ATV Bitstream Petition

munpip214

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Original poster
Feb 21, 2011
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If you haven’t already we would appreciate more signatures to get bitstream support on Apple TV to be able to stream local Dolby Atmos/DTS:X content.

 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
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I get the impression that Apple will only allow this once they offer iTunes / Apple TV+ in Dolby True HD.

I really can't see them offering something that will sound far superior (on a home theatre system) compared to THEIR services which they've invested millions/billions in. They aren't making any money from you with your DTS home ripped files - I guess they also don't want to encourage ripped either. Whilst many do it, Apple wouldn't be allowed to do anything like that without lawsuits - The USA and Apple seem to love lawsuits. They don't need another.

Sadly, I believe that the Apple TV and Apple have gone as far as they are willing to go in terms of your wants. They are spending enough to feed half of the world on ATV+ which may or not survive in a heavy oversaturated streaming market. Most people are working more hours a day - seriously, who do people get the chance to catch up on 2 or 3 or 5 streaming services??? I don't even have the time for 10 minute vlogs :)

I would like them to increase the sound level of iTunes films as some are very very low in volume - especially when played on a Mac or iPhone - you have to have the volume on Max.

Now that Apple have got pretty perfect picture quality with their 4K Dolby Vision streams, I hope that they can now concentrate on setting a new level for sound quality.
 

Audit13

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Apr 19, 2017
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
In order to bitstream, the entire audio chain from the source to the player must have a protected audio path if I remember correctly. I'm not sure that the current Apple TVs include this hardware requirement.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
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Estonia
If you haven’t already we would appreciate more signatures to get bitstream support on Apple TV to be able to stream local Dolby Atmos/DTS:X content.
FWIW, local Atmos content works already.
Try with original Dolby demo MP4 files, for example.
Its the lossless formats, that are missing.
Also, at least for TrueHD Atmos, bitstreaming is not needed. Apple could decode it internally and use the MAT to send it over to AVR, just like it does today.
 

munpip214

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 21, 2011
151
219
In order to bitstream, the entire audio chain from the source to the player must have a protected audio path if I remember correctly. I'm not sure that the current Apple TVs include this hardware requirement.
I think around tvOS 11 or maybe earlier it actually supported bitstream but then they removed it. Later they added back lossy Atmos.

FWIW, local Atmos content works already.
Try with original Dolby demo MP4 files, for example.
Its the lossless formats, that are missing.
Also, at least for TrueHD Atmos, bitstreaming is not needed. Apple could decode it internally and use the MAT to send it over to AVR, just like it does today.
Yes, just lossless TrueHD+Atmos is what we are asking.
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
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FWIW, I think it will only happen when iTunes/aTV+ starts streaming lossless audio.
I'm with you on that Prilitv8.

It's 50/50 IMO...
1. It'll never happen - iTunes lossless rumours started in 2010 and 10 years later nothing has happened. The poor sales of the HomePod strengthens Apples thoughts on this WHEREAS the AirPods have sold 60MILLION pairs during 2019. It's clear that Apples sales are in portability/on the move.

OR...

They introduce lossless for Apple Music and tie that in with ATV+ whilst they are at it with Apple TV automatically selecting lossless audio if it detects a strong, fast broadband speed.

Personally, I've lost all hope in Apple offering lossless, they just aren't interested in audio in all fairness - even with the AirPods Pro, they went for a product that offers reliability & ease of use rather than a HiFi audio sound. I think it's time for all lossless wishes to move on sadly OR see what 8K streaming brings in two years time.
Also what has happened to AC4? It is about time that basic Dolby Digital got retired. It's a very old dog that really doesn't compliment iTunes 4K Dolby Vision. Dolby Digital+ really should be the entry level in 2020.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,587
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Estonia
They introduce lossless for Apple Music and tie that in with ATV+ whilst they are at it with Apple TV automatically selecting lossless audio if it detects a strong, fast broadband speed.
They could do it already using their ALAC codec. Bitrates will remain well under the 10Mbps.
That still does not give any hope for lossless audio in movies.
Code:
Audio
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : ALAC
Codec ID                                 : alac
Codec ID/Info                            : Apple Lossless Audio Codec
Duration                                 : 4mn 41s
Duration_LastFrame                       : -3ms
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 5 432 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Sampling rate                            : 192 KHz
Bit depth                                : 24 bits
Stream size                              : 182 MiB (100%)
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : Yes
Alternate group                          : 1
Encoded date                             : UTC 2010-04-28 08:52:32
Tagged date                              : UTC 2017-01-26 06:00:38
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
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Barcelona
They could do it already using their ALAC codec. Bitrates will remain well under the 10Mbps.
That still does not give any hope for lossless audio in movies.
Code:
Audio
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : ALAC
Codec ID                                 : alac
Codec ID/Info                            : Apple Lossless Audio Codec
Duration                                 : 4mn 41s
Duration_LastFrame                       : -3ms
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 5 432 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Sampling rate                            : 192 KHz
Bit depth                                : 24 bits
Stream size                              : 182 MiB (100%)
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : Yes
Alternate group                          : 1
Encoded date                             : UTC 2010-04-28 08:52:32
Tagged date                              : UTC 2017-01-26 06:00:38


DAMN!!!!
Certainly no excuse here in Europe with today's super fast, reliable fibre. It's now not uncommon to see 1000mbps fibre offered in the urban areas! Back in Paris this weekend to see my pals and again 200, 500 and 1000mbps options :)
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,587
455
Estonia
I wonder if Apple could update their ALAC codec to support at least 5.1? SACD multichannel audio is phenomenal with properly mixed.
I agree with you on the 5.1 mixes on SACD. When properly done, they sound awesome. Although I still tend to think, that surround mix does not add that much expression to music, as it does to a movie.
However, at current state of tvOS affairs, it only reproduces multichannel audio from movie files (i.e. at least black video stream also needs to be present). No such luck with plain audio/music files (m4a).
That is why I had to create a movie from Pink Floyd's quadraphonic mix of Dark Side of the Moon (AC-3 only back then), using album cover art as a static visual.
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
1,722
1,382
Barcelona
I wonder if Apple could update their ALAC codec to support at least 5.1? SACD multichannel audio is phenomenal with properly mixed.
Sadly, I really don't think that Apple is interested UNTIL the market demands it. It took them many years to implement Atmos on their iPhones and Macs and even stereo mikes on the iPhone BUT it has happened :) It's a shame when you think how Macs are used in studio environments using Logic Pro X and of course Final Cut Pro X for video etc.
Certainly Apple really needs something to make people pay for ATV+ next year and I guess a truly outstanding audio experience may swing a few people. But wow, what a saturated market streaming is in 2020. My taste is a bit more niche - I pay for the Surf Network :)
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,494
1,135
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I agree with you on the 5.1 mixes on SACD. When properly done, they sound awesome. Although I still tend to think, that surround mix does not add that much expression to music, as it does to a movie.
However, at current state of tvOS affairs, it only reproduces multichannel audio from movie files (i.e. at least black video stream also needs to be present). No such luck with plain audio/music files (m4a).
That is why I had to create a movie from Pink Floyd's quadraphonic mix of Dark Side of the Moon (AC-3 only back then), using album cover art as a static visual.
I agree that 5.1 adds much more to movies than music but these 5.1 mixes can really up the "fun" level in my opinion. I have also found that some 5.1 mixes can increase the separation of instruments in a very complex mix.

Some of the best 5.1 remixes I've heard have actually come from old releases such as Roxy Music's Avalon and Steely Dan's Gaucho. Richard Carpenter has done an incredible job with his hi-rez remix of Carpenter songs with the London philharmonic: https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/carpenters-orchestral-album-review/