How to decode DTS-MA & TrueHD to 7.1-LPCM HDMI output?

Discussion in 'ZIDOO X9S' started by Chris77, May 17, 2017.

  1. Chris77

    Chris77 New Member

    Yes definetely! Device was running Nougat and I used SPMC. But since Shield does not ( and never will) play 3D-iso, this was not an option for me after all...
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
    costasear likes this.
  2. costasear

    costasear New Member

    That's really good news for me, although 3d is something I like..
    Was decoding working only with spmc? Not the default player? (Kodi I suppose)
    Also, was it working on streaming apps, like Netflix?
  3. Chris77

    Chris77 New Member

    sorry, did not test Amazon/Netflix at all. Neither regular KODI, because SPMC is a fork mainly adopted for Shield. If you can live without 3d, you should definetely go for Shield...
    costasear likes this.
  4. yigit yusuf

    yigit yusuf New Member

    if so the zidoo x9s cannot decode hd audio to pcm, why the hdmi sound option have both "lpcm 2.0" and "lpcm mutli" ?

    there must a bug or sth and have to be corrected

    zappiti player which have the same rld1295 has this capability so its not the soc fault, the problem is in software
    costasear likes this.
  5. Chris77

    Chris77 New Member

    How do you know? Have you actually tried it and it worked? I have a Zappiti 4K HDR Mini right here and I can tell you it behaves exactly the same: Absolutely no decoding of HD-MA/DolbyTrueHD into 7.1LPCM. Only 2.0 PCM as with X8/X9s/X10.
    I suppose this is either a shortcoming in SoC -SDK or android Lollipop. But just guessing. Really don't understand why @zidoo keeps on ignoring this thread instead of telling us what's going on...
  6. yigit yusuf

    yigit yusuf New Member

    no i do not have zapitti but on a review for it, the reviewer say that it can decode hd audio to pcm and it passes that.
  7. Chris77

    Chris77 New Member

    Well, at least Zappiti has a working support: logged a ticket last weekend and just got this clarifying answer:
    "The Realtek SoC have DTS and Dolby licences only for Bitstream and Downmix 2.0."
    So I guess this thread can be CLOSED.
    costasear likes this.
  8. yigit yusuf

    yigit yusuf New Member

    so whats the meaning of lpcm multi option on hdmi output if it cannt decode hd audio

    and for the specs for zidoo x9s or others, there is false advertisement that it advertised as it can decode hdaudio
    costasear likes this.
  9. Chris77

    Chris77 New Member

    well, looks like an option, that theoretically is available under android. If it really works depends on the SoC-SDK ( and of course the implementation if the particualar vendor using it) and in case of RTD1295 simply not supported due to missing licenses.

    That is definitely at least "misleading" advertisement and should be changed by Zidoo. I doubt, though, they will actually change it...
  10. little-endian

    little-endian New Member

    Well, about four years later with the successors using the Realtek RTD1619DR, it apparently is the same tragedy in terms of decoding AC3, E-AC3, TrueHD or DTS(-HD) into PCM multichannel, something a PS3 from 2006 (!) did perfectly fine.

    At least, with the Zidoo Z9x, they now state the one-liner "Support HD audio passthrough and decode 2 channels" which should raise enough suspicion for any buyer who still cares for that. In my case, I took such a decoding for granted by now, so I considered virtually anything else (23.976 Hz vs. 24.000 Hz, HDR to SDR tone mapping and whatnot) but never thought that this would be in fact still something up to discussion.

    While one can always argue that most consumers nowadays have an AVR capable of decoding the lossless fancily merchandised codecs from Dolby and DTS on their own, on the other hand, it raises the question what one needs a "player" - which as a core part is a decoder - for in the first place. AAC and FLAC are also decoded fine by a Zidoo (because most probably no regular AVR has support for those) and following the bit-streaming fetish many seem to have nowadays, one could also apply that logic to the video part and let the display take care of the decoding and reconstruction in memory here as well. Any player then would be "degraded" to just a media source -> HDMI interlink, more or less becoming effectively obsolete.

    I am also realistic enough to be aware than one "only" looses special features such as object based rendering in the case of Atmos maybe and the few additional channels (7.1 vs. 5.1) as the lossless variants are not really distinguishable from their lossy counterparts, given the relatively high bitrates of the AC3 and DTS "cores", but still it takes quite some ignorance at either the chipset or product manufacturer's side to fob customers off with stereo PCM in 2021.

    Reason enough to return my Orbsmart R81 (rebranded Zidoo Z9x). Although I tend to take any TrueHD/DTS-HD sources and encode it into way more efficient stuff like AAC anyway these days. What's the saying? "It concerns the principle".
  11. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    It's has nothing to do with the chipset, it's simply licencing which would needlessly add to the cost.
  12. little-endian

    little-endian New Member

    Taken aside that the needlessness of that ability is up to personal usage scenarios as this thread clearly shows, I doubt that it would be more than a few dollars and thus hardly make a huge difference in relation to the "not exactly cheap anyway" total price. But anyway, some people in marketing departments obviously decided to take the road of ignorance here.

    The question where that incompatibility arises technically is an interesting one though. The chipset itself apparently is capable of multichannel PCM output as otherwise, it wouldn't work with multichannel AAC or FLAC sources either. What is odd however is, that players such as Kodi don't seem to be able do decode it using regular "software" routines either. Actually, it should be possible for them to decode the stuff on their own and feed the somewhat stubborn chipset with the LPCM result instead.

    Another possible approach might also have been to give users the option to add something like libavcodec manually to circumvent any licensing concerns for their product out of the box. In PC environments, decoding Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD with exactly that is entirely trivial nowadays, hence also my cynicism.
  13. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    I can't think of a single media player I have ever owned (and I have pretty much all of them) that has ever held a licence to decode DTS-HD or TrueHD. Decoding is, as you rightly say, trivial. Licencing and particularly licencing circumvention, is not.

    It is not a road of ignorance that has been taken here, more a road of common sense. Why add something that isn't needed any more?

    I'm curious to know why this bothers you so much - the last time I bought an amp that required a multichannel preamp input was in the late 90s, possibly early 2000s at the latest (it was a monster gold coloured Denon) but these days it's pretty superfluous and indeed with the advent of object oriented codecs, I'd have to say, redundant.
  14. Rolf Taylor

    Rolf Taylor New Member

    I too have been looking at ways to do this. It is completely wasteful to be constantly buying new receivers and disposing of the old ones.

    After fully digesting the thread I will reiterate something that has bothered me. Why on earth do we need all these proprietary uncompressed schemes when HDMI is capable of transporting 8 channels of LPCM? I think this thread explains it all. There's no licensing profit in LPCM. But use one of these worthless formats and you can charge for every single device that decodes it. Makes me glad that folks are not biting and paying the ridiculous license fees (if DTS and Dolby weren't greedy they would license it for a few cents).

    What a scam!
  15. Losslesspcmplz

    Losslesspcmplz New Member

    That's ridiculous, almost all modern blu ray players do.

    Well said.

    I'm digging up this thread to thank Chris for bringing this to my attention since this feature should obviously be standard. Decoding licencing costs are cheap, Dolby costs like 10k per year with a small per unit cost and for a dedicated high end player like this I would expect it.

    As for everyone parroting the "just buy a new receiver!" line... I refuse to buy any receivers.
    Most of them are overpriced crap loaded with features I don't want with cheap off the shelf DACs which don't belong in a high end audio system capable of playing high resolution audio.

  16. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    Maybe read the post a bit more thoroughly next time eh?
  17. Losslesspcmplz

    Losslesspcmplz New Member

    Let me guess, "media player" being the operant word here? That wasn't my point and your pedantry is tiring.
  18. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    "I can't think of a single toaster I have ever owned that has been able to boil water"

    "That's ridiculous, almost all modern kettles do."
  19. Losslesspcmplz

    Losslesspcmplz New Member

    Lol at this strawman. You're trying to sell a media player that can't decode my media.

    A raspberry pi can do a better job.
  20. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    Damn - I thought you were going to be more fun than this.

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