INTERACT FORUM

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?  (Read 10808 times)

thane108

  • World Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 204

I've finally got my system so its outputting audio over HDMI to my receiver without downsampling or reducing channels.  It now streams multi-channel at 96,000.  So far so good.

One last question and I can let my settings alone.  :)  I'm trying to understand if bit-streaming would offer any advantages.  I'm trying to deliver an unchanged signal to my receiver and let the DAC in the receiver convert to audio.  (I do all the room adjustments, etc. at the receiver.)

I've disabled volume, and unchecked output format (encoding - none, source for number of channels).

I've selected Nividia High Def Wasapi which is my hdmi out to my receiver.

If I understand what I read in the forums the above should send an unchanged pcm to my reciever - which would be just as good as bitstreaming.

Am I correct?

If not, and I should bitstream, should I select custom and check all or some of the formats?

Thanks - and my apologies.  I know it must be a pain to keep explaining the same topic over and over again to those of us still on the learning curve.
Logged
Perseverance wins out in the end!

ferday

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 1732
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 03:18:57 pm »

PCM - MC decodes the audio
bitstream - receiver decodes the audio

there is absolutely no advantage to bitstream unless your situation absolutely requires it (DSDxDoP) and there can be disadvantages (menu / system sounds won't play, for one).  use the setup you have now and enjoy your bit perfect audio. 

note that when using spdif bitstreaming can be an advantage...and certain other situations as well.  but in general LPCM is better IMO (and there is NO sound quality difference either way!)
Logged

glynor

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 19608
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 06:08:20 pm »

Over HDMI?  No, and it prevents you from using some quality-improving functions within MC such as VideoClock.  I've also found that MC generally does a better job than my Denon and Yamaha receivers decoding Dolby Digital (AC3) in troublesome streams (such as those from my cruddy Time Warner cable box, where both my Denon and my Yamaha choke and skip, and MC decodes the same audio streams perfectly).

It makes the pretty lights light up on your receiver?  It has that going for it, I suppose.

If you have DTS-MA formatted video files, it is a tiny bit easier to bitstream those formats, because for MC to decode those, you need to get a third-party DLL and put it in a place where MC can use it.  But once you do this once, then you're done, and MC can decode DTS-MA too.

Otherwise, there's no difference between this and what MC would be doing with your audio files in, for example, FLAC format.  MC decodes it, and then sends pristine PCM, uncompressed audio down the HDMI wire to your receiver.  MC's Audio Path function will show you the details of what it is doing as well, and you probably won't have that level of control or feedback on your receiver (which could be doing who-knows-what to the encoded audio).
Logged
"Some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese."

Visit me on the Interweb Thingie: http://glynor.com/

thane108

  • World Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 204
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 06:30:05 pm »

Great - then I'm done.

I'll slap my own hand if I feel the urge to tinker.

Thanks
Logged
Perseverance wins out in the end!

glynor

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 19608
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 07:10:23 pm »

and unchecked output format (encoding - none, source for number of channels).

You generally shouldn't do this.  Unchecking the Output Format DSP disables it.  This does not improve quality in any way, and will make playback of some formats fail (anything with a sample rate too high, or low, for your hardware will fail to play back entirely).

People do this without understanding what MC does here.  MC does not just "resample everything" if you have that turned on (Matt isn't an animal).  You'd have to actually go through a bit of work to get it to do that, in fact!

Instead, enable the Output Format DSP, and make sure it doesn't resample any formats your output device handles by default (this is easy to do, and the defaults are usually very safe).  You want to set it so that it does resample those formats your output device does not support (which would otherwise fail to play) to the highest sample rate available on your device.  This will allow all formats to play.  Those your output device handles natively, are passed through untouched, and MC will only resample those it must.

Leaving the channels function set to Source number of channels is fine, so long as you don't try to play something with more channels than you have physically present.
Logged
"Some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese."

Visit me on the Interweb Thingie: http://glynor.com/

thane108

  • World Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 204
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2015, 09:43:21 am »

Thanks, Glynor.

Am I correct in thinking that disabling the DSP would not be an issue in my case as my highest sample rate of music is 96,000 (my receiver handles that) and I don't think I have anything on the low end.  (what would be on the low end?)  All my video files are OTA Ts files.

Can you point out a few examples of when the problem would crop up for my general understanding?  Are you thinking blue-ray dvds?
Logged
Perseverance wins out in the end!

BartMan01

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 1513
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2015, 05:10:49 pm »

Guess I will be the dissenting opinion here, since I still stubbornly bit-stream in my primary HTPC system. 

Reasons:
I like to be able to tell at a glance what format is playing without having to pick up the remote and dig through menus.
The in-receiver processing settings and options change based on the format playing back.  With PCM, not all options are available and/or don't change automatically.
I am old and stuck in my ways, bah-humbug.  That is until I change my mind and pretend like I never held that view in the first place regardless of any posts you can dig up showing othewise.

Of course a lot of this depends on the functionality of your receiver.  You can get get the new fancy formats on an old receiver if MC can decode them and your receiver can't. 

I am not saying that you SHOULD bitstream.  This is one of those things though that if you think you should, then you need to be have an identifiable reason for doing so.
Logged

jmone

  • Administrator
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 14269
  • I won! I won!
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2015, 05:19:35 pm »

From my perspective:
- Advantages of Decoding at AVR: Decoding lights show up, some DSP functions may be different on what format is received
- Advantages of Decoding in MC: Video Clock & DSP functions
- Notes: we are not far away from not needing the dtsdecoderdll.dll for DTS-HD lossless decoding (Hendrik as posted that this will be built in shortly).

....hence I decode in MC
Logged
JRiver CEO Elect

CountryBumkin

  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 3352
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2015, 06:06:11 pm »


- Notes: we are not far away from not needing the dtsdecoderdll.dll for DTS-HD lossless decoding (Hendrik as posted that this will be built in shortly).

....hence I decode in MC

it looks like it won't be much longer according to the Doom9>LAV forum. http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=cbc96aa12ca061f0023de0d53ea700fb&t=156191&page=943
Logged

jmone

  • Administrator
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 14269
  • I won! I won!
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2015, 06:09:49 pm »

 ;D waiting for the nightly and will see if it works with MC!
Logged
JRiver CEO Elect

glynor

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 19608
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2015, 06:42:54 pm »

it looks like it won't be much longer according to the Doom9>LAV forum. http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=cbc96aa12ca061f0023de0d53ea700fb&t=156191&page=943

Yep.  Knew this but didn't want to derail with unreleased speculation.  Is great news though, certainly.

Am I correct in thinking that disabling the DSP would not be an issue in my case as my highest sample rate of music is 96,000 (my receiver handles that) and I don't think I have anything on the low end.  (what would be on the low end?)  All my video files are OTA Ts files.

Can you point out a few examples of when the problem would crop up for my general understanding?  Are you thinking blue-ray dvds?

You are unlikely to hit edge cases where you might need to play these kinds of files in everyday life, but if you do have one once-in-a-blue-moon, then why block playback for no good reason?  That is all I mean.

The "problem files" would be those with sample rates:
* below 44.1kHz (which could be online content)
* above 96kHz (super-high-resolution sample content)

Granted, anything below 44.1kHz is going to be cruddy quality, but I have actually encountered these here and there.  Mostly older stuff ripped from online streams.  And, some of the newer "high-quality" music services do have higher sample rates than 96kHz.  But, again, if you happen to stumble upon one of these files, do you want the failure case to be:

* MC shows an error and refuses to play them.
* MC plays them with the highest possible fidelity

Those are the choices.  Keep in mind, that you can have the latter without sacrificing native quality for all of your regular tracks.  All you have to do is set the Output Format DSP like (this assumes the highest sample rate your device can play is 96kHz):



Done.  Now, MC will pass through and never "touch" any normal formats your output device can handle natively, and will automatically resample only those formats that would otherwise fail to play entirely.

You can check what formats your output device supports via the Windows Playback Devices Sound Control Panel:
Logged
"Some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese."

Visit me on the Interweb Thingie: http://glynor.com/

thane108

  • World Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 204
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2015, 07:07:51 pm »

Thanks - that's just the explanation I needed.

Will do.
Logged
Perseverance wins out in the end!

jmone

  • Administrator
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 14269
  • I won! I won!
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2015, 11:54:08 pm »

Congrates to foo86 and Hendrick, dcadec in LAV is working great so far for decoding DTS-HD MA for me!
Logged
JRiver CEO Elect

lboregard

  • Recent member
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2015, 06:42:44 am »

Hi, I know this is an old thread, but I'm currently bitstreaming and would like to become a decoding convert :)

Could somebody point me to a "guide" on how to setup decoding ?

It's been a while since the last time I had to touch any of the jriver's settings.

Thanks in advance !
Logged

fitbrit

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 4877
Re: Are there any advantages to bitstreaming when outputing over HDMI?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2015, 09:02:12 am »

An addition if you are a cutting-edge Dolby ATMOS user or a soon to be DTS:X user, with all the speakers and a capable AV receiver. In order to play ATMOS and DTS:X as natively intended, you'll have to bitstream these formats, as they cannot be 'decoded' in MC. LAV will decode them as TrueHD and DTS-HD MA streams, respectively, but the object-based metadata - which provides the immersive formats immersive - will be lost.

If you are one of the few early-ish adopters, you can create a zone in which you do bitstream through HDMI, and then set up zoneswitch to switch automatically. In my case, I have a custom Audio Codec field, and I will set up ZoneSwitch to go to my HDMI bitstreaming zone when that field has ATMOS or DTS:X.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up