Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital - new blu ray and Yamaha rxv2600

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by William_Gravem, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. William_Gravem

    William_Gravem Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got home with my new blu ray, and learned that my receiver is old and does not offer Dolby True HD. I apologize for some basic questions, but I do not have a very good understanding of encoding formats and the various interfaces. I have 5.1, and accordingly, I always thought my receiver put out the best sound in Dolby Digital mode. I can't seem to get that by running the audio through the HDMI cable.


    Am I better off getting an optical cable and sending the audio through that than through the HDMI?


    If I get an optical cable, will I be able to get Dolby Digital?


    How much better is Dolby True HD if I have 5.1 instead of 7.1?


    Any random preference comments welcome, I'm certainly willing to play around with the different settings.


    Thank you for your patience with my fairly novice questions.


    ---Bill
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    If your receiver handles audio over HDMI, you should be able to get Dolby Digital 5.1 if you set your player to output audio as "Bitstream".


    If your blu ray player has the 5.1/7.1 multi-channel analog outputs, you can hear the HD audio formats that way, since your receiver has those inputs. If it doesn't, since it's a new player, you can return it and get one that does have those outputs. It will probably cost a little more, unless you find it on a good sale.


    If you have decent speakers, you should be able to hear a difference in the HD audio, over regular Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. It comes down to how much you want the new formats. You're gonna need a BD player with the outputs I mentioned, or a new receiver that decodes them. As cheap as receivers are getting, it may be worth it to get a new receiver, and use the BD player you have. For $319.99 you can get the Onkyo TX-SR508 which decodes, and keep the player you have. No idea how long it will be that price. Amazon changes prices on stuff pretty frequently. Onkyo makes very good receivers.

    http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR508-7-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B003BEDQQW/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=aht&qid=1276089430&sr=1-10

    Good luck with whatever you do.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    That almost certainly won't work. The best he's likely to get via HDMI is 2-channel PCM (but not with the player set to "bitstream").



    Yes. Because Dolby TrueHD is not a "required" format on Blu-ray, every TrueHD track has an accompanying DD track for compatibility (because DD is a "required" format). The DD track may be selectable from the disc's menu, or it may simply be hidden and automatically sent to the player's optical output, but you should get it. It's usually higher quality than what you'd get on DVD and should tide you over nicely while you're considering your options for a future upgrade.
     
  4. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    A digital optical or coaxial cable cannot carry the lossless audio formats of Blu-Ray. Instead, you'll get the lossy Dolby Digital audio, athough the lossless tracks on Blu-Ray are typically encoded at a higher bitrate than their DVD counterparts.



    As mentioned above, yes. Optical will carry the Dolby Digital (or DTS) track.


    The difference between 7.1 and 5.1 is not that great. The vast majority of movie soundtracks are encoded as 5.1 anyway. There are only a handful of titles that are actually 7.1. The biggest difference that I have percieved between the lossy and the lossless audio formats is the clarity - particularly the center channel and dialog. With a properly set up and calibrated system, the lossless audio formats can offer a substantial improvement.


    What model Blu-Ray player do you have? Does it have analog audio outputs (1 RCA jack for each channel)? Your receiver does have multichannel audio inputs, and this is the only other way (aside from HDMI) to get the lossless audio formats. You would need a bundle of 6 digital coaxial audio cables (for 5.1) and you would set up the Blu-Ray player to decode the audio internally before sending it out via analog connections.


    Analog outs are not typically found on lower-end Blu-Ray players - they are a feature reserved for the higher-end models.
     
  5. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    ^^^ Wow! The "Perfect Storm" of responses!
     
  6. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Why is that?

    I get regular Dolby Digital 5.1 over HDMI. My player is set bitstream. Of course this is from dvds. From blu rays I get the HD audio.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Because most receivers that lack the decoding for advanced audio formats on Blu-ray just do video passthrough via HDMI. There's no reason to spend the money to include additional audio circuitry when it'll just replicate functionality that the S/PDIF inputs already provide.
     
  8. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Ok. I guess that makes sense.

    Thanks.
     
  9. William_Gravem

    William_Gravem Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow - you guys rock! Thank you all for the quick responses.


    So forgive me for dumbing this down to my level, but what I'm hearing is:


    • Best bet would be upgrading the receiver.
    • After that, I'm better off getting 6 analog connectors (Samsung 6500) and running them over to the receiver for lossless DD.
    • After that, 1 optical cable for lossy DD.
    • And all of those are better than running the sound through the HDMI like I have it now.
     
  10. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    You got it..............
     

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