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post #1 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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This to me is the holy grail. I've done endless searches on this and www.thegreenbutton.com, but can't seem to find a definitive anwser. So let me pose the question, and feel free to flame me if I've missed the answer somewhere before!

I run MCE2005 as my OS, as it looks kinda slick, and my wife can drive the remote control. I have an AV-710 sound card hooked up via optical to my Yamaha DSP-A2 amp. I have an ATI 9000 series card to drive both my Pioneer plasma (via a DVI to HDMI cable) and my woidescreen monitor simultaneously. (So you don't need the plasma running while you're only playing music.)

I have all my music CD's ripped to WMA lossless on the machine, and I intend to use it for playback of audio, mpeg video, and DVD's.

Now the tricky bit. I would like the machine to provide the appropriate bitstream to the amplifier - ie. play back a CD, and get 44KHz PCM. Playback a DVD and get 48KHZ DD/DTS. So - no messing with the sound. If I want to mess with the sound I'll do it with the amp.

You see where I'm going. A single audio connector to the PC, and it passes through the native bitstream (OK it will decompress the WMA lossless) to the AMP.

However, I don't think its possible. Apparently, the kmixer component of Windows will always resample audio to 48KHz to allow it to multiplex system and other sounds to the output device.

You can bypass kmixer by using cards that support ASIO or kernel streaming, but they then rely on a media player that supports ASIO or kernel streaming. MCE2005 uses WMP10, and YOU CANT USE ANYTHING ELSE.

So either I use the intuitive media center interface and get crummy sound (believe me it sounds rubbish) OR I use seperate applications for DVD, mpeg playback and audio playback.

Is there any way of getting what I want? I've spent ages building the machine, ripping the CDs, setting up the amp. But it looks like my dream of a fully integrated media centre with bit perfect playback has fallen at the last hurdle.
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post #2 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 08:11 AM
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I too would love to make this happen......alas......
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post #3 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 09:36 AM
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Send a message via Yahoo to JDLIVE
You should probably change your subject line and add a question mark at the end.
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post #4 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 09:53 AM
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I'm not sure if this is a good suggestion but, if its the remote functionality and Wife Acceptance factor that leads you to use MCE, Why not try Mediaportal. You can use this over MCE OS without having to use the MCE app.

I find media portal to have a very friendly user interface similar to MCE. They even have an MCE skin if you want the familiarity.

The great thing about MP is that you can do almost everything you can do with MCE but having the flexibility of using any app with it to play your media and not just windows mediaplayer.

I believe Foobar can output bitperfect audio. MP has a Foobar Plugin. Also I use both the internal Mediaplayer of MP using FFDshow and Nvidia Codecs and WinDVD6 as the DVD player for DNM. I believe MP is a very flexible App best of all its free. Try experimenting with it. I do everything I need my HTPC to do under MP without even leaving the interface.

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post #5 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 10:27 AM
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Vectorzero, I am fairly sure you *can* do what you want.

I asked and asked and searched everywhere and could find no solution. But then in a distant thread in this forum, one guy made a one line comment that no-one picked up on, and in that single one-liner I think there was the answer.

Basically, he said "use reclock".

At the time I didn't figure out what he meant and it went unnoticed. But I think that is the answer.

Re-clock (as perhaps you know) is a tool that helps sync a soundtrack to a movie (and not the other way around) in order to help stop stuttering of the video content. But there's much more to it than that, and - critically - it doesn't have to be used just for movies.

***It has one incredible feature***. You can get it to override the normal output from WMP10 and to be loaded as the sound device, instead of directsound. Insodoing, you are halfway there. By bypassing directsound, you are setup ready to be able to bypass kmixer. All you need to do is to configure reclock to output via kernel streaming.

Now the good news and the bad news. Reclock supports Kernel Streaming. Hurrah!!!!! So you can configure re-clock to load instead of directsound and then for it to use kernel streaming to output bit-perfect content to your AV processor. And since MCE2005 basically uses WMP10, this will work EVEN IN MCE 2005!

The bad news is that Kernel Streaming is disabled by default and to get it enabled, you have to send the author (of reclock) some money. I emailed him about this and he never replied. :-( In fact he's disappeared and even in the reclock forum, no-one has seen him for 2 months. So if he doesn't reply, I have no kernel streaming mode :-(

So I have yet to test it, but from what I can tell, it will surely work.

Chip
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post #6 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 10:29 AM
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Yeah if you can get this to work succesfully i would be VERY happy. i would even be willing to send the author some money myself
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post #7 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 12:38 PM
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I have read posts which state that bit perfect output in MCE is possible, by using a M-Audio Transit USB sound adapter. If you find the topics you can enter the info here.
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post #8 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 12:57 PM
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I'll get on the reclock bandwagon and send the guy some bucks...let you know how it goes.
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post #9 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 01:28 PM
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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=527242

this looks like this might shed some light on the subject
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post #10 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmott View Post

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=527242

this looks like this might shed some light on the subject

Funny. There was a throw away line about reclock in that thread too that nobody picked up on. I am sure reclock is the answer, yet no-one seems to grasp it.

Chip
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post #11 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 05:10 PM
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I assume you guys are talking about me since I throw it out there whenever somebody asks. Yeah, Ogo isn't very responsive. That might turn around if you pay him so you could chance that route if you're really interested in bitperfect.

tm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippy99 View Post

Funny. There was a throw away line about reclock in that thread too that nobody picked up on. I am sure reclock is the answer, yet no-one seems to grasp it.

Chip

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post #12 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esben View Post

I have read posts which state that bit perfect output in MCE is possible, by using a M-Audio Transit USB sound adapter. If you find the topics you can enter the info here.

I am also looking to do the same, and have been down the M-Audio Transit path. While it is possible to get bit perfect playback of wma loseless (my amp even shows 44.1 khz) it's not possible to get DD/DTS passthrough without changing a setting in the driver. Trouble is, when you change that setting it works fine for DD/DTS, but does not play back any other non DD/DTS audio
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post #13 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 07:26 PM
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jpadua - Mediaportal looks like it has potential but needs to mature. The TV guide was a mess - I couldn't get it working....and the program didn't even go full-screen with that option enabled. I browsed the forums a bit and it looks like a definite work in progress....nothing wrong with that - I think open source is great - but I gave up on meedio for that exact reason - too much tweaking and not enough enjoying.
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post #14 of 341 Old 08-08-2005, 09:21 PM
 
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I would send some money as well
if I knew he would respond
too bad he does not know there is a group of people trying to shove money at him!!

does anyone have this version and have tested it?
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post #15 of 341 Old 08-09-2005, 01:14 AM
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I wish I could try it too. But I fully expect it will work.

With Foobar and Kernel Streaming, everything works fine: 44.1kHz CD's play at 44.1 and DTS CD's play just fine. HDCD encoded CD's work too, with the HDCD logo lighting up on my processor (unlike with WMP, which manages to scramble the HDCD encoding somehow).

This demonstrates that Kernel Streaming will do what we want. All we need is some way of getting Kernel Streaming to work from within WMP10 and then we should be away. And reclock will do just that.

So all the pieces are in place...

Chip
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post #16 of 341 Old 08-09-2005, 10:00 AM
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This is what I do, set the transit usb as your sound device for WMP. and as previous posters have said this will give you good output for pcm.

however keep your default sound card as the onboard sound card, and MCE will use this for everything else (DTS/DD, TV etc) that way you don't have to switch the settings for the transit all the time. music from MCE will come out transit everything else from onboard
You will have to change inputs on your amp, but usuually thats easy by remote.

RD
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post #17 of 341 Old 08-09-2005, 01:25 PM
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viggster,

yeah I had trouble at first also with media portal. It's kinda daunting at first. But now I'm so used to setting it up I can set it up in minutes. Ive got the same problem with meedio, to much configuring, too many plugins dont know which ones to use etc. Anyways since Ive switched to media portal, everything was a breeze (after the steep learning curve of configuring it)....

Sorry.. I know this is a bit perfect audio thread just wanted to help out, but I really know nothing about it.

How do I know if my audio output is really 44.1khz not 48? I tried using Foobar, the status bar reports 44100 but I dont really know if my Soundstorm is sending out 44.1 or 48... how can I tell? Does the output have to be PCM? using soundstorm my output is 5.1

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post #18 of 341 Old 08-12-2005, 12:08 AM
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stay alive.... need an answer
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post #19 of 341 Old 08-15-2005, 11:33 PM
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Ok, I think I've found our answer. I was going to mess around with reclock, etc, but another then discovered a usb device that should do the trick. It's the M-AUDIO TRANSIT. It's tiny, so it will be unseen behind my htpc. According to another thread on avs, it does bitperfect for everything. Search and you'll find the thread...I'm too lazy at the moment.

I'll let you know if it works. Just ordered one for $67.
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post #20 of 341 Old 08-19-2005, 12:49 PM
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Yup, the m-audio Transit is the way to go. Just got mine. Installed 1.022 drivers from website, plugged in, instant bit-perfect from EVERYTHING, MCE2005 included. I don't know the technical details, it just works. After messing with ASIO etc I can say it's well worth the $70.

One downside: It does not autosense the source. That means a manual switch from 16-bit 44.1khz to DTS in the device's control panel. But there is another solution: now that I have 2 soundcards, I'm going to set up the old one for DTS and switch inputs at the stereo with the remote. No movin' the lazy ass.

Try it! It Works!
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post #21 of 341 Old 08-19-2005, 03:59 PM
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If you don't mind dropping some cash, I beleive an RME card will do both bitperfect pcm and DD/DTS without haveing to switch any settings. I haven't personally tried one as they are too rich for my poor a$$. The Transit does work but the lack of auto sensing sucks.

Greg
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post #22 of 341 Old 02-25-2006, 03:28 PM
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This post is now linked from the MCE 2005 FAQ for your convenience, and I have summarized findings of all in this thread below. Special thanks to chung_chang for the MSI motherboard write-up.

Below is my attempt to condense hugely useful and IMO hard-to-find information on giving MCE 2005 / WMP10 better audiophile-grade sound output.

For all the lurkers out there wondering the same thing I am, here's the answer I think:

To get bit-perfect 44.1 kHz audio passed to your pre/pro or receiver while playing audio from MCE 2005 (which uses Windows Media Player 10) without EVER having to switch programs from MCE to something that uses ASIO, there are five things you can do, explained below:

1) Use the M-Audio Transit USB configured in audio mode and set this as the default sound option in Windows Media Player 10. If you do this, your DTS/AC3 (Dolby Digital) recordings will not be passed properly unless you manually switch output in the M-Audio control panel before you watch an AC3 track, but as many have suggested, all you have to do is leave your system's on-board audio SPDIF output set as the player for DVD and system sound, and you're all set. So, you could use the Transit over USB for your music (e.g. receiver's optical input 1) and use your system's soundcard or onboard sound (e.g. receiver's coaxial SPDIF input) for DVD/DTS/DD/Gaming and normal Windows sounds. You could manually change the Transit USB to DTS/DD mode but that defeats the point of mouse-free (remote control) bit-perfect audio listening for me. ***Edit 4/30/06: Transit USB installed and working perfectly. Also note: reports of a PPAI brand (model #1455) USB sound card achieving bit-perfect output have been verified here , so this off-brand model might work for you as well if you can find it.

2) Use a Creative Audigy 4 card and select the "Bit-accurate" output option in creative software as detailed here.

3) Configure an MSI K8NGM2-FID motherboard with onboard HD Audio according to the following writeup by Chung_Chang :
Q: Is there any onboard sound that is bit-perfect under MCE2005?

A: Yes. The MSI K8NGM2-FID (nVidia 6150) can achieve bit-perfect sound under MCE 2005 using the onboard Realtek 880 chip. It can handle passing DD and DTS in both 44.1KHz and 48KHz and it has been reasonably proven that 44.1KHz 2 channel PCM (typical stereo music CD) is also bit-perfect. The best part of using this board is that switching between 44.1KHz and 48KHz source sampling rates is done automatically by the driver. It is also believed that other boards using the Realtek HD-Audio Codecs can produce bit-perfect sounds but that has yet to be proven.

Q: How do I set up for bit-perfect audio with MCE 2005 using the MSI 6150 Motherboard with HD-Audio?

A: First, follow this excellent guide to complete your basic setup. Note: as of this writing, the only Realtek drivers confirmed to work as desired are v5253. These v5253 drivers are being graciously hosted here by bling24 if you can't find elsewhere. Once drivers are installed, find a DTS sound file (like this one) and play it with WMP. If you can't hear the sound correctly, go into the sound driver configuration, click Audio I/O tab, click the configuration button next to Digital, select 44.1KHz and click the Auto Lock button (all while the DTS sound is still playing). You should now hear the DTS sound perfectly and all other sounds will now be bit-perfect too under MCE. There is also no need to change those sound settings again even after reboots. 4) Use ReClock, the tool developed by an AVS forum member (http://reclock.free.fr), to alter the actual frequency the Microsoft DirectShow (standard for Windows/WMP10/MCE) drivers use to reproduce audio and video. I have not tried this, and probably will not, as I'm going to use solution #1 above. I am inherently skeptical of tinkering with DirectShow / DirectX for fear of jeopardizing other computer uses as well. If anyone finds more success with this, let me know.

5) Purchase an expensive RME Audio Hammerfall card that supposedly bypasses Windows kmixer.sys using its own driver, and hence does not corrupt the digital audio output in the process. Thomaspf shares that "Their windows XP drivers are not native WDM audio drivers but Win9x/NT style MME drivers with some additional glue (power mgmt, PNP) to make it run under W2K and XP. One of the open issues for them is to support native WDM applications." For more speculation on this solution, check here . This is not an option for me due to both price of the card and inherent riskiness of using a driver that must "stay broken" in order to keep working.

So that's basically it...finally I think I've found my solution, and it's the Transit USB. I will be ordering an MSI motherboard to test onboard sound, for now direct questions to chung_chang.

Remote-controlled bit-perfect audio using MCE 2005 and it's streamlined "10-foot" interface will be a great thing, because now I don't have to teach my wife to use JRiver, Foobar or even Winamp with the ASIO plugin for music, and we can use all the categorization and integration features of MCE 2005. Easy and WAF-approved...Yippee!

I hope others seeking to do this find my post useful.

Best,
Adam

"Stereo replay never actually reproduces a musical event. The only thing you can hope for is a credible illusion. But it can be a very nice illusion." -Bruno Putzeys
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post #23 of 341 Old 02-25-2006, 05:05 PM
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An intersting paragraph in the M-Audio Audiophile USB's manual.

"If you have this box (DD/DTS Pass-Thru) checked, you can still send stereo digital audio to the S/PDIF port without any problems."

I'm going to get ahold of one of these to see if it works. They are like $99 on eBay right now.

Greg
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post #24 of 341 Old 02-25-2006, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Chemist View Post

An intersting paragraph in the M-Audio Audiophile USB's manual.

"If you have this box (DD/DTS Pass-Thru) checked, you can still send stereo digital audio to the S/PDIF port without any problems."

I'm going to get ahold of one of these to see if it works. They are like $99 on eBay right now.

Interesting find, I'll have to try that myself. Remember to use a DTS CD or .wav test file to verify you're passing bit-perfect info when you get it installed. Bottom track (14MB) on this page makes a good start (If you hear DTS and not ugly noise, you're bit-perfect:

http://www.sr.se/multikanal/english/e_index.stm

BTW, $79 shipped from zipzoomfly last time I checked.

-Adam

"Stereo replay never actually reproduces a musical event. The only thing you can hope for is a credible illusion. But it can be a very nice illusion." -Bruno Putzeys
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post #25 of 341 Old 02-25-2006, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ad-Rok View Post


BTW, $79 shipped from zipzoomfly last time I checked.

-Adam

You got a linky? All I can find is $129. This is the USB version, not the PCI.

Greg
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post #26 of 341 Old 02-25-2006, 08:11 PM
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Looks like ReClock has kernel streaming enabled for everyone now. The beta is being updated and is the current work on getting it to run in MCE.
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post #27 of 341 Old 02-25-2006, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Chemist View Post

You got a linky? All I can find is $129. This is the USB version, not the PCI.

Just double-checked and apparently Bob's guidelines indicate that we are allowed to post parts deals in the HTPC forum, so here ya go:

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...uctCode=123304

Where did you see $129? The MSRP on M-Audio's site is only $99 I think...

Anyway, good luck!

-Adam

"Stereo replay never actually reproduces a musical event. The only thing you can hope for is a credible illusion. But it can be a very nice illusion." -Bruno Putzeys
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post #28 of 341 Old 02-25-2006, 09:07 PM
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Try setting reclock as your default system renderer and set it up to use kernel streaming for audio output.

This should get you bit-perfect playback with most sound cards that do not resample to 48Khz in hardware.

Cheers

Thomas
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post #29 of 341 Old 02-25-2006, 09:46 PM
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Just saw this today....might be worth looking at.... http://www.auzentech.com/products_xplosion.html
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post #30 of 341 Old 02-25-2006, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaspf View Post

Try setting reclock as your default system renderer and set it up to use kernel streaming for audio output.

This should get you bit-perfect playback with most sound cards that do not resample to 48Khz in hardware.

Cheers

Thomas

Alright, you've tempted me and I think I'm going to go futz with DirectShow by trying out ReClock with my Asus Nforce2-based Mobo...

And we now have conversations in three threads Thomas...

Cheers to you,
Adam

"Stereo replay never actually reproduces a musical event. The only thing you can hope for is a credible illusion. But it can be a very nice illusion." -Bruno Putzeys
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