Audio output

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by mike_p_t, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. mike_p_t

    mike_p_t Agent

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    Probably a dumb question...But can I run HDMI to the television and optical to a receiver (which has no HDMI) from a bluray player?
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Yes.
     
  3. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Yes, but if your receiver has 5.1/7.1 multi-channel analog inputs, you can get a BD player that has the same kind of outputs, and listen to the HD audio that way. The Oppo players have these outputs. The BDP-80 is their cheapest one.
     
  4. mike_p_t

    mike_p_t Agent

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    I don't think I do...I have a Sony BDP - S300 and an Onkyo TXSR503.

    I am thinking about getting a new TV as my 8 year old 53" RPTV sort died last week (as opposed to fixing this one). My current one does not have HDMI.


    Is it worth getting a new receiver as well? When I tried to run the cable and DVD player via component into my receiver it did not work well as I got several different kinds of artifacts. Does HDMI work better? What kind of compatibility do I have to worry about between bluray, receiver, and new television?
     
  5. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Did you assign the inputs you used, to DVD and DBS? If not, you need to.

    Your receiver doesn't have the inputs I mentioned, but the BD player does have the outputs. That was Sony's first BD player, and doesn't decode dtsHD master audio internally.

    If you can afford it, yes, it's worth getting a new receiver. Get one that decodes the HD audio over HDMI. The Onkyos are very good receivers, and good bang for the buck. Whatever receiver you get, make sure it's HDMI v1.3a repeater, not HDMI "pass thru". In the Onkyos, it will be the TX-SR508 on up.

    There shouldn't be any compatibility to worry about between blu ray, receiver and tv. The tv is used only for the video. When you get a new tv, run everything through the (new) receiver, then just an HDMI outfrom receiver to the tv. With a receiver that does audio over HDMI, it cuts down on the number of cables need, since HDMI carries audio and video.
    Good luck!
     
  6. mike_p_t

    mike_p_t Agent

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    Ed,

    First of all, thanks for all of the great information. This is very helpful.

    Second, I think my receiver may have the inputs you are talking about. I looked at the back of the receiver and it has RCA jacks for "front, surround, center, and woofer". Are these them? So these are better than using an optical cable, but not quite as as good as HDMI, correct? Will a plain RCA cable work or do I need to get better quality ones?


    I have been updating the firmware on my BD player. Do any of these updates add any new decoding?
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Those are the ones Ed referred to. Here's the thing. When playing old fashioned Dolby Digital and DTS with a digital connection, like Optical or Coaxial, you get to use your receivers Bass/Treble controls-Bass Management and any other processing it may offer. Same thing with HDMI 1.3 with the inclusion of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA. With the 5.1 analog inputs your receiver will act as an amplifier/volume controller only. No processing what so ever.

    EDIT: some older Onkyo's did allow Bass/Treble adjustments thru the 5.1 analog outputs and there were a couple of receivers like the Outlaw 1070 and Pionner Elite 59txi which did allow full processing (the H/K 7200 and 525 allowed Bass Management only) but the signal had to go thru another couple of analog/digital conversions which some feel can degrade the sound quality ever so slightly.

    Also, since your BluRay player doesn't decode the new TrueHD and MA then Optical or Coaxial would be better than the 5.1 analog input.

    New HDMI 1.3 receivers that are comparable to yours are getting a little cheaper with more features all the time. It's up to you to decide if a new receiver is worth it but if you can get full HDMI (meaning 1.3 or 1.4) plus Audyssey, YAPO, MCACC, EZSetEQ, etc. automatic room correction and EQ software then I think it's worth it.



    If updates did add any new decoding in the Sony S300 it would only be for the HDMI output, not Optical or Coaxial. If you want the new formats you will need a new BluRay player with 5.1 analog outputs or preferably a new receiver.
     
  8. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    A firmware update awhile back, did add Dolby TrueHD to the S300 internal decoding, but not dtsHD Master. So, using the 5.1 analog inputs will be better than a digital input, when watching a blu ray movie with a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack.

    I had looked at the back of your receiver, on Onkyo's site, and didn't see the analog inputs before. I just looked again, and you're right. It does have them. So, you're good to go with one HD audio format. If you can afford it though, you'd be better off with a newer receiver that handles the audio over HDMI. If you can't afford it now, save up, and enjoy Dolby TrueHD until you can.

    Quote from Sony's firmware page:

    I made the info bolder and red, to show what I mentioned. If you've done firmware update, you should be good to go.
     
  9. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I didn't think the S300 had the 5.1 analog outputs . Been a little lazy lately /img/vbsmilies/htf/sleep.gif">.


    Anyway, I'd hook up both the 5.1's (for TrueHD) and a digital cable (for everthing else).


    [QUOTE]Will a plain RCA cable work or do I need to get better quality ones?[/QUOTE]
    You have to be a bit more carefull with analog cables vs. digital ones as there could be some signal loss with analogs. But you don't have to spend a lot. [url=http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/PR130/ACOUSTIC-RESEARCH/Pr130-Pro-Ii-Rca-Audio-Cable-3-Ft/1.html]AcousticResearch[/url] ($7.99 each) cables from ac4l.com are very good for the price.

    If a different HDMI 1.3 receiver is on your wish-list the factory refurbished [url=http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKHTRC160/Onkyo/Ht-rc160-7.2-channel-Home-Theater-Receiver-Like-Tx-sr607/1.html]Onkyo-RC160[/url] is $279 at ac4l.com and comes with a one year warranty.
     
  10. mike_p_t

    mike_p_t Agent

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    I guess I am a little confused on the 5.1 analog outputs. For example, how does it differ from the optical and how do they give me HD Audio. So using the 5.1 analog, the decoding is done on the BD player, while using the digital optical cable, the decoding is done on the receiver, correct? And using the 5.1 output, the receiver just acts as an amplifier. But my other things like speaker distances/levels are still used with the analog 5.1, correct?
     
  11. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    When using the 5.1 analogs, you need to set distances and levels in the player's setup menus also. I'd just write down the settings in the receiver's setup menus, and put them in the player's settings.

    The only way to get the HD audio formats is over HDMI and the multi-channel analog inputs. Denon calls these "EXT. IN", instead of multi-channel. They did this so people with older receivers can enjoy the HD audio too, so they wouldn't be forced to rush out and buy a new receiver. I don't have a technical explanation for how they give you HD audio. They just do.....

    Yes, when using digital connection (optical, digital coax, and HDMI), the receiver does the processing. When using the multi-channel analog, the player does the processing. When using digital, you have access to bass management, DSP modes, and whatever else the receiver has to offer. When using multi-channel analog, you don't, with most receivers. There are a couple that allow bass management over analogs, but don't remember them right now. Since you don't get bass management with analogs, a lot of folks bump up the sub's level setting (in player's setup) about 10db.
     
  12. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    They differ in that, as you said, the decoding occurs in the BR player (if applicable) for output through the 5.1's. With optical/coaxial the raw stream is sent to the reciever which does the decoding of DD and DTS but never TrueHD or DTS-MA (not enough bandwidth). If the receiver has built in HD/MA decoders it must receive the signal through HDMI. Some recivers with HDMI vs. 1.2 will accept a decoded HD/MA signal through HDMI if it accepts LPCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation).


    Not speaker distances or cross-over setting. Those are handled in the BR players setup menu. Most moderately priced BR players with 5.1's have a fixed cross-over setting. And they don't always tell you what it is. BTW, all of this applies to DVD-A/SACD as well for universal dvd players.

    This isn't cut-and-dried (whatever that means). A very few receivers allow some of those things. My old Onkyo TH-500 (from the original HT-650 htib) allowed Bass/Treble controls and volume adjustments but nothing else. Your 503 may or may not.

    Yes, it is very confusing.

    O.K. Ed, this time you beat me to it!
     
  13. mike_p_t

    mike_p_t Agent

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    I did not even know I could adjust the BD player for audio. So other things I have set like PLIIx and Neo 6 do not apply when using analog. So this also means I cannot have 7.1 which I have set up now, only 5.1. I don't know how much the two rear ones are used anyway. They dont' match my new speakers. They were from my old Sony dream system so I just left them. So I should use the analog with Blueray disks that have TruHD and optical for regular DVD's that have things like DTS and Dolby Digital, correct?
     
  14. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Right.
    It's a little bit of trouble switching from one to the other, but worth it, I think. For blu ray, I think you need to set the audio output from your player, to LPCM or PCM. Also, for blu ray, you'll need to set the receiver on EXT. IN, instead of DVD.

    Then, for DVDs, you'll need to set the audio output from your player to "Bitstream", and choose the normal DVD on receiver. See why I said it's a little more trouble?
    You can try a regular DVD while using the analog inputs, and see if you like it. A friend of mine uses a Sony S550 BD player, with the analog outs, and uses the same setting for blu rays and dvds, and it all sounds great. It just doesn't say Dolby Digital in the receiver's display. It says EXT. IN. Won't hurt to give it a listen.
     
  15. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Your Sony BR player probably has internal Dolby Digital and DTS digital decoders in it as well. Some dvd players with 5.1 analog outputs also have ProLogic and maybe even DTS Neo:6 processors for use with the analog outputs.

    If you're happy with the way your Sony BR player sounds through the analog outputs and you can do without the receivers bass management, bass/treble controls, etc. then there's no reason you can't just use the 5.1 analog outputs for everything. I do that with my OPPO 83. But having the receiver do these things is usually much better whenever possible.
     
  16. mike_p_t

    mike_p_t Agent

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    That was my next question :)


    If my BR player has most of those decodings, I could just use the analog outs for everything. Even though it may be a little better in certain circumstances to use the optical out, that probably would not be worth the extra hassel.



    Here are my options for the BR player:

    Dolby Digital: Dolby Digital or Downmix PCM

    DTS: DTS or Downmix PCM

    DTS Downmix Stero or Lt/Rt

    I want Downmix, correct?

    It seems to have automatically detected the 5.1 analog because it switched to that after I unplugged the optical. I still had access to all of my set up options. However, I lost the dialogue track and some other tracks. It was also still playing in 7.1. I was confused...I had to hit the "Multi Ch" button. Now the player reads "DVD Direct" Now the dialogue and everything sounds normal. Most of the setup options cannot be accessed. But some are still there. It looks like I can still adjust the volume and some other stuff.

    In the BD player menu, I cannot enter the "AV control". Do I need a disk for this?
     
  17. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I don't think so. I think you want Dolby Digital and DTS. Downmix is for those who only have two speakers, front left and right.


    Multi-Channel is the same thing as 5.1 analogs so that is what you want. Not having a Sony BluRay player I'm not sure what should be in the display or whether or not you should be able to access AV Control or not. I would start from scratch and do the whole setup process again. There may be other setting you need to adjust as well.
     
  18. mike_p_t

    mike_p_t Agent

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    Thanks. You are correct about the downmix, I changed them back.

    Also, I just went and got the manual. I read the manual and there are no settings I can adjust (distance, crossover etc.), just how many speakers there are. That kind of sucks...
     
  19. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Quite often those settings are reserved for the higher priced models.
     
  20. mike_p_t

    mike_p_t Agent

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    Gene,

    Thanks for the site for those cables. I will be getting some of those. Those seem like a steal at that price.

    One other question. Several times in this thread, it has talked about adjusting bass/treble in the receiver. I have went through the options on my receiver, using optical in, and I don't see where treble is listed. There are a lot of different options I have no idea what they mean. Panoramic, Center Width, Dimension etc. I will have to get out my manual and look at those again.
     

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