New Audio Engine For XBMC Coming Soon

by Damian on May 30, 2012 · 9 comments

in News

One component that has been missing from XBMC has been the ability to bitstream HD Audio. Well, it looks like that feature might be right around the corner. In the recent XMBC blog the developers talk about AudioEngine, a complete re-write of the core audio sub-system of XMBC.

Features of AE include:

support for DTS-MA / Dolby TrueHD Bluray formats
support for 24-bit and floating-point audio at up to 384,000hz
mixing of all streams including GUI sounds even when passing through or transcoding audio
start-up enumeration of hardware audio devices and their capablities with log output
bitstreaming support in PAPlayer
upmixing of stereo to full channel layout
tighter syncing of A/V streams
floating-point processing of audio
24-bit and floating-point decoding/handling of mp3
full support for ReplayGain
built-in sample-rate conversion and transcoding

If you don’t want to wait for the next official release of XBMC to try, make sure you head over to the nightly builds where AE is already implemented. Also make sure to check out the XBMC AudioEngine wiki for further support and links.

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Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for you can find me over at my blog at or follow me on twitter


vidkun May 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I’ve been running the nightlies for a couple months now and loving it! The new AE hasn’t had an issue bitstreaming HD audio from BD ISOs yet. I highly suggest checking them out.

As I mentioned on one of your previous writeups, this is exactly what Plex is missing.


Damian May 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Agreed. I haven’t been doing much with HTPCs of late but do use XBMC on my iPad tablet and it works great. I will definitely need to find some time t o start messing around with XBMC again on my HTPC. With AE I no longer have a need to use MPC as a 3rd party player with XBMC, so that is a big plus.

vidkun May 31, 2012 at 5:01 am

Exactly. The days of following along with your guide to get codecs and players, etc setup just to work with the HD audio are over. Now, I just install XBMC and go. It’s pretty slick.

I am still waiting on an update to the Dunes so I can check those out too, though.

Damian May 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Yeah, no clue what is going on with the Dunes except the 8910 looks like vaporware

George S May 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Sounds interesting!!

Being a pain in the butt audiophile/videophile……
how is the video quality compared to MPC-HC with LAV FILTERS an madVR?
…..or even FFDSHOW
are you able to use filters in XBMC? does it use hardware acceleration?

Damian May 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Unfortunately you cannot use 3rd party filters. I would expect at a minimum the PQ to be better with LAV +Madvr, but best thing to do would be to do comparisons on your hardware. DXVA is supported on XBMC.

That was the nice thing about the DSPlayer version of XBMC because you could use any directshow filter, but that project got scrapped.

TrackZ June 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Wonder if this capability will work in Xbmc running on a jailbroken apple tv?

Damian June 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm

No, ATV has a hardware limitation (i.e the hardware does not allow for bitstreaming HD Audio)

azaze1 August 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm

still waiting for TV levels configuration on the internal dvdplayer. Without that MPC-HC is a still an unfortunate requirement to get proper video levels for any HTPC connected to a TV.

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