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Bitstream DTS-HD?
ppataki
post Apr 6 2011, 17:47
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Dear All,

I would like to bitstream DTS-HD with foobar2000 through HDMI
I have installed the WASAPI plugin but if I want to play a .dts or .dtshd file I get an unsupported file format error
Then if I install dts plugin as well foobar decodes dts and sends multichannel way through HDMI...

Could you please advise?

Many thanks in advance
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ppataki
post Apr 7 2011, 14:50
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When bitstreaming, it is the receiver that does the decoding
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Sandrine
post Apr 7 2011, 18:16
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QUOTE (ppataki @ Apr 7 2011, 15:50) *
When bitstreaming, it is the receiver that does the decoding


I was under the impression that bitstreaming means bypassing all post-processing (mixer), but that could include a pre-processed signal like decoded dts (=LPCM), while pass-through refers to sending the raw undecoded signal to another device. But maybe it's the same thing?

This post has been edited by Sandrine: Apr 7 2011, 18:17
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Kinloch
post Dec 29 2011, 02:24
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This is quite a long time after this thread was active however I thought I would share some of my findings and thinking on the subject of passing a DTS encoded signal to a home theater receiver via either HDMI or SPDIF.

My first comment is that it's painfully difficult to pass an unfettered DTS encoded signal from a Windows computer to a receiver. Everything seems to want to get in the way. Any form of Digital processing or volume adjustment will cause corruption and results in some form of decode failure. Also unless there is sufficient gain (max volume) the signal (even uncorrupted) will not decode or may drop, skip or blip.

More.. Some software will want to grab exclusive control over sound devices and will not yield producing the peculiarly frustrating "now it works, now it doesn't" scenario.

What's the answer? There isn't a silver bullet here but I have some tips:

Tip #1 - Pick a sound card with "DTS Interactive" capability.
Quote: "DTS Interactive encodes any digital sound source into DTS Digital Surround for transport and playback through any DTS-enabled system via a signal cable connection, such as powered PC speakers, an A/V receiver or any other DTS- compatible surround decoder sound system, eliminating the hassle of multiple cables and ensuring audio signal integrity."

There is an inexpensive card (< $50) available from newegg ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 - This is particularly attractive because some idiot has given it a bad review because he doesn't know what a PCI slot is!! There are also much MUCH more expensive cards available from ASUS, HT|OMEGA and others. These more expensive cards may provide additional features of interest and are built with top end components but as far as interactive encoding is concerned they're the same.

Using a DTS Interactive card anything that you can get to play to the "cards speakers" will be encoded and shoved out as a DTS encoded digital signal through your SPDIF or HDMI connection. This also allows you to use the volume control in your software - something you were missing and you can now also allow seemingly innocent things to happened such as systems sounds (be careful of volume), cross-fading or even more significant digital effects. The output is re-encoded on the sound card into DTS on the fly.

Tip #2 - Try to only run one media player at a time
As mentioned earlier - some players will capture a device and some players react poorly when they can't capture a device already being used. The resulting failures and partial failures can leave your system in what I like to term "a significant state of unrest" - a condition unlikely to produce anything reliable.

Tip #3 - Make sure you know what your file associations will do
Double click on that .flac or .dts or .wav - Do you know what application is going to be invoked? You need to take control of this and don't let the latest upgrade of quicktime or some other application make itself the default.

Tip #4 - Separate your Audio and Video objectives
One tool is not enough. Like trying to hammer a nail with the screwdriver - it might work but your apt to get hurt.

I have used all manner of free and paid software for Video and Audio include Windows Media Player, iTunes, WinAmp, Foobar 2000, VLC Media Player, Total Media Theater and many more. Using a DTS Interactive capable sound card pretty much makes them all viable but they're most certainly not all equal.

Everything has problems. For example I long for WinAmp to actually work for all my needs but I have elected not to attempt using it for DTS encoded music. I find that the WinAmp add-ons needed to try and deal with DTS encoded sources are simply too unstable.

TotalMedia Theater (currently revision 5) has a special place in my world because it's a well written and maintained player which is capable of outputting directly to an SPDIF or HDMI output - (handles it's own encoding very well) and is typically quite resilient to changes imposed by other software.

So my current list:

QUOTE
.flac -> WinAmp (primarily I like the auto tagging - give it artist, title and track length and it will probably match the rest).

.wav -> Only Foobar seems to be able to properly discern a 6ch DTS encoded .wav from something else. I should probably rename all my 6ch .wav's to .dtswav but nobody seems to do that - can't think why. (component name DTS Decoder)

.dtshd -> Foobar (component name DTS-HD Decoder)

.dts -> Foobar (component name DTS Decoder)

.iso -> Magic ISO (mount as virtual drive) -> TotalMedia Theater 5

.ac3 -> try to avoid but if I must then whatever works (foobar component name AC3 Decoder)

VIDEO_TS folder -> TotalMedia Theater 5

.mkv -> TotalMedia Theater 5

.mp3 -> Take your pick - whatever works best for interaction with your mp3 player.

.anything else -> whatever I can make work reliably.


I hope that some who follow me down this rabbit-hole of multichannel music (and video) are able to draw something useful from this rambling post. Many of the lessons I have learned have been expensive in both time and money and I would save you both.

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