Upgrade to Media Center, Now have Dolby Digital in both Netflix and Amazon Instant - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 07-20-2013, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
Yes Virginia, you can get Dolby Digital in both Netflix and Amazon Instant with Live!
I know you guys are going what! Want more information please replay!

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post #2 of 30 Old 07-21-2013, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Now if you are using an AVR Receiver / System that connects to your Media Center via HDMI, this whole post is a don't care. But for those out there that have surround sound setups whereas the only connection between Media Center PC and their surround system is Spdif then you do care about this post.

After much research, I have determine how to get Dolby Digital 5.1 from both Amazon Instant & Netflix. But first here is some background information.
1) All streaming devices; Roku, etc. encodes the audio using Dolby Digital Live. So basically they convert the decompressed LPCM/PCM audio streams to Dolby Digital 5.1.
2) Amazon Instant Video Unbox downloads and streaming videos uses WMA Pro audio. If you read on in Amazon's help section they do say that they send out 5.1 audio, but they do-not comment on the encoding methods.
3) Netflix uses Silver-light and they are sending out multiple channels of PCM audio.
4) As for PlayOn, its stereo only.
5) Just because they say it 5.1 doesn't mean that it's Dolby Digital 5.1.
6) I have not tested Hulu yet, but I will later.

So what is needed is an AC 3 encoder (aka. AC 3 Filter) to encode the PCM/LPCM audio streams to Dolby Digital 5.1. But AC 3 Filter does not work on Amazon/Netflix audio stream because of CONTENT PROTECTION(DRM). So the alternative is Dolby Digital Live. That right Dolby Digital Live is a DRM enabled AC 3 Encoder.

A few years ago, motherboards manufacturers would include the Dolby Digital Live encode on their software CD. In order to include the software they had to pay a license fee to Dolby for every motherboard sold. To cut their cost most of them decided not to pay the license fee. But they still advertise that their mother board supports Dolby PCEE and don't include the software. Dolby PCEE software includes Dolby Digital Live.

I recently built a new Medial Center PC (details 21st century) and used an AsRock motherboard. The motherboard specifications included Realtek 892 audio codec with Content Protection and Dolby PCEE. There was no Dolby PCEE software on the included CD.

So in order to get Dolby Digital 5.1 for both Amazon and Netflix I purchase this;
http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-XFi-Surround-5.1/M/B0044DEDCA.htm.
The software pack for the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Sound Card included the Dolby Digital Live encoder. There are a few hiccups with this setup, but I have to work on them.
I have now fixed a lot of the hiccups that I was having.

So we should all complain to the motherboards manufacturers for not including the software.

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post #3 of 30 Old 07-22-2013, 11:10 AM
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post #4 of 30 Old 07-22-2013, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Already knew about the Dolby Digital Live and DTC Connect pack. The pack only works with certain XFi cards and does not work with the X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Sound Card. The USB sound card already included the Dolby Digital Live encoder..

One of the hiccups that I ran into is that Live TV and Rocording will not work through the USB card. I get an error message saying that files were missing. To get around the problem with Live TV and TV recording, I installed the Audio Rendener Update (ARU) program. With ARU I can switch the audio output device from within WMC, Live TV and recording already bit streams Dolby Digital 5.1 to my Surround Processer. So the Dolby Digital Live encoder is not needed. for Live TV and Recordings.

The second hiccup was that I had a audio studding problem. I had both my Wireless Lan adapter and USB Sound board on the same USB hub. I move the USB sound board to the USB3 port and the studding problem went away.

I plan on loading up some filter graphs in the next feiw days!

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post #5 of 30 Old 07-23-2013, 03:15 PM
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I'm not sure I follow. Is this only for listed Creative devices via SPDIF?
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post #6 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 04:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruiner View Post

I'm not sure I follow. Is this only for listed Creative devices via SPDIF?

Yes the Dolby Digital Live / DTS Connect software works only for the Creative cards listed. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Sound Card includes the Dolby Digital Live encoder on it's software CD.

You should also check the motherboard manufacture's website. Some of the mother board manufactures still license the Dolby Digital Live encoder.

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post #7 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 05:58 AM
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I just use my 2008 PS3 for Netflix. I get Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, the time elapsed bar and better video quality than Netflix played in 7MC.
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post #8 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 06:59 AM
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My entire Netflix player costs less than just the IR adapter for a PS3 and is better and faster in every other respect. And it plays discs too. I don't miss my PS3 one bit. I see no reason for a non gamer to use a PS3 at all. Years ago when stand alone players were slow and expensive it made sense, but not today.

I agree that anything beats Netflix on WMC7. Why bother with all the time, effort and expense to get 5.1 when the picture still sucks? Except for the science experiment aspect, I don't see the point. I do appreciate the OP's time and effort posting though, in spite of the fact that I don't comprehend the reasoning.


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post #9 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

My entire Netflix player costs less than just the IR adapter for a PS3 and is better and faster in every other respect. And it plays discs too. I don't miss my PS3 one bit. I see no reason for a non gamer to use a PS3 at all. Years ago when stand alone players were slow and expensive it made sense, but not today.

I agree that anything beats Netflix on WMC7. Why bother with all the time, effort and expense to get 5.1 when the picture still sucks? Except for the science experiment aspect, I don't see the point. I do appreciate the OP's time and effort posting though, in spite of the fact that I don't comprehend the reasoning.


I don't know where you get the picture suck on W7 with Netflix. Mine looks great and I don't see anything wrong it. This thread was started to inform everyone on how to get Dolby Digital from Netflix and Amazon. These posts that say certain things suck and else is your opinion. And it does not add anything to the conversion. This is the forum for HTPCs and not for streaming devices / gaming consoles!

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post #10 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 10:23 AM
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It is correct that there is another forum within AVS under gaming and content streaming called Networking, Media Servers and Content Streaming where much is posted about Netflix streaming. It is also true that you described a viable solution for getting 5.1 audio within 7MC. And I agree with you that the video quality of Netflix HD can be 720p and does not suck. My ISP does not allow open connect and therefore I cannot get Netflix Super HD and I have not seen that level of video quality.

Actually, this is a forum for Home Theater Computers. The PS3 has been mentioned on this forum for many years as well as various streaming devices. The PS3 is another solution to getting 5.1 audio.

Additionally, I understand the Windows 8 operating system can get Netflix streaming audio in 5.1.

So, we have other solutions and I think you contributed useful information. I don't know how many readers of this forum have an old PS3 and have not thought of using it for Netflix. Probably there are not many such readers.
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post #11 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Embry View Post

I don't know where you get the picture suck on W7 with Netflix. Mine looks great and I don't see anything wrong it. This thread was started to inform everyone on how to get Dolby Digital from Netflix and Amazon. These posts that say certain things suck and else is your opinion. And it does not add anything to the conversion. This is the forum for HTPCs and not for streaming devices / gaming consoles!
Sorry, my hatred for Netflix on WMC7 got the best of me. No offense to you, only to Microsoft and to Netflix. Rather than saying it sucked, I should have said it is artificially limited by Microsoft and Netflix to a lower resolution of 720p which is only 44% as many pixels as the 1080p you get on most other streaming devices, which meets my criteria for sucking. I don't understand why one would ever settle for less than half the resolution one was paying for. I agree Netflix still looks decent at 720p, but it looks far better at 1080p, especially on a big screen. It may look good to you simply because you don't realize what you're missing, like DVD looks pretty good until you've seen blu-ray. I use my HTPC for TV, but not for Netflix because the app is so crippled and bug ridden it simply isn't worthwhile, IMO. If you're willing to buy a $70 device to improve the sound, why not spend $50 and get a greatly improved picture and interface as well? If you still think I'm out of line, then my apologies.

EDIT: 1080p does not necessarily equal Super HD. My ISP isn't Open Connect either, yet I still get 1080p Netflix on all my devices except my Win 7 HTPC.


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post #12 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 11:33 AM
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As far as 7MC goes, it is stuck in 720p max and I have not seen any title shows up as 5.1 audio yet. Almost all BD players today support Netflix in Super HD and DD+ 5.1. As well as many SmartTVs. Windows 8 Netflix player is another example of cheap alternative. Why bother with 7MC Netflix plugin at all.

OP, how do you know you are getting 5.1 audio from Netflix? So far, all the titles I normally getting 5.1 audio in other Netflix players don't show up as 5.1 at all. I have HDMI connections if you are wondering.
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post #13 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 01:50 PM
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression, re. PC Netflix:
7MC: WMC remote works. Limited to 720p and 2 ch. audio, limited HD catalog
8: doesn't work with WMC remote, 1080p but same limited HD catalog, 5.1 audio


Netflix is dumping Silverlight for html5 last I read. I wonder how these factors will be impacted.
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post #14 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

EDIT: 1080p does not necessarily equal Super HD. My ISP isn't Open Connect either, yet I still get 1080p Netflix on all my devices except my Win 7 HTPC.

I did not know I could get 1080p without open connect. Is there a way I can check whether I am getting 1080p on the PS3 when playing netflix in HD?
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post #15 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 02:29 PM
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1080p does not require OpenConnection. OpenConnect gives you higher bit rate 1080p (up to 5800mbps compared to 3800 mbps 1080p) and 3D. PS3 should have a status display of current streaming resolution. You can also play the movie titled " Example Short 23.976" in Netflix and it will overlay current resolution and stream rate.

Netflix Metro app on Windows 8 is fully capable for all available resolution and bitrate and supports bitstreaming DD+ 5.1 as well.
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post #16 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 05:29 PM
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I'm not sure how a sound card can be integrated into a system that uses the video card for sending both audio and video to an AVR for processing ausio and upscaling the video to 1080p.

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post #17 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 06:11 PM
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damn it why is it so complicated to get DD 5.1 on spdf I bought an external usb sound card thinking it would work right away but no, damn it
I tried Media Center and it was a no go, only get crappy 2 channel PCM and the blue light does not turn on like the test tone on the option panel.
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post #18 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 06:50 PM
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has anyone installed ac3filter_2_6_0b.exe it has a search adware so I did not install it, has anyone installed the filter and got DD 5.1 ac3 on spdf?
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post #19 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

1080p does not require OpenConnection. OpenConnect gives you higher bit rate 1080p (up to 5800mbps compared to 3800 mbps 1080p) and 3D. PS3 should have a status display of current streaming resolution. You can also play the movie titled " Example Short 23.976" in Netflix and it will overlay current resolution and stream rate.

Netflix Metro app on Windows 8 is fully capable for all available resolution and bitrate and supports bitstreaming DD+ 5.1 as well.

Playing Example Short 23.976 on my PS3 I am getting 3850Kbps at 1920x1080. The test sounds are audible. The actors dialogue is not audible. The AVR displays dolby digital 5.1 on HDMI but not dolby digital +. My internet service is 6 megabits and I do not have open connect. Is this what I should expect?
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post #20 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 09:16 PM
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That bitrate is to be expected. Some parts of the short have no voices although the actors are speaking. You should hear monologue at some point. Does your receiver support DD+? Only fairly new ones do. I'm not sure if PS3 does DD+ either. I'll never know on my 20 year old receiver.

Since you've had 1080p all along, that may have given you a false impression about the quality of the 720p you thought you were watching. PS3 was actually the first device to support Netflix 1080p a few years ago. If you watch Example Short ramp up and the resolution more than doubles, you can clearly see a significant difference.

If you want a good laugh, read some of the reviews for Exsmple Short.


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post #21 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign View Post

Playing Example Short 23.976 on my PS3 I am getting 3850Kbps at 1920x1080. The test sounds are audible. The actors dialogue is not audible. The AVR displays dolby digital 5.1 on HDMI but not dolby digital +. My internet service is 6 megabits and I do not have open connect. Is this what I should expect?
That's as high as you will get without OpenConnect and also limited by your bandwidth. This video has two audio tracks: 5.1 DD+ is test tones and 2.0 does not contain test tone. There is no voice. DD+ can only be passed via HDMI.
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post #22 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
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If you guys will hold on, I going to install Graph-edit to my Media Center PC and we shall see what is exactly going on.

As for adding extra boxes to do special things, I have a fairly complex Audio/Video system consisting of both old and new equipment Some of my equipment goes back to 1973/74. The newest part of the system is the Media Center PC that I built back in March. The PC has HDMI output feeding the 52 inch Samsung HDTV. The Optical out of the TV bit-streams Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, and PCM audio to the Technics Digital surround processor. And now the Creative Xifi Pro 5.1 USB adapter also bit-streams Dolby Digital to the surround processor.

About three weeks ago I was looking at some properties of the WMV files that I have downloaded using Unbox from Amazon. They all show that they had 6 channel audio embedded in them. This is when I started my research on-line and found out a bunch of information. I found statements on-line about Netflix embedding 5.1 PCM audio in there video files. The fact is the default W7 install will decode Netflix to 2 channels audio. The Dolby Digital Live encoder included with the Creative USB audio can handle DRM content and can encode the 5.1 PCM audio to Dolby Digital 5.1.

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post #23 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 06:01 AM
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Thanks for the information.

And, my Pioneer VSX-31 AVR will decode bitstreamed dolby digital pus and show it on the lcd window.
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post #24 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos Fong View Post

damn it why is it so complicated to get DD 5.1 on spdf I bought an external usb sound card thinking it would work right away but no, damn it
I tried Media Center and it was a no go, only get crappy 2 channel PCM and the blue light does not turn on like the test tone on the option panel.

I see that you are new to this forum. There is a lot of stuff here to learn. To get bit-stream Dolby Digital 5.1 to your audio system can be a very complex thing to get working correctly. First you need a source that has Dolby Digital or DTS(aka DVD, Blu-ray, OTA TV etc), Next the transfer path must support it and here is were it gets complex. Please tell us about your setup and maybe we can direct you in the right direction.

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post #25 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Embry View Post

I see that you are new to this forum. There is a lot of stuff here to learn. To get bit-stream Dolby Digital 5.1 to your audio system can be a very complex thing to get working correctly. First you need a source that has Dolby Digital or DTS(aka DVD, Blu-ray, OTA TV etc), Next the transfer path must support it and here is were it gets complex. Please tell us about your setup and maybe we can direct you in the right direction.


Thanks for your help and I dont mean to hijack your thread

My setup is an htpc with

ENMAB-8CM | 7.1 Channel USB Audio Box (I wich I could easily just ad a good sound card but have not slots left)
and I want to watch matroshka files with ac3 this box they tell me does not pass tru DTS

I have and older model SONY AV receiever with a lot os SDFS inputs it has Dolby Digital 5.1, it has a lot of Component inputs and output bnut no HDMI


The sony AVR reciever Dolby Digital 5.1 lights up with a test tone on an options menu It gives the Dolby Digital Sound and its great, I know the USB audio box passes Dolby Digital beacuse of that test tone.

BUT when I open a mvk file with AC3 it only gives me 2 channel PCM sound, and other aplications like an HD TVuner its does not pass Dolby Digital only PCM


what can I do to get Dolby Digital from mvk movie files? beacuse without 5.1 it pointless to watch them

I have tried Videolan
Windows Media Center
the latetest Power DVD
Media PLayer Classic Home Cinema with LAV filters

Please help

I hope I can avoid having to get a new motherboard and proccesor to be able to fit an internal sound card


Also you mentioned Dolby Digital Live my Older AV reciever only does Dolby Digital 5.1 is this the problem? do both play ac3 files?
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post #26 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

That bitrate is to be expected. Some parts of the short have no voices although the actors are speaking. You should hear monologue at some point. Does your receiver support DD+? Only fairly new ones do. I'm not sure if PS3 does DD+ either. I'll never know on my 20 year old receiver.

Since you've had 1080p all along, that may have given you a false impression about the quality of the 720p you thought you were watching. PS3 was actually the first device to support Netflix 1080p a few years ago. If you watch Example Short ramp up and the resolution more than doubles, you can clearly see a significant difference.

If you want a good laugh, read some of the reviews for Exsmple Short.
Sorry to interrupt the audio discussion but i did want to acknowledge that mdavej is correct. When I commented on netflix video quality I did not realize I was getting 1080p.
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post #27 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos Fong View Post

Thanks for your help and I dont mean to hijack your thread

My setup is an htpc with

ENMAB-8CM | 7.1 Channel USB Audio Box (I wich I could easily just ad a good sound card but have not slots left)
and I want to watch matroshka files with ac3 this box they tell me does not pass tru DTS

I have and older model SONY AV receiever with a lot os SDFS inputs it has Dolby Digital 5.1, it has a lot of Component inputs and output bnut no HDMI


The sony AVR reciever Dolby Digital 5.1 lights up with a test tone on an options menu It gives the Dolby Digital Sound and its great, I know the USB audio box passes Dolby Digital beacuse of that test tone.

BUT when I open a mvk file with AC3 it only gives me 2 channel PCM sound, and other aplications like an HD TVuner its does not pass Dolby Digital only PCM


what can I do to get Dolby Digital from mvk movie files? beacuse without 5.1 it pointless to watch them

I have tried Videolan
Windows Media Center
the latetest Power DVD
Media PLayer Classic Home Cinema with LAV filters

Please help

I hope I can avoid having to get a new motherboard and proccesor to be able to fit an internal sound card


Also you mentioned Dolby Digital Live my Older AV reciever only does Dolby Digital 5.1 is this the problem? do both play ac3 files?

Ok lets see if we can help.
First off Dolby Digital Live is an AC3 encoder. For example if you have Windows Media Video (WMV) that has WMA Pro embedded audio streams, you can use Dolby Digital Live to convert the WMA Pro data to AC3.

From what i read in you post, you can't bit-streams any Dolby Digital AC3 or DTS to your Sony AVR.
Which OS are you running on your HTPC. if its Windows 7, then you will have problems with any DRM enabled sources(aka, Live TV OTA, Blu Ray discs etc) when it comes to bit-streaming Dolby Digital.
1) Does you HTPC have HDMI output?
2) Does your HDTV have HDMI Input?
3) Are you connected via HDMI cable from the HTPC to your HDTV.
4) Does you HDTV have an optical Spdif output.?
if you can answer all 4 questions with a YES, then there is a solution on this forum.
It does sound like you have a configuration problem with you PC. Please tell us more about you HTPC

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post #28 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 04:54 PM
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Ok lets see if we can help.


"From what i read in you post, you can't bit-streams any Dolby Digital AC3 or DTS to your Sony AVR.
Which OS are you running on your HTPC. if its Windows 7, then you will have problems with any DRM enabled sources(aka, Live TV OTA, Blu Ray discs etc) "

YesI have Windows 7 Ultimate am I screwed? I just want to watch clips from the internet or mkv matroshka files, I dont own a single Blue ray, but I do own a HD USB Tuner that im not getting DD 5.1 like stannd alone boxes.



when it comes to bit-streaming Dolby Digital.
1) Does you HTPC have HDMI output?
yes but I have and older tv and an older AV reciever that Do not have HDMI inputs only compiste for the AVR and DVI for the TV


2) Does your HDTV have HDMI Input?
NO just DVI


3) Are you connected via HDMI cable from the HTPC to your HDTV.
yes but its an adapter HDMI to DVI cable

4) Does you HDTV have an optical Spdif output.?
NO, only copposite audio in /out, its an older Sony HDTV


if you can answer all 4 questions with a YES, then there is a solution on this forum.
It does sound like you have a configuration problem with you PC. Please tell us more about you HTPC

Looks like the ENCORE ENMAB-8CM 7.1 Channel USB Audio Box is crap I will have to upgrade and spend $200 for a
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx Sound Card - 5.1 Channels
and a another Video card that only takes one slot

I have a video card that takesup two slots

Question will the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx Sound Card - 5.1 Channels fix all my sound problems and send DTS/Dolby 5.1 on spdf with no problems
I just will use it for watching downloaded clips that have dts/dd ac 3 5.1 sound



Thank you very much for you help
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post #29 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like the ENCORE ENMAB-8CM 7.1 Channel USB Audio Box is crap. Yes I would agree.


will have to upgrade and spend $200 for a
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx Sound Card - 5.1 Channels
and a another Video card that only takes one slot

I have a video card that takesup two slots

Question will the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx Sound Card - 5.1 Channels fix all my sound problems and send DTS/Dolby 5.1 on spdf with no problems
I just will use it for watching downloaded clips that have dts/dd ac 3 5.1 sound

The Creative Labs card will work. Get one of the following cards and you can get the Dolby Digital Leve and DTS Connect Pack.
Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro
Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum
Sound Blaster X-Fi
Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty
Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series
Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty® Pro
Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer

Instead of buying a new video and audio adapter, you should consider buying a new motherboard with DVI, HDMI, spdif connections.
Check the motherboard websites and see which ones will support the Dolby Digital Live. Encoder.



Thank you very much for you help

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post #30 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 07:15 PM
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"Instead of buying a new video and audio adapter, you should consider buying a new motherboard with DVI, HDMI, spdif connections.
Check the motherboard websites and see which ones will support the Dolby Digital Live. Encoder."

Yeah but if I did that I would have to buy anther processor with this motherboard that because it has all the belles and whistles both Mobo and processor will be like $400
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