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PS3 reviews... looking forward to some hands-on comments...


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#21 of 287 Grant H

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Posted November 10 2006 - 04:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet
Did we all see that?

Posted Image
Haha. Yup, but I expected as much. For the price I think true onboard decoding is probably too much to ask for, at least at this stage in the game. I wouldn't be surprised though if future models can at least pass it to capable receivers for decoding (vid HDMI 1.3) or actually do the decoding onboard, once costs start to fall. But, if Sony (or anybody else) start putting out receivers that do all the decoding, there's really no reason for them to make the game console do everything. I wonder if the fact that manufacturers want to market new capabilities of new receivers is part of the reluctance to offer the decoding on the players. A couple years ago I didn't expect any decoding from the players at all. I thought everyone with an older receiver would just have to stick with max bitrate DD or DTS. So I was pleasantly surprised to see the onboard decoding enter the fray.

It's probably the smart move, from a business standpoint, for Sony to keep costs down on the PS3, as people are already kicking and screaming about the price, even though the same people will buy an X-Box 360 AND the $200 add-on (as a "no-brainer") despite the fact their costs end up the same, or, I believe, slightly higher, until they account for all the accessories, controllers, etc. matching the PS3. It's true that people like to bitch, and I think all of us here are a testament to that.Posted Image

And it seems the PS3 people aren't the only ones doing that Jedi hand wave to make people think HD decoding = conversion to PCM. Virtually every player advertises in the specs simply "HD decoding" and it turns out to be a sleight of hand when you look into it.

I remember people being up in arms about SACD players like mine that converted to PCM so they could do the bass management, level adjustments, etc., although it turned out the bitrate was insanely high.

Still, converting to PCM is certainly not the same as "hook it up to an amp and a speaker and the sound is there." It's almost a "why bother?" to me at that point. I question whether a player converting to PCM delivers the same quality as a high bitrate DD or DTS track that was expertly compressed. Why not just use that old fiber optic or coax cable you have laying around?
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#22 of 287 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 10 2006 - 04:33 AM

Quote:
For the price I think true onboard decoding is probably too much to ask for, at least at this stage in the game.

Grant,

converting Dolby True HD to LPCM over HDMI *is* onboard-decoding. That's what it means when people talk about onboard decoding.

There's already a legacy DD stream bundled with Dolby True HD on BD discs so non-HDMI users still get DD at 640 with any Dolbly True HD BD disc. "Onboard decoding" means that the player decodes the True HD stream to LPCM so your HDMI-enabled receiver can handle it since it wouldn't know what to do with a native Dolby True HD compressed stream.

You may not realize the process here. All lossy and lossless streams start out life as linear PCM at the studio. Lossy streams aren't ever able to restore you back to all the original bits. But lossless-streams, like Dolby True HD, are (like a zip file... you get every bit back).

So when you decode/extract the Dolby True HD to LPCM, you're getting the original LPCM signal back that was used for mastering.

Basically, the best sound is LPCM. Lossless compression is a way to more efficiently pack it on an HDDVD/BD and still let you extract the original LPCM upon playback.

p.s. The extracted signal is up to 7.1 LCPM. Maybe that's where you're confused. SPDIF output over coax/toslink is limited to 2-channel LPCM but not HDMI. You're getting back full fidelity *and* all your channels with LPCM over HDMI.
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#23 of 287 Grant H

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Posted November 10 2006 - 07:38 AM

Ahh, thanks David. I had a feeling I was veering off course. What's getting me confused is the "issue or nonissue" of getting all that info over HDMI in its current form (as opposed to HDMI 1.3.

Dave Moritz, for one (I'd just referenced one of his posts in another thread before posting) had been under the impression all that info could only be passed over HDMI 1.3, that you couldn't get full resoulution with 1.1 or 1.2. True or untrue? Or is PS3 using HDMI 1.3 and I was just sleeping (damn actually working at work!)?

Another Toshiba owner says the player IS passing the full resolution over HDMI right now, and Toshiba's press release seems to indicate that.

If no players or receivers can handle all that info without being HDMI 1.3-compliant, then it's obviously of no use at this point. But if they can...Cees says Toshiba can do it with the older HDMIs, but it doesn't sound that way when you look into the codecs.

And does anyone yet know what kind of breakout cables will be available for the PS3? I hightly doubt 7.1 analog outs will be available, but it would be nice.
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#24 of 287 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 10 2006 - 08:05 AM

Hey Grant,

The PS3 is doing EXACTLY what the Toshiba A1 is doing with Dolby True HD... extracting it to full-resolution multichannel LPCM and sending it out over HDMI.

The *only* thing that HDMI version 1.3 does that's different is that it allows you to send the *compressed* Dolby True HD stream to your receiver over HDMI in raw compressed form...for your receiver to decode to LPCM instead.

Either way it gets decoded to LCPM. Since there are lots of HDMI enabled receivers that can accept LPCM over HDMI but not direct Dolby True HD, that's why people are so excited about the player doing the decoding (extraction to LPCM).
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#25 of 287 Grant H

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Posted November 10 2006 - 03:07 PM

Ahh, I see, sir Luke. Posted Image

Thanks for setting me straight, the compressed form is what confused the issue for me, and possibly Dave as well. That and the complaints years ago about conversions in SACD signals clouding my mind in this much different situation.

But I know Dave was interested in having the option of the receiver doing the decoding as well, which I'm not concerned about right now.

If the PS3 delivers as a player I'd be interested if I were to find out they were going to offer analog outputs through a breakout cable. But, as their player doesn't even have 7.1 outputs (at least last we knew, always the chance they're chaning that), I doubt they'll provide 7.1 analog output, awesome as it would be. That would be too great a deal to pass up (and likely too good to be true, hence it won't happen).

Chances are I'll just be waiting it out for the price to fall on a player that has everything I want.
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#26 of 287 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 10 2006 - 03:17 PM

Hey Grant,

glad to help bring some clarity to this very confusing issue!

Quote:
That and the complaints years ago about conversions in SACD signals clouding my mind in this much different situation.

yeah, that's because SACD uses DSD or "Direct Stream Digital" encoding which isn't LPCM at all... it's a whole different way of approaching digital recording entirely (and not very friendly to DSP though it sounds very good as a direct-audiophile recording method). So some players were converting this DSD to LPCM to get the audio to a receiver in digital form... and that conversion process degraded the sound... sort of the way that sample-rate converting would degrade the sound of a LPCM signal as it would cause all the data points to have to be recalculated.

the DSD of SACD converted to LPCM is totally different that "decoding" Dolby True HD to LPCM because the compressed Dolby True HD is just a "zipped" version of a LPCM signal to start.

Oh, BTW, one thing that HDMI 1.3 also does that's new is allow that SACD DSD audio stream to be transmitted in native form is you bought an SACD player that had an HDMI 1.3 signal and happened to have a receiver that could decode DSD (very few).
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#27 of 287 Grant H

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Posted November 10 2006 - 04:32 PM

Haha, thanks, Dave. You fully explored everything I began to post (and more with the extra HDMI 1.3 info) and decided not to bother since it wouldn't have been as complete as I liked thanks to my memory. I thought DSD was the term I wanted for SACD (format must really be dead when you forget), and it was Direct Stream Digital, but I didn't trust my memory.

I did find myself talking about SACD at work one day and had to stop myself from entering the whole "step method", based on the point-to-point differences in the sample curve (this piece of info is such and such value different from the last point) vs. more traditional sampling like PCM, DVD-Audio, etc. At least that's the very rudimentary way of how it works I remember. Been some years since I followed those conversations on here, which I'm sure you were a big part of!

The "zipped" version is a very good way of thinking about Dolby True HD. Just another (albeit lossless) compression scheme for PCM, not a totally different kind of sound recording, as you said. The fact they're also marketing the sound as HD Audio helped me fall into that trap of thinking like one of the hi-res audio formats too.

Now, we've been talking about Dolby, and I think again part of the confusion for me has been something I've been slow to fully realize, though I think Dave Moritz was making quite a point of it: Are these players incapable of doing the same thing they can do with Dolby HD with DTS Master Audio? And THAT's why there's been (even more) confusion over what can be done over current HDMI? I believe Dave's main point was that he was seeing a lot more DTS lossless titles coming down the pike than Dolby True HD, and no way to take advantage of it via HDMI right now. Does that sound correct? Analog outs still the only way to go for those lossless DTS tracks? I think I got it straight now. Full lossless extraction of Dolby HD over HDMI, but only the lossy core of DTS? I believe that's what was posted from the Toshiba manual.

Wow, the general public would be SOOOO lost. No wonder they're slow to embrace HD formats. DVD was enough for them, back in the day when as complicated as it got was "oh, this player can do DTS". Posted Image Then came progressive scan. And now it's come to this.
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#28 of 287 Jeff(R)

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Posted November 10 2006 - 05:09 PM

Movie Playback: The PS3 Home Theater

Quote:
First off, the image quality is fantastic. We don't have a standalone player in the office at the moment so we can't do a side-by-side sampling with a separate player, but on its own we're quite impressed. Playback is also very fast - it only takes a few seconds to first load up a disc, and skipping through chapters and the like is at least as fast as a DVD. Good stuff....
http://ps3.ign.com/a...3/743899p1.html

#29 of 287 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 11 2006 - 12:47 AM

Quote:
I did find myself talking about SACD at work one day and had to stop myself from entering the whole "step method", based on the point-to-point differences in the sample curve (this piece of info is such and such value different from the last point) vs. more traditional sampling like PCM, DVD-Audio, etc. At least that's the very rudimentary way of how it works I remember.

Exactly. Wasn't sure how much you already knew... but that's it.


Quote:
The "zipped" version is a very good way of thinking about Dolby True HD. Just another (albeit lossless) compression scheme for PCM, not a totally different kind of sound recording, as you said. The fact they're also marketing the sound as HD Audio helped me fall into that trap of thinking like one of the hi-res audio formats too.

Exactly.

Quote:
I believe Dave's main point was that he was seeing a lot more DTS lossless titles coming down the pike than Dolby True HD, and no way to take advantage of it via HDMI right now. Does that sound correct? Analog outs still the only way to go for those lossless DTS tracks? I think I got it straight now. Full lossless extraction of Dolby HD over HDMI, but only the lossy core of DTS?

I think that's right. Thus far you'll just get the Lossy core off of BD titles using DTS-HD. The Toshiba HD DVD player also (if I remember correctly) didn't decode DTS-HD either... though I'm not sure if a more recent firmware update fixed that.

BTW, firmware could update all HD DVD and BD players to eventually decode DTS-HD tracks to LPCM as well. Panasonic has already promised they'll release a firwmare update for their launched player to do just this. It's very likely that other players will do the same thing, even if they don't explicitly say so at the time they launch hardware.
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#30 of 287 Jeff(R)

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Posted November 11 2006 - 04:08 AM

PS3 innards:

http://pc.watch.impr...06/1111/ps3.htm

#31 of 287 Chris S

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Posted November 12 2006 - 04:22 PM

Looking at the main board it appears they did drop in some PS2 hardware and aren't emulating via the Cell processor. I doubt it makes much difference either way but it does spell out that rumor as true.
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#32 of 287 Seth=L

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Posted November 12 2006 - 05:01 PM

Definitely a lot different that what I invisioned it looking like inside. I like the huge fan.Posted Image It appears the Japanese version doesn't come with component cables like the US version is supposed to, or do they use another connection like RGB?

Posted Image

And what is with this new remote, no I/O.Posted Image This makes no sense. The PS2's first DVD remote had no power button then they revised it to have a power and eject button. As you can see in the picture it has the eject button, but no power button.....lame. Unless that playstation logo is the power button, unlikely.

#33 of 287 Jason Harbaugh

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Posted November 12 2006 - 07:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth=L
Unless that playstation logo is the power button, unlikely.
Supposedly the playstation logo on the control is the power button if you hold it down, so it probably is the same for the remote. Someone that has it should test this out.

#34 of 287 Grant H

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Posted November 13 2006 - 03:59 AM

That's quite a remote! Far more player-like than I'd expected.
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#35 of 287 Chuck Mayer

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Posted November 13 2006 - 04:26 AM

How does the movie playback compare to existing BD players? Does the PS3 look and sound as good as the Panny?

Inquiring minds (with a pre-order) want to know,
Chuck
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#36 of 287 Cory S.

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Posted November 13 2006 - 04:37 AM

Chuck,

Early, early word is that its almost on the level of the Panny. Now, most of the early reviews have come from the avsforums. Still, from what I've read, the playback seems to be excellent. Much, much better than the Samsung and close to the Panny.
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#37 of 287 Grant H

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Posted November 13 2006 - 05:05 AM

One thing that's not very clear about the units the stores have is how many will be the $499 model and how many the $599 models.

The Target ad seems to advertise the $599 unit.
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#38 of 287 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 13 2006 - 05:09 AM

If BD playback performance is really at the level of the Panny, this might be a great first player for me. I *really* can't spend more than $500... and even that is stretching my budget at this point. I know that by next year sometime there will be other BD players in that price range but if the PS3 performs well and can be upgraded for audio decoding I might bite. We've heard that it will decode Dolby True HD to LPCM over HDMI... and I've heard some report that it either will out of the box or be upgradable to do the same with DTS-HD. What about Dolby Digital Plus? I'm assuming that as well but would like to hear something definitive (though on BD Dolby Digital Plus is less of an issue as it's only used if the 6th rear channel is needed since BD can do standard DD up to the 640 kbps limit whereas HD DVD needs to use Dolby Plus even in 5.1 mode to reach that bit-rate).
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#39 of 287 Chuck Mayer

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Posted November 13 2006 - 05:15 AM

Cory,
Any links Posted Image I believe you, of course. And that makes it easier to keep (I just ordered Black Hawk Down, and Resistance is getting great reviews). I just want to see what cables they use to connect, etc.

Many thanks,
Chuck
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#40 of 287 Lou Sytsma

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Posted November 13 2006 - 06:28 AM

Quote:
If BD playback performance is really at the level of the Panny, this might be a great first player for me. I *really* can't spend more than $500... and even that is stretching my budget at this point. I know that by next year sometime there will be other BD players in that price range but if the PS3 performs well and can be upgraded for audio decoding I might bite
If you have not pre-ordered one yet, you probably won't get one before next year anyhow, unless you are willing to pay more than retail.
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