Yes, I have been wondering and searching the net and there doesn't seem to be a confirmed answer on whether it is possible to convert DTS to AC3 5.1 surround sound? I have done DTS to AC3 2 channel a ton of times. Would be nice to be able to get 5.1 sound out of my sound system. Thanks.
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There is also AudioConverter developed for the Popcorn series of media players http://audioconverter.heartware.dk/Tutorial/
First of all, you need to decide what to do with DTS tracks. You can either remove them completely from the file without conversion ("Remove track"), or you can convert them to AC3 (Dolby Digital) tracks, which your PopCorn Hour can process internally, giving you sound where you before had none.
If you choose to remove the track, it is simply stripped out of the file (unless it is the only audio track in the file). If you, however, choose to convert the track to Dolby Digital, you need to decide what bitrate you want the new Dolby Digital track to be encoded at. The higher the value, the better the quality, but also the bigger the file. DTS tracks are normally encoded at either 768 kbit or 1536 kbit, whereas AC3 tracks have a maximum bitrate of 640 kbit. Generally, I would select 448 kbit as the bitrate for new Dolby Digital tracks. This is on par with what commercial DVDs use.
You also need to decide what to do with the original DTS track. Should it be removed from the file, or should it be preserved? If you preserve the audio track, the resulting file size will increase with the size needed for the Dolby Digital track - perhaps even above the size available on the DVD disc. In order to monitor this, AudioConverter will do an estimate of the resulting file's size. If the file is estimated to be able to be put back on the same size DVD as it could before conversion, the file size will be green. If it cannot, the file size will be red.
I do it in a variety of ways but sometimes simply throwing it in Handbrake and setting the video settings as low as possible (I'm talking 1bps, 200x76res, FFMpeg) and setting the auto setting to what you want is easy. Then you can take that file and mux it with whatever you like in Mkvtoolnix and deselect the crappy video file! Takes longer than other solutions like Subler, compressor, etc. but with the video settings set low enough it will re-encode the audio in under an hour if not less.
I did some tests. PopCorn MKV AudioConverter is good for converting MKV files, and preserving the non-DTS audio tracks in the video file. My situation was different. I was looking for a (hopefully) single-step solution that converts a .M2TS file with DTS-HD audio (from a Blu-ray rip) into a .MKV or .M2TS file with AC3 (Dolby Digital) audio and with the non-DTS audio tracks removed, for easy compatibility with Premiere Pro.
Many thanks to Moontrash. XviD4PSP solved this for me in one step. Shareware. Converts multi-channel DTS-HD to 5.1 Dolby Digital (AC3) while leaving video track unchanged. Removes whichever audio tracks you don’t want. Works with many video formats (.MKV, .M2TS, etc.) and Blu-ray rips. Have only been using a few days, but seems to be a good general video converter. Runs fast. Allows me to now edit the video in Premiere Pro.
Sorry for jumping in on this old thread, but I have been trying to solve this problem and I found this thread and I'll bet other people will, too. I’ve read many posts about this problem both here on VideoHelp and elsewhere. I had been wrestling with this problem for hours using ffmpeg and eac2to until I stumbled onto this shareware, which I hadn’t heard of before. Hopefully this post will save someone some time. I don’t know or work for the XviD4PSP developer or anything. I’ve been lurking on VideoHelp.com for years getting good info and wanted to give back.
Here are the steps to convert video with DTS-HD audio to same video with Dolby audio. Interface of XviD4PSP is slightly quirky so this took a little trial and error. This particular example creates a .M2TS output file, but you can choose .MKV for output; either format supports AC3 (Dolby) with 5.1 channels:
Click “Add” on menu bar to specify source file.
Click “Codecs” on menu bar.
On right side, choose format “MPEGTS/BluRay.”
Click the buttons to specify the “Save to” location and output file name.
In “Video” section, choose “COPY” for codec, so video track is unchanged.
In “Audio” section, unselect whichever audio tracks you don’t want.
At bottom of “Audio” section, choose “AC3” codec (which is Dolby Digital).
To the right of “AC3,” choose “CBR” and (probably) increase bit rate to “640”.
Click “Start” on menu bar to perform conversion.
To get back to output parameters, just click “Codecs” on menu bar again.
NOTE: Even if original DTS-HD audio track has 7.1 channels, XviD4PSP only exports 5.1 channels, so the resulting file is still 5.1, even if you specify EAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus, which supports 7.1 channels) as the audio output format. Also, XviD4PSP reads DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) or DTS-HD HRA (High Resolution Audio), doesn’t matter.
I hope this is helpful to someone.
Last edited by rforgaard; 20th Feb 2015 at 14:47.
You could put your .M2TS file into a mkv container and using mkvmergegui and then Popcorn Audio convertor would work. I do this with mp4 files (my media player doesn't navigate them too well).
Thanks, netmask56 and ndjamena. Just summarizing what I’m trying to do, for context: I have .M2TS files directly ripped from Blu-ray that contain a DTS-HD audio track along with additional alternative audio tracks (in other languages, commentary track, etc.). I’m trying to convert each .M2TS file into a video file that Premiere Pro can edit, where the video track is unchanged, where the main multi-channel audio track is converted from DTS-HD to AC3 or EAC3, and where the unneeded audio tracks are omitted. NOTE: Weirdly, Premiere Pro CC 2014 can edit .M2TS files, but not .MKV files (I’m not sure why; seems like a pretty silly missing feature from Premiere Pro).
Netmask56: Per your suggestion, I just now tried mkvmerge GUI. It works well. In one step, it converts the .M2TS file into a .MKV file with the video track, and with the audio track already converted from DTS-HD to AC3 5.1. I am assuming that mkvmerge GUI leaves the video track unchanged (no decoding/re-encoding). The only wrinkle, for my purposes, is that Premiere Pro CC 2014 cannot directly read .MKV files, per above. I could convert the resulting .MKV to another format that Premiere Pro can handle, but XviD4PSP does the whole thing in one step for me (convert .M2TS with DTS-HD into .M2TS with AC3 5.1, leaving the video track unchanged).
ndjamena: Thanks so much for the suggestion to try MakeMKV. I tried it out. It will indeed read a Blu-ray disc directly. However, a Blu-ray disc natively has .M2TS files, and those .M2TS files are what I have ripped to my hard disk. I wasn’t able to figure out a way to get MakeMKV to read an .M2TS file directly; it could only read .MKV or .MKA files, or read directly from a Blu-ray disc. So, per above, XviD4PSP is a better one-step solution for my particular situation.
NOTE: The one downside, for my purposes, of using XviD4PSP to convert a DTS-HD .M2TS file into an AC3 .M2TS file is that XviD4PSP only exports 5.1 channels of audio. It does not seem to offer an option to convert DTS-HD 7.1 into equivalent EAC3 7.1 audio. (AC3 format can only hold 5.1 channels, not 7.1, but EAC3 can hold 7.1 channels.) It converts DTS-HD 7.1 into AC3 5.1. I noticed that mkvmerge GUI has this same limitation when I tried it. It’s not like I truly miss those other 2 audio channels – I would never really notice the difference between 5.1 and 7.1. But if I found an easy solution that preserves the full 8 channels of 7.1 audio, when converting from DTS-HD 7.1 video to EAC3 7.1, I would definitely try it.
Thanks again to both of you for your suggestions. It seems like everyone’s situation is a little different, and we all use whatever tools work best from our software toolbox. I am slightly surprised that the world has not yet produced a wonderful, GUI-based video converter that truly does anything you want in one step (for example, convert .M2TS DTS-HD to .M2TS EAC3 preserving full 7.1 audio with unneeded extra audio tracks removed and without re-encoding video). If someone created the be-all-end-all GUI video converter and made it available free, it seems like it would solve most of the issues in the VideoHelp forums. Maybe someone someday will build this be-all free GUI video converter. I’ll totally be the first in line.
Last edited by rforgaard; 20th Feb 2015 at 14:50.
Yes, MakeMKV will only read m2ts files with instructions from a Blu Ray play list (mpls), however, MakeMKV will read an actual MKV directly. If you grab the Arcsoft DTS decoder, remux the m2ts files with MKVMerge and THEN run the resulting MKV through MakeMKV you'll get an AC3 track made from the full DTS-HD master. You could even try converting it to FLAC or AAC.
Or there's EAC3To.
XviD4PSP can do it in one step. DTS-HD .M2TS to AC3, FLAC, AAC, or other formats in one step. No need for ArcSoft DTS decoder either, when using XviD4PSP - support for DTS-HD is built-in. I personally find XviD4PSP easier than MKVMerge followed by MakeMKV (or using eac3to) - I've tried them all - but all these solutions are good.
Sorry, I was using the wrong terminology. I didn't really mean "core." Thank you for the correction. I just now corrected my earlier posts to remove my incorrect usage of the word "core" to avoid confusion.
XviD4PSP does work with DTS-HD audio. It converts DTS-HD into AC3 5.1, even if the original DTS-HD source has 7.1 channels. If the original source is 7.1 channels, the result is 5.1 channels. When I tried mkvmerge GUI, it had the same limitation - if the original was 7.1 DTS-HD, it converts into 5.1 AC3 audio. Per my earlier note on this thread, I don't really miss those extra 2 channels. But if anyone can suggest a tool that will convert from DTS-HD 7.1 into the full 7.1 channels in EAC3 format (the normal AC3 format can only handle 5.1 channels, so for 7.1 you need EAC3), please let me know, I would definitely try it. But XviD4PSP and mkvmerge GUI both do 5.1 channels of DTS-HD, which is good.
Right, it does use the Arcsoft DTS decoder. And unless the copy I installed is playing up it doesn't really do anything in one step either. When I pointed it at an m2ts it demuxed the audio into a temporary folder using ffmpeg, which was one step, then it encoded the audio using aften, which made two steps, then it muxed the final file using MKVMerge which made it a three step process. I can't figure out how to get it to keep multiple audio tracks though.
It's basically a front end for a bunch of other programs, all kept neatly in it's "apps" folder.
And by the way, the topic of this thread is "how to convert DTS in an MKV into AC3" which both FFMPEG and MakeMKV can do in one single pass. MakeMKV will handle DTS-HD (MA, HRA, LBR), multiple audio tracks and create duplicate tracks as well, it just won't encode video. FFMPEG will encode video, just without the AviSynth filtering, but then again if you need to re-encode the video as well and don't need the DTS-HD extensions Handbrake will do the job too.
But yes, XviD4PSP can do it too.
To each their own.
Interesting info, many thanks. I didn't realize that XviD4PSP is a front-end for other tools. I'd like to look into it further. Can you tell me, where is the "apps" folder where XviD4PSP keeps ffpmeg, aften, and MKVMerge? On Windows 8.1, XviD4PSP doesn't do a traditional "install," so it's not in the "C:\Programs" or "C:\Programs (x86)" folders - it masquerades a single .EXE file that you just run.
I have Windows 8.1 x64 and unless we're talking about different programs my copy installed here:
C:\Program Files (x86)\XviD4PSP 5\apps
Maybe you're talking about the installation exe:
DTS-HRA/LBR decoders don't just drop out of the sky and as far as I'm aware the closest thing to a "free" version is the Arcsoft dll. Sure enough, once I removed that dll from my SysWow folder the program was only capable of decoding the core.
If there IS some wondrous app that decodes DTS-HD without the Arcsoft dll while remuxing from and to any kind of file imaginable I'd really like to know about it.
Hi, ndjamena. Again, very useful info. I also have Windows 8.1 x64. It appears we are running different versions of XviD4PSP. I am running the 7.0.108 Beta version rather than the 5.10.346 released version. (I just now went to the VideoHelp XviD4PSP page again, and discovered that the newest Beta release is now numbered 7.0.109 - that must have been updated within the past couple of days.) I have attached a screen shot of what this Beta version looks like.
Anyway, with the Beta version, it doesn't actually install as a traditional program. It seems to just run as a stand-alone .EXE that doesn't have a separate install step.
Still, though, based on your notes on this thread, I would guess that perhaps under the covers the Beta version still runs the other tools (ffmpeg, aften, MKVmerge), perhaps by embedding those tools somehow into the .EXE file. And that was an interesting note in your message that DTS-HRA/LBR encoders are rare beasts and the closest thing to "freeware" would be the Arcsoft DLL, so most likely XviD4PSP is using that Arcsoft DLL as well.
Just to be clear, I'm not trying to push one shareware/freeware tool over another. I was just posting on this thread because I originally came to this thread (and one other thread here) when I was trying to solve this DTS-HD video conversion problem. This thread helped me to succeed, so I was just trying to report back on what worked for me in case it is useful to others.
By the way, I really appreciate your taking this time to discuss these programs. I am new to this stuff and your messages are very helpful in explaining the lay of the land when it comes to shareware and freeware video and audio converters. Many thanks.
Well, the beta is definitely better than the official version and they do seem to have worked the source code of whatever libraries they're using into their program. I guess that's progress for you, although the date given by the official version is 12/02/2015 so it's not exactly old. I know MakeMKV used to use an external FFMPEG exe for encoding before it absorbed the source code into itself, but I can't tell what code repositories XviD4PSP is using looking it's official web page. Still, unless there's something wrong with my PC it's a bit buggy but definitely looks promising.
I doubt it can decode all forms of DTS-MA natively, Kodi has the only open source DTS-MA decoder I know of but I've never heard mention of it decoding DTS-HRA or DTS-Express.
Now I have to check up on it.