BluRay with 5.1 analogue outs, under £300?

callahan

Active Member
Hi

I have a full standard definition system at the moment and am looking to get (probably) a Pana 42X10, so I'm now looking at BluRay options. I have a Denon AVC-A11SR amp so will need a player with full bitstream output on the analogue connections, as I've heard how good BR can sound compared to DVD :thumbsup:

I was thinking about a matching Pana player, but the BD80 is the only model that can do it and is getting on the expensive side...

I have searched on here a fair bit and a Sony gets mentioned, but I'm not a big fan and would prefer the Pana / Denon ranges if possible.

Did the old Pana BD55 have analogue outs? Is it comparable to the new models in other ways - pq, speed etc?

Thanks for any help
 

callahan

Active Member
Just found out the prices for used ones though, ouch. But I can see why.

What about Pioneers or Samsungs?
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
Just found out the prices for used ones though, ouch. But I can see why.

What about Pioneers or Samsungs?

The output stage of the Samsung over analogue is very poor... the Pioneer is also a little limited whilst waiting for the inevitable upgrade... it doesn't currently internally decode DTS-MA either (unless i've missed the update!) it is a great sounding player though and would be the one i'd consider.

Alternatively, the Samsung players with their DTS re-encode feature are what i usually suggest to people who initially look for analogues - the outputs on players are quite limited, mostly in the bass department, the Samsung units are very cheap and reencode all HD audio (DTS MA, TrueHD etc) to maximum bitrate DTS and pass it over optical... the quality of your Denon amp will get the most from this and i'd wager you'd be considerably more than just happy with it and for the money saved... able to put it towards the Denon player!!!

Pioneer BDP51FD Blu Ray & DVD Player - 1080p HDMI 1.3: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

or my recommendation...

Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-ray Disc Player - Black: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo
 

kingfats

Distinguished Member
Just found out the prices for used ones though, ouch. But I can see why.

What about Pioneers or Samsungs?

For Samsung then it's best as Scott says really :smashin: Re-encode over optical,heard the player myself and it is very good.
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
The choice of player for analogue use should be dictated to by your speakers and whether your amp can apply bass management to an analogue signal. If it can, great, you can use almost any player just set speakers to large on the player and fix the rest in the amp.

If the amp works in effectively bypass mode then you need to know what crossover frequency etc works best with your speakers, and look through online player manuals to see which ones match, or allow you to choose. Otherwise you could end up very disappointed with a lack of, or big hole in, bass response.
 

callahan

Active Member
Thanks for the replies, that little Sammy looks very tempting.

I've added my kit list to my signature to help a bit.

I can adjust all speaker settings (sizes etc) in my amp, is this what you mean Ian? I have heard that bass management can be a problem if the player can't do it, but only the high end ones can?

Thanks
 

callahan

Active Member
My sig should show now.....
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
I can adjust all speaker settings (sizes etc) in my amp, is this what you mean Ian? I have heard that bass management can be a problem if the player can't do it, but only the high end ones can?
If your amp definitely can do bass management from the analogue inputs then you're in much better shape, as you can largely ignore the player settings provided they at least let you set the speakers in the player to large so the player just passes the signal through. You then need to make sure your amp can apply a 10db uplift to the sub channel, again only for analogue so it won't affect other digital sources.

Otherwise, yes you are correct, only the more expensive players at present deliver decent bass management.
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
Much better wording of what i was trying to say above Ian..

As for the amp, i was under the impression that the A1 was pretty much the only amp that had proper bass management over analogue, and the 11 didn't - best way to be sure is to check!

As Ian says though, if you can do this, then you're in a good position and Sony, Panasonic or Pioneer and their analogue models are probably a better bet! Personally, i'd still say the Pioneer, despite it's limitations in other areas....
 

callahan

Active Member
Thanks again.

Just checked the speaker setting on my amp and I can adjust large/small, set the crossover and choose the sub mode (LFE-THX of LFE+Main), but no bass management settings :(

I'm sure my old Arcam AVR250 could do this.

So, is the little Sammy still an option, or perhaps the Pioneer LX51 or should I save my pennies until I can afford a monster?
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
Thanks again.

Just checked the speaker setting on my amp and I can adjust large/small, set the crossover and choose the sub mode (LFE-THX of LFE+Main), but no bass management settings :(

I'm sure my old Arcam AVR250 could do this.

So, is the little Sammy still an option, or perhaps the Pioneer LX51 or should I save my pennies until I can afford a monster?

You may have to have analogue cables connected to get full access to all options (my Yamaha certainly does) - forgive me if you had... but i'd have expected to see delay of some sort in there!

I think the Arcam's could indeed do it.... but it was a rare function.

If i were you, if you want to get into BR now, get the Samsung and save the difference up for a the Denon 3800... take a deep breath before looking at the cost, but with the rest of your gear it is a good fit!
 

MarkTaylor

Well-known Member
Thanks again.

Just checked the speaker setting on my amp and I can adjust large/small, set the crossover and choose the sub mode (LFE-THX of LFE+Main), but no bass management settings :(

I'm sure my old Arcam AVR250 could do this.

I think you may be missing the point made in earlier posts.

I'm sure your amp has these settings, however the problem is that it does not apply them to the external analogue inputs. The top end Denon amps had this ability but even there they will not apply audio delays to sound coming in via the external analogue inputs.
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
Just checked the speaker setting on my amp and I can adjust large/small, set the crossover and choose the sub mode (LFE-THX of LFE+Main), but no bass management settings :(
Those are the bass management settings... ;)

However, what is important is whether those settings work only on digital inputs or the multi-channel analogue in as well.
I'm sure my old Arcam AVR250 could do this.
No it couldn't I'm afraid. The Arcam's will only apply such settings to digital inputs and act in passthrough for multi-channel analogue inputs.

This is why it's important to understand what your current amp does, and what settings your speakers need. You may need to ask in the amplifier section to see if your AVC-A11SR does this.

If the Denon effectively acts in pass through then you need to understand how your speakers are setup now with the Denon to find a player that will let you match them. If you can great, if not you might not be happy with the sound and be disappointed that DVD sounds better.

So, for example, what size are your speakers set to on the Denon and what crossover etc?
 

callahan

Active Member
Right, thanks for all the replies.

I just tried connecting up the ext in then looking through the set up menu again, it appears that I do not have any additional settings for these connections. You're right, on my old Arcam it was just for the digital in.

My speakers are connected as usual for the centre, rears and rear surrounds. The fronts use a pre-out to my stereo pre-amp. The fronts are set to large, all others are small, crossover is at 80hz.

There's no reason I couldn't set my fronts to small and use the sub to add in, all my music sources go straight into my Dynavector amp anyway, so it wouldn't affect me for music. I very rarely use DVD-A or SACD even though my DV137 is excellent at it, which is part of the reason I'm moving it on.

Thanks :thumbsup:
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
No easy answer I'm afraid...

All the players in your price range currently have fixed crossovers of 100Hz. I don't know how well that will or won't work for your setup.

The Sony S550 allows you to also set speaker distances which will give better steering on surround effects. It is fixed to 100Hz though.

You can set the fronts to large on all of them independently to the centre and surrounds apart from the good old Pioneer 51FD...

However, the Pioneer is due a firmware update (we've only been waiting about 7 months) to enable selectable crossover and better speaker settings, along with DTS-HD MA decoding... but no speaker distances yet... :rolleyes: It'll also be a bit slower in general operation than the other players if that matters.

If you can wait a while (I wouldn't expect to see it until about the end of August for a Region B) the Oppo BD83 might be worth a go, and with it's 80Hz crossover it may match better as well as doing SACD+DVD-A. OR, if SACD/DVD-A aren't important, then the Denon 2010 at SRP £599 is due in July I think, with 7.1 audio, and hopefully proper bass management.

All of which may make a cheap Samsung in the meantime an option using DTS.
 

callahan

Active Member
Thanks Ian, that makes it all very clear.

I've just found the Sammy BD-P1600 for £135 at RS and there's a store not too far away, so I think I'll go for that for now and look at higher-end options later in the year. The problem with having time off work is that I just end up spending money :rolleyes: - I haven't even ordered the screen yet :D
 

callahan

Active Member
Just a quick update. I did go up to RS and bought the Samsung and very good it is too, even through my old PWD8, in fact I'm having second thoughts about changing my screen.

The sound is very good too, although I'm decorating at the moment so my speakers aren't exactly in their optimum positions. The conversion to DTS 1.5TB seems to work perfectly.

Thanks for all the help. :thumbsup:
 

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