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Where should I decode...........

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by stricko, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. stricko

    stricko
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    I've just bought one of the new Limit players and I'm learning that DVD-A needs six analog cables to connect it to my HK 4500 receiver........ Limit also suggest that because of the tuning that Cyrus have done to the player, I'd be better off using an analog feed for CD audio rather than PCM over digital.

    So, if I'm decoding DVD-A on the DVD player, and decoding CD audio on the player........

    Why shouldn't I let the DVD player handle the audio decode for DD5.1 and DTS?

    It seems that many of us have been buying some redundancy into our systems with decoders at both the player and amplifier stages. If I'm going to have to buy 6 decent leads to give me true DVD-A, why shouldn't I use the same route for DVD-Video audio output. Especially if it has been touched by the magic wand of Cyrus....

    I'm sure there is a logical explanation out there, but help, I'm getting confused.
     
  2. Zoidy

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    i also have wondered this for sacd.. makes sense to use the players dac's over the amps. just gotta take the plunge to buy 6 nice leads heh
     
  3. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Of course you can let the DVD player do all the decoding, but note that not all of them can actually decode DTS (some just output it digitally).
    Before DVD-A/SACD the consensus was to do decoding in the AV amp/receiver since their DACs used to be better and many people preferred the digital connection (less cables) so that the player just acted as a transport.
    Also note that not all amps can apply bassmanagement to the 5.1 analog input, another reason why sometimes a digital connection is preferred.
     
  4. stricko

    stricko
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    Thanks for the input. I've asked the bass management question to both Limit and HK. The receiver manual seems to suggest that there is no bass management if the 6 and 8 channel inputs are used, so it's down to the player.

    I'm assuming therefore that the 6 channel input has a subwoofer channel. Without getting around to the back of the amp, this seems to be supported by the manual referring to 6.1 and 7.1 input via the 8 channel inputs. This might suggest that the 6 channels are 5 + subwoofer. Any idea if this is correct?

    The thorny question is then which decoder can do the better job. I'm assuming this one is down to using my own ears........
     
  5. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    ......yes it's down to your ears. Don't be suprised if it turns out to be digital (ie amp does the DA conversion) rather than the "Cyrus" tuned analogue.

    Re: the lack of bass management issue, I think it will only be a problem if you are using sub/sat system. For DVD-A it is better to have full speakers all round, then you can just receive recorded data and output it unchanged.

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  6. stricko

    stricko
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    If by sub/sat you mean 4 bookshelf style boxes, a larger centre speaker and a separate subwoofer, then that's where I am. The domestic issues associated with 5 full size speakers are likely to be insurmountable.

    If I use the digital feed, it kinda knocks out any benefit of having the Cyrus badge on the player......... Perhaps Limit should make it a bit more clear about where the tuning has been applied, and the configuration needed to take advantage of it.

    I'm starting to understand what is going on here, but it's not 100% yet. From my limited experience of helping others, a lot of buyers of £100-200 DVD players have no idea of the connectivity required for DVD-A/SACD, and I would suggest that many non-specialist shops either don't know or havn't told the customers about what the future might hold.

    I know of one first time home theatre buyer who was sold a player with DVD-A and an amp with no capability of receiving the full DVD-A audio stream. They will probably be more than happy with DVD-A DD5.1 over digital, but thats not the point.

    When you find out what it takes to take full advantage of DVD-A/SACD, it's no surprise that the market is only taking off slowly, but the DVD player manufacturers and retailers are using the capability to shift more expensive players.
     
  7. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    stricko
    I really mean full range (as in frequency) rather than full size. See below.

    It's not just the 6 analogue connections either. Also bear in mind the increased frequency range that the amp has to handle (some are advertised as being DVD-a/SACD capable, and that the amps on board DACs need to have high sampling rates to take advantage of the high sample rates on the disc. Then as I said, you need speakers that will do justice to the wide frequency range, or else, you need the bass management and even then there will be loses.

    The problem is that to do justice to DVD-A, it has to be considered more in the way that stereo systems are. The revolution in 5.1 (and beyond) for DVD movie watching has lead to a sub/sat revolution and also derivatives of. I.e. many people will have a decent pair of fronts and run them off a stereo amp direct when in stereo mode, or via preout from AV processor/amp in 5.1 mode. Then the rears and sometimes even the centre are then often smaller boxes. For movies, this is usually more than adiquate and for stereo to, but for proper DVD-A and multi channel SACD, it is not and there is no recognision of this by the budget DVD player maunufactures who are riding the wave. They bolt DVD-A on more as a marketing ploy as you point out. It's already on the chip sets that they use anyway. They don't care whether the consumer has only got a sub/sat system or not so long as you buy their player. The fact that you may have been swayed because of the DVD-A means it did its job. I think the marketing ploy of better stereo play back from a single source, as with the Limit player you've got, is more credible, although I'd still feed the analogue to a dedicated stereo amp for best results. Until you do, as I said in my previous post, the digital feed might still sound better, but let your ears decide.

    Many people get so hooked up on features, so much so that they literally do feature check lists one player against another, and buy on this basis not ever evan having demod either. Half the features they get they don't even need (it's nice to have just in case, thinking) and the fact that those extra features are the ones that may well compromise the features they do need seems to be overlooked.

    I went for an all singing all dancing Nintaus player some time back. Prog scan, DVD-A, 192kHz Dacs etc. It even had base management but DVD-A still sounded crap via my Yamaha receiver and Kef eggs which aren't cheap stuff. The video wasn't that good either dispite having Zoran Vaddis V (or might even have been VI version) chip set. I realised then that proper DVD-A was another realm again and decided that I didn't really want to go there. Another argument entirely, but when you listen to a band/group/orchestra, they are always in front of you, it makes no sense to me to want to give the impression that they are all round you. I like the idea of higher sample rates and I like the idea of surround sound for some types of music eg, Mike Oldfield, Jean Michelle Jarr type stuff, but I'm not upgrading to full speakers all round, driven by separate power amps (or top notch A/V integrated amp) to get it. I think DVD-A would take off better if/when we get more into the descreet (in wall) type speaker systems where the speakers are still full range. It means hanging up the idea that nice speaker cabinets are pieces of furniture. Yes, a nice pair of stereo speakers are a focal point for any room, but six or more certainly are not (ask any woman!). ;)

    LMK how you're getting on with the player

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  8. stricko

    stricko
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    Thanks for the lengthy feedback.

    I think I'd reached a similar conclusion regarding DVD-Audio. I don't want (can't afford) to upgrade to an amp and speakrs capable of doing it justice. The CD playback on the Limit is way beyond what I had before, and if I want a 5.1 experience, the DVD-Video side of a DVD-Audio disk is capabale of giving it to me. I'm not sitting there "missing" the extra range of "pure" DVD -Audio. The only DVD-Audio disk I've purchased so far (Pet Sounds) is something I didn't have on CD, and the price differential is not so great that you would not consider buying one just to get the DVD-Video audio tracks if it was of interest.

    Fortunately. I didn't buy the Limit because of DVD-Audio, or else I would be feeling a little foolish now. The component output, PAL PS and JPEG were always higher on the wish list. Yes, I did go out an buy a DVD Audio disk, but it was more out of curiosity than anything else.

    I've posted my thoughts on the player in the Limit thread. The jury is still out, and I'm still watching the HK 31 and 22 position. I get out to Germany on a regular basis, and it looks like they will be cheaper there when they eventually arrive.
     

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