WD Live not recognising AV Receiver as AAC compatible

I have my WD Live connected to my Marantz SR7005 via HDMI. I have just finished talking with Marantz support as I had been having problems with playback of videos encoded with 5.1 AAC audio. They suggested it was the player, not the receiver that was causing the problem.

So I checked the options under “Pass through via HDMI” and AAC was not selected. I manually selected that option, and got no sound at all from my video. So I tried again using *Auto Detect* and it did not show AAC as an output option. This leads me to believe that the WD is not detecting the audio capabilities of my receiver properly. I now realise that I have been converting videos to a non-standard MP4 container (H.264 & AC3) because of a WD fault, and not an SR7005 fault, which is really annoying.

Is this a known fault, or has this combination not cropped up before? This is a £1400 AV Receiver, so it might not be the most common device out there, although it is supposed to be fairly popular.

Finally, should I be directing this to WD support, rather than on here, or do they actually monitor this site?

I’m not seeing anywhere in their specifications that it’s AAC-compatible over HDMI.

The only references in the specs or owner’s manual about AAC is that it works on media connected via USB or via DLNA streaming.

Another thing you can do is to get the HDMI EDID data from your Marantz via the WDTV and decode it and see what it says.

Here’s instructions on how to do that.   Follow the instructions for the WDTV Live Hub… they’re the same for the SMP.

… but I’m sure you’ll find that the EDID data doesn’t mention AAC compatibility.

I don’t need to do any tests to know the receiver is compatible. I also have an Oppo BDP-103, and that plays the videos to the SR7005 with the audio intact, so that confirms it.

I have also had confirmation from Marantz support, that the receiver is compatible, and it was them that suggested it might be the player that was the problem… which they were correct about.

LeeC2202 wrote:

I have also had confirmation from Marantz support , that the receiver is compatible, and it was them that suggested it might be the player that was the problem… which they were correct about.

Hmmm.   Ok…   I “confirmed” the opposite:

LeeC2202 wrote:

I also have an Oppo BDP-103, and that plays the videos to the SR7005 with the audio intact, so that confirms it.

According to Oppo’s own documentation, the Oppo BDP-103 does not support AAC passthrough.

Analog Audio: 7.1ch, 5.1ch, stereo.
Coaxial/Optical Audio: Dolby Digital, DTS, up to 2ch/192kHz PCM.
HDMI Audio: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio, up to 7.1ch/192kHz PCM, up to 5.1ch DSD.
HDMI Video: 480i/480p/576i/576p/720p/1080i/1080p/1080p24/4Kx2K, 3D frame-packing 720p/1080p24.

Here’s the reply I got back:

“Thank you for your enquiry.  The SR7005 is not able to play multichannel audio via either the network sources or via the USB connection unfortunately, only by HDMI or Digital Optical / Digital Coaxial input.”

They said that because they presumed I was streaming from source to the SR7005 direct. Once I told them that the video was being played from another player, they then suggested the player might be at fault.

It’s great that you got *confirmation*, but perhaps it would have been better to pose the question more *specifically* to Marantz. What you asked was a bit ambiguous, so it’s no wonder you got back limited, and incomplete information. I say that because the manual also states that AAC is a compatible format from a media server, just just USB… in stereo mode, which is what it only plays via USB. The SR7005 is not a video streamer, but it does stream pure audio, and that is why AAC is specifically mentioned in the audio playback sections of the manual. If you put a video file with stereo audio on a USB, it will just play the audio part.

As for the Oppo… the manual states: “Input - HDMI Audio: up to 5.1ch/192kHz or 7.1ch/96kHz PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, AAC.”. So it takes AAC in through its own HDMI in connection, but I can’t confirm what it does with it, only that it plays back fine on the SR7005. I would have to pose the question to Oppo, as to whether any processing/conversion goes on, when AAC files are played from the player.

Needless to say, I am none the wiser, but based on Lori’s comment, it seems I’m not alone in that. :wink: Not sure what other devices I could try to confirm it, my PS3 plays them back correctly through a TV, but not sure via HDMI to the SR7005.

Does your Marantz tell you what format is being received via HDMI?

My $300 Pioneer does – the display indicates whether it’s PCM, DTS, or Dolby, and all the various supported variants of the above.

Presumably of your Marantz+Oppo are supporting AAC natively, your Marantz would indicate it’s receiving AAC via HDMI.

But I can at least say one thing:   The WDTV does not support transcoding Multichannel AAC to PCM, which is what would be required for my receiver (which does not support AAC passthrough) to play an AAC 5.1 audio track.   The WDTV, in my case, downmixes any AAC to stereo LPCM.

When I play files from the Oppo, AAC files display a PCM indicator, AC3 files display a Dolby symbol. So it looks like the Oppo is converting the files to PCM (I think).

I tried to do the EDID thing, but there is no About Mochi screen on the WDLive. I tried it in the About screen, but four attempts have proven fruitless, the file doesn’t get created. I am just about to try an alternate USB drive, to see if that’s the problem.

Edit: Different USB drive didn’t work either. :frowning:

Edit 2: Just done a bit of searching for AAC multichannel support on AV receivers in general, and came across this comment on another forum, from the back end of 2013. “AAC 5.1 support on receiver is pretty rare to non-existent from what I hear”. I find that quite strange seeing as MP4 is now a widely accepted format for streaming… I wonder what the logic is behind it? Maybe I just need to find an alternate, widely accepted video format with multichannel audio support, that doesn’t use AAC as the audio codec. :confounded:

Yeah, my edid instructions are obsolete.   Go to setup, about, device info, and do the key sequence at the Device Info page.

MP4 is very common, yes, hit MP4 does not imply AAC audio… MP4 can contain almost all audio formats. 

Can’t get it to work on the Device info page either. I’ve tried doing the keypresses slowly and quickly too, and that doesn’t seem to help. Does there need to be any medai on the device, or will just a completely blank USB pendrive work?

In all honesty, it looks like I need to be looking at a media player that can handle converting AAC to PCM in the player itself. I’d use the Oppo, but their media streaming has been poor to bad ever since they started putting firmware updates out. It was fine when I first bought it, and then every update has added or created problems.