AAC audio bitstream to Pioneer VSX AVRs ... almost


I decided to take a picture of the front of my AVR (Pioneer VSX 1016) to show the AAC decoder exists and the indictors illuminated. Trouble is the WD TV Live does not seem to be demuxing the audio properly from the MP4 container (or youtueb for that matter). But I have not ruled out the AVR yet either. Decoding/or downmixing on the WD TV Live side is not desirable. First my old school ARV does not do HDMI switchiing only pass-through. And secondly, I hate matrixed sound. When I saw everything light up at first I got excited. It was short-lived when all I heard was silence. Cheers

I don’t expect this issue to be resolved here. I have read all the threads about the broken AAC in the WD TV Live. I have also read the threads about the rarity of AAC decoding AVRs. Since the VSX is a very popular RX I thought I would put this out there for my follow VSXers. You are not alone. :slight_smile:

That’s bizarre…

While I can’t argue what you’re showing in that picture, I find it quite odd that Pioneer makes absolutely *NO* signficiant reference to its AAC capabilities in the specifications, manual, or product brochure, or any pioneer website.

The only reference made to AAC is the “Sound Smoothing” feature.

I agree. Several possibilities exist. One, it was never meant to be implimented or the same chipset is used in the Elite series.  Since various containers and profiles exist I would like to try handbrake or super to see if any can produce sound. I have the 1015 as well and it is void of any refernce to MP3 or AAC. Only WMA.

Oh.  I just discovered something.

There are multiple variants of AAC.   Your receiver is displaying MPEG2 AAC, and there’s also such thing as MPEG4 AAC.


Can you post the MEDIAINFO for one of those files that triggers that display?

Yes during my testing I quickly read up on the various specs for AAC. That is MPEG-2 Part 7 and MPEG-4 Part 3. Here is the output. I have shown the container info as well. As to the receiver, I have never seen MPEG-2 containing AAC in the wild so I am not sure why the display indicates that.  Stereo AAC fed to this receiver acts slightly differently. There is no large MPEG-2 displayed and only the small AAC and channels L and R are indicated. 


Complete name : Test.mp4
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media
Codec ID : isom
File size : 1.44 GiB
Duration : 1h 22mn
Overall bit rate : 2 505 Kbps
Encoded date : UTC 2010-12-05 13:57:17
Tagged date : UTC 2010-12-05 13:57:17
ID : 1
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 8 frames
Codec ID : avc1
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
Duration : 1h 22mn
Bit rate : 2 182 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 28.7 Mbps
Width : 1 280 pixels
Height : 720 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 23.976 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.099
Stream size : 1.25 GiB (87%)
Title : Test
Writing library : x264 core 98 r1649 c54c47d
Encoding settings : cabac=1 / ref=8 / deblock=1:-3:-3 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=umh / subme=9 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=32 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=0 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=3 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=0 / interlaced=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=4 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=25 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=2182 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
Encoded date : UTC 2010-12-05 13:57:17
Tagged date : UTC 2010-12-05 13:57:56
ID : 2
Format : AAC
Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec
Format profile : LC
Codec ID : 40
Duration : 1h 22mn
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 320 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 331 Kbps
Channel(s) : 6 channels
Channel positions : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 188 MiB (13%)
Title : Test
Language : English
Encoded date : UTC 2010-12-05 13:57:52
Tagged date : UTC 2010-12-05 13:57:56

I got a reply from Pioneer. That model contained the hardware but not the software (codec) for AAC decoding. I can only assume the manual was written before the decision to pull the AAC support. Too bad. So while it will detect and display the AAC input it will never produce sound.

Interesting choice Pioneer made there.   What a way to confuse the owners!  :dizzy_face:

Yeah I agree. I have no idea what AAC licensing might have cost back then but perhaps it translated to a less expensive unit. Now that many online services have popped up that use AAC I just might have to upgrade. I am sure Google will soon be send MC audio out of youtube movies. ATV2 transcodes AAC to DD etc.