AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: W Simsbury, CT, USA
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OK Sean (and everyone else), I tried out XBMC Live Camelot Alpha 2 hooked up via HDMI to my A/V receiver and I have some good/bad news to report. As a reminder, my A/V receiver is not capable of decoding Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD. It's a JVC digital receiver (I forget the model #) which has HDMI (v1.1, I think), and can decode Dolby Digital and DTS, and should be able to receive pre-decoded multichannel audio (up to 5.1) over HDMI.
So here's what I found...
I played my test Dolby TrueHD .ts file (Monsters vs Aliens) and I set the XBMC audio settings as follows:
Audio Output: Digital
- Dolby Digital (AC3) capable receiver:
- DTS Capable receiver:
Audio output device: hdmi
Bitstream output device (I think it's labeled something like that): hdmi
Downmix multichannel audio to stereo:
This appears to give me multichannel 5.1 audio over hdmi. So that appears to be an improvement over the XBMC Live Babylon build. *BUT* the audio is not properly mapped. My center channel audio is being played thru my rear left speaker (something is playing thru my center channel speaker - possibly what's meant for my rear left speaker). I remember reading a thread about this over at XBMC a while back, and I believe there's a fix for this (whereby you manually remap the channels in some config file somewhere).
I also tried checking the "Dolby Digital capable receiver" and "DTS capable receiver" settings. That appeared to result in audio being bitstreamed to my receiver with my receiver's Dolby Digital or DTS (whatever was appropriate) logos lighting up, *BUT* it was only bitstreaming it as 2.1 audio.
In my movie room (the one with my 5.1 A/V receiver) I have a 720p LCD projector. I confirmed, again, that I was seeing significant judder (or, if not technically judder, some other kind of video choppiness/stuttering). I had my XBMC Appearances settings set to output at 1080p@60. But then I changed this to 1280x720, and if I'm remembering things correctly (I was trying a bunch of things and trying to remember them all), I *think* that the video played smoothly. So that may be more good news, as I'm now wondering if upgrading my RAM and changing the GPU memory allocation to 512MB might possibly allow for 1080p@60 judder/stutter-free playback with XBMC Live.
I then tried rebooting back into Windows XP (with the desktop set to 1920x1080 @ 60) and played the video again with MPC-HC. Now I wasn't seeing any judder/stutter, which is how I remembered things working before under Windows/MPC-HC. If you remember, a couple of posts ago I was reporting that I was now seeing judder/stutter with MPC-HC using my brand new Sharp AQUOS 1080p 120Hz LCD TV. Again, my projector is only 720p, but I had my Windows desktop set at 1920x1080@60, so that should mean that MPC-HC was still working just as hard as if it was a 1080p projector. So what does this mean? I'm not sure, but it seems like it points to an issue specific to my new TV. Hopefully one that I can figure out a fix for.
I'd much rather watch a great movie in B&W at 240 lines of resolution than a lousy movie in 1080p with lossless audio.