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Does uncompressed audio really make a difference?

Enjoysmoviesandgames

Established Member
I am currently looking to buy a new amp (the Sony 910 that everyone raves about) and as such I will now be able to feed it an uncompressed audio signal from my BD films.

My question is, is there much of a difference between the normal 5.1 fed via optical, compared to uncompressed PCM via hdmi?

Hope someone can answer this.
 

6950rpm

Established Member
What set up do you have at the moment?

I went from an all in one DVD / Amp system where I didn't have any way to input the sound digitally and thus was limited to Pro Logic to an STR 910 and new speakers and have to say, I am really blown away by the increase in quality.
 

Arfa

Established Member
Uncompressed audio should be better in theory. Generally AC3 (Dolby Digital) tends to be the most compressed. DTS less compressed and a bit better. Then you have PCM which is totally uncompressed and up from that you have lossless codecs like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA, which are compressed but in a lossless manner, so should be indistinguishable from uncompressed.

How much of the differences you'll notice will vary. Generally the further up the scale you get, the harder it will be to tell them apart. A 64Kbps mp3 is obvious to tell apart from a 160Kbps one, but compare a 160Kbps to a 320Kbps and the differences are less obvious (although still there). Beyond a certain point and you'll just hear the fallacies of the rest of your kit, amp, speakers, room dynamics, ears etc. So if the rest of your setup is crap, don't expect to notice big differences, but if you have several grands worth of kit in a specially designed room and pristine young ears, then perhaps you will notice big differences. :D
 

Jack-Deth

Distinguished Member
I went from an all in one system to a budget amp (the 910 you are talking about) and speakers combo (about £400). I can honestly say that there is a massive difference in listening uncompressed audio, even on my new, budget system. The sound has a "bigger" feel to it with effects and dialogue have a greater sense of positioning. Dont believe the people that say you have to spend stacks of cash to see any improvement. (Not talking about Arfa's post!)
 

chic

Distinguished Member
I also have the sonyand use it with my ps3 and hddvd and there realy is an improvement with HD audio. The sound is alot fuller, has more dynamic range and there is better separation with all the channels and i feel better surround placement.

I went from a a denon 2802 to the sony 910 and it sounds better. Would love a denon which can handle the hd audio, but i cant afford it at the moment:D
 

Enjoysmoviesandgames

Established Member
This is all good to hear guys thanks.

I am getting the sony 910 and will be running it with a set of the Jamo 5.1`s that alot of people here rave about. It`s meant to be a good combo with the Sony.

Just one thing, when I ge the new amp, do I set the HDMI audio ouptut to give PCM rather than bitsream for Blueray to get the uncompressed audio?
 

chic

Distinguished Member
This is all good to hear guys thanks.

I am getting the sony 910 and will be running it with a set of the Jamo 5.1`s that alot of people here rave about. It`s meant to be a good combo with the Sony.

Just one thing, when I ge the new amp, do I set the HDMI audio ouptut to give PCM rather than bitsream for Blueray to get the uncompressed audio?

yes what you do is tell the ps3 to output both sound and video over hdmi, then go to the bluray settings menu and select pcm over hdmi, then when watching bluray seelct dolby true hd or uncompressed pcm for the hd audio, some discs only have dtsma and with the ps3 you only get dts core at 1.5mb whic sounds very good. For watching dvds i would recommend switching the ps3 to bitstream over hdmi as i found they sounded better with the sony doing the decoding. just remember to switch back to pcm for bluray.
 

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