HDMI-equipped Mini can pass lossless BR/HDDVD soundtracks

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by NOD, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. NOD, Jan 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2012

    NOD macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2008
    ... in OS X.

    I posted this thread a few days ago on the 'Apple TV and Home Theater' board, but got no responses. In retrospect, I think I may have posted it on the wrong board as I **think** it should be a welcome find for folks other than me.

    So as to minimize my amt of work, I'm just going to paste the post here:

    What it will require:

    1) If your only lossless soundtracks are uncompressed multichannel PCM (unlikely, though I had about 40 for which this was the case):

    a) HDMI-equipped Mac Mini (not free)
    b) Plex (free)
    c) BR drive (or BR/HDDVD drive if you're archiving both) -- around $100
    d) MakeMKV (free for 30 days)

    If you use the above approach, you will have a similar outcome to mine below, in which 3:10 to Yuma, a movie w/ a 7.1 LPCM soundtrack, is played back (note the source bitrate and output bitrate on the top line):


    2) If you plan on playing back DTS-MA or TrueHD tracks (most of you) as well:

    a) HDMI-equipped Mini (see above)
    b) Plex (free)
    c) BR/HDDVD drive (see above)
    d) virtual machine (via Parallels, VMWare, or Bootcamp) or Windows PC
    e) AnyDVD HD -- $131 if ordered. Free if unscrupulous...
    f) Clown_BD -- free

    Once Clown_BD has access to either a physical disk or a virtual disk, it will have the capability to convert the proprietary format (DTS-MA or TrueHD) to LPCM and create either an iso or an m2TS file. If you create an M2TS file, it will be able to be played back (as long as you select the correct audio track) in Plex. If you make it into an iso file, you can then use MakeMKV to create an mkv file with the lossless track via LPCM with or without the original uncompressed track. The beauty of the 2nd solution is it would allow you to create an mkv file with both an encoded format (DTS-MA or TrueHD) and a decoded LPCM format, such that it could be played back both on your mac mini (in LPCM format) along w/ whatever other peripherals (Boxee Box, Windows PC) you use (in encoded format).

    In the example below,, we see what Plex does with 'Sunshine' (whose native soundtrack is DTS-MA) in LPCM format:


    And, if you're wondering if your mega-audio-packed qazillion kHz, 7 million bit file will work, here is Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City, playing back its 96kHz/ 24bit TrueHD soundtrack in decoded LPCM format on Plex in OS X:

  2. NOD thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Note -- you will need to select the lpcm track in Plex via the menu unless you ONLY archive the lossless track, as Plex will not default to the LPCM track.
  3. NOD, Jan 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012

    NOD thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2008
    If you folks need more specifics on how to do it, feel free to ask.

    But it's really incredibly simple.

    Caveat -- this was done on an ATI Mini. I do not know the results for those w/ Intel graphics.
  4. sergor macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2012
    I have an ATI Mac mini running Lion.
    Could you share the settings you used in Plex/Preferences/Audio and Audio MIDI Setup? Thanks!
  5. Bitwize macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2011
    The rear channels (6&7) do not output from Plex/Mini. Not sure if Plex or the Mini audio hardware/software is at fault. For example, 3:10 to Yuma has a 7.1 PCM soundtrack, but only 5.1 PCM channels are heard via HDMI. A good movie for testing is Super 8 as it has 7.1 channels, and during the end credits, you can clearly hear the film projector rolling in the rear 6th and 7th channels (but not in Plex).
  6. T-bird McCloy macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2012
    can you be more specific?

    So glad to have found a place where people are talking about this. To bad Plex won't just fix it. Bit-streaming DTS-MA and Dolby-HD through an ATI based HDMI port has been pretty standard since what, 5770? 5450? Can you be more specific on where this convert to LCPM button is? the only options I see are Unconverted, Core, AC3, and DTS.

    If a select unconverted, I end up with the same streams in my resulting file as in the source...

    M2TS, 1 video track, 5 audio tracks, 9 subtitle tracks, 2:12:56, 24p /1.001
    1: Chapters, 20 chapters
    2: h264/AVC, 1080p24 /1.001 (16:9)
    3: TrueHD/AC3, English, 7.1 channels, 48kHz
    (embedded: AC3, 5.1 channels, 640kbps, 48kHz, dialnorm: -27dB)

    Core I'm assuming would extract the core AC3 from the TrueHD stream, which I also don't want. Is it possible you're using some other version of ClownBD? I have 0.79.

    Thanks, hopefully this forum is still alive.

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