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Pairing a Denon DVD-3800BDCI with a Denon AVR-4806


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#1 of 10 Sam R. Aucoin

Sam R. Aucoin

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Posted October 11 2008 - 06:58 AM

I apologize if this has already been discussed. I searched first before posting.

I received the 3800 as a gift, so I did not research the machine specs before receiving it. I discovered that it does not have an eternet port, nor (and this is the "sore point" for me, a Denon Link).

I have a 5x1 HDMI video switcher, as I did not want to add another device between the "picture producer" (DVD, Sat, TV, etc.) and my Panny plasma.

Now I am told that a digital (either optical or coax) will NOT pass the newer audio signals (such as DD+, TrueHD, and DTS-HD).

Thus, my question: How do I still use my switcher for picture and "reserve" my AVR for sound AND how do I make the connection between the DVD player and the AVR to get that "new" sound?

Thanks in advance for all responses.

Regards,

Sam
Sam R. Aucoin

#2 of 10 Alon Goldberg

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Posted October 11 2008 - 10:34 AM

Hi Sam, you will be able to listen to the new lossless audio formats via the multichannel analogue outputs on the 3800 via PCM. I would connect the system as follows:

3800 HDMI Output ===> HDMI Switch ===> Panny Plasma
3800 7.1 Analogue Outputs ===> AVR

Cheers,
Alon

#3 of 10 Sam R. Aucoin

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Posted October 11 2008 - 04:09 PM

Thanks, Alon.

So what you are telling me is that I need to get 6 "RCA" type cables and connect them from the DVD player to the receiver (I have a 5.1 speaker system), and then use "Ext. In" for the input selection on my receiver to hear "true" HD sound?

This (not you - the procedure) sounds like we are going backwards in time. It seems that everytime we make a huge leap forward (like I believe Denon did with its Denon Link connection), we have to jump back and retrieve a lot of cables to get better sound.

Any reason why the manufacturers chose to prevent the digital channeling of HD sound?
Sam R. Aucoin

#4 of 10 Alon Goldberg

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Posted October 11 2008 - 05:19 PM

Hi Sam, yes that is correct - the workaround is to connect 6 RCA cables and then use the "Ext. In" on your AVR. Unfortunately the S/PDIF spec (optical audio and digital coax) does not and will not ever support the new lossless audio formats, I suspect that this is due to bandwidth limitations.

As for Denon Link, this is a proprietary format that is not industry standard, so Denon will likely need to license the new audio formats in order to implement Denon Link on future Blu-Ray players. Keep in mind that Denon Link's biggest advantage in the past was for use with SACD (whose spec requires the use of analogue audio cables). But this is now largely a non-issue as SACD is all but dead, and HDMI has become the 'one cable' standard.

I disagree that we're going backwards in time - the limitation is that your AVR is an older HDMI 1.1 spec which does not support the new lossloss audio formats. I would channel my frustration towards the group that has built the HDMI standard, as this is constantly changing and is not fully forward compatible. For now analogue is your only solution, unless you want to upgrade your (already exceptional) receiver, which makes little sense Posted Image

Cheers,
Alon

#5 of 10 Kevin. W

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Posted October 12 2008 - 06:02 AM

If the Denon BluRay player does the decoding internally, then just connect to you AVR via HDMI and send the PCM to the receiver to decode. Its bit for bit the same as passing the bitstream from the player to AVR.

#6 of 10 Sam R. Aucoin

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Posted October 12 2008 - 11:02 AM

Guys, thanks for the responses.

I feel stupid for even posting this thread, as I did not realize at the time that the AVR 4806 does not even support the new BluRay high definition sound formats such as TrueHD or DTS-HD.

Thus, whether I use digital or RCA connections (one HDMI cable or 6 RCA cables), my 4806 will "downconvert" a TrueHD signal to DD5.1, and a DTS-HD signal to DTS.

The only way to get the newer HD audio signals would be to upgrade my AVR (which is practically new, as I just bought it two years ago and it is flawless).
Sam R. Aucoin

#7 of 10 Kevin. W

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Posted October 12 2008 - 02:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam R. Aucoin
Guys, thanks for the responses.

I feel stupid for even posting this thread, as I did not realize at the time that the AVR 4806 does not even support the new BluRay high definition sound formats such as TrueHD or DTS-HD.

Thus, whether I use digital or RCA connections (one HDMI cable or 6 RCA cables), my 4806 will "downconvert" a TrueHD signal to DD5.1, and a DTS-HD signal to DTS.

The only way to get the newer HD audio signals would be to upgrade my AVR (which is practically new, as I just bought it two years ago and it is flawless).

Sam your receiver does support the new formats, by excepting the decoded PCM from the player via HDMI or analogue. it just doesn't decode the bitstream from the player. But remember wether PCM or bitstream the sound is identical. A worthy upgrade you may want to do is upgrade the HDMI in the receiver. I had my 4806 upgraded to CI status and its working like a champ decoding the PCM from my HDDVD and PS3.

#8 of 10 Sam R. Aucoin

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Posted October 12 2008 - 02:41 PM

Kevin,

Would you mind telling me how to upgrade as you suggest?

Also, would you (or any other reader) offer some advice on video output choices from my 3800 to my Panny? The 3800 gives you two options: HDMI video or RGB video. I don't know which is better, but I DO know that using the RGB option gives the user control AT THE DVD PLAYER to configure contrast, brightness, white level, black level, IRE, etc. Quite simply, I want to use the best option that presents the best signal.

BTW - my Panny is a 50" 1080i - I have not yet plunged into the 1080P market.

Again, thanks.
Sam R. Aucoin

#9 of 10 Sam R. Aucoin

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Posted October 12 2008 - 04:23 PM

Well, I answered my own question about the 4806 - I need a "CI" upgrade to allow the receiver to decode the higher definition audio signals. So, my remaining questions are:

1. Does RGB output a better picture signal than HDMI to the Panny?

2. When I choose the higher audio definition signals from individual DVDs (like TrueHD and DTS-HD), my receiver shows DD5.1 and DTS respectively. Am I correct that the receiver is simply "converting" the higher definition audio codecs to the ones that it can handle (DD5.1 and DTS)?

3. Am I correct in my assumption above that, in order to "hear" the higher audio signals while playing BluRay DVDs, I HAVE to upgrade the receiver? Or is there a workaround?

4. Lastly, can I perform an upgrade at home, or purchase a third-party device that performs the conversion, so that I do not have to spend another $500 AND send it off for the conversion (which will undoubtedly take several weeks, if not longer)?

Keep in mind my equipment when responding:

Panny 50" Plasma display
Denon AVR-4806 receiver
Denon 3910 Universal DVD player
Denon 3800BDCI BluRay player
Sam R. Aucoin

#10 of 10 Kevin. W

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Posted October 13 2008 - 12:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam R. Aucoin
Well, I answered my own question about the 4806 - I need a "CI" upgrade to allow the receiver to decode the higher definition audio signals. So, my remaining questions are:

1. Does RGB output a better picture signal than HDMI to the Panny?

I believe if connected via HDMI use HDMI, RGB is for component

2. When I choose the higher audio definition signals from individual DVDs (like TrueHD and DTS-HD), my receiver shows DD5.1 and DTS respectively. Am I correct that the receiver is simply "converting" the higher definition audio codecs to the ones that it can handle (DD5.1 and DTS)?

Do you have the player set to output L-PCM or bitsteam

3. Am I correct in my assumption above that, in order to "hear" the higher audio signals while playing BluRay DVDs, I HAVE to upgrade the receiver? Or is there a workaround?

I believe the CI upgrade is more for 7.1 L-PCM and 1080p capabilities

4. Lastly, can I perform an upgrade at home, or purchase a third-party device that performs the conversion, so that I do not have to spend another $500 AND send it off for the conversion (which will undoubtedly take several weeks, if not longer)?

Has to be sent in because it includes a HDMI board replacement and firmware upgrade

Keep in mind my equipment when responding:

Panny 50" Plasma display
Denon AVR-4806 receiver
Denon 3910 Universal DVD player
Denon 3800BDCI BluRay player






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