How do I get latest audio formats without an on board decoder or HDMI v1.3 inputs?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by childejc, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. childejc

    childejc
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    My Marantz SR8001 receiver does not decode the latest audio formats and he HDMI inputs are only v1.2. It does have analogue 5.1 inputs though.

    Does this mean that provided my HD player can decode the latest sound formats, and has analogue 5.1 outputs, then I can still benefit from the latest sound formats? Or do I need to change my receiver?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    Yes.
    No. Basically all HD players have onboard decoding, although there are no players or amplifiers that can decode (or even stream) all of the new formats (e.g. nobody can handle DTS HD extended stream).
     
  3. MAW

    MAW
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    So you have 2 ways of listening; 5.1 analogue, or decoded LPCM over HDMI. The internal decoding is part of both BDA and HD DVD specs. Your amp can probably accept a vanilla DTS or DD signal over HDMI too, for any sound formats not decoded by your player (thinks S3 here), just select that audio in the disc menu.
     
  4. childejc

    childejc
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    Thanks for the quick responses.

    I just did the initial set up of my receiver yesterday to enable playback from my Xbox 360, and I will admit I was overwhelmed by the configuration options available, and am not sure I have got it right yet.

    I have now done a bit more research and have concluded the following:

    - provided I ensure I choose a player that can decode to PCM the sound formats I am interested in, then I have no need to use the analogue inputs on my receiver as my HDMI 1.2 inputs will be sufficient.
    - If my player cannot currently decode a particular format to PCM then it is likely that a future firmware update will address this.
    - I only need HDMI 1.3 where my receiver can decode a format that my player cannot. In this case, if I am prepared to wait for my player to receive a firmware update that decodes the new formats, then I do not need HDMI 1.3 outputs or inputs (for sound - I know video is different).
    - I would only use the analogue inputs where I believe my receiver will do a better Digital to Analogue conversion than the player. However in this case because the players only seem to do 5.1 outputs I would not be able to fully utilise my receiver's 7.1 inputs.

    Have I got this right? If so then I am very happy! I will be able to connect both a bluray and a HD DVD player to my HDMI 1.2 inputs with no loss of quality.
     
  5. childejc

    childejc
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    Would someone mind confirming that I have summarised the situation correctly? The more I read the more I find what appear to be conflicting statements. For instance, "without hdmi 1.3 it is not possible to get real HD audio". I think I read this in a supposedly authoritative magazine, but I don't think it is correct.

    Thanks
     
  6. davepuma

    davepuma
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    Providing either your player (what source are you using BTW?) can decode the HD audio (all HDDVD players can, it's part of their minimum specs, particularly HDDVD) and output the audio via LPCM either via analogue 5.1 cables (or 7.1 if your player has them, few do) or up to 7.1 via HDMI. Your amp has to be able to handle LPCM via HDMI to use go down the HDMI route. However, the HDDVD addon for the Xbox 360 cannot do this AFAIK but that may have changed with firmware updates and the new HDMI versions and you're stuck with bog std. 5.1/DTS via optical.

    I am using a EP35 outputting via 6 x analogue (5.1) cables to my Denon 3805 and get HD audio.
     
  7. childejc

    childejc
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    Thanks Dave - I'm using the Toshiba EP30 (just got it 2 days ago!). I've just read on another thread that the EP30 can only output 5.1 via lpcm over hdmi to a hdmi v1.2 input (which my amp has). Do you know if this is correct? This is not a huge problem, but I was intending to create a 6.1 set up so this might not be feasible.

    But more importantly, as my amp can handle LPCM (I think) then it sounds like you are confirming my statements that I will be able to benefit from full HD audio. I just need to accept that the decoding will be done by the EP30 rather than by my amp.
     
  8. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    Your summary is incorrect, and MAW's statement about LPCM over HDMI misleading, as fews amps can accept 5 channel LPCM. HDMI 1.3 is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for streaming HD formats (even when converted to LPCM) as only that revision has the required bandwidth.

    1) You will need to use the analogue inputs.
    2) You, like everybody else, will not be able to decode all of the HD surround formats as there are no players on the market that can decode or stream all of them.

    Note that upgrading your amp to one with HDMI 1.3 will not gain you anything in this respect. Anything you can do with your new amp you can do with your old one, unless you have a 7.1 speaker setup. Quite simply, if a player can stream a format, the specs require that it be able to decode it.
     
  9. childejc

    childejc
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    Mark

    A poster on another forum said of my receiver, in response to someone else's question

    "DD TrueHD and DTS Master can not be decoded in the receiver.
    It needs to be decoded by the player and sent as a raw multichannel PCM signal via HDMI." He said this works fine for him.

    So assuming he is using the correct terminology does this mean that I should be able to benefit from DD TrueHD and DTS Master, as they will be decoded by my EP30 player and sent as PCM via my receiver's HDMI 1.2 inputs? But I think you are saying that an HDMI 1.2 input will not have the bandwidth to support this. So there seems to be a contradiction. Have I misunderstood you, or is this other person mistaken?
     
  10. Spy

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    Mark,

    Just to confirm mu understanding of your responsee :

    If an HD player (e.g. PS3) decodes and outputs up to 7.1 via PCM over HDMI, the receiver can only receive and amplify the 7.1 channels if it is running HDMI 1.3 ?
    That is, an HDMI 1.2 receiver will only do 5.1 ?
     
  11. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    He is mistaking core stream and extended stream. There are no players that support dts HD extended stream. It makes no difference whether he can't decode it in the player or can't stream it to the amplifier for decoding, as either way, he can't be hearing it. Core stream is identical to normal DVD players, and needs no new equipment.

    Dolby Digital HD can be decoded in both places, so you don't need HDMI.
     
  12. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    First off, there is a difference between PCM (Pulse Coded Modulation) and LPCM (Linear Pulse Coded Modulation). LPCM specifies that the PCM values are proportional to the amplitudes. For HD extended streams, you want LPCM.

    HDMI 1.0 already specifies support for 8-channel/192 kHz/24-bit audio. However, you need an AV preprocessor (amp / receiver) that has the ability to process this.

    You can use the analogue 5.1 / 7.1 connections and the onboard decoding of your HD DVD or Bluray player to listen to all the streams supported by the player. The only problem is that there are currently no players on the market supporting all extended streams, so that eventually you'll need to buy a new player when such players exist.
     
  13. Digital Tench

    Digital Tench
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    The EP-35 streams quite happily the DTS-HD and DTS-MA streams to my Onkyo 875 (via HDMI).

     
  14. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    You need to check the EP-35 spec - Toshiba are very honest about their equipment's abilities.

    The real question though is: since the EP-35 doesn't stream DTS-HD extended steam, why do you think you're hearing it?
     
  15. podhead

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    Quote from Febuarys What Hi-Fi sound and vision that has a reveiw of the Tosh Ep-30 page 18,

    "None of the HD audio formats can be output via HDMI, and you dont get 5.1 cannel analogue sockets for transfer to a reciver after onboard decoding. instead the Ep-30 takes any hi resolution audio and converts it to PCM before outputting via HDMI or digital optical. pehaps HD audio support will be added one day via firmware upgrade but, honestly, given the price being asked here we can let Tosh off either way. "

    hope that clarifys.
     
  16. simon69c

    simon69c
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    I thought the Samsung BD-P1400 was able to bitstream DTS-MA as of its firmware update? Or does it not stream something else?
     
  17. Digital Tench

    Digital Tench
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    Because my Onkyo 875 comes up as DTS-MA!

    And the Toshiba ep-35 manual quite clearly states that it supports bitstreaming of DTS-MA formats via HDMI.

    The specs you quote are 100% correct, the ep-35 can not decode locally the DTS-MA stream (I also agree that no other player can do this either) and down mixxes (or whatever it is called) to DTS core when decoded locally.

    It will however bitstream out the DTS-MA to a suitably capable amp (such as the Onky 875) - if I can find the manual online, I'll post the relevant section.

    I would post a little piccie also, however my amp is boxed awaiting Genserve pickup for firmware update at the moment.


     
  18. Digital Tench

    Digital Tench
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    In fact the following text is on the cover page of the manual.

    "* The DTS-HD Advanced Digital Out logo indicates that this product when properly upgraded can enable full DTS-HD Advanced
    Digital Out capabilities. Please contact Toshiba Customer Solutions for update information."

    EDIT:- Just checked and the manual quite unhelpfully states that "Depends on HDMI receiver" on what is played when you select DTS HD formats...rest assured my Onky correctly plays and displays DTS-MA (Terminator 2) once I went to firmware 1.3 (although I didn't try at ealier revisions).

    If you need further clarification this is all dedbated (in great detail) in the relevant EP-35 thread
     
  19. childejc

    childejc
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    OK - so I have both the wrong player (EP30 with no analogue outputs) and wrong receiver (SR8001 with only HDMI 1.2 inputs) to hear the new sound formats. At best I am just getting either Dolby Digital or DTS. Is that right? Could I at least be getting Dolby Digital Plus?

    But if I replaced my player with the EP35 and connected it to the SR8001 via the analogue sockets then I could get Dolby TrueHD (as the player can decode this) but still not get DTS Master Audio as there are no decoders for this on the player or in my amp. Is this right?

    Finally, I could replace my SR8001 receiver with an Onkyo which has HDMI 1.3 inputs and can decode both DD TrueHD and DTS Master Audio and benefit from both these new formats. Is that right?

    Sorry for labouring the point but I have really got myself confused over this.

    Thanks again
     
  20. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    I have a CRT TV which nicely displays Pal Plus on relevant TV broadcasts. Unfortunately, the TV does not have a Pal Plus decoder, it just has a display.
     
  21. wildski

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    :confused:In a similar vein (Newbie here, hello all) - I've just got a Sony BDP-S300 Blu Ray player. What's the best way to hook it up to my old (but much loved) Yamaha DSP A5? Should I use digital and decode the signal in the amp (as I've always done), or use the (newer) decoders in the Blu Ray player and use the 5.1 Analogue output to the DSP A5? I know (from this thread) I won't get the latest formats, but would I get DD+? And would the sound be better anyway?

    Many thanks

    W.
     
  22. Digital Tench

    Digital Tench
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    Thank you for your "constructive" post, if you can not accept you are wrong in this instance (and I also believe there's a Blu-ray player that can also bitstream the DTS HD formats in all it's glory) please continue to live in ignorance, but please stop posting such sarcastic comments when all I've done is to try and present the facts in as polite a manner as I can.

    No wonder my post count is so low when this is what happens when you try and help :thumbsdow

    EDIT:- Anyone open minded enough to want to know more, head over to the EP-35 or Onkyo 875 threads...plenty of helpful peole there!

    Ignore list updated!

     
  23. Spy

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    Eric, your receiver supports multichannel PCM over HDMI i.e. as long as your player internally decodes the HD sound format and sends it via HDMI, the 8001 will amplify it and play it. You can also apply the THX settings to any HD audio received via multi channel PCM (as Marantz calls it).

    What I am not sure about though is if your EP30 internally decodes HD and sens it via PCM.

    Note that it defintely wont do DTS-MA but it should do TrueHD and DD+ but I could be wrong
     
  24. childejc

    childejc
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    Spy

    Thanks - I can confirm that my EP30 will decode DDTrueHD and DD+.

    Therefore, based on what you and others have said, I think that provided I have my settings correct I can send uncompressed PCM (or is it LPCM? - not sure) via HDMI 1.2 to my receiver which will then amplify it to 5.1 channels of lossless HD sound just as though it had been decoded in my amplifier.

    I really hope I have now got this right, as if I have I don't need to change either my player or my amp.

    Thanks again
     
  25. simon69c

    simon69c
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    Yeah that should all work fine. L(inear)PCM and PCM are the same thing in this context (all PCM is uncompressed). Hope you get it all working to your satisfaction!
     
  26. Rom

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    This is correct. The only thing you will miss is your amp proudly stating it is playing 'TrueHD', it will display something like 'multichannel'. In fact, the player decoding rather than bitstreaming is an advantage with HD as it can 'overlay' any IME sound like PiP commentary - something which no player can do sending bitstream.
     
  27. MAW

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    Hello again, no misleading going on from me thank you Mark. HDMI 1.2 and a player with on board decoding does all you need apart from DTS-MA, which is a likely firmware upgrade for the EP30. Can't see what's misleading. Childe, your setup IS fine, you can hear 98% of HD audio, and the bit you can't hear, DTS technology does it's best to maximise your experience, the worst case is 1.5Mbi DTS, which is not too shabby.
     
  28. childejc

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    Right, I have been on a roller coaster with my set up as to be honest I bought the amp on impulse. Even though I had set myself on a Denon or Onkyo, at £600 from a reputable brick and mortar shop I could not resist. I set it up and it sounded great with my Xbox 360. Then I started reading these forums to make sure I had it set up right, and that's when the doubts began.

    Then a few days later I impulsively bought the EP30 player because I could get it next day in time for the weekend. I rationalised that I would get a cheap but competent HDDVD player now, to get on the bandwagon, then get a "proper" bluray player in a few months when there are more and better models out there. But again, after reading these boards, I began to convince myself that I had made "another" mistake.

    Well - after much reading and helpful responses from all and sundry to my questions, I am now happy that I do have a very good system that will see me through the next few years whilst the various technologies settle down a bit. What do you bet that anyone buying today's top models in 12 months time (which is how old my Marantz amp range is) will have just the same doubts as I have been having, as technology is bound to have moved on yet again? At least this time next year I will have less of an investment in the old technologies.

    I'm now going to relax and enjoy what I have, rather than worrying about what I don't have (or think I don't have).

    The journey has caused me a little stress, as I have seriously considered selling my amp on ebay and returning my player, but I have also learned a lot, and will be little better informed next time round. Thanks to everyone for your help.
     
  29. podhead

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    Childe I would simply say that if your happy with whats its doing then just enjoy it.
    its nice to have the latest and greatest tech/formats however its very easy to fall into the "what kit you have becoming more important than actually enjoying what it is doing" state of mind.

    although it is nice to have your doughts clarifyed isnt it ?

    for one I have learnt more from this thread and it wasnt me asking the question.

    I think theres a long way to go before these hd players and there formats sort them selves out so all can understand them and put them to there best use.

    Id like to try a PS3 that way I get a well rated and compatant bd player and a good games system as an added bonus which shoul soon prove its worth with my 3 year old son, however Im holding out as Ive just found out Sony is likely to relaese a new PS3. so either way I get the latest PS3 or I get a 40gig one cheap as the price is likely to drop when the new ones released.

    descsions-descsions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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