Audio Midi, and tried encoded digital out (it was not selected automatically apparently) and got DTS 5.1 at the Onkyo 805. This randomness continues.
- - Assuming something corrupted my Mac Pro's copy of XBMC, I removed XBMC, downloaded a new copy, and installed XBMC. Still no audio.
- - I checked XBMC's forums and immediately realized I had not enough savvy to follow the threads: I thought I found exactly what I was looking for but the solution had no relevance to my situation, that I could see.
- - I posted my thread on AVS.

- I made no further physical changes to my HT setup, and still haven't, since I eliminated the mini. And again, the only change made was to disconnect the Kanex adapter from the mini and connect it to the Mac Pro.

- I have Time Machine copies of my Mac Pro dating back to January 15th, 2013.
Thanks again for any ideas.

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post #4 of 9 Old 02-19-2013, 06:58 AM
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Time machine versions on their own don't help because you can't boot up off of them you can only "restore" from them. This is why SuperDuper is so valuable in a home theater context...once you get your system set up right and everything is humming along...make that SuperDuper clone and set it aside. Then when something gets screwed up, and before you go through all sorts of hoops deleting, changing settings, re-downloading, updating, whatever, you can just boot up off of the clone to verify/set things right again. Several times over the years I've been saved by SuperDuper because there are so many little things that can throw your enjoyment off when it comes to HT--and these things aren't universal, something one appreciates and deems essential another may not. The last one for me was an XBMC update that "broke" pressing the Menu button on the little Apple remote to open XBMC. Sure, there were workarounds using other apps or devices, but I wanted the simplicity of the single remote button press at anytime. I've tested updates since and if that isn't fixed, I don't update. So I'm on the most recent version (10.1) where the button press does work in the living room. In the BR with the aTV1 I'm on Eden. So no Frodo for me yet.

My original questions still stand about the Eden/Frodo/32bit/64bit versions you have installed, still don't know, and still don't know what your settings are.

If you are now not even able to open the app, perhaps do a full uninstall and cleaning out all traces of XBMC, then reinstall. I could be you're retaining some traces of former installs and preferences and they are conflicting with each other.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-19-2013, 07:24 AM
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And return to the XBMC Mac forum and look for threads like this one:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=154588

Might give you some ideas of things to check, seems there are some audio issues confirmed by users and developers with the trifecta of Mountain Lion, Frodo and HDMI audio, which probably is your exact combination.

I don't envy your task, there's certainly some voodoo beyond just the OSX and XBMC version w/ that Kanex adapter, there's HDMI/HDCP handshaking, your AVR as intermediate device, whether you wake/sleep the Mac Pro, what happens when switching to different AVR inputs and then back, it really can be a delicate dance.

Also, let me know what jargon is tripping you up and I'll try to help.

And, since I'm curious, how far away is your Mac Pro from the AVR, did you put it right where the Mini was?
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-19-2013, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

And return to the XBMC Mac forum and look for threads like this one:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=154588

Might give you some ideas of things to check, seems there are some audio issues confirmed by users and developers with the trifecta of Mountain Lion, Frodo and HDMI audio, which probably is your exact combination.

I don't envy your task, there's certainly some voodoo beyond just the OSX and XBMC version w/ that Kanex adapter, there's HDMI/HDCP handshaking, your AVR as intermediate device, whether you wake/sleep the Mac Pro, what happens when switching to different AVR inputs and then back, it really can be a delicate dance.

Also, let me know what jargon is tripping you up and I'll try to help.

Thanks for that, I'll check out the thread. Yep, that's my exact combination. But it was the same combination when XBMC was working, both with the mini and the Mac Pro, so that's why it seemed weird to me, but I guess the issues can develop at any time. I imagine I could return the Mac Pro to OSX 10.6.x but that'd be the last resort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

And, since I'm curious, how far away is your Mac Pro from the AVR, did you put it right where the Mini was?

The Mac Pro is about 18-ft (straight line) away from the HT in another room. I'm using a 30-ft HDMI cable, 9430 30ft Ultra Slim Series High Performance HDMI® Cable w/ RedMere® Technology. I've heard horror stories about long-run (>6ft) HDMI which is why I didn't list the mini for sale until I tested the efficacy of the setup. Looks like I didn't test it enough :-(
At least I'm not unable to view rips since VLC works (knock-on-wood!!!)

Thanks again for your time and help.

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post #7 of 9 Old 02-19-2013, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

And return to the XBMC Mac forum and look for threads like this one:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=154588

Might give you some ideas of things to check, seems there are some audio issues confirmed by users and developers with the trifecta of Mountain Lion, Frodo and HDMI audio, which probably is your exact combination.

No problems understanding that thread. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to fully apply in my case since (as far as I know) the Mac Pro doesn't "know" it's connected via HDMI. It just sees the Kanex adapter. As far as other software interfering with XBMC, I will attempt starting up XBMC with no other software running, though I have not added any software since connecting via the Kanex adapter.

Unfortunately I have the more pressing problem (currently) that XBMC will not even start running on the Mac Pro currently. I was planning to investigate that, too. I just tried out XBMC, Version 12.0 (Git-20130127-fb595f2), on this MacBook Pro. I may try just dropping this app onto the Mac Pro.

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-19-2013, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by grubavs View Post

---snip--- I may try just dropping this app onto the Mac Pro.


Holy smokes! It worked. I attempted to start up the installed XBMC on the Mac Pro, nothing. I uninstalled XBMC using Clean My Mac. I then dropped XBMC app from my MacBook Pro onto the Mac Pro. It started up OK, I added my Movies folder to the VIDEOS section, fired up a movie, et voila! Only no DTS, but going into XBMC's SOUND menu I set it to Optical/Co-ax and all is well!
Now I just have to remember to not upgrade XBMC...

Thanks again, chefklc, for your time and suggestions.

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post #9 of 9 Old 02-19-2013, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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and one "final" thing... I'm suddenly getting a deja vu about this. I bet if I searched my old posts I'd find a similar conversation about XBMC failing and fixing it by adding an existing copy... when I stop watching my movies, I'll check on that wink.gif

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