Transcoding audio help needed (Kodi with jellyfin add-on)


I would like some info about how this transcoding works, because I cant get it to do what I want and I think I am beeing a total noob :slight_smile:

My situation,

I have a ex-android box now running Coreelec with Kodi 18.8 and running the Jellyfin Addon in Addon mode.
I have a Logitech Surround set (5.1) (Z-5450) with support for Dolby Digital (AC3) and DTS , getting audio from the Kodi box via SPDIF (Coax)
Latest version Jellyfin is running directly on a Linux
Using latest Jellyfin for Kodi addon, and it is running in Add-on mode.
(if exact versions are needed ill look it up, I have everything shut down for the moment, but I checked for updates yesterday, its all the latest)

Passthrough is enabled and working on the Kodi box for AC3 and DTS, movies with this audio work fine, I get the Dolby Digital or DTS logo on my logitech speakers, all speakers work, I am happy, family members that are trying to sleep are not , so all is good :slight_smile:

My problem, movies with AAC or PCM sound get send to my Logitech speakers as stereo (witch is to be expected since SPDIF over COAX only support 2 channel analog audio, when I set my Kodi box as 5.1 I miss half the sound, if I set as 2.0 I have all sound, but only from two speakers :frowning:

I tought it would be easy to force transcoding of all audio (atleast all 5.1) to AC3 (or DTS if jellyfin can transcode to that ?) but I can not get it to work.

I am actualy not even sure if any of the transcode options in the DLNA profiles do anything , since I am not really using DLNA (I think because its in Add-on mode the Jellyfin addon in my Kodi ??)
but that is the only place I find options for it,
I added a profile with the name of my Kodi box and told it to ONLY give AC3 and transcode all AAC and PCM audio , but nothing happens, in the dashboard it always say’s direct stream, no transcoding is hapening.
Also forcing “transcode” in the Jellyfin addon in Kodi does nothing.

If anyone can point me in the right direction to fix this ?

If there is any way to ALWAYS transcode ALL audio to AC3 or DTS than that is good for me also, because I ONLY play from my jellyfin server to this Kodi box over the local LAN.

So my main questions,

CAN the jellyfin server transcode audio to AC3 or DTS ??? (and if possible leave the video stream alone ?)
And HOW do I do that to a Jellyfin addon within Kodi ?

Thank you in advance for any help,


Anybody with experience in transcoding and has some tips/info for this noob ??

Thanks in advance,


The root question of your post is if the server can transcode the audio to AC3 or DTS, and I’m unsure about that aspect of it.

My bigger question is why are you trying to transcode this? Presumably this is all on your local network, in which case in 95% of cases it should be direct playing the files with no transcoding needed.

There seems to be some confusion about the different play modes, so I’ll just lay that out here:

  • Direct Play - file is being sent to the client as-is with no changes
  • Direct Stream - file is being sent to the client with minor changes (audio remuxing, etc).
  • Transcoding - file is being re-encoded on the fly to meet the client compatibility requirements

With that in mind, it does seem like your new profile or “force transcode” in the addon are having an effect. Which unfortunately leads back to the first question about server compatibility encoding to those formats.

At this point my biggest question is whether this is a Jellyfin/Addon specific problem, or a Kodi problem. Can you add the files to your Kodi box directly and see if it will play as expected then? That will narrow down if the issue lies in Kodi proper or if we need to make some changes somewhere.

Thank you for your answer,

My main problem is that my kodi box only has a COAX S/PDIF exit to go to my 5.1 Dolby / DTS sound system.

So if I want surround it has to be AC3 dolby digital or DTS

when there are movies that for instance have 5.1 PCM audio, it will only give stereo because COAX s/pdif only supports 2 analog PCM channels.

So I wanted to find a way to have my jellyfin server transcode (or direct stream) all movies with any surround audio as AC3 or DTS, and I could never get jellyfin to change anything :frowning: in the logs it just keeps using direct play, I think because I gues it thinks my kodi box can do everything, and even making profiles to force transcode was not working. (but im not even sure that this will work since these options are under DLNA and I think since I use the jellyfin add-on im not using any DLNA functions ??

I however recently found that that if I set my Kodi box to 2.0 channels, a new option under “passthrough audio” pops up to “transcode audio to AC3” ??!!
and it looks like for atleast some audio this looks like its working. (alto I would prefer my powerfull server doing everything and not my kodi box witch is already running very hot :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I will have to do some more experimenting, but im very interested in knowing if those transcode options under DLNA are supposed to have any effect on my kodi box in the first place ?

thanks alot,