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SPDIF activation => Blu ray freezes (or/ black screen)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello readers,

I would appreciate if somebody could help me to resolve the following tricky issue... or at least getting an explanation !

Here's my configuration :
Gigabyte GA-EG45-DS2H
Windows Vista 32bits SP1
PowerDVD 8 Ultra (build 2217)
Pioneer BDC-S02

Problem :
When I try to activate the SPDIF connexion under PowerDVD, blu-ray reading freezes or I get a black screen (sometimes PowerDVD crash also). No problem with standard DVD at all. This happens with Harry Potter movie but not with James Bond (I'm not quite sure about any DRM protection on James Bond).

Does anybody already got this type of problem ? Protection issue or anything else ? Any workaround ?

Thanks for your answers !

Cheers !
post #2 of 10
I have the same problem - but with a different mobo (an older ASUS) + realtek on board sound. In a very early version of PDVD 7 ultra (maybe a year ago?), setting it to SPDIF worked and then after upgrading, it quit working and just locked up. I've had it set to "6 speaker" ever since then. I see you're talking about PDVD 8, mine is PDVD 7 -- but same issue.
I know the SPDIF is working because that's how I have it connected to my HT receiver and I can set other applications to use SPDIF with no problem. It would be nice to know if somebody has some info on this :-)
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yep ! Exactly the same behaviour. The SPDIF is definitely working (DVD or Audio). Swithing to 6 speakers is in deed a first workaround... but this doesn't happen on all Blu ray discs : I got 4 of which 2 are impossible to get video working thru the SPDIF connection (sound is OK !!!). As I thought it may be a MDR issue because both faulty blu ray have a protection set on them (it's written on the undercover, curioulsy the working ones, nothing !!), I tried AnyDVD HD but without any success. The common thing seems to be the Realtek chip...
post #4 of 10
somehow we need to get this thread noticed by the avsforum htpc guru's -- I'm sure this problem isn't isolated to just us. I'm also certain that Cyberlink will never solve it for us unless its by accident ;-)
You could be correct about dependence on the type of audio track/encoding/protection being the culprit. I use netflix so don't keep the bd movies around to retest. All I know is that the last 5-6 bd movies I've gotten lock up pdvd if I have it set for spdif out.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've the issue with all Warner blu-ray disc : tested a bunch of 6 discs.
post #6 of 10
Yep I'm having this same problem too. This seems like a very big problem, not just a few people.

Anyone know of any good powerdvd alternatives for Blu-ray? The market is still pretty sparse it seems.
post #7 of 10
I've got the same problem too. Running Vista Home Premium 32-bit, PowerDVD Ultra 7.3 (tried 4102, 4407, and 4617), Gigabyte P35-DS4 MB, HIS HD3870, latest drivers, etc.

Whenever I select SPDIF in PowerDVD and try to play a Bluray with a DD5.1 soundtrack selected, PowerDVD locks up solid when trying to play the movie. If I change the PDVD audio settings to use 6-channel, instead of SPDIF, the movie plays fine - except the audio quality is not quite as good (I use hardware DTS Connect and SPDIF when 6-channel audio is used).

Clearly this is a common problem now. The question I have is: what is causing the problem?

I've been running PowerDVD 7.3 Ultra for about a year using the SPDIF audio selection in PDVD. It always worked flawlessly until my wife and I sat down to watch Get Smart last night.

We haven't watched an HD movie with PowerDVD for at least a month (possibly 2 months), so there have been allot of windows updates. Also, during this time I installed the latest audio driver for my MB (Realtek/Gigabyte driver version 2.00) as well as the latest video driver (Catalyst 8.11).

What is the common feature here? Are you all running ATI video cards? Do you all have the Realtek driver 2.00 installed (previously I was running 1.97)? Is the problem related to a recent Vista update?

The other annoying feature is SPDIF passthrough works flawlessly with all of the other A/V applications I use, including Media Center (we watch HD channels with DD5.1 every day) and Media Player. For some reason it is only PowerDVD that doesn't work.
post #8 of 10
I found the problem and solution.

It turns out that the problem is specifically with the Realtek audio driver version 2.00 (and possibly other versions).

SPDIF does work in PowerDVD when the audio driver versions 1.97 or 2.09 are installed. 2.09/PowerDVD is also smart enough to use my MB's DTS Connect when playing any sound track that does not include DD5.1 or DTS encoding.

Basically if I play a movie with DD5.1 or DTS, it gets output, unaltered over SPDIF. If I play a movie with anything else (such as 8-channel LPCM, Dolby TrueHD, etc.) it decodes the audio into multichannel PCM, sends it to the Realtek audio driver where it uses the hardware DTS Connect to create DTS 5.1 and then this is output through the SPDIF port.

High quality 6-channel audio all the time, regardless of the audio track format being played (one day I'll upgrade to 8-channel HDMI, but until then, this is very next best solution).
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by HT Slider View Post

I found the problem and solution.

It turns out that the problem is specifically with the Realtek audio driver version 2.00 (and possibly other versions).

SPDIF does work in PowerDVD when the audio driver versions 1.97 or 2.09 are installed. 2.09/PowerDVD is also smart enough to use my MB's DTS Connect when playing any sound track that does not include DD5.1 or DTS encoding.

Basically if I play a movie with DD5.1 or DTS, it gets output, unaltered over SPDIF. If I play a movie with anything else (such as 8-channel LPCM, Dolby TrueHD, etc.) it decodes the audio into multichannel PCM, sends it to the Realtek audio driver where it uses the hardware DTS Connect to create DTS 5.1 and then this is output through the SPDIF port.

High quality 6-channel audio all the time, regardless of the audio track format being played (one day I'll upgrade to 8-channel HDMI, but until then, this is very next best solution).

Thanks for the info - i bet that's the problem! I KNEW this used to work just fine and I really didn't see any relationship to which BD or HD disk I was playing - they all locked up. I'll check my Realtek version tonight and mess with the drivers and post my results.
post #10 of 10
I'm sad to report that the Realtek 2.0.9 driver didn't completely solve the problem. This is with PDVD7 latest patch (just to clarify). The problem is not quite as bad though -- prior to this, if I chose SPDIF, PDVD would lock up and I'd have to kill it with task manager. After upgrading to 2.0.9, the video stops functioning as soon as it hits the BD video - but sound continues and I can close the program without needing to kill it in task manager. Oh well... maybe one of these days a "behind the scenes" magic upgrade will suddenly fix it.
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