Question about the handling of DTS-ES



I tend to be long winded so going to get right to it.

I have some movies which are DTSES. They show as 6.1 in plex. I only have and will have for many moons if not ever, a 5.1 set up.

I'm trying to determine if I need to re encode these in some way as I intend for my entire library to be playable without transcode.

I'm trying to understand what is happening and the pros and cons.

I use the Plex roku client on a roku Ultra and my receiver is capable of every format under the sun. (Rz900)

If I leave the direct play setting in the client on auto, it transcodes. If I set it to force, it does not transcode and my receiver sees it as DTS.

Based on my limited research i assume what's happening is roku (or Plex?) is just passing through the dts "core"?

What does this mean for the "6th" channel? Am I losing it completely? Does this mean I have no other choice than to transcode or re encode the film(s) or does it matrix the sound somehow?

I'm not sure whether the receiver would or should be saying dts "es" or just shows as dts regardless of whether it's regular dts or dts es but likely irrelevant irrespective to my inquiry anyhow.


If your receiver is 5.1, you won't lose any sound from the 6th channel. (back center) Those sounds should be added to the left and right surround channels. Here's some info at Wikipedia:

You may have to change the settings for the Roku itself, (not settings in the Plex app) so that it will direct play DTS audio. That should eliminate the need to "force" playing the DTS track.


hmmm, thank you for the info.

the roku does direct play all DTS core just fine. It does not play anything with DTS 6.1 however and I have to force direct play.

another question (seemingly related).

I have 2 movies, both have audio tracks which looked seemingly identical in mkvtoolnix. Both displayed as DTS-ES.

1 will direct play on auto.

1 will not.

the one that will, shows up in Plex client and/or web app as DTS 5.1

the one that wont shows up as DTS 6.1

I was under the impression DTS-ES was equivalent to 6.1 so why are some "ES" showing as 5.1 and some as 6.1?

sigh so much for making an unconvoluted and baseline type library.


well after reading that excerpt about ES on wikipedia it seemed to answer some of my questions.

Apparently the ones that show as 5.1 are the non-discrete varient whereas the 6.1 are the discrete.

This leaves me wondering if I'm still covered with the roku. My onkyo does support ES but the roku "supposedly" only passes through the core (5.1) and my receiver doesnt say DTS-ES when its being force direct played, it simply says DTS.

Hope im still getting that rear center channel I suppose.

I looked for a means to simply convert it to core 5.1 but nothing I could find was capable outside of turning it into DD/AC3 which im not necessarily against from a quality standpoint, more trying to keep movies that support(ed) DTS as DTS and the dolby ones obviously as dolby. Call me a purist or ocd i suppose ;p


yea fwiw i changed the audio settings on the roku from DTS/DD+ to (auto) and changed the plex client back from forced to auto under direct play.

The result was the same. Under auto it transcodes all 6.1 titles to DD+. Under forced it passes DTS to the receiver.

So the question then becomes why is plex transcoding 6.1 audio when its clearly designed in such a way (based on my limited reading) that it plays properly on 5.1 (the lions share) of systems?

Whats my best avenue to address this? I really dont want to leave it on Force Direct Play if possible but until I can find a way to get it to not transcode...


Sorry, i can't be of much assistance. I always convert the DTS Track (any flavour) to Dolby Digital 5.1, and add a stereo AAC track as the first audio track in all of the BluRay rips I add to Plex. I do that so that the people I share with don't force a transcode (in most cases) and as you say, the lion's share of people have at best a 5.1 setup. I do have a 7.1 sound system, and when I want the full sound and video I pop the original source into the player.

There were several posts here regarding problems with DTS audio on the Roku, particularly the newer models. To be honest, I didn't pay much attention, as it didn't apply to me. I believe that there were problems with the MKV container and DTS audio at one time as well on the Roku, and the solution was to force transcoding. I don't know if that has changed.

If memory serves me right, my receiver did show DTS-ES correctly when using the Plex app on the Roku a couple of years ago, before I decided to just convert everything to AC3. When I have some time, I might re-rip a bluray and keep the DTS track to see what happens.


Yea I tried the convert route myself but im relatively new to all this so I wasnt able to find a viable means other than from DTS to AC3 which I wanted to avoid (even though i can likely not hear the difference, its something the audiophiles seem to have ingrained in my subconcsious).

Ultimately when a new roku or 2 comes out and I upgrade it will probably be rectified anyhow.

Thank you for your replies :)