1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

re upgrading sony freeview boxes?

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by frankjb, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. frankjb

    frankjb
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Messages:
    8
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +0
    I bought a Sony Freeview box a few weeks ago & use it (almost) soley in the evenings to listing to JazzFM through my HIFI with surprising (to me) quality. However, I am taking an analogue signal out of it, presumably using its own DAC, but the Sony has a digital optical output which I would like to use. Now, I must get a good bitstream DAC with a optical input - advice anyone?


    Now I can listen with the TV on or off. Turning the TV (with the JazzFM logo) off, definitely improves the sound from the unit through my speakers. This sounds as if the Sony has a relitavely weak power supply for its circuits. As the price is "relatively" ow for a radio tuner, can anyone suggest how to bolt on a better power supply - I have a few 12volt units used to power a QED Digit DAC - (no, not an optical input version!) - and a Naim HICAP.

    Any ideas out there, or who would be good to contact?

    FrankJB
     
  2. idhutt

    idhutt
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Frank

    I don't know about your budget, but for less than £150 you could do far worse than picking yourself up a nice Meridian 203 DAC second hand - they normally come up on eBay on a fairly frequent basis and I've just noticed that there is one there now. Whilst this model is about 10 years old, it would sound absolutely fabulous for Jazz. It has both coax and optical input. Cost new was >£800, equivalent model (566) now ~£1300.

    Until last year, I had one in my hifi system for the last 10 years, and whilst technology has moved on, [it wouldn't appeal to those who play the numbers/spec game (ie it doesn't have 192/24 bit output)], you would have to spend many times that the match the quality, balance, pace and sound that this unit gives. Infact, with a compressed digital input, such as MP3, DAB and Freeview, it would possibly benefit from a smother DAC. And if you didn't like it, you could resell it for similar price you bought it for. NB there are 2 versions of 203, the DAC7 version is the slightly better version when used in topend systems. I did not have the DAC7 version, and even still, it sounded and still sounds fabulous - I still have my 203, its too good to get rid of and what I replaced it with cost many ££££. Meridian also did a 263 (?) delta/sigma version which, from what I could remember, could be a bit bright in some systems as, whilst it was slightly more detailed, it was not quite so smooth. It all obviously depends on the balance of your amp/speakers.

    -Ian
     
  3. jaymac

    jaymac
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,725
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    North Somerset
    Ratings:
    +138
    If you are going through your HiFi why do you need the tv on ?
     
  4. Wilf

    Wilf
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    Messages:
    364
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Ratings:
    +6
    I'm no electronics expert but could you be experiencing interference from the TV?, rather than any power supply issues. Also, given the fact that the Sony would no longer be using its internal DACS, would this reduce the voltage required?

    I'll try later to see if turning the TV off improves the sony's radio on my system, I use the optical out and the DACS in my buget amp. I must admit the radio has never sounded so good, to me anyway.
     
  5. DistortedVision

    DistortedVision
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    155
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Ratings:
    +2
    I recently bought a Meridian 563 for the very same reason. I have a Sony VTX-800 Freeview box which sounds great throught the 563 compared with connecting it directly to my amp using a 3.5mm to phono cable.

    I also use it for my Pinnacle Showcenter 1000g media player and Arcam DV89 DVD player. The improvements in the former are fantastic.

    I was wondering how much improvement I'd get in upgrading the 563 to a 566 24 bit version. Does Meridian still offer this? How much would it be? Out of interest when were the 563 and 566 discontinued?

    The main reason I want to upgrade it is for the Arcam DVD player which is also DVD Audio player. I know it will only give me stereo but it's the Advanced Stereo Resolution DVD-A format I'm interested in.

    Best wishes,

    Rupesh
     
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,107
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,380
    If you connect the digital coax or optical output from your DVD player to an external DAC then it will not pass the high resolution DVD-A soundtrack. For copy protection reasons DVD-A (and SACD) are not passed through these connections on any DVD players. All you will get from the digital outputs is the Dolby Digital or DTS soundtrack that are on all DVD-A discs.

    Mark.
     
  7. DistortedVision

    DistortedVision
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    155
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Ratings:
    +2
    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the reply. I never knew this - very interesting. I think its really poor though. This is a long shot but is this restriction implemeted by software ie can it be override like Region coding?

    I'm guessing that it can't.

    Best wishes,

    Rupesh
     
  8. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,107
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,380
    I'd wouldn't say it was unbeatable, but I've never seen any mention that it has been beaten! I would say the chances are that the people that could overcome the restriction have just never bothered as they just use the analogue outputs for DVD-A & SACD which is much easier :D

    Mark.
     
  9. DistortedVision

    DistortedVision
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    155
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Ratings:
    +2
    Hi Mark,

    Yeah I see what you mean. It was just an idea - would have been really nice to use an external DAC. I think its a real shame. I think you could achieve significant improvements with DVD-A over the internal DAC.

    Anyway I guess I can still use the DAC for the audio from DVD videos. Mark, are you familar with the Meridian DACs I was asking about. Wondering if you could help with with those questions.

    How much improvement would there be using the 566 which is a 24 bit DAC over the 563 which is a 18 bit DAC with CD, my Sony Freeview box or my Pinnacle Showcenter media player. CD is after all a 16 bit precision format right ?

    I appreciate that the DAC itself costs several times more than these source components!

    Rupesh
     
  10. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,107
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,380
    Well it all depends on the player I suppose. I have no doubts that even a cheap ~£100 external DAC will knock the socks off those in a ~£100 play anything DVD player. But a good DAC alongsides the likes of a Linn Unidisc 1.1 would need to be very special indeed!
    Well as I've not heard any of the Meridian DACs I think I'm best leaving this comparison to those that have.
    My only advice is to repeat the advice normally given on these forums when people ask if it is worth getting the 'upgrade' - get a demo and decide for yourself, as you are the only one that needs to be convinced, or not, of the benefits vs the cost.

    Mark.
     
  11. DistortedVision

    DistortedVision
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    155
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Ratings:
    +2
    So basically I need a DVD player with HDMI feeding a Home Cinema Processor to get off board processing with DVD Audio ?


    Rupesh
     
  12. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,107
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,380
    I'm not sure if HDMI can carry DVD-A/SACD or not. Others should jump in and let us know! I would however tend to think not as my Arcam DV29 has full spec HDMI 1.1 but it can not play SACD, and as all the decoding would be done offboard if HDMI could carry the signal then there would be no reason for it not working :confused: . And even if it did work you would still need a receiver/processor that specifically had the decoding capabilities.
    If you have a Pioneer DVD/receiver combo that has iLink then this can be used to transfer the digital audio to the receiver, as can the latest version of Denon Link. I belive Meridian also have a digital link that works with multi channel high resolution music.

    Mark.
     
  13. DistortedVision

    DistortedVision
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    155
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Ratings:
    +2
    Mark,

    According to the official HDMI website HDMI does support DVD-Audio. The FAQ (http://www.hdmi.org/consumer/faq.asp) says:

    How can a consumer identify which HDMI products support DVD Audio?
    In most cases, any HDMI-equipped DVD player capable of supporting DVD-Audio will be capable of sending the DVD-Audio over the HDMI link. Consumers interested in confirming whether a particular consumer electronics product supports DVD-Audio over HDMI are urged to review users’ manuals and product reviews and check with manufacturers directly.

    This thread like most is evolving into another topic. I think its a real shame that DVD-Audio is pretty much a dead format. I don't rate SACD's chances of survival too. The availability of software is very poor.

    Anyway going back to my Meridian DAC. I'm going to get a Tag Mclaren DAC20 instead when I can find one on eBay or such like and then sell the 563 rather than upgrade it. I've heard a friend's and it sounds great. It's also got 6 inputs (3 optical and 3 coaxial).

    Anyone got one for sale in silver please get in touch: rupesh@patre.com.

    Rupesh
     

Share This Page

Loading...