Popcorn MKV Audio Converter
You just got a new media player and are ready to play your HD mkvs on your big screen TV. Everything is plugged in, set to go. You hit play, the picture comes on which looks great, but wait, no sound… If this has happened to you most likely you have been bitten with the DTS bug. Your mkv has an HD audio track such as DTS. Your media player is connected directly to your TV or to a receiver that cannot decode this HD audio track. In order to get audio your media player needs to downmix the HD audio track to stereo. No sound means that your media player does not downmix. Unfortunately I have run into this exact scenario with my SageTV HD200, which is connected directly to a Panasonic Plasma TV. Since the HD200 does not downmix HD audio many of my Blu Ray mkvs get no sound. The way around this would be to make sure an AC3 audio track is included alongside the HD audio track. This can be done either when first creating the mkv (the best option) or in my case can be done after the mkv has been created. Once completed I am left with an mkv containing two audio tracks (DTS and AC3). I can switch to the AC3 track on the HD200 yet retain the DTS audio track when wathcing my mkv’s in my home theater. To get this done, I came across a very simple app called Popcorn MKV Audio Converter that will convert DTS tracks in mkvs to AC3. The biggest pain is that you need to download a bunch of files, but only have to do this once and the app will actually direct you to where the files are online.
- When you first run Popcorn MKV AudioConverter the UI will have several different tabs. The left tab grouping will have all the information of the various tools used. You will notice next to each tool there is a little globe icon. This will direct you to the website where you can download the tool. Once downloaded just select the “Browse” button and point to the location of where the tool is saved. Here are the links for the various tools (remember, you only need to do this once):
- The right tab grouping is where you set the preferences for the audio you are looking to convert. Since I don’t deal with VORBIS or AAC I will only focus on DTS. The three different options are to “Remove DTS track”, “Convert to Dolby Digital”, and “Cleanup track”. Once again, my focus is on converting the DTS track to Dolby Digital (AC3), and there are several options you can choose from:
- Downmix to Stereo – check this is you want a 6 channel DTS track converted to a 2 channel AC3 track. If unchecked, all 6 channels are preserved
- Preserve DTS track – check this if you want to retain the DTS track as well as the AC3 track in the mkv
- Bitrate – specify the bitrate of the Ac3 track
- DTS Decoder Library – choose what DTS decoder library to use. Unless you have installed a separate library, the default libav will be used
- Set DTS Track As Default – since you will have multiple audio tracks in the mkv, checking this will assign the DTS track as the primary track.
- Cleanup DTS Track Before Re-Encode – check this is you want delaycut to run through the DTS track prior to transcoding to AC3
- Below the tab groupings you will select the source and destination file. Once populated PopcornMKV will display the media info of the selected source file. There are also a few other options available to select if desired.
- Here is a screenshot of the GUI with all the information filled in:
- Here is a screenshot of Popcorn MKV once the transcoding is complete:
- Here is a screenshot of the media info of the new mkv, showing 2 audio tracks (DTS and AC3)