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DTS Source to TV via HDMI, No Problem!


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Hey Everybody. I caught a little bit of the discussion about 5.1 (DTS) not working on the TV via HDMI. Let me be the first and say that there is nothing wrong with your TV. It is quite possible to get your DTS content to play in Windows Media Center 7 and work on your stereo TV.

I don't want get into where you might gather your content, that is for another discussion and probably not really appropriate for the forums. Lets just say that you have some 720p/1080p with DTS audio in a MKV container. By default this will not work in Windows Media Center 7.

As you may know Windows Media Center 7 no longer uses DirectShow as a decoder and has since went on to use what is known as Windows Media Foundation (WMF). WMF can not play MKV, nor decode DTS. WMF can pass through DTS to a decoder for processing, but if you are like me and have your Media Center plugged right into your TV via HDMI, you need to find some other solution.

There are two ways to do this, purchase a hardware decoder that can process DTS and output an analog signal, or you can trick Windows 7 to use DirectShow instead of Windows Media Foundation. You can purchase a hardware DTS decode capable sound card at newegg for under 40 bucks. I used the software method and will go over how I did just that.

First download and install ffmpeg here.

One we have that installed we will have to manipulate windows into using ffmpeg for video/audio decoding.

Next download this tool. This enables you to choose which decoders you want to use in Windows Media Center. You want to pick ffmpeg for both Video and Audio. This will enable you to pretty much play any video file that ffmpeg can decode as well as the ability to decode DTS and therefore provide an analog signal to your TV.

A word to the wise. Using these decoders can each up some pretty hefty amount of CPU cycles. You atom/ion people may have to either buy a DTS Audio receiver or get one of the hardware DTS decode capable sound cards. In my Windows Media Center I am running a 2.6 Ghz Dual-Core Pentium with a nvidia 9400 GPU and my CPU utilization is about 60% when decoding 1080p/DTS.

Anyways, once you have ffmpeg installed and have them selected as the primary decoders open the ffmpeg audio config and make sure that you have the audio being decoded and not set to passthrough spidf. Thats it folks. Reboot your machine to be safe and enjoy. At this time .ts and .m2ts files will ALWAYS be decoded by Windows Media Foundation, every other file type should be decoded via DirectShow.

A little disclaimer here. Back up your machine before your do this, I'm not responsible ........ blah blah blah. :)

EDIT: UNINSTALL Divx 7 before you follow this tutorial!!!!

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