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Dolby true HD and DTS HD


CopperPot
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I have a question that I haven't really been able to find a firm answer to. I have a pioneer elite amp from last years product line up. It does not however process Dolby true HD or DTS HD. I'm wondering if I purchase one of the newer HD DVD or BlueRay models that process those formats internally will I still be able to listen to the format or must the receiver be Dolby HD and DTS HD certified as well. Am I correct in believing that some players will pass the HD sound
format but not process it requiring the receiver to do the processing.
Alternatively newer players will process the HD format and pass it to a
receiver that doesn't process the signal but will pass it to the speakers? Is it at all dependant on the type of cable passing the signal i.e. HDMI versus optical?

Secondly, I'm wondering if the PS3 processes these new sound formats?

Thanks for any input you guys and gals may have.

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To hear those formats requires one of 3 things, I believe:

1) A HD/BluRay player with analog outputs for all channels connected to the analog inputs of your preamp or receiver. The DVD player will do all the decoding.

2) A receiver that accepts Multi-channel Linear PCM (I believe that's what it's called) - which means the DVD player will decode the signal but it will be passed via a digital connection (coax or optical/SPDIF) in MLPCM mode, and your receiver must be able to handle that data stream.

3) A receiver that accepts a HDMI 1.3 input, in which case the DVD player will pass the True HD/DTS HD audio stream to the receiver for decoding.

I believe the PS3 will do items 2 and 3.

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HD audio has to be decoded at the player level first, and then sent to the receiver for playback. As long as your receiver can process this basic audio format which it should, you are set for HD audio over MPCM analog or HDMI. Optical/Spidf will only downgrade the file as it doesn't have the bandwidth to process the larger audio files.

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Thanks for the correction - option 2 would use MPCM (Multi-channel PCM) over HDMI, and your receiver must be able to process MPCM via an HDMI connection.

The HD audio doesn't have to be decoded at the player, if your receiver supports HDMI 1.3 and can decode HD audio received via that connection. More info here: http://hdmi.org/learningcenter/faq.aspx#q2


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All HD DVD players can decode True HD in the player and pass it as PCM to the receiver via analog(if the player is equiped with them) or HDMI connections. Most Blu-ray players, including the PS3 can decode True HD as well, but you need to check the specifications to make sure it does (I think all of the new ones out now do). Right now there are very few players that can decode DTS-HD or DTS-MA or pass either one to a receiver to decode. The PS3 currently is not one of those players, but it is expected that this functionality will be added in a future update. The only cable that can pass the advanced audio either as bitstream for the receiver to decode or PCM that has been decoded in the player is a HDMI cable(not including analog connections that send a decoded signal to your receiver that way), you cannot send it over optical or coaxial connections, the best those connections can do is send the DTS core or DD core (basically what you get on a regular DVD ) to your receiver.

If your receiver has HDMI connections and is at least 1.1 you should be able to get the decoded audio formats sent to your receiver as PCM with the decoding being done in the player. You will get the full advanced audio that way.

It is unknown if the PS3 will be upgraded to let the PS3 decode DTS-HD/DTS-MA and send it as PCM or if it will only send it to a receiver as a bitstream signal for the receiver to decode.

Also from what I've been reading not all 1.3 players will send bitstream signals to the receiver to decode.

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Thanks folks for the great answers. I also checked the HDMI faq site here http://www.hdmi.com/learningcenter/faq.aspx and found just about the same answer. My next question is how do I tell if my receiver is capable of multi channel PCM? It's the pioneer elite VSX 84TXsi. It does 7.1, does that mean it's capable of multi channel PCM?

Thanks again

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This is interesting. So i have a toshiba hd a20 hddvd player connected to a nad t753 via optical cable. Now i assume the nad can't process the true hd format, so which is the better option as far as sound quality. Regular DD plus or true hd. The only reason i ask is because it was mentioned that if true hd can't be processed then the sound is downgraded since the amp can't process the higher bandwidth. Am i correct? Clear things up if not.

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I'm new at all this hd audio stuff. I recently purchased a sony str-dg710 with hdmi. However, after hours of experimenting and only getting 2 channel pcm I surfed the avs forums and found out this is the best this receiver can do. According to the other posts, the sony str-dg810 will do this. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Sony said up front what their receivers will and will not do? Too bad we have to spend so much time on this. If you go to Dolby's website, they even say it's difficult to know what play/receiver combos work. I think I'm going to order the 810 even though it doesn't have True Hd or DTS MA decoders built in. At least it will decode multi-channed pcm; that is if the forums I've read are right.

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This is interesting. So i have a toshiba hd a20 hddvd player connected to a nad t753 via optical cable. Now i assume the nad can't process the true hd format, so which is the better option as far as sound quality. Regular DD plus or true hd. The only reason i ask is because it was mentioned that if true hd can't be processed then the sound is downgraded since the amp can't process the higher bandwidth. Am i correct? Clear things up if not.

Correct, none of the advanced audio formats (True HD, DD+, DTS-HD, etc..) can be sent over optical or coaxial, there just isn't the bandwidth to do it. The sound will be downgraded to DD or DTS (depending on the settings in the player) and passed to the receiver over the optical connection.

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The A20 will downgrade the Dolby True signal into a 1.5mbps DTS bitstream (the max DTS allows). A lot of DD or DTS is not at 1.5mbps so in theory the downsampled stream should contain more data.

I have found that the downsampled bitstream seems to be muted slightly. What I mean by that is if I choose DD I have my volume at -45db and switching over to Dolby True I need to turn it up to -35db to get the same level. I'm assuming that it is part of the compression used when downsampling. To my ears they sound pretty close and I couldn't say either sounds better but that they both sound good.

I'm hoping to upgrade my receiver to a Denon 3808 or similar so that i can take full advantage of the new formats.

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  • 2 years later...

It's all subjective, but I say "yes", there is a big difference. I was content with DD and DTS too, but now I really enjoy the lossless formats.

To each his own though, you need to hear it with your own ears then decide.

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I can hear a difference, and so can my wife, which is meaningful as she often doesn't hear other differences. I didn't want to upgrade my AVR, so I got a Pioneer BDP-320 player with 7.1 analog outputs. You can get it now for less than $200 (easily) - why not give it a try?

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I can hear a difference, and so can my wife, which is meaningful as she often doesn't hear other differences. I didn't want to upgrade my AVR, so I got a Pioneer BDP-320 player with 7.1 analog outputs. You can get it now for less than $200 (easily) - why not give it a try?

I thought the receiver or amp had to be True HD sound capable? Does a ps3 qualify? Thanks

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I thought the receiver or amp had to be True HD sound capable? Does a ps3 qualify?

That is correct. PS3 supports all the new HD codecs. The PS3 does the processing and the receiver just plays the info it receives from the PS3. It will send the signal via Linear PCM. I believe the new PS3 Slim can send it via Bitstream and let your receiver do the processing if you prefer. The PS3 does not have 7.1 analog outputs though so you will need to use HDMI to take advantage of the HD Codecs.

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Hi all,

I have an Oppo BDP83 Blu ray player on order. It decodes DDTrueHD and DTS Master lossless internally. It is my understanding that although my Yamaha RX-V2700 does not decode the HD audio formats (DDtrueHD and DTS master lossles)...it will accept the core / MPCM via HDMI. Is this as good?

Anyone have experience with similar??

Thanks!!

Mike

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I thought the receiver or amp had to be True HD sound capable? Does a ps3 qualify? Thanks

No, the receiver does not have to be True HD capable. All you need is enough external inputs to accept the analog 5.1/7.1 hand-off from the BD player (if it has them).

I also have an earlier generation PS3, but the fan on it sounds like a jet engine during movies so I was glad to find an alternate BD player as well.

My understanding is that the first generation PS3s could decode the TrueHD/MasterHD formats with the firmware upgrade, but I could be mistaken and it's only the newest generation. Can anyone confirm?

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I also have an earlier generation PS3, but the fan on it sounds like a jet engine during movies

I've heard others complain about the fan noise but I have yet to hear my PS3 fan during movies or music, even at low to moderate volumes.

My understanding is that the first generation PS3s could decode the TrueHD/MasterHD formats with the firmware upgrade, but I could be mistaken and it's only the newest generation. Can anyone confirm?

Yes I can confirm, there was a firmware update awhile back that enabled the older PS3 to decode all of the HD audio formats.

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