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Is the Sony BDP-S350 good enough?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jorge Rod, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Jorge Rod

    Jorge Rod Active Member

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    I am setting up a "mini" Hi-Def home theater for my master bedroom, and planning to use the following components:

    Sony BDP-S350 (got it for $180 on Black Friday)
    Samsung LN46A750 (got it today!)
    Denon AVR 1909 (need to purchase)
    SBS/SCS-01 (SVS Sound) Speakers 5.1 (need to purchase)
    SVS Cylinder Sub 25-31 PCI (already own this, very impressive)

    Can I get the full Blue Ray Hi Def sound features with the combo of the BDP-S350 and the AVR 1909, or do I need to consider other options? I want to keep the receiver below $600, but would consider spending more on the DVD if needed.

    Also, any comments on the overall component list would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    JROD
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

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    The Sony S350 does not have built-in decoding of the hi-res lossless audio formats. As long as the Denon 1909 can decode them, though, you should be all set. I am using the S350 with a Pioneer Elite 94TXH, which can decode all the new audio formats, and the combo works great.

    Edit: per the specs sheet at Denon for the 1909, it does handle all the latest audio formats, so this combo should work fine.
     
  3. Jorge Rod

    Jorge Rod Active Member

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    Which are the hi-res lossless audio formats you are referring to? Does this means that I gain nothing by going with the Sony BDP-S550 or any other higher grade Blue Ray player?

    Thanks!

    JROD
     
  4. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    The Sony BDP-S550 is basically the same machine as the S350, except the S550 has 7.1 analog outputs, the S350 doesn't have. So, you can stay with the cheaper S350. The HD audio formats are Dolby TrueHD and dtsHD Master Audio. There's also Dolby Plus and just dtsHD, but TrueHD and dtsHD MA is mostly used now. Everything else sounds good...........

    Good luck! Let us know how you like thye SVS speakers, when you get them? [​IMG]
     
  5. Bryan X

    Bryan X Well-Known Member

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    Also, remember that you need to use an HDMI cable from the Blu-ray to the Receiver to take advantage of the HD audio. You can't pass HD audio over optical or coaxial.
     
  6. Ralphie_B

    Ralphie_B Well-Known Member

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    I thought the BDP-S350 could bitstream all over HDMI, but also could internally decode basically everything except DTSHD-MA (though there is talk that may come in a future firmware update). Is that not the case?
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

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    No, the player will bitstream all audio formats via HDMI, but it does not internally decode them. You need to upgrade to the BDP-S550 to get that capability.
     
  8. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

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    The operating manual disputes this. Supposedly decodes DD/DTS/DD+/TrueHD, but does not decode DTS-HD/highres, DTS-HD/MA (outputs decoded DTS core for those).

    Although if you are bitstreaming for those presumably you'd just bitstream everything though, so it's mostly an academic point. Maybe useful if you have an older HDMI receiver, that doesn't decode the new formats, and want to save a bit of money living with DTS core until you upgrade. Difference shouldn't be huge, anyway.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

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    Interesting, Stephen. I didn't know this, since my receiver supports the newer audio formats. But, according to page 62 of the manual, you appear to be correct. It will only output decoded TrueHD as LPCM via the HDMI output, though, so it's only useful for HDMI receivers that do not decode TrueHD.
     
  10. Ralphie_B

    Ralphie_B Well-Known Member

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    That's precisely my situation -- a Sony STR-DG910 receiver that accepts high-resolution audio as multi-channel PCM via HDMI, but cannot accept/decode bitstreamed high-resolution audio.

    I've had good experiences with TrueHD soundtracks decoded and output over HDMI as PCM on my HD-DVD player. I'm not sure how many Blu-Ray discs use TrueHD versus DTSHD-MA. Guess I'll find out soon enough! [​IMG]
     
  11. Jorge Rod

    Jorge Rod Active Member

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    So, even though the S550 has some advantages over the S350, as long as I use a Receiver like the Denon AVR 1909, I am OK, right?

    Also, is there a particular HDMI cable I need to purchase? I am assuming the HDMI 1.3 are the ones, but not sure if I need to purchase something else to support future formats.

    Thanks!

    JROD
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

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    The BDP-S350 should work fine with your setup. As for the HDMI cable, any version 1.3 cable will work. Monoprice.com and Amazon both sell perfectly fine 2 meter length cables for less than $12. If you are running the HDMI through the receiver, you will need two cables -- one from the S350 to the Denon, and a second from the Denon to your TV. I'm using one from Amazon.
     
  13. mylan

    mylan Well-Known Member

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    I just got the S350 and so far have noticed one little quirk I didn't care for: when after pausing a movie for awhile it goes into screen save mode and you have to push play twice to get it started,the first push brings up the paused image and the second restarts the movie.
    I have it connected to a rear projection LCD that is native 720P (768P) so I have the player set to output 720 and an older, non-HDMI receiver with only Dolby Digital connected via coaxial cable. I realize I could get a jump in PQ with a 1080P display but how big a difference would the newer codecs make over DD?
     
  14. mylan

    mylan Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, i'll just turn this into my what I found out today about my new 350 until I figure it out..thread. I watched "Wanted" tonight and the screen saver came on too quickly but this time I had to hit play and then enter ( the center button on the hub) to get it to restart, additionally, the center hub buttons are laid out so that incorrect buttons are too easy to push.
    I feel just like the early days of DVD, ahh memories..
     
  15. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Well-Known Member

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    There's a screen saver on/off option in the Setup menu, turning that off should stop it from going to it during a paused movie.

    I just got one of these for Christmas but still don't have an HDTV yet (yes, I have both an HD-DVD and a Blu-Ray player now, but no HDTV!), hopefully in a few more months I can finally get one. I hooked it up to my old 4x3 TV just to see how it works, a big thing I don't like about it is when playing a DVD where the Subtitle button is locked out, it won't display which subtitle track if any is being shown- this is essential for those MGM movies that have forced subtitles, most of the Simpsons DVDs have it locked too. I could return it within 28 days and get something else but I might just be better off finding a separate player for standard DVDs with upconverting and all-region, since this one can't play PAL discs and is locked to region 1. (There's a trick you can do with the UK models to make them all-region, but it doesn't work on the US ones.) It can't play Video CDs either.

    A cool thing this machine can do, and gives me reason to keep it, is if a disc has DVD-ROM content it will show any pictures that are on it. In Stop mode, go to "Pictures" in the player's menu and any files will be listed. Most players only do this on discs that have no video content.
     
  16. mylan

    mylan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I figured there had to be something I was missing, i've been too busy watching movies to read the manual!
     

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