Issue playing individual surround files though optical output. AV receiver issue? Windows 10 issue?

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

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I have an odd behavior in my system. I recently upgraded from a Logitech Z-5500 (controller started malfunctioning) to a proper AV receiver (Onkyo TX-NR676) with better speakers. I have a 10 year old Dell notebook (XPS15) upgraded to Windows 10 which was high end at the time (HDMI and TOSLINK outputs, USB 3.0 ports). I ripped my BR and DVD collection to dts or mlp files which I play back from my NAS RAID system.
These individual files play correctly in 5.1 through the HDMI output, but only in stereo through the built in optical output. Confirmed from the AVR screen and aurally. I have also an external soundcard (Edirol UA 4FX) and the same thing happens with its own optical output.
However it works great from my disks or hard drive back-ups, both through the HDMI and optical outputs.
I kind of remember (difficult to confirm though) that I didn't have this issue with the Logitech Z-5500, but my file library was not completed back then and maybe was not paying too much attention. In any case I definitely didn't have this issue when my notebook was running on Windows 7 through the Logitech, as there was a specific dts file I always used to showcase surround sound to friends and family.

Summary:

Windows 10 and Onkyo TX-NR676:
HDMI outputs correctly 5.1 from disk or file playback.
TOSLINK (from internal or external soundcard) outputs correctly 5.1 from disk playback, but only stereo 2.0 from individual dts or mlp. Same thing with 5.1 flac files ot wav-wrapped dts files.
Windows 7 and Logitech Z-5500: No such issues.

The only unusual thing from the notebook side is that in the sound settings for the digital output drivers (Realtek High Definition and OUT UA-4FX) I cannot configure the speakers, the button is grayed out. Speaker configuration is possible in the HDMI sound driver (NVIDIA High Definition Audio) and the built-in analog output driver (Realtek). I have all drivers updated and I read carefully all the instructions for set up. The Edirol UA 4FX external soundcard offers a specific update for Windows 10.

Any ideas of what is going on?
 

LuvMyQuad

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If I'm not mistaken the best you can get through an optical input is Dolby Digital 5.1. It cant handle higher resolution codecs. Maybe someone else on the forum can confirm as I have never actually used optical inputs at all. Always digital Coax, HDMI, or USB.
 

jimfisheye

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That's what I think I know as well.
Lossless surround (full LPCM or dts MA or dolby TRUE HD) can only be delivered over thunderbolt or HDMI. (HDMI needs to be unrestricted. There are products sold with HDMI ports restricted to video only FYI.)
 

Sal1950

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If I'm not mistaken the best you can get through an optical input is Dolby Digital 5.1. It cant handle higher resolution codecs. Maybe someone else on the forum can confirm as I have never actually used optical inputs at all. Always digital Coax, HDMI, or USB.
That's what I think I know as well.
Lossless surround (full LPCM or dts MA or dolby TRUE HD) can only be delivered over thunderbolt or HDMI. (HDMI needs to be unrestricted. There are products sold with HDMI ports restricted to video only FYI.)
That is correct.
 
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Thank you very for the answers, very useful information !!!
Indeed, I just ripped a file to ac3 that had output stereo when played as dts.
This ac3 file indeed outputs perfectly 5.1 when played either in foobar2000 or VLC.
The lesser sound quality due to the much higher compression rate is another matter, but it is unmistakenly 5.1.

My next question would then be: if I choose DTS 5.1 surround when playing any DVD-A (I sampled 7 different releases) the output is always 5.1, also from the optical output. Exactly the same playback as with the HDMI output.
Why? Why does it play a DTS 5.1 from the disk and not from my ripped file?

Additional information: I unpacked the Logitech Z-5500 and I got it to work. Actually the same behavior as with my Onkyo AVR: it plays a dts file stereo, but a song from a disk in DTS 5.1 surround correctly in 5.1. So nothing wrong with the Onkyo.

So it is what it is, or maybe something related to Windows 10?
I remember very well that W7 + Z-5500 ouput a dts file in 5.1 from foobar2000, but I cannot prove it, all my laptops are W10 by now.
 
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My goal would be to rip my collection to my hard drive, in the best quality possible. In most of my DVD-A the best choice is actually a lossy DTS 5.1 stream. A few have a lossless mlp stream (Rush for instance), similar as what is used as a standard in BR. Ripping them as ac3 is for me no alternative.
The HDMI output produces a very slight delay, it feels sluggish compared to the optical output, that is why I'd like to use it.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Thank you very for the answers, very useful information !!!
Indeed, I just ripped a file to ac3 that had output stereo when played as dts.
This ac3 file indeed outputs perfectly 5.1 when played either in foobar2000 or VLC.
The lesser sound quality due to the much higher compression rate is another matter, but it is unmistakenly 5.1.

My next question would then be: if I choose DTS 5.1 surround when playing any DVD-A (I sampled 7 different releases) the output is always 5.1, also from the optical output. Exactly the same playback as with the HDMI output.
Why? Why does it play a DTS 5.1 from the disk and not from my ripped file?

Additional information: I unpacked the Logitech Z-5500 and I got it to work. Actually the same behavior as with my Onkyo AVR: it plays a dts file stereo, but a song from a disk in DTS 5.1 surround correctly in 5.1. So nothing wrong with the Onkyo.

So it is what it is, or maybe something related to Windows 10?
I remember very well that W7 + Z-5500 ouput a dts file in 5.1 from foobar2000, but I cannot prove it, all my laptops are W10 by now.
Welcome to the center of all things surround!

I have a logitech speaker system also; but a little different one.

Firstly; no wonder there is confusion for this product as seen here from the Amazon sales page (I wasn't aware of a format for 3D Mascara Fiber Lashes) :šŸ§

LOGIC UMH HUH.PNG


Might be helpful to read the manual also; there are limitations depending on how it's hooked up IINM.

MANUEL.JPG
 

LuvMyQuad

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My next question would then be: if I choose DTS 5.1 surround when playing any DVD-A (I sampled 7 different releases) the output is always 5.1, also from the optical output. Exactly the same playback as with the HDMI output.
Why? Why does it play a DTS 5.1 from the disk and not from my ripped file?
Maybe it is the core DTS layer, not the extended layer, that is passing through the optical connection. Is the ripped file the full 24/96 layer or just the 24/48 core? Both are lossy, but one is more lossy than the other.

My goal would be to rip my collection to my hard drive, in the best quality possible. In most of my DVD-A the best choice is actually a lossy DTS 5.1 stream. A few have a lossless mlp stream (Rush for instance), similar as what is used as a standard in BR. Ripping them as ac3 is for me no alternative.
The HDMI output produces a very slight delay, it feels sluggish compared to the optical output, that is why I'd like to use it.
Your best choice for any DVD-A is the MLP layer converted to FLAC and played through HDMI. All true DVD-As will have an MLP layer. It sounds like you are confusing them with DVD-Vs (regular DVDs) which often come with a DTS later in addition to Dolby AC3. In that case your best quality is to convert the DTS layer with extension to 24/96 FLAC as well and play it back using HDMI.

I hope I haven't confused you. But if you have an HDMI connection, there is no good reason to use an optical connection at all.
 
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Maybe it is the core DTS layer, not the extended layer, that is passing through the optical connection. Is the ripped file the full 24/96 layer or just the 24/48 core? Both are lossy, but one is more lossy than the other.



Your best choice for any DVD-A is the MLP layer converted to FLAC and played through HDMI. All true DVD-As will have an MLP layer. It sounds like you are confusing them with DVD-Vs (regular DVDs) which often come with a DTS later in addition to Dolby AC3. In that case your best quality is to convert the DTS layer with extension to 24/96 FLAC as well and play it back using HDMI.

I hope I haven't confused you. But if you have an HDMI connection, there is no good reason to use an optical connection at all.
Hi, thank you for the insightful answers.
The first one gives me a hint. Only the core layer is extracted with DVD Auto Extractor. It seems it is possible to extract also the extended layer with eac3to, will try that and report back. However, as reported I have the same issue with losless mlp files...

Your second answer, yes, there are many DVD-A productions that are structured like a DVD video. For instance the whole Jethtro Tull anniversary series. I was referring to such DVD as well. But not only, as rfeported I have the same issues with BR productions such as Gentle Giant and "true" DVD-A such as Rush's "A farewell to kings".
 
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Such DVD (Audio) --- as the JT anniversary series calls it --- are actually a misnomer, as you said are in fact DVD-V, all the data is in the VIDEO_TS folder. A few contain indeed some footage, but they are mostly audio, typically a DTS stream, a AC3 team, as well as LPCM stereo remixed and flat transfers. Hey, in 4 of them also real quads ! ;-) The recent Be-Bop Deluxe productions, same structure. The DTS streams are all 24/96. I would understand if I had ony problems with those and not with real audio productions as well.
 

LuvMyQuad

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Hi, thank you for the insightful answers.
The first one gives me a hint. Only the core layer is extracted with DVD Auto Extractor. It seems it is possible to extract also the extended layer with eac3to, will try that and report back. However, as reported I have the same issue with losless mlp files...
That is not true. DVDAE extracts the entire layer with extension.

Your second answer, yes, there are many DVD-A productions that are structured like a DVD video. For instance the whole Jethtro Tull anniversary series. I was referring to such DVD as well. But not only, as rfeported I have the same issues with BR productions such as Gentle Giant and "true" DVD-A such as Rush's "A farewell to kings".
See that's what I mean. The Tull series are not DVD-As, they are DVD-Vs.

And yes i would expect issues trying to pass a 5.1 Blueray through an optical connection.
 
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I hope I haven't confused you. But if you have an HDMI connection, there is no good reason to use an optical connection at all.
[/QUOTE]

I oversaw this one. I absolutely agree. But maybe because of my old computer, the HDMI output feels somehow sluggish compared to the optical output. It takes a second or so to respond, surely less but so it feels. The optical output is snappy, you click on it and the music is there (you can guess I definitely don't own a record player...). Not a big deal though. Just being perfectionist and wanting to know why (and I think I am in very good company here :) ).
 
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That is not true. DVDAE extracts the entire layer with extension.

I have followed the whole discussion here and elsewhere about what DVDAE can and can not. I really wanted badly for DVDAE to be able to do that. Fact is, when I rip lossy DTS streams that are demonstrably 24/96 (such as in the JT and BBD productions), I only get a 24/48 file. That I can prove :)
 

LuvMyQuad

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I have followed the whole discussion here and elsewhere about what DVDAE can and can not. I really wanted badly for DVDAE to be able to do that. Fact is, when I rip lossy DTS streams that are demonstrably 24/96 (such as in the JT and BBD productions), I only get a 24/48 file. That I can prove :)
How old is the DVDAE version you are using? It was the case several years ago that it would only rip the core, but later versions can rip the full extension, it can even do DTS-MA now (it just cant get past the copy protection). I know for sure because all those Tull albums you mentioned are in my library at 24/96 and all were ripped using DVDAE.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I oversaw this one. I absolutely agree. But maybe because of my old computer, the HDMI output feels somehow sluggish compared to the optical output. It takes a second or so to respond, surely less but so it feels. The optical output is snappy, you click on it and the music is there (you can guess I definitely don't own a record player...). Not a big deal though. Just being perfectionist and wanting to know why (and I think I am in very good company here :) ).
When you talk about the HDMI being sluggish, is it because it skips the first few seconds of songs, is that what you are referring to?
 
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When you talk about the HDMI being sluggish, is it because it skips the first few seconds of songs, is that what you are referring to?
When I start VLC it feels slightly out of synch what you see and what you hear, and it will skip the first second or, similar behavior with foobar2000 when playing files. After that, or when playing a list, it won't.
 
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How old is the DVDAE version you are using? It was the case several years ago that it would only rip the core, but later versions can rip the full extension, it can even do DTS-MA now (it just cant get past the copy protection). I know for sure because all those Tull albums you mentioned are in my library at 24/96 and all were ripped using DVDAE.
Hmm, odd, I also read similar comments elsewhere. I haven't updated lately, I am still using 8.0 because the later updates didn't seem worth it.
 

LuvMyQuad

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When I start VLC it feels slightly out of synch what you see and what you hear, and it will skip the first second or, similar behavior with foobar2000 when playing files. After that, or when playing a list, it won't.
The skipping if often due to the software taking a second to determine what the format is. The AVR can also cause that. It is not necessarily the PC or the HDMI connection.
 

DuncanS

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If I remember correctly the TOS format was designed to only handle sample rates up to 48kHz so that will be the limit on its rate, unless both 'ends' of the system have been designed to handle higher speeds. Your HDMI 'sluggish' behaviour is probably down to the system level handshaking over the HDMI control channel between your PC & Amp.
 
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