Is there a difference between playing an MKV file from my computer, through my XBMC (Kodi) which sends a DTS ES bitstream to my receiver, versus a theoretical situation where the same file is first decoded in software (by eg. ffmpeg) and sent as multi-channel PCM down the same path? Is there any quality difference? Does it matter that the DTS light doesn't turn on?
Apple TV 2 jailbroken to run Kodi 14.1
computer that shares movies using NFS to ATV2
File in question is a DVD I ripped LOTR with a DTS ES 6.1 soundtrack. Ripped it using Handbrake. Kodi is setup for passthrough when playing the file.
The reason I ask, is because I was trying out a new PC as a media center, running Kodibuntu. I found out they they rip out Pulse Audio (the audio subsystem in Linux) for the older ALSA subsystem, because of the fact that you cannot bitstream with Pulse Audio.
I then went on the Pulse Audio mailing list and asked why you couldnt do it, and got a response to the effect "we're not going to do it and we might just let ffmpeg decode the bitstream and send out PCM multi channel).
The guy I talked to seemed to think that there would be no difference sending already decoded DTS ES to the receiver in PCM format. I just wanted a second opinion!
He did say that there won't be any dialogue normalisation, but from what I can gather, that's a bit irrelevant in a media center anyway (no commercials).