I have some questions about multichannel FLAC files in an MKV and why everything is at a low volume. Here's my setup as well as how I create the MKV files.
Zotac mATX 9300 with and E7400 (no additional video card or sound card)
Windows 7 Ultimate (fully patched) utilizing Shark's 007 32 and 64 bit codec packs. I run Media Browser as my frontend and playback via W7. Hardware assist works on all supported formats and SD is handled by the MS decoder. All current Nvidia HDMI drivers and setup as 5.1.
HDMI out of Zotac to Pioneer SC-05. Everything sounds great but the volume level is so low. I have to maximize the Windows volume and crank up the SC-05's volume to match what I would normally get out of a DVD/BD that plays out of my OPPO BDP-83.
Using Shark's menu selection, I go to the AC-3 filter plugin and switch PCM to read as 32 bit. I don't adjust any of the levels. The Pioneer reads all audio streams as PCM and plays them back in 5.1 with no issues but the sound is so low. I am stumped?!?
Here's my process of making BD/HD-DVD MKVs (SD is handled via MakeMKV).
AnyDVD for decryption.
HDBR Stream to demux the chapters to text, video to MKV, and DTS/AC3 to FLAC. Once finished, everything is remuxed with MKV Merge. Playback has been great and sound via headphones (stereo) is awesome. But once I connect to my 5.1 setup, the volume is always low.
I used ClownBD to test out a TS file with the Dolby Digital Streams set to downconvert to 640k. Once ClownBD finishes the TS file, playback of this file is much louder than the FLAC version. I tested this with The Italian Job and 300 BD versions. The SC-05 reports the Dolby Digital stream and the volume level seems to match the BD version. However, with the TS files I lose chapter support if I playback files via MPC.
I also decided to try a test with South Park season 12 on Blu-Ray. I used HDBR to demux like normal but instead of FLAC for audio, I chose AC3. After remuxing the files, and having Mediainfo report that the audio was 640k AC3, the SC-05 still states it was PCM and the volume was still low.
I am at a loss of what to do. I have too much pre-existing media to re-mux but moving forward, I want to get things right.
Should I use the SPDIF output for audio instead of the HDMI chain? Should I always select no conversion for audio in Clown BD instead of 640k AC3?
Thanks for all the help.