Preserving DD/5.1 surround sound?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by 3282868, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. 3282868 macrumors 603

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #1
    Couldn't find any support in the threads for this, any help? Does handbrake?
     
  2. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #2
    Handbrake does if the source has 5.1 audio- just use the :apple:TV setting. If you are talking about DVD video or similar, that's a very good option.

    If you are talking about camcorder video with 5.1 audio, you might have to look toward Final Cut (not iMovie).
     
  3. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #3
    Blu-Ray mostly and DVD. I ripped "Gattaca" via HB and converted it to m4v, yet it lists as 2 channel stereo. I'll research it more, I read through the sticky someone amazingly posted on "How to: Automate DVD & Blu-Ray (Backup, Encoding & Tagging) for Mac OS X 10. 6. In fact, I spent about 2-3 hours copying the main guide to pages/word document and printed it out to read as it's so long and I wanted to take my time in doing all my ripping the right way. I gonna post a link to the document on that thread in case any one wants it.

    Thanks for your help! :)
     
  4. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #4
    Add a second track under audio options, then:
    • Choose the AC3 track, then AC3 Passthrough for the encoder (or whatever it's called, you'll find it)
    • If your source doesn't have an AC3 track, choose the best quality one (so DTS-HD MA, Dolby TrueHD, LCPM, or regular DTS if none of them are options), then choose the AC3 encoder, bitrate as 640

    You know, that AAC audio channel is probably actually matrixed 5.1 (if you chose dolby pro logic II mixdown), it's stereo but when your receiver picks it up, it will re-assign certain 'layers' to the correct channels in the 5.1 mix.

    Do take my explanation of DPLII with a grain of salt though, that's just my understanding.
     
  5. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #5
    AdrianK, unless you have a receiver that particularly references that feature (that it can handle AAC 5.1) or one that references a function to dynamically convert AAC5.1 to AC3 (5.1), that's not the case. I'm not aware of any receiver on the market that does that. If you know of one, I'd like to know which does work like that.

    bedifferent, when you choose the :apple:TV setting in Handbrake, it sets up the "audio" pane with 2 tracks: the first one will typically be the AAC track (look under codec), so that you have some audio when not pushing the processing through a Dolby Digital 5.1 device (like a receiver). The second track is usually the AC3 (Dolby Digital 5.1) track. When you feed the video to a Dolby Digital-capable receiver from :apple:TV, the receiver will be served the second (5.1 AC3) track (assuming you are passing the audio through HDMI or optical audio cables- won't work via a stereo cable setup).

    This Handbrake conversion won't work if the source file (the DVD) doesn't have a 5.1 audio track to scan. For example, if you have a DVD that is mono or stereo sound only, Handbrake can't create a 5.1 surround track for you. The easy way to tell if you don't know is look in the audio pane of handbrake after you "open source". If there is a 5.1 channel AC3 track, it will show that under the "Track" column, probably in the second row. Codec will show "AC3". If so, render that file, feed the audio through a Dolby Digital receiver and it should give you 5.1 sound.
     
  6. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #6
    Yeah, I'm familiar with surround sound systems, installed enough for myself and family and RF Universal Remotes (although I recently learned that HDMI is better than sending audio via fiber optic cable, I always believed the best way was to have HDMI carry the video and pass audio through the optical). I wasn't certain how to tell if the ripped DVD kept the full surround sound after completion as, truthfully, I've never ripped Blu-Ray's before. I ripped all my CD's years ago, and with the new advancements in programs/systems that cut down on size while maintaining quality thought I'd go full out with all my media.

    Thanks for all the help guys! You've reassured me and given me a lot of info, I appreciate it :).
     
  7. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #7
    Here's 2 last tips:
    • Consider an extra program to do the ripping part- something that rips the video to a file on your hard drive, then use Handbrake to create a version from that file. Generally, this is much faster than trying to rip straight from disc to the final file
    • If you want to somewhat futureproof this effort, consider a 2-step process in which you make a 1080p master file (only from BD discs, not DVDs) AND an :apple:TV render to cover the "for now". Else, when there is a 1080p :apple:TV (hopefully in our lifetimes), you'll be faced with considering a redo again. Yes, this tip comes with space issues, but hard drives are cheap.
     
  8. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

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    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #8
    My wonderful wife bought me an ATV2 for my birthday and I wanted to start converting our DVD collection into movies to stream from my MacBook. I already have a few I have converted for my iPad and these stream fine and the quality is pretty good too. The thing is I wanted to be able to convert with 5.1 audio too. I fired up handbrake, threw a DVD in the drive and chose the Apple TV 2 preset. After a couple of hours it had encoded and I added it to my iTunes library and played it to check it worked ok on the MacBook. It worked fine so I tried streaming it to the ATV2 through both home sharing and AirPlay but I just got an error message on the MacBook and the ATV2 I hadn't messed with any of the settings so I don't know what I did wrong. I ideally want to be able to watch the encoded movie on my iPad and also stream it from my MacBook to the ATV2. What settings do I need to tell it to enable both of these and have 5.1 audio on the ATV2 and stereo on the iPad? I'm very confused......and apparently rubbish at this
     
  9. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #9
    Excellent points. I know ATV1/2 by history have been 720P (for many reasons, bandwidth, size, who knows).

    I may have already mentioned, but I read through the sticky "How-to: Automate DVD & Blu-Ray (Backup, Encoding & Tagging) for Mac OS X 10.6" and even spent an hour or so copying it into pages/word format and printed it (I study better off screen and a printed guide allows me to make notes, etc).

    Currently, I have this installed:

    - Handbrake (nightly release I believe)

    - Mac BlurayRipper Pro (used it once to rip "Gattaca", otherwise don't know much about it).

    - MakeMKV

    - Mkvtoolnix

    - Fairmount

    I also installed daspi 1.2 and the BatchRipActions from the guide.

    I haven't had a chance to read through the full guide, so forgive my ignorance. I'm assuming that ripping with MakeMKV should be used to rip and save the full Blu-Ray/DVD, then Handbrake to encode the format you need.

    I also have iSkysoft iMedia iConvert (tried it first then bought it on the cheap). Honestly, for quick converts it handles all available formats and does a great job in a very easy to use/understandable GUI.

    Any thoughts? And thanks again everyone!
     
  10. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #10
    AAC 5.1 != Dolby Pro Logic II, re-read my post.
     
  11. HobeSoundDarryl, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #11
    Adrian, I sort of got that, but it appeared to imply that pro-logic is a 5.1 solution. The OP is confused enough about this topic, but he's definitely NOT going to get what he wants via Pro Logic. Yes, Pro Logic is a pseudo-surround option (and better than nothing if that's all that's available), but it is not the same as feeding a receiver DD5.1 (AC3) so that it is very clear which speaker is to get which sound track.

    And Yes, AAC5.1 is not the same as ProLogic. But if you encode a movie in AAC5.1 and NOT also encode the AC3 (5.1 Dolby Digital) track, you are going to end up with ProLogic when the receiver receives the AAC5.1 feed (which will be down converted to ProLogic). The problem with AAC5.1 (a superior way to store 5.1 by the way) is that the receivers don't process it as 5.1. As a result, it is not a good solution for someone wanting 5.1 surround encoded in their DVD rips. Is it able to store 5.1 audio? Yes, so you are correct about that. But what can the OP do with the audio stored that way? The OPs goal is to not store the 5.1 surround track, but to be able to replicate it's playback.

    The point is that if the OP wants AC3- and he does- he can get it with Handbrake. Prologic should be a backup option, or THE choice when a 5.1 (AC3) audio track is not available. Since both are automated with the :apple:TV setting in Handbrake, he gets both anyway. There should be no confusion about AAC5.1 which is not AC3 (Dolby Digital), though maybe the receivers will eventually add in an option to treat AAC5.1 encodes just like they work with AC3 audio encodes.

    I recall when I first got into Handbrake, I did all my DVDs with that (AAC5.1) audio option (as there was no AC3 option available, nor could :apple:TV handle AC3 at the time). I was confused thinking that AAC5.1 would be the superior way to store 5.1 audio (newer than AC3) and that receiver makers would quickly add that option to their mix of processing options. I was also confused in thinking that if we stored the 5.1 this (Apple's chosen) way, that the :apple:TV would dynamically convert AAC5.1 to AC3 when the receivers didn't have a AAC5.1 processor.

    Then, along came an :apple:TV upgrade that added AC3, and it became clear that the AAC5.1 would not be handled either way (is there a receiver on the market today that processes AAC5.1?). So the last hope became one in which maybe the Handbrake crew (or others) would write an application to convert just an AAC5.1 audio track to AC3. That didn't happen either and it led to having to re-rip the whole DVD collection, just for the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
     
  12. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #12
    Okay, I thought it re-assigned data to the channels in a decent-enough manner, but I guess that isn't so. Really, I only meant to tack that statement on as an FYI, I do understand that native 5.1 is preferable.
     
  13. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #13
    Thanks guys! I got it down to a science now.

    I'm using Fairmount for full SD DVD backups, and MakeMKV for Blu-Ray backups. Once I have a movie backed up, I then convert it via Handbrake and choose either AC35.1 or AC3 6-channel discrete (mostly for Blu-Ray rips) in .mp4 (m4v) format. The batch tagging is a huge help supplied on the thread I referenced.

    In short, I have a HDD with full DVD backups, and iTunes with the converted format(s) in the highest quality possible.

    My setup is a 50" Pioneer Elite with a Pioneer VSX-33 receiver, AppleTV 2, Sony Blu-Ray and an extra Time Capsule hooked up to our network and hacked with attached USB HDD's for my media. So far so good.

    Thanks for the help!
     

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