Do I need an AV receiver to get audio such as DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD?

jpmad4it

Standard Member
Hi all,

My first post :clap:

I have just bought a Sony BDP-S480 Blu-Ray player, and I am quite confused as to what I need to get audio such as DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD up and running via a single HDMI cable.

1) If I bought a simple 5.1 surround sound speaker system, such as the Pioneer SHS100 set, do I need an AV receiver to get DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD sound via HDMI?

2) Can the HDMI cable be plugged directly into the subwoofer if I didn't have an AV receiver?

3) Does the speaker set have to support the desired sound e.g. does it need to say that it supports DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD? Or does this not matter?

4) If I wanted more than one source for my sound, for example, if I wanted to hook up my Sky box to the speakers, do I need an AV Receiver to switch the sources? Or can I just swap the HDMI cable between sources?

5) If the DVD / Blu-Ray disc doesn't have DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD, will the HDMI cable revert to a different sound, or will it not play any sound at all i.e. will I need a backup connection such as optical coaxial etc?

If anyone can help me with these questions and help to explain / simplify the process of how this all works, I'd be extremely grateful.

I apologise if I have got lots of newbie-ness going on here!

regards
Jonathan
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
Hi all,

My first post :clap:

Welcome to AVF :)

I have just bought a Sony BDP-S480 Blu-Ray player, and I am quite confused as to what I need to get audio such as DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD up and running via a single HDMI cable.

You need an AV receiver or home cinema system capable of handling audio over HDMI.

1) If I bought a simple 5.1 surround sound speaker system, such as the Pioneer SHS100 set, do I need an AV receiver to get DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD sound via HDMI?

Yes. The speakers would still require amplification.

2) Can the HDMI cable be plugged directly into the subwoofer if I didn't have an AV receiver?

You can't plug anything into the subwoofer.

3) Does the speaker set have to support the desired sound e.g. does it need to say that it supports DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD? Or does this not matter?

If you go for something that has DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD decoding i.e. mentioned in the spec's, then yes that will guarantee that you will hear those formats. You don't need those decoding though, your Bluray player will do it. If a system mentions 5.1 / 7.1 LPCM over HDMI then you will hear those audio formats but the decoding will be done by the player. However, this feature was and still isn't that well publicised in the specs, so I would concentrate on DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby True HD. As I said, this guarantees that you will hear them (keeping it simple).

4) If I wanted more than one source for my sound, for example, if I wanted to hook up my Sky box to the speakers, do I need an AV Receiver to switch the sources? Or can I just swap the HDMI cable between sources?

You definitely need an AV receiver or home cinema system with the correct number of inputs. HDMI is a fragile connection and won't last long if you constantly connect and disconnect. An AV receiver or home cinema system with sufficient inputs will enable you to switch between those HDMI sources and make things a lot easier and also result in a single HDMI to the TV. Sky requires an optical or digi-coax connection to pass dolby digital 5.1 as the boxes only output stereo over HDMI.

5) If the DVD / Blu-Ray disc doesn't have DTS HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD, will the HDMI cable revert to a different sound, or will it not play any sound at all i.e. will I need a backup connection such as optical coaxial etc?

All audio formats are passed via HDMI.

What sort of budget do you have? The cheapest entry into HD audio would be something like the Onkyo HTS-3405, HTS-5405, HTX-22HDX systems, Sony HT-AS5, Yamaha YHT-196 package. Peter Tyson stocks some other options.

Otherwise, you're looking at separates. This will achieve better overall sound quality, particularly if you go for decent speakers.
 

jpmad4it

Standard Member
What sort of budget do you have? The cheapest entry into HD audio would be something like the Onkyo HTS-3405, HTS-5405, HTX-22HDX systems, Sony HT-AS5, Yamaha YHT-196 package. Peter Tyson stocks some other options.

Otherwise, you're looking at separates. This will achieve better overall sound quality, particularly if you go for decent speakers.

Wow, amazing reply! Answered everything I needed to know there!

Thank you very much.

My budget is unfortunately quite low; around the £250 mark, so the
Sony HT-AS5 5.1 looks ideal really :).

I live in a terraced house too, so anything that is going to be super loud isn't probably worth paying for as I won't be able to get the maximum performance out of it without upsetting the whole street!

The Sony is sold to me, as long as it is worth getting an external speaker setup that will play HD audio at a medium volume, and I can still reap the benefits of the quality of the HD audio at this volume level??
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
No system is super loud. They all have volume controls. A decent setup will enable you to play it quieter and hear the detail.

The Sony setup should be fine, if you can find one. Stocks were running low a few months back so I have no idea about availability now.
 

jpmad4it

Standard Member
Yes true, I saw that they are running low in stock.

I may try and hold out for the Christmas sales to see if any of the Onkyo systems come down in price.
 

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