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Adding Dolby Pro Logic to Media Centre

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is quite a technical subject and I've done a lot of research on the internet and in theory it should be possible, but the methods I've tried don't work for different stupid reasons. Just wondering if anyone has managed it or not.

A very brief explanation....

I have my pc plugged into my AVR via HDMI. For eveyhting else apart form TV broadcasts, I need to have windows setup to use 5.1 speakers for it to work properly. Bluray, DVD, Games, Properly encoded downloaded videos, etc etc.

The problem is my AVR will not give me the option to enable Pro Logic because it's seeing a 5.1 channel input (PL is only available for 2ch input).

If I configure my PC to only have 2 speakers, then PL works fine, but for everything else, it only drives the 2 front speakers.

So I need to find a way of decoding the PL from 2CH audio within windows, and have windows output the correct 5.1CH.

FFDshow has a PL output processor in it, which in theory should work. However not only can I not seem to get this to work, I also cant get Media Centre to use FFDshow. I've used the media center control add-on, but it's very flaky and often hangs. (It's alwasy been like this I've tried several times in the past to get it to work for other reasons)

So does anyone know how to get windows to decode PL by default? It's really buggin me!!
post #2 of 10
Are you stuck on keeping windows media center? There are several 10-foot UI alternatives that are much better at handling audio output and use ffdshow or mplayer out of the box, and most have the ability to set the audio output on the fly. Options include XBMC (xbox media center, is complied to run on windows, mac, linux, appletv, etc), Boxee (also windows, mac, linux) and Plex (mac only)
    
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post #3 of 10
Have you enabled all the speakers in WMC? Also your sounds output device needs to be configured for 5.1. The audio codecs need to be added as capabilities for the card. Have you tried this yet? If not let me know and I'll explain. As well, what reciever do you have?
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJZeratul;13605753 
Are you stuck on keeping windows media center? There are several 10-foot UI alternatives that are much better at handling audio output and use ffdshow or mplayer out of the box, and most have the ability to set the audio output on the fly. Options include XBMC (xbox media center, is complied to run on windows, mac, linux, appletv, etc), Boxee (also windows, mac, linux) and Plex (mac only)

Yeah I do like media centre, it's great at everything else. I have a dual DVB tuner and I've tweaked it a lot with media centre studio and a few other addons. I tried boxee but wasn't blown away, also from what I remember, it doesn't do DVB?
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firedude721;13605799 
Have you enabled all the speakers in WMC? Also your sounds output device needs to be configured for 5.1. The audio codecs need to be added as capabilities for the card. Have you tried this yet? If not let me know and I'll explain. As well, what reciever do you have?

Yeah all the speakers are enabled and setup correctly. But the windows codecs just dont support PL decoding. The only way I can decode the PL is if I set everything to 2 speaker output and have the AVR do the decoding. But then of course all the other surround sound formats that widows can decode will only work in stereo.

I definitely can't use the PL decoder in the amp, so lets forget that option. Lets just imagine that I have 6 speakers plugged directly into my PC via the 3x 3.5mm jacks and no other sound processing. How would I make stereo MP3 decode via PL into 5.1 and output by my pc.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmp;13608015 
Yeah I do like media centre, it's great at everything else. I have a dual DVB tuner and I've tweaked it a lot with media centre studio and a few other addons. I tried boxee but wasn't blown away, also from what I remember, it doesn't do DVB?
Yeah I think for tuners media center is the way to go.
    
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmp;13608128 
Yeah all the speakers are enabled and setup correctly. But the windows codecs just dont support PL decoding. The only way I can decode the PL is if I set everything to 2 speaker output and have the AVR do the decoding. But then of course all the other surround sound formats that widows can decode will only work in stereo.

I definitely can't use the PL decoder in the amp, so lets forget that option. Lets just imagine that I have 6 speakers plugged directly into my PC via the 3x 3.5mm jacks and no other sound processing. How would I make stereo MP3 decode via PL into 5.1 and output by my pc.

I had the same issue. Regardless of cable I used, the only way I could get my AVR to play anything other than straight PCM 2.0 was to connect the avr to my graphics card's HDMI out.

If you are already using this port, make sure your ATI/AMD catalyst software is the latest and then enable 5.1 audio output through that jack. Mine was a huge pain to get straight. The onboard HDMI didn't work, the coaxil didn't work, and neither did optical. I also tried the software tweaks to no avail.
Edited by firedude721 - 5/23/11 at 10:06am
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post #8 of 10
Have you tried AC3 filter? You should be able to set it up to pass all audio to your AVR for processing. This is what I use/do.
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firedude721;13608183 
I had the same issue. Regardless of cable I used, the only way I could get my AVR to play anything other than straight PCM 2.0 was to connect the avr to my graphics card's HDMI out.

If you are already using this port, make sure your ATI/AMD catalyst software is the latest and then enable 5.1 audio output through that jack. Mine was a huge pain to get straight. The onboard HDMI didn't work, the coaxil didn't work, and neither did optical. I also tried the software tweaks to no avail.

I think you might be missing the point a bit. I can get 5.1 working fine. IT's connected via HDMI and If I let windows decode the audio or if I have it pass straight though to the amp for decoding everything works fine. But only for 5.1 audio. So games work fine, bluerays and DVDs with DTS, DTS HD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Tru HD work fine, even mkvs, mp4s, and avi's that use proper 5.1 or AC3 work fine as they are all aware of my 5.1 setup.

But what dosen't work is Dolby Pro Logic. Have a read up on how it works, but basically PL, it's just stereo (2.0) that's up-mixed to 5.1.

So a movie with a PL soundtrack really only has 2 channels of audio, where as a movie with any of the other surround sound formats actually has 6 channels of audio.

The problem is all the TV broadcasts and most the HDTV rips that I download are all in PL. so that's 2 channels of audio.

I need "something" that will turn these 2 channels of audio in to 5.1 surround, so that my PC can output it correctly.

For example, if I download a DVD rip that's AC3 5.1, that will play fine. Because that's 6 channels of audio. It gets processed by the codec and sent to my AVR as 6 PCM channels.

But If I download a DVD rip that's MP3, or AC3 2.0 (or any other 2 channel audio that's using Pro Logic to achieve 5.1) My amp just gets PCM 2.0 and dosen't know to enable Pro Logic because it's just seeing a 5.1 source that just happens to be only using 2.0 channels at this point in time.

Like I said it's a very confusing an technical subject.


What I need is to get FFDshow's Pro logic decoder plugin, to apply to ALL audio being played, even in media centre.
post #10 of 10
AC3 Filter has a Dolby PL setting, but.....

If your AVR has PL encoding capability then you can setup AC3 filter to encode the 2 channel PCM to AC3 2ch and then your AVR will recognize it and allow PL encoding. I had the same problem with my AVR not upmixing 2ch to 5.1 with PLII because my AVR just saw it as PCM.
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