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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.


I am trying to sort out a perplexing issue, and I bet some fine members of this forum can set me straight.


I am using an Intel NUC as a HTPC. The unit runs Windows 8.1 Pro with Windows Media Center. The audio is set up as 5.1 in the audio configuration, and does properly output 5.1 with MPC-HC but not other software that I would like to use.


When I run MPC-HC, with the DTS DLL from Arcsoft installed, I can nicely decode just about every video and audio format. I do own the TMT 6.X software package. In the past I have installed LAV filters, but I don't think that they are currently installed.


My receiver is an older Denon, and accepts PCM audio in multichannel format from the HTPC over HDMI.


But as you know, MPC-HC as a standalone does not have the easy to use interface of XBMC or Windows Media Center.


Now on certain media files I get a picture but no sound (such as files with DTS HD MA) using Windows Media Center. On other media files I get 5.1 sound but not video (such as A Clockwork Orange, which has the VC-1 codec) using Windows Media Center. And with Arcsoft TMT 6.X with the same file, I get a nice video picture, but only 2 channel sound. Similarly, I get Video but only 2 channel sound with the same file using the latest build of XBMC (Frodo).


By the way, for some reason that I do not also understand, Windows Media Center's add-ons does not seem to recognize Arcsoft TMT even though a licensed and updated version is present in the machine.


So here are the questions.


First of all, why is MPC-HC able to handle everything with "aplomb", but other software seems to fall flat.


Second, how do I get some of the software with nice menu driven interfaces to work with 5.1 sound and problematic codecs. In particular, I would love to get 5.1 audio output in TMT, and to get codecs like VC-1 Video and DTS-HD MA working in Windows Media Center and XBMC.


Third, and somewhat unrelated to the first two questions, with MPC-HC, I would appreciate some advice on how to have the software automatically take 2.0 stereo files and make them into 5.1 audio. I know this will either be some form of matrixed decoding or 5.1 "stereo" and am OK with that. I checked some of the settings in MPC-HC that should enable that, but nothing happened and the files remained 2.0. May some other filters should be installed.


VLC does not use the hardware acceleration for graphics in the system chipset and therefore is not really a consideration. I think many forum members prefer MPC-HC for a variety of reasons, so it is not surprising to many readers that I am not looking into VLC as an option.


Thank you all for your help and input.
 

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Does your receiver decode HD audio formats? If it does (which I'm assuming), why do you want to do it on the PC? It would be easier to send undecoded audio (aka bitstream) to the receiver and let it do the heavy lifting.


I use the Shark007 pack to manage my spliters, decoders, and filters. I use the Haali splitter on MKV files and route audio for most file types through ffdshow. I don't think many others on the forum are still using Haali or ffdshow (most have moved on to lav) but it is what I'm comfortable with. I too remember years ago trying to get my archived hd-dvds to play (VC1) and having audio and a blank black screen. Through patience I was able to figure that out in Shark007.


As to making 2 channels sources into 5.1 - I would use the receiver. On mine (for example) I have it set to decode bitstreamed audio. If it gets a two channel source I can set it to apply Dolby Pro Logic II matrixing instead of playing two channels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pittsoccer; perhaps I did not share the sad fact that my receiver is a high quality Japanese made Denon. However, the receiver does not decode DTS HD MA etc. Also, if the HTPC feeds it a 2.0 signal then that is that when the HTPC is set for 5.1. The receiver can only "play" with the signal when the HTPC is set to output 2.0.


So unfortunately much of your suggestions do not apply.
 

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You mentioned lav filters earlier. MPC uses these now natively. But if you want to use them elsewhere then you would still need to install the stand-alone version. One thing to note though that the dts dll is 32 bit only, hence it won't work with 64 bit, e.g using wmc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would prefer to have some kind of handle on what is going on before throwing codecs at the problem. If I had some kind of idea why MPC-HC works so well and everything else is something of a toss up....I think it would be easier to get everything else working properly.


Plus I would love some advice on how to get MPC-HC to convert 2.0 signals to 5.1 within the software. Perhaps the fact that this is difficult is related to everything else that is going on.
 

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Have you read these XBMC pages regarding the new AudioEngine?

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=AudioEngine
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Audio_hardware_compatibility
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=AudioEngine/HOW-TO:_Configure_audio


The hardware compatibility link might indicate whether something in your NUC is too new for XBMC to handle, but their description pages are a bit vague. The AudioEngine pages make it sound like XBMC can decode DST-HD MA now, but the screenshot of the audio configuration page makes it seem like XBMC can only send it to a receiver. AFAIK XBMC does not support the ArcSoft DTS-HD MA DLL, so if it can't decode the audio on its own, you'll never be able to use it with that audio format (unless you buy a new receiver that can decode it).


I'd be kind of surprised if XBMC had DTS-HD MA decoding now, since XBMC is open source, and any DTS-HD MA decoder it might have would probably have already been merged into LAV to eliminate the need for the ArcSoft DLL. To my knowledge DTS-HD MA is the last of the Blu-ray codecs that doesn't have a free decoder option.


As for turning 2.0 into 5.1, do you have an audio track that you're sure is Dolby Pro Logic? It doesn't work on just any stereo mix.
 
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