What are my audio options over HDMI? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-11-2011, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I'll try and keep this simple.

I've got an Acer Revo 3610 hooked up to an Onkyo HTX-22HDX which has the ability to decode pretty much anything you throw at it. The speaker set is 5.1. I regularly use XBMC 10.1 for file playback and TMT3 for blu-rays (via an external drive).

I'm simply trying to figure out how to get the best audio from each of these sources to the AV amp over HDMI?
  • With XBMC, I'm mostly playing my DVD collection so the audio never goes beyond regular DTS soundtracks. I've set the Audio Output Device in XBMC's settings to "WASAPI: NVIDIA HDMI Out" - is this any better/worse than using "Directsound: NVIDIA HDMI Out"?.
  • In TMT3 there's no option for WASAPI, but changing the 'Mixing Mode' produces various results. Mixing to PCM, DTS or Dolby Digital shows the AV amp receiving those respective formats, but using "Original Primary Audio only" seems only to send the 'core' part of any HD audio tracks (either DTS from DTS-MA tracks, or DD from DD-TrueHD tracks). What's the best option here? Is mixing to PCM outputting the full uncompressed audio track, or is it being tampered with in some way?
  • Finally, what should my Windows audio settings be? My HDMI Out properties show sample rates supported up to 192kHz, but only 'Dolby Digital' as a format [click for image]. Is this a problem?

As always, thanks for the help guys!
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-12-2011, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone? Even if it's just to point me in the right direction?

Thanks.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-12-2011, 08:14 AM
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I think you're asking about what is called "bitstreaming". It means that your application will pass an unmodified audio stream to your receiver.

If "WASAPI: NVIDIA HDMI Out" works (you hear sound), you're probably good to go. Your receiver should display what it is receiving.

In TMT3, you probably want no mixing.

In Windows, Control Panel, Sounds, you can see what the combination is capable of doing. There are some tests there that may be helpful.

Jim Hillegass / JRiver Media Center

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post #4 of 8 Old 12-13-2011, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply, jriver. I understand the concept of bitstreaming, but I'm not sure that the ION platform supports bitstreaming of HD audio formats over HDMI. From what I read, it doesn't. I'm just trying to get the best audio out from the Revo, even if that means unpacking to PCM before outputing the audio to my receiver.

Everything 'works' (WASAPI or DirectSound in XBMC, any of the mixing settings in TMT3) - but which settings provide the best audio output? And should I match my Windows audio settings to typical HD soundtracks (16bit / 48kHz)? Is there any advantage to upmixing to 24bit / 96kHz or above?
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-13-2011, 08:49 AM
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I wouldn't say there's an advantage to upmixing. With Audio, get the best source you can...then play it that way. Let your ears tell you what's right. Change the settings with you eyes closed. Better yet, ask someone else in the family to listen with you while you change settings.

I'm confused too.

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post #6 of 8 Old 12-13-2011, 09:05 AM
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ION supports only DD, DTS and 2/5.1/7.1 LPCM over HDMI (I am not sure why you don't see DTS; did you install the latest driver?).

- DVD in XBMC: bitstream DD/DTS.
- TrueHD/DTS-HD in TMT: Mixing to PCM (decoded and downsampled to 48kHz/16bit LPCM)

If you use an external DirectShow player such as MPC HomeCinema (with LAV Audio Decoder + dtsdecoderdll.dll), TrueHD/DTS-HD can be decoded bit-perfect.

Multichannel LPCM is subject to change by Windows Audio Engine. WASAPI exclusive mode by ReClock is recommended. Compressed audio format such as DD won't be changed so that WASAPI or DirectSound does not matter.

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post #7 of 8 Old 12-14-2011, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djearl81 View Post

I wouldn't say there's an advantage to upmixing.

Thanks, I guess I was more worried about it adversely affecting my audio in some way (because of the extra processing).


Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

ION supports only DD, DTS and 2/5.1/7.1 LPCM over HDMI (I am not sure why you don't see DTS; did you install the latest driver?).

It's weird, my windows settings don't show DTS as a supported format, but my receiver displays 'DTS' when playing rips with DTS audio tracks, and will recieve the DTS core track when playing DTS MA tracks in TMT3.

I don't have the latest drivers, but nor do I have really old ones - I got everything working a while back and didn't want to 'mess' with things!


Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

- TrueHD/DTS-HD in TMT: Mixing to PCM (decoded and downsampled to 48kHz/16bit LPCM)

Is this a limitation of TMT? I've read something previously about PCM tracks being downsampled, but could remember if it was TMT or Windows that was to blame.


Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

If you use an external DirectShow player such as MPC HomeCinema (with LAV Audio Decoder + dtsdecoderdll.dll), TrueHD/DTS-HD can be decoded bit-perfect.

I do use MPC-HC and this is what I'm going to try next - I've been reading the Advanced MPC-HC Guide here, but that sets you up for bitstreaming. Do I just need to uncheck the 'DTS-HD' and 'Dolby TrueHD' boxes in the LAV Audio Decoder setting page to have it decode them to PCM rather than bitstream?

Thanks for all your help, renethx!
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-14-2011, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aequalszero View Post

Is this a limitation of TMT? I've read something previously about PCM tracks being downsampled, but could remember if it was TMT or Windows that was to blame.

I do use MPC-HC and this is what I'm going to try next - I've been reading the Advanced MPC-HC Guide here, but that sets you up for bitstreaming. Do I just need to uncheck the 'DTS-HD' and 'Dolby TrueHD' boxes in the LAV Audio Decoder setting page to have it decode them to PCM rather than bitstream?

Thanks for all your help, renethx!

This is a requirement of an AACS-compliant BD player as ION does not support PAP.

Yes, uncheck "Dolby TrueHD" and "DTS-HD".

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