Question How/why does playback of DTS only tracks work on a PC with stereo speakers?


Active Member
Quick bit of background... I've finally got round to ripping some of my older blurays. I've used makemkv to get them into mkv format. Then I wen tot use handbrake to reduce the filesize a little bit. I understand most of the options but when it comes to the audio tracks I am confused.

Last night I was ripping a bluray and it had 3 audio tracks in the source DTS HD-MA, DTS and PCM 2.0. I decided to basically add it like this:

Track 1: DTS > Passthrough
Track 2: DTS > AC3 > Downmix to Dolby Pro Logic II

I did this because my thinking was that if I had a device that could not do DTS playback, it would go over to the track 2 and use the Dolby Pro Logic II which will give a stereo track.

But then I went through some of my collection of other bluray rips I didyears ago (can't remember how I did them) and some of them ONLY have a DTS track. In fact, some of them even state a DTS HD-MA track at 7.1 capable in media info app. But despite this, when I go to playback that file on my PC using VLC, it plays back thorugh my stereo speakers fine. Why is this? The same thing happens with a "normal" DTS only encoded rip as well. i.e. It works fine.

I thought that DTS did not have a "fallback" downmix of Pro Logic II like AC3/Dolby Digital does?

Thinking back in time, there have been times before I had plex where I tried to play a DTS only rip through my TV and I got no sound at all. So the fact that my PC can play DTS and decode it, does this mean it is playing 5.1 but only using 2 channels so it will be missing a load of info?

I'm now confused whether I unnecessarily added a second audio track which takes up time and space, when a single DTS passthrough would have sufficed, since Plex will always be able to transcode on the fly anyway? Now that I've wrote that, I'm guessing this is what VLC is doing built in? Transcoding DTS on the fly to stereo?



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