HD 7.1 Lossless Audio: Avialable Only Via HDMI ??

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Scooter, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    I understand that some BD/HD-DVD players have analog outputs for 7.1, but as for optical/coaxial digital streams, can the HD Audio formats be delivered to a reciever or only HDMI?
     
  2. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    HD audio cannot be passed through optical/coaxial.
     
  3. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    That's a bummer.

    Thanks for responding.
     
  4. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    Look on the bright side. It can be an excuse to spring for a new receiver. I used it as an excuse to my wife on why I just *needed* that new receiver. [​IMG]
     
  5. Nathan Eddy

    Nathan Eddy Second Unit

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    A new receiver would be nice, but I don't even have a BR player yet. So that's going to be first. Until I upgrade my receiver, I had a question about how exactly this works. I do have analog inputs (currently hooked up to a Pioneer 563, for hi rez audio), so I assume I'll be fine using those with BR. However, since HDMI carries both picture and sound, how do I separate those out? I want to hook up the HDMI directly to the TV for video . . . so I assume there's a setting in BR players that let you redirect the audio from the HDMI through the separate analog channels? Right?

    One final question . . . I need a new DVD drive for my computer. I was thinking about instead just getting a BR drive, and using that for home theater, too. Is this a good way to kill two birds with one stone? There's got to be a reason people are buying standalone BR units, instead of using their computers (and saving the money). So what's the main reason? I've got a GeForce 8800 GT graphics card, which should be able to handle BR. I'll only need to output 720p, since that's the native resolution of my TV. Any reason not to save money this way?
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Simply run the analog connections to your receiver and the HDMI directly to your TV. Turn the speakers off on your TV, and configure the analog 7.1 outputs of the Blu-ray player appropriately to pass the lossless audio and you should be all set.
     
  7. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    I just picked up a Denon AVR-687 just for the 8 analog inputs to use with my Panny BR. I have an HD-DVD as well, that's why I asked about the optical/coaxial options.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    You will still get lossy DD/DTS 5.1 through the coaxial/optical connections, so it's not the end of the world. The DD5.1 tracks usually are a higher bit rate than those on SD-DVD, too. I do not have high resolution audio capabilities with my setup, but the audio quality of the lossy tracks still sounds excellent.

    If you really want two separate devices to share your receiver's 7.1 analog inputs, you can always use a switch box. It's a lot of cables, but it does work. I have both a SACD/CD player and DVD player (for its DVD-Audio capabilities) connected to my Pioneer Elite receiver in such a manner. See my equipment list link for the Radio Shack device I use.
     
  9. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    I would do that, except my Tosh HD-DVD doesn't have analog out.
     
  10. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    There are many reasons. My reasons are:

    1) I don't want to incorporate a computer into my HT. I like to use my computer for computing and my DVD player for playing DVD's. Most people want 'dedicated' equipment for paying movies, so a computer would be a waste.

    2) It's too much of a hassle (for me) to use a computer to view movies on my TV. Besides the extra power consumption, I'd have to find space for the computer, buy a wireless keyboard and mouse, then have to find a place to store the mouse and keyboard (next to my couch) etc. etc. - and don't forget bootup times, viruses, and all the other crap that comes with a computer. A DVD player just turns on and you're ready to start watching movies.

    3) Similar to #2, I have a Harmony 880 remote, so I want to be able to use it with devices that will work with the remote.

    4) It's actually cheaper to buy a separate player then to buy another computer.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    While all you arguments are valid, Mark, this alone is reason enough for me. I couldn't imagine living without a single universal remote to control my entire system. Heck, I felt lost a couple of months ago when my Harmony 659 died and I had to do the "remote shuffle" for a week until my new Harmony 880 arrived.
     
  12. Sam R. Aucoin

    Sam R. Aucoin Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott:

    You said: "Simply run the analog connections to your receiver and the HDMI directly to your TV. Turn the speakers off on your TV, and configure the analog 7.1 outputs of the Blu-ray player appropriately to pass the lossless audio and you should be all set."

    I have a Denon BluRay 8300 and a Denon AVR 4806.

    Are you saying that I can run analog cables from my BluRay's analog outputs to my receiver's analog inputs, and then TrueHD and DTS-HD? If so, can you please explain the settings I need to have on BOTH the BluRay and receiver?

    I have always assumed that the receiver had to be able to decode those types of signals before producing the sound that goes along with them . . .

    Note that I do NOT use HDMI for sound - I leave it for picture, going straight from DVD player to Panny Plasma.

    Thanks.
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Sam,

    Certain Blu-ray players, such as the Sony 550 and Panasonic 55, have built-in decoders for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA and will pass the decoded audio via 7.1 analog outputs. This is similar in concept to SACD and DVD-Audio in the early days, if you were ever into those high resolution audio formats. The decoder is in the player, so you do not need a decoder in the receiver.

    There will be a set of options in the player's audio section to setup the analog outputs properly. How those options are labelled will depend on the model.

    The main drawbacks to using a decoder in the player and sending it to your receiver via 7.1 analog outputs are:

    1. Many/most receivers will not allow any processing on their analog inputs. That means you will not be able to use any of the sound fields of your receiver (THX Surround, Neo6, etc.).

    2. Many/most receivers provide no bass management or speaker level settings for the analog inputs. So, you need to rely on the player's abilities in these areas, and usually the player's decoder will be more limiting in this area than you are used to with a good receiver.

    3. It requires a lot more cables.

    My Pioneer Elite 47TX receiver does not support any processing or bass management of its analog inputs. I am currently only using the analog inputs for a Sony ES SACD/CD player, and fortunately I do not care about sound fields for music listening and the player's speaker level adjustments are adequate for my needs.

    I am just using an optical connection for my Sony 350 Blu-ray player currently and "settling" for lossy DD/DTS 5.1. I do use HDMI for video directly to my Samsung 1080p LED DLP, though. I'll probably eventually upgrade to a player with analog outputs and a built-in decoder, but I am in no hurry to do so. I am still happy with my Pioneer receiver despite its lack of HDMI and high-res audio support, so I doubt I'll be upgrading that any time soon.
     
  14. tls36

    tls36 Agent

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    Nathan I did just what you are considering with my computer, only with DVD and a super video card outputted to my Sharp DLP projector via a DVI connector. Because the video card has much better picture processing than most stand alone upscaling DVD players, my DVD's played thru the computer deliver a much better pic than any stad alone that I have used. I imagine incorporating a Blu-Ray player/burner into your PC and outputting thru a good video card will deliver excellent results. I am considering a new PC build, but this time centered around Blu-Ray with a nicer PCI Express video card. I think the magic is the high quality video card.
     
  15. Nathan Eddy

    Nathan Eddy Second Unit

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    How are you connecting to your receiver?

    Are there any Blu-Ray drives that decode TrueHD and DTS-HD MA? And if so, could I use my computer's 5.1 analog connectors to output this to my receiver's analog inputs?
     
  16. Hal Masonberg

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    Quick question: Do I use simple RCA audio cables to connect the 7.1 analog outs to my receiver? Don't have HDMI receiver yet, but do have a 7.1. Or do I use coax?
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Answered in another thread where you asked the same question, Hal
     

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