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So can Front Row do AC3 5.1 passthrough at the moment?

 
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sddawson
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: So can Front Row do AC3 5.1 passthrough at the moment? Reply with quote

Bit confused by what I've read around the traps. Does the current version of Quicktime allow Front Row to pass through AC3 5.1 with Perian and the plist tweak?

If so, are you able to select the second (AC3) track in a movie that's encoded for AppleTV?

Thanks.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

QuickTime after 7.4.1 does not pass 5.1.

Haven't heard of any plist tweak.

SC
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sddawson
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By plist tweak, I meant the process of getting AC3 passed when using Perian, as documented at http://www.cod3r.com/2008/02/the-correct-way-to-enable-ac3-passthrough-with-quicktime/. Are you saying that even with this process it's not possible to get Quicktime (and therefore Front Row) to pass AC3? It seems to imply that Apple fixed a bug in Quicktime 7.4.5.

Thanks for the help...
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I recall, they did not fix the bug. I could be wrong since I gave up and figured out how to reinstall 7.4.1.

Then I found Plex and couldn't give a rats back side about what was fubared in QuickTime.

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sddawson
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeh, I'm with you on that one. The only thing that worries me is the future! If I go the Mac Mini/Plex route, I can't buy/rent from iTunes and get 5.1 passthrough. I can with AppleTV, but that's so much more restrictive.

I'd love Plex to automatically pick the AC3 track in an AppleTV-formatted file rather than having to pick it manually (over the stereo AAC track). By the look of a thread over at Plex they might consider that...
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Fred76
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you use the optical out, frontrow passes everything through in bitstream by default (e.g. passes through DTS, Dolby digital 5.1 even DD 5.1 EX).
This means you need an A/V receiver to do the decoding. In that case, you will see "Dolby Digital 5.1" or something similar on the display of your receiver. *NO* need to mess around with Perian and older versions of quicktime in this scenario.

You only need Perian or similar codecs if you want your Mac mini to do the decoding, instead of your receiver. In that case, you will output in 6 channel PCM format, which is not "passthrough". The only case I can think of why you would want to go with this solution is if you have 5.1 PC speakers hooked up to your Mini (which do not have decoding capability).

In terms of audio quality, it doesn't matter where the decoding takes place.
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sddawson
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Fred76. From everything I've read, Front Row only passes AC3 when playing DVDs or ripped VIDEO_TS files. It doesn't when playing, for instance m4v files. It can't even pass AC3 when playing purchased or rented HD movies from Apple's own store! AppleTV can, however. I'd love to hear any experiences you have to the contrary.
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Fred76
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sddawson wrote:
Hi, Fred76. From everything I've read, Front Row only passes AC3 when playing DVDs or ripped VIDEO_TS files. It doesn't when playing, for instance m4v files. It can't even pass AC3 when playing purchased or rented HD movies from Apple's own store! AppleTV can, however. I'd love to hear any experiences you have to the contrary.


My experience is limited to my dvd collection in video_ts files, so can't help you out there. Good luck!
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Wedge
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sddawson wrote:
I'd love Plex to automatically pick the AC3 track in an AppleTV-formatted file rather than having to pick it manually (over the stereo AAC track). By the look of a thread over at Plex they might consider that...

Be sure to watch this ticket on Plex's Lighthouse system so the developers know there's folks like myself who want this implemented.

Also, more posts on the forum thread about it will probably help with some traction as well.
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sk3ndall
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:44 am    Post subject: Plex plays m4v movies in ac3 by default if you tell it to Reply with quote

In Plex on the menu where you select the AC3 audio track, there is a option for "make this the default for video type" I checked this on a movie I was watching from my collection, and now any movie in my collection I play, it defaults to AC3 if that track is available.
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sddawson
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really? I've read a number of times that that option has no effect on the audio track that gets chosen.
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sk3ndall
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:15 am    Post subject: per plex source Reply with quote

I find that it has to be set per source. So if you store movies in multiple directories it has to be check for at least one file from each source. I keep all my movies in one dir now because of this.
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sddawson
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...I'll have to give this a try when I've got Plex installed. Thanks.
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