Question Compatibility of new Blu-Ray player with old Sony amp

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by bloke, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. bloke

    bloke
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    I'm considering buying a Blu-Ray player, as my ailing DVD player is, well, ailing now. So I'm initially looking at models such as the Panasonic DMP-BDT180 or Sony BDP-S1700/S3700. Round the back, they have a single HDMI output (v1.4 or later, which I presume is compatible with my v1.3 Panasonic TX-32LZD85 TV?), and a single coaxial for audio.

    On the rear panel of my solid Sony STR-DB940 [link to manual] are a huge crop of I/O connections including optical in, coaxial in, and discrete 5.1 inputs. It pre-dates HDMI and is hooked up to my 5.1 speakers.

    The Blu-Ray players mention formats such as Dolby Digital/TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, etc. My receiver just decodes vanilla Dolby Digital and DTS, year-2000 stylie. So what will be the outcome of hooking the coaxial-out of the Blu-Ray to my amplifier and playing a disc?
    • Perfectly serviceable 5.1 surround sound?
    • White noise?
    • Digital squelching?
    • Silence?
    • Downmix to stereo, only playing from the front L+R speakers connected to the amp?
    Are there player options to send old-skool Dolby Digital or DTS to the amp? Are the formats backwards compatible in any way? Can some players dumb down the digital signal a little to the older Dolby Digital/DTS? If so which players do this?

    I have a vast wealth of DVDs that I'd like to continue to enjoy in 5.1. No broadcast / catch-up TV planned whatsoever. If a newer player's only going to be able to send a stereo signal to my amp, that's no good for my immersive movie enjoyment. In which case, my options seem to be:
    1. Buy a Blu-Ray player with discrete 5.1 RCA outs [assuming the player then does the heavy lifting and sends discrete decoded audio channels to each RCA for the amp to simply route to the correct speakers]. If so, what are my best options?
    2. Buy a player with speaker terminals into which I can plug my existing 5.1 speakers [do such machines even exist?]
    3. Buy a complete system with speakers, effectively ditching my current amp and speaker setup.
    4. Stick with the current DVD player/amp combo until one or both break, and worry about it then.
    5. Something else...?
    I'd be incredibly grateful to anyone who has deeper knowledge than I do on this subject. Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Few of the newer crop of blu ray players have analogue output above 2.0. Some have either optical or coaxial, few have both. Since your receiver cannot decode HD audio then standard 5.1 formats will not be a problem via optical or coaxial. Any player will work for you, you can upgrade the rest at leisure a new receiver being the obvious next step.
     
  3. skk3

    skk3
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    Sonys tend to have digital coaxial audio outputs, I believe...
     

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