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Thread: SounblasterX AE-5 doesn't support DTS-HD or DD MA Audio formats on Blu-rays?

  1. #1

    SoundblasterX AE-5 doesn't support DTS-HD or DD MA Audio formats on Blu-rays?

    I got this card for Christmas and I'm loving it. Watching Blu-rays on my 32" monitor and 5.1 sound is awesome. I'm using PowerDVD 17.

    It does appear that the AE-5 is down-mixing to 16bit/48khz LPCM when playing Blu-rays. I'm a bit disappointed that the card cannot playback at 192kHz/24bit on its 5.1 outputs given its specs.

    Am I missing something? Shouldn't this card be capable of this? I'm able to playback 5.1 Surround 96kHz/24bit flac files and 2 channel 192kHz/24bit flac files.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by fliptwister; 01-03-2018 at 08:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator HT-CL's Avatar
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    Re: SoundblasterX AE-5 doesn't support DTS-HD or DD MA Audio formats on Blu-rays?

    Quote Originally Posted by fliptwister View Post
    I got this card for Christmas and I'm loving it. Watching Blu-rays on my 32" monitor and 5.1 sound is awesome. I'm using PowerDVD 17.

    It does appear that the AE-5 is down-mixing to 16bit/48khz LPCM when playing Blu-rays. I'm a bit disappointed that the card cannot playback at 192kHz/24bit on its 5.1 outputs given its specs.

    Am I missing something? Shouldn't this card be capable of this? I'm able to playback 5.1 Surround 96kHz/24bit flac files and 2 channel 192kHz/24bit flac files.

    Thanks!
    Hi fliptwister,

    The decoding of the DTS-HD and Dolby Digital audio codecs is done by the software on the computer like PowerDVD.

    The media playing software will convert the audio files from different formats to PCM.

    If you are seeing that the bit rate and sample rate are 16bit/48kHz on the software, the bit rate and sample rate of the audio file are recorded at 16bit/48kHz. When you select 24bit/96kHz on Windows Sound, the Sound BlasterX AE-5 will up-sample the audio to 24bit/96kHz.
    Last edited by HT-CL; 01-03-2018 at 08:57 AM.
    Om Vajrapani Hum,
    HT-CL

    http://www1.wfp.org/

  3. #3

    Re: SounblasterX AE-5 doesn't support DTS-HD or DD MA Audio formats on Blu-rays?

    HT-CL,

    Not sure if you are understanding me. DTS-HD supports a maximum of 192 kHz sampling frequency and 24-bit depth samples from 2 to 5.1 channels. When I play a Blu-Ray movie I'm only able to output 48 kHz sampling frequency. The DTS-HD audio on the Blu-ray is not recorded at 16bit/48Khz, it is on the Blu-ray at 24bit/192kHz. I have no desire to up-sample 48 kHz audio via the sound card. That defeats the purpose. When I have 5.1 chosen with Sound Blaster Connect 2 and go to speaker properties -> advanced (in control panel) it has "24 bit, 96,000 Hz (Studio Quality)" as option. My expectation is that I could get audio playback when playing Blu-ray movies of that quality. Why is the AE-5 only able to playback at 48 kHz?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Moderator HT-CL's Avatar
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    Re: SounblasterX AE-5 doesn't support DTS-HD or DD MA Audio formats on Blu-rays?

    Quote Originally Posted by fliptwister View Post
    HT-CL,

    Not sure if you are understanding me. DTS-HD supports a maximum of 192 kHz sampling frequency and 24-bit depth samples from 2 to 5.1 channels. When I play a Blu-Ray movie I'm only able to output 48 kHz sampling frequency. The DTS-HD audio on the Blu-ray is not recorded at 16bit/48Khz, it is on the Blu-ray at 24bit/192kHz. I have no desire to up-sample 48 kHz audio via the sound card. That defeats the purpose. When I have 5.1 chosen with Sound Blaster Connect 2 and go to speaker properties -> advanced (in control panel) it has "24 bit, 96,000 Hz (Studio Quality)" as option. My expectation is that I could get audio playback when playing Blu-ray movies of that quality. Why is the AE-5 only able to playback at 48 kHz?

    Thanks!
    Hi fliptwister,

    The Sound BlasterX AE-5 is able to play 24bit/96kHz audio from any sources regardless whether it is from DTS-HD or FLAC.

    It will only up-sample audio if the audio input's sample rate is lower than the output sample rate. So I assume that the input of the audio file after converted to PCM from the software being fed to the Sound BlasterX AE-5 is 16bit/48kHz.

    To play DTS-HD audio files, a decoder is required and the decoding is done by a media playing software.
    Last edited by HT-CL; 01-04-2018 at 05:04 PM.
    Om Vajrapani Hum,
    HT-CL

    http://www1.wfp.org/

  5. #5
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    Re: SounblasterX AE-5 doesn't support DTS-HD or DD MA Audio formats on Blu-rays?

    Maybe it is some kind of DRM?
    I remember PowerDVD resampling HD tracks on non-approved hardware.

  6. #6

    Re: SounblasterX AE-5 doesn't support DTS-HD or DD MA Audio formats on Blu-rays?

    I have figured out quite a bit over the last day. Foremost, most Blu-ray movies only have a sample rate of 48kHz regardless of them being Dolby True HD, DTS-HD, or DTS-MA. Many of them are at 24bit but there are also a large number of Blu-rays that come only with 16bit/48kHz audio. This can be determined over at blu-raystats.com. There are only 33 movies in their database that have known 24bit/96kHz audio and only 6 that have known 24bit/192kHz audio. I happen to have one of each. Baraka is at 24bit/96kHz and the Japanese Audio on Akira is at 24bit/192kHz.

    I played both movies with PowerDVD 17 and WinDVD 12. PowerDVD outputted at 48kHz with both movies and it would appear at 24 bits given the bitrates. WinDVD outputted 24bit/96kHz with Baraka and at 24bit/192kHz with Akira. I have screenshots of the audio/video information screens if you would like to see them.

    Apparently this issue is not a problem with the AE-5. It is more a function of most Blu-rays not having a sample rate higher than 48kHz. I am happy that many of them are at 24 bit though, this is a significant step up from 16 bit. This issue is also a function of software used as HT-CL stated. As far as I can tell PowerDVD will not output more than 48kHz even when the source has higher resolution audio. WinDVD clearly has the upper hand when it comes to Blu-ray audio output. It output 96kHz and 192kHz with no problem. I have posted on PowerDVD forum about this issue and there has been no response.

  7. #7
    Moderator HT-CL's Avatar
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    Re: SounblasterX AE-5 doesn't support DTS-HD or DD MA Audio formats on Blu-rays?

    Quote Originally Posted by fliptwister View Post
    I have figured out quite a bit over the last day. Foremost, most Blu-ray movies only have a sample rate of 48kHz regardless of them being Dolby True HD, DTS-HD, or DTS-MA. Many of them are at 24bit but there are also a large number of Blu-rays that come only with 16bit/48kHz audio. This can be determined over at blu-raystats.com. There are only 33 movies in their database that have known 24bit/96kHz audio and only 6 that have known 24bit/192kHz audio. I happen to have one of each. Baraka is at 24bit/96kHz and the Japanese Audio on Akira is at 24bit/192kHz.

    I played both movies with PowerDVD 17 and WinDVD 12. PowerDVD outputted at 48kHz with both movies and it would appear at 24 bits given the bitrates. WinDVD outputted 24bit/96kHz with Baraka and at 24bit/192kHz with Akira. I have screenshots of the audio/video information screens if you would like to see them.

    Apparently this issue is not a problem with the AE-5. It is more a function of most Blu-rays not having a sample rate higher than 48kHz. I am happy that many of them are at 24 bit though, this is a significant step up from 16 bit. This issue is also a function of software used as HT-CL stated. As far as I can tell PowerDVD will not output more than 48kHz even when the source has higher resolution audio. WinDVD clearly has the upper hand when it comes to Blu-ray audio output. It output 96kHz and 192kHz with no problem. I have posted on PowerDVD forum about this issue and there has been no response.
    Hi fliptwister,

    Thank you for the information.
    Last edited by HT-CL; 01-05-2018 at 11:38 AM.
    Om Vajrapani Hum,
    HT-CL

    http://www1.wfp.org/

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