JRiver digital playback for beginners. Question and Answer Forum, 2021.

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RustyStatic

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Frustrating, isn't it? I feel like I am so close, like it is one little checkbox buried deep in a submenu somewhere.....
Yeah, I'm out of ideas at this point. Tried every option I can think of, restarted JRiver tens of times, and I just can't get the AVR to see the output as Atmos. It sees it as 7.1 and feeds all of those speakers, but a bunch of information is missing. I don't know how, or if there's even a way, to goose the Marantz and tell it "this is Atmos, you big dummy"; when I select "Sound Mode" that's where it shows me what's available and if Atmos isn't there, I suppose that info just isn't coming over for some reason.

I feel like it has to do with the Bitstreaming not being set up right. I don't have that HDMI selection available and that seems weird... and I don't know if there's a setting somewhere else in the computer that'd wake that up but after several hours of getting the same (i.e. no) result... I'm kinda losing steam.
 

RustyStatic

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OK, then I was thinking it's because I don't have anything showing ASIO or WASAPI... but now I'm thinking it's because my iMac is a late 2015 model... 7 years old now, and Atmos was not on-board at that time. JRiver tells me that it's sending it out at 8ch TrueHD, but can the computer even do that? It sounds like Mac hardware didn't have Atmos capability until 2018 at the earliest, and I'm wondering if that makes a difference here... even though I'm trying to just send it direct to the AVR through the HDMI, maybe hardware this old just can't. In that case... this is certainly not a "new iMac" sized problem for me ($$$)... and maybe just more of a "not right now, Rusty" kinda problem.

@marpow You're on a Mac, right? What's the age of your hardware?
 
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mrcond

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Success! Using the settings provided by @marpow above, I am now able to bitstream all my files (which consist of FLAC 2.0 and 5.1 and mkv video files with Atmos) to my AVR and the AVR is now decoding and playing back everything in its intended format (including the video portion of the Atmos playback on the mkv files).

The video mkv files are each one long track but are indexed to allow for skipping to the next song. However, I am doing that blind as there is no track title information on the screen or in JRiver. I think I read that marpow has a solution for this so I will need to investigate that as a next step. But that will just be icing on the cake.

One item to note, I followed marpow's use of JRiver zones and named it "Atmos Zone" as he did, but that is currently my one and only zone and everything bitstreams via HDMI to my AVR through that zone, whether or not it is Atmos. (2.0, 5.1, 7.1 and Atmos all verified working).

A great big thanks to @marpow, @HomerJAU, @sjcorne, @RustyStatic, @himey, @ted_b, @Kal Rubinson and everyone else providing helpful tips in this thread. Apologies if I forgot anyone.
 

RustyStatic

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Success! Using the settings provided by @marpow above, I am now able to bitstream all my files (which consist of FLAC 2.0 and 5.1 and mkv video files with Atmos) to my AVR and the AVR is now decoding and playing back everything in its intended format (including the video portion of the Atmos playback on the mkv files).

The video mkv files are each one long track but are indexed to allow for skipping to the next song. However, I am doing that blind as there is no track title information on the screen or in JRiver. I think I read that marpow has a solution for this so I will need to investigate that as a next step. But that will just be icing on the cake.

One item to note, I followed marpow's use of JRiver zones and named it "Atmos Zone" as he did, but that is currently my one and only zone and everything bitstreams via HDMI to my AVR through that zone, whether or not it is Atmos. (2.0, 5.1, 7.1 and Atmos all verified working).

A great big thanks to @marpow, @HomerJAU, @sjcorne, @RustyStatic, @himey, @ted_b, @Kal Rubinson and everyone else providing helpful tips in this thread. Apologies if I forgot anyone.
Dang, yo—good for you! What was the fix? I'm still flappin' in the breeze. 😬
 

mrcond

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Dang, yo—good for you! What was the fix? I'm still flappin' in the breeze. 😬
I just followed marpow's screenshots and literally did exactly what he did. And also went back to my Windows setup for sound setting and set everything back to the default settings. I am not sure if the fact you have a Mac will mean a different outcome for you but good luck!
 

RustyStatic

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I just followed marpow's screenshots and literally did exactly what he did. And also went back to my Windows setup for sound setting and set everything back to the default settings. I am not sure if the fact you have a Mac will mean a different outcome for you but good luck!
Gotcha - so in Bitstreaming you had that HDMI option then, right? It looks different than the screen shot I provided above?
 

RustyStatic

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Yes, I had the HDMI option for bitstreaming. My menu choices matched marpow's but yours are quite different.
OK that's helpful... yeah, everything I have there is some flavor of "Core Audio" and I think that's where I'm getting jacked up. And it might indeed be due to the age of my machine, where the Core Audio doesn't natively support Atmos yet because it's older than 2018.
 

himey

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OK that's helpful... yeah, everything I have there is some flavor of "Core Audio" and I think that's where I'm getting jacked up. And it might indeed be due to the age of my machine, where the Core Audio doesn't natively support Atmos yet because it's older than 2018.
Can you test a simple DTS or Dolby Digital file to check if bitstream is working for them?
 

RustyStatic

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Can you test a simple DTS or Dolby Digital file to check if bitstream is working for them?
With bistreaming on (again, "Bitstreaming: Yes (DSD)" since that's all I have available), and all of the other settings the same as @marpow):

1. 6 channel FLACs, WAVs and DTS seem to play fine
2. 4 channel FLACs don't play right, rear channels are missing
3. 8 channel FLACs play in 7.1 (with JRiver saying "no changes are being made"), no overhead even though these are both Atmos and Auro3D sources / MKV files do the same thing
4. DSF files don't play, just static

All of my "Atmos" files are FLAC, ripped from decrypted backups made through MKV... so even though JRiver shows those as files with 8 channels, I'm not sure the Atmos encoding is retained there, and I always kinda knew that, so, I get it.

I ripped an MKV file with the TrueHD 7.1 setting yesterday, assuming that would retain the Atmos. When I tried bitstreaming with that, it played, but nothing in the heights and channels were definitely missing—so it wasn't downmixing anything, certain channels were just not making it over.

🤷‍♂️
 

RustyStatic

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Update if it's helpful:

Just got a new MacBook Pro at work, so that's a 2021 model that is "Atmos/Spatial Enabled" with a direct HDMI out. However, everything works the same as my 2015 iMac—no matter what I do, the only option in Bitstreaming is DSD, and no dice in getting Atmos to register on my Marantz AVR.

So, I grabbed a little Windows PC from the basement that I use as an arcade emulator (also several years old), put JRiver on there just for kicks, and BAM - all of my sound options displayed looking like @marpow with (WASAPI) or (ASIO) after them, HDMI as a bitstreaming option... and easy as pie, Atmos registered on the Marantz and everything looked and sounded as it should.

Awesome on the PC side and super frustrating on the Mac side. Like @mrcond says, I can't imagine there's just not some stupid setting somewhere in the Mac chain that I'm missing, but I'm just toast.

Just to make extra sure I wasn't screwing something up with my MKV files, I downloaded an Atmos test file from here: Dolby Trailers - The Digital Theater, and after it played flawlessly on the PC I tried it again on the Mac; no dice.

I think for the sake of my sanity, I'm gonna pick up a small dedicated little Windows PC for $100ish and just run Atmos off of there. It's worth it to avoid the years of my life I'll lose rummaging through super deluxe boxes to find what I'm looking for, waiting for Blu-Rays to load and navigating sketchy menu structures. :LOL:
 

himey

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Update if it's helpful:

Just got a new MacBook Pro at work, so that's a 2021 model that is "Atmos/Spatial Enabled" with a direct HDMI out. However, everything works the same as my 2015 iMac—no matter what I do, the only option in Bitstreaming is DSD, and no dice in getting Atmos to register on my Marantz AVR.

So, I grabbed a little Windows PC from the basement that I use as an arcade emulator (also several years old), put JRiver on there just for kicks, and BAM - all of my sound options displayed looking like @marpow with (WASAPI) or (ASIO) after them, HDMI as a bitstreaming option... and easy as pie, Atmos registered on the Marantz and everything looked and sounded as it should.

Awesome on the PC side and super frustrating on the Mac side. Like @mrcond says, I can't imagine there's just not some stupid setting somewhere in the Mac chain that I'm missing, but I'm just toast.

Just to make extra sure I wasn't screwing something up with my MKV files, I downloaded an Atmos test file from here: Dolby Trailers - The Digital Theater, and after it played flawlessly on the PC I tried it again on the Mac; no dice.

I think for the sake of my sanity, I'm gonna pick up a small dedicated little Windows PC for $100ish and just run Atmos off of there. It's worth it to avoid the years of my life I'll lose rummaging through super deluxe boxes to find what I'm looking for, waiting for Blu-Rays to load and navigating sketchy menu structures. :LOL:
This is a good deal for $88. You just need to add 4GB of ram. Seems to be back in stock now.
 

marpow

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Update if it's helpful:

Just got a new MacBook Pro at work, so that's a 2021 model that is "Atmos/Spatial Enabled" with a direct HDMI out. However, everything works the same as my 2015 iMac—no matter what I do, the only option in Bitstreaming is DSD, and no dice in getting Atmos to register on my Marantz AVR.

So, I grabbed a little Windows PC from the basement that I use as an arcade emulator (also several years old), put JRiver on there just for kicks, and BAM - all of my sound options displayed looking like @marpow with (WASAPI) or (ASIO) after them, HDMI as a bitstreaming option... and easy as pie, Atmos registered on the Marantz and everything looked and sounded as it should.

Awesome on the PC side and super frustrating on the Mac side. Like @mrcond says, I can't imagine there's just not some stupid setting somewhere in the Mac chain that I'm missing, but I'm just toast.

Just to make extra sure I wasn't screwing something up with my MKV files, I downloaded an Atmos test file from here: Dolby Trailers - The Digital Theater, and after it played flawlessly on the PC I tried it again on the Mac; no dice.

I think for the sake of my sanity, I'm gonna pick up a small dedicated little Windows PC for $100ish and just run Atmos off of there. It's worth it to avoid the years of my life I'll lose rummaging through super deluxe boxes to find what I'm looking for, waiting for Blu-Rays to load and navigating sketchy menu structures. :LOL:
Great news, I agree, sometimes this audio world can really mess with your head. Not a good idea to be sitting all day and stressing.
 

LuvMyQuad

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Just a possibility... When using passthrough via HDMI with Kodi with something encoded like DTS for example, you must use the WASAPI driver so the stream remains bit perfect. So my guess would be an incompatible sound driver.
 
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