Sony BDPS300B Blu-ray Disc Player

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by guitardave, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Actually Jon it is interesting point, many people immediately assume PCM is the pinacle of audio quality and this may not be the case. The like of DD+ even and True HD running from high bit sources may well offer more than PCM 16 bit.
     
  2. Drongo

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    Jon, a little while ago I posted this:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5475301&postcount=20

    On another thread. It may be of interest.
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I hadn't seen this Drongo, interesting. I 'questioned' the 300s capability from the Official Sony road map which shows no TrueHD on the 300 but on the 500.
     
  4. Drongo

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    Nic, I don’t know if that info is out of date or if the UK version is different.

    But if it is correct, it is pretty scary! :eek:

    I would have thought that decoding TruHD would be present on almost every BD player (let alone a Sony!) even if it is only an optional facility.

    Mind you, I only just learned that the (US) flagship BDPS1 could not decode TruHD at launch…
     
  5. JonStatt

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    Interesting indeed. I am finding it harder and harder to trust anything written. In the American review they state

    "This post from A/V Magazine (Italian) clearly shows a Silicon Image SiI9030 chipset which is HDMI 1.1 only"

    Yet on the UK website it says the 300 is HDMI 1.2!

    Maybe there really are two versions of this player but I have never seen that happen before as far as I can recall.

    Incidentally Apocalypto also quotes a 24bit PCM uncompressed track. So once again, this should be better than TrueHD. And the 300 I am sure will cope correctly in providing lossless through its 5.1 outputs for discs like this.
     
  6. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Exactly the reason I have been asking questions here Drongo. I 'suspect' but have no info to confirm yet that TrueHD may be one of the main items that separates the 300 and the 500. Without TrueHD the 300 seems to offer little over the Samsung 1000.
     
  7. dbs2

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    Does the 300 have 5.1 analogue outs and the 500 7.1.... was it not more of a what they could leave off the 300 to make the 500 more inviting ??
     
  8. Drongo

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    Jon, it seems as if your priority is good quality audio via the analogue outs.

    Without wishing to spend your money for you, have you considered the Sony BDPS1E?

    It is not unreasonably priced, and I believe the DAC’s and analogue outputs are of greater quality than the 300 and possibly the 500.

    http://www.digital-point.co.uk/model.php?ID=3146&referrer=pricerunner

    Normally, because of the ‘profile’ situation, I would point prospective Blu-ray buyers toward the PS3, but that lacks analogue outputs..
     
  9. JonStatt

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    You are right..audio is important to me, and particularly via the analogue outs. This is because I have a high-end Lexicon processor, but no HDMI inputs, thus no PCM 5.1/7.1 handling. However, I certainly don't want to spend thousands changing it, so if I can achieve the "HD" of sound via analogue instead, then that works for me.

    I will have a look at the S1...interestingly websites state that a firmware update will be available to make the S1 decode Dolby TrueHD! If that is true then it is not inconceivable that the S300 can do it too at some point (if not already).
     
  10. Drongo

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    Nic, I've been looking at the 300 (US version so I can play region A) for myself.

    But with the potential lack of TruHD and the fact that even BD fans are complaining of it's sloth like speed on AVS, I think it is going to be a non starter despite it's price.

    Although I don't normally lean toward Samsung players, I feel they are going to totally outpace the Sony's.

    I think I may just wait until a proven to work 1.1 player arrives.

    Whenever that may be…… :(
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

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    They both have 5.1 analogue according to the roadmap. It is however far easier to increase HDMI from 5.1 to 7.1 as the silicon is the same. For an addional 2 channels of analogue you need more DACs etc
     
  12. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Drongo I fear you might be right, a look at AVS over lunch does seem to suggest it is not just AVI who is returning their 300s.
     
  13. Drongo

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    Jon, you may find that high bit rate lossy decoded in your Lexicon sounds better than TruHD decoded in the Sony.

    I’d be really interested to hear if high bit rate lossy fed via the digital outputs (non HDMI) into your Lexicon sounds worse than TruHD from the players analogue outputs, whatever player you get.

    The whole lossy vs lossless thing is a whole different debate… :D

    The Sony BDPS1E already decodes TruHD as far as I know.
     
  14. JonStatt

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    Well..as a comparison. I do have a Toshiba XE1 HD DVD player. It has 5.1 analogue outputs and uses SHARC DACs. At first I had some cheapy Cambridge Audio red interconnects, and it didn't sound good. I changed to BetterCables Blue Truth ones and then things got interesting.

    Basically, there IS a positive benefit with the 5.1 analogue outputs, but it is only noticeable in dynamic scenes. So for example, some of the scenes in 300 where there is a loud bang or crash, you can hear an obvious increased amount of thump and volume than the dolby digital downconverted coax link. In a lot of the movie I found it hard to hear the difference. Possilby, just occasionally, I felt the coax was ever so slightly clearer, but it is very slight.

    So at least with the XE1, which is a similar price point, it is as good and sometimes clearly better via analogue. Will the Burr Brown DACs of the S300 or even the more expensive but older S1 be the same? Interesting test indeed.
     
  15. Drongo

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    The XE1 as you rightly state down converts to Dolby Digital (@ 640Kbs?) unlike the previous generation (US only) Toshiba HD-DVD players which transcodes TruHD to high bit rate DTS.

    This in IMHO is the only retrograde step Toshiba took with the XE1.

    From what I've read the ‘gap' between the high bit rate lossy DTS and TruHD is much smaller than that of DD and TruHD.

    As I said, this is from what I have read so I cannot personally vouch for that.

    I'm not sure how the Sony's deal with this, I believe they have a separate ‘core' stream which is output via the (non HDMI) digital outputs – Nic almost certainly knows more than I do.

    So how any Sony BR player would compare as regards internal TruHD decoding vs lossy decoding in your Lexicon remains to be seen.

    Just make sure you use good quality interconnects! :)


    BTW, I should have said thanks for your comments.

    I was curious about your Lexicon processing, as I'm intending to add a Meridian (Non HDMI) processor to my set up (awhile away yet though) so I'll have the same dilemma regarding in player decoding of TruHD or in processor decoding with lossy…
     
  16. MATT JENNER

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    what is the difference between this machine and the BDP S-300E?

    thanks

    Matt
     
  17. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    From a videophile/audiophile point of view, it doesn't appear that the S1 and S300 are really any different. See this quote from MaxDB on AVSforum

     
  18. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    :) Very happy to share my experiences as long as I don't bore people. So I have now tried a BDP-S300E to see how it fairs with its DACs and I have to say I am fairly impressed. To do an A/B comparison I stuck with the Dolby Digital using both Coax and analogue outputs into the Lexicon MC-12. My speakers are Kef References and they show up very subtle differences.

    I can detect the differences between analogue interconnects very easily, and have proved sceptics on the subject with ease too, using this system. However I have also proven there is no difference between coax digital interconnects!! And while I am on the subject, there is a slight difference between optical interconnects, so I prefer coax.

    At the top and middle frequencies, I really couldn't detect any difference at all. I would say the bass was slightly thinner on the analogue outputs. But switch to the PCM tracks and things are significantly better on the analogue output. In fact I could notice more of a difference switching between Dolby Digital and PCM on the S300 than I could on the XE1 switching between 640kbps DD and TrueHD. One thing that made the A/B switching hard on the S300 was that the PCM track seemed to be 3dB louder (which always makes things sound better)..but I compensated for that.

    Overall, I concur with the post on AVSForum. The S300 is essentially a reboxed S1 where they seem to have intentionally crippled its ability to do TrueHD, even though it can do it, so they can justify the S500.

    What is also says, is that the S300 is formidable for the price. And I would recommend it as a more economic stepping stone until all of this 1.1 and 2.0 nonsense gets sorted out. The fact they put such good DACs in it, was probably a mistake!

    As for the S500...I am reasonably convinced that unless you do decoding in your receiver, therefore using its HDMI 1.3, or desperately wanted Dolby TrueHD, that it offers nothing extra for the 200 quid...unless you want to pay for a motorised sliding panel!

     
  19. MATT JENNER

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    John

    Many thanks for the post,

    All i want is a Bluery that gives excellent Picture, my sound goes via the 5.1 conections into my Denon 3803 amp via a switcher, ( amp shows EXt in)

    matt
     
  20. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    An important point. If you are using the 5.1 analogue cable connections, you need to consider how your amplifier/receiver will deal with bass management etc.

    On the Lexicon MC-12, I can still apply Room EQ, Distance delays and bass management to the 5.1 signal. This does introduce an additional A>D>A step, but the Lexicon does it so transparently that this is really not an issue.

    Some receivers just pass through directly relying on bass management and delay settings in the player. The S1 and S300 have poor levels of control over bass management, and no delay settings at all.

    I am confused on a setting on the S300 which says Front left and right small/large, but when you change it, the graphics change the size of ALL speakers. For me I hope that is true, because I want all speakers set to large so that bass management is performed only by the Lexicon.
     
  21. Drongo

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    Hi Jon

    Many thanks for your further comments. I’m quite surprised about the similarity of the 300 and S1 players. Usually one of the ‘hidden premiums’ in the flagship models is upgraded analogue components. Oh well, I suppose that makes the 300 better value, or is it the S1 worse value ?

    Due to seemingly endless refurbishment of my dwelling, my system has been out of commission for a long time. :(

    Come the day that it us up and running again, I shall revisit this thread and compare my findings.

    BTW, my front speakers are also Kef References. You are right, they are quite revealing!
     
  22. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I used to all Kef Ref but now just use them on my rears (Ref 4.2). Lovely speaker range.
     
  23. Drongo

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    4.2’s as rears? :eek:

    Please don’t tell me what your front speakers are….
     
  24. JonStatt

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    4.2s on the rears??! Wow...what have you got as your fronts now?
    EDIT: After seeing Drongo's comments..I suspect you have a few readers fall of their chair with that comment!

    I have 4.2s on the front, 200c reference centre, 1.2s on the sides and for the rears I currently have Polk Audio f/x1000s (which are really pretty good).

    But I love the 4.2s. I got lucky. I bought a refurbished pair (i.e. DOA and then shipped out again after repair) in the expensive rosetta burr finish. They were about half price, but after I tested them, they still had a fault. Kef were so embarassed that the dealer got them to give me a brand new pair at no extra cost! Kudos to Kef and the dealer though for arranging that. They come in coffins and its not easy transporting them up and down a flight of stairs!
     
  25. Drongo

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    You guys must have large rooms!

    I have the older and smaller Reference One’s as my left rights, a Model 100 centre and Kef Q50’s at the rear.

    I did try a pair of Reference Three’s at the front, but that was far too much for my 18” x 16” room.

    Well done Jon on getting those ‘refurbished’ 4.2’s! :smashin:
     
  26. JEDIBLADE

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    I'm thinking of ditching my PS3 in favour of the BDPS300B, the fan noise from the PS3 has just got too much. I've moved it about and had both vertical and horizontal but to no avail. Would I be making a big mistake by changing to the stand alone Blu ray? I'm not really interested in the PS3 as a games machine but I do like to use it as a music server. Before I take the plunge can any one tell me how noisey the BDP300 is? I don't really care about lack of 1.1 as I buy films to watch the film and thats pretty much it.
     
  27. Avi

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    I also have a PS3 that I use just for Blu-ray. I recently purchased the S300 but returned it a few days later. The biggest difference I noticed is how slow the S300 is compared to the PS3. It's very quiet and has analogue audio ouputs but there isn't a significant difference in PQ.

    It doesn't support 1.1 and providing you don't mind waiting more than 4 minutes to play some of the BD-J titles this may not be a problem for you.

    AVI
     
  28. JonStatt

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    Were you expecting a difference in picture quality? As its HDMI and digital all the way, I can't think of any reason why the picture should really differ from player to player unless they are tinkering with it for no good reason. Actually I have compared the PS3 and BDP-S300 and there is a contrast difference, where the S300 has a slightly more punchy image. But I think that is because one of them is messing with the image...probably the S300.

    As no player supports 1.1 and nobody knows when yet, and as the S500 is a con to charge you 200 quid to get you TrueHD when the S300 is already capable of doing it, but crippled in firmware from doing so intentionally, I think the S300 is a good budget starting point until the mess is sorted.

    At least a bunch of blu-ray discs have lossless PCM, some 24 bit, which is better than nothing for now.

    As the S300 DACs are really good and I don't have HDMI in my receiver/processor, I can enjoy sound over what the PS3 gives me for now, and quietly!
     
  29. Avi

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    Sometimes the theory and practice part company based on past experience. The 1080p/60 output of the Samsung BD-P1000 should be identical to the 1080p/60 of the Sony based on that theory but it isn't. ;)

    I agree that the S300 does something to the image and I suspect it's the variable settings in the video profiles compared to the PS3.

    Do we know if it does decode Dolby TrueHD properly ?

    AVI
     
  30. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    I don't have any TrueHD discs to try unfortunately. But seeing as the firmware is 2.10 which is the same as what the US has, I just cannot see things being different. The way the specs are listed on the Sony website I think qualifies them for reporting to trading standards.

    I am not that bothered about TrueHD to be honest because so far looking at the titles, almost every TrueHD disc also has a PCM track. I know it might be 16bit vs 20bit, but its still good. However, what I am more concerned about is the number of discs where the ONLY lossless track is DTS HD MA. And for that, there is no disc player that will decode it..and I am not changing my processor....so thats why I say the S300 is a starting step, and I will wait for a 2.0 player with analogue outs that decodes everything :)
     

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