Reply
Occasional Contributor
Apple64
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-08-2010
0

Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

Hello

 

I have a problem which is bugging me a lot. I have been searching for some information about the audio output quality. Here, on the Knowledge Base I found that WDTV HD Players are limited to 16/44.1 quality due to hardware limitation, which is really bad. I would expect at least 24/48 quality because this device has HD in it name. 24/48 quality is a standard for HD content in my opinion.

But I did some googleling and I am quite confused right now because I do not know what is right and what is not. So I would like to ask if WDTV Live HD Player really has only 16/44.1 audio output or if it is already fixed and output is 24/48? I have also tried to find a DAC, which is used in WDTV but with no success. It would be nice if someone knew that. But this is not so important.

 

Thanks in advance   

Honored Contributor
RoofingGuy
Posts: 2,871
Registered: ‎08-30-2010
0

Re: Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

[ Edited ]

There isn't a separate DAC, that I know of... I thought the audio was handled by the Sigma 8650-series chip along with the video, which would be the 333 MHz DSP within the 8655.

 

And HD, or High-Definition, has generally always referred to video, to differentiate it from SD, Standard definition... there isn't an audio "standard" for HI-Def, because it solely refers to the video resolution.  Yes, Dolby Labs has decided to call their 7.1 digital Audio "TrueHD", but "HD Sound" is a marketing ploy, not a standard.

 

 

Having said that, it's not surprising that the Gen1 WDTV HD and a WDTV Live or Live Plus might have different audio specs, since they use different chips.  The actual audio is (as you've found yourself) a little tricky to track down with simple searches, even over at Sigma themselves.

 

 

 

But then again, I've already blown my hearing out long ago, and it tops out around 13-14k, so I can't even hear a difference between a 320 .mp3 and a CD track... so I have rather low standards for audio quality nowadays. :smileyvery-happy:

Honored Contributor
mkelley
Posts: 3,064
Registered: ‎01-12-2010
0

Re: Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

 


Apple64 wrote:

Hello

 

I have a problem which is bugging me a lot. I have been searching for some information about the audio output quality. Here, on the Knowledge Base I found that WDTV HD Players are limited to 16/44.1 quality due to hardware limitation, which is really bad. I would expect at least 24/48 quality because this device has HD in it name. 24/48 quality is a standard for HD content in my opinion.

But I did some googleling and I am quite confused right now because I do not know what is right and what is not. So I would like to ask if WDTV Live HD Player really has only 16/44.1 audio output or if it is already fixed and output is 24/48? I have also tried to find a DAC, which is used in WDTV but with no success. It would be nice if someone knew that. But this is not so important.

 

Thanks in advance   


 

Welcome to the forums.

 

In the first place, if you want surround sound then you are going to pass through the audio digitally either via HDMI or optical and then the quality of the sound discussions are moot, since the sound isn't decoded by the Live at all but by your decoding device (AVR in most cases).  It will be as good as the audio track is itself.

 

 

Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
Occasional Contributor
Apple64
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-08-2010
0

Re: Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

Okay, actually I want to buy a DAC but I found somewhere that WDTV has own DAC. It does not have to be true but my problem remains. 99% of my movies has a DTS track, which is encoded with these settings: 1536 kbit/s bitrate, 48 000 hz sample rate and 24 bits depth. 24/48 is a standard setting even for a DVD audio. My question is: Has really WDTV Live HD Player only 16/44.1 audio output or not? I mean maximal possible output. It is obvious that 192 000 hz or 96 000 hz sample rate is downsampled to something. But I want to know where. If it is to 48 000 hz or to 44 100 hz? Same for bit depth. 16 bits or 24 bits... :-)

Occasional Contributor
Apple64
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-08-2010
0

Re: Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

[ Edited ]

Yeah, I agree. But I want to buy a headphone amplifier with built DAC. So I do not want a surround sound, only stereo. This is the problem. If I get it right, stereo sound is handled by WDTV Live. Then I would like to know output quality via digital audio output.

Honored Contributor
TonyPh12345
Posts: 22,992
Registered: ‎01-11-2010
0

Re: Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

A DAC only has any meaning on an ANALOG output.

 

The WDTV does have a DAC on the analog output, and in that regard, it does have limitations (but I don't recall of the ones you're referencing are correct or not.)

 

It outputs DIGITAL audio in the same format as the source, up to and including DD 5.1 and DTS.

 

 

 

 

===Live SMP / Live Hub x2 / Live+ / Live x2 / 24 TBytes of QNAP + WD NAS ===
Occasional Contributor
Apple64
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-08-2010
0

Re: Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

[ Edited ]

Okay. As I said before I am confused with that. It could be all a nonsense. I will be more specific. I want buy this device: Firestone Audio FUBAR IV. You can google it. It has a digital input via coaxial cable and toslink cable. I want to connect this device to WDTV Live via toslink cable. I am worried about quality. Because if is really only 16/44.1. There is no point to buy this headphone amplifier and I can buy cheaper one instead. That is the reason why I want to know output quality of that. I do not expect 24/96 but 24/48 would be very nice.

Honored Contributor
RoofingGuy
Posts: 2,871
Registered: ‎08-30-2010
0

Re: Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

Ok, I was mistaken about the DAC for the stereo out, but as Tony says, if you're connecting to the optical connector, then you're getting untouched audio... you're getting whatever the file has to send over toslink.

Occasional Contributor
Apple64
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-08-2010
0

Re: Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

I am not sure about it. If you have an active Stereo mode on, you do not have to have an AV receiver. Because WDTV Live uses own decoders, for example if you have a DTS track, it uses own DTS decoder to make a wave and then WDTV sends it thru HDMI or digital out output. So it is not untouched audio. In the Knowledge Base stands that during this process is all audio downsampled to 16/44.1. I found somewhere that it was fixed by WD to 16/44.1. But somewhere else I found that the output is 24/48. I would like to know which version is right.

Honored Contributor
mkelley
Posts: 3,064
Registered: ‎01-12-2010
0

Re: Audio output quality, type of used DAC in WDTV Live HD?

Have you ever listened to a surround sound track in Stereo?  Because it's awful, truly awful.

 

The problem is the tracks are balanced wrong -- the center channel will be too low (dialog) and the FX and music will be WAY too high.  No way around this -- it's truly the pits and I would not recommend it at all to anyone trying to listen to tracks from a movie.

 

At the very least you should try this out first on several of your films to see -- many people think it's actually intolerable to listen to surround sound mixed down to stereo (include me as one of them).

Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
Forums | Ideas | News and Announcements | Register | Sign in | Help | Forum Guidelines
Copyright © 2001 - 2014 Western Digital Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. | Trademarks | Privacy | Community Terms of Service | Site Terms of Use | Copyright | Contact WD