Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

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Feelin' Irie
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:28 pm

Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

Hello all,

I have been having great success with HB providing output video files for Apple TV that provide DD 5.1. I am now trying to move from the Apple TV to a Mac Mini. I am using the TOS link digital optical from the Mac Mini. Playing a DVD I get 5.1 out (after configuring the appropriate audio settings). Playing a file from HB I only get stereo but the same file on the Apple TV outputs DD 5.1. If I configure iTunes (or Quick Time) to output in surround sound I get not audio at all. I tried ripping with a few different audio settings but to no avail.

Any suggestions? Do you know if Quick Time Pro would work?

Thanks!
nathug
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by nathug »

I belive you have to install Perian. Do a google search and you'll find it.

Nate
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

Thanks for the tip Nate!

I now have audio with the setting at surround sound but it is still two channel. I tried all the Perian configurations with the same result. Any other tips would be appreciated.

It looks like a QT component issue versus a particular HB encode setting so the hunt continues...
nathug
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by nathug »

I did read somewhere on the Net that now you have installed this that you have to enable DD passthorugh. Again do a Google search, it is out there as I thought about doing this also. Sorry I can't remember the site. If you figure this out, please post your results.

Nate
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

nathug wrote:I did read somewhere on the Net that now you have installed this that you have to enable DD passthorugh. Again do a Google search, it is out there as I thought about doing this also. Sorry I can't remember the site. If you figure this out, please post your results.

Nate
Thanks Nate. I did find this note http://geekwithfamily.com/2007/07/05/ho ... me-player/ and have gone through all the steps but still not there yet. Now with the surround sound mode on I get this constant machine gun sound. I read somewhere that it was AC3 chatter?

Anyway, still on the hunt... Any other tips?
peterjcat
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by peterjcat »

Check that your Audio MIDI Setup properties are at 48kHz and haven't switched back to 44.1kHz -- that's often what causes the machine-gun chatter.
belloq
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by belloq »

Exactly as above. Many places on the internet, include the Perian forums. The link you included should do the trick and is similar to other setups like http://fplanque.com/dev/mac/ac3-ac-3-5- ... le-mac-osx.

I'd say if you've very carefully followed the steps in those articles and it still isn't working, then something else is wrong.
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

belloq wrote:Exactly as above. Many places on the internet, include the Perian forums. The link you included should do the trick and is similar to other setups like http://fplanque.com/dev/mac/ac3-ac-3-5- ... le-mac-osx.

I'd say if you've very carefully followed the steps in those articles and it still isn't working, then something else is wrong.
Thanks for the new link. I checked the file info while in QT and it reports JVT/AVC Coding, ...., AAC, Stereo (L R), 48.000 kHz.

Is that my problem? This same file plays in surround sound from my Apple TV and was encoded using HB with the Apple TV preset.

Is there someplace I could get a sample file to test with surround sound to confirm my configuration?
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

Hmm... I guess I wasted your time. I just ripped a section of Gladiator using HB and the High Profile Film preset and it plays back through QT just fine with mult-channel audio.

I am confused though as to why ripping a movie using the Apple TV preset results in a file that plays multi-channel from the Apple TV but not from QT on the Mac Mini.

Regardless, problem solved! I just need to re-encode my DVDs with the Film Preset (or does anybody recommend a better preset?).

Thanks for the assistance!

P.S. Anybody looking for a gently used Apple TV?
nathug
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by nathug »

I know there are no logs, but could one of the developers please explain why this is, or know why this is?

Nate
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

nathug wrote:I know there are no logs, but could one of the developers please explain why this is, or know why this is?

Nate
Sorry about the no logs stuff... This is what I have.

An encode using the Apple TV Preset gives me a file that the Movie Inspector in QT reports as...

JVT/AVC Coding, 720 x 464 (860 x 464), Millions
AAC, Stereo (L R), 48.000 kHz

This is what a section of Gladiator looks like using the Film Preset.

H.264, 718 x 366 (850 x 366), Millions
AC3, 5.1 (L R C LFE Ls Rs), 48.000 kHz
belloq
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by belloq »

What you are seeing does look correct to me. Anything encoded with the AppleTV or similar presets will, per (previous) spec from Apple which stated that the file must have both AAC and an AC3 track in order to play back the AC3 to supported systems. (I put previous in parens because as of AppleTV 2.3.1, AC3-only files are supported again.)

In QuickTime Player, because AAC is Track 1, it reports that track only. If you have QTPro and bring up Properties, you can see both tracks and the fact that Track 2 has all 6 AC3 tracks in it. Now, if you are playing back on your Mini with QTPlayer, and have Pro, you can use Properties to enable the AC3 track instead of the AAC track, and it should play back as you expect.

Before AppleTV 2.3.1, I would have said you would have a hard time getting a single encode to output AC3 on both the AppleTV and Mini without modification (per previous paragraph). Now, however, you should be able to make yourself a custom preset (based starting on the Film or AppleTV preset) with only the single AC3 track 1 and call it good.

Thinking aloud: Does Front Row pick the AC3 track for passthrough automatically? or at all? Because you can run Front Row on the mini...

I, too, am considering a Mini to replace the AppleTV because I can use better specs for my encodes, like being able to keep 720p HDTV encodes at their original 59.94fps, etc., etc.
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

belloq wrote: Thinking aloud: Does Front Row pick the AC3 track for passthrough automatically? or at all? Because you can run Front Row on the mini...

I, too, am considering a Mini to replace the AppleTV because I can use better specs for my encodes, like being able to keep 720p HDTV encodes at their original 59.94fps, etc., etc.
Sorry, most of your response was over my head but are you saying that if I purchase QT Pro I will be able to view my existing library encoded with the Apple TV Preset and get 5.1?

I had tried running one of my existing Apple TV Preset encoded videos via Front Row and I still did not get 5.1. I couldn't get it with VLC either but maybe was running it wrong.

Yes, my goal with the Mac Mini is to replace the Apple TV...
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

Last stupid questions (I think)...

What do you recommend as the best HB Preset for optimal playback of encoded DVDs without consideration of encode time or disk space?

I am looking to go Blu-Ray as well. Does HB do all the wonderful things in the Blu-Ray world as well?
Lamaison
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Lamaison »

Feelin' Irie wrote:Sorry, most of your response was over my head but are you saying that if I purchase QT Pro I will be able to view my existing library encoded with the Apple TV Preset and get 5.1?

Here is a free tool you might find very handy for view your existing library

It's called MediaInfo Marc
http://mediainfo.massanti.com/
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

Feelin' Irie wrote:Last stupid questions (I think)...

What do you recommend as the best HB Preset for optimal playback of encoded DVDs without consideration of encode time or disk space?
Now I understand the lack of response. I was unaware of all the variables and the it depends involved in all of this video and audio encoding stuff. So I am hoping for some advice from the pros out there on the following...

I want to use a Mac Mini is a media server directly connected to my HD TV via DVI and my audio system via Digital Optical TOS link. I am struggling to find the right combination of HB settings to provide DD 5.1 and good picture quality. It seems the only way I can get QT or Front Row to play a HB encoded movie and provide DD 5.1 is to make it a .MKV file. But I cannot get a .MKV to display in full screen (either QT or Front Row) without obvious video jitter. Also, I can't seem to add a .MKV file to iTunes but that is not a show stopper for me.

If I encode using either .MP4 or .M4V regardless of audio settings, I get good video but I cannot get it to play DD 5.1 via iTunes, QT or Front Row.

Do you think there is a problem with my Mac Mini configuration or any advice for the optimal encode settings for what I am trying to do?

Thanks!
jbrjake
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by jbrjake »

AC3 in M4V passes through to optical fine in QuickTime Pro with Perian. All you have to do is configure your system and Perian properly for AC3, then enable the proper audio track at playback time in QuickTime and re-order the channel layout to Left-Right-Center-LFE-LeftSurround-RightSurround to work around a QuickTime/CoreAudio mismatch.
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

jbrjake wrote:All you have to do is configure your system and Perian properly for AC3, then enable the proper audio track at playback time in QuickTime and re-order the channel layout to Left-Right-Center-LFE-LeftSurround-RightSurround to work around a QuickTime/CoreAudio mismatch.
Thanks for the quick reply. Looks like I will need QT Pro.

Once this is done, will it play only this way in QT Pro or can it play DD 5.1 from iTunes or Front Row (either from iTunes or in the Movies folder)?
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

jbrjake wrote:AC3 in M4V passes through to optical fine in QuickTime Pro with Perian. All you have to do is configure your system and Perian properly for AC3, then enable the proper audio track at playback time in QuickTime and re-order the channel layout to Left-Right-Center-LFE-LeftSurround-RightSurround to work around a QuickTime/CoreAudio mismatch.
Sweet! It works great now. What a good tip about the QuickTime/CoreAudio mismatch. That got rid of the machine-gun chatter when I tried to play the "surround sound" track.

Thanks for all the help. HB is free but I can't seem to find a place to donate a few bucks. Is there a donation page?
nathug
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by nathug »

Feelin' Irie wrote:
jbrjake wrote:AC3 in M4V passes through to optical fine in QuickTime Pro with Perian. All you have to do is configure your system and Perian properly for AC3, then enable the proper audio track at playback time in QuickTime and re-order the channel layout to Left-Right-Center-LFE-LeftSurround-RightSurround to work around a QuickTime/CoreAudio mismatch.
Sweet! It works great now. What a good tip about the QuickTime/CoreAudio mismatch. That got rid of the machine-gun chatter when I tried to play the "surround sound" track.

Thanks for all the help. HB is free but I can't seem to find a place to donate a few bucks. Is there a donation page?
Does it now work it Front-row and iTunes?

Also do you have to do this for every movie, or just the once?

I wish to know as at some point I wish to move away from an AppleTV and go MacMini.

Nate

Nate
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

nathug wrote:Does it now work it Front-row and iTunes?

Also do you have to do this for every movie, or just the once?

I wish to know as at some point I wish to move away from an AppleTV and go MacMini.

Nate
Yes, it now works in Front Row and iTunes.

Yes, I have to change the properties for each movie and to save the changes to the movie itself it takes some time but you have the option to create a small .MOV reference file but then you have two files you need to manage for each movie.

As for moving from the Apple TV to the Mac Mini, it has been more difficult than I expected but the good news is that I have been able to overcome every obstacle so far and the benefits have been tremendous!
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Ritsuka
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Ritsuka »

Or you could change the a52codec channels layout to match the mp4 one.
Feelin' Irie
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by Feelin' Irie »

Ritsuka wrote:Or you could change the a52codec channels layout to match the mp4 one.
That would be nice. Do you have handy a link to a tip page or thread I could reference on how to do that?

Thanks!
belloq
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by belloq »

Does the channel mapping affect the AppleTV? (I'm thinking not, but this is the first I've heard of this problem.)
jbrjake
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Re: Dolby Digital from HandBrake file on Mac Mini

Post by jbrjake »

Thanks for all the help. HB is free but I can't seem to find a place to donate a few bucks. Is there a donation page?
We don't accept donations.

AC3 pass-thru on Macs is the result of the sustained effort of Graham Booker over at the Perian/a52codec projects to make it work, despite constant impediments from Apple. I got the channel layout from the bug report he filed to Apple about the mismatch, which they have been ignoring for like a year now. You can donate to Perian here: http://perian.org/#donate

@belloq No, it doesn't affect the AppleTV.
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