Q&A with Eric Kingdon product specialist at SONY Europe

Discussion in 'News' started by Phil Hinton, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    In what we hope will become a regular feature, we invite forum members to ask questions to industry insiders.

    In our first Q&A session you can ask questions relating to Sony Blu-ray and projector products and Eric Kingdon, product specialist, will answer them here. Eric is involved in the technical side of Sony’s BD and projector products and is happy to answer any questions that forum members have about the technology used. Feel free to ask any questions relating to those products on the market now, or what Eric thinks might happen in the future.

    So if you have any questions please post them in this thread and Eric will do his best to answer them as soon as possible.

    Please note that questions should only relate to Eric’s product specialities of Blu-ray players and Projectors.
     
  2. Ian_S

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    I'm extremely interested in how Eric can explain why the PS3 when decoding lossless audio to LPCM over HDMI sounds very different to a player that sends the identical track via bitstream to the same amplifier. If both are decoding the same lossless audio track where are the differences coming from?

    Sorry it's not an easy one to kick off with! ;)
     
  3. Perceval

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    Not a question, but a compliment to begin with Eric. I recently purchased the BDP-S5000es and I am thrilled with it. A really nice quality product that has thus far ticked all of the right boxes for me.

    Now the question, I am currently doing the HD audio decoding in the player and outputting this as PCM to my Denon amp. All works seamlessly with direct mode auto sensing that I only have a PCM capable amp.

    However on a couple of discs I have tried so far, there is a potential issue with the decoding.

    With Hellboy 2 the disc should be DTS HD MA 7.1. However the S5000es is reading this as 5 front channels and 2 surround, the OSD shows DTS HD MA 5/2.1 instead of 3/4.1, and only two rear channels are being sent to the amp instead of 4.

    Secondly Wall-e is meant to be DTS-HD MA 6.1 but again the player is reading only 5.1 channels and not outputting the rear back surround channel.

    Do you know the reason for this? Is it the disc or the player that is at fault. Rambo for example works perfectly as 7.1.

    Finally it would be nice if the OSD could be upgraded if possible by a firmware revision to show the bitrate of the audio on the disc as it is played (as per the PS3).

    Thanks in advance.

    Edit:
    Oh and by the way if you ever need a beta tester for your future products, I am more than willing to help out;)

    :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  4. DannyBoy73

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    How come the HW10 doesn't have a 12v trigger drop? Surely its not a huge cost and something that should be standard on all projectors?
     
  5. Boxinghris

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    Great idea Phil - hope you get more guests we don't scare them too much.:smashin:

    My question concerns the Blu-Ray audio-only format which may or may not be promoted heavily by Sony.

    I'd like to know what the plans are for this format, and if we can expect to see albums previously released on DVD-A now appear as Blu-Ray multi-channel audio as I gather the resolution and formats are almost identical, and one multi-channel recording engineer I've corresponded with says that apart from the actual discs, Blu-Ray and DVD-A audio recording use the exact same equipment and resolution.

    DVD-A failed in the market place partly because of the need to access on-screen menus, but mostly because of SACD which was subsidised in some studios and mastering equipment 'loaned'.

    I'm no fan of Sony and have been outspoken against their policies in the past, but have nothing against Eric and respect his willingness to answer questions via this forum - it's appreciated.

    While we have his ear though, please Eric can you have a word with anyone 'up there' prepared to listen, and tell them that copy-protection NEVER works to prevent piracy, regional coding is a right royal mess with no universally adopted practice, and that the only people it really affects are hard-working, honest videophiles who buy the odd disc from overseas when the studios decide that one region gets a whole bunch of extras that another region doesn't which is just plain crazy. :rolleyes:

    EDIT: Oops! Just noticed that Eric's a specialist in Blu-ray players and projectors so is excused from answering my more general queries. :0)
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  6. stainless-steel

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    The first thing I'd like to say is well done with the HW10 both performance wise, and the price point it was introduced at. It's some time since any product I've purchased has turned me into a bit on an evangelist.

    What I'd like to know is: what does the roadmap for illumination technologies look like? Are laser\LED projectors on the Sony horizon or is there still a good few years of development needed before they're ready for market?
     
  7. pwood

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    Kinda beat me to it in a way. I would just like to know when Sony will update the PS3 to send HD Audio in bitstream. Its been rumoured for ever and surely its possible. Is it a ploy to get us to buy dedicated players because if it is most on here would likely plump for a Panny.
     
  8. cholmaavf

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    Similar to what anwarsadat asked, there appears to be issues with the codec encoding on some discs - e.g. Hellboy II, the DD EX track on Star Wars discs, etc. This obviously isn't Sony's fault, but my question is : in some of the previous models of AV Receivers (e.g. 3200, 3300, 5300) there was a setup option to turn the SB speaker from Auto, to On (of Off), so that the 6th channel (I have a 6.1 setup) would be active in the event of these duff encodings. Why has this been removed from the latest models (such as the 2400ES, which I have) ?

    Edit: Q2: In the event of the 6th channel not being active, what's the best approach ?
    a) turn on one of the Movie Cinema modes. Does this just add processing to the DD/DTS audio, or does it ditch it and apply something completely different ?
    b) always leave the speaker pattern as 3/4.1 (7.1), which seems ativates the 6th speaker. In the event of discrete 6th and 7th channel audio (i.e. DTS MA 7.1), would this mean that I lose out on discrete 7th channel audio, or would the 2400ES matrix the 6th and 7th channels into the 6th speaker ?

    Q3: Why can't we change the corssover frequency on the 2400ES when the speakers are set to Large. I've KEF 2005.2s, and the auto calibration chose Large for the speakers, which I'm fine with, but I'd like to ability to modify the crossover.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  9. AgentCool

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    I'd like to know if Sony are planning to release any standalone Blu-ray players with built in Wi-Fi in the near future. It seems a bit strange to me that the PS3 is the only BD player I know of that has that ability given a lot of people probably don't have their router near their home cinema setup.
     
  10. Stoketeacher

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    Our school purchased three Sony VPL EX4 projectors in September 2007. In February 2008 all three bulbs blew and the projectors were returned to Sony who told us that they had not been correctly maintained.

    Since that time we have employed a technician who has been responsible for cleaning the projectors following Sony’s recommendations. Dates of cleaning were logged.

    In December 2008 two bulbs once again blew and all three projectors were sent back to Sony, once again we were told that the projectors were full of dust and the faults were caused by ‘improper or insufficient cleaning of the product.’

    We also have six Sanyo digital projectors in school, which are between 4 and 6 years old and have been totally reliable. We are now in a position that we need to spend another £220 on a bulb for one Sony projector, another projector has poor imaging and the third I have been advised is not worth the repair costs.

    I now have no confidence in a brand I have always used and trusted. These projectors have an inefficient filter and fan system which causes dust to penetrate the units. I would not recommend anyone to buy them for classroom use.



    :lesson:
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Eric

    any comment about decoding a lossless sound track and then mixing in the PinP soundtrack rather than doing it all in SD audio? What are we going to get in the future?

    Do you prefer PCM or bitstream output?

    Do you recommed analogue outs when partnering receivers with 'dum' 5.1 inputs that have no bass management with current Blu ray products?

    when will players get much faster?

    when will we see a significantly reduced need for regular firmware updates like we now have with DVDs?
     
  12. JH4

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    When will BD recorders (including Freesat ? ) be available in the UK, please.
    Thanks.
     
  13. Canary_Jules

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    Why has there been such a shortage of BDP-S550s? For example, I ordered one from Amazon on 31 Dec and it's now 3rd Feb and I'm still waiting. A survey of most online retailers shows that practically everyone is out of stock. Are there problems sourcing particular chips? Is it being phased out? No one, least of all Sony and Amazon has yet given me a proper answer on this unusual shortage.
     
  14. Bald Monkey

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    Is it even possible, AFAIK it isn't ??

    Plenty of excellent questions already :smashin:

    As the PS3 is possibly one of the 'fastest' BR playing devices and it's natural ability (power) to handle BD-Live interactive content is certainly amongst the best. Also as Sony are able to push BD-Live forward through their BR titles.

    What's in the pipeline for BD-Live, what exciting new developments are coming from Sony.

    :thumbsup:


    Regarding Sony Projectors... I've been reading recently about devlopments in 3D TV, Sky are developing their broadcast tech at the moment and TV manufacturers are apprently all working on it. What about us Projector users, Any clues about future Sony 3D projector systems?? :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  15. andrewilley

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    What is Sony (or perhaps more relevantly the Blu-ray media industry in general) intending to do about the appallingly slow load times and lack of resume-play points on Blu-ray discs? No amount of gimmicky Java eye-candy is worth a two-minute load time, or the inability to resume playing a three-hour film part-way through (especially as most discs don't even allow you to just press the Menu button to skip past all the rubbish which you are forced to watch when the disc starts). My wife now refuses to use Blu-ray discs at all because they are so dreadfully slow to access.

    With advancing technology I expect faster response times, not slower ones; if I put a CD in a CD player I expect to be able to go from 'off' to playing a new disc in a few seconds, and I expect my films to work the same way (and they can - AVCHD discs that I create myself do on my Sony BDP-S350, for example).

    Andre
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  16. pwood

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    I hadn't checked the PS3 section for a while and now see there is a few posts saying due to hardware issue this is not possible. Would be nice to hear it from Sony themselves though. I would also like to know if Sony will bring out a wifi enabled BD player as my router is a long way from my system like a lot of people I would expect. I can't see BD live taking off without wifi.
     
  17. alcabs

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    I've got a couple for Eric:

    1. A simple one this - can Eric tell us what the subwoofer crossover frequency is in the Sony BDP-S550 when using the analog outs? Sony have not made this nugget of info available anywhere and it would be handy to know for us out there with older, non-HDMI audio capable amps.

    2. When are Sony Blu Ray players with onboard audio decoding and analog outs going to get a more complete set of adjustable analog out parameters? Currently I own a BDP-S550 and you cannot set the subwoofer crossover frequency (fixed at some mysterious frequency known only to Sony boffins in a lab somewhere in Japan) and you cannot set the speaker distances for each INDIVIDUAL speaker of a pair. This assumes that the front right / left stereo and rear right / left surround speakers are all placed exactly the same distance from the listening position which in reality is usually never the case. All Blu Ray players with analog outs should have the same setup options as the Denon 3800 so why haven't Sony done this, not even in their "flagship" player, the S5000? (Exactly the same audio out options as the cheaper 550).

    3. Following on from Question 2 - could Sony issue improved analog audio setup options as part of a firmware upgrade?

    That's it. I'm done. A reply would be much appreciated Eric. :smashin:
     
  18. Oakleyspatz

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    Hi there Eric and thanks for putting yourself in the line of fire!

    My question concerns HDMI v1.3 and more specifically Deep Colour;
    I see that the latest line of Sony SXRD projectors now support Deep Colour ( The VPL-VW60 for instance did not) and we have Blu-Ray players that also support it but as Deep colour is not part of the BD spec, will this technological development ever actually see the light of day?
    I understand it may be difficult with existing film based masters to incorporate this, but surely animated movies are an obvious candidate for the technology and could be added almost immediately. Ok, that's a little simplistic, but certainly it could be achieved. With the limitless colour gamut, the improved grey scale, better contrast and no banding, this seems the perfect boost to a large projected image's quality.
    Otherwise, your loyal customers (and potential loyal customers) may just see this as another piece of marketing hype to get us to spend our hard earned.... It's all very well saying what the technology could do... We want it to actually do it!

    Danny
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  19. lthursfield

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    Is there any chance of a low frequency cut setting to enhance bass management in the BDP-S550 bluray player when SMALL speakers are selected (via firmware) ?
    It is not possible to do the bass management in an amplifier/receiver when the analogue multi-out is selected (necessary to enjoy hd audio with some amps/receiver for example the Sony DA-1200ES).

    Thanks
     
  20. Avi

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    I would be interested in Eric's feedback on the observation made by Kris Deeing below.

    Kris Deering has reviewed the 5000ES and I believe it's published in the March issue of Home Theater Magazine (Home Theater: Home Page). I don't think it's on the website yet but there was some interesting quotes from the review posted on AVS from those that have seen the review.

    "Quote By Kris Deering on the Sony BDP-S5000ES: Unfortunately, the Sony tales a step back when it comes to HD deinterlacing. 1080i HD deinterlacing tests shows that it does not pass 3:2 or 2:2 based deinterlacing tests."

    "it [the Sony ES] failed Kris Deering's tests for 3:2HD and 2:2HD: passed all the other tests and scaling described as excellent.

    He points out this would affect only a few BD encoded discs, but at this price point it was surprising"

    AVI
     
  21. Welwynnick

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    I've got a lot of time for Eric Kingdon. I had a long conversation with him during a hifi show a few years ago, and he helped to convince me to by a TA-DA9000ES amplifier. That was one of my great buying decisions; it was my first i-link amplifier - and I've never looked back. Hopefully HATS will do for HDMI what i-link did then, but I'm curious about its interoperatibility.

    Both HATS and Pioneers PQLS appear on the surface to use the HDMI CEC audio rate control (ARC) option, introduced with V1.3a. This is much the same situation as when sony and pioneer introduced HATS and PQLS on i-link, but didn't make any claims to being able to work with eachother. I subsequently bought a pioneer player, and it DID work with my Sony amplifier.

    I hope that HATS is also an industry standard, but I'd like to know from someone who knows whether the SCD-XA5400ES player (and any future HATS players) will work with Pioneers (or other manufacturers) ARC amplifiers?

    Cheers, Nick
     
  22. HeadBanger

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    A quick question for Eric regarding the picture settings on a BDP-S350. You can choose normal, brighter room or theatre (along with a selection of noise reduction options). What are these settings doing - are they shifting the gamma and/or contrast? Is normal the correct setting for an unadulterated picture or should it actually be set to theatre?

    Many thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  23. dr no

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    Are there any plans to release a midrange BD player in the range of £500 with the build quality along the lines of the 5000ES???

    Minus any phono outs or in player HD decoding to reduce costs and maintain build quality.

    And with WiFi which is a must for a lot of people.

    The S550 amd S350 build quality are very cheap IMO and I don't want to spend anymore as I feel the technology hasn't settled fully yet.

    Many Thanks.
     
  24. RandomHajile

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    S-Master (pro)

    will it come back, in home cinema amps, yes i know the all in one packages uses this still, but i want it back in seperates

    {i have both the 7100es and 9000es amps}

    edit: whoops, i just read its for bluray and projectors only...

    okay, why didnt the bdp-s5000es play sacds???
     
  25. Bald Monkey

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    Hello Eric,

    Another quick question for you ;)


    Can you explain a possible reason why many report hearing differences in HD audio when sent as Bitstream to the same AV reciever and speaker system, depending on which player is used.

    My simple understanding was that Bitstream output will be the same regardless of what player is used to extract it from the disc, all players should send the same info and therefore the end result should sound the same if decoded within the same AV reciever and speaker system.

    But feedback on this forum seems to indicate that the Bitstream output sounds different depending on choice of player..


    Why?
     
  26. square-eyes

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    Eric, I have a Sony BD300 and I have applied the two firmware updates. It is connected to a Optima HD65 projector by HDMI. As the projector has a native mode of 720p what should I set my BD300 to in order to get the best picture?
     
  27. Phil Hinton

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    Just to update the thread, Eric will be answering questions that he can answer soon.
     
  28. Boxinghris

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    I was beginning to think we'd scared him off and he was maybe doing a Forest Gump - "Come back Forrrrrrrest - you can stop runnnnning......." :rotfl:
     
  29. Batdog

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    I'm really interested in upgrading my 720p PT-AX100 to a 1080p model and this generation the market seems to have matured really well, with significant improvements to black levels and contrast. Despite being generally a Panasonic customer, I am really tempted by the VPL-HW10 as an all round package in terms of blacks, contrast, sharpness, quietness & also just the allure of the SXRD technology.

    However, whilst I prefer it in almost every way to the AE3000, I have a constant image height setup and the lens memory function on the Panny would be incredibly useful to me, plus it seems that the frame interpolation really does benefit certain material ie sports and animation.

    Given how well received both these features have been on the Panny, is it likely that the HW10 replacement will incorporate them, or will they most likely only feature on the more expensive models?

    Also, do you foresee another significant jump in black level & contrast performance in this years new models?

    Thank you.
     
  30. High Fidelity

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    Why will Eric Kingdon not answer questions appertaining to receivers which were his speciality ?
     

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