Digital Out - Does the sound quality vary on different players?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Paul O, Nov 26, 2000.

  1. Paul O

    Paul O
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    I am considering a new DVD player with MP3.Currently the only players which offer this are the sub-£250 players (A good thing). But the reviews dont favour the output quality of the sound on these players (a bad thing).

    My question is this; Does anyone know if the sound output is affected if using a digital out for stereo recordings (Coax or Optical).

    If not, does this mean that (for example) if I was to send an optical signal from the DVD to a Mini-Disc player (or to an amp) - would it mean that the Mini-Disc/amp is then doing the sound decoding? In which case the quality of the sound output from the DVD wouldn't matter?

    I hope this makes sense! I am reluctant to purchase a new player until I know that the sound quality will not take a nose-dive when compared to my current Panasonic DVD.

    Thanks folks,

    Paul.
     
  2. Sam

    Sam
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    By using a digital output, I believe you are bypassing the DVD's internal DAC, using it just as a transport. Therefore, the minidisc player will decode the digital signal itself.
     
  3. bradavon

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  4. Mad Max

    Mad Max
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    Hi,

    MP3's are a bit different from the other audio formats, as you need specialized soft/Hardware to convert it into music.

    Now, Minidiscs and Amps don't integrate the needed software, unless specifically specified (I don't know any who do).

    IF (and this is a BIG IF) the DVD outputs MP3's optically, then it HAS TO convert them to a format a Minidisc/Amp can understand (basically PCM).

    This brings you back to the quality issue, which will be only as good as the DVD can make it, because it will read MP3, decode it to Audio (Or even digital (PCM)) and output it to the receiver/Minidisc.

    Don't forget also that MP3 is a format that DRAMATICALLY depends on the quality of the Soft/Hardware coding.

    Hope this answers your question.



    ------------------
    An adult is just a kid with expensive toys.

    Rui
     
  5. Guest

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    The quality of the digital bitstream does vary considerably from player to player.

    HCC measures this as "digital deviation" and the lower the figure the better. It's a measurement of corruption of the digital signal, especially the bit-timing (I think). Current state-of-the-art is sub 200 picoseconds. Other magazines measure things slightly differently (e.g. Hifi Choice I think), but to the same end.

    A digital to analogue converter is only as good as the dig signal you feed it. A lot of the cheaper DVD player have high (> 1000ps) deviation meaasurements. It's hard to quantify what this means sonically and I'm no expert. Intuitively (as an engineer), I guess the treble will suffer most (less detail/clarity?) as these frequencies are most dependent on the sampling interval. Please will somebody can tell me if I'm talking out of my xxxx.

    If this is important to you, try and read reviews (and HCC's are a good start) with technical measurements. The other maxim also applies - go to a dealer and listen to different players played through a good external DAC and a neutral reference system. Let your ears decide!

    Good luck,
    Joel
     
  6. bradavon

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  7. graeme

    graeme
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    I've recently purchased a Wharfedale 750s @£180 from tesco, and it can playback MP3 format.

    It also depends on the original sample rate used to record the tracks to CD-R discs.
     
  8. Paul O

    Paul O
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    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the info! Very much appreciated.

    Both the LG and Wharfedale look good, but neither appear to offer VideoCD playback (another tool which I require on my ever-expanding list of features!)

    Please correct me if Im wrong, I'll I go out and buy 'em!

    Does anyone else know of any players which offer good quality audio, MP3, V-CD, CD-R and if possible (but not required at present) Mini-DVD and CD-RW capabilities?

    Oh yeah, must be multi-region hackable too.

    (Don't want much do I!)

    Thanks again,

    Paul.
     
  9. graeme

    graeme
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    Ok your wrong, ha! ha!. The Wharfedale 750s (both generations) can playback VCDs. Not bad for £180.
     
  10. Paul O

    Paul O
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    EXCELLENT!! Looks like thats going to be my new toy then!!!

    Graeme, since you have bought one - have you noticed any problems with the picture/sound on DVDs or playback of MP3 discs? How do MP3 discs show up on the display/TV??

    I'll take another look at the reviews on the ol' Wharfedale, and if all are good, then its mine!

    Thanks again for your help :)

    Paul
     
  11. graeme

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    Unfortunately I hav'nt, at this moment in time, got any DVDs to test the playback quality. I'm expecting a few in the post that I won on Ebay in the next couple of days. I'll post an opinion then.

    As for MP3s there seems to be a slight problem, a minor one if you own a CD-RW, in that if you have multiple albums on one CD-R its not possible to get a list of them, all you get is the number of songs(with no titles). What I'm going to do is burn the individual albums onto seperate CD-Rs. I'm in the process of buying a CD-RW so I'll again let you know (This hobby is costing me a fortune).

    Hope this helps and Happy 2001!

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    You can take our lives..... but youll never take our freedom !
     

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