I currently stream via a Firestick 4k Max into my 4K monitor in my man cave/office. I have bought a Yamaha Surround Sound kit with the Yamaha HTR2071 AV Receiver and was going to connect my Firestick to it for better sound. I saw a post last night by @Jayhawks659 that mentioned he moved to the Nvidia Shield Pro as his Firestick didn’t pass TrueHD audio.
As my PC is in my office as well I’m thinking of installing Kodi on that instead. My graphics card is a Nvidia GTX 1080 and it has a Display Port and HDMI port as outputs. Has anyone used a similar setup and can the graphics card pass TrueHD audio into the AV Receiver?
Bit of a long winded question but got there in the end.
How many speakers do you have and where are they positioned? I’m busy AF right now but I’ll try to get back to you this evening.
Thanks @Jayhawks659 it is a 5.1 system not setup yet, moving things around this weekend.
@Jayhawks659 I’m off to bed soon as up early for work (UK here), will pick this up tomorrow if you have a chance to reply. Don’t worry if not as I know you are busy.
Still working here, but I’ll send you a private message later.
Alright, I will reply here so other people can see and learn.
Just use your fire stick and choose “best available” for the output settings. Plug it right into your Yamaha AVR and let it do the work. Choose the listening mode that says “Cinema DSP” or another listening mode that you really like the best.
Your AVR supports TrueHD, but it also only supports 5.1 channels of audio. If you try to play a source with 7.1 audio your receiver will attempt to simulate the 2 missing surround channels. You can play TrueHD audio tracks with a 5.1 system, but you may not notice much of a difference between that and Dolby Digital Plus with signal processing.
Audio encoding is, in a nutshell, how the audio is recorded and stored in a digital format. The media file that you are playing is just a bunch of code. When you want to convert that code back into an audible sound you can hear then it needs to be decoded. You can either have your source device (the fire stick) decode the signal and then send the uncompressed signal to the AVR, or you can have the device send the signal to the AVR and let it do the work. The difference is bitstream or PCM. Bitstream means that the signal is still encoded and your AVR would then do the decoding. This requires a lot less bandwidth. So when you are “passing through” audio you are letting the AVR do the decoding. TrueHD is a type of audio encoding. If you hear the term “codecs” this is where it comes in. So to play something with TrueHD audio, you need to have a device that can pass it through and an AVR that can decode it. In the case of your PC, yes, you can probably get it to passthrough TrueHD audio in 7.1 and your AVR would automatically scale it down to 5.1 but attempt to simulate 7.1. Your fire stick on the other hand will not passthrough TrueHD audio tracks. But fret not, and read on.
As mentioned above, DSP = Digital Signal Processing. Signal processing is something that happens after decoding. If you want to hear the audio track exactly the way that it was recorded and intended then you do not want to have any signal processing at all. Many receivers (like mine) will have a sound mode that says “direct” or something like that. But, it doesn’t always mean that is what may sound the best to you. This is especially dependent on the acoustics of the room you are listening in. With your Yamaha AVR, you can use a “listening mode” that sounds the best for your particular room. That is what the Cinema DSP mode is. It will take a 5.1 audio feed or lower and process the signal so that it sounds like a 7.1 system in a bigger room. It can also enhance or emphasize certain sounds. So when you set the fire stick to “best available” it will do exactly that; It will choose the best audio track available and will bitstream it to your AVR where it can be decoded and then processed to give you the best listening experience.
Now, the other piece to this puzzle is what your software is set to output. Even though you changed your fire stick settings to “best available” you can still change your settings within an app such as Kodi. In Kodi you can turn on expert mode settings and then change your audio output. Since your fire stick will only passthrough up to 5.1, that’s what I would set my audio channels to. Then toggle the passthrough option on. What you also need to do in the Kodi settings is toggle on all of the codecs that your AVR is capable of handling (which it looks like all of them).
Good luck with it! I hope this all made some sense to you and I didn’t lose you. I really don’t think it is worth trying to use your GTX1080 series graphics card on your computer to try to passthrough 7.1 TrueHD audio tracks when your AVR is only going to simulate the missing two audio channels. I think you will be able to get perfectly good sound using the Cinema DSP mode. But maybe you have a lot of free time on your hands and want to try it both ways. Let me know how it turns out.
Thank you @Jayhawks659 for a most informative reply. Once setup this weekend (hopefully) then I’ll start having a play and let you know.