Question

Streaming DTS movies from my PC won't give any sound, workarounds?

  • 29 June 2019
  • 9 replies
  • 416 views

So I knew about this DTS issue before I purchased my Beam but I thought that it would convert it to stereo instead of not getting any sound at all.

I use "cast to device" on my Windows 10 PC to stream movies from my hard drive to my Sony XF9005 TV. If I change the audio output on my Sony TV to PCM I get stereo sound. If I leave it on auto, the DTS movies won't give any sound at all. The TV and Beam are connected via HDMI ARC if it makes any difference.

So, what are my options here? If I didn't stream movies from the PC and instead had a USB stick on the TV would that help, if I used to TV's player? Or a Box could possibly transcode the audio and convert it to AC3? Or maybe I could convert the DTS movie to AC3 on the PC with some kind of program?

What would you suggest?

9 replies

Userlevel 7
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I use "cast to device" on my Windows 10 PC to stream movies from my hard drive to my Sony XF9005 TV. If I change the audio output on my Sony TV to PCM I get stereo sound. If I leave it on auto, the DTS movies won't give any sound at all. The TV and Beam are connected via HDMI ARC if it makes any difference.


Is there a reason why this solution doesn't work for you? Is there other content you're watching where you aren't satisfied with PCM?
Userlevel 6
Badge +13
The Beam accepts DD, but as I understand it, it can’t convert DTS to DD.

Rather than selecting Auto, set your TV to output DD if that’s an option.

I use "cast to device" on my Windows 10 PC to stream movies from my hard drive to my Sony XF9005 TV. If I change the audio output on my Sony TV to PCM I get stereo sound. If I leave it on auto, the DTS movies won't give any sound at all. The TV and Beam are connected via HDMI ARC if it makes any difference.Is there a reason why this solution doesn't work for you? Is there other content you're watching where you aren't satisfied with PCM?


Isn't PCM inferior to DTS? I thought it was the worst, most compressed format? Or is it the same?
The Beam accepts DD, but as I understand it, it can’t convert DTS to DD.

Rather than selecting Auto, set your TV to output DD if that’s an option.


I think I did that, there were 3 options, auto, DD+ and DD, none worked.
Userlevel 6
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I think PCM is 2-channel stereo, without any surround signal.

Check the TV is set to output DD on the HDMI-ARC channel, and make sure your cable is HDMI-ARC capable rather than just an older HDMI cable.

It might be that the TV can't convert DTS to DD.

Can the PC send a DD rather than DTS signal to the TV?
According to the Sony manual for XF9005 series it does support Dolby Digital, so that should work if the programme/movie is sent to it with that audio codec once DD or Auto is selected in the audio output settings

Maybe use something like Mezzmo Media Server software to ‘transcode the movie on the fly’ and play it to the TV.
Ok I installed Plex, changed a few settings on the TV and Plex Player and I now have sound from DTS movies. It's probably just PCM sound and not AC3, but it's a start. Not sure if it's possible for Plex to transcode to AC3 from DTS, haven't found such a setting. Only problem is that volume is kinda low when converted to stereo. And lip sync is not 100% accurate. Beam is driving me nuts, I might have to return it.

Also, it seems like the refresh rate when streaming from Plex is kinda low, I can see some ghosting now. Maybe a Nvidia Shield is the solution to my problems?
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
Ok I installed Plex, changed a few settings on the TV and Plex Player and I now have sound from DTS movies. It's probably just PCM sound and not AC3, but it's a start. Not sure if it's possible for Plex to transcode to AC3 from DTS, haven't found such a setting. Only problem is that volume is kinda low when converted to stereo. And lip sync is not 100% accurate. Beam is driving me nuts, I might have to return it.

Also, it seems like the refresh rate when streaming from Plex is kinda low, I can see some ghosting now. Maybe a Nvidia Shield is the solution to my problems?


You have 2 issues here, "bitstreaming" in AC3 and lip sync.

Both can be solved with 2 relatively cheap pieces of equipment.

  1. Amazon Fire TV stick or Chromecast
  2. HDMI to optical extractor
First, if you use Netflix, go for Fire TV. Netflix streams PCM, not AC3 on Chromecast, and I don't know why. Fire TV has a setting to output AC3 (dolby digital, without the plus!). Keep in mind you also need to enter settings on Plex app to enable HDMI passthrough for AC3. So, Dolby in system settings, and hdmi passthrough in plex app.

Now, the lip sync is TV issue most likely. Get an HDMI extractor, and connect the Beam via Optical adaptor to optical out on the extractor. That way you will get bitstream and in-sync audio,, bypassing the TV that introduces lag

edit: that's how I do it...

edit 2: Second solution:
I used KODI (without any plugins, just vanilla KODI app), and I have a soundcard that has optical out. KODI has an option to bitstream over HDMI or Optical transcoded into 5.1 AC3. So, if you have a soundcard with optical out, or can buy one cheaply (Asus U3 or U5 or U7, or maybe Creative Soundblaster Omni), you can do it like that.

edit 3: Advanced solution for framerate for plex via Fire TV:

Google how to install Kodi on Fire TV. Once that is done, install official plex plugin. In Kodi on fire TV there are advanced options to adjust framerate to original material. After that, start plex plugin. Video will now play in proper FPS. Looks much smoother when original content is in 24 fps.

For PC: Same setting for framerate, but you don't need plex, but you can use it....


final edit:
For me, these workarounds were frustrating, but the upsides of Sonos were worth it for me. I know that Ikea and sonos will soon launch $99 speakers that can be used as rears for beam, making it the cheapest wireless 5.0 system. The sub is still super expensive, but IMHO Beam has pretty decent low-end grunt for smaller rooms.

If I was less technically inclined, I'd have gotten something with an HDMI passthrough that handles the lip sync, DTS, etc. But competition(*cough* Yamaha *cough*) doesn’t natively handle Google Play Music, nor Audible. That kept me.

Ok I installed Plex, changed a few settings on the TV and Plex Player and I now have sound from DTS movies. It's probably just PCM sound and not AC3, but it's a start. Not sure if it's possible for Plex to transcode to AC3 from DTS, haven't found such a setting. Only problem is that volume is kinda low when converted to stereo. And lip sync is not 100% accurate. Beam is driving me nuts, I might have to return it.

Also, it seems like the refresh rate when streaming from Plex is kinda low, I can see some ghosting now. Maybe a Nvidia Shield is the solution to my problems?
You have 2 issues here, "bitstreaming" in AC3 and lip sync.

Both can be solved with 2 relatively cheap pieces of equipment.

  1. Amazon Fire TV stick or Chromecast
  2. HDMI to optical extractor
First, if you use Netflix, go for Fire TV. Netflix streams PCM, not AC3 on Chromecast, and I don't know why. Fire TV has a setting to output AC3 (dolby digital, without the plus!). Keep in mind you also need to enter settings on Plex app to enable HDMI passthrough for AC3. So, Dolby in system settings, and hdmi passthrough in plex app.

Now, the lip sync is TV issue most likely. Get an HDMI extractor, and connect the Beam via Optical adaptor to optical out on the extractor. That way you will get bitstream and in-sync audio,, bypassing the TV that introduces lag

edit: that's how I do it...

edit 2: Second solution:
I used KODI (without any plugins, just vanilla KODI app), and I have a soundcard that has optical out. KODI has an option to bitstream over HDMI or Optical transcoded into 5.1 AC3. So, if you have a soundcard with optical out, or can buy one cheaply (Asus U3 or U5 or U7, or maybe Creative Soundblaster Omni), you can do it like that.

edit 3: Advanced solution for framerate for plex via Fire TV:

Google how to install Kodi on Fire TV. Once that is done, install official plex plugin. In Kodi on fire TV there are advanced options to adjust framerate to original material. After that, start plex plugin. Video will now play in proper FPS. Looks much smoother when original content is in 24 fps.

For PC: Same setting for framerate, but you don't need plex, but you can use it....


final edit:
For me, these workarounds were frustrating, but the upsides of Sonos were worth it for me. I know that Ikea and sonos will soon launch $99 speakers that can be used as rears for beam, making it the cheapest wireless 5.0 system. The sub is still super expensive, but IMHO Beam has pretty decent low-end grunt for smaller rooms.

If I was less technically inclined, I'd have gotten something with an HDMI passthrough that handles the lip sync, DTS, etc. But competition(*cough* Yamaha *cough*) doesn’t natively handle Google Play Music, nor Audible. That kept me.


Thank you for the detailed response. I will try what you suggested.

It makes me sad however, having to go through all this hassle in order to use the Beam, especially when it's advertised as plug and play. I don't see any ease of use here.

The lip sync issue is very annoying, I have tried every possible combination of settings on my TV and Sonos app but I can't get it to sync 100%.

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