Netflix Audio Formats

Discussion in 'AnyStream' started by Wowfunhappy, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. Wowfunhappy

    Wowfunhappy Active Member

    Hello! Thank you for making this wonderful software, I discovered it today and I bought a license within the hour!

    Ideally, I'd like to download videos in 5.1 surround as either (plain) AC3 or AAC. Netflix appears to offer the following:

    Screen-Shot-2021-04-23-at-9-42-39-PM.png

    The second option ("192kbps") appears to be AAC. However, for surround audio, the 192kbps bitrate is strangely low. It admittedly sounds fine to my ears, but I intend to buy a better sound system some day, and I'm concerned future me will be very annoyed I didn't select a better format.

    The final option ("640 kbps DD+ 5.1 HQ") appears to be Dolby's E-AC3 format, which I can't play without transcoding.

    Does anyone know what the other options are, and if any of them would be better? I'd expect Netflix to offer a plain AC3 stream at least, since a lot of legacy receivers need that format explicitly.

    Broadly speaking, I'm just surprised at the low number of options for high-bitrate surround...
     
  2. RedFox 1

    RedFox 1 Super Moderator

    Thank you for your kind words, play with them, see what is best for you. Each of us uses it on different computers, tvs, and other products.
     
  3. Vzxy

    Vzxy Well-Known Member

    It really depends on how yo consume the content. Plex will automatically transcode whichever streams your device doesnt support. So, it will convert just the audio if your device doesn't support a particular codec, but I have a fairly old Bose Lifestyle 18 system, which I don't believe supports EAC3 DD+, but it seems to work just fine even without transcoding. IIRC I am pretty sure that DD only decoders will inherently decode a DD+ signal over HDMI or SPDIF so I guess that's why it works for me. YMMV.
     
  4. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

    This is 100% true (not that you need my confirmation I am just chiming in) and Plex handles this VERY well. I mention it because it's something I have been specifically dinking with on Plex and paying attention too. In fact it works so well you don't realize how often this goes on unless you look at the stream selections.

    I will add though (again because I have been dealing with this recently) , newer sound systems will drag the video AND the audio through it whereas older stuff you just send the audio too. This creates this situation where you have this decision tree of audio and video going on between multiple devices.

    In my case it looks like this right now.

    SOURCE (PLEX) -> Roku -> Audio Receiver -> TV

    It's an interesting thing for sure.
     
  5. Vzxy

    Vzxy Well-Known Member

    My living room is basically the same setup but with a Firestick instead. The bedroom TV just has a Firestick direct in - no multichannel at all - and handles the same content seamlessly.
     
  6. Wowfunhappy

    Wowfunhappy Active Member

    I guess my question is, am I correct that 192kbps is really low quality for surround, or is Netflix doing something clever that makes it okay? (And if not, why do they even offer such a low bitrate surround stream?)

    Right now on my current speakers, it sounds fine, but I don't have a good sound system atm, and I intend to change that some day.
     
  7. DeepSpace

    DeepSpace Well-Known Member

    To cover different internet speeds and devices.
    Some people might not have the speed for the best audio, but the lower one. Also there could be devices that does not support such a high bitrate.