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HTPC Sound issues

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Does any one notice that when playing movies from your HTPC some, most or all of the movies lack in sound? What I mean is for a good 75% or more of my movies I am pushing them above referance on my Onkyo TXNR807 easy. For instance I might have to turn up the volume to +5db's, but with the same BD in it sounds like +5db at -20db. Does that make sense?

Hopefully some one has experianced this before and it would be a simple software download fix versus being told I need a sound card.

I use MKV to burn my BD's. When burning them I usually keep checked the top 2 Audio selections (lossless and dolby) if the disc has it. The rest get unchecked along with the sub titles since I don't use them or any other language besides English.

System:
Sandy Bridge i3-2100 @ 3.10GHz
ASUS P8H67-M EVO
8 GIGs of memory
Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
60 GIG M4 SSD for Operating system, etc.
4 2TB Samsung Green Drives
Lite-on N82E16827106346

^As you can see it's pretty over kill

*HTPC hooks to my Onkyo TXNR807 via HDMI

Thanks
Judd
post #2 of 17
Which software are you using for playback? Do you bitstream audio or decode before sending to the Onkyo? If the latter, how high is the volume in your player software or windows? If the former, it may be a setting on your ripping software (not 'burning').
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
I use windows media for playback. I think the pc's volume is defaulted (maxed out) at 50. I thought I was letting the Onkyo decode and play, but maybe I'm not. How can I check and see if windows media or the software is bitstreaming? Maybe I have both working which is causing a problem?

First HTPC so I might sound a little dumb

Thanks
Judd
post #4 of 17
Try hitting the Display button on your Onkyo remote next time you're playing a file. It's tell you the audio input and output specs the first time you presss it; the second time will give you the video specs e.g. 1920x1080p 60Hz.

Play a file that you know has DTS-HD MA sound, for example, or any other format that you know such as plain DTS, Dolby Digital (AC3). When you hit the display button, if you see the format name as it should be, you're bitstreaming. If you see LPCM, your software has decoded first.
I think it's likely that you're decoding if you're using Windows Media Player, and probably not even using the lossless tracks you ripped.

When you play the BD itself (the actual disc), which software is being used, e.g. Arcsoft TMT, Cyberlink PowerDVD, WinDVD etc.?
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

if you're using Windows Media Player, and probably not even using the lossless tracks you ripped.

The Windows players (WMP and Media Center) can both bitstream HD audio without issue with a proper codec setup.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post

The Windows players (WMP and Media Center) can both bitstream HD audio without issue with a proper codec setup.

Acknowledged, but I was generalising the setups of "HTPC N00bs" like the OP claims to be.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

Try hitting the Display button on your Onkyo remote next time you're playing a file. It's tell you the audio input and output specs the first time you presss it; the second time will give you the video specs e.g. 1920x1080p 60Hz.

Play a file that you know has DTS-HD MA sound, for example, or any other format that you know such as plain DTS, Dolby Digital (AC3). When you hit the display button, if you see the format name as it should be, you're bitstreaming. If you see LPCM, your software has decoded first.
I think it's likely that you're decoding if you're using Windows Media Player, and probably not even using the lossless tracks you ripped.

When you play the BD itself (the actual disc), which software is being used, e.g. Arcsoft TMT, Cyberlink PowerDVD, WinDVD etc.?


I will check when I get home. I didn't even think about that. When I play or played BD I would just use the PS3. ...and with saying that I realized I had a blonde moment. It has nothing to do with the HTPC. Maybe I should try the discs in the HTPC -duh! Good thing the coffee is brewing
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post

The Windows players (WMP and Media Center) can both bitstream HD audio without issue with a proper codec setup.

When I was trying to get my HTPC to play over the PS3 I was going insane with CODEC's. So much that I just gave up... My main issue there though was the movie playback glitching like crazy.

BTW just thought about this. When I first set up my HTPC I had it hooked directly to my Samsung plasma until I got my collection burnt. I just recently put it downstairs and hooked it up to my Onkyo and other devices. Maybe I do need to check software. Perhaps it is not configured correctly.
post #9 of 17
HINT: you must set your speaker configuration to 'stereo' in Control Panel | Sound under your active HDMI device to bitstream from the Windows players.
Also, to bitstream audio, you must use a HDMI cable direct from the PC to the AVR.

Codec installation and setup are made simple with the Shark007 installers and configuration utilities.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am shocked I never used your codecs. My HTPC build comes from Assassin's paying guide and thread on here. I just went back through his software lists and it has your pack listed. Perhaps he just added it and I missed it? Not sure, but I am going to check once I get home.

To get the best sound I do want to bitstream from the HTPC to my rcvr though correct? As mentioned I am connected via HDMI to the rcvr.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limp Fox View Post

To get the best sound I do want to bitstream from the HTPC to my rcvr though correct? As mentioned I am connected via HDMI to the rcvr.

bitstreaming = the AVR (audio/video receiver) decodes the audio stream which is generally accepted as the best possible audio decoding.

Some will argue that decoding the audio on the PC is as good of quality as decoding on the AVR. I sit on the fence with this discussion and really have no preference to what decodes my audio because I am somewhat aged and cannot tell the difference between bitstreaming and PC decoding.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limp Fox View Post

I will check when I get home. I didn't even think about that. When I play or played BD I would just use the PS3. ...and with saying that I realized I had a blonde moment. It has nothing to do with the HTPC. Maybe I should try the discs in the HTPC -duh! Good thing the coffee is brewing

I'll assume then that your HTPC and PS3 are connected to different outputs on your Onkyo. Please also check to make sure that the input configuration on the Onkyo doesn't have something weird like a gain reduction for the HTPC input. Do this before you mess with codecs, just so you don't get into headaches down the line. By all means play with codecs after this, even if it fixes the low volume. Shark's pack is highly regarded/recommended, even though I don't need to use something like that any more.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post

bitstreaming = the AVR (audio/video receiver) decodes the audio stream which is generally accepted as the best possible audio decoding.

Some will argue that decoding the audio on the PC is as good of quality as decoding on the AVR. I sit on the fence with this discussion and really have no preference to what decodes my audio because I am somewhat aged and cannot tell the difference between bitstreaming and PC decoding.

In theory, there's no difference. With bitstreaming, however, you can be sure that the AVR receives the audio as it was meant to be. Whether or not you then use a DSP to change the output is another matter, of course. If you decode in the PC, you do also have the option of adding DSPs in software, but there are pitfalls to be aware of. In your case, OP, go with the bitstreaming if possible, until you've explored the theory a bit more.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
When I click display on my Onkyo it says the following


Input: PCM----48kHz----2.0ch

Output: Dolby PLII----Movie----5.2ch

I right clicked on the speaker in my windows bar (bottom right) and it seems it automatically detected my Onkyo when I hooked it up. It's set at default.


Judd
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
It looks like I just have LAV decoders installed. Should I unistall and install Shark? Under LAV Audio Decoders I have the following.

Audio Settings tab:
Dynamic rang Compression... Box not checked, but level is 100%

Bitstreaming (S/PDIF,HDMI) formats:
(unchecked) DD (AC-3)
(unchecked) DD Plus (E-AC3)
(unchecked) Dolby TrueHD
(unchecked) DTS
^^^That might be my problem right there.
(unchecked and greyed out) DTS+HD
(unchecked and greyed out) Use DTS+HD Framing for all DTS types

Options:
(checked) Auto A/V sync correction
(checked) Convert output to standard channel layouts
(unchecked) Expand mono to stereo
(unchecked) Expand 6.1 to 7.1

Formats tab:
all codecs checked
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limp Fox View Post

Bitstreaming (S/PDIF,HDMI) formats:
(unchecked) DD (AC-3)
(unchecked) DD Plus (E-AC3)
(unchecked) Dolby TrueHD
(unchecked) DTS
^^^That might be my problem right there.
(unchecked and greyed out) DTS+HD

check all of these.
DTS+HD will become selectable once you select DTS
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Uninstalled LAV and reinstalled the newest version. Then checked all the boxes except

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