MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Everything related to MakeMKV
Post Reply
teeter02
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:59 am

MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by teeter02 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:13 am

Et al:

I've been using MakeMKV for a while now with just the core DTS and DD tracks included and I've been blown away at the ease of use and quality of the movies that this tool creates (Thanks Mike!). I have been using an Acer Aspire Revo as the computer feeding HDMI audio and video decoded from my mkv files to an Onkyo TX-SR805 receiver and ultimately to a Mitsu projector. XBMC v9.11 and MPC-HC / Haali from the K-Lite Codec pack are my players of choice.

Naturally, I was excited to finally be able to create mkvs with TrueHD and DTS-MA and give this a try on my setup, hoping upon hope that I could get my receiver's TrueHD and DTS-MA lights to light up and create lossless audio bliss. However, I have had no success. First, it was v1.4.10 that tripped me up with the lossless track issue and audio chopiness. However, now I cannot seem to get 1.4.11 created mkvs to work either. They decode just fine with core audio tracks, but with DTS-MA I get no sound, and with TrueHD it appears I am just getting regular old Dolby Digital 5.1.

So what I was wondering was - can someone who's gotten the 1.4.11 mkvs to output lossless HD audio put together a step by step setup guide for what they use and how you have your machines configured (on Windows, preferably, but really I'll accept any setup) to successfully output HD lossless audio over HDMI to a capable receiver.

Thanks in advance!

- Teeter

ragboy
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:59 pm

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by ragboy » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:52 am

Many players don't support certain codecs within certain containers. You have to first discover which container your player will support, and if it will support TrueHD and DTSMA in that container. It may play those codecs on a BR disc, but not from an MKV, or whatever. Once you do that, you then have to make sure you have your player and receiver setup to use BITSTREAM and not PCM. Or you can see if your player will decode at the player and send over multichannel PCM to the receiver. That can only happen with audio coming over HDMI 1.3 and your player and receiver must support this, many don't.

I have a DENON AVR 3808CI which supports all of that, but my PS3 doesn't support those HD audio codecs in the containers I want to use. What I have chosen to do, is to use eac3to and arcsoft DTS decoder and neroAacEncoder to convert these HD audio tracks to high quality multichannel AAC LC tracks. I have done many tests, and the audio is pristine with a quality of 0.9 with neroAacEnc, which produces a VBR aac track that will peak at 1mbps when needed. That is a better bitrate per channel than iTunes AAC 256k and because its variable the encoder adjusts bit rate as necessary. Then you just set your player and receiver to use multichannel PCM. I have created MP4 after MP4 this way, which all players seem to handle, and I just ordered a new NMT player that will handle it also. I have even created MP4s from a few test movies with multiple tracks. Like StarTrek, which contained HD audio, and regular AC3, I put both tracks on the MP4, and so I can switch between, there is a noticeable difference.

to use eac3to on a title to output this way:

eac3to pathtodata\ 1) 3:hdaudio.m4a -quality=0.9

You have to make sure that eac3to is installed in your windows or wine system with neroAacEncoder and arcsoft DTS decoder for this to work on both DTSHD/MA and TrueHD sources.

HTH.

teeter02
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:59 am

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by teeter02 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:04 pm

Ragboy,

I understand what you're getting at for sure. The issue for me is, I really don't want to go through all of the machinations using ArcSoft, eac3to, ClownBD, and others. Mike has put together an excellent (almost) one touch operation to get from disc to mkv WITH the lossless formats included. What I'm trying to do is figure out the absolute best audio/video decoder setup (preferably in windows) to be able to use the mkv files his tool creates and play them directly in my setup. I believe I have solved the TrueHD issue that I spoke of before by using the very latest K-lite codec pack, the very latest Haali Media Splitter, and the very latest ffdshow audio decoder versions. I don't get the geek factor of seeing "Dolby TrueHD" on my receiver, it just says "MultiCh Audio", but I am getting full blown lossless TrueHD (I think) straight from the mkv file now.

The next step is DTS-MA. I can't seem to get this working at all with current video players and decoding packages, but I think this is more of a limitation that the current ffdshow audio decoders cannot yet decode DTS-MA, even though Haali seems to be able to split it out to send for decoding. In fact - if DTS-MA is included, I can't get MPC-HC, Haali, and ffdshow to even output any audio, whether I get Haali to spit out the lossless track or the core DTS track. So, my current solution is to always save the lossless track and the core track for TrueHD, and live in audio bliss (sans the receiver giving me a definitive "Dolby TrueHD" insignia). Then for DTS-MA discs I will just include the core DTS track in the mkv until the players, decoders, and splitters finish coming up to speed.

So - if anyone has DTS-MA working now (e.g. decoded and playing in your setup) from a MakeMKV derived .mkv file, please do tell how you got it to work in your setup. Also - if anyone has figured out how to get their receiver to show "Dolby TrueHD" instead of "MultiCh Audio" or equivalent, again, please do tell how you got it to work with your setup.




Thanks,

Teeter

ragboy
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:59 pm

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by ragboy » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:41 pm

Try Surcode DTSHD decoder. I have it for my mac, I can decode DTSHD in quicktime files, its only $30. The issue with DTSHD, you can convert out with eac3to, other than that, I only know of commercial decoders. Even EAC3TO is utilizing the commercial decoder from ArcSoft. Also, if you created predictable MKVs with primary audio track always at track-id 1, it would be VERY easy to script the conversion. So you could have a workflow that took a fresh rip from makemkv, and then automate the audio track conversion.

ragboy
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:59 pm

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by ragboy » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:08 pm

teeter02 wrote:Ragboy,

So - if anyone has DTS-MA working now (e.g. decoded and playing in your setup) from a MakeMKV derived .mkv file, please do tell how you got it to work in your setup. Also - if anyone has figured out how to get their receiver to show "Dolby TrueHD" instead of "MultiCh Audio" or equivalent, again, please do tell how you got it to work with your setup.
When your receiver says "Multi Channel in", or whatever variation of that, that just means that your player is doing the audio codec decoding, and sending over decoded multichannel audio. Usually, most bluray players, for example, have a setting, that will default to PCM out through the HDMI port, and you must manually set it to use BITSTREAM instead. This will then tell the player, don't decode it, just send to the receiver, and let IT decode. Technically, if the player and the receiver use the same decoding mechanism, each should produce the same output as long as the receiver can handle the correct number of channels, sample rate, and sample size (16, 24, 32 bits).

factory15
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:23 pm

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by factory15 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:42 am

I'm curious about this as well.

I ripped Transformers 2 using ver.11 and my samsung lcd would not even play the audio (codec not supported). I plugged it into my LG BD390 and it did play it in old fashioned DTS- on the disc it's DTS-HD MasterAudio. Without updates to the components I'm assuming there's not a lot we can do?

-Steve

teeter02
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:59 am

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by teeter02 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:01 pm

Ragboy,

Thanks for all the responses. Every bit helps. In regards to your answer on the "Multich Audio" bit - I do understand that you're still getting full quality as long as ffdshow audio decoder is doing the decoding, even if the Receiver is not showing "Dolby TrueHD". I just really want to have the geek-satisfaction of the seeing my Onkyo 805 receiver light up with "DOLBY TRUEHD". But I can live with it if I still get full quality.

The interesting thing to me is that it appears that ffdshow is still doing the decoding even when I tell it to pass through the TrueHD stream over HDMI. Maybe a limitation in ffdshow for outputting a TrueHD bitstream over HDMI? Dunno.

And then I still can't seem to get better than 1536 kbit/s DTS Core Audio even with a DTS-MA track in the mkv file from MakeMKV. I still think this is a decoder limitation though, and this is just a patience thing - it would just be nice to confirm this and maybe see a roadmap that says when a windows-based decoder will handle DTS-MA.



- Teeter

Balthazar2k4
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:53 am

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by Balthazar2k4 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:56 am

ION will not bitstream HD audio. The audio must be converted to LPCM and then sent via HDMI, otherwise it will only bitstream core audio (i.e. DD/DTS). I would suggest converting the HD audio to FLAC (that's what I do).

starburst
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:59 am

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by starburst » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:28 am

Balthazar2k4 wrote:ION will not bitstream HD audio. The audio must be converted to LPCM and then sent via HDMI, otherwise it will only bitstream core audio (i.e. DD/DTS). I would suggest converting the HD audio to FLAC (that's what I do).
Agree: ION will *not* bitstream HD audio!!!!! Tried that first hand ....Doesnt work I am afraid :(

teeter02
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:59 am

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by teeter02 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:44 pm

Well carp. Thanks for the inputs guys. Appears I will just have to wait on the ffdshow-tryouts guys on Doom9 to completely clean up and figure out decoding in ffdshow and its decoder/demuxers. Means no bitstreaming and no "DOLBY TRUEHD" light on the receiver :( .

But, I'm assuming that once the ffdshow-tryouts guys figure this out, at least I'll be able to get full, real-deal, lossless 7.1 over HDMI with a MultiCh PCM signal right? Can someone confirm this?



Thanks all,

Teeter

Balthazar2k4
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:53 am

Re: MakeMKV, HD Lossless, and Decoding / Playback

Post by Balthazar2k4 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:57 am

teeter02 wrote:Well carp. Thanks for the inputs guys. Appears I will just have to wait on the ffdshow-tryouts guys on Doom9 to completely clean up and figure out decoding in ffdshow and its decoder/demuxers. Means no bitstreaming and no "DOLBY TRUEHD" light on the receiver :( .

But, I'm assuming that once the ffdshow-tryouts guys figure this out, at least I'll be able to get full, real-deal, lossless 7.1 over HDMI with a MultiCh PCM signal right? Can someone confirm this?



Thanks all,

Teeter
My understanding is the current FFDSHOW builds can decode TrueHD. The only problem is DTS-HD MA. Evidently that is a tougher nut to crack and will need more time.

Post Reply