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sofakng

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 5, 2008
270
32
Does anybody know if the new Apple TV supports Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 or DTS-HD pass-through? (i.e. the Bluray HD audio codecs)

I doesn't look like the Apple TV supports it according to the technical specifications, but could an application such as Plex implement support in their own application? I'd like to replace my dedicated HTPC but I still want to play my Bluray rips at full quality. (i.e. 24 Hz, DTS-HD, full bitrate, etc)
 

sofakng

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 5, 2008
270
32
Ugh. That's really, really disappointing. I also received a response from Simplex Video and said that only Dolby Digital Plus will play and DTS-HD needs to be transcoded. Why, Apple, Why?! (were they too cheap to pay for the DTS license?)
 

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,663
156
Ugh...(were they too cheap to pay for the DTS license?)
Yes. This is a system that is to appeal to the 99% customer base. Most of which use tv speakers and even if they do have an AVR can't really hear the difference between DD+ and DTS-HD. Sorry for the bad news, but I think people demanding high end output should probably find a different system to meet their needs. And I think 4K capability falls under this same approach.
 

martinm0

macrumors 6502a
Feb 27, 2010
568
25
+1

I hate that Apple is ruining audio quality at every turn. I have been adding a 3rd DTS/DTS-HD audio track to all my ripped movies so I always have the option should Apple (or an app) finally allow this on the ATV.

I was really hopeful that Plex might finally give me the option, but I'm discouraged based on the OP's findings with Simplex.
 
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sofakng

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 5, 2008
270
32
Yeah, I don't understand thinking behind including Dolby Digital Plus but not DTS. I thought Apple wanted this to be a media player so why not include all common formats?
 
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Gueeds

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2015
124
105
Core DTS is usually higher bitrate than DD or DD+, when streaming providers aim for highest quality at lowest bandwidth, DD/DD+ win out. Save for something like Hulu or Showtime which are bafflingly stereo only.

I hope it has it through something like Plex, but none of the streaming services are going to offer DTS let alone DTS-HD or for that matter Dolby TrueHD. Dolby Digital + should be there since optical is no longer holding this back. For the record, ATV3 did pass DD through instead of converting it to LPCM, so there's a chance this will pass through as well. But don't expect Netflix in DTS or anything like that.
 
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Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,343
3,380
Dolby Digital Plus is still compressed, but nonetheless, still an upgrade over the previous generation's super compressed Dolby Digital.

An Apple TV 4K model is inevitable, and if Dolby TrueHD arrives (I don't think DTS Master Audio will be supported, much like its predecessor, DTS, which was also never supported), it's best chance Of coming is probably with the new model. However I would remain skeptical at this point of that possibility still. But I'd really love Dolby TrueHD support in the next Apple TV. :)
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
6,221
10,166
San Jose, CA
Dolby Digital Plus is still compressed, but nonetheless, still an upgrade over the previous generation's super compressed Dolby Digital.
While that is theoretically true (i.e. DD+ has better compression tools and supports higher bitrates using extension frames), in practice you'll not see an improvement from streaming services. They are primarily interested in DD+ because it has a low-bitrate mode which reduces their bandwidth cost. For example, Netflix uses 192kbps for DD+, while they streamed DD at 384kbps. This is also the reason why Apple TV now supports DD+.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
6,221
10,166
San Jose, CA
I hate that Apple is ruining audio quality at every turn. I have been adding a 3rd DTS/DTS-HD audio track to all my ripped movies so I always have the option should Apple (or an app) finally allow this on the ATV.
Core Audio now supports 5.1 PCM output. I assume this will also be available in tvOS. So if you can find a tvOS app than can decode these formats, it should be able to output the decompressed audio without quality loss.
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,343
3,380
While that is theoretically true (i.e. DD+ has better compression tools and supports higher bitrates using extension frames), in practice you'll not see an improvement from streaming services. They are primarily interested in DD+ because it has a low-bitrate mode which reduces their bandwidth cost. For example, Netflix uses 192kbps for DD+, while they streamed DD at 384kbps. This is also the reason why Apple TV now supports DD+.

Even if there wasn't an improvement in sound quality, I'd be pretty happy with half that bandwidth cost. But it would also be nice if Apple tucked away an option for "higher quality audio" in the Settings, much like iOS has for Apple Music streaming.
 

arggg14

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2014
699
1,825
So if trying to play a file with DTS audio, does the Apple TV transcode it to AC3?
 

Snoopy4

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2014
662
2,968
Still waiting for the day we can finally enjoy DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD on the Apple TV.

Not holding my breathe.

AppleTV is good for non primary viewing areas and that's all it and other streaming devices will ever be good for. The amount of bandwidth required to do anything else is technically prohibitive for large swaths of Internet subscribers which will create an artificial barrier to anything even remotely close to physical media for the foreseeable future.
 

JeffPerrin

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2014
620
641
An Apple TV 4K model is inevitable, and if Dolby TrueHD arrives (I don't think DTS Master Audio will be supported, much like its predecessor, DTS, which was also never supported), it's best chance Of coming is probably with the new model. However I would remain skeptical at this point of that possibility still. But I'd really love Dolby TrueHD support in the next Apple TV. :)

I really don't see TrueHD ever coming to any streaming box/service. As Snoopy4 says - lossless requires far too much bandwidth. I think DD+ (which can actually provide some high bitrates, if allowed) will remain the standard for the foreseeable future, barring introduction of a more efficient lossless surround codec.
 
Last edited:

flashcube

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2016
4
2
On the ATV4 supporting DTS: Keep in mind, that a Dolby Digital compressed audio track can run say 50-100mb's.
BUT, a DTS bit by bit of the studio mastering original runs in the GIGABYTES and works well on a BluRay disc playback but would be quite a strain to download that much data and at the same time the HD video on most folks slower bandwidths. If you want DTS sound, BluRay solves the problem, but streaming is almost out of the question at this point. Ever noticed that there are NO DTS track selections on DVD discs? That's because the DVD can only hold 4.7 Gigabytes, and most of that is video. So when you are looking at SIZE OF AUDIO FILES, there is a HUMONGOUS jump in file size, not to mention it is not compressed on a DTS (Digital Theater Sound format) Few in the U.S. have Gigabyte per second internet available to them in 2016.
 
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kazmaniac

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2014
5
1
On the ATV4 supporting DTS: Keep in mind, that a Dolby Digital compressed audio track can run say 50-100mb's.
BUT, a DTS bit by bit of the studio mastering original runs in the GIGABYTES and works well on a BluRay disc playback but would be quite a strain to download that much data and at the same time the HD video on most folks slower bandwidths. If you want DTS sound, BluRay solves the problem, but streaming is almost out of the question at this point. Ever noticed that there are NO DTS track selections on DVD discs? That's because the DVD can only hold 4.7 Gigabytes, and most of that is video. So when you are looking at SIZE OF AUDIO FILES, there is a HUMONGOUS jump in file size, not to mention it is not compressed on a DTS (Digital Theater Sound format) Few in the U.S. have Gigabyte per second internet available to them in 2016.

If I want DTS or Dolby HD LOCALLY, can I do that with Plex? If I rip Blu-rays with MKV and include DTS or Dolby HD, can I stream them locally from Plex server to TiVo or other Plex player to AVR and TV?
 

x-evil-x

macrumors 603
Jul 13, 2008
5,576
3,234
If I want DTS or Dolby HD LOCALLY, can I do that with Plex? If I rip Blu-rays with MKV and include DTS or Dolby HD, can I stream them locally from Plex server to TiVo or other Plex player to AVR and TV?
what setting do you have it on for audio on mkv-handbrake to get dts or dolby hd?
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
6,221
10,166
San Jose, CA
On the ATV4 supporting DTS: Keep in mind, that a Dolby Digital compressed audio track can run say 50-100mb's.
5.1 Dolby Digital typically uses 384 kbit/s (e.g. iTunes movies and most DVDs), but can be up to 640 kbit/s.
Ever noticed that there are NO DTS track selections on DVD discs?
I assume you mean DTS-HD? There are actually many DVDs with regular DTS (which is a lossy compression format).
That's because the DVD can only hold 4.7 Gigabytes, and most of that is video. So when you are looking at SIZE OF AUDIO FILES, there is a HUMONGOUS jump in file size, not to mention it is not compressed on a DTS (Digital Theater Sound format)
DTS-HD is actually compressed, but it's lossless compression. The same is true for Dolby TrueHD.
Few in the U.S. have Gigabyte per second internet available to them in 2016.
DTS-HD and TrueHD tracks run at a few megabits per second, not gigabytes. ;) It's really not that bad and would be easily achievable for a lot of broadband customers if the providers thought that there was a demand.
If I want DTS or Dolby HD LOCALLY, can I do that with Plex? If I rip Blu-rays with MKV and include DTS or Dolby HD, can I stream them locally from Plex server to TiVo or other Plex player to AVR and TV?
Infuse on the Apple TV can decode DTS-HD and TrueHD (as well as multi-channel FLAC) and send it to an AVR in multi-channel PCM format. This is a lossless conversion.
 

chrisjoy

Suspended
Jun 21, 2016
1
0
On the ATV4 supporting DTS: Keep in mind, that a Dolby Digital compressed audio track can run say 50-100mb's.
BUT, a DTS bit by bit of the studio mastering original runs in the GIGABYTES and works well on a BluRay disc playback but would be quite a strain to download that much data and at the same time the HD video on most folks slower bandwidths. If you want DTS sound, BluRay solves the problem, but streaming is almost out of the question at this point. Ever noticed that there are NO DTS track selections on DVD discs? That's because the DVD can only hold 4.7 Gigabytes, and most of that is video. So when you are looking at SIZE OF AUDIO FILES, there is a HUMONGOUS jump in file size, not to mention it is not compressed on a DTS (Digital Theater Sound format) Few in the U.S. have Gigabyte per second internet available to them in 2016.

You'd better transcode DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1 for Apple TV.
 

Snoopy4

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2014
662
2,968
Just curious... Has anyone shut off Siri to see if it fixes the fidelity loss problem created by the Siri overlay? I'm going to try when I get home and will report back, but I'm just sitting here chewing on this...
[doublepost=1466605535][/doublepost]
Does anybody know if the new Apple TV supports Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

Yes. No DTS though.
 

2010mini

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
4,698
4,806
Still waiting for the day we can finally enjoy DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD on the Apple TV.

Does anybody stream content with DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD? All these set top boxes are geared towards Netflix type customers. You are a very small segment of the market which doesn't warrant the extra expenditure right now. When the masses want it, they will build it.
 

JeffPerrin

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2014
620
641
5.1 Dolby Digital typically uses 384 kbit/s (e.g. iTunes movies and most DVDs), but can be up to 640 kbit/s.

According to Wiki, Dolby Digital Plus supports 24bit audio and up to 6144kbit/s. (In Apple Compressor, however, DD+ is capped at 5.1 channels with a max bitrate of 3024kbps.) So DD+ can certainly give lossless a run for the money, should services want to allow higher-bitrate audio streams.

The improved audio quality and higher-bitrates also likely negates the need for Apple having to add support for DTS...
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
6,221
10,166
San Jose, CA
According to Wiki, Dolby Digital Plus supports 24bit audio and up to 6144kbit/s. (In Apple Compressor, however, DD+ is capped at 5.1 channels with a max bitrate of 3024kbps.) So DD+ can certainly give lossless a run for the money, should services want to allow higher-bitrate audio streams.
To be frank, even regular DD at 640 kbit/s sounds pretty damn good (and DD supports 24 bit sample depth as well). I doubt many people would really hear a difference in a blind test. Of course, the ability of DD+ to support 7.1 channels has some value (although generally only enthusiasts have 7.1 speaker systems). The market for higher speced audio is very limited, which is the primary reason why Apple and other digital delivery platforms don't implement it.
 
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