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Author Topic: HDMI Audio Recommendations  (Read 551 times)

konkeydong75

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HDMI Audio Recommendations
« on: January 26, 2024, 04:28:48 am »

I have recently upgraded all of my hardware and sound system.

I was previously using a soundcard connected to a 5.1 system by analogue and S/PDIF and was upmixing analogue stereo using DSP Studio.

I am now using an HDMI connection from MC to a 7.1.4 system and was wondering what options people would recommend.

I am currently using the WASAPI driver, and have bitstreaming enabled for all formats, which appears to work well so far.

In DSP Studio > Output Format, I have changed the sampling rate for any that the receiver will not support. Output encoding is set to none. Channels is set to 7.1 and mixing to JRSS.
Subwoofer is also using JRSS and Subclarity.




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Awesome Donkey

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2024, 07:14:59 am »

The only recommendation I'd have is make sure you're using an actual good HDMI cable, as you may be surprised how often issues others experience (e.g. dropouts) with HDMI are caused by using subpar cables. Even a lot of the "premium" cables available out there are basically e-waste and don't even pass the HDMI spec tests. Fortunately you can look for things like certified HDMI cables, I've been switching all mine to UGREEN certified HDMI 2.1 cables the last few months. On the packaging is a QR code you can use to look at the report of that cable to read the report and ensure it passes the HDMI spec and gets the seal of approval.

The only other thing I can think of is also noting that DSD/SACD bitstreaming doesn't work at all over HDMI, so for those you'd have to convert to PCM. Everything else should be fine, as far as I know.
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Dawgincontrol

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2024, 09:02:06 am »

+1 to Awesome Donkey's reply.  I think you have set yours up to what I would recommend.

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tzr916

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2024, 09:28:25 am »

...have bitstreaming enabled for all formats...

In DSP Studio...
Hmm, I thought DSP Studio does not apply anything to bitstreaming? You can certainly set up zones for things you want DSP to be applied to though.

For example, I've got a zone for video that uses bitstreaming (untouched Atmos, DTS, etc), and a zone for music that uses PCM (with DSP).
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konkeydong75

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2024, 09:30:47 am »

Thanks for replying Awesome Donkey and Dawgincontrol.

I have been stung by crappy HDMI cables years ago and learned my lesson and now only buy cables that are verified and certified by hdmi.org.

I've used a lot by KabelDirekt and recently tried some from a local British company called TrueHQ and have been very pleased with the quality and construction of those as well.

The cables in question are now permanently installed behind walls, so they were well tested before installing!

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konkeydong75

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2024, 09:36:15 am »

Hi tzr916,

Yes I believe you are correct. I think that Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD and DSD will all be bitstreamed, and then things like pure stereo TV broadcasts or music tracks will be up-sampled to 5.1, 7.1 etc. I could well be wrong in my understanding there though.

I hadn't thought about separate zones for video and music - could you tell me how to go about that and is it possible for MC to automatically select the correct zone based on the source content?
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2024, 10:05:57 am »

It's not possible to bitstream DSD over HDMI on any PC/Mac or any sort of computer.
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konkeydong75

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2024, 10:07:39 am »

Copy that. Thanks Awesome Donkey.
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EnglishTiger

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2024, 10:45:08 am »

If the device at the other end of the HDMI cable has it's own onboard Dac you may well find that the only instructions you need to set in DSP is to restrict the Sample Rates to those the device, i.e. your 7.1.4 system can handle and the Channels to "Source number of channels".

On both my Win and Mac Platforms are set that way because my Samsung 7.1.4 setup has an onboard DAC that can convert Mono, Stereo, 2.1, 3, 4 or 5.1 channel input into 7.1.4 output.
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tzr916

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2024, 03:25:15 pm »

I hadn't thought about separate zones for video and music - could you tell me how to go about that and is it possible for MC to automatically select the correct zone based on the source content?

Yes, Zone Switch does switching based on content. I used default zone "Player" for bitstreaming, then added a zone called "Music" for PCM & DSP (uncheck/disable bitstream in tools>options> audio>choose zone at top). After the two zones are added, setup Zone Switch similar to screenshots:



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konkeydong75

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Re: HDMI Audio Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2024, 12:51:05 pm »

Many thanks for that tzr916. I have made those changes.
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