WMAPro Gets More Hardware Support!

Until now the VSX-59TXi from Pioneer was one of the only A/V Receivers to feature WMA Professional decode.  That might sound great and all, but the price tag for the VSX-59TXi is $4500,00.  That’s not exactly cheap and not a price to reach the masses at, but fear not Pioneer is releasing several new AVR’s that support WMAPro decode and are rather cheap!  Sean Alexander has posted the new models that will start at a very nice $275!  Why is WMA Professional decoe important you might ask?  Well, if you have purchased any of the WMV-HD disc’s they are encoded with 5.1 WMAPro audio.  With WMP 10 installed and a compatible sound card you will be able to send the WMAPro 5.1 track out SPDIF to the receiver!  You can also encode anything yourself with the Windows Media Encoder and send that out with WMP 10.  With the Windows Media Encoder and WMAPro you can encoded at 24-bit, 96kHz and up to 7.1 channels!  I really wish more companies would start making devices that support WMAPro.  Both set-top and portable would be very nice to see.

14 thoughts on “WMAPro Gets More Hardware Support!

  1. Chris,

    I hope you’ll forgive me for asking what’s probably a dumb question. Right now I have a ton of my CDs ripped to the computer in WMA Lossless. Do these Pioneer receivers work such that you could just play these tracks via WMP straight to the receiver and let it (i.e. the receiver) decode them for playback? I hope that makes sense!



  2. WMP 10 should pass that out of SPDIF as PCM, I think. Which is fine. You have 2 channels in Lossless that will be sent out an uncompressed audio. You should be getting an exact duplication of the original audio track this way.

  3. Why is it that all other software DVD players like WinDVD are able to put the signal out on SPDIF (optical) and I get 5.1, 6.1 sound in DTS and/or AC3 yet when I use Media Center 9 or 10 on the same DVD’s the sound out of the SPDIF is just stereo?

    In WMP under options/hardware if I got ot my speaker setup the SPDIF on in is grayed out when the audio card has a fully supportible SPDIF out. The funny thing is my older audiocard that did not have SPDIF if selected the SPDIF is accessible. This is just DUMB.

    I’m going insane here, why can’t WMP play DVD soud out of the SPTIF just like all other software based DVD players?

    By the way I’m using an Envy 24 based audio card with 7.1 channel support.

  4. The SPDIF setting in WMP 10 is really for WMA content (It will work for a few other audio formats too, sending them out as PCM IIRC) and not for DVD’s.

    WMP would use the WinDVD audio decoder, so the settings in that decoder should also apply to WMP. I use my Envy 24 based card to do this every once and awhile with NVIDIA’s decoder. I just pass it to my AVR and have it decode it. Other options are to check out AC3Filter which can decode and/or pass through AC3 and DTS.

  5. Thanks for the quick responce. it appears that the AC3, DTS output through SPDIF is not a problem when I use the other software based DVD players and its only a problem (stereo signal out only) when I play the same DVD is WMP.

    So what youre suggesting is that I download the NVIDIA decoder or the AC3Filter and try that. How do these decoders work? Will they give me an option where I can select SPDIF out? WMP doesnt give me that option (its grayed out) so will I be given that option in the output filter?

  6. WMP doesn’t have any options for DVD related SPDIF, if you are using WMP 10 it has a setting for sending WMAPro out of SPDIF, nothing for DVDs.

    NVIDIA’s decoders will send AC3 and DTS out SPDIF. Click on the “Speaker Setup” button and select “a receiver” and then check “via an S/PDIF cable” in the NIVIDA tray icon while playing a DVD.


    If you install the AC3Filter and set it to be a perferred decoder, then the option is under System, SPDIF Passthrough and check AC3 and DTS.


  7. I have downloaded AC3Filter, installed it and I get the same thing. Its as if its not set up to be the default filter at all. When I play DVD’s through my DVD software, its fine 5.1 going through the SPDIF. When I use WMP I get only 2 channels out of the SPDIF. What am I doing wrong. When I open AC3Filter while playing the DVD, none of the bars move to show that there is audio going through the filter. Is there a setting in windows or in WMP that I need to activate for the AC# filter to work?

  8. Ok if i go to options, DVD, Advanced in WMP10 I see that AC#Filter is actually working, I can see the output and input bars working but I still only get 2 channels out of the SPTIF not 5.1. What do I need to do?

  9. I would make sure you have the AC3Filter set to output 3/2+SW 5.1. After that it’s just making sure the other settings are working together inside the AC3Filter. ThatI can’t really help with much.

  10. I have set the output to 3/2 + SW 5.1 and the result is still 2.0 channels out on the SPDIF.

    I also installed the suggested Nvidia DVD decoder, but when installed WMP10 would not play the DVD at all. It would say that its playing but the screen was black and there was no sound. I’m really going insane here. Does anyone have any suggestions for me. I’m really running out of options.

  11. OK I got AC3 filter working for HD Movies in WMP10. I had to use 32bit instead of 16 bit. SPDIF (disabled) checked off and it works. however on regular DVDs if I check off the spdif (disabled) the system freezez and CPU usage goes up to 100%. So for now I watch regular DVDs using my winDVD player and HD movies using WMP10 and AC3 Filter. I’m thinking of upgrading ti Windows Media Center 2005. Will Windows media center allow me to use WinDVD or other DVD softare to be my default DVD player or will I be forced to use WMP10 for all my media playback?

  12. Your not forced to use WMP now. Media Center 2005 is basically the same as XP Professional with a few networking features disabled. Playing a DVD through Media Center would use the same decoders as WMP would use. WMP itself doesn’t do anthing with DVD but use the third party decoders install by PowerDVD, WinDVD, etc. Media Center does the exact same.

  13. I got a Pioneer receiver that supports WMAPro decoding. I want to send the WMAPro track out the S/PDIF jack to the receiver. In WMP, I’ve gone to Tools/Options/Devices/Speakers to change the WM Audio out S/PDIF option but it is grayed out. I have the latest WMP10, DirectX 9.0c, Windows XP MCE. I have two other computers with different audio cards and S/PDIF. I tried them as well but, the option is grayed out on them also. Is there something else I need to load or enable? I really want to use my S/PDIF connection for all audio to the reciever. Right now I have Dolby and DTS working out S/PDIF but for WMAPro 5.1, I have to use the analog jacks on the computer.

  14. My PowerDVD is set up to output 5.1 through SPDIF optical and amplifier receives 5.1.

    My WMP10 uses AC3Filter for 5.1 output through SPDIF optical. Yet my amplifier only receives 2CH stereo.

    I want to use WMP10. Any advice?

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