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Decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD to PCM instead of Dolby Digital


Richard Branches
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Richard Branches

Currently, the only certified Android TV device with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio passtrough support is the Nvidia Shield.

However, the original Xiaomi Mi Box was the only affordable device with the same support as far as I know, but it was removed altogether when the Android 9 update arrived recently, it appears it was removed due to licencing restrictions.

When we play any video in Emby on any Android TV device without passtrough of the aforementioned codecs, the server transcode the audio stream into Dolby Digital.

Why not transcoding those lossless audio codecs into PCM instead to keep the same lossless quality?.

Maybe adding an option in the app's settings to turn this ON, because not every user will have their devices connected to a multichannel AVR with HDMI inputs, some still use an SPDIF connection so Dolby Digital is still necessary.

I just hope that this is possible to implement for the devs.

Thank you.

Edited by Richard Branches
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  • 2 months later...
Richard Branches

Hey @ebr this is something already implemented in recent beta versions where the new option to transcode to Dolby Digital is OFF and those lossless codecs get decoded as multichannel PCM, which I assume it will work only on the Nvidia Shield, since it's the only Android TV device with multichannel PCM support.

Can you mark this as "completed".

Thanks.

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  • 1 month later...
MediaCenterSP

Hi, @ebr can you tell if this multichannel PCM conversion from the not supported codecs of a device is lossless or lossy.

Edited by MediaCenterSP
complete the question
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Richard Branches

It is lossless.

On what device you want to play it?

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MediaCenterSP
15 minutes ago, Richard Branches said:

It is lossless.

On what device you want to play it?

Thanks for confirm @Richard Branches . I've got a new Chromecast with Google TV.

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Richard Branches

Ok, you must know that Google capped multichannel PCM on all Android TV devices since Android 9, the Chromecast with Google TV is not the exception, the only Android TV device that still has multichannel PCM is the Nvidia Shield.

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MediaCenterSP
8 minutes ago, Richard Branches said:

Ok, you must know that Google capped multichannel PCM on all Android TV devices since Android 9, the Chromecast with Google TV is not the exception, the only Android TV device that still has multichannel PCM is the Nvidia Shield.

Thanks for the advice but I have to say that Kodi sends multichanel PCM 7.1 playing Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD tracks.

Tomorrow I'll test well in Emby.

This year this little device don't stops to surpise me:

 

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Richard Branches
1 minute ago, MediaCenterSP said:

I have to say that Kodi sends multichanel PCM 7.1 playing Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD tracks

Ok, let us know if it works so we can exclude the CC from that limitation.

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MediaCenterSP
5 minutes ago, Richard Branches said:

Ok, let us know if it works so we can exclude the CC from that limitation.

So I do when i'll test it.

Edited by MediaCenterSP
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MediaCenterSP

Good Monday to everybody.

I tested the PCM output of my Chromecast with Google TV. I can confirm that it supports PCM multichannel in Emby and Kodi but only Kodi seems to make a lossless extraction of PCM channels.

I have opened an issue with all the info here:

 

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Richard Branches

Thank you for letting us know about that.

Could you please do me a favor, please test this YouTube video with multichannel AAC that should get decoded as multichannel PCM, I would like to know if it also works with YouTube:

Dolby Vision Demo #3 - Core Universe - 4K HDR

 

Thanks.

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Mibok

Maybe is a little late to ask, but could be possible to add an option to transcode all multichannel tracks to multichannel PCM? with that i could control the volume from the AndroidTV remote that will be one less remote to take care about.

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Richard Branches

Emby only transcode one audio codec to another when the end device (TV or AV receiver) doesn't support it, for example:

If you have your Android TV device connected to a TV that only supports Dolby Digital and PCM 2.0 and the conversion is set to ON, then:

- Dolby Digital will play directly.

- Multichannel PCM will be downmixed to stereo.

- Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD Master Audio and multichannel AAC will be transcoded to Dolby Digital.

 

If you have your Android TV device connected to a TV that only supports Dolby Digital and PCM 2.0 and the conversion is set to OFF, then:

- Dolby Digital will play directly.

- Multichannel PCM will be downmixed to stereo.

- Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD Master Audio and multichannel AAC will be downmixed to stereo PCM.

 

There isn't an option to transcode everything to PCM by user request but if the TV only supports PCM, then everything will be downmixed to stereo PCM.

Edited by Richard Branches
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MediaCenterSP
10 hours ago, Richard Branches said:

Thank you for letting us know about that.

Could you please do me a favor, please test this YouTube video with multichannel AAC that should get decoded as multichannel PCM, I would like to know if it also works with YouTube:

Dolby Vision Demo #3 - Core Universe - 4K HDR

 

Thanks.

No, this video brings PCM 2.0 only.

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Richard Branches

Yes, as we've talked in the other topic, the CC doesn't support multichannel PCM and I hope this is just a bug and not a Google imposition.

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MediaCenterSP
16 minutes ago, Richard Branches said:

Yes, as we've talked in the other topic, the CC doesn't support multichannel PCM and I hope this is just a bug and not a Google imposition.

Yes, and as we discuss in the other topic CC doesn't support MCPCM officially but Emby, Kodi and Plex seems to send MCPCM by some means :)

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Mibok

In my case i have an a/v receiver that supportrs multichannel PCM, Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio, my request is based on that i can control the volume with the AndroidTV remote when the audio is PCM (including multichannel PCM). On the other side when setting bitstream mode it obviously send the data stream directly to the receiver so the only mode to change the volume is with the receiver remote. By transcoding all the audio including legacy DTS and Dolby i get to keep multichannel audio while being able to control the volume with the android tv remote.

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Richard Branches

@Mibok you must create a separate "Feature Request" topic for what you're requesting, then wait if enough people agrees to your request so Emby devs take action on that.

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1 hour ago, Mibok said:

In my case i have an a/v receiver that supportrs multichannel PCM, Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio, my request is based on that i can control the volume with the AndroidTV remote when the audio is PCM (including multichannel PCM). On the other side when setting bitstream mode it obviously send the data stream directly to the receiver so the only mode to change the volume is with the receiver remote. By transcoding all the audio including legacy DTS and Dolby i get to keep multichannel audio while being able to control the volume with the android tv remote.

If your receiver supports CEC then the remote volume should work in both scenarios.  Mine does and I just use the stock Shield remote.

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  • 2 months later...
Richard Branches

Hello @ebr, don't forget to mark this as "completed" since it's now available in the just released 2.0.09g stable version. Thank you.

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Mibok

Wow Thank you. About using CEC, my onkyo receiver doesn't get along with my Mi Box. But usually i'm the only one that really does care about surround sound, so i enabled PCM on the android device and enable passthrough only when i'm going to watch something

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clarkss12
4 hours ago, Richard Branches said:

You should replace that old Mi Box with something better, like the new Mecool KM2, with Netflix and Prime Video certifications, S905X2 SoC and Android 10:

https://www.mecoolonline.com/collections/mecool-km2/products/2021-mecool-newest-android-tv-10-box-km6-powered-by-amlogic-s905x4-av1-supported-4gb-ram-32gb-rom-1

Received my KM2  yesterday.  Putting together a video now.

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  • 2 months later...
bigrndahouse
On 2/20/2021 at 9:15 PM, MediaCenterSP said:

Thanks for the advice but I have to say that Kodi sends multichanel PCM 7.1 playing Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD tracks.

Tomorrow I'll test well in Emby.

This year this little device don't stops to surpise me:

 

Question. I have the same Chromecast with Google TV and tried to play a DTS file but it doesn't come over as DTS just as 5.1. my DTS light on my Denon used to come on way back in the day from Kodi on the Fire sticks but since an update, that stopped working. Odd. How do you get PCM from the Google TV Chromecast? I'm using Emby Android TV app that was downloaded from the site. I hope to hear from you. 

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