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#383115 - 09/21/12 07:52 PM XBMC/PC - retain surround sound?
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
I've been ripping all my movies to my computer and using XBMC to playback. (I have an HDMI output from my PC to my Onkyo).

Everything is working great, except I get only 2 channel sound. XBMC notes that the files are Dolby 5.1, DTS, etc...but I'm only getting 2 channel sound.

I set up my PC to output 5.1 and did the test tones and all channels are working. It even asked about full range speakers and I set it to use the subwoofer, as I am not using full range speakers. But still 2.0 only - no center, no surrounds, no sub. Onkyo notes "Multi-Channel" when receiving signal from PC.

Any ideas?

I'm soooooo close to have a working, easy to use HTPC finally!

(XBMC remote app for android rocks!)
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"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#383116 - 09/21/12 07:54 PM Re: XBMC/PC - retain surround sound? [Re: spiffnme]
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
oh...I've been ripping discs all sorts of ways. Lately blu-rays as MKV files. I think ISO files would be best though as I'd retain menus and bonus features. I have a few DVD's ripped as ISO and they work great. Any suggestions for software to rip blu-ray discs to ISO?
_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#383122 - 09/21/12 09:14 PM Re: XBMC/PC - retain surround sound? [Re: spiffnme]
duckman Offline
devotee

Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 312
Loc: kansas
Any suggestions for software to rip blu-ray discs to ISO? [/quote]

slysoft anydvd hd
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#383124 - 09/21/12 10:55 PM Re: XBMC/PC - retain surround sound? [Re: spiffnme]
Boltron Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 171
Loc: Toronto
I am a long time HTPC user. I ran XBMC for over two years. I however only used XBMC for media management; I used an external player for playback because XBMC did not produce the video and audio quality I wanted. I stopped using XBMC about a year ago and switched to JRiver MC17, it has a superior playback engine and I can use the external codecs and renderer I like.

I rip everything to mkv, I have upwards of 400 movies and many TV shows. IMO, mkv is the best way to go.

XBMC is not capable of bitstreaming audio so it just outputs PCM which your receiver sees at Multi-Channel. The problem with this is that the audio gets processed by the Windows mixer which unfortunately is sub optimal. Since you are only getting two channels, either Windows is set to two channels, or XBMC is. You say you checked Windows so you need to confirm the XBMC settings. Also, make sure XBMC is using the correct audio device for playback; you probably have more than one so ensure to set XBMC to use the device you set to 5.1 in Windows. I am not familiar with Onkyo receivers but it too may have a selection (my Denon does) to choose the number of channels.

I use Anydvd HD, to decrypt. I use Clown_DB to extract the main movie (no menus and extras crap) into it's basic audio and video streams. I then use the MKVtoolnix package (MKXmerge) for creating my custom mkvs. This system is great because I can pick and choose precisely what audio stream, language, sub titles I want and nothing else. Another great little tool is MKVchapterizer which adds chapters to any mkv, it's great for shows that have none. Finally, Mediainfo is your best friend, it can open just about any media file and show you all the details of the audio, video subs etc... (make sure you don't just get the .exe installer on the main page, it has OpenCandy adware, get it from the downloads page). Finally, if you don't want to use all the utilities like I do above, try MakeMKV. It's an all in one package. I however prefer the control I have by doing it myself.

http://www.slysoft.com/en/anydvdhd.html
http://www.clownbd.com/
http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/
http://code.google.com/p/mkv-chapterizer/downloads/list
http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en/Download/Windows Get GUI version without installer
http://www.makemkv.com/


On another note, there has long been special builds of XBMC that supported proper sound playback in windows using direcshow so you could get real DTS-MA/TrueHD (bitsteamed) playback and even 24bit audio. Back in version 10, it was called DSplayer. Now in v11 there's an AE version that a few developers are working on.

For me picture and sound quality are paramount, so I use external codecs and renderer with MC17. Even though I always did bitstreaming in the past, I switched to PCM Multi Channel soon after I switched to MC17. MC17 supports WASAPI Even Style which complexly bypassed the Windows mixer. Doing so allows me to enable the VideoClock feature which eliminates dropped frames when movies are not at 23.976 fps. It's great when watching European shows. Also, I get full 24 bit and up to 192KHz music playback with my flac music files.

Hope this helps.


Edited by Boltron (09/21/12 10:59 PM)
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#383154 - 09/22/12 12:36 PM Re: XBMC/PC - retain surround sound? [Re: spiffnme]
Andrew Offline
Axiom Engineer
veteran

Registered: 12/18/01
Posts: 177
Just a guess here, but as soon as you mentioned HDMI out from the PC I immediately thought of HDCP being the issue. I ran into all sorts of issues trying to get Dolby Digital or DTS out of my HTPC over HDMI. I finally gave up and used the HDMI output for video only and ran an optical cable from my Creative Labs X-Fi sound card to my Denon receiver for the audio. This works great and I am using XBMC without any customization. Do you happen to have a digital output from your sound card that you could try?

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#383157 - 09/22/12 01:07 PM Re: XBMC/PC - retain surround sound? [Re: spiffnme]
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
Thanks for the info. I solved the audio issue with movies (it was the audio settings withing XMBC). It now locks on to the DTS, Dolby, etc signals and switches as needed. I'm back to 5.1 glory for my movies!

Only thing left is 2.1 for music. It seems I cannot figure out how to get the subwoofer to come into play with 2 channel signals. I've been trying to figure this one out for a couple years now. With the in/on wall M22's the sub would come in handy!
_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#383159 - 09/22/12 02:35 PM Re: XBMC/PC - retain surround sound? [Re: spiffnme]
Boltron Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 171
Loc: Toronto
I'm glad you got it sorted out.

If you are ripping to mkvs, then HDCP won't be an issue as long as you use a player like MPC-HC or VLC.

The 2.1 music is very likely be a setting in the receiver. I'm sure you can find it in there, my Denon has it. Alternatively, you may be able to configure XBMC to mix the 2 channels and create the LFE, I don't know if it has that ability. The Audio codec I use can as well as fddshow (and probably others) but vanila XBMC can't use directshow filters so it will not work anyway.
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#383227 - 09/24/12 08:10 AM Re: XBMC/PC - retain surround sound? [Re: Andrew]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6884
Loc: PEI, Canada
Originally Posted By: Andrew
Just a guess here, but as soon as you mentioned HDMI out from the PC I immediately thought of HDCP being the issue. I ran into all sorts of issues trying to get Dolby Digital or DTS out of my HTPC over HDMI. I finally gave up and used the HDMI output for video only and ran an optical cable from my Creative Labs X-Fi sound card to my Denon receiver for the audio. This works great and I am using XBMC without any customization. Do you happen to have a digital output from your sound card that you could try?


Hey Andrew, Andrew here.
Using "Anydvd HD" will remove any protection issues or complications with HDCP for direct playback or for ripping. It is worth the small subscription fee and even if you don't like traversing the grey areas of ripping your own disks, the fact that HDCP prevented me from playing my own, legitimately purchased BRs on the playback device of my choice is wrong and I had no problem using this tool to get around that restriction.

Also,
I currently use XBMC and I am quiet satisfied with the AV quality. I like it because it plays every format you can throw at it seamlessly and organizes content in a manner that my wife and visitors easily adapt to.

I am very satisfied with it. At least I was until you planted this seed, Boltron. Damn you, now I will no doubt be spending a bunch of evenings downloading software and fidgeting with unruly codecs. Damn you again for taunting the happy funball!
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#383234 - 09/24/12 08:58 AM Re: XBMC/PC - retain surround sound? [Re: spiffnme]
Boltron Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 171
Loc: Toronto
Ha, that's exactly what happened to me. They say that ignorance is bliss...

I would be very happy to help you get set up with the playback stuff. I only mentioned it in closing but I can tell you which codecs etc... to get for best results.
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For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

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#383264 - 09/25/12 09:58 AM Re: XBMC/PC - retain surround sound? [Re: spiffnme]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6884
Loc: PEI, Canada
Thanks! You are safe for a little while as I have too much on the go right now with work & study to go down this road of no return.
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With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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