or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Gaming & Content Streaming › Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming › WD Media Player aac to ac3 conversion help
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

WD Media Player aac to ac3 conversion help

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum and the Western Digital HD Media Player.

My ultimate goal is to convert all of my movies so that I can utilize the SPDIF pass thru connection on my WD Media Player to achieve 5.1 surround playback via my DTS and DD compatible audio receiver.

I attempted to playback an mp4 ( 2 streams: h264 and aac) with WDMP audio output set to digital I get no sound as expected. When I switch to stereo I get 2ch playback as expected.

The majority of movies seem to include an aac stream and not an ac3, but I am determined to have 5.1 playback.

The easiest way I think to do this is to demux the mp4 in to its separate video and audio streams, converting the aac into and ac3 and mux the original video stream and the new ac3 stream together.

Question 1: Is this the most efficient/easiest method? If not please suggest otherwise.

I have not had much luck with this method so far, here is what I have accomplished:

For my first attempt, I have used a program called YAMB to Demux an mp4 into 2 streams:
_track1.h264 and

I am having trouble finding a program to convert the aac into an ac3. I have never worked with codecs or demux’ed and mux’ed anything before.

I have downloaded and installed the ac3 filter and tried to use dBpoweramp and VLC player to convert the aac to ac3 but no luck.

Question 2: What program should I use to convert the aac to an ac3? Please suggest ideal settings like Encapsulation (in VLC I picked RAW), bit rate, and sample rate for great 5.1 playback.

Question 3: What program should I use to mux the final streams together (h264 and ac3) and what container is appropriate (mkv)?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 18
I think Handbrake would be happy to do so...
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I tried Handbrake and i managed to get an mkv file with no audio component. I did go to the audio/subs tab in Handbrake and select source: Auto and codec: AC3, then i also tried
source: Unknown(AAC) and codec: AC3, but still no luck.

I verified with a pgm called MediaInfo...there is no audio component in the newly created mkv.

As i mentioned before i did install the ac3 filter 1.63b but the config for that appears very intense. Do i need to configure the ac3 filter, or is this completely unrelated?
post #4 of 18
You don't say what the AAC source is like, but you can use eac3to to convert 5.1AAC -> 5.1AC3.

If that works, then mux the h264 and ac3 into a MKV container with MKVtoolnix.

The command line for MKVtoolnix would go something like this:

"C:\\Program Files\\MKVtoolnix\\mkvmerge.exe" --output-charset UTF-8 -o "OUTPUT.MKV" --display-dimensions 0:1920x1080 --default-duration 0:30000/1001fps -d 0 -A -S "FILENAME.h264" -a 0 -D -S "FILENAME.ac3" --track-order 0:0,1:0
where "OUTPUT.MKV" target output file
"FILENAME.h264" is the input video
"FILENAME.ac3" is the input audio

Adjust resolution from 1920x1080 to whatever the actual resolution of the input h264 file, same goes for framerate - example has 29.970 (30000/1001)
post #5 of 18
sadsac is along the right track but you can make it easier

Step 1: Demux the AAC with YAMB

Step 2: use eac3to + eac3to GUI (linked to in same thread) to convert the AAC into AC3

Step 3: use MKVmerge GUI part of MKVtoolnix and just drag and drop your video and audio into it, then generate an MKV from it.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys,

I am actually in the process of trying eac3to but i need Nero 7 to decode the aac apparently.

I just found a simpler GUI, (EAC3toGUI.exe) but it still wont accept an aac as a source. Hopefully this is just because i dont have Nero 7 yet.

I should have Nero 7 installed by tomorrow and i will post an update.

Can anyone confirm if i need an external encoder to create the ac3 or does eac3to include one?

P.S. sadsac the aac is 6 ch, 48KHz, AAC (ADTS) (Version 4) (LC) and was demux from an mp4. I would like to make it a 5.1 ac3.
post #7 of 18
Try BeLight to convert the AAC into AC3 you'll need the Nero command line encoders in the same folder which you can find for free on their site. I think you also need the original BeSweet package in the same folder.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, I installed Nero 7 (ver but i am unable to get the required hd dvd/blu-ray plugin. Therefore, i am forced to abandon the eac3to route.

Man this is frustrating, i cant believe there isnt a straight fwd way to do this.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
"ex2014jf" i have dl'ed BeSweet and BeLight.
Now, which Nero command line encoders do i need exactly??

I found the Nero AAC Codec which contained the following:

I put all these into the BeSweet folder which also contains BeLight.

Do i require anything else? (Because its not working yet)
post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by Digital Donkey View Post

Ok, I installed Nero 7 (ver but i am unable to get the required hd dvd/blu-ray plugin. Therefore, i am forced to abandon the eac3to route.

Man this is frustrating, i cant believe there isnt a straight fwd way to do this.

The only Nero7 component that need be installed is the showtime player. All the other components may be unchecked unless you want them. The plugin must also be enabled. But I don't remember having to enable the hd dvd/blu-ray plugin in order just to decode aac. I think I just enabled some audio plugin.

A version of Nero7 that was good for this purpose, and legally and freely distributable, was the audible version. But now I see that audible no longer hosts it and now recommends itunes for burning their audiobooks to CD.
post #11 of 18
Sorry about that Digital Donkey sent you in the wrong direction, double checked BeLight and it doesn't support AAC as an input even though it encodes AAC/AC3 go figure.

If you have Nero now installed you can use eac3to GUI to convert AAC 5.1 to AC3 but the audio/video file must be in an MKV container it wont work on MP4 or raw audio.

1) Drag your MP4 into MKVMerge and output a MKV containing just the audio.
2) Use eac3to GUI and from "Add Source File" point it as your MKV file.
3) Go to "Eac3To Audio" tab and from "input File" drop down box select your MKV file.
4) Under "file name" select audio or whatever you want
5) Under "Save As Type" select AC3
6) Click on "Run Command Line Tab Specific"

If all goes well it should output an AC3 file which you can drag & drop into MKVmerge with the original MP4 and mux a new MKV from.
post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by ex2014jf View Post

the audio/video file must be in an MKV container it wont work on MP4 or raw audio.

eac3to (and eac3to GUI) will work on raw audio. Here is a log saved by eac3to:
eac3to v3.16
command line: eac3to Hulu_E01_Vanished-Pilot_H264_1Mbps.aac Hulu_E01_Vanished-Pilot_H264_1Mbps.ac3 -192
AAC, 2.0 channels, 48khz
Decoding with DirectShow (Nero Audio Decoder 2)...
DirectShow reports 2.0 channels, 24 bits, 48khz
Encoding AC3 <192kbps> with libAften...
Creating file "Hulu_E01_Vanished-Pilot_H264_1Mbps.ac3"...
eac3to processing took 35 seconds.
It works with the eac3to GUI as well; you start from the second tab "Eac3to Audio". In my opinion, the GUI just makes it more complicated when the command line is so simple (see log above).

If you must use the GUI, you will find that all of the links to it in the doom9 thread are dead. It is available in the mirror at videohelp (link referenced earlier in this thread).

Also, you will see from the log that eac3to uses libAften to encode the ac3, nothing additional is needed. The log shows 2ch aac conversion but of course multichannel will work just as well.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
sadsac you're right. The GUI is rather confusing. All in all i think this is too advanced for me.

I would like to try the command line approach but where do i enter those commands? Without the GUI i cant seem to figure out how to open the program. When i click on the "eac3to.exe" i get a blip of a command prompt window then some writing speeds by and then the window closes.

How do i open the pgm to work on a cmd line level?

Also i notice your cmd line dosent specify a path to the files, how does the pgm find the source file? Did you put the source into the folder with the eac3to.exe?

Forgive my stupidity
post #14 of 18
Yes I did copy the .aac file into the folder/directory with eac3to. The output .ac3 file gets saved in the same folder so I just copy it after to the folder where I have the video component.

The basic command line for eac3to (for aac to ac3) is pretty simple:

eac3to input.aac output.ac3 -bitrate

where "bitrate" is some value like 192, 448, ect.

If you're running vista or windows7, use windows explorer to browse to the folder containing the eac3to program (assuming that you've already copied your source .aac audio file there as well). Then, with the mouse cursor somewhere over the explorer window of the eac3to folder, press and hold the shift key and then right click. Choose "open command window here" from the right-click menu.

Then enter the command line as above, adjusting for the input filename, desired output filename and bitrate.

For windows xp, there isn't a "open command window here" option in the right click menu. So choose "run" from the start menu and type "cmd". Then change to the eac3to folder by typing:

cd "C:\\whateverfolder"

and then type in the command line as above.

Another option, if you don't care about the purity of the aac conversion, is mkv2vob. The only issue is putting the demuxed h264 and aac files into a mkv container to feed as input to mkv2vob. It will mux a h264/ac3 output file automatically.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
sadsac, i got the command line to execute but i got an error:
"AAC, 5.1 channels, 48khz"
"This audio conversion is not supported"

I see the libAften .dll's in my eac3to dir but i noticed your example included a "DirectShow Nero Audio Decoder" which is not obvious to me in the same eac3to dir.

I did dl the Nero AAC Codec (from VideoHelp) and dragged those .exe's into the eac3to dir but no luck.

I'm thinking I'm missing a decoder?

Ok, i looked i up and that decoder shown is your example and it leads right back to a previous problem, i do not have the Nero 7 Hd Dvd/Blu-Ray plugin. So if thats the only aac decoder used by eac3to then im out of luck.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
I got eac3to to supposedly convert the file although i get no sound; i attached the log file.

I used mkvmerge to join the mp4 with the new ac3 but i dont get the ac3 pass through being recognized by my reciever and my WD media player is set to digital audio output and my reciever is set to the correct input.

I also verified using a file with an existing ac3 stream and it is detected and played back with no probs on my reciever.

Any thoughts?

Ohh SNAP! There is audio there when i play back just the ac3 file in VLC player, however it sounds like just the background sound for the rear channels. This was done with the GUI let me try with the cmd line again.


log.txt 0.556640625k . file
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just an update guys,
I've managed to perform the conversion with sadsac's help.
I used YAMB to demux the mp4 then i used MKVMerge to mux the video and audio (extracted from the mp4 with YAMB) into an MKV file.

I then used mkv2vob which creates an ac3 file in its temp directory during the conversion. As soon as that ac3 appeared i copied and pasted it elsewhere.

I then used MKVMerge again to join the initially extracted video stream with the new ac3 stream and bingo!
post #18 of 18
Ah, a kindred spirit.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...
...there is a trend, these days, for people to convert (films in particular) to .mp4 files containing video (H264) with 5.1 AAC audio.
All well and good you say, and it is, if all I wanted to do was play them on my PC with VLC or burn them to DVD. But what if I wanted (and I do) to watch them on my TV through my surround sound setup using my WD media player? I can watch the video but only listen to the soundtrack as 2 channel stereo.
So started my spiral into madness; a seemingly endless round of:
Download software.
Internet for settings/how tos/tutorials.
Back to the internet.
All this lasting (and still continuing) the past 2 weeks; including almost 3 solid days of my annual leave. The circles getting smaller and smaller until I feared I would disappear up my own orifice.

Then, success (I thought) the solution was simple:
Use Yamb to split the streams.
Use aacDECdrop to convert the AAC file to a WAV file.
Use TranzGUI (I'm a simple soul) to split the WAV into 6.
Rename the files - C=FR, FL=C, FR=FL, LFE=SL, SL=SR and, last, but not least SR=LFE to correct the AAC to AC3 channel order.
Create a .mux file with the above list in.
Use BeSweet (GUI - as I said, I'm simple) to run the .mux file to create my AC3 file.
Use MKVmerge to replace the audio file in the .mp4 with the .ac3 and mux to an .mkv file my media player is happy with.

But no, my first run was just beginners luck, TranzGUI couldn't handle some other files (something about the header I've read) and BeSweet created distortion (crackles/pops - no snaps) in loud segments (again something about 3db here and 31db there) so it's back to the net
then I find my Nirvana - WaveWizard and WAV to AC3 Encoder! Turns out I'd already downloaded and unpacked them during my week-long frenzy, but never got back to them. But then my channel order nightmare started again. Do I run wavewizard as-is then rename the files 0=FL, 1=FR, 2=C, 3=LFE, 4=SL, 5=SR to get WAV order, then re-rename them C=FR, FL=C, FR=FL, LFE=SL, SL=SR, SR=LFE to go from WAV to AC3 or, if my maths teacher did his job, 0=C, 1=FL, 2=FR, 3=SL, 4=SR, 5=LFE to do it in one go, then follow as before from the .mux file?
No, WAV to AC3 Encoder can do it for me with its wizard!
For Tranz files - click L and navigate to the FR file, R to C, C to FL, LFE to SR, SL to LFE & SR to the SL file.
For wavewizard - click L and navigate to the 1 file, R to 2, C to 0, LFE to 5, SL to 3 & SR to the 4 file.
Then it's off to MKVmerge with the .ac3 file as before.
I think the above order is correct, but I'm prepared to be corrected, and if anyone knows of (I haven't found it) or can produce, a comprehensive remapping file-to WAV-to file map (like the above AAC to WAV to AC3 version) I think there would be a large and appreciative audience for it.
Here is your starter for ten:
5.1 file
FL : Front Left
FC : Front Centre (Center)
FR : Front Right
SL : Surround (Rear) Left
SR : Surround (Rear) Right
LFE : Low Frequency Effects (Sub)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Gaming & Content Streaming › Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming › WD Media Player aac to ac3 conversion help