Feeding two separate 5.1 line inputs into a 3802

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by dave48, Mar 10, 2002.

  1. dave48

    dave48
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    Unless (a) the format war is resolved rapidly and either DVD-A or SACD dies a death, or (b) you buy a Pioneer 747A, the situation is going to arise where you have multiple 5.1 line-ins required on the AV Amp (e.g. if buying separate SACD / DVD-A players). Apart from a few very expensive models, few amps support this.

    Is there any obvious way round this problem? I searched on the web to see if there are any switches for multichannel inputs - but couldn't find a thing. Even building a switch oneself is non-trivial and non-trivially expensive - plus going for a switch means yet another run of 6 interconnects.

    Has anyone found a good solution to this problem yet?

    Dave48
     
  2. Reiner

    Reiner
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    There are a few questions to be answered:

    1. Do you REALLY like multichannel music? Or perhaps favor one format more for it's stereo capabilities?

    2. Are sufficient titles available for either format?

    3. Do you really want two players?

    4. What players will be available in a year or two? (True Universal players might be standard by then)


    A switch box could be made and might be cheap, too, but the audiophile (not me BTW) would of course argue that they degrade the quality ....
     
  3. MarkB

    MarkB
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    There's no easy answer to this Dave. I love multichannel music and I own dts 5.1 music discs. The thing is that they don't release the same titles on DVD-Audio that they do SACD; it's possible that both formats could survive but they release a lot of material on the format that you don’t own – or worse still the format you decide on dies a death.

    If you don't want a switcher (I wouldn't) or can’t afford an amp with multiple, multichannel inputs (the new DENON AVC-A1SR and A1SE upgrade have 4 sets!) then your only answer is a multi-format player.

    As Reiner states, universal players will be commonplace soon and you'll have freedom of choice.

    Mark
     
  4. dave48

    dave48
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    Answers:

    (1) - don't know - at the moment I obviously have vastly more experience of 2 channel music (due to lack of multi-channel software). I am probably more interested in much better 2 channel audio than in multi-channel audio - mainly because I am not convinced for much music (either classical or non-classical) that there is a lot of point going for multi-channel (and the entire historical catalogue is all 2 channel). This doesn't mean that I don't want to follow the multi-channel route though - it could be quite an exciting way forward, if there is adequate software.

    (2) - obviously not. What is there is far too expensive - if SACDs were available at £10 a go I would buy quite a few to test them out, but not at 27 Euros a go (see Amazon.de).

    (3) - no. The back of my hifi / tv set-up already looks like the Gordian Knot. I would be much happier if a single format were to takeover and win - not even sure if I care which one.

    (4) - true - who knows. Given the rate of development, any DVD-V, DVD-A or SACD player is practically bound to be obsolete within 12 months.

    Assuming both DVD-A and SACD survive, probably the way forward will be combi-players for the consumer market (a la 747A) since Joe Public won't want a large pile of boxes next to his tele, and a series of separate specialised boxes for the Audiophile / Videophile. Presumably the next generation of medium to high end AV amps will start having multiple 7.1 inputs as standard (e.g. Denon 3803)?

    Dave48
     
  5. Fartpants

    Fartpants
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    I don't know if this helps, coz I don't use the 5.1 inputs, I use the optical digital inputs.

    My Sony has optical in for mini disc and DVD, but I also have optical outputs on my Sony Sky box, my motorised sat (Humax 5400) And my CD player.

    so.....

    http://www.beyondhifi.net/shopping/MoreInfo.asp?ProductID=611&CatID=288

    A 4 in 2 out remote control box, does all I need!
     
  6. MarkB

    MarkB
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    I don't know if this helps, coz I don't use the 5.1 inputs, I use the optical digital inputs.
    Fatpants,
    Were talking SACD and DVD-Audio which won’t travel down the normal coax or optical link unfortunately.

    Mark
     
  7. dave48

    dave48
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    And even if by some miracle it is possible in future generations of DVD-A / SACD players to have a true standardised digital out - the current generation of AV amps will all then be obsolete since they won't be able to handle this input, so the problem of potentially shoehorning two or 5.1 inputs into a single amp won't go away.

    Going back to Reiner's point about a switchbox - it seems silly to use anything other than quite a high quality switch (and thus correspondingly quite pricey) otherwise much of the benefit of the high-resolution audio could be lost even before it gets into the pre-amp.

    But if an AV amplifier has e.g. 3 sets of 5.1 (or even 7.1) line inputs then the physical size of the amps will have to get even bigger to find enough space to put all the connectors!

    Digital out from DVD-A / SACD would seem the logical way forward to a sane person ....

    Dave48
     
  8. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Digital out from DVD-A / SACD would seem the logical way forward to a sane person ....

    Couldn't agree more ... and given your answer I think you currently don't have a need for more than one 5.1 input. I bought my AV amp because it was one of the first DD/DTS amps to spot a 5.1 input but so far it has never been used. But who knows, maybe sometime down the road I will actually need it.
     
  9. Fartpants

    Fartpants
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  10. dave48

    dave48
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    Basically the situation has got a bit ridiculous because of industry paranoia about copying. It seems infinitely more sensible to have a digital out for DVD-A & SACD with the AV amp doing all the hard work of conversion from D to A. Otherwise you end up with similar D to A conversion functionality all over the place - in your DVD-V player, your DVD-A player, SACD player, CD player, amp - I would rather pay a bit more for one bit of kit to do this properly, and a bit less for all the other nodes on the chain. I could then go on holiday with the savings I would make on unnecessary cabling.

    It looks like several of manufacturers are implementing custom solutions for this problem in their "high-end" machines - which seems an even worse way to go, since it will not be possible to mix-and-match kit from different manufacturers - and two years from now, probably every current AV amp will be de-facto obsolete!

    Weren't the days of two-channel audio and CD players simple in comparison ....

    Dave48
     
  11. MarkB

    MarkB
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    Digital out from DVD-A / SACD would seem the logical way forward to a sane person ....

    DENON and Meridian have demonstrated these digital links; they have developed their own proprietary systems because they are waiting for Sony (in the case of SACD/DSD) and the DVD-Forum (in the case of DVD-Audio/PPCM) who are in turn waiting for the software producers to get their acts together.

    It's not cut and dry though. If the data on a DVD-Audio is flagged as Copy-Protected, the DENON link will shut down and will not output the data, unless it is at 16bit/48kHz or lower. In this case you must revert to the analogue connectors. As far as I can see this will be all currently available titles, although I'm not sure.

    This reminds me of the argument with DAT, where the format was killed stone dead by the software companies, and more recently the argument surrounding PAL progressive scan, which can generate Analogue pictures as good as a digital connection.

    Mark

    EDIT: Sorry to repeat dave, posted this as you were posting yours!
     
  12. dave48

    dave48
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    As you say, in practice no big commercial label is going to release DVD-A's with anything other than Copy-Protected enabled - so the way equipment manufacturers are going is possibly - even probably - a dead end.

    So a common, open digital interface may be available only far into the future. The most likely outcomes are probably:

    (1) neither DVD-A nor SACD ever really catches on for the mass market, since the players will always need (relatively expensive) internal D to A processing. The big labels will consequently not sell many discs, the price per disc will stay high which in turn will depress sales. So the cynic could say that the big companies will become victims of their own paranoia!

    (2) DVD-A and SACD follow the path of DAT and die completely [albeit unlikely]

    (3) the scene becomes a hackers & crackers paradise with modded players & amps springing up to circumvent the Copy-Protection controls [of course not supported, but maybe indirectly tolerated by the equpment manufacturers].

    (4) the big players realise they need to sell the discs as cheaply as CDs to get the market going [dream on ....].

    Dave48
     
  13. MarkB

    MarkB
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    I rather like your 3rd option, and it had crossed my mind too.
     

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