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Old 9th August 2011, 05:41   #1  |  Link
Fala7er
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AC3filter, FFDshow and FLAC questions

Hi!, I recently start playing HD content on my pc, after installing some decoders and learning about the codecs like TrueHD, AC3, DTS-HD MA, DTS (Core), I started to get some doubts, but before start this are the software that i use and my pc specs:

AC3Filter v1.63b (2009-08-11)
FFDShow (2011-07-18)

I have the Audigy SE with the mod drivers from daniel_k and a simple logitech x540 (5.1) speakers.

1) My first doubt is if there's a real difference between FFDShow and AC3filter decoding formats like AC3 and DTS, on my searches i found a lot of threads about this two decoders but from 2006-2009 and today maybe the things have changed.

Is there any difference on how both decode ac3 and dts audio? I mean should i be able to notice a difference?, 2 years has pased since the last update for ac3filter and if is has a bug about the +3db by default when it plays a dts audio perhaps have a few others 'problems' with other formats.

I have played the same videos with dts core and ac3 core on ac3filter (with the settings of normalize, normalize matrix, etc.. disabled and Gain set to 0 and -3db on dts) and then on ffdshow with livabcodec for dts and liba52 for ac3 and haven't noticed an audible difference. Since FFDShow decodes the same codecs, should i stop using and uninstall ac3filter?


2) My second doubt is about FFDShow and HD audio. Since i can't decode DTS-HD MA without using a specific commercial player, I have used eac3to with the ArcSoft's DTS Decoder to encode the HD audio to FLAC and also a TrueHD music video to FLAC to play on foobar2000.

The encode works great with dts-hd and truehd, but i wanted to know if FFDShow will decode this FLAC file perfectly because i found that a few people use another decoder called madFLAC and again, threads from 2009 and older but i can't find any comparison about that decoder and the ffdshow built-in decoder for flac files with HD audio, what is the difference? or is still any difference on decoding?

The main issue discussed is always the "ffdshow built-in FLAC decoder is limited to 16int.." on this thread http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=156966&page=3 people discuss this 'issue', but to make it simple, should i use madflac to not loose quality or is ok to use ffdshow to decode any type of HD flac file?.

Sorry for my bad english and the spelling errors hehe (1:35 am right now) and thanks for reading!.
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Old 9th August 2011, 15:22   #2  |  Link
Qaq
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Check this thread: http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=156191
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Old 9th August 2011, 15:54   #3  |  Link
ramicio
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FFDShow is fine with FLAC. Lossless means ALWAYS the same output. If not, then the decoder is broken. I don't see anything in that link about FFDShow limiting FLAC decoding to 16 bits. I always encode my lossless audios to FLAC, as the ArcSoft decoder is broken with certain DTS-HD Master schemes, and I have to use the DTS tools to obtain a PCM track. I find FLAC offers better compression than TrueHD or DTS-HD Master.

Last edited by ramicio; 9th August 2011 at 15:58.
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Old 9th August 2011, 16:36   #4  |  Link
Fala7er
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramicio View Post
FFDShow is fine with FLAC. Lossless means ALWAYS the same output. If not, then the decoder is broken. I don't see anything in that link about FFDShow limiting FLAC decoding to 16 bits. I always encode my lossless audios to FLAC, as the ArcSoft decoder is broken with certain DTS-HD Master schemes, and I have to use the DTS tools to obtain a PCM track. I find FLAC offers better compression than TrueHD or DTS-HD Master.
I always find this when i search the difference between ffdshow and madflac (always from 2009 threads):

Madflac is better, as the ffdshow flac decoder is only 16 bit. Madflac is 24bit

I'm 99% certain ffdshow flac decoder truncates to 16bit. If you use Reclock it reports the format of the incoming PCM data, and i't 16 bit for ffdshow, and 24 bit for Madflac.

But on the link of my post, it seems that now ffdshow decode perfectly those 24 bits so... is working fine or not? :S

Also the ac3filter vs ffdshow, both are the same or not when they have to decode ac3 and dts audio, no quality difference? :S
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Old 9th August 2011, 16:42   #5  |  Link
ramicio
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AC3Filter just does AC3 and DTS. FFDShow does whatever libavcodec library decodes. I've never heard of FFDShow only doing 16 bit with FLAC.
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Old 9th August 2011, 17:19   #6  |  Link
Fala7er
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramicio View Post
AC3Filter just does AC3 and DTS. FFDShow does whatever libavcodec library decodes. I've never heard of FFDShow only doing 16 bit with FLAC.
it seems that a few years back is was like that, only 16 bit, but now its working perfeclty and can decode 7.1 24bits untouched.

Today what could be the use for madFLAC

I have uninstalled ac3filter, because without the Gain values that has by default sounds the same as ffdshow, i guess is the same quality with both ac3 and dts and now i don't have to put -3db everytime I play a dts audio...

And about the LAV filters, i have no idea how to make that work
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Old 9th August 2011, 17:21   #7  |  Link
ramicio
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MadFLAC is useful for as a source filter for playing back standalone FLAC files without a container. If you have eac3to working to decode the formats, just make everything FLAC, instead of messing around with having tons of filters for different tasks.
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Old 9th August 2011, 17:44   #8  |  Link
Fala7er
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramicio View Post
MadFLAC is useful for as a source filter for playing back standalone FLAC files without a container. If you have eac3to working to decode the formats, just make everything FLAC, instead of messing around with having tons of filters for different tasks.
Thanks! now I understand, to play the movies or some video with flac I always drag and drop the flac file inside the mkv container.

After searching a few hours, it seems to be the same having ac3filter or ffdshow to play the ac3 and dts files, so I have uninstalled ac3filter, no need to having 2 decoders that are the same and offer the same quality.

I will stay with FFDShow + CoreAVC for all the audio/video content.

Last edited by Fala7er; 9th August 2011 at 17:48.
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Old 12th August 2011, 07:19   #9  |  Link
Qaq
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It's up to you - make decoding setup for DTS-HD/TrueHD/whatever once or make/mux Flac each time.
Setting up the LAV+Arcsoft is the easiest thing I ever did.
1. download
2. unpack to some folder
3. put arcsoft decoder in that folder
4. run bat file for audio (and for splitter if you wish)
5. open MPC > External Filters > add LAV audio (and LAV splitter) > up it to the top > set Prefer
6. click on LAV and make some settings.
7. make sure you're using ReClock/WASAPI(KS) as audio renderer.
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