will these new amps be able to decode the advanced audio?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by richard plumb, May 8, 2007.

  1. richard plumb

    richard plumb
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    14,524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Windsor
    Ratings:
    +1,054
    for example the new onkyo 605 - LINK

    Supports decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS -HD master audio over HDMI 1.3a


    Lovely.

    But will these new receivers actually *receive* any of these advanced bitstreams?

    HDDVD has its 'advanced' authoring modes, I don't know what bluray has. Some of this may prevent the still compressed audio from ever leaving the player. Is the situation grim? Is the situation changing? What are the practical implications?

    Can someone attempt to decode the player side of the equation, so that we can be educated ready for when people start getting that burning sensation in their pockets :)
     
  2. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,103
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +411
    The issue is that you can output bitstream from most players, and the 605 can decode it, but this will disable a lot of interactive stuff, you can't mix the audio streams in the player unless the decoding is also done there. Very worthy of Onkyo, likely to be a 1st, but ultimately marketing driven, as it's going to be unnnecessary for 99% of users. It's part of the HD DVD spec to decode in the player, and BD, correct me if I'm wrong, has a PCM soundtrack so far, and will have to have player decoding if they are to get interactivity working for BD? I shan't be rushing to upgrade, I'm still unconvinced by HDMI at all.
     
  3. richard plumb

    richard plumb
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    14,524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Windsor
    Ratings:
    +1,054
    there are quite a lot of blurays that have DTS-MA - Fox for example. And I don't know what happens in bluray players with DTS-MA. Can it output over HDMI 1.3, or does it have restrictions like some HDDVD players?
     
  4. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,103
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +411
    I understand it's simply a matter of the additional features, including the interactive menus, which beep and click etc. You can't mix anything whilst encoded as DTS-MA or anything else, it has to be done in PCM, hence the decoding in player. This applies to both flavours equally. So I think enabling bitstream audio output over HDMI will disable all interactive features. I cannot speak for yet to be made players, and in the case of BDA, they may not know themselves yet exactly how it's all going to work, but I'd guess, though the mechanism is different to HD DVD, the end result will be near enough the same. Just like all the spec really. In the real world, it's hard to get a bit of fag paper between the end results of HD DVD and Blu ray. The laws of physics and electronics apply equally to both.
     
  5. TrevorS

    TrevorS
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Messages:
    974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +175
    As MAW indicates, with HD DVD, it's likely possible to output an HD DVD advanced soundtrack bitstream as long as you don't want any of the other optional audio functionality included (Amir said he would verify that ability since it isn't known for certain). Extended audio capabilities require decoding in the player.

    There is speculation that with the BDA spec 1.1, BR may also move to an "advanced authoring" mode and could end up with the same restriction. Guess we probably won't know the answer to that for some time yet.

    General feeling is that if one is effectively limited to the film soundtrack only, then there's little advantage to decoding at the amp/proc. In any case, it appears that receiver is designed to complement current BR players quite nicely.
     
  6. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,152
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,276
    The advanced authoring bit is something I have spoken about for ages and with Profile 1.1 applies to both formats now, however the other thing you need to consider is when a HDMI 1.3 interface isn't capable of outputting say DTS HD MA over the interface... ;) Anyone worked out what HDMI 1.3b is for yet :)
     
  7. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,103
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +411
    So, what IS the point of HDMI 1.3? Answers on the back of a postage stamp please.
     
  8. pythagoras

    pythagoras
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Messages:
    549
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +95
    Once I have read all 276 pages of 1.3a specifications, I'll let you know:eek:

    Regards

    John
     
  9. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,103
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +411
    I've read it, it made me feel very depressed.
     
  10. grey torq

    grey torq
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    394
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +26
    Steady on there...

    When DVD started out players had analogue 5.1 outputs and decoded DD and DTS onboard how many still do this today?

    Do you not think that the dedicated DAC's within the amp/receiver might be better or that the comprehensive setup options and perhaps room EQ are worth having.

    The DENON 3808 is also out this summer and this time next year all amp/receivers will come with the new formats as standard, then watch the analogue o/ps from the players phase out because the PCM soundtracks can also be sent over HDMI 1.3

    Sony always said PCM was an interim step...

    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  11. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,103
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +411
    You miss the point. In order to do the funky HDi stuff, and Blu Ray equivalent, the players must mix audio streams. This they can only do as PCM, it's a total technology limitation I believe. Therefore, putting your player in bitstream output mode will switch off the interactive stuff, possibly including menus. Putting PCM on the disc was an interim step, outputting it from the player is a necessity for interactive to work.
     
  12. grey torq

    grey torq
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    394
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +26
    I take your point but from an audiophile/videophile point of view I really don't care about interactivity, it's a gimmick and I don't think anyone actually wants or needs it.

    Is the experience in a movie theatre interactive? Do you want it to be?
    It breaks you out of the immersive experience that I'm actually looking to have when I watch a film.

    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  13. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,103
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +411
    I'm with you there. That leaves us to decide whether the player or your amp has the better decoder, and whether your HDMI suffers from jitter or not. Bit soon to call that one I think? As none of this hardware is real yet. Well the 605 is, but I haven't heard it, much less heard it decoding a TrueHD soundtrack! No players capable! Another famous forum member once said to me, in a profound, red wine fuelled moment, 'The trouble with the future is that it's not here yet...'.
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,152
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,276
    It is a pity that all the studios and the mass market disagree with you (and me). This 'interactive stuff' is key to the next generation. What don't you like about the feature you get with BD Live?
     
  15. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,103
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +411
    No time, Nic. My DW and I are sitting at the table working, not watching movies on our AV system. We are movie fans, would love to spend time on the features as well as the movie, but are lucky to find time for 1 a week. I blame that Blair bloke, Gail works 100+ hours a week due to govt policy. That's my excuse, what's yours?
     
  16. grey torq

    grey torq
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    394
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +26
    Sorry Nic you've lost me there I don't even know what BD Live is:mad:

    I do realise all of the hype etc will go this way but it is a cop out to admit that the mass market won't be impressed enough with the improved PQ & sound quality so lets give em interactivity.

    Surely a PC is far better at this sort of thing?

    I'll get me coat and wait and see what happens.
    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  17. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,152
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,276
    Well we have BD Prolile 1.0 now but soon we will have PinP and many others things with Profile 1.1. We eager await Profile 1.1 and this arrives on player launched after Oct 31 or a bit earlier, if we are lucky. Then we all 'lounge' in the luxury of PinP however a few months later BDA launch yet another Profile, this time BD 'Live' 2.0 which this time is optional and it inludes super luxuries like an ethernet connection that HD DVD would have has >2 years by then....all different from discs authored for 1.0 and 1.1....and it starts all over again. New HCC headlines... obsolete BD Profile 1.1 :(
     
  18. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,152
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,276
    More aimed at GT post 1 min ealier, but my excuse is a rather good Bowmore cask strength :D

    On a side note, I have limited interest in interactivity myself but my family LOVES the stuff. My 5 year old twins found the second disc on all the DVD sets and on their own worked out what to do with them. Pink and barbi sells....even if it is me who buys it for the family. They adore the extras, I just buy...
     
  19. richard plumb

    richard plumb
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    14,524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Windsor
    Ratings:
    +1,054
    I'm fine with the potential of 'interactive mode = decode and mix in player'; 'watch movie mode = send bitstream to receiver for decoding'. I don't care about menu 'swooshes' etc - thats a reasonable thing to lose if I choose the bitstream mode. Heck, fit a little speaker in the player if they care that much :)

    but would that even be supported?


    As for PiP etc, why suddenly do we have to mix? Old style DVD got away very nicely with a separate commentary track which had the movie audio mixed in with the commentary, so no need for additional work by the player to mix it. Are we moving backwards?
     
  20. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,152
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,276
    or are some not moving forward? We have yet to experience what is on offer but people are already questioning it without even seeing it. I prefer to see what is offered first before questioning things, let alone making my mind up. Disney and others obviously see merit for some reason, I am curious why as they have got most things right in the past. Role on POTC and other new releases...
     
  21. Ian_S

    Ian_S
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,163
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    163
    Ratings:
    +2,198
    The plot thickens...

    Amir has let slip that HD-DVD in advanced mode CAN, if the player implements it, bypass the in-player mixing and output the bitstream over a suitable interface. HDi will apparently query whether such a bypass has been set and accordingly disable interactive features that won't work...

    Now, whether any player has actually implemented that remains to be seen, clearly there's no point on the 360, or at present on a PC, which would leave only the XE1 as a potential user of such functionality.

    Either way it's spookily close to the BDA's way of thinking even down to BD-J not using the features that the hardware can't implement.

    So, it does look as though BOTH camps are going to allow bitstream passthrough and let us buy the same decoders twice, again.

    However, unlike DVD where you could quite happily get by with a player that was little more than a transport for audio and let your much more expensive amp do all the work, both BD and HD-DVD players will HAVE to include the audio decoders to allow interactivity to work. Thus, the situation with DVD will be reversed, for cheap players the decoding will be done in player with only people interested in HQ sound going the bitstream route.

    However, with lossless sound the decoded output whether in player or outboard will be IDENTICAL, so why bother? I find myself firmly in the camp where the player should do the decoding and then be able to pass the digital stream over HDMI as PCM to an amp. The amp can then do bass management, room EQ etc if required. If not, you may prefer a player that has a high quality DAC stage so that HDMI jitter will never be a problem you need to contend with...

    It's odd in that with high end CD players everyone knows that the CD player DACs are much better quality than those in a processor (usually), yet for DVD somehow we believe the opposite. Seems there will be plenty of scope for product differentiation at the mid to high end as ever.
     
  22. richard plumb

    richard plumb
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    14,524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Windsor
    Ratings:
    +1,054
    I agree completely IanS. Plus even if you can get the bitstream over to the receiver, you'll get complaints about 'where did my commentary go?' which will just confuse people.

    I think this is just a case of the CE guys trying to have their cake and eat it too. If they wanted to sell two bits of equipment, it would have been simple to prevent the players doing any decoding, and then sell the receivers. But as all players do some decoding, and its to identical LPCM formats, thenI don't see the need for a separate receiver.

    Jitter, maybe. But then as you say, those people offended by jitter would most likely be prepared to use analogue outs and get a suitably specced player.
     
  23. Spoonhead

    Spoonhead
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,186
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Not near enough to Old Trafford
    Ratings:
    +269
  24. Ian_S

    Ian_S
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,163
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    163
    Ratings:
    +2,198
    That's the sort of internet journalism that really annoys me. There's no story there.

    All they seem to be saying is that thus far, the firmware/software in the PS3 won't let you sendthe bitstream of DTS-HD. They seem to have retracted the bit about TrueHD, but left it in strikethough... ??

    Personally, it's hardly surprising that players won't pass TrueHD or DTS-HD bitstreams yet given that there's been no hardware available to use such a feature. As it does become available I expect we'll start seeing it implemented.

    Why don't these so called journalists say the same thing about Toshiba's XE1? It's got HDMI 1.3 and doesn't do it either.
     
  25. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,103
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +411
    Internet journalism is the bottom end of a fairly grubby little job, IMHO. I also see it exactly your way, Ian, re audio output, mixing, and had thought before Amir's comment that it was inevitable that HD-DVD would end up with the same situation as Blu Ray, it might be a different mechanism, but the sound mixing problem is identical. I cannot see why bitstream to the amp is necessarily the audiophile route, though if it were audio via analogue things might be a bit more complicated. THD to PCM, it can't be that hard surely?
     
  26. Ian_S

    Ian_S
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,163
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    163
    Ratings:
    +2,198
    No, the audiophile route as ever will depend on all the components and there will be different ways of getting there. Should keep you in business!! ;)

    With TrueHD, no it really is not that hard. To gain TrueHD certification the decoder has to pass tests that prove that you get the identical bitstream out to the one encoded. Unlike DD+, lossy DTS and DD, there's simply no possibility of a different result. Therefore every TrueHD decoder will spit out the same data, period, regardless of price. As usual, what will make a difference to the quality of the sound reproduced will be resulting signal paths, DAC's etc.

    This is part of the reason I think we should have some form of lossless track on every disc, it should at least mean we all start with the same decoded PCM data even if what comes out the other end differs quite significantly. Where people choose to spend their money after that is up to them!
     
  27. peterweg

    peterweg
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    1,351
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +86
    Engadget(as well as kotaku, gizmodo) are not journalists but bloggers, quite free to post rumour, fake and biased 'stories'. Some forums ban them outright.
     
  28. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,103
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +411
    Engadget are not alone. The internet gives equal voice to all. Democracy or lunacy?
     
  29. Forest Fan

    Forest Fan
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    302
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +18
    There's no need to attack the journalism just because you don't want to hear that the PS3 isn't capable of transmitting TrueHD and DTS-MA as bitstream over HDMI.

    I've not read the above articles but I'll fill in the blanks that I expect are missing. This is my understanding:-

    HDMI 1.3 has currently 2 variants, 1.3a and 1.3b.

    1.3a refers to the SiI 9133 transmitter from Silicon Images and it includes the Deep Colour crap which is another marketing gimmick. The PS3 contains the SiI 9133.

    1.3b refers to the SiI 9134 transmitter. This is the first transmitter to allow transport of TrueHD and DTS-MA. The problem for Sony is that this transmitter didn't go into production till October 2006.

    So Microsoft went with HDMI 1.2b and took the abuse for not allowing lossless from the elite. Whereas Sony went with 1.3a, and fooled people into believing they could transmit lossless bitsteam codecs through their silence.

    I'll find some links later

    P.S Don't shoot the messenger
     
  30. Ian_S

    Ian_S
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,163
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    163
    Ratings:
    +2,198
    It's not so much shooting the messenger as getting fed up with anything negative being directed entirely in Sony's direction. There are other HDMI 1.3 devices that presumably have the same issues yet somehow it's only Sony's problem.

    Also, given that all Sony have to do to overcome the problem is throw brute force at it and decode DTS-HD MA to PCM for output over HDMI 1.1 compatible streams as they do for TrueHD and the whole thing is a non-issue.

    Furthermore given that either way you still have a digital signal, and either way the PCM signal converted to analogue should be the same bit for bit, then it seems like nothing more than a lame attempt at sensationalising something that is really quite trivial.

    So I'll quite happily stick to saying that the Engaget reporting is of a poor standard.
     

Share This Page

Loading...