Why no complete audio passthrough?

The WD TV Live do not passthrough the raw bitstream of DTS HD tracks. Why not?

There is a comperitor media player in the same price range that do just that ( www.playonhd.com) so why not do the same with WD TV Live? Should be just a minor firmware change anyway.

Sure I can always buy the other media player but then it would be a waste of the money spent on WD TV Live.

Edit : ignore this post. The english specs for the competitor say passthrough “core” steam (which is plain DTS not HD). The translated specs I read first was badly translated and missed the “core” part and that fooled me to believe the untouched bitstream was passed through. Sorry about my mistake.

Right – the Live will passthrough the DTS core of a DTS-HD track, but not the DTS-HD track itself (currently no media player can do this and it’s unlikely any will, as the DTS folks don’t want anything other than a blu-ray player to have this capability due to piracy concerns).

mkelley wrote:

currently no media player can do this and it’s unlikely any will

Not completely true. The Popcorn A-200 & C-200 both support full HD audio passthrough (and just about everything else we WDTV users want…) just need to pay more for the Popcorn streamers…

I’m thinking of demoting my WDTV LIve to the family room TV and  getting a Popcorn A-200 for my main TV…


I find that impossible to believe – DTS-HD is not licensed for ANYONE in a media player.  If they are doing it it is illegal.

I’d have to actually see it with my own eyes (and I mean see it – I’d have to see a receiver say it was decoding DTS-HD and not just DTS).

So I will remain firm in my conviction no one does this.

The official response from WD on the matter has always been that the WD TV Live / + does not have a license to bitstream DTS-HD.  The reason seems to be the cost of the license, not the unavailability of such a license.  

There are recent posts on the PCH forums ( like this) confirming that HD audio is working on MKV files now but, like Mike says, unless you see an AVR light up confirming it’s actually HD audio and not the core it’s impossible to know for sure…

You can read WD’s official comments on the suggestion post in the Ideas Lab:


Given that DTS-HD is now the dominant HD audio format, it’s more than a little silly for the WD TV Live range to be limited to Dolby TrueHD (and I’m not sure they’ve even progressed that any further tbh).

None of this affects me, however, as my AVR doesn’t even support DTS!  :D  It’s like 1999…


You may be right that DTS will license that technology to others but I remain skeptical.

But if I can’t see for myself (I can’t) maybe someone who has one of these Goodtime Boxes can shoot me a screen shot or outside packaging that shows the official DTS-HD logo on it.  Maybe things have changed since I talked with my Sony gal (who told me they could not get DTS-HD internal decoding for the PS3) and maybe DTS has loosened up their stand (hey, money is tight and anything is possible).

Hopefully this will get cleared up; I just dispatched a request to DTS Digital Entertainment to get their take.

However, they DO have on their FAQ that the PS3 does decode DTS-MA.


Yeah, that’s interesting (actually, what’s *interesting* is that it won’t pass through DTS-HD, which is what we’d like the Live to do.  So I wonder if this boils down to "we won’t license pass-through technology to a media player but WILL license decoding to a blu-ray player, which is what the PS3 is in this case.  IOW, you can’t use the PS3 as a media player if your thought is to pass through the audio to be decoded elsewhere).

The Xtreamer does DTS-Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus…is DTS-MA the same as DTS-HD?

The full description is DTS-HD Master Audio.

Does the XStreamer have the DTS-HD logo on it anywhere?  Because if not, it doesn’t have it regardless of what it might say anywhere else (the logo is kind of like a holograph proof on a credit card – companies take the logo VERY seriously).

I cut’n’pasted the below text from the C-200 spec:

Audio Pass-Through:
Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD

Can anyone with this baby ley us know if the C-200 actually do this or if the spec is lying?

I agree with mkelley that I’d like to see a picture of the receiver with the DTS-HD symbol lit when it’s being fed by the passthrough DTS-HD sound from a C-200.