Many devices do not support videos with AC3 or DTS audio, among other codecs. In other words, the video is played but with no sound.
The reason for this is that those audio codecs have patents and a commercial license must be paid in order to decode them. Thus, some companies choose not to pay and do not support them. On the other hand, no licenses or payments are needed to stream or distribute content in AAC format.
I had this audio issues on a RCA TV. First, I did some research about the supported codecs and containers for the TV. Then, I tested several programs and finally found the perfect combination.
This issue with audio codecs is also present in other TV manufacturers like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic or LG. In addition, videos with AC3 audio can’t be played in Apple devices like iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, etc.
Recently, I saw this same issue on an iPad so I decided to post my solution. On the iPad, the VLC app showed the message: “Codec not supported, VLC could not decode the format a52 (A52 Audio (aka AC3))“.
The process is simple and fast, since there is no need to modify the video:
Convert audio to AAC
I tried many programs which convert audio from a video. Most of them seem free, but they are actually trial versions with limited functionality.
I found this application from Pazera which is free, for real. Download and extract the portable version:
Then, to convert the audio:
- Execute AudioExtractor.exe
- In the Audio section, select AAC – Advanced Audio Codec for the Output format
- Go to Add files and select your video files
- Press Convert
This will generate an .aac file for each video.
Regarding the application, these are all the supported formats:
- Input: AVI, MPG, WMV, MKV, MOV, FLV, RMVB, M2TS, VOB, MP4, 3GP, WEBM, DIVX, XVID, MPEG, MPE, ASF, M4V, QT, 3GPP, 3G2, 3GP2, MKA, SWF (uncompressed), F4V, F4P, F4A, F4B, DAT, RM, OGM, OGV, AMV, DVR-MS, MTS, WTV, WAV, MP3, AC3, AAC, MPC, MPA, MP2, WMA, FLAC, SHN, APE, OGG, M4A, WV, AMR, AIFF, VIDEO, M4R, MP4V, MP1, M4B, OGA, DTS, GSM, QCP, RA, VQF, THD, TRUEHD, TRUE-HD, DTSHD, DTS-HD, AVS.
- Output: MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, M4A, AC3, FLAC, WAV.
Merge video and AAC audio
The best application for this job is MKVToolNix. Download and install the latest version:
Then, to merge the video with the AAC audio:
- Execute MKVToolNix GUI
- Press Add source files and select the video and the AAC audio file
- Uncheck the unsupported audio in the Tracks, chapters, tags and attachments section. For example, MPEG and AAC must be checked, but not AC3.
- Press Start muxing
This will generate an MKV file containing the video and the AAC audio.
Finally, you will have something like this:
The new merged .mkv files are the ones you can use with your device. In my example: dolby (1).mkv and dts (1).mkv.