Apple TV 4: Support for DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Plus passthrough?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sofakng, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. sofakng macrumors regular

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    Dec 5, 2008
    #1
    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)
     
  2. bluechair1984 macrumors regular

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    #2
    I know the old Apple TVs didn't support bitstreaming... I doubt this one will.
     
  3. sofakng thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    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?)
     
  4. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #4
    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.
     
  5. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    +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.
     
  6. sofakng thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    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?
     
  7. Gueeds macrumors regular

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    Jul 29, 2015
    #7
    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.
     
  8. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #8
    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. :)
     
  9. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #9
    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+.
     
  10. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #11
    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.
     
  12. SunshineFires macrumors regular

    SunshineFires

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    #12
    Still waiting for the day we can finally enjoy DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD on the Apple TV.
     
  13. arggg14 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 30, 2014
    #13
    So if trying to play a file with DTS audio, does the Apple TV transcode it to AC3?
     
  14. ZeRoLiMiT macrumors 6502a

    ZeRoLiMiT

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    #14
    I think so! I use "Infuse" it uses it own player and plays DTS Audio
     
  15. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

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    #15
    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.
     
  16. JeffPerrin, Jun 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2017

    JeffPerrin macrumors regular

    JeffPerrin

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    #16
    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.
     
  17. flashcube macrumors newbie

    flashcube

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. kazmaniac macrumors newbie

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    Feb 24, 2014
    #18
    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?
     
  19. x-evil-x macrumors 68030

    x-evil-x

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    #19
    what setting do you have it on for audio on mkv-handbrake to get dts or dolby hd?
     
  20. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #20
    5.1 Dolby Digital typically uses 384 kbit/s (e.g. iTunes movies and most DVDs), but can be up to 640 kbit/s.
    I assume you mean DTS-HD? There are actually many DVDs with regular DTS (which is a lossy compression format).
    DTS-HD is actually compressed, but it's lossless compression. The same is true for Dolby TrueHD.
    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.
    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.
     
  21. chrisjoy Suspended

    chrisjoy

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    #21
    You'd better transcode DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1 for Apple TV.
     
  22. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

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    #22
    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...
    --- Post Merged, Jun 22, 2016 ---
    Yes. No DTS though.
     
  23. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    #23
    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.
     
  24. JeffPerrin macrumors regular

    JeffPerrin

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    Jul 21, 2014
    #24
    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...
     
  25. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #25
    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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