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I've spent hours trying and failing to get passthrough audio to work with Kodi 18 beta on my Xbox One X; I simply couldn't get this audio option to even display, whereas it both displayed and was a cinch to set with Kodi 17 on my NVIDIA Shield.

I then came to this forum and read the "read before you post" FAQ and learned "Can't be implemented. Passthrough audio not working - Not supported by Microsoft for 3rd party apps".

Not happy ,as one of the reasons I purchased an Xbox rather than a PS was the ease of installing Kodi and its XBMC roots.

Before I go and buy another streamer to run Kodi and forget the idea of using the Xbox, is there any news on this limitation remaining valid, please?

Many thanks.
(2018-10-17, 00:08)Moravia Wrote: [ -> ]I've spent hours trying and failing to get passthrough audio to work with Kodi 18 beta on my Xbox One X; I simply couldn't get this audio option to even display, whereas it both displayed and was a cinch to set with Kodi 17 on my NVIDIA Shield.

I then came to this forum and read the "read before you post" FAQ and learned "Can't be implemented. Passthrough audio not working - Not supported by Microsoft for 3rd party apps".

Not happy ,as one of the reasons I purchased an Xbox rather than a PS was the ease of installing Kodi and its XBMC roots.

Before I go and buy another streamer to run Kodi and forget the idea of using the Xbox, is there any news on this limitation remaining valid, please?

Many thanks.


Xbox Does not support Pass through Audio.

You and I made bad purchases
Thank you for such a fast reply, jcwillia1 - even if it is what I feared and confirms that I am not alone.

What a bummer this is.  A bad purchase indeed and I feel duped - especially as Kodi on the expensive powerhouse of an Xbox One X is also more sluggish loading and skipping around in movies from my NAS than the near-instantaneous Shield.  Both are wired on a gigabit network.

Not only do I now need to buy another streamer (I'll stick with another Shield as it runs rings round the cheap Android boxes I first tried) but I am one HDMI port short of what I need; my family likes things simple so I don't want extra switches or piggybacking of devices.

Time to sleep on it.
The Xbox should be able to do surround sound audio IF you have the HDMI output set to bitstream, AND whatever video you're watching has 5.1/7.1 audio AND you've set the speaker configuration to 5.1/7.1 in the Kodi system settings. Sure, it might be decoded by the Xbox and sent as PCM, but for probably 99% of content, it should be essentially indistinguishable. What it won't do is send stereo audio over HDMI in a way that can be upmixed by an AVR. You get DD/DTS/Atmos with silence on any channel not being used. You can use Kodi to upmix stereo signals, but that won't help you if you also want to use Netflix or Prime Video. There's also currently a bug that seems specific to the Xbox One X regarding Kodi and the latest dashboard update where after you start Kodi for the second time, all of the text disappears. Hopefully Kodi devs can find a fix for that without relying on Microsoft, but who knows.

I forget where it was I saw it, but the person who is in charge of the audio subsystem of the Xbox One did seem interested in at least talking to some of the Kodi devs about this whole issue. It should go without saying that nothing may come of this, and even if it does, it might be a long time before we see it implemented, but it's reason for some (very) cautious optimism. There's just a couple minor issues with the audio on the Xbox platform that make it from being sort of the ultimate HTPC like the OG Xbox was when XBMC got started. Hopefully enough people in the Microsoft management figure it's worth trying to position the Xbox One as a media playback device that can also play games since they've pretty clearly lost this round to Sony. Might just give them a boost in sales if they can offer up a HTPC that needs minimal fuss to set up and is more than powerful enough to handle basically any format you throw at it likely for years to come.

For now, if you still have your Shield, I'd probably just fall back to that. The color space issues are the biggest reported issue, and honestly it really only affects the UI. Once you start playing a video, everything looks just fine. I did quite a bit of eyeballing the same scenes of a single video and I could not tell a difference between BT.709 and BT.2020 in the video. Things like the Netflix logo will look kind of washed out, but seems like a small price to pay if you don't want to have to keep changing output modes every time you want to watch HDR content. Especially, once again, since the actual content of videos is basically identical if the source is SDR.
Buy a shield for local stream media
Thank you too, aerogems.

In parallel with you writing your post I found another on this forum talking about exactly what you described.  I have consequently set my Xbox One to use bitstream over optical output.  My amplifier (which pre-dates HDMI but is an awesome piece of kit that I have no intention of replacing) now permanently displays DTS whenever the Xbox One is powered up and selected.  I need to wait for tomorrow for a test of what things sound like, as a sleeping family won't thank me tonight.  My guess is that as you surmise, movies will sound just fine after decoding and recoding. 

Of more interest will be what my critical ears make of my lossless WAV music collection since even with the amplifer manually set to stereo (which is how I listen to music) it will now have needless recoding in the chain.

This will probably be the acid test of whether I need to buy a second Shield (the first one now doing service in the kitchen where the Xbox liberated it to replace a trusty Boxee Box that cannot stream video above HD quality).

Feeling at least a bit better than I was a while ago - and yes, let's hope MS smells the coffee. Smile

Stand by for an update tomorrow, thanks again, and good night!
Under no circumstances and no settings will Any xbox stream higher than 5.1 --- prove me wrong because I Have Spent Hours and hours trying
Do me a favor - get an actual 7.1 test file from the internet - you may think you are getting sound out of 7 speakers but that doesn't mean you are getting 7.1
5.1 is all I have.
(2018-10-17, 01:08)jcwillia1 Wrote: [ -> ]Under no circumstances and no settings will Any xbox stream higher than 5.1 --- prove me wrong because I Have Spent Hours and hours trying
 It can do at least 5.1.2 for Atmos audio, but should also be able to do 7.1.2.
(2018-10-17, 01:01)Moravia Wrote: [ -> ]Thank you too, aerogems.

In parallel with you writing your post I found another on this forum talking about exactly what you described.  I have consequently set my Xbox One to use bitstream over optical output.  My amplifier (which pre-dates HDMI but is an awesome piece of kit that I have no intention of replacing) now permanently displays DTS whenever the Xbox One is powered up and selected.  I need to wait for tomorrow for a test of what things sound like, as a sleeping family won't thank me tonight.  My guess is that as you surmise, movies will sound just fine after decoding and recoding. 

Of more interest will be what my critical ears make of my lossless WAV music collection since even with the amplifer manually set to stereo (which is how I listen to music) it will now have needless recoding in the chain.

This will probably be the acid test of whether I need to buy a second Shield (the first one now doing service in the kitchen where the Xbox liberated it to replace a trusty Boxee Box that cannot stream video above HD quality).

Feeling at least a bit better than I was a while ago - and yes, let's hope MS smells the coffee. Smile

Stand by for an update tomorrow, thanks again, and good night!
 Here's wishing you luck. What I just found the other night, is my Denon AVR has a couple of modes called "Video Game" and "Matrix" which will actually upmix even the stereo audio sent via a DTS container. Video Game has too much reverb for my taste, and I haven't worked out how to turn it down, but Matrix sounded almost as good from what I get from my Shield and the AVR using the DTS Neural:X upmixer. Yours may have something similar for those TV and movie watching sessions.

If it were me, I'd just get another Shield. Walmart has the 16GB model for like $170 right now, and now that you can use external storage, there's almost no point to the Pro model. Hopefully Microsoft employees keep occasional tabs on this forum, or Kodi devs have regular chats with them so they can pass along these things. I still am of the mind that Microsoft could have a real winner of a product on their hands if they worked with the Kodi devs to make Kodi an alternate dashboard, like in the OG Xbox days. Couple of simple rules, like any DVD and Bluray playback MUST use the Xbox provided API to keep the MPAA happy, and no support for any kind of piracy (which they already do), they could really push the whole idea of the Xbox One as a media convergence device that sits at the middle of all the entertainment devices in the average living room. But I digress...
(2018-10-17, 03:35)aerogems Wrote: [ -> ]
(2018-10-17, 01:08)jcwillia1 Wrote: [ -> ]Under no circumstances and no settings will Any xbox stream higher than 5.1 --- prove me wrong because I Have Spent Hours and hours trying
 It can do at least 5.1.2 for Atmos audio, but should also be able to do 7.1.2.


Prove it.
(2018-10-17, 01:01)Moravia Wrote: [ -> ]Stand by for an update tomorrow, thanks again, and good night!
 Not good news.  With optical output on the Xbox One X set to bitstream and output set to DTS, the amplifier always detects DTS, even when nothing is "playing" (i.e. Kodi has nothing to do with it so the output type set on the Xbox is always valid).  If I then play a DTS or DD movie through Kodi set to 5.1, the result is dire; thin and over-processed with the centre and subwoofer channels doing most of the work and the four others providing little more than squeaky whispers like a magnetic tape on fast forward.  If I set Kodi to 2.0 and play the same DTS or DD movies, I get stereo left and right plus subwoofer, but no centre or rears - so no recoding to DTS surround.

After my emphatic NVIDIA Shield success elsewhere in the home I am about to order a second one and consign the Xbox to kids' gaming-only as an expensive mistake.  Before I do this though I need to check if the Xbox allows HDMI passthrough; I have no spare 
HDMI ports on the TV and no spare optical ports on the amplifier or optical switch so need the Xbox to feed both the TV (HDMI) and the amplifier (optical) having passed through the HDMI signal from the Shield.
Xbox is a great gaming device and could be a great streaming box but under Phil spencer Xbox is only and all about games.
(2018-10-17, 04:50)jcwillia1 Wrote: [ -> ]
(2018-10-17, 03:35)aerogems Wrote: [ -> ]
(2018-10-17, 01:08)jcwillia1 Wrote: [ -> ]Under no circumstances and no settings will Any xbox stream higher than 5.1 --- prove me wrong because I Have Spent Hours and hours trying
 It can do at least 5.1.2 for Atmos audio, but should also be able to do 7.1.2. 


Prove it. 
I don't have the equipment to prove it to you but, trying to think this through, if Atmos is being bitstreamed (there's no decoder on board for it, nothing decodes Atmos outside of AVRs, as far as I know), bitstreaming should provide you with what's in the original audio stream, shouldn't it? One would need an Atmos receiver, a 7.1.2 Atmos (7.1.4 should work too), and an UHD BluRay disc with a 7.1 Atmos soundrack to check it.
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