Improving audio playback quality

(Roger Ham) #1

I use MCEBuddy in combination with HDHomerun and Windows Media Center to record TV shows and use the MP4 High Quality profile. I copy the file onto a USB drive and playback on my TV. Video is fine but the audio is terrible. What profile do other users fine works better or is there some tweak that might help?

(RBoy) #2

What does audio is terrible mean? Have you enabled the multi channel audio option in the conversion task settings. The default audio settings are pretty good quality to high def for most profiles including MP4

(Roger Ham) #3

By terrible audio, I mean voice seems compressed and not intelligible. It also seems like the background noise is almost as loud as the voices. I have now enabled the multi channel audio option and will see how that works. Thanks and will report back.


I think changing the setting to multi channel audio will fix your problem, but even for high quality MP4, the audio bit rate in the profile settings is quite low (192 for aac and 384 for AC3). Depending on your needs, increase the bitrate in the profiles.conf file to 448 or 512 or even higher. As a request to the programmers, rather than tweaking the profiles manually, is there anyway you guys can add a feature to have a preferred audio type (AAC vs AC3, etc,) and bit rate in the GUI?

(RBoy) #5

Beyond a point (192 for AAC / 128 for MP3) it gets hard to tell the difference and just continues to making the file bigger with little incremental gain. These numbers were arrived at based on our testing in the labs however as you pointed out folks can change them or better yet create new profiles in a custom profiles.conf file and point MCEBuddy to it so it carries over when you upgrade. It’s not a good idea to modify the stock profiles.conf file.

As for the selection, we did debate it but the primary principles of MCEBuddy is to keep it simple. We actually have our families play with it to ensure they can understand it. Putting this level of technical information in the GUI is beyond most basic users hence we decided it best to keep heavy technical details out of the GUI and in the configuration files.


I completely disagree. that maybe your experience, it is certainly not mine, I can tell the difference easily. As a user, we should not be told what is good for us. For me it is not about file size, it is about quality. I like the new h265/HVEC compression for the video and like to use 512 or even higher for the AAC audio. I can tell the difference. So please let me be the judge on what I can see or hear

On the keep it simple bit; how can you call MCEbuddy simple, with the least amount of change, I had to edit a text file to adjust my compression settings, then I am told I it is done in the wrong file. I had to dig around on how to find the setting to change the default from 2 channel to 6 channel audio. on top of that You just had a user tell you that the default 2 channel audio setting garbled up the audio. Almost all modern players know when you only have 2 speakers connected and they correct the playback, why even default to 2 channel??. To me, a modern movie or tv show without 6 channel good quality audio is not good at all. I can keep going for a while

To me, MCE buddy is a great program, it works great to remove commercials completely automatically, when it comes to the compression settings both for audio and video, it can be improved and modernized.

(Gary Russell) #7

when it comes to the compression settings both for audio and video, it can be improved and modernized.

Ditto here and I have yet to get MCEBuddy to use hardware acceleration with my GTX1060. I don’t find MCEBuddy easy to use at all. I end up using MP4 Normal even though I don’t like the results.

(Goose) #8

Can you elaborate what can be improved with the conversion settings? As hardware if you’ve got a support video driver and using a ffmpeg based profile it should work automatically. Have you seen the log file to see what’s going on?

What is the codec used in your source files?

(Gary Russell) #9

My source files are from HDHomeRun Prime (MPEG2 TS). I don’t use any type of media server. I convert shows to watch on the go or on a smart TV via thumb drive. The conversion tasks are all preset and I have no idea what the settings are (ie video bitrate, VBR/CBR, variable frame rate, audio settings, etc.).

Personally, I much prefer to be able to set video and audio myself without having to edit some text file. All video and audio settings should be available in the UI.

(Goose) #10

Part of keeping it simple, is just to use ready made profiles. We don’t want to confuse average users (my mom or non techie husband) with technical data. If you know video bitrates and frame rates and so on, then you might as well edit the profile directly and you have much more control over the various/advanced encoding parameters.

The question being, what’s the issue you’re facing with the Normal profile? Have you tried the High quality profile?

(Gary Russell) #11

I’ve tried editing and the documentation is too confusing. High Quality takes too long and I don’t need two pass. I’d rather have higher bitrate, one pass.

You may think that MCEBuddy keeps it ‘simple’, but I don’t. It is a simple UI, but to take real advantage of the underlying software, it’s anything but simple.

I would stick with Cyberlink Power director (which is MUCH faster too) to transcode my files, but unfortunately, it has issues with some of the Prime recorded channels - especially those that are 59.97fps.

(Goose) #12

Gary if your need is to increase the video bitrate then you can just use the Quality slider on the conversion task page. Just slide it to the right and set it how much increase in quality (bitrate) you would like. Easy enough without having to fiddle with profiles or understand bitrates.

I’ll take your feedback on the documentation and we’ll see how we can make that easier. If you have any suggestion on how we can make the documentation easier or more usable please let us know.

(Gary Russell) #13

Why label it ‘quality’?Does this option control bitrate and compression level? I still need to know the bitrate. What works best for my devices is 720p @29.97fps 4000Kbps CBR with AAC 5.1 audio 256kbps 48KHz. MCEBuddy has no way for me to choose those options easily.

(Goose) #14

Feedback from users. There are a wide range of folks using MCEBuddy.

If you hover over it it will provide you with pop up help where it explains what it does, which is true for all button settings and options.

If you want absolutely specific settings (most users don’t, they want higher quality or lower quality) you can write your own profile. Tons of help available on this forum. Take a crack at it and post it here and folks will review it and help you fine tune it.

(Gary Russell) #15

Every time I have tried to create a custom profile, MCEBuddy locks up or doesn’t convert the file at all. MCEBuddy is way too slow. Even Handbrake alone is faster than MCEBuddy although I still can’t get Handbrake to use NVENC.