Using ffdshow to convert AAC 5.1 to AC3 within WMC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-02-2012, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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For mkv file playback I currently use Haali splitter within WMC, bitstreaming DD5.1 and DTS audio to my receiver. Works great except for files that have AAC 5.1 audio. In those cases, the audio is sent as two-channel stereo. After some research I understand that I would need to use something like ffdshow to transcode the audio before sending it out to my receiver in order to maintain the 5.1 sound.

My question is can ffdshow be configured to perform this task with Media Center's internal player, or must I use it in conjunction with an external player like MPC-HC? I would only want to use ffdshow for this specific audio conversion, and I would like to keep my playback within WMC's player, and not use an external player. Is this possible?

Any tips or useful links would be much appreciated. I'd like to avoid codec packs too. Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-02-2012, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbane View Post

For mkv file playback I currently use Haali splitter within WMC, bitstreaming DD5.1 and DTS audio to my receiver. Works great except for files that have AAC 5.1 audio. In those cases, the audio is sent as two-channel stereo. After some research I understand that I would need to use something like ffdshow to transcode the audio before sending it out to my receiver in order to maintain the 5.1 sound.
My question is can ffdshow be configured to perform this task with Media Center's internal player, or must I use it in conjunction with an external player like MPC-HC? I would only want to use ffdshow for this specific audio conversion, and I would like to keep my playback within WMC's player, and not use an external player. Is this possible?
Any tips or useful links would be much appreciated. I'd like to avoid codec packs too. Thanks!

You can probably get it to convert to a 5.1 DD bitstream. And it will load in WMC. I have one HTPC connected via S/PDIF optical for audio (the AVR doesn't support HDMI audio), and for my MKV files with Dolby EX, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD, I use ffdshow to transcode to DD5.1 then bitstream over S/PDIF optical to the receiver. You will have to mess around with the settings a bit to keep it's mitts off the other formats.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-02-2012, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbane View Post

For mkv file playback I currently use Haali splitter within WMC, bitstreaming DD5.1 and DTS audio to my receiver. Works great except for files that have AAC 5.1 audio. In those cases, the audio is sent as two-channel stereo. After some research I understand that I would need to use something like ffdshow to transcode the audio before sending it out to my receiver in order to maintain the 5.1 sound.
My question is can ffdshow be configured to perform this task with Media Center's internal player, or must I use it in conjunction with an external player like MPC-HC? I would only want to use ffdshow for this specific audio conversion, and I would like to keep my playback within WMC's player, and not use an external player. Is this possible?
Any tips or useful links would be much appreciated. I'd like to avoid codec packs too. Thanks!

I had this EXACT problem today and couldn't get AAC 5.1 to play through my receiver. It would only play in 2 channel audio. I'm running an HDMI cable to my receiver for sound and video, are you? Hopefully there is a solution.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-03-2012, 03:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I too run optical from the HTPC to the receiver and HDMI to the TV. My receiver doesn't have HDMI inputs. I was thinking the conversion would be to DD 5.1 since my AV only handles that and DTS. Glad to hear that this should work in WMC. I'll mess with the settings later today when I get back home.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-03-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jackbane View Post

I too run optical from the HTPC to the receiver and HDMI to the TV. My receiver doesn't have HDMI inputs. I was thinking the conversion would be to DD 5.1 since my AV only handles that and DTS. Glad to hear that this should work in WMC. I'll mess with the settings later today when I get back home.

I don't know if these settings will work for you because I am using an HDMI cable and you are using an optical cable. In theory, I think they should work for you. Open up the settings in ffdshow audio decoder and try these settings. I now am getting 5.1 audio from an AAC 6 ch source.


Mixer : Uncheck
Output speakers config : same as input
Pass-through (S/PDIF, HDMI): AC3 & DTS ticked (otherwise it showed as 2ch or with below setting both AC3 and DTS showed as AC3)
AC3 (S/PDIF encode mode): ticked (otherwise AAC 6ch showed as 2ch now it displays as AC3 5.1)
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-03-2012, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Well Ive installed and configured the latest 64 bit release of ffdshow tryout and Im attempting to test it out on a mp4 file with aac 5.1 audio. But I cant seem to get WMC to use ffdshow. The tray icon does not appear, the program is not being triggered. I feel like I must be missing something obvious....
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-03-2012, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbane View Post

Well Ive installed and configured the latest 64 bit release of ffdshow tryout and Im attempting to test it out on a mp4 file with aac 5.1 audio. But I cant seem to get WMC to use ffdshow. The tray icon does not appear, the program is not being triggered. I feel like I must be missing something obvious....

I think MP4 is going to be handled by Media Foundation, not Direct Show. So ffdshow, being a Dshow filter, is not going to be involved.
I use it for transcoding MKV content, which is being handled by DShow (I use LAV splitter).

There might be a way to force MP4s to DShow, but I'm not familiar with it...
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-04-2012, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbane View Post

Well Ive installed and configured the latest 64 bit release of ffdshow tryout and Im attempting to test it out on a mp4 file with aac 5.1 audio. But I cant seem to get WMC to use ffdshow. The tray icon does not appear, the program is not being triggered. I feel like I must be missing something obvious....

I'm using mcp-hc, not WMC. I probably should have mentioned that.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-05-2012, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanM View Post

I think MP4 is going to be handled by Media Foundation, not Direct Show. So ffdshow, being a Dshow filter, is not going to be involved.
I use it for transcoding MKV content, which is being handled by DShow (I use LAV splitter).
There might be a way to force MP4s to DShow, but I'm not familiar with it...

So, using mkv's we should be able to use a directshow filter to enable additional channels? Otherwise, we're stuck if it's an mp4 or avi, since Micro$oft recognizes it as a video format and loads up the foundation codec?

I have an additional problem, in that in order to enable bitstreaming I have to check the box in sound properties that gives exclusive control for sound. But when I do that, I get the "Audio device Driver or Codec not installed" error. I really want to get bitstreaming and make sure all my content plays out in 5.1. Any help will be appreciated!
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-05-2012, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by billqs View Post

So, using mkv's we should be able to use a directshow filter to enable additional channels? Otherwise, we're stuck if it's an mp4 or avi, since Micro$oft recognizes it as a video format and loads up the foundation codec?
I have an additional problem, in that in order to enable bitstreaming I have to check the box in sound properties that gives exclusive control for sound. But when I do that, I get the "Audio device Driver or Codec not installed" error. I really want to get bitstreaming and make sure all my content plays out in 5.1. Any help will be appreciated!

You have to enable exclusive control .. at least that's what I understand. No bitstream without it. But on the error, from where WMC (64-bit on Win64)? MediaPlayer (32-bit even on Win64)? And what file format(container)? And what's in the file (codecs)? Use MediaInfo if you are not already, to see what is really in the file you're trying to play, then make sure you can load it in a dshow player like graphstudio. Watch out for 32-bit vs. 64-bit. In general it is useful to install both ffdshow 32 and 64 and make sure the configs are the same. Is it MKV -- make sure you do the registry stuff to support MKV. And make sure you have an MKV splitter installed (I use LAV).

As a side note, I use 32-bit Windows on all my HTPCs and avoid that whole mess...
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-05-2012, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DeanM View Post

You have to enable exclusive control .. at least that's what I understand. No bitstream without it. But on the error, from where WMC (64-bit on Win64)? MediaPlayer (32-bit even on Win64)? And what file format(container)? And what's in the file (codecs)? Use MediaInfo if you are not already, to see what is really in the file you're trying to play, then make sure you can load it in a dshow player like graphstudio. Watch out for 32-bit vs. 64-bit. In general it is useful to install both ffdshow 32 and 64 and make sure the configs are the same. Is it MKV -- make sure you do the registry stuff to support MKV. And make sure you have an MKV splitter installed (I use LAV).
As a side note, I use 32-bit Windows on all my HTPCs and avoid that whole mess...

I've had this issue on two different Windows Media Center 32 bit installs. The files in question were good and played outside WMC in MPC-HC, KMPlayer, and even Windows Media Player. The original answers I got were that is was a Playready error so I spent much time reworking these settings. Finally, someone mentioned clearing this up by unchecking "allow exclusive use" in Sound Properties, and after that it worked fine for playback, but only sent LPCM.

What registry things am I supposed to do for mkvs? My mkv's already play in WMC at least within Media Browser. I'm pretty certain I have Haali's splitter installed.
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-05-2012, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by billqs View Post

I've had this issue on two different Windows Media Center 32 bit installs. The files in question were good and played outside WMC in MPC-HC, KMPlayer, and even Windows Media Player. The original answers I got were that is was a Playready error so I spent much time reworking these settings. Finally, someone mentioned clearing this up by unchecking "allow exclusive use" in Sound Properties, and after that it worked fine for playback, but only sent LPCM.
What registry things am I supposed to do for mkvs? My mkv's already play in WMC at least within Media Browser. I'm pretty certain I have Haali's splitter installed.

Haali does the MKV registry settings for you. Other splitters, like LAV, don't (at least last time I checked).
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