Streaming AC3/DTS based movies (and DVDs) is now supported on the X360 in 5.1 surround!
As you all know ps3mediaserver only streams movies in stereo to the X360, this is because the X360 only supports WMA-PRO (WMA3) encoded multi-channel audio which is a propriety format that cannot be encoded by mencoder/ffmpeg. (decoding is possible since Sep09)
Recently I've noticed that when streaming movies with media center 7 (after installing the DivX MKV extension, win7 only) the encoding process is completely hardware accelerated and the audio is multi-channel as long as you are playing AC3 based streams (DTS is not supported with media center 7).
That got me thinking, and after some digging around I've decided not to wait for mencoder/ffmpeg to support WMA-PRO encoding (which is obviously a low priority considering the other features) - and therefore have decided to code an ASF remuxer/encoder that will add WMA-PRO and WMV3 (VC1) support - codename magma
I'm happy to say that it works and 5.1 AC3/DTS movies can now be transparently re-encoded into WMA-PRO while streaming with ps3mediaserver, there is no need to change or do anything.
The package is here:
Make sure you have ps3mediaserver configured to 6 channels (transcoding settings/common/number of audio channels), set the AC3 bitrate appropriately and use mencoder to play video - after which every video that has a selected audio stream with more than two channels will be played using magma, the rest will play normally using the regular mencoder settings. (subtitles are supported in both as I am still using mencoder for video encoding - which means all your mencoder settings still work, the other option which I've disabled for now is to have magma encode to WMV3(VC1) + WMA-PRO and skip mencoder altogether).
Couple of notes:
- Magma was written in four days and is as beta as it gets
- Since I am using the new media foundation framework (which was built to replace DirectShow) the minimum required operating system is Windows Vista - DirectShow is deprecated and is being phased out for the hardware based media foundation framework, so I didn't support it - sorry Windows XP users. (and MacOS users.. and linux users )
- Hardware accelerated encoding will be added in the near future but will be Windows 7 only (and will require a GPU).
If there are any issues please let me know and attach the debug.log and magma.log.