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Which 7.1 HD audio system for the PS3? (TrueHD DTS)

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philmangan

Guest
Hi,
I'm looking for a new 7.1 surround sound system for my PS3. I understand the PS3 decodes the HD audio but you need an amp that is capable of reading it and then outputting it to the speakers (correct me if im wrong). I've tried researching on Google but am now getting more confused. Do I need it to read both DTS and TrueHD or will either be ok? Although cost is'nt an issue, I don't want to spend a lot on something that I don't need (ie the PS3 doing the work before outputting it). I don't really want to buy a system that is also a DVD player, but a good amp that I can listen to HD audio with 7.1 speakers. Any manufacturer / colour would be ok as long as it's 7.1 HD audio.
I mean would the PHILIPS HTR5224 DIGITAL A/V RECEIVER be ok or should I be looking at something different such as the SONY DH800? If the latter then which speakers would you recommend?
I'm currently running a SONY S-MASTER DAV SC8, am I receiving HD audio through this as it decodes DTS and Dolby Pro-Logic 2. It's connected from the PS3 to the DAV SC8 with an optical cable.
Also the room it's going in is fairly small. Do I actually need 7.1 or should I be looking at a 5.1?
Does anyone have any suggestions? Any help would be appreciated, cheers.:lease:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

PSM1

Distinguished Member
What you need is a reciever that at least does Audio over HDMI. Hence a reciever that only decodes DTS but does do audio over HDMI will still give you HD audio. However, for ease of looking if you want to guarantee the reciever will give you HD audio (and also do audio over HDMI) then look for a reciever that decodes the HD audio (i.e. TruHD and DTS MA).
I do not think the phillips does audio over HDMI but you need to check the specs. The Sony 800 will give you HD audio and 7.1.
You do not get HD audio via optical cables. HD audio has to be sent to the reciever either via the HDMI cable or multichannel outputs (the PS3 does not have these). Hence you will not be getting HD audio at the moment.
The benefits of 7.1 over 5.1 will depend on room layout. IMHO if you have a small room with a TV on one wall and the sofa on the other one (i.e. no room behind the listening position) then you will get no real benefits with 7.1 over 5.1. I also believe that when on a limited budget it is better to do 5.1 well than try to stretch to 7.1 and hence do it on the cheap (i.e. poorly).
The cheapest recievers (new) that will give you HD audio are the Onkyo 507 and Yamaha 465 which are both £220. However, these are both only 5.1. If you really want 7.1 then the Sony 800 or Yamaha 565 or Onkyo 577 would be worth a look.
For speakers you could look at the Tanoy SFX for £200 (pair well with the Onkyo/Sony recievers) or the Jamo A102 (pair well with Yamaha reciever). Both are 5.1 but you can buy extra satelite speakers to make them 7.1 if desired.
 
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philmangan

Guest
Excellent, thank-you, that's made things a lot clearer.
I like the look of the ONKYO TXSR507 receiver and the Jamo A102HCS5 5.1 speakers, are these compatible?
The room they're going in is only approx 10ft x 10ft and set out as you mentioned (TV on a wall with a sofa on the other wall with no room behind it) so I think I'll go with the 5.1
Are the Jamo speakers wall mountable?
Thanks again for your advice.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The Jamo are wall mountable but may not be a good match to the Onkyo as both are described as bright sounding.
However, everyone is different so what I may call too bright you may think sounds perfect. If you want this combination I would get a demo to make sure the sound produced is something you like. Usually Jamo would be recommended for Denon or Yamaha recievers.
 
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philmangan

Guest
Ok, I'll bear that in mind. I live close to a 'Richer Sounds', I'll get a demo there before I buy.
Thanks again.
 
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philmangan

Guest
Hi,
I decided to go with the Onkyo 607 (£289.99 Exceptional-av). Just a couple of questions;
1. Should I let my PS3 do the decoding to pass on to the Onkyo or should I bitstream from the PS3 and let the Onkyo do the decoding (or does it make a difference?)
I only have a PS3 (fat) at the moment, is it worth me getting a PS3 (slim) so I can bitstream?

2. I will be putting the rear speakers on the wall directly behind me (approx 2 ft above ear height). What angle should the speakers be at (ie should they be angled down and towards me or straight towards the wall that the TV is on?)

Thanks, Phil
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
I would angle the speakers down a bit so they point just above your head when sat down.
Since you have the fat PS3 you will have to let the PS3 decode. I feel it is not worth buying a new PS3 just to be able to send audio as bitstream. There may be a slight difference in sound quality and if you had a more expensive reciever it may be worth it. What you are losing by letting the PS3 decode is the ability of the reciever to steer the sound etc. With a more expensive reciever this will be better than that done by the PS3. However with a budget reciever I do not think there will be much if any difference.
 

dwhite

Distinguished Member
I'm not sure what you mean by 'steer the sound', whether the signal is LPCM or TrueHD, they are both discrete formats. The channels are already decided, the amp only has to send the left channel to the left speaker, the right channel to the right speaker, etc. This information is already in the signal, the amp shouldn't be post processing it and deciding actually, it needs to send some of the left channel to the center for example.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Not sure I explained it right. What I mean is that although all signals are discrete a more expensive reciever will do a better job of decoding compared to a cheaper one. When I moved up from my CA reciever to my current Arcam there was a notable improvement in the surround sound effect with Prologic/DD and DTS. The sound just seemed to be 'steered' better around the speakers giving greater effect of being 'in' the sound. Again not sure this is the correct terminology but it is the best way I can describe it.
If the PS3 decodes the sound I assume this is lost with the reciever just acting as an amplifier to the signal. Hence you loss the 'nature' of the reciever. If all recievers decode DD/DTS etc the exact same way there would not be a lot of point spending huge amounts more for one over another (except for better amplifacation etc).
.
 
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philmangan

Guest
Thanks guys, I'll stick with my ps3 phat. I'm sure my new onkyo will be a big difference in audio compared to my old Sony dav-sc8.
 

dwhite

Distinguished Member
Not sure I explained it right. What I mean is that although all signals are discrete a more expensive reciever will do a better job of decoding compared to a cheaper one. When I moved up from my CA reciever to my current Arcam there was a notable improvement in the surround sound effect with Prologic/DD and DTS. The sound just seemed to be 'steered' better around the speakers giving greater effect of being 'in' the sound. Again not sure this is the correct terminology but it is the best way I can describe it.
If the PS3 decodes the sound I assume this is lost with the reciever just acting as an amplifier to the signal. Hence you loss the 'nature' of the reciever. If all recievers decode DD/DTS etc the exact same way there would not be a lot of point spending huge amounts more for one over another (except for better amplifacation etc).
.

While that may be true for DD and DTS, TrueHD and DTS-MA are lossless codecs, wherever you do the decoding you end up with the exact same signal. As has been said before the only advantage of letting the amp decode HD audio is you get a nice HD light on the amp, but you lose access to some features of bluray like secondary audio.
 

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