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Very confused about bitrates and "matrix"...help!

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by ollie501, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. ollie501

    ollie501
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    Hi,
    I am getting increasingly confused by the number of different bitrates available and would appreciate any advice you can offer.
    First up, my amp is a Sony STR-VA555ES, which I don't think supports DTS96/24. (although THIS LINK implies it has a 96/24 digital input, confusing me even more!) It has 2 sets of multichannel inputs, one of which is being used for SACD, the other DVD-A.
    As I understood, the high resolution stereo on DVDA is 96/24, which the amp seems to play, but does this mean it is downsampling or something, ie am I getting the best performance out of it?

    I have also just bought a new CD player - A Rotel RCD-02, which I am very pleased with, but again very confused by it's bitrates. It has, as I understand it, 18 bit HDCD decoding. Is there any real benefit to this - I understood HDCD was between 20 and 24 bits. Does that mean the extra bits are disregarded, and if so, what is the point of an extra 2 bits? I'm kind of paranoid that I have just forked out nearly £500 with the leads, for something which isn't going to support the latest standards.

    Now I see amps with DTS-ES96/24, and even some HDCD's carrying 96/24 logo's - does this mean all that extra info is being ignored, either by the amp or the CD player (or both)?

    One of the other queries, which isn't directly bitrate related, but what exactly does EX mean. I have DVD's that are Dolby Digital 5.1EX - is the sound supposed to come of the rear centre, because at the moment it doesn't. "Matrixing" is another term I really don't understand.

    So basically, is it time for an upgrade??? I know it's a lot of questions, and any help (preferably simple as possible for someone with not much experience!) would be much appreciated!

    Thanks

    Ollie :lease:
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Well I don't know all the technical details but this is my understanding of the EX & Matrix thing:

    Dolby Digital EX is normal 5.1 surround sound that has a 6th channel for hidden within the surround channels that on the correct receiver can then be removed from surrounds and played out of the surround back speaker(s). If there is no surround back speaker then the extra signal comes from the normal surrounds, so nothing is lost. I think this is called a matrixed channel.
    You now also have DTS matrix or discreat. Matrix is as for DD, but on discreat there is a separate surround back channel encoded giving true 6.1 replay. So DTS Discreat is the only true 6.1 system.

    I think thats something close to the truth anyway and not too bad a description IMHO for this time in the morning :boring:

    Mark.
     

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