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Sneak Peak: Chicago on Blu-ray, PHENOMENAL... the reference disc of the year


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#61 of 64 OFFLINE   Sean Laughter

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Posted February 13 2007 - 07:51 AM

The whole situation just makes me wonder what the point is in waiting on HDMI 1.3, or even waiting on receivers that can decode these formats themselves, when the player can already do it and just pass it as PCM. I mean, why pay twice for the same functionality when you only need it in one of the boxes?

#62 of 64 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted February 13 2007 - 08:06 AM

Aside from deep color which only applies to the picture signal, HDMI 1.3 will allow SACD audio to pass in native "DSD" form to your decoder for superior d/a conversion. In the case of SACD, the translation to PCM is a step that involved inherent losses because the technologies aren't congruent. That's one advantage of HDMI 1.3 on both ends.

But if we're just talking about lossless audio codecs on BD and HD DVD Movies, one runs the risk of playback hardware perhaps doing other signal changes to the extracted LPCM data before it's sent on to the receiver.

HD DVD is a good case in point, where "advanced authored" discs have audio that is pushed through a series of DSP processses to level-match and apply dialog-normalization for mixing of multiple audio streams etc. Unless someone comes out with an HD DVD player that has a "bypass" mode to circumvent this kind of internal processing, the only way to get a bit-for-bit copy of the lossless signal to your d/a converters will be to run the native compressed codec to the recevier over HDMI 1.3. How much (if any) audible sonic degradation could arise from such DSP in the player is open to debate, though at AVS some are reporting that on the few HD titles with 5.1 PCM on BD and Dolby TrueHD on the cooresponding HD DVD, they find the PCM on the BD to sound slightly better. I think this additional processing in the player prior to transmission to the receiver might be a possible reason.

But yes, you're right in thinking that if a player is merely doing an extraction to LPCM and nothing more (aside from SACD audio), then yes, it doesn't matter whether the player does this or your receiver... in which case HDMI 1.2 would do the trick.
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#63 of 64 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted February 13 2007 - 08:18 AM

... and the other "advantage": deep colour, is nowhere to be seen on any medium yet, nor in any picture processing software (firmware).

Bottom line: you don't have to wait for HDMI 1.3 to enjoy all the goodies the HR format can offer now and in the near future.
Just keep HDMI 1.3 in mind when you're in need of a decoder/receiver upgrade "soon". (And don't bother yet: they're not there!)


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#64 of 64 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted February 13 2007 - 08:40 AM

Very true.

But keep in mind that even though HD DVD and BD software isn't encoded with deep color, during decompression and playback, deep color will be used to get the bits to your HDTV or projector using improved color-depth to help eliminate banding. Projectors and other displays with HDMI 1.3 should be appearing soon. I know that the PS3 is slated for a firmware update in the future when that happens to pass deep-color from BD playback.

(internal signal processing for video usually happens at much greater color-depth than the original encoded signal. Then this signal is decimated down for current HDMI output which is one reason why current HDMI transmission sometimes shows banding where conventional analog component often does not).

Anyone about to spend thousands on a new HDTV or projector might want to wait just a *little* while longer for HDMI 1.3 to show up in those products since most people keep a TV or projector for many years (versus DVD/HD players which they tend to upgrade more frequently).

I.E. I wouldn't forgo a purchase of an HD DVD or BD player for lack of 1.3 that's under $999. But I *might* forgo a new $4K HDTV for lack of 1.3, since chances are that TV will be in my system longer than that HD DVD or BD player.
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