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Help me understand Blu-ray audio formats/codecs

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Haris Ellahi

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Posted July 13 2007 - 10:20 AM

I understand Blu-ray offers better audio through Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio.

My question is, does my A/V receiver need to be able to decode these new formats for me to take advantage just like regular DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1? Do any current Blu-ray movies use these new audio formats?

I also read on www.blu-ray.com that the player will need to support these audio formats as well, but I was thinking along the lines of regular DVD players where they simply "forward" the audio signal to the A/V receiver and let it do all the audio decoding? In that case, why would the player need to support the audio format?

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted July 13 2007 - 11:16 AM

does my A/V receiver need to be able to decode these new formats for me to take advantage just like regular DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1?
No. in fact right now the newer receivers with the new codecs aren't able to receive the bitstream signal since the current BR and HD players can't output the raw bitstream to be decoded.

Everything right now is player decoded and then outputted via PCM. Depending on the player you buy, will depend on if your current receiver will accept it.

If you have an HDMI 1.1 receiver, then you are likely set. If not then you will need a receiver with analog 5.1 inputs and a player with analog outs. The PS3 will not be one of those players.

The player does the decoding so it needs to have the decoder on board.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   ErichH



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Posted July 13 2007 - 01:38 PM

Harris - I have an old receiver (B&K 307) but it has 5.1 inputs intended for DVD Audio, and I just installed a Panasonic BD10 (the 10A is a newer model) and the latest firmware - 2.2

The audio via the direct 5.1 is amazing. It decodes everything but Master Audio ( I think) so I have a much improved audio and video. In spite of my old TV, a 52 JVC DiLA at 720P, the experience so far has been a very nice surprise. Video is better than I expected.
I feel like I'm cheating my way into Blu-Ray. I'll upgrade the TV later this year, but the audio updates on the Pany were the deciding factor. I'm not alone with this type of move into BD.

The player has a simple but effective audio set up for the direct outs. 5.1 for me and 7.1 for people that have a newer receiver or pre with 8 inputs. Legacy DVD is coax or optical as before (bitstream) and is not effected by the audio set up for the direct outs.

Not having to replace my entire system is great. I can build it. I didn't think I'd do this, but the BD10(A) changed my attitude. The PS3 and Sony 300 can work as well, with varied results for audio.

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Hector X. Cruz

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Posted July 17 2007 - 04:50 AM

Okay, I understand this concept, but I, too have a question. My current setup is as follows. I have a Sony BDP-S300 which has the 5.1 analog outs. I have a Denon AVR-5800 which has 2 sets of 5.1 analog inputs.

If I pop in, say Casino Royale or The Patriot and select Uncompressed PCM on the menu screen and set the receiver to Ext. Analog In, the audio I get is much lower in volume than say, the regular coax signal i'm sending out of the DVD player to my receiver. Is this normal or should i expect it to be louder and more bombastic?

Also, I have both coax digital out and 5.1 analog out coming out of the Blu-ray player. do these cancel each other out or do they get selected based on what I pick on the movie menu. Say I have a movie in, I select PCM audio on the movie menu and tune the Denon to Ext. Analogue In - does the fact that there is a digital coax cable also coming out of the blu-ray player mess things up?

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Gary Kellerman

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Posted August 06 2007 - 12:03 AM

Hector, did the soundtrack on CASINO ROYALE seem to have more dynamic range, even though it seemed to play at a lower level on the 5.1 channel input. There is a 5.1 dolby digital track on that disc. Can this machine output that over the analog outputs. If so, how does that sound volume wise? I went to the Hi-Def digest. The reviewer gave the 5.1 uncompressed track a great review on Casino Royale

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   CRyan



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Posted August 06 2007 - 03:19 AM

You probably need to select what output to use. If you are selecting PCM in the players setup menu and sending that out via coax, you are only getting 2.0 steroe. This will be louder.

To use coax, you need to select bitstream in the p[alyer and choose 5.1 in the movies audio menu.

Using the preouts, the player will decode the PCM. Make sure the player is set up to do this if it needs to be. I do not own that player.