HBO Max Audio Quality

Discussion in 'AnyStream' started by Sally Leon, Jan 23, 2022.

  1. Sally Leon

    Sally Leon Well-Known Member

    I saw a thread like this before but couldn't tell if an agreement was reached. Which track is better?

  2. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    ac-3 is Dolby DIgital
    ec-3 is Dolby Digital Plus, often seen as DD+

    You want e-c3 (DD+) whenever possible. Although in your selection the bitrate is higher for ac-3, the quality of DD+ is much better.
    In fact, for HBOMax, I've never seen anything higher than the 258 kbps DD+ 6 channels (5.1) like you will with the others.

    One benefit for choosing ac-3 over ec-3 is file size; assuming that matters over sound quality and experience for a given title.
    Sally Leon likes this.
  3. vikingár

    vikingár Well-Known Member

  4. sycor

    sycor Well-Known Member

    I know I posted a similar thread a while back. I opted to go with the 386 ac3. AC3 is more compatible with more devices, so with my plex server I don't have to worry as much about transcoding.
    Wowfunhappy and Sally Leon like this.
  5. cartman0208

    cartman0208 Well-Known Member

    True ... plex seems to have trouble on some devices with eac3 ... so if ac-3 isn't available, I convert the audio-track to it.
    RedFox 1 likes this.
  6. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

  7. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    Personally, I find Plex has issues playing most content I have which is why I only use it to manage my library and not serve the media. Except for my kids of course...

    I use Infuse instead and link it to my Plex library. Plex does handle metadata much better than Infuse.
    Another benefit with Infuse is that I can play my Blu-rays/DVDs directly from my NAS without having to convert them to a video format (mkv, mp4, etc.). They play directly from the BDMV/VIDEO_TS folder backups. Plex can't do that! (y)

    And I love my DTS-HD MA and TRUE-HD audio tracks for movies where the audio MAKES the movie. Infuse doesn't transcode by default like Plex does. It passes everything through my receiver. I was very surprised how well it played Blu-rays back on my iPad over Wi-Fi. Very smooth actually.

    Imagine watching 13 Hours (2016) with only 68 kbps aac-sbr? :eek: It would feel more like watching a documentary. :cool:
    Sally Leon likes this.
  8. wright96d

    wright96d Well-Known Member

    In the tests I did, DD+ had some weird compression artifacts in the sibilant frequencies. It's supposed to be a more efficient codec, sure, but there's only so much you can do with 42kbps per channel. Go with AC3.
    Sally Leon likes this.
  9. jbinkley60

    jbinkley60 Well-Known Member

    Personally I use Mezzmo which can play native folder backups, can stream with/without transcoding, has a web interface, supports Internet live streams, has plugins for Internet radio stations and much much more. For transcoding it has many options including disabling by client, disabling by media, pretranscoding, on the fly etc.. Very good metadata support and autodiscovery of new content.

  10. DeadPixel

    DeadPixel Well-Known Member

    386 ac-3 is by far the best and should imo be the default
  11. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

    Just my experience but I use Plex for all my media types and it has rarely mishandled the audio. It always transcodes it correctly when it needs too (Most of my TVs are stereo but one is full sound capability). The only issues I have ever really had were it choosing to transcode instead of passing through True-HD/DTS. And it just took some settings tinkering to solve that. With that said, Plex can be a fickle thing.
  12. BoomKapoow

    BoomKapoow Well-Known Member

    Recently tried Infuse after seeing some recommendations here few days ago and was immediately hooked, I link my Emby servers and works really well, NAS also seems more relaxed now with how Infuse caches and syncs data making UI experience much more pleasant than native Emby player, looks better and much more customizable to
  13. Don922

    Don922 Well-Known Member

    I use Plex and have not had any issues.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. zero269

    zero269 Well-Known Member

    True that! Plex hiccups far too often for me to rely on playback; especially when trying 2+ streams. I like Plex for managing my media, and I will stream something from time to time. However, my biggest concern is that when you enable Remote Access, it always wants to go out to the internet and use one of Plex's relay servers, even though I stream everything right here at home: ASUS Wi-Fi6 Mesh, Synology NAS ds1812+ (replacing my older QNAP TS-851 which is now serving as my backup for everything).

    I may just disable Remote Access since I never use it; perhaps I'll have a much greater experience then. For traveling, I can always stream APV, NF, D+ and not to mention the 100's of titles I own on VUDU; many are Movies Anywhere which I can access through APV, ATV+, and of course VUDU.

    By the way, what do you mean by tinkering?
  15. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

    For me personally, even with 2 or 3 streams running I do not have issues. I can even stream (from plex to roku) lossless 4k titles. That's huge files that are 50gb+ of course. Now that makes it sound like I am doing something special. I am not. The "trick" is I don't use my NAS for a plex server. My NAS is storage only. I find them to be to low power for transcoding. I use a dedicated PC with a decent CPU and GPU and a generous amount of RAM. The reason I do that is 2 fold. The transcoding power but also because I use a PCIE slot for a TV tuner.

    As far as tinkering I have done a lot of tinkering with settings in my Roku players, Plex on the Roku players, the Plex server and the NAS as it relates to Plex. Much of it has to do with getting the audio right between roku and plex so it would not transcode everything and pass thru DTS and True-HD. The other category had to do with proper network settings so I could stream those 4k titles without an issue.

    Here are just a few of the things I have messed with:

    - pass through audio on Roku
    - pass through audio on Plex on Roku (Direct Play and Direct Stream)
    - allow for direct stream on Plex on Roku
    - use a large RAM drive on Plex server for transcoding
    - make sure I am using hardware transcoding on Plex server (I have a low power Nvidia GPU it uses for that)
    - NAS to Plex connection is via ISCSI on a 2.5GB connection (using jumbo frames of 9k)

    Now some of this was to get correct audio from Plex to Roku to Plex on Roku to receiver. For my stereo TVs it's always transcoding the audio which is fine is does both ever cause me an issue.

    Oh last thing. Plex should not be passing through it servers for your local connections. That means something is wrong for sure. I suggest making sure the Plex server setting under network is set correctly. Specifically "LAN Networks" and "Preferred Network Interface".
    zero269 likes this.