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Can't hear dialog on 5.1 FLAC encoded shows


pclausen
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pclausen

I have a LG OLED55CX TV I run the Emby client on.  Everything plays back fine, but I have some shows that have FLAC 5.1 audio, and for those, I only hear the left and right front channels during playback.  This means I can't hear dialog at all from the center channel.

Those same shows plays back fine on a computer with 2.1 sound, and of course on my other playback devices that have full 7.1 or 5.1 speaker setups.

Is there a trick to force my Emby server to transcode the FLAC 5.1 soundtrack to mix the center channel into the front left and right channels so that I can watch these shows on my LG TV?

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Do you have this issue with all 5.1 FLAC, or just some files?

Can you provide the full media info for a file with issues?

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pclausen

I noticed the issue with a couple of random episodes that I tried.  I'll do some additional testing, including a movie or two as I do have a few still (I think) that have FLAC audio.

In the meantime, I have attached the full media info for one of the files with the issue.

 

mediainfo.jpg

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rbjtech
1 hour ago, pclausen said:

Is there a trick to force my Emby server to transcode the FLAC 5.1 soundtrack to mix the center channel into the front left and right channels so that I can watch these shows on my LG TV?

I'm not 100% sure on the LG Client (haven't used it in a while) - but there may be a 'Playback Correction' option when you play the item - this forces a transcode and could work for you.

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Unfortunately there doesn't appear too much in the log.  Can you please enable debug logging and create another short log?

Can you please also copy the file to a USB drive and plug this into the TV directly and try the TV's internal player to confirm that it plays?

It is possible that only some FLAC 5.1 files are supported correctly by the TV.

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  • 3 months later...
pclausen

Sorry for the very late reply.  I ended up picking up a LG soundbar on Cyber Monday (SP7Y 5.1) and that resolved the issue with my flax playback and the sound is MUCH better than before as an added bonus.

But alas, now I get no sound when playing back DTS-HD MA titles.  The soundbar is connected to the HDMI eARC input on the TV, but the soundbar itself only supports ARC.  So in this scenario, should Emby not be transcoding the audio to something that can be played back over the ARC link to the soundbar?

So maybe the issue all along is that my Emby server is not transcoding anything at all?  That would seem to be supported by the fact that my Roku 3 playback devices are unable to stream any of my 4K HEVC HDR10 titles.

My primary TV's all have Shield Pro's attached to them, either directly or through AVRs and they have no issues at all playing back anything in my library.  But it seems that Rokus and LG TV clients have issues.

My Emby server is set to "Enable hardware acceleration when available = Yes" and my CPU is a older Intel E5-2680 v3, which does not have a number of the never instruction sets.  I don't have a GPU in the server.  Could this be the culprit?  If I change from Yes to Advanced, nothing is listed under Preferred Hardware Decoders/Encoders, which I guess is what it expected given my hardware configuration, but should it not fall back to software decoding then?

Edited by pclausen
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In the next LG app release DTS will transcode as you are expecting. It won’t impact your previous flac issues, they have different causes 

 

Great to hear that the soundbar has improved things. 

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rbjtech

Try connecting your Shield to the HDMI in on the LG SoundBar and the Out to the TV - thus negating the need for ARC.

The bar supports DTS - so it should play the DTS Core without any issues.

The only issue with this configuration is there is no HDR10 passthrough with 4K Video - which is a shame.

The reason DTS is not being passed through in the other configuration (as you have it now) - is likely because the TV does not support DTS passthrough - (a TV limitation, this is not the fault of the Shield, LG Soundbar nor Emby.. ;))

See - https://www.rtings.com/soundbar/reviews/lg/sp7y#page-test-results

 

 

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pclausen

Just to be clear, this particular TV (LG OLED55CX) does not have a shield connected to it.  I was attempting to use Emby installed directly on the TV and I'm having the above issues.

That said, I did stop by BestBuy today and picked up a Shield (my 4th one) and connected it directly to the LG to get full HDR10 with 4K since this is a decent OLED TV and I have a lot of 4K HDR10 titles.

Picture looks great and running Emby on the shield is a lot snappier than on the LG TV itself.

So I went to play the same DTS-HD MA title as the other night where I wasn't getting any sound at all.  I was excited at first is I was not getting audio, but as soon as the dialog started, I realized I had no center channel.

So it seems that Shield -> LG CX OLED TV -> LG SP7Y soundbar is still broken when playing DTS titles as the center channel is gone.

When I go to Device Preferences / Display & Sound / Advanced Sound Settings / Available Formats, everything is enabled EXCEPT for DTS and DTS-HD.

So as you stated, this appears to be a limitation of current gen LG TVs where the no longer support DTS.  This is so frustrating.

If I connect the Shield to the HDMI input of the soundbar and change the input on the TV to the ARC HDMI, I get no video or audio.  I don't really like this option anyway since that would mean I can't get the full HDR10 with 4K.

So is my best bet to return the SP7Y and get a SP8YA since that model supposedly supports eARC and 4k passthrough?

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rbjtech
5 hours ago, pclausen said:

So is my best bet to return the SP7Y and get a SP8YA since that model supposedly supports eARC and 4k passthrough?

I would yes.

Then you can install the Emby Client (and server if you wish) on the Shield,  and playback Full HD Audio direct to the soundbar (incl DTS-HD, THD Atmos) and then passthrough the Video (incl 4KHDR) to your TV.  Any sound sourced from your TV, will pass via ARC into the Soundbar - so live TV and TV Apps will all still play via the Bar. 

https://www.rtings.com/soundbar/reviews/lg/sp8ya

Edited by rbjtech
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pclausen

I purchased the SP7Y at Crutchfield which is local to me as I live in Charlottesville.  The SP8YA is unfortunately out of stock at the moment at their website and they don't have one at their retail store either.  The next model up, the SP9YA is also out of stock on their website, however, they do have a single unit available at their retail store.  I went ahead and reserved it.

The SP8YA had $250 instant off, where the SP9YA is $300 instant off.  Definitely not a budget soundbar even with the discount as it is still $700 out the door, but it is a 5.1.2 soundbar and I already have the optional SPK8-S rear surround speaker kit, making it a full 7.1.2 setup.

I started with the $300 ($150 instant off) SP7Y, discovered the issue with LG CX TV's not supporting DTS, threw a Shield at it ($150), then discovered the CX would still not pass DTS and the SP7Y does not pass HDR10, and am now ending up with the SP9YA.  Funny how that goes sometimes, lol.

At least once I'm all done, I hopefully won't feel the audio is lacking too much compared to my full 7.1.4 setup in the Living Room or my 7.2 setup in my HT.  Both of those setups are "old school" with AVR/pre-amp/amps and discrete speakers for every channel.  This is my first foray into soundbars and it has been a pretty bumpy ride, but hopefully it will all work out in the end.

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rbjtech
6 hours ago, pclausen said:

At least once I'm all done, I hopefully won't feel the audio is lacking too much compared to my full 7.1.4 setup in the Living Room or my 7.2 setup in my HT.  Both of those setups are "old school" with AVR/pre-amp/amps and discrete speakers for every channel.  This is my first foray into soundbars and it has been a pretty bumpy ride, but hopefully it will all work out in the end.

I have heard both - if you have never heard discreet, then you'll be impressed, if you have, then you'll be disappointed with an Atmos soundbar - just my opinion. 

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