• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

DVD ultra and HD sound a definitive answer ?

candg

Active Member
There still appears to be huge confusion as to whether Cyberlink Power DVD ultra can output "full HD" sound formats through the analogue outputs of the PC without downmixing them. I recently sent the following email to Cyberlink;


I have just bought a PC with pre installed Power Dvd Ultra and internal Blue Ray and HD DVD drives. I have all the system up and running but wonder
whether there is any way at present or in the future to get this software to actually fully decode the new High Res sound formats, Dolby Digital Plus, True
HD, and DTS master rather than having these formats down mixed by Power DVD ultra.

Cyberlink response as follows;

Dear Graham,

Thank you for contacting CyberLink Online Support.

We understand your concern related with PowerDVD Ultra.

Please note that the feature you mention in your email, all these feature are available in full version of PowerDVD Ultra software.

Does this actually answer the question of DVD ultra downmixing Hi Res audio formats to standard 5.1 ? Totally confused here now. Any recent news on this question which makes sense ? Is there a poll on this forum to indicate current feeling about his feature on the software ?

Oh...Happy New Year to everyone


Graham
 

candg

Active Member
Are you, or anyone else absolutely sure it downmixes ? The email from Cyberlink seems to suggest that the OEM version does downmix but the full version does'nt. Is there ANY 100% accurate information on this anywhere ? Thinking about upgrading the software but still not sure what I will gain if anything !

Graham
 

andyUK101

Well-known Member
If you head over to AVSforums there are a number of very techie threads on this

Im pretty sure the general consensus was that audio is downmixed to the core DTS track, irregardless of the connection (HDMI Vid+Aud, HDMI + Optical, HDMI + analogue)

Id love to be corrected if this has changed recently but i doubt it
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
PowerDVD Ultra downmixes which is just plain stupid.


Hmmmmmmmmmmmm ???

Copied and Pasted from the Cyberlink website.

http://http://www.cyberlink.com/english/products/powerdvd/ultra/audio.jsp


High-Definition Audio Technologies
Experience the best DTS and Dolby surround sound that home theater audio can deliver, with support for key Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD audio technologies. Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS provide the sound quality to match the stunning visuals of high-definition videos. With PowerDVD Ultra, you get the advantages and benefits of them all!

CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra supports up to 5.1 channels of high-definition audio with these leading technologies:

Dolby TrueHD: Mandatory audio for all HD DVD players and optional for Blu-ray Discs. TrueHD delivers lossless, source-master-quality sound as multi-channel audio soundtracks to a playback system. TrueHD is compatible with older A/V players through HDMI.
Dolby Digital Plus: Dolby's next-generation Dolby Digital technology, offers multi channel sound with discrete channel output. Channel and program extensions can carry multi-channel audio programs and support multiple programs in a single encoded bitstream.

DVD-Audio: Enjoy rich sound offered by a 5.1 channel audio experience.

Supported Audio Formats

DTS-ES Discrete
Dolby Pro Logic IIx
DTS 96/24
Dolby Virtual Speaker
DTS Neo:6
Dolby Headphone
DTS 5.1
MLP Lossless
Dolby Digital Plus
LPCM audio support
Dolby TrueHD (5.1)
MP3
Dolby Digital (5.1)
WAV
Dolby Digital EX
AAC decoding
DVD-Audio





HTH's
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
Are you, or anyone else absolutely sure it downmixes ? The email from Cyberlink seems to suggest that the OEM version does downmix but the full version does'nt. Is there ANY 100% accurate information on this anywhere ? Thinking about upgrading the software but still not sure what I will gain if anything !

Graham


One of the main caveats to get you to purchase the full licence is that digital multichannel (by that, I mean more than 2!) sound, is disabled, until the program is upgraded to the full fat paid for registered version.
 

jaymz

Active Member
All of CyberLinks marketing blurb will be related to people using HDMI to connect to receivers. Receivers, with HDMI connectors at v1.3 which i beleive is needed to transmitt the new Hidef audio formats and capable of decoding them are very new. SPDIF does not have the bandwidth to transfer the data.

So the only option open to most people, particularly those who do not want to invest in a new reciever to benefit from the new formats can only use analagoue as a connection method.

Unfortunatley the original question to Cyberlink support did not mention using analogue connectors so they have not answered the right question.
 

andyUK101

Well-known Member
The key phrase in the marketing blurb is 'Supports'

There is no question that PDVD 'supports' the new HD audio formats is how they are output which is the question
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
Im pretty sure the general consensus was that audio is downmixed to the core DTS track, irregardless of the connection (HDMI Vid+Aud, HDMI + Optical, HDMI + analogue)

The key phrase in the marketing blurb is 'Supports'

There is no question that PDVD 'supports' the new HD audio formats is how they are output which is the question



Both your posts seem a little contradictory to me, I'd hardly say that irregardless method of connection, thus downmixing, is the same as supporting. If the software cannot utilise the outputs that you mentioned in your first post ( which is nigh on state of the art at this time ), then it must be questionable, that PowerDVD can lay claim to support HD Audio, until a useable connection method is available.

Bit like me saying I can support the weight of a half ton hippo, but before I can, I need to work out at the gym.
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
All of CyberLinks marketing blurb will be related to people using HDMI to connect to receivers. Receivers, with HDMI connectors at v1.3 which i beleive is needed to transmitt the new Hidef audio formats and capable of decoding them are very new. SPDIF does not have the bandwidth to transfer the data.

On thinking about your post - I reckon you could be bang on with this.
 

jaymz

Active Member

andyUK101

Well-known Member
Both your posts seem a little contradictory to me, I'd hardly say that irregardless method of connection, thus downmixing, is the same as supporting. If the software cannot utilise the outputs that you mentioned in your first post ( which is nigh on state of the art at this time ), then it must be questionable, that PowerDVD can lay claim to support HD Audio, until a useable connection method is available.

Bit like me saying I can support the weight of a half ton hippo, but before I can, I need to work out at the gym.

In what way is it contradictory?

In this case there is a clear distinction between 'supporting' the new audio codecs and allowing people to enjoy them fully

Its like a TV manufacturer claiming that a TV set supports 1080p, 24fps, 120Hz etc etc when in fact the TV natively has non of those features its just that it is capable of accepting them
 

paulm187

Active Member
I've got the full version of PowerDVD Ultra and tried playing Spiderman3 (blu-ray) and can confirm that on S/PDIF pass-through, the track is downsampled to 2 channel dolby digital. I e-mailed Cyberlink and the following reply confirms this:

We understand your concern related with PowerDVD Ultra software.
In regard to your concern, we like to inform you that PowerDVD would decode lossless format and downsample to 48kHz 2ch 16bit PCM to S/PDIF out. This is due to the limitation of S/PDIF bandwidth. It's bandwidth is not enough for full quality mutli-channel PCM out. And this is reason you are facing this issue.


So, playing it through S/PDIF, PowerDVD downsamples everything to 2 Channel DolbyTrueHD at 3162Kbps. If you want full bandwidth 5.1/7.1 surround sound you would have to use either the analogue inputs of your reciever or use HDMI.

However, according to Dolby, if your A/V receiver or processor is equipped with 5.1-channel Dolby Digital decoding and playback, you will still be able to have 5.1-channel performance if you enable it in the player (PowerDVD). Included within the HD movie disk is a digital 5.1 mix that is used when the player is set for 5.1-channel mode. After playback audio signals have been mixed in the player, the PCM signal can be encoded to a digital signal and output from the player via S/PDIF to your A/V receiver.

So to get digital 5.1 I had the disk in the drive but didn't play the movie yet. Then tried the following. Configuration --> Audio:Speaker Environment and set to S/PDIF. Now enable S/PDIF mixing and then select either AC3 or DTS depending on the mix available. This gave me Digital 5.1 at 2818Kbps which was decoded by my reciever as DTS. But the downside is that you need a beefy processor to do the encoding as my Athlon 64 4600 X 2 was consistently hitting 90%. The movie was stutter free in most places as long as I did not have anything else running. Now I don't know if this is the core 5.1 digital track on the disk but my reciever seems to think it is 5.1.
 

stephentw

Well-known Member
This is due to the limitation of S/PDIF bandwidth. It's bandwidth is not enough for full quality mutli-channel PCM out. And this is reason you are facing this issue.

Is this limitation the same for both optical and coaxial s/pdif connections or is one capable of a higher bit rate?
 

paulm187

Active Member
Is this limitation the same for both optical and coaxial s/pdif connections or is one capable of a higher bit rate?

The limitation is with S/PDIF, so it affects both coaxial and optical.

PowerDVD on the other hand has admitted to downsampling everything to 48Khz 16bit PCM regardless of your connection(Avsforums.com). This is due to AACS restrictions on audio not on protected path. To get full uncompressed HD audio, it would require Vista to implement Protect Audio Path and your HTPC should have supporting audio drivers.
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
In what way is it contradictory?

In this case there is a clear distinction between 'supporting' the new audio codecs and allowing people to enjoy them fully.

Its like a TV manufacturer claiming that a TV set supports 1080p, 24fps, 120Hz etc etc when in fact the TV natively has non of those features its just that it is capable of accepting them


If as you claim, the general consensus is, that irrespective of connection, PowerDVD downmixes to vanilla SD multi-channel audio, with no useable method of outputting HD Audio, then I would hardly call that supporting the newer format.

In your first post, you state that the belief is, downmixing happens no matter what the connection (you list them all!!), and in your second post, you state there is no question PowerDVD supports Hi Def surround, but how do you connect it?
 

drummerjohn

Well-known Member
The HiDef sound formats can only be pushed out over HDMI. This means you need an amp\decoder that can decode DolbyTrue etc.

The LPCM tracks (analogue nature) on Hidef are down sampled by PowerDVD when outputting over analogue.

As far as I am aware the only way to achieve the hi-def sound in its proper format is to use amp\decoder that will take HDMI and decode the compressed tracks.
 

paulm187

Active Member
The HiDef sound formats can only be pushed out over HDMI. This means you need an amp\decoder that can decode DolbyTrue etc.

The LPCM tracks (analogue nature) on Hidef are down sampled by PowerDVD when outputting over analogue.

As far as I am aware the only way to achieve the hi-def sound in its proper format is to use amp\decoder that will take HDMI and decode the compressed tracks.

As I understand, in the current implementation of High Def Audio all the decoding takes place in the player itself i.e Standalone Player or PowerDVD and sent to the AV reciever as digital PCM. The audio is mixed in the player together with commentry and any other non-track audio in native 5.1/7.1 soundtrack and presented to the AV reciever.

Therefore you dont need a Dolby TruHD reciever, the current crop of recievers will be perfectly capable of producing full HD 5.1/7.1 audio as long as it is sent via HDMI or 6/8 analogue connections.

The problem with PowerDVd seems that HD audio is down converted due to AACS issues. Therefore we will only enjoy full HD audio in PowerDVD when Vista implements Protected Audio Path with supporting software drivers.
 

drummerjohn

Well-known Member
As I understand, in the current implementation of High Def Audio all the decoding takes place in the player itself i.e Standalone Player or PowerDVD and sent to the AV reciever as digital PCM. The audio is mixed in the player together with commentry and any other non-track audio in native 5.1/7.1 soundtrack and presented to the AV reciever.

Therefore you dont need a Dolby TruHD reciever, the current crop of recievers will be perfectly capable of producing full HD 5.1/7.1 audio as long as it is sent via HDMI or 6/8 analogue connections.

The problem with PowerDVd seems that HD audio is down converted due to AACS issues. Therefore we will only enjoy full HD audio in PowerDVD when Vista implements Protected Audio Path with supporting software drivers.

That is excatly what I said. LPCM on HD discs is generally HD audio. Anything that hits PowerDVD regardless of format is down converted when output over analogue.
 

tony @ suffolk

Active Member
Presumably though, another alternative for outputting decoded HD audio 5.1 or 7.1 from the soundcard is via analogue outputs.

I'm not very up on such matters but I can't seem to locate a card with said connections.
 

Prism666

Active Member
That is excatly what I said. LPCM on HD discs is generally HD audio. Anything that hits PowerDVD regardless of format is down converted when output over analogue.

Actually PowerDVD is downsampled to 16 bits (assuming the original source is 24 bits which most aren't) both for digital and for analogue output. The reason is not based on the output type but because the audio stream over the internal PC interfaces before it gets to the sound card or onboard sound chip is considered unsecure. Realtek and Cyberlink a codeveloping an internal interface that allows for internal secure passage of sound. Then Powerdvd won't need to downsample and will get a patch apparently. At that point analogue output will be full bitrate and should a motherboard exist with HDMI for sound by then so will digital output

I fully expect analogue none downsampled HD sound to be available before HDMI options

Saying all that, I own over 15 HD and Bluray disks and not a single one so far comes with 24 bit PCM, TrueHD or DTS-HD Master sound. Some of the Disney films do i believe

As an example, when I play 300 using TrueHD over analogue form my PC to my 7.1 amp I get full uncompressed HD quality sound with no downsampling. 300 is encoded at 16 bit on the disc and Powerdvd will happily play this
 

The latest video from AVForums

Fidelity in Motion's David Mackenzie talks about his work on disc encoding & the future of Blu-ray
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom