Answered How to output music in true 5.1 @ 24bit 192kHz on Windows 10

darkenedknight

Novice Member
This is my last resort and the first forum I have posted to, as I highly respect the knowledge of this community. I have spent hours upon hours over the past few weeks to resolve this issue, including hours of official tech support from both Apple and Microsoft via phone and remote access, to no avail.

I am unable to play music in true 5.1, only 2.1 over HDMI using any media player.

This is only a recent issue, I have previously had my music library outputting through iTunes (version 12.7.3.46) in 'true' 5.1 (where applicable). Which is what makes this so infuriating for me :mad:

I hear all the correct tones from each channel when testing the speaker setup via the Windows sound output configuration wizard, using the HDMI (Nvidia high definition Audio) device. This includes 24bit @ 192kHz.

Videos such as TV shows, movies and a DTS object emulator .mkv (available at thedigitaltheater.com) using VLC also output in true 5.1 audio.

Configuration:

55" Samsung UE55KU6470 2017 UHD Smart TV - ARC enabled (Optical & HDMI 2.0)
Yamaha RX-V673 - 4k pass-through (no HDCP 2.2 support unfortunately)
PC - Zotac Nvidia GTX 970 (HDMI 2.0 5.1 PCM supported)
PC - Asus Maximus Hero VIII (Optical) Intel i7 6700k 4GHz, 16GB DDR4
OS - Windows 10 64bit Pro (version 1709, build 16299.125) - Samsung 960 Evo M.2 SSD

5.1 - Kef iQ70s, iQ30s, iQ60c & Rel T3

Attempted Fixes:

Yes, I have tried updating all of my drivers & firmware! Including Realtek, Nvidia, iTunes, Samsung, Yamaha and even a clean install of Windows 10, performed by the Microsoft support via remote access.

Using different media players, iTunes (preferably but I am open to good media library alternatives, I have 200GB+ music), Windows Media Player, Groove and VLC.

Before the clean install of Windows, we tried a system restore, but there was no previous restore point.

I believe everything in the chain is compliant to handshake the PCM audio for the true 5.1 (especially as it works with videos)

Thank you in advance if anyone can help me with this issue! :beer:
 
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Violator

Well-known Member
Tried Foobar?

You don't actually say what you get at the moment if you try a high-res multichannel music file.
 

fxv300

Active Member
I don't use itunes for any 5.1 stuff but videos via DVBviewer and also Netflix 5.1 on a PC works fine for me. itunes Audio 24 bit also is fine. When I try and open .mkv via itunes it just not happen.

Can you explain a bit more how and what you are trying to do.

Frank
 

darkenedknight

Novice Member
Tried Foobar?

You don't actually say what you get at the moment if you try a high-res multichannel music file.

I'm only able to get 2.1 when playing music. I just downloaded foobar 1.4, still only 2.1

I don't use itunes for any 5.1 stuff but videos via DVBviewer and also Netflix 5.1 on a PC works fine for me. itunes Audio 24 bit also is fine. When I try and open .mkv via itunes it just not happen.

Can you explain a bit more how and what you are trying to do.

Frank

Sorry I thought I had explained this. I am unable to play music in true 5.1 only 2.1 using any media player.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
What is the audio codec of the music that contains the 5.1 soundtrack? I have a Windows 10 Media PC connected to my AVR via HDMI and it can play pretty much everything I ask it to, using various players. But I don't have any 5.1 music files to test. I'll try and download a demo or two and try it out, but would be better if I match it to the exact file type that you are having a problem with.
 

fxv300

Active Member
just downloaded a file from here and it plays in 5.1 using DVBviewer.
Great channel seperation


.ac3 Surround Downloads
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Is it just 5.1 AC3 files? They should just bitstream to an AVR as dolby digital.

I just quickly checked, and indeed Media Player Classic Home Cinema with LAV filters, plays them back as 5.1 Dolby Digital to my AVR.
 

fxv300

Active Member
Windows Groove music does not seem to understand 5.1 it outputs PCM 2.0
PowerDVD works fine with DD 5.1 ac3
 

darkenedknight

Novice Member
What is the audio codec of the music that contains the 5.1 soundtrack? I have a Windows 10 Media PC connected to my AVR via HDMI and it can play pretty much everything I ask it to, using various players. But I don't have any 5.1 music files to test. I'll try and download a demo or two and try it out, but would be better if I match it to the exact file type that you are having a problem with.

Is it just 5.1 AC3 files? They should just bitstream to an AVR as dolby digital.

I just quickly checked, and indeed Media Player Classic Home Cinema with LAV filters, plays them back as 5.1 Dolby Digital to my AVR.

My music library (200+ GB) is mainly .mp3 and some .flac. I'm aware that some music would've not be authored in true 5.1 but thought I would still hear at least a copy/fill in the other speakers. I've downloaded MPC-HC and it is not outputting 5.1 when playing .mp3, .flac or the .ac3 files mentioned below.

just downloaded a file from here and it plays in 5.1 using DVBviewer.
Great channel seperation

.ac3 Surround Downloads

I've downloaded DBViewer and the .ac3 files, thanks for the link! .mp3s and .flacs are not outputting 5.1, but the .ac3 test files are outputting 5.1 using DBViewer! Am I totally missing something here? I'm certain I've had my whole music library outputting in 5.1 before, whether it be true or virtual.

Windows Groove music does not seem to understand 5.1 it outputs PCM 2.0
PowerDVD works fine with DD 5.1 ac3

I've had iTunes outputting in 5.1 @ 24bit 192kHz before, using .mp3s etc. Now I can only get .ac3 and .mkv files to output to all channels... Am I missing something?

On a side note: I am unable to change the 'surround decoder' mode on the AV receiver when connected to the PC, I get an OSD message "Not Available". If this helps, or has anything to do with this issue..?
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
A-ha, we might be on to something here.

If the music is just stereo and you want to 'upmix' it to 5.1, then that would be a setting on your AVR, you would choose one of the upmixers available to you, such as Pro Logic, Dolby Surround, DTS Neural X.

If the music is in a native 5.1 format, then you would want to bitstream it as such to your AVR, using a player that supports that (eg MPC-HC, Kodi, etc).

So, if you like using iTunes, you should be able to send the output from that to your amp as stereo and then use your AVR to upmix it to a surround mode that you like.

There is something else that might be happening....

In Windows, if you have your sound card set to 5.1, Windows will send everything as 5.1, including stereo but will fill the empty channels with silence. So your AVR thinks it is getting 5.1, and won't upmix, when in fact it is getting stereo audio plus 3.1 channels of silence.

If you use a player that supports WASAPI bitstreaming, that will ignore the windows soundcard settings, and just bitstream the audio as it is.

So, how do you have your sound settings configured in windows? I have mine set to stereo, then any multi channel audio files are bitstreamed using WASAPI (which ignores the windows audio settings).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

darkenedknight

Novice Member
A-ha, we might be on to something here.

If the music is just stereo and you want to 'upmix' it to 5.1, then that would be a setting on your AVR, you would choose one of the upmixers available to you, such as Pro Logic, Dolby Surround, DTS Neural X.

If the music is in a native 5.1 format, then you would want to bitstream it as such to your AVR, using a player that supports that (eg MPC-HC, Kodi, etc).

So, if you like using iTunes, you should be able to send the output from that to your amp as stereo and then use your AVR to upmix it to a surround mode that you like.

There is something else that might be happening....

In Windows, if you have your sound card set to 5.1, Windows will send everything as 5.1, including stereo but will fill the empty channels with silence. So your AVR thinks it is getting 5.1, and won't upmix, when in fact it is getting stereo audio plus 3.1 channels of silence.

If you use a player that supports WASAPI bitstreaming, that will ignore the windows soundcard settings, and just bitstream the audio as it is.

So, how do you have your sound settings configured in windows?

Oh okay, this sound like it may be the issue.

I have the Windows HDMI device configured to output in 5.1 surround, and I am unable to switch to the AVR surround decoders on the AVR.
I just switched HDMI to output as stereo, and I'm now able to change the decoder on the AVR! But only when set at 44100Hz - 96000Hz 16bit or 24bit and NOT when set at 192kHz 16bit or 24bit (Not that this is a huge problem).

Although.... TV shows, movies and the .ac3 tests are still working, the DTS test .mkv is not?! (lin below) I'm so confused.. should I be switching between 5.1 and stereo in the Windows config depending on the media/codec? It seems we are getting to the bottom of this though! :D

DTS_OBJECT_EMULATOR-thedigitaltheater.mkv
 

fxv300

Active Member
DVBviewer and PowerDVD both play that file as DTS 5.1
Sounds Great
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
You shouldn't have to keep switching your windows sound settings. Just keep them as stereo then use a music / video player that is able to bitstream multi channel audio via WASAPI.

Using the WASAPI option means that the windows audio mixer is bypassed completely and the player sends the audio direct to the AVR.

A problem may occur if you have an audio type that your AVR cannot decode. In that situation most players will send it as multi channel PCM.
 

fxv300

Active Member
That file is detected as 7.1 but via SPDIF I can only send 5.1 to AVR, I might try it via an HDMI cable when I have time, it should play 7.1 I reckon.
 

darkenedknight

Novice Member
DVBviewer and PowerDVD both play that file as DTS 5.1
Sounds Great

I'm not getting anything from the other channels, only 2.1. I've tried both DVBviewer and PowerDVD, as well as VLC. In WMP it seems too work though :/

You shouldn't have to keep switching your windows sound settings. Just keep them as stereo then use a music / video player that is able to bitstream multi channel audio via WASAPI.

Using the WASAPI option means that the windows audio mixer is bypassed completely and the player sends the audio direct to the AVR.

A problem may occur if you have an audio type that your AVR cannot decode. In that situation most players will send it as multi channel PCM.

Okay, this explains a lot, thanks!! Could you recommend any decent media players that support WASAPI? I only use iTunes for the clean interface and the ability to view album artwork, sort by artist/album etc. Just because of the 30,000+ tracks, other media players can be tricky to get used to, or simple crash when compiling a shuffle playlist
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
I mainly use my HTPC for video libraries, rather than music. I do have a few music files, but nothing like the size of your library.

I am actually having a good experience with Plex. You have to set up the media server on a PC, then it can push the media to multiple client devices. Plex Media Player is the flagship player, and it's very good. But there are client devices for a huge number of platforms, so it's easy for multi room options, as you only have to manage one server / library.

For a really easy stand alone video / music player that you can just drag and drop media on to for instant playback I use Media Player Classic - Home Cinema with LAV filters.
 

fxv300

Active Member

dante01

Distinguished Member
I don't think this thread is located in the right forum? The issue has nothing at all to do with the AV receiver and is one relating to the PC. The PC has to both have the ability and hardware configuration to be able to BITSTREAM the audio to the receiver as well as being configured to do this. You'd also need to be using an application that is able to play and handle the audio formats in question.

Configure the PC so that it actually outputs the audio without decoding it or converting it prior to output. You'd need to do this via both the PC's own audio output settings and its video card configurations if using HDMI.

HDMI Passthrough on Windows 10


Maybe a mod should move this thread to a more appropriate forum?
 

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