Encoding for Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet

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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:37 pm

Encoding for Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet

Post by Tigershawk » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:49 pm

I've been pushing my Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet to see what it can take with encoded video/audio. This is the tablet that claims to have Dolby Atmos decoding abilities, so I've also had an eye toward testing that too. The following is what I've found to be good settings. If someone has any ideas on the video player situation I describe below, whacking Dolby audio, I'd appreciate any suggestions.

- Both the 7" (2015) and my current HD 8 can handle h.265 compression at a hardware level, so that's a good codec to use.

- The HD8 can take the AC-3 audio codec. So, AC3 passthru on DVD's that have it sounds great.

- The HD8 cannot decode DTS natively with the supplied media players.

- Here is the Dolby testing. The stock "Prime Pictures" app is what is used to play videos by default. That appears to convert surround sound to some kind of a sound field for headphones and even the built-in speakers if you hold it just right. Its not just virtualized, because stereo encoded video sounds just like that, stereo. It sounds really nice.
The issue is, every other video player I've tried, including MX Player, VLC, Kodi, and SPMC all squash the AC3 or AAC surround sound and give simple stereo output. I suspect that you have to use the Dolby API's to get the simulated surround, and since these apps were designed for the generic Android market, they don't use those APIs.

- I've found that you can get surround from AAC encoded content when I've set the Mixdown to 5.1. I haven't tried a mixdown on 5.1 content to some of the lesser Dolby levels, such as Dolby Pro-Logic, and Dolby Surround. I may update this post if I decided to try that.

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