WMV9 DD5.1 via SPDIF

Demon

Active Member
Ok, I know this has been asked in one form or another, but I just want to ensure I am going down the right path..

I've built a HTPC to provide a good DVD and HD video source player, and so far its working well, ffdshow/zoomplayer/media portal..

However, I've just borrowed a WMV-HD movie from my brother and run into the problem that I connect to my AV Receiver via SPDIF, and although the material is 6 channel, I only get standard 2 channel PCM over the SPDIF.. I now realise why this is from searching on here..

I've tried AC3 Filter 1.01a, but I can't get this to encode the 6 channels into an AC3/DD Stream... which seems hit and miss for some people.. (tried WMP10 and ZPlayer)

Is there a more reliable software encoder available, or would I be better off buying a cheap terratec 7.1 aureon http://www.microdirect.co.uk/ProductInfo.aspx?ProductID=12299&GroupID=1136
which I believe will do what I need in hardware??

Or do I use a 6 channel analogue connection between PC and AMP (A denon 3802)


I'm sorry if it's a bit noobish, I have searched, but not found enough information for me to understand all the options..



what is everyone else using to get surround sound from WMV9 HD material??
 

mickey

Distinguished Member
i,m not totally positive but i think some wmv discs will only let you get multi-channel over analogue connections, but on the other hand most of my wmvs give me dd/dts from spdif either using directsound or sometimes wave output from your soundcard, there are also later versions of acfilter than 101a. Mike
 

Demon

Active Member
Thanks Mikey..

I've ordered a Terratec Aureon 7.1 PCI, this uses the same C-Media chip as the HiTec X-Mystique, which seems the cheap card of choice on AVSForums..

This should do the job...
 

mmace

Novice Member
I've had cards with the C-Media chip and they only output stereo by the SPDIF connection, to have 5.1 with those cards you need speakers plugged into it, not a seperate Dolby Decoder
 

Demon

Active Member
The terratec 7.1 PCI and the Hitec X-Mystique use the CMedia CMI8768+ chipset, this has Dolby Digital Live, which is the same as the NForce 2 soundstorm, i.e it can create an AC-3 stream from multiple analogue channels.. here is a review of the X-Mystique, http://www.penstarsys.com/reviews/sound/bluegears/xmystique/

The card was delivered to me in work today, and like a plonker, I left it there.. so I now have to wait until Monday....
 

dannyg81

Novice Member
I've just installed this Terratec card into my HTPC and it does indeed create an AC3 5.1 stream from any source.... however, whilst playing a 5.1 dvd I noticed stuttering and lip sych issues. It seems that even though the source was already 5.1.... the terratec was still trying to convert this into an AC3 format, which obviously confused the hell out of it and caused the stuttering. To get around this, you have to switch from Dolby Digital to PCM in the S/PDIF section of Terratecs control Panel. Which could get annoying if you have to do this each time, depending on whats being played.

As for the WMV-HD playback, I managed to get mine working by installing AC3 filter, ticking the spdif option... whilst setting the speakers to 3/2.1 (which should disable the s/pdif option but bizarely doesn't) then in the system section, check all the sound options to use AC3 filter for, but change the sound from directsound to waveout. Doing all this worked for me, but I know others have still struggled to get it working.
 

Demon

Active Member
I'll check it out tomorrow..

It gets very confusing when you have mutliple filters/codecs all chained together..

I've already got my FFDSHOW audio decoder and AC3 Filter working in software under Zoomplayer,this passes through already embedded AC-3 streams from AVI/DVD, and also soft-encode an AC-3 Stream from WMV.. but I can't get this to work ender all players and media-portal..

When I throw the terratec card in tomorrow, I know I am going to have to go back a few steps in the filter setups... I just hope I don't have to re-install..

Here's hoping, I've found some postings on other forums about the Terratec 7.1 PCI, they are quite happy with DVD Pass through of AC-3 Streams.. and Embedded AC-3 Streams in AVI's.. they just didn't say how they did it!!
 

Boris Blank

Member
You can indeed extract the 5.1 sound from WMV-HD media over the spdif straight into your amplifier using AC3 ver 1.01a rc5 without the need for any fancy hardware (thats what AC3 was designed to do - I just use a cheapo SoundBlaster card for spdif output to my amp, a Denon 3801). Once set correctly, its an automatic process and you should not need to change any settings in AC3Filter.

As has already been suggested, likely something in the your AC3Filter settings isn't correct - have a look here at a couple of detailed threads that should hopefully solve your problem http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=422739&highlight=ac3filter and http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=403818&page=6&pp=40&highlight=ac3filter . Also, do a search there for AC3Filter and FFDShow as there may be further useful info that may help if the links don't help you.


Edit: get AC3Filter here, http://www.free-codecs.com/download/AC3_Filter.htm , latest version is 1.02a test 8 but I've not tried it

Paul
 

dannyg81

Novice Member
Demon said:
I'll check it out tomorrow..

It gets very confusing when you have mutliple filters/codecs all chained together..

I've already got my FFDSHOW audio decoder and AC3 Filter working in software under Zoomplayer,this passes through already embedded AC-3 streams from AVI/DVD, and also soft-encode an AC-3 Stream from WMV.. but I can't get this to work ender all players and media-portal..

Did you set AC3, and possibly DTS also, to s/pdif in FFDShows codecs? If so, that could be taking precedence over AC3 Filter. FFDShow's audio codecs won't do encoding to AC3 on the fly, like AC3 Filter can do... which is possibly why your amp isn't picking up the 5.1 sound. What you have to remember is that although WMV-HD files are encoded with a 5.1 sound stream, it isn't a standard AC3 (DD) stream.... it's WMV's own format. There is one amp I know of that will accept this and decode it, but the majority won't. So at some point, it needs to be converted to AC3 format.... which is where AC3 filter comes in. As long as you have the settings right, it'll do exactly what the Terratec 7.1 does, as PaulB correctly states, only in software mode.
 

pointyone

Active Member
Demon said:
Ok, I know this has been asked in one form or another, but I just want to ensure I am going down the right path..

I've built a HTPC to provide a good DVD and HD video source player, and so far its working well, ffdshow/zoomplayer/media portal..

However, I've just borrowed a WMV-HD movie from my brother and run into the problem that I connect to my AV Receiver via SPDIF, and although the material is 6 channel, I only get standard 2 channel PCM over the SPDIF.. I now realise why this is from searching on here..

I've tried AC3 Filter 1.01a, but I can't get this to encode the 6 channels into an AC3/DD Stream... which seems hit and miss for some people.. (tried WMP10 and ZPlayer)

Is there a more reliable software encoder available, or would I be better off buying a cheap terratec 7.1 aureon http://www.microdirect.co.uk/ProductInfo.aspx?ProductID=12299&GroupID=1136
which I believe will do what I need in hardware??

Or do I use a 6 channel analogue connection between PC and AMP (A denon 3802)


I'm sorry if it's a bit noobish, I have searched, but not found enough information for me to understand all the options..



what is everyone else using to get surround sound from WMV9 HD material??


out of intrest what spec did you go for when building im about to build a htpc for the same sort of use and would like some ideas

thanks
 

Demon

Active Member
SPecwise, I'm just running an A64 3200+ on an Asus A8nVMCSM motherboard with 1Gb ram.. in a cheap silverstone case..

The Aureon seems to work well for me, I had to go back and change all my audio filters settings to defaults in FFDSHOW, and removed/re-installed AC-3Filter. It seems to work as I want, it passes through ac-3 streams via the SPDIF, and encodes WMV-HD Audio into an AC-3 stream seemlessly.. I am going to re-install though as I tried a few too many filters trying to get it all to work in software previously, and I just want to go with what I know works well..

NVidia MPEG2 decoders, FFDShow, AC-3 Filter and the Aureon 7.1
 

dean randle

Active Member
Regarding soundcards, I have a new Dell 5150 pc with a soundblaster live! 24 card installed. I was hoping that it would have a direct spdif out socket, but it seems I need an extra add on to get this.
What are the other alternatives, ie a new sound card that will give me the spdif/coaxial feed to my amp, that will be relatively good value?
Dean.
 

mmace

Novice Member
bought one of the Aureon 7.1 cards at the weekend after reading this thread, worked perfectly in 5.1 through my receiver, only problem is that my PC freezes every 10 mins and I have to reboot

ho hum
 

Boris Blank

Member
dean randle said:
Regarding soundcards, I have a new Dell 5150 pc with a soundblaster live! 24 card installed. I was hoping that it would have a direct spdif out socket, but it seems I need an extra add on to get this.
What are the other alternatives, ie a new sound card that will give me the spdif/coaxial feed to my amp, that will be relatively good value?
Dean.

This is what I use http://www.hoontech.de/produkte/sbdb3.html . From memory it cost about £20 and adds optical and spdif outputs (and inputs) to the older SoundBlaster range of cards. It plugs directly into your existing SB card (check it has the appropriate connector on it - see http://www.hoontech.de/support/faq_sb.html for more info) and works a treat! Here's a review - http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/view.php?cid=9&id=150&pg=

Other than that, its a new card or possibly your motherboard has a spdif out, some do such as ASUS (check the motherboard manual although you may have to buy the appropriate bracket connector, about £5 or so - here's one on EBay http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ASUS-SPDIF-OU...57047409QQcategoryZ108978QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem although price is somewhat high )[/url].
Paul
 

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