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Thread: Handbrake and 5.1 audio

  1. #1
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    Handbrake and 5.1 audio

    Just wondered if anyone else uses Handbrake (0.9.954) for video compression (mkv/mp4).

    For some reason it detects all my source files audio tracks as 2.0 stereo even if the original file is actually 5.1...
    I've tried bypassing it by using AC3-passthru, but the resulting files are still only stereo.

    Anyone had this problem, or know how to get the files to keep the 5.1 audio format?

    Thanks,
    Dave
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  2. #2
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    Hmmm... I feel like an idiot, but I've been doing a lot of experimenting with HandBrake and can't seem to get it to pass 5.1 audio to MKV or MP4 files!
    Even though the original (huge .M2ts files) play just fine in Windows Media Player and Media Center with 5.1 support...

    I've read a number of tutorials from Google, HandBrake Forums, AVS and Doom9 without success.
    Most of the stuff I've read is talking about using HB for compressing files for Macs, Apple or portable devices.
    I don't care about any of that, I just want smaller files that will play on my HTPC with good quality and 5.1 sound...
    Maybe HandBrake isn't all that Windows friendly?

    The files I have converted have done so pretty quickly with decent video quality and good compression, but the audio problem is really annoying.

    I know XS probably isn't the place to ask these questions but it's my home forum and I know there are a lot of smart folks here!

    Just for reference: Most of my problems started when I installed MS "PlayReady" on my machines so I could watch HDTV on my rigs using an HDPrime network tuner.
    Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree with HandBrake (and RipBot(been working with that to)).

    If any of you HTPC guru's could offer any suggestions I'd really appreciate it!
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  3. #3
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    Handbrake is more the "video compressions for dummies" program. If you are having problems then it is probably time to just get something more advanced that can do surround sound. If your visiting the doom9 forums then you should see plenty of GUI programs that can do what you want, ranging from the easy to use with a decent amount of options to the incredibly complex programs that have any options you can imagine
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  4. #4
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    HB is probably the best program out there for what you are trying to do and then some. I use it exclusively after ripping Blurays with MakeMKV. I'll look at my settings when I get home and post back for you.

    Couple questions first:

    What program are you using to play your files?

    Is the .mkv container you preference?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestang View Post
    What program are you using to play your files?

    Is the .mkv container you preference?
    Thanks stang. The files need to play in WMC (Win7 x64) most importantly...
    As far as the container, I have no real preference as long as it works with WMC, has 5.1 audio and is compact!

    HB seems like a very nice program. I'm amazed at how quick it is and the video of the MKV files looks almost as good as the original m2ts, only MUCH smaller... I'll be honest, all this stuff gets a little confusing to me and I don't really care about the nuts and bolts of whats going on.

    I've been looking at the "properties" of many of these files and a lot of them show 2ch stereo but still play in 5.1.
    I found one in particular that showed 5.1 in props, but after running it through HB still resulted in 2ch output...

    I'm probably missing something simple, but it's not like I haven't searched on my own...
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  6. #6
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    What are you using to show the properties of the file? I use MediaInfo

    Can you play mkv with WMC? Or are you using mp4?

    I got some screenshots that I'll post tomorrow. Sorry I haven't done it yet, some unexpected things came up.
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  7. #7
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    I've just been using windows to check file properties (right click/properties/details). I'll check out mediainfo...

    Other than the 2ch audio MKV files play fine in WMC. MP4 works too but it's still only 2ch and it has the added annoyance of audio sync problems on occasion.
    Don't worry about time man, it's not a pressing problem, and I appreciate any help you can offer!

    Thanks,
    Dave
    AMD FX-8350 (1237 PGN) | Asus Crosshair V Formula (bios 1703) | G.Skill 2133 CL9 @ 2230 9-11-10 | Sapphire HD 6870 | Samsung 830 128Gb SSD / 2 WD 1Tb Black SATA3 storage | Corsair TX750 PSU
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  8. #8
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    Ok, here are the custom settings I use based off the High Profile preset. So select that before making changes. I also change the container to MKV.

    You can download my Preset here if you want and Import it by clicking on Options under the Preset window then Import.

    Video Tab:
    I vary my Constant Quality from 20 to 22 for Blu-ray and 19 to 20 for DVD. I usually go for quality over size most of the time, but occasionally play around when the movie is very long.
    Under Optimize Video check the box for "Use Advanced Tab instead".


    Audio Tab:
    Select the Source Track(s) you want (if more than one) and the appropriate passthru (AC3, DTS, or DTS-HD). DO NOT use Auto passthru. Also, if you want the Dolby TrueHD audio you will have to go a different route by selecting an AC3 track if available and then after HB is all done you have to merge the TrueHD track back into the MKV from the source using mkvMerge.


    Advanced Tab:
    Well, too much to explain here. But after a lot of trial and error (especially/mostly with animated movies like KungFu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, etc.) is that the Reference Frames and Maximum B-Frames affected the playback as far as blocking and pixel problems, so that is why I'm at 6 and 12 for those. Other settings are based off some of the settings you get when you choose start playing with the x264 Presets and Tunes on the Video Tab.


    Hopefully I didn't miss anything and this helps you get where you want.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestang View Post
    Ok, here are the custom settings I use based off the High Profile preset. So select that before making changes. I also change the container to MKV.

    You can download my Preset here if you want and Import it by clicking on Options under the Preset window then Import.
    I used your Blu-Ray preset Stang, and the video quality is awesome.
    Unfortunately, it still didn't fix my 5.1 problems. Maybe I'm missing a codec that will allow 5.1 with MKV files?

    Most of the files I've been having problems with are HD capture files from the Hauppage Colossus.
    I did some testing with it tonight and changed the format from "PS3/.m2ts" to AVCHD (.ts) during capture...
    It just seems a little weird. Using "MediaInfo" the test file (.ts) shows the audio as 6 channel AC3, but after the HB conversion it's still only 2ch stereo.
    And yet, if I play either format (unconverted ones) in WMC or Media Player they work with 5.1!

    It's been a while since I've done a fresh OS install on the main rig (the one I'm using for conversions).
    It sucks having to start over with a rig you have the way you want it, but maybe that's what needs to be done...

    Regardless, Thanks again for your help man, you've given me some serious insight!
    If I ever get decent results I'll be sure to post them up...
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