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Why The I-Link

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Garrett, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I recently got a DVD with SACD and took it would be able to connect by the digital lead, wrong you have to use normal analogue connecters. Pioneer have just brought a processor with i-link which the information can be sent via sutable equipment with this link (only on the most expensive processors and DVD’s)
    Why cannot the digital link transmit this data after all it transfers the 5.1 information?
     
  2. sticker

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    Hi Garrett
    I think I read that it's to do with stopping high quality copies by the "naughty boys".
    Regards
    John
     
  3. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Hi John

    That raises the question can you copy just using a normal CD or do you need a SACD recorder if there is such a thing?
     
  4. lowrider

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    Even I-link wont work with copy protected SACDs, maybe the future HDMI 2 will... :rolleyes:
     
  5. They

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    I thought standard i.LINK will but modified versions such as Denon's won't, although I recall they were to ammend their version to play all software.
     
  6. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Well if they copy protect the disc why not let digital link carry the info of the i-link, or it a rip-off to get you to spend more money on something new.:mad:
     
  7. Garrett

    Garrett
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    What other manufactures do the i-link as well as Pioneer on their amps?
     
  8. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    SACD, if the masters are made from relatively modern recordings, and more especially DVD-Audio (nearly all recordings are made in PCM initially) can have sound quality essentially indistinguishable from the studio master.

    No studio wants you to be able to copy this in a bit for bit manner (actually some executives don't want you to copy anything ever, but that's another story). So if the hi res audio bitstream ever comes out of the player it must be encrypted. This is completely understandable for the reasons given above.

    I believe there is no unencrypted digital output at all on SACD players, nor will there ever be. DVD-Audio players usually have an SPDIF output which can support stereo 16 bit 48 kHz PCM off DVD-A - you are physically able to record that if you wish (whether it is strictly legal is another question). Incidentally SPDIF, as well as being a non copy protected interface, does not have the speed to go beyond 2 channels at 24 bit 96 kHz sampling.

    I-link is a brand name for a flavour (actually an extension) of IEEE 1394 that supports digital audio and video. It can support both SACD and DVD-A but not uncompressed video.

    HDMI 1.0 supports digital hi res video and multichannel PCM (i.e. DVD-A at present) although current chipsets only have the horsepower to support SPDIF audio, i.e. DD/DTS and CD level PCM. The next generation of chips in a year's time will support hi-res multichannel audio. They are still to the HDMI 1.0 spec by the way, just more compliant; all this talk of needing a v2.0 is nonsense.

    HTH a bit!

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  9. lowrider

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    All is clear John,

    But you didn´t mention if any of those links will support encrypted SACD or DVD-Audio, or if the receiving end will... :confused:
     
  10. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Antonio -

    In terms of audio, I-link can support both with 5C content protection - HDMI 1.0 is specified to support only PCM (up to 8 channels 24 bit 192 kHz), encrypted with HDCP.

    I should point out the above are really just big pipes - the receiving end needs to be licensed to decrypt the content, naturally.

    John
     
  11. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Meridian's MHR Smartlink is still, to the best of my knowledge, the only digital link that can usefully transmit encrypted DVD-Audio.
     
  12. lowrider

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    Thanks John,

    So the reason actual receivers dont "read" encrypted SACD thru I-linc is that they are not licensed... :confused:

    Are you planning to make an upgrade of the FMJ DV27 to have any of those high bandwidth digital outputs ?
     
  13. Garrett

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    Thanks for the replies some more interesting than what I though.:smashin:

    Wouldn’t mind a Meriden but I bet they a very expensive.:(
     
  14. daninthemix

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    The point of iLink is not just high-res audio, but also bitstream and PCM sound better because it is a two-way transmission protocol with support for flow control and stuff like that, leading to (theoretically) no jitter. It is many, many times better than SPDIF in this respect.
     
  15. SeaneyC

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    Surely the reason that SACD is not catered for is because the amps don't have the hardware required to decode a DSD stream?
     
  16. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Seeing as my TV equipment and my Hi-fi are 7 meters apart, do/ or is it possible that they will sell i-links that long?
     
  17. BAD Dave

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    Interesting discussion, but could someone dumb it down for me please?

    Will i-Link become the means of connecting DVD player to amp in the future?

    If so, when?

    Is i-Link the same as Firewire?

    The sooner connections are simplified the better!

    Dave
     
  18. Garrett

    Garrett
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    :blush: I’m a bit green on the subject as well but as far as I know, the i-link is the same as firewire and the Pioneer AX5 and AX10 have it on there Amps also a top of the range DVD this will allow a digital link between them, and allow SACD to be sent rather than the present analogue leads.
     
  19. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    Garret - that's correct :).

    To the best of my knowledge, DVD players such as Pioneer's DV757Ai can output all audio data via their iLink interfaces. AV Amps, like the AX5i, will probably decode all the formats the DVD player supports - with the possible exception of bitstream MP3 and HDCD, although I imagine the DVD players will convert this to PCM signals before it leaves the player (most do).

    I haven't heard a purely iLink setup so don't know how it'd sound, better or no.
     
  20. NinjaKi11a

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    I haven't unpackaged my 565 yet. Will I need analogue connections to play MP3s or does digital support this?
     
  21. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    I'm not sure Sansouci, feel free to try the digital connection I guess.
     
  22. Garrett

    Garrett
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    The digital link will support that, but anything digital from the player is copy protected.
     
  23. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I'm interested in the iLink but from a sound quality perspective.
    What will give the best quality (for CD audio) assuming you are using a 757 player and a VX5 amp?

    1. Phono leads from player to amp, letting the player do the DAC.
    2. Coaxial lead from player to amp, letting the amp do the DAC.
    3. iLink lead from player to amp, letting the amp do the DAC.

    I guess ultimately you should be doing the conversion in the device that has the best DAC.

    Of course this interface is only good for player to amp and won't benefit "normal" TV viewing as my Sky+ box has no iLink output and AFAIK, no plasmas have the iLink input.
    Then again, it's debatable whether the source quality from Sky is good enough to benefit.
     
  24. daninthemix

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    Definitely the iLink. Not only is it jitterless, so far, far, many, many times better than coaxial SPDIF, but you're keeping the signal path as short as possible. In this setup, if you let the DVD player do the D/A, the output will only be digitised again when you get into the amp so it can do levels/delay/BM etc, before then going through the amps DACs anyway!

    Firewire is a very real improvement - it's a case of technology bringing the cost of sound quality down. Use it!
     
  25. Brogan

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    So a top of the range CD player (i.e. over £5k) with a state of the art DAC outputting an analogue signal over phono leads to an amp/receiver won't be as good as a Pioneer 757 using iLink to the same amp?
     
  26. gandley

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    The purpose of i-link is that it is always digital. The signal is not coverted to analogue at all, hence the no jitter but the sound remains clean with no lose of quality. with spdif the digital signal is converted to analoge sent to amp where its converted back to
    digital (not good as sound is degraded.
    Many new upperclass decks will soon start to arrive with firewire (I-Link) On the dvd front Denons new A11 will support denon link and i-link.

    I Have a vsa ax10i and i borrowed a 757i from a friend and the sound was indeed very good. better than a mid range cd player.

    However it was not better than my fathers tag mac system
    As time goes on and higher end decks will surpass this for sure.
    The pioneer combi is very good however and using i-link with dvd gives a very real noticeable improvment in clarity in films

    Pioneer I-link i believe is as good as it gets in the mid range to upper market sound but u cant expect a £699 universal dvd deck to compete at the very top.

    Tag Mac or similar with i-link will be a diffent ball game im sure as i-link will be patnerd with other top Tech
     
  27. Brogan

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    Thanks gandley.

    So in your experience, iLink from a 757 to an AX10i gave better sound from DVD and CD than using coaxial or phono.

    I'm not into high end equipment and i will probably only be looking at equipment around the AX5i and 757/868 price range so if iLink is going to give me better quality than other equipment using phono/coaxial/optical, at the same price level, then I will go down the all Pioneer route.

    P.S. I though spdif was digital with no analogue conversion so I'm a little confused by your statement above...?

    S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) is a standard audio transfer file format. It is usually found on digital audio equipment such as a DAT machine or audio processing device. It allows the transfer of audio from one file to another without the conversion to and from an analog format, which could degrade the signal quality.
     
  28. gandley

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    I thought for sum reason that there is a conversion on spdif might be wrong. However sound was definatly better with i-link to ax10i than optical and coax and a hell lot better than phono.
    (dosent spdif still pass through the dacs? and i-link will not?)
    In fact i would say the amp seem to come alive and deliver the sound it was ment to.


    Oh i think spdif is in some way compressed and i-link is not compressed digital
     

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