Sony BDP-350 Audio Settings

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Sony82, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Sony82

    Sony82 Auditioning

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    I have a Sony STR-DG910 receiver that decodes regular Dolby and DTS onboard. The Sony BDP-350 decodes Dolby and DTS, plus DolbyTrueHD onboard. I want the player to do all the decoding, what settings should I use?

    Is Downmix to PCM for Dolby and DTS ok? This should give me the real DolbyTrueHD since my player will decode it correct? I know it doesn't decode DTS-MA but I should still get the DTS core with this setting.

    Also, what is the Downmix option? Dolby Surround and Normal? Which should I choose.

    I have my player and receiver connected via HDMI 1.3, so I want the best possible connections between the two.
     
  2. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    If you want the player to decode, set "BD-audio" to "Mix". But even if it's set to "Direct", it should still decode DD+/TrueHD/DTS-HD(core) to multi-ch PCM since your receiver should be telling the player that it doesn't accept those types of bitstreams. So it shouldn't really change anything except for plain DD/DTS.

    "Downmix to PCM" is irrelevant, only affects DD/DTS over the optical, not the HDMI. Downmix for Dolby surround is also irrelevant, that's only for 2 ch stereo output, asking you if you want to have a pro-logic surround encode or just straight stereo.

    So the only things that really matter are "audio output priority - HDMI" and "Audio (HDMI) - auto"
     
  3. Sony82

    Sony82 Auditioning

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    Perfect, much clearer now. I believe I'm set to "MIX" and HDMI "AUTO" already so I should have the best possible settings for my setup. Now if Sony could release a firmware update enabling DTS-MA decoding I would be thrilled!
     
  4. Ralphie_B

    Ralphie_B Stunt Coordinator

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    I was going to ask about this, but here you are with same player, same receiver, and same question as me. That's handy! [​IMG]
    I believe I did end up configuring my audio settings correctly, but now tonight I can double-check.
     
  5. cleverland

    cleverland Agent

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    Sony82 and Ralphie,

    I may have misunderstood the original question but if you want the player to decode DolbeHD and send it to your reciever via PCM over HDMI you should select HDMI and Downmix to PCM for the Dolby slection. Also you should select Direct rather than Mix for the BD Audio. If you select Mix you will only get the core audio not HD.
     
  6. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    cleverland you are misunderstanding.

    - downmix to PCM only affects optical output, no effect on the HDMI out.
    - they definitely want "mix" not "direct", because they want the player to do the decoding, not the receiver, because their model of receiver can't decode (needs multi-ch PCM in).

    Mix: Player decodes everything that it can, sends PCM to receiver.
    Direct: "bitstream" setting, for receivers that *can* decode the TrueHD/DTS-HD etc. codecs, sends raw undecoded data to receiver. But on a receiver that can't decode, in theory it will revert back to "mix" behavior anyway after it negotiates and finds the receiver can't handle it.

    My original answer is accurate, it will get them everything decoded except the DTS-HD formats. They are equipment limited to core audio on DTS since none of the components they have can decode it. But they will get Dolby TrueHD as the player will decode it.
     
  7. cleverland

    cleverland Agent

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    Stephen, Thanks for your response. To be honest I'm was wrong on the downmix to pcm vs dolby digital or DTS when I thought it would effect the audio sent via HDMI. I have the Sony S550 and also use HDMI to my reciever. I just tried it with both settings and it didn't seem to make any difference. But I still believe Sony82 will get the best sound if he selects direct rather than mix. With the mix setting the player will not send HD audio. It will send 48Khz PCM 5.1 when the a DolbyHD or DTS HD is selected on the player. It took me several weeks to discover this while trying to figure out why I could not get HD 6.1 or 7.1 when they were selected. Then I read the notes on the bottom of page 20 and 49 of the manual and discovered that I should have selected direct. After making that change I was able to get the HD audo 6.1 and 7.1 sent to the reciever. Note that my reciever also does not decode the HD audio so I depend on the player to do it.
     
  8. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    AFAIK that's only an issue for the 550 and DTS/HD 7.1. The 350 (unlike the 550) can't decode DTS/HD, only going to get core 5.1 DTS anyway, so might as well set to mix and not have to deal with switching it back and forth to get PIP commentary audio. To my knowledge Dolby TrueHD is fine, just aren't really many TrueHD 7.1 out there, they are mostly 5.1.
     
  9. Ralphie_B

    Ralphie_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Only 5.1 speakers for me anyway (wired for 7.1, but have yet to populate the surround-backs... maybe someday), so no big deal there. [​IMG]
     
  10. cleverland

    cleverland Agent

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    Ralphie, I sent Sony a support question on this today because I have two friends who have purchased the S350. I am assuming that the S350 works similar to the S550 and will send only the lossy core for DolbyHD or DTSHD tracks when Mix was selected and the player is doing the decoding and sending the signal to the reciever via HDMI (MPCM) The number of channels 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 makes no difference. I will post here when or if I get an answer. The manual for the S550 has a note on this but I could not find a reference in the manual for the S350.
     
  11. cleverland

    cleverland Agent

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    OK, I have contacted Sony twice to try to clarify if the S350 settings for "BD Audio Setting" is similar to the S550. Here are my inquiries and Sony's response.

    I asked:

    Model : BDP350
    Question : Question concerning BD Adio setting "Mix" vs "Direct"on S550 & S350 With S550 I could not pass decoded HD Audio w/HDMI when Mix was selected. Does this work same way on the S350 model? Will it only pass standard Dolby Dig vs DolbyHD when Mix is selected

    Well not exactly what I asked but how Sony interpreted my question?

    Sony Support Response:
    I'm glad to provide you the information regarding the Dolby Digital and DolbyHD sound from your Sony Blu-ray Player. In order to output Dolby and Digital DolbyHD Sound from your Blu-ray Player you need to set the "BD Audio Setting" to "Direct" in the Audio Settings menu. Please refer to page 44 fo the Operations Manual of your Sony Blu-ray Player BDP-S350 where you can find the information to set the Audio Setting.

    This did not seem to answer my question so I asked for clarification"

    Your answer is not clear. Does selecting Mix in the "BD Audio Setting" change the quality of the decoded DolbyHD sent via HDMI to the receiver?

    Sony's response:

    I'm sorry for the confusion in the previous email. In order to get HD Audio (Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD high Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio) from your Sony Blu-ray Player you need to set the "BD Audio Setting" to "Direct".

    The only reason I'm being persistent with this is that I know it can be very difficult to determine if your reciever is recieving HD audio or just the core since you will see the 5.1 indicacation in either case. I believe that when they "Mix" the commentary with the dvd audio they strip the HD information and mix with the core audio signal. So if your not interested in the commentary and want the best possible sound you must select 'Direct"! I know that I can hear the difference.
     
  12. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    For DTS-HD, you need direct, "mix" clearly gives you core audio only according to reports on other forums. But 350 is core audio only on DTS regardless ...

    For Dolby TrueHD, there is no "core" concept, it is not a core + extended info design like DTS. You either get the TrueHD or it is switching to a different track. People on other forums suggest that "mix" is still using the TrueHD track because of two observations:
    (1) "Nightmare before Christmas", about the only easy to find TrueHD 7.1 disc, reportedly still plays in 7.1 using "mix".
    (2) The OSD still reports TrueHD using "mix" unlike for DTS-HD where "mix" changes to just DTS.

    Random low level Sony CSR not necessarily going to give accurate info on nitty gritty details like this. I have pretty much zero trust in the low level support at any tech company.

    So I still claim:
    550 - use direct
    330 w/ receiver that can decode DTS-HD - use direct so you get the bitstream
    330 w/ receiver that can only handle multi-LPCM not DTS-HD - use mix so you don't have to mess with the setting to get PIP commentary tracks. Feel free to compare with direct and see if you can hear any difference whatsoever, prove me wrong & cleverland correct.
     
  13. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    I also have the Sony BDP-350, and I have it connected to a receiver that can't handle the HD audio formats. So, I set my player on 'direct' to bitstream the audio formats, like it should. The only caveat to it would be that audio commentaries with PiP don't work. But they do work on my player? It clearly does work on the Sleeping Beauty audio commentary. So is that a different type of audio commentary? Or is my player set up wrong?
    Also, I thought Dolby TrueHD does have a core. What else can it bitstream then? Is it the regular Dolby track I'm hearing on some Blu's?
     
  14. cleverland

    cleverland Agent

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  15. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the informative article, but I think it's already dated. The Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Blu-ray only has a Dolby TrueHD track, so it can't choose a default Dolby Digital track, can it? So my player must bitstream it, or something like that?
    And I still don't know why my PiP features (like the one on Sleeping Beauty) still work when they're not supposed to. I'm definitely not complaining, but reading everywhere that these things aren't supposed to be working I was wondering if I have my options set correctly.
     
  16. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    On Blu-ray, for Dolby TrueHD/DD+ disks there is a hidden, non-user selctable Dolby Digital track to support legacy equipment. It is auto-selected by the player. When it would play depends on how the receiver is hooked up and what formats the receiver supports.

    Optical/coax: bitstream DD if audio priority is "optical/coax" and this output is set to "DD" not PCM. PCM 2 channel otherwise, at least according to the manual (I haven't tested every combination).

    HDMI:
    bitstream TrueHD if receiver supports TrueHD decoding, priority HDMI, BD-audio "direct"

    decoded TrueHD->multi-ch PCM if receiver supports multi-ch PCM, BD-audio "mix" (my contention). Also with "direct" if receiver doesn't decode TrueHD but does handle mult-ch PCM. TrueHD 96khz sampling (rare, 48khz is much more common) gets downsampled to 48khz by the mixer in "mix" mode.

    bitstream DD if receiver doesn't support either multi-ch PCM or TrueHD but does support DD via HDMI.

    last resort option: 2 ch PCM.
     
  17. Mikeyjax63

    Mikeyjax63 Auditioning

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    SONY BDP-350 AND HT-SS2300

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    I'm a bit new to audio formats and need a Bit of advice, so please excuse my lack of knowledge.

    I have the Sony Blue Ray BDP-350 and the Sony surround HT-ss2300 with a 32" Vizio 1080P HDTV.

    My question is, although I am very satisifed with my sound, is there a setting for Master HD audio and if not what is the closest sound to that that this BD and receiver supports? Is there much of a difference? I read some posts but seem confused beteen formats and proper settings.

    My receiver says PCM when I select master HD Audio in languages on BD movies like "300" and Hulk, etc.
     
  18. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    As someone who owns a setup similar to yours (BDP-S350 w/ Sony STR-DG720 receiver), I think I can answer your question. There are several higher resolution audio formats, so for a basic rundown of what your system will and will not output, observe the following:
    Dolby Digital: can be decoded either by your player or by the receiver
    dts: ditto
    Dolby Digital Plus: used more frequently in HD DVD, although technically any Dolby Digital with a bitrate above 640 Kbps is considered "Plus." Can be decoded by your player and output as PCM to your receiver.
    Dolby TrueHD: Lossless Dolby format. Can be decoded by your player and output as PCM to your receiver.
    dts-HD and dts HD Master Audio: cannot be played by either your receiver or your player. Either your receiver or your player can extract the dts "core" and decode it, which still sounds great, but is not the holy grail of "lossless" so many around here desire.

    The simplest thing for guys like us to do is to set our BD Audio setting to Mix and let the player do the work. It also yields the best results.
     

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