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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2013-12-14 03:19 PM
Stevemo Okay,
In the end I am not really going to use AC3Filter for anything other than the AC3 and DTS passthrough. AC3filter makes the audio get clipped when you upmix and then you have to turn down the gain in the software which means running your amplifiers harder. AC3filter is probably better at upmixing than my receiver but there's not much I can do about it.
The main point of this thread is to set your windows output to 24-bit 48 kHz if you want to be able to get more than 2-channels sent to your receiver/processor.
2013-12-10 06:53 PM
Stevemo Success is near. I had to do a couple things with Windows and AC3filter to get rid of the PCM 96 based on the above post. You need to go into "Playback Devices" and turn off 96 kHz under Supported Formats AND set the Advanced tab to 24 bit 48 kHz. You also need to set the PCM in AC3Filter to 24 bit 48 kHz.

I now have full access to all of the processors available on the AV receiver. It isn't 100% correct as the Level is too low which is making the amplifiers run hot. I also have to figure out the correct processor to use so that I'm not compounding the upmixing to 7.0 twice but I'm definitely close.

Another issue I'm starting to notice is that the volume level is actually fluttering after a few minutes of play and isn't constant anymore.

2013-12-10 02:50 PM
the receiver is stuck saying "PCM 96" on the display and plays STEREO
This is a limitation of PCM over S/PDIF. It does not have enough bandwidth to carry 96 bit signals with more than 2 channels. It may need to be converted to a 48 bit stream by AC3Filter and/or output as a DD or DTS bitstream.

Not sure what the program source is. If it's Blu-ray, the only way to get full multichannel Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD output is over HDMI using bitstream. Conventional DD or DTS must be used for S/PDIF. If its available, DTS will often sound better (depending on how it's encoded.) Most Blu-ray disc include a DTS and/or DD stream.

As mentioned by four, GraphEdit is a good diagnostic tool. Note that AC3Filter need not be used all the time. It's only needed when a another suitable codec is not available. If the use of AC3Filter is preferred, check the "Prefer AC3Filter" under "Filter Merit" in the AC3Filter options. (See graphic above.)
2013-12-10 09:21 AM
four Install GraphEdit and drag-n-drop the media file into the window. It will build a (default) graph that Windows Media Player will be using for playback.
Do you see AC3Filter in it? If not, it is not configured properly. Do you see the AC3Filter service starting when using MPC?
Did you check the "Prefer AC3Filter" box on the System tab?

Around the time AC3Filter was at version 1.01/1.05, some configurations would just refuse to work. Try another version...
2013-12-09 11:53 PM
Stevemo Thank you for hanging in with me!
I did find a fix to the slow playback, I had to set up Media Center Classic exactly as shown on the AC3Filter website.
The final stumbling point seems to be PCM over SPDIF is always stereo as mentioned previously. No matter what I fiddle with the receiver is stuck saying "PCM 96" on the display and plays STEREO (well, it can play its lame upmix's but it won't play AC3Filters upmix that I'm sending it). I suspect I need to get Analog cables to wire the 8-channels directly into my receiver to get around this. Am I correct in assuming that AC3Filter can mix the signals via the Analog? Who even makes these cables? I've looked on ebay and couldn't figure out what they are called.
I watched Austin City Limits on PBS using 7-channel stereo last night and it was absolutely awesome, I hope to get this sorted out on the PC soon enough.
Cheers, Steve
2013-12-09 10:47 PM
ExDilbert I've seen misconfigured audio interfere with video playback. It means you are close but something is still not correct. Once again, you need to enable audio pass through when using digital output, such as S/PDIF. Anything else is suboptimal. That's basically the only change that needs to be made in AC3Filter. In Windows, the correct output device needs to be enabled. VLC Player uses built in codecs so it will not use AC3Filter. VLC Player audio options must be configured in VLC Player.
2013-12-09 08:31 PM
Stevemo Interesting, I can get AC3Filter to show some life with Media Player Classic. It thinks it is remixing the audio but it is just coming out in Stereo on the receiver so I am getting closer. When I pick "Use SPDIF" the audio disappears and the playback shows slow (counts 1 second every 3 seconds or so).
2013-12-09 08:14 PM
Stevemo Hmm, I am now in a fresh install of Windows 8.1 x64 and AC3Filter still cannot intercept the audio from VLC Player. Also, the goal is not to pass through anything, I want to rig it to use 7 speakers at all time.
On an unrelated note, windows 8 is just a skin so there's nothing to be afraid of. You can get to the desktop and use it just like you would use windows 7. The only difference is the obscene colour schemes.
I will continue to poke around with this and provide updates as I discover things.
2013-12-09 09:48 AM
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
If the patent issues were very important, programs like VLC and AC3Filter would have been taken down by now.
That is theory that Dolby/DTS would love to become practice. It won't in this case...

To keep it short: software maker has to have revenue, has to be located in a country where the patents are valid
and can be enforced and there is at least a non-zero chance to prove it is not a clean-room implementation...
None of this applies to AC3Filter. It is free and comes from Russia. That is enough to know the guy will never be sued.
The "distributed" development of VLC, ffdshow, etc. makes them even less vulnerable...

Now, if Microsoft includes AC3Filter in Windows (and makes it a requirement!) they would have a lawsuit on their hands the next day...
2013-12-08 10:55 PM
ExDilbert The required AC3 codec is not included in Windows. Unless another AC3 codec is installed, from a commercial DVD player or other source, one will be required. Among the freely available AC3 codecs available, AC3Filter is a good choice.

If the patent issues were very important, programs like VLC and AC3Filter would have been taken down by now. Since so many freely available programs are so widely available, the patent owners may not be concerned about free software. However, companies selling programs for profit usually must pay for their use.
2013-12-08 10:32 PM
four AC3Filter (just like VLC) is a minefield of potential patent violations and
therefore never was and never will be a requirement to treat DD audio...
2013-12-08 10:14 PM
ExDilbert For codecs, less is usually better. Only install codecs when they are absolutely required. AC3Filter is required for AC3 (Dolby) audio in some software players. I've yet to run into any scenario where FFDshow is a requirement. It may be useful to someone who really knows how to use it but it's usually better just to install best in class individual codecs (and as few of those as possible.) Using FFDShow is kind of like using a Swiss Army Knife to whittle a toothpick. It will do the job but a simple penknife is a lot easier to use, especially when unfamiliar with all the tools. For digital output, the trick is to enable digital bypass for any audio output the receiver (or TV) can handle and disable any it cannot. Otherwise, do as little audio processing as possible. The receiver will handle the rest.
2013-12-08 06:15 PM
four It is very, very - VERY! -easy to screw up the playback chain when you start installing
players, codecs, splitters, etc. and manage them directly with DirectShow filter apps.
And here is the worst part: once screwed up, only reinstall can fix it (with XP)!

Don't install any codecs!

Start with a player that has nothing of its own. ZoomPlayer is (was?) a good candidate.
It gives you control over every minute detail of the playback chain. You'll get tired fiddling with it...

And if you are really missing something, install ffdshow and start enabling one by one what you need!
If memory serves, the latest ffdshow had full AC3Filter functionality by itself.

If you want visual presentation of the playback mechanism in WinXP, install GraphEdit...
2013-12-08 03:48 PM
Stevemo ExDilbert/Pete,
From what I can tell I am on the same path as what you are both explaining. My receiver is not going to get replaced until I buy an LFE so I need to figure out how to make this work. Honestly, I would really prefer to get a 6-channel amp and go it alone with just an HTPC instead of having a middle man molesting the signals. I actually use a Harmony remote and bypass the AV receiver for video as it is.
I have found some good information based on AC3Filter and FFDSHOW using DS Filter Tweeker but the trail dies in 2011, nobody seems to be trying what I'm doing at this point in time BUT they are having a hell of a time with HDMI instead . Everything seems to point to it being possible so I am going to re-install my OS and start over. It could be that I've completely broken the way windows is supposed to work by having a billion different codecs installed and removed.
Cheers, Steve
2013-12-08 03:36 PM
Stevemo Hi Four,
The 7-channel stereo is some sort of post processing that the AV receiver does but it isn't NEO, that light is not coming on. For some obscene reason Pioneer does not give you that option when connected via SPDIF...I have other post processing available on the unit with SPDIF such as gaming/music/etc. that completely make a mess of the audio.
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