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Questions on Quad 99 compatibility

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by bouboule, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. bouboule

    bouboule
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    Checking on previous threads, I noticed the Quad 99 kit (cd-p and stereo power amp) and I wondered if there were any problems with compatibilty with regular DVD players (Dolby and DTS) and PC sound card. If I buy this kit, will it be able to play my MP3s from my PC and my DVD collection ? I did a lot of research but for newbies like me, it is difficult to understand the info and if there is any solutions at all. My sound card is quite old (sblive 5.1) and I think I don't have the correct output for Quad 99 cd-p but that could be modified in the near future but I heard that DVD would be a problem. Any suggestions ?
     
  2. Jules Tohpipi

    Jules Tohpipi
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    The magic letters here are 'PCM'.

    For the digital outputs on your DVD player, or PC sound card, there are only two protocols that the digital signal flowing down the cable can take - PCM or Bitstream (sometimes called 'Raw'). PCM is the older of the two protocols and can only carry stereo information (two channel). Bitstream is the more recent, and allows for passing of multi-channel information (he said, generalising hopelessly - but it's fairly true for domestic systems). Hence, the digital outputs on CD players and Minidisc players always operate on the PCM protocol. And this is what the Quad CD-P likes to see coming in on its digital inputs. PCM only as it is a two channel device.

    Later sources - particularly those involved in multi-channel operation - will by default operate on the Bitstream protocol. However, all DVD players will, in their menu systems, allow you to switch the digital output to PCM. (Look for 'Digital Output' or something similar in the menus). At this point, you can connect the DVD player to the CD-P. But, you will only be getting two channel, of course, not 5.1. But that's probably fine for you, by the sounds of it. Incidentally, if memory serves me correctly, if you have a film on DVD that is DTS *only* (no Dolby Digital track at all) then you'll get no sound - as DTS only discs carry no PCM information. (I think I've got that last bit right, but not sure)

    Similarly, to get any sound with the CD-P out of your sound card, then you need to be able to switch its digital output to PCM. I think most of them allow you to do this. Once in this form, then I'm 99% sure that any MP3s, WMAs, whatever, will play through the CD-P. Because at this point the PC will 'convert' the sound files to PCM protocol before outputing them, hence eliminating any format compatibilty issues.

    But you'll defo be 100% sure of playing films, in two channel, from the DVD player's digital output, no problems. I believe all DVD players are required to have this function (of swapping the digital out to PCM).

    HTH
     
  3. bouboule

    bouboule
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    I really appreciate your insights, they clarify clearly how it could work. Thanks for a very instructive reply.
     

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