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Old 01-20-2016, 03:16 PM
Ted Blaisdell Ted Blaisdell is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 51
Default Decoding surround in mp4 or dcp to analog outs?

Hi,

I'm not sure where to post this, so here goes:

I occasionally do live sound at a 200 seat theatre. The theatre also has a big screen, a digital projector and a discrete 5.1 sound system. They have a few movie screenings every year and lately, instead of getting a dvd, they are getting sent mp4 files of the films. They have also just been asked if they can accommodate dcp playback.

My question is: Is there any way to decode the six channels of an mp4 (or dcp) file at the computer into separate analog outputs so I can route them to the proper speakers?

Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:24 AM
papalou papalou is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 42
Default Re: Decoding surround in mp4 or dcp to analog outs?

The best way to output a DCP picture & sound is to have a DCP server, which is dedicated to that. With a computer-based solution, you can get issues regarding performance for decoding the JPEG2000 stream. All DCP servers or projectors (it has been deported to projectors years ago for security reasons regarding encrypted contents) have AES output, most of time on RJ45 connectors. So all you need then is a DA converter and you'll have analog audio.

If you want to do that with a computer, you should have a look to Easy DCP Player Plus, which can playout encrypted and unencrypted DCP's, and output it with a Blackmagic card. You'll need a powerful computer, there's a document about that and performance examples somewhere on their website. But it's quite pricey.

For MP4 files, both software and hardware should be able to play surround sound (not so easy to find !), most of time you'll have a small software player with video cards from Blackmagic, AJA or Matrox, but not sure it will match your needs as there's some limitations (supported codecs, sample rate, number of audio channels...). You can also do that with piece of DI softwares like Resolv or Assimilate Scratch, but it's a huge task for audio people to learn such apps IMHO.

Then you can output picture and sound to an HDMI output that can be plugged into a home cinema system or an HDMI sound extractor, or output sound separately with AES outputs (again). I still have a 888/24 here for DA conversion, when needed (with an AJA Kona card and Assimilate Scratch).

HTH !
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