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True or Not True? HTPC with 5.1 & 7.1 Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
True or Not True? HTPC with 5.1 & 7.1 Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio (in my case LPCM)

After spending weeks n weeks reading thread after thread after thread .... I am more CONFUSED than ever!

Some say yeh and some say nah!
What is the real deal?
Can it be done or not?
Someone please spare me the misery of reading more threads. I am literally that frustrated its just sending me crazzzzzzzzy! No bull but so far I rekon I have spent way over 100 hours of reading, 3 solid weeks of fart-arsing around with my computer trying this that and the other and I just cant take it anymore. Its so frustrating reading a thread saying "it can be done" and then coming across another saying "na it can't be done".

CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME FIGURE THIS OUT? (I'm begging here)

I have a Dell Studio 540
- Vista Home Premium 32bit
- CPU Intell(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9650 @3.00 GHz with 6 GB of Memory
- Onboard sound management Realtek HD Audio manager ALC888
- ATI Radeon HD 4670 Graphics Card - up to date graphic and audio drivers.
- Sony Receiver (7.2 Muteki Home theatre System)
- Sony LCD 55"
- Essentials Codec Pack installed

I have been trying to get Tron Legacy (original blu ray disc) play and send 7.1 LPCM to my receiver????
Two weeks in searching the net I kept on reading my receiver couldn't do it but I also read that it could. I read that using a Sony PS3 that it can be done. So I said STUFF THIS I'm going to get a PS3 and try it out for myself. So about 2 weeks ago I hooked up my next door neighbours PS3 via HDMI and output it using PCM and would you believe it ... it played all 8 channels perfectly.
In saying that ... I now know 150% my Sony receiver can do the job and I also know that the HDMI cable can do the job too, so logically thinking the problem lies at the computer end.
I also have two of the grey DVI/HDMI ATI adaptors and both of those seem to be working properly.
I have two versions of PowerDVD both set to output HDMI > PCM but when I play it back this is what happens ...
Using PowerDVD DX - I only get sound from the front speakers, centre speaker and subs only.
Using PowerDVD 11 - I only get sound from the front speakers, centre speaker, subs and the rear speakers.


On my knees, I ask ... CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME FIGURE THIS OUT?

Cheers
Joe
post #2 of 23
HD 4670 supports only DD, DTS and mulitchannel LPCM.

PowerDVD can't decode 7.1 DTS-HD to LPCM correctly (a well-known problem, that has never been fixed).
LL
post #3 of 23
Renethx summed it up.

The only ATI cards that can bitstream HD Audio are 5xxx and 6xxx.

5xxx doesn't do 3D, 6xxx does.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply renethx

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

HD 4670 supports only DD, DTS and mulitchannel LPCM.

Forgive me for the dumb questions but I'm trying to understand the process here ....
1) "bitstreaming" is the player sending (Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio) untouched audio to the reciever to decode correct?
2) "LPCM" is the player first decoding the audio (Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio) and then sending it to the reciever?
Either way its still 8 channel pure audio correct?
Am I thinking the right way here or have I understood it wrong???

Ok so my first problem is PowerDVD not working properly. (what a shock)
Is there any player that works properly??? can you let me know?

I know that I need to send the audio in PCM because my receiver can't handle bitstreaming and it has definetely been proven when I hooked up the PS3 that the receiver can do PCM in 8 channels (it sounds so good).

So my next question is
The HD 4670 graphics card ...
That is able to send 8 channel PCM right but not bitstream???


Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

PowerDVD can't decode 7.1 DTS-HD to LPCM correctly (a well-known problem, that has never been fixed).

U know that in all my searching I have never come across that anywhere!

Cheers
Joe
post #5 of 23
PowerDVD can't decode but bitstream HD audio right?
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Renethx summed it up.

The only ATI cards that can bitstream HD Audio are 5xxx and 6xxx.

5xxx doesn't do 3D, 6xxx does.

Sorry due to my frustrations I didn't use the correct terminology in my original post.

I'm not trying to bitstream because the reciever cant decode it.
I'm trying to send LPCM through the 4670 ATI card and down to the amp, but as I just found out above by renethx, PowerDVD cant do that properly.

What do I do now?
What is the best way I can get around all this drama?
post #7 of 23
Your understanding is correct. TrueHD/DTS-HD (a compressed audio format) must be decoded to LPCM (the uncompressed format) before it is converted to analog. As HD 4670 can't transmit TrueHD/DTS-HD, it has to be PC (specifically a PC software player such as PowerDVD) that decodes TrueHD/DTS-HD. Which Sony receiver do you have (model number)?

ArcSoft TMT 5 can decode 7.1 DTS-HD correctly. However these commercial BD software players always downsample HD audio to 48kHz/16bit LPCM with HD 4xxx (because of the lack of PAP [protected audio path]). If you use a graphics card supporting HD audio bitstreaming, then TMT will decode TrueHD/DTS-HD to LPCM bit-perfect (i.e. no downsampling) even if you don't bitstream TrueHD/DTS-HD (because the card supports PAP).

If you want to stick to HD 4670, a workaround of this downsampling issue is use TMT audio decoder (precisely speaking dtsdecoderdll.dll in an ArcSoft folder) outside TMT, e.g. MPC HomeCinema. LAV Audio Decoder supports dtsdecoderdll.dll.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

PowerDVD can't decode but bitstream HD audio right?

PowerDVD audio decoder can decode TrueHD/DTS-HD to LPCM, but it mixes up side channels with real channels badly for 7.1 DTS-HD.
post #9 of 23
Couldn't the OP sidestep all of these issues by purchasing a HD5450 for $25-35 and be done with it?
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

PowerDVD audio decoder can decode TrueHD/DTS-HD to LPCM, but it mixes up side channels with real channels badly for 7.1 DTS-HD.

Can it bitstream hd audio though?
post #11 of 23
Of course it can bitstream TrueHD/DTS-HD if you use a graphics card and a receiver supporting TrueHD/DTS-HD. (Neither of joe8s's graphics card nor receiver supports it.)
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Your understanding is correct. TrueHD/DTS-HD (a compressed audio format) must be decoded to LPCM (the uncompressed format) before it is converted to analog. As HD 4670 can't transmit TrueHD/DTS-HD, it has to be PC (specifically a PC software player such as PowerDVD) that decodes TrueHD/DTS-HD. Which Sony receiver do you have (model number)?

This is a pdf copy of the manual I posted up in vista forums recently renethx, the model of the reciever is SONY STR-KM7000.
http://www.vistax64.com/attachments/...ter-system.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

ArcSoft TMT 5 can decode 7.1 DTS-HD correctly. However these commercial BD software players always downsample HD audio to 48kHz/16bit LPCM with HD 4xxx (because of the lack of PAP [protected audio path]). If you use a graphics card supporting HD audio bitstreaming, then TMT will decode TrueHD/DTS-HD to LPCM bit-perfect (i.e. no downsampling) even if you don't bitstream TrueHD/DTS-HD (because the card supports PAP).

I have read all about the PAP and downsampling business and if I'm not mistaken re-clock takes care of that and by passes kmixer using WASAPI thingy, which gives u 32bit again. A bit confusing for me but I got the drift of it, I think!
So what u are saying here is ...
Even if my reciever cant bitstream, if I get a 5xxx or 6xxx series ATI card that supports HD audio bitstreaming, use TMT player to decode the audio to LPCM it will work??? and I can finally sit down and watch the movie with beautiful sound? You are putting a smile on my face already!

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

If you want to stick to HD 4670, a workaround of this downsampling issue is use TMT audio decoder (precisely speaking dtsdecoderdll.dll in an ArcSoft folder) outside TMT, e.g. MPC HomeCinema. LAV Audio Decoder supports dtsdecoderdll.dll.

I have read this somewhere, I'm sure I have!
I don't remember understanding any of it but I have seen it lol.
I'll try this way if in your opinion I wont be losing any quality in sound, otherwise I'll go and buy another card if I have to. I just want my home theatre set up working properly without any downgrading.

Cheers
Joe
post #13 of 23
You shouldn't count on the TMT + ReClock solution. In fact ReClock does not work with the latest TMT5 at BD playback. If you want to get full quality sounds from BD movies without upgrading your receiver, there are two solutions.

1. Continue to use HD 4670. Play a BD disc or ripped BD folder (or ISO; full or main title only) or MKV with a media player (typically MPC HomeCinema) + LAV Splitter + LAV Audio Decoder + dtsdecoderdll.dll + ReClock. (If you have no idea what dtsdecoderdll.dll is, search with keyword "dtsdecoderdll.dll" in this forum; you can borrow it from TMT5 trial. ) This method is universal way to get bit-perfect audio via any LPCM-only HDMI audio device or any analog sound card.

2. Buy a graphics card supporting HD audio bitstreaming (= PAP), for example, HD 6xxx or GeForce GT 4xx. Play a BD disc or ripped BD folder (or ISO; full or main title only) or MKV with TMT5 ("Mixed to PCM uncompressed audio"; despite its name, this does not mix channels, it decodes HD audio bit-perfect). TMT5 sends decoded LPCM over a protected audio path (hence Windows Audio Engine can't modify it). Avoid PowerDVD; it can't decode DTS-HD correctly. Of course solution 1 is always available.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Renethx summed it up.

The only ATI cards that can bitstream HD Audio are 5xxx and 6xxx.

5xxx doesn't do 3D, 6xxx does.

This is what I understood, but a couple weeks ago it was posted that most HD 5xxx will do 3D. Is this correct or not? Does not necessarily need to be HDMI 1.4a.
post #15 of 23
OP,

Most if not all folks around here long enough have been your route before. Based on your original post, it sounds like you are going after HD audio and not gamers, right? If it is the case, you can spend $40 to get a $50 ATI 5XXX card to bitstream and be done with it. But if I may, you might want to look into the new intel HTPC setup these day, Sandbridge, 2nd gen i processors and H67 or Z68 MB set up, all of them you can easily bitstream all your audio contents from a CPU, no more graphic card route anymore. Yes, it is more than $40 for sure but in a long run and if you are replacing this HTPC to be your center of the media hub, then I think it is worth to look into such option.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hlkc View Post

OP,

Most if not all folks around here long enough have been your route before. Based on your original post, it sounds like you are going after HD audio and not gamers, right? If it is the case, you can spend $40 to get a $50 ATI 5XXX card to bitstream and be done with it. But if I may, you might want to look into the new intel HTPC setup these day, Sandbridge, 2nd gen i processors and H67 or Z68 MB set up, all of them you can easily bitstream all your audio contents from a CPU, no more graphic card route anymore. Yes, it is more than $40 for sure but in a long run and if you are replacing this HTPC to be your center of the media hub, then I think it is worth to look into such option.

Thank you hlkc,
Looking at renethx's post count it looks like he/she (sorry but no offence I don't know exactly) has been around for a very long time.

Your right though I only bought this Dell comp purely for the lounge room, to watch movies, listen to music and thats it.
I myself dont play any games (not yet but maybe in yrs to come) but I think soon enough when my 6 yr old boy gets his head out of that DS he might venture into the lounge room lol.

Thanks also for the advice on a new HTPC and what they can do these days. I'll definetely keep that in mind for the future but this Dell is just on 2yrs old now so it should do for a little while yet. 2 yrs ago I only knew how to turn on a computer so all this mucking around is like walking into a dark room for me lol. On the other hand next time I go out and buy a new PC I'll be much more aware on what I'm buying thats for sure.

Cheers
Joe
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by H8nXTC View Post

This is what I understood, but a couple weeks ago it was posted that most HD 5xxx will do 3D. Is this correct or not? Does not necessarily need to be HDMI 1.4a.

This is correct. I tested HD 5570 and 5670 and both support hardware acceleration of MVC decode (evident from very low CPU usage) and HDMI 1.4a 3D formats (as well as all the other known 3D formats of course). You can't use a HDMI 1.3 receiver unlike NVIDIA/Intel solutions, however.
post #18 of 23
@joe8s

To be able to bitstream HD audio, you have to buy a new receiver too (as you already know). Nevertheless buying a new graphics card capable of bitstreaming HD audio is worth considering because the card also guarantees bit-perfect LPCM (decoded from TrueHD/DTS-HD or the original 48kHz/24bit LPCM track) under TMT even if you don't upgrade your receiver. (HD audio bitstreaming automatically means PAP support.)
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

You shouldn't count on the TMT + ReClock solution. In fact ReClock does not work with the latest TMT5 at BD playback. If you want to get full quality sounds from BD movies without upgrading your receiver, there are two solutions.

1. Continue to use HD 4670. Play a BD disc or ripped BD folder (or ISO; full or main title only) or MKV with a media player (typically MPC HomeCinema) + LAV Splitter + LAV Audio Decoder + dtsdecoderdll.dll + ReClock. (If you have no idea what dtsdecoderdll.dll is, search with keyword "dtsdecoderdll.dll" in this forum; you can borrow it from TMT5 trial. ) This method is universal way to get bit-perfect audio via any LPCM-only HDMI audio device or any analog sound card.

2. Buy a graphics card supporting HD audio bitstreaming (= PAP), for example, HD 6xxx or GeForce GT 4xx. Play a BD disc or ripped BD folder (or ISO; full or main title only) or MKV with TMT5 ("Mixed to PCM uncompressed audio"; despite its name, this does not mix channels, it decodes HD audio bit-perfect). TMT5 sends decoded LPCM over a protected audio path (hence Windows Audio Engine can't modify it). Avoid PowerDVD; it can't decode DTS-HD correctly. Of course solution 1 is always available.

Hi renethx,
Firstly I have to thank you for all your replies so far, I really appreciate it truely!

I will go with option 1 for now even though I have absolutely no idea what (LAV Splitter + LAV Audio Decoder + dtsdecoderdll.dll) are lol. I mucked around with reclock only last week so thats one down 3 more to go LOL.
I hope I can get it to work without busting ur chops too much and at least get it up and running properly, fingers crossed.
If there is no glitches with the way it runs I'll more than likely leave it as is, but if there are little bugs here n there I'll more than likely just go out and buy another card.

Would I need to use Re-clock with option 2 as well?
I think you will say NO to this because of PAP, MPC HomeCinema can't be used in option 2 instead of TMT5 can it?

I'll do some reading tonight about option 1 and attempt to install it all.

I'll let you know how I go.

Cheers
Joe
post #20 of 23
Nowadays more and more people are leaving commercial BD players (TMT, PDVD, WinDVD) for free and open source software (FOSS) solutions because

- PQ can be better in FOSS.
- SQ is guaranteed (no stupid downsampling issue):
-- Easy TrueHD/DTS-HD bit-perfect decoding to multichannel LPCM for pre-HDMI 1.3 solutions/analog sound cards
-- Easy TrueHD/DTS-HD bitstreaming for HDMI 1.3 solutions.

(A HDMI 1.3 solution = a graphic card supporting HD audio bitstreaming + a HDMI 1.3/1.4a AVR.) Supported formats are:

- BD disc (with the aide of AnyDVD HD, to remove AACS protection); no menu support yet, only selecting each title right now.
- Ripped BD folder or ISO (full disc or the main title only)
- Ripped MKV

Of course all video/audio/subtitle streams are kept intact, no quality loss in ripping. Typical player/codecs are:

- Player: MPC HomeCinema
- Splitter: LAV Splitter
- Video decoder: LAV CUVID Decoder for NVIDIA; whatever for AMD
- Video renderer: madVR (or EVR)
- Audio decoder: LAV Audio Decoder
- Audio renderer: ReClock
- Subtitle renderer: the one built in MPC HomeCinema or ffdshow raw video filter or DirectVobSub

Right now ReClock + TMT is totally broken for BD playback. So if a BD disc contains 48kHz/16bit LPCM track, it is subject to modification by Windows Audio Engine.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi renethx,

Just checking with you first, should I do everything on this page to install the following on my computer like you said (LAV Splitter + LAV Audio Decoder + dtsdecoderdll.dll)

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...83&postcount=3
post #22 of 23
This guide is a bit outdated now. You don't need checkactivate.dll, register ASAudioHD.ax or modifiy win.ini. All you need is just place dtsdecoderdll.dll in the same folder as LAVSplitter.ax. Check the LAV Filters thread at Doom9's Forum > New and alternative a/v containers for the latest developments.

For starters, do:

- Install MPC HomeCinema
- Install LAV Filters (LAV Splitter and LAV audio decoder)
- In MPC HomeCinema, disable internal Matroska and MPEG PS/TS/PVA source filters (then LAV Splitter will be automatically used for these containers) and add LAV Audio Decoder in External Filters. Use the default video decoder, video renderer, audio renderer.
- Play several HD audio test files and see if TrueHD/DTS-HD MA/HRA is decoded correctly. (You will have a trouble in decoding Dolby Digital Plus = E-AC-3 7.1, that is a singular audio codec in that it is found only in Dolby demo disc, you will have to do all the procedures in my guide: place checkactivate.dll, register ASAudioHD.ax and modifiy win.ini to decode it properly [check the LAV Filters thread for further discussions on Blu-ray E-AC-3 7.1].)
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

This guide is a bit outdated now. You don't need checkactivate.dll, register ASAudioHD.ax or modifiy win.ini. All you need is just place dtsdecoderdll.dll in the same folder as LAVSplitter.ax. Check the LAV Filters thread at Doom9's Forum > New and alternative a/v containers for the latest developments.

For starters, do:

- Install MPC HomeCinema
- Install LAV Filters (LAV Splitter and LAV audio decoder)
- In MPC HomeCinema, disable internal Matroska and MPEG PS/TS/PVA source filters (then LAV Splitter will be automatically used for these containers) and add LAV Audio Decoder in External Filters. Use the default video decoder, video renderer, audio renderer.
- Play several HD audio test files and see if TrueHD/DTS-HD MA/HRA is decoded correctly. (You will have a trouble in decoding Dolby Digital Plus = E-AC-3 7.1, that is a singular audio codec in that it is found only in Dolby demo disc, you will have to do all the procedures in my guide: place checkactivate.dll, register ASAudioHD.ax and modifiy win.ini to decode it properly [check the LAV Filters thread for further discussions on Blu-ray E-AC-3 7.1].)

Hi renethx,

First I have to say THANKS for all your time and help getting me sorted out. I have really apreciated it.

I followed your last set of instructions and downloaded LAV Splitter + LAV Audio Decoder.
I then installed and registered both of them.
I added (.mpls, .m2ts, .mkv) into the Windows Registry
Downloaded TMT3 and copied dtsdecoderdll.dll into the LAV Splitter + LAV Audio Decoder folder.
In MPC HomeCinema I followed your instructions again ...
Options > Internal Filters > Source Filters: uncheck "Matroska" and "MPEG PS/TS/PVA"
Options > External Filters: add ArcSoft Audio Decoder HD and set it to "Prefer".
I installed ReClock and changed the settings as you have done so in here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...83&postcount=3

Now for the test ....
I downloaded "Channel_Test_DTS-HD_HRA_7.1.m2ts" and I had sound coming out of the speakers but the sides were not working at all. The sound from the sides were coming out of the rear speakers, in other words the rear speakers was not only producing the rear sound but it was also producing the side sounds too... anyways
I downloaded "Channel_Test_LPCM_7.1.m2ts" and the sounds were coming out of the respective speakers. ... yeeppeee!
I mounted an ISO of the movie with virtual clone and played it with TMT.
At first sound wasn't working so I changed the settings accordingly and then I had sound but the picture and sound were both jerky.
I tried mucking around with the settings again and no luck.
I closed TMT and tried with MPC HomeCinema, same thing again. I went through the settings in there and I noticed in External Filters (LAV) wasn't set to Prefer. I changed that and I had stable sound and picture but no 7.1 audio still.
Next I went and checked TMT again and it was the same as MPC ... stable sound and picture but no 7.1 audio still.
Next it was time to go into reclock and see whats going on in there.
I checked all the settings to see if they were the same as yours and they were.
I tried changing the settings around with no luck.
I installed PowerDVD (what a waste of time) uninstalled/installed reclock again (because you have to) and I mucked around with P/DVD for a little bit. I was lucky if P/DVD even played half the time so I uninstalled P/DVD, uninstalled/installed reclock again.
I did reboots every time just to make sure the changes were happening too.
So after all this I was left scratching my head lol.
I went through it all over again just to make sure and still no good.
So I started to work my way backwards again ...
I uninstalled reclock and rebooted, tried TMT again and WAHLAAAA ... IT WORKED
I spent another hour or so mucking around ... with reclock, without reclock, with reclock, without reclock but in the end it just works without reclock!

All works well 5.1 and 7.1 LPCM (BEAUTIFUL), TMT plays back perfectly ... but (and there has to be a but in there somewhere hey lol) MPC has a tiny glitch in it.
I tried 3 or 4 different versions of MPC and they are all the same. I have noticed when the chapter comes to an end and the new one begins the sound is at least 1-2 seconds ahead of the picture and after about 5 seconds or so the picture catches back up with the sound. Any idea whats going on here? It doesnt happen in TMT at all. I also noted that when this happens if I click on the "decrease speed" button once, wait about 2 seconds and then click on the "increase speed" button once and it plays ok.

I'm thinking some video setting or something ... I have no idea!
Do you have any idea on this renethx???

Cheers
Joe
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