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what is my Sony S300 doing with audio?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Shad R

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Posted November 15 2008 - 07:04 PM

I bought the Sony BD S300(it was a killer price I couldn't pass up).
I know it doesn't do the TruHD or DTS MA.
I have the latest firmware upgrades.
I hooked up the analog 5.1 output. It sounds AMAZING.
Incredible Hulk gave me bass I've never heard from my subs before.
My question is this...what is my player doing when I select the TruHD or DTSMA/HD tracks?
Will it sound the exact same if I was using an optical cable?
I'm still trying to understand how the sound works.
What about PCM?
All I know is even if it's not Tru or MA, it still sounds WAY better than my DVD's ever did.
Thanks.

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   troy evans

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Posted November 15 2008 - 08:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shad R
I bought the Sony BD S300(it was a killer price I couldn't pass up).
I know it doesn't do the TruHD or DTS MA.
I have the latest firmware upgrades.
I hooked up the analog 5.1 output. It sounds AMAZING.
Incredible Hulk gave me bass I've never heard from my subs before.
My question is this...what is my player doing when I select the TruHD or DTSMA/HD tracks?
Will it sound the exact same if I was using an optical cable?
I'm still trying to understand how the sound works.
What about PCM?
All I know is even if it's not Tru or MA, it still sounds WAY better than my DVD's ever did.
Thanks.
As of the latest firmware update, it does do DD TrueHD. I believe it bitstreams it to a capable receiver (1.3). The reason you're getting better sound is because the player is sending your receiver the core of a lossless (uncompressed) sound track. Which will produce a higher bitrate. As opposed to a lossy 5.1 track which is compressed and suffers in it's sonic range.
" I think it's time we go to plan B". "What's plan B?" "That's the one where we don't do something stupid".

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Nathan Eddy

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Posted November 16 2008 - 03:46 AM

The core of a lossless soundtrack? What in the world is that? I guess I've been misunderstanding the discussions here for the past several weeks. I thought if your receiver couldn't process the lossless audio, the player sent regular old Dolby Digital or DTS. What is this core thing? How can you have "part" of a lossless soundtrack? Isn't that just a compressed, lossy soundtrack? Are you saying there's just less compression? I don't understand the difference between this "core" and regular old lossy formats.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   troy evans

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Posted November 16 2008 - 06:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Eddy
The core of a lossless soundtrack?
Yes.
Quote:
What in the world is that?
Exactly what it states. The "core" of a lossless soundtrack.
Quote:
I guess I've been misunderstanding the discussions here for the past several weeks.
Possibly.
Quote:
I thought if your receiver couldn't process the lossless audio, the player sent regular old Dolby Digital or DTS.
Where would it get "regular old Dolby Digital or DTS" from if not the core audio. Rarely do I see a Blu with main soundtracks in both DD TrueHD and lossy DD or DTS Master and DTS lossy. Also, we're talking about 5.1 analog connections here, not digital.
Quote:
How can you have "part" of a lossless soundtrack? Isn't that just a compressed, lossy soundtrack?
Audio is compressed on sd dvd discs. Usually, with a few exceptions, Blu-ray discs have uncompressed audio. Compression is not a function of a player or receiver. It's all in how the discs were formated/mastered. That's why you can send the uncompressed signal to receivers which have 5.1 analog jacks from Blu-ray players which have 5.1 analog on them as well.
" I think it's time we go to plan B". "What's plan B?" "That's the one where we don't do something stupid".

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Nathan Eddy

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Posted November 19 2008 - 05:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by troy evans
Yes. Exactly what it states. The "core" of a lossless soundtrack.

You haven't provided any information. I ask what a core is, and you say a core is a core. I could say an "epiphenomenon" is an "epiphenomenon," but it you still might not know what I'm talking about. Do you actually know what a core is? Or is it just that you can't explain it? If you can explain it, I don't understand why you'd opt for such an elitist, condescending response.

Perhaps the fault lies in my question. Let me be more specific, in the hopes that you, too, can be more specific: compared to the lossless audio track on the one hand, and the DD and/or DTS on the other hand, where exactly does this "core" fit in? Is it something in-between? Does it contain less or more digital information than DD and DTS? I assume it contains more, since you claimed it provided better sound. So what exactly is the relationship between the "core" and the two alternatives at either end of this lossless-vs-lossy spectrum? In terms of information preserved or discarded, compressed or uncompressed, what is the difference between a core and these alternatives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by troy evans
Where would it get "regular old Dolby Digital or DTS" from if not the core audio. Rarely do I see a Blu with main soundtracks in both DD TrueHD and lossy DD or DTS Master and DTS lossy. Also, we're talking about 5.1 analog connections here, not digital.
I know we're talking about analog connections. I don't see how that changes the question of what a core is. Is a core analog? No, it is still digital information stored on the BD.

"Where would it get DD or DTS if not the core?" I have no idea, since I don't know what a core is. (Hence my question.) Since I've never heard of "cores" before, and every DVD I own has either DD or DTS, I don't see how you can merely assume that everyone knows that the DD or DTS is extracted from the mysterious "core." I don't own a BD player, or a single BD disc. So your experience involving this format as the basis for your assumed knowledge base isn't a shared resource. (Hence my questions.)

Can someone else help me out here? Preferably, with a less condescending and more helpful answer?

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   troy evans

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Posted November 19 2008 - 09:23 AM

Deleted
" I think it's time we go to plan B". "What's plan B?" "That's the one where we don't do something stupid".

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Sanjay Gupta

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Posted November 19 2008 - 11:54 AM

@ troy evans

There is a slight problem with your explanation of the audio on Blu-Ray. First of all, it is important ot understand that 'Lossless' does not mean 'Uncompressed' and all 'Compression' is not 'Lossy'. In the computer software world, all zip, rar etc. files are compressed but are lossless. In other words when you uncompress them, you are able to retrieve an exact replica of the original without any loss in data. Similiarly, both 'DTS HD Master Audio' & 'Dolby True-HD' are compressed but lossless formats.

From wikipedia:
Quote:
DTS-HD Master Audio contains 2 data streams, the original DTS core stream and the additional "residual" stream, which contains the "difference" between the original signal and the lossy compression DTS core stream. The audio signal is split into two paths at the input to the encoder. One path goes to the core encoder for backwards compatibility and is then decoded. The other path compares the original audio to the decoded core signal and generates residuals, which are data over and above what the core contains that is needed to restore the original audio as bit-for-bit identical to the original. The residual data is then encoded by a lossless encoder and packed together with the core. The decoding process is simply the reverse.
Basically 'DTS-HD Master Audio' takes the original master and splits the data into two sets of data, one is the 'core' lossy stream and the second is the balance of the original data. If your decoder/receiver does not support 'DTS-HD Master Audio', it simply decodes the 'core' and gives you regular 1.5mbps DTS. If the decoder/receiver supports 'DTS-HD Master Audio' it reads and adds the 'second stream' of data to the 'core' stream and recreates the original bit for bit recording. The 'core' part of 'DTS-HD Master Audio' can be passed via SPDIF, thus making 'DTS-HD Master Audio' fully 100% backwards compatible.

'Dolby True-HD' on the other hand, although lossless, is not backward compatible. 'Dolby Digital Plus' works similiar to 'DTS-HD Master Audio' and is fully backwards compatible with 'Dolby Digital', but it is not lossless and is only slightly superior to 'Dolby Digital'.

Off Topic: In practicality, if it were not for economic politics, all we need is a single 'DTS-HD Master Audio' track on all Blu-Ray discs. Universal Studios have quite sensibly taken this approach and they offer only a single English track in 'DTS-HD Master Audio' on all their BDs. Why Warner insists on using 'Dolby True-HD' is a mystery to me, since they then have to also put a second 'Dolby Digital' track for backward compatibility. But then again, this is Warner we are talking about. Their solution is to simply do away with the 'Dolby True-HD' track and have a single lossy 'Dolby Digital' track.
Sanjay
Member since July - August 1997

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   troy evans

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Posted November 19 2008 - 03:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Eddy
You haven't provided any information. I ask what a core is, and you say a core is a core. I could say an "epiphenomenon" is an "epiphenomenon," but it you still might not know what I'm talking about. Do you actually know what a core is? Or is it just that you can't explain it? If you can explain it, I don't understand why you'd opt for such an elitist, condescending response.

Perhaps the fault lies in my question. Let me be more specific, in the hopes that you, too, can be more specific: compared to the lossless audio track on the one hand, and the DD and/or DTS on the other hand, where exactly does this "core" fit in? Is it something in-between? Does it contain less or more digital information than DD and DTS? I assume it contains more, since you claimed it provided better sound. So what exactly is the relationship between the "core" and the two alternatives at either end of this lossless-vs-lossy spectrum? In terms of information preserved or discarded, compressed or uncompressed, what is the difference between a core and these alternatives?

I know we're talking about analog connections. I don't see how that changes the question of what a core is. Is a core analog? No, it is still digital information stored on the BD.

"Where would it get DD or DTS if not the core?" I have no idea, since I don't know what a core is. (Hence my question.) Since I've never heard of "cores" before, and every DVD I own has either DD or DTS, I don't see how you can merely assume that everyone knows that the DD or DTS is extracted from the mysterious "core." I don't own a BD player, or a single BD disc. So your experience involving this format as the basis for your assumed knowledge base isn't a shared resource. (Hence my questions.)

Can someone else help me out here? Preferably, with a less condescending and more helpful answer?
Nathan, I owe you an apology. I am sorry. After reading Sanjay's post apparently what facts about audio I thought I knew were completely erroneous. What you originally understood to be happening with the audio is correct. I really thought I was giving the OP solid info. Apparently not. I was wrong. Sorry to have wasted your time and the OP's.
" I think it's time we go to plan B". "What's plan B?" "That's the one where we don't do something stupid".

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted November 19 2008 - 04:25 PM

If your player supports decoding of Dolby TrueHD and you're using analog inputs then the Dolby TrueHD track is converted to multi-channel LPCM. The LPCM track is then sent to your analog inputs. You're basically listening to the losslessly compressed soundtrack, just converted from a digital to a analog signal.

I believe DTS MA works the same way over analog inputs. If the player supports internal decoding of DTS MA then it is decoded and converted to LPCM as well.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Shad R

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Posted November 19 2008 - 06:29 PM

My player, from what I was told at the store, has the new firmware to decode Dolby + and Dolby TruHD.
However, it can only be sent over HDMI, right?
I'm sending sound over analog cables.
My question now is...
Am I getting 1.5 mbps on ALL my blu-ray's, regardless of the soundtrack I select, being Dolby Tru, DTS MA/HD? 1.5 is the "core"?
I'm just trying to understand this.
Also, why would they include 5.1 analog outputs if it's decoding and sending the same information as using the optical or coax connections for the 5.1 sound? Why would they do that?

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted November 20 2008 - 01:44 AM

Quote:
Also, why would they include 5.1 analog outputs if it's decoding and sending the same information as using the optical or coax connections for the 5.1 sound? Why would they do that?

Because not everyone has a HDMI receiver and they (Sony) are aware of this. That's why both Sony and Panasonic include analog outputs on their top-tier players. Unfortunately, it's a backwards logic. I cannot afford a new receiver with HDMI so to get the latest HD-audio codecs I have to buy a top of the line player which not only decodes, but has analog outputs.

Fortunately, I found a Sony S300 for cheap a couple months ago and have forgone DTS-MA and settle with DTS core and TrueHD via analog outputs.

Also, regular digital coax and optical cannot carry the HD signals. They do not have enough available bandwith. The only two options for HD-quality audio are HDMI and multi-channel analog.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Sanjay Gupta

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Posted November 20 2008 - 04:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwin-S
If your player supports decoding of Dolby TrueHD and you're using analog inputs then the Dolby TrueHD track is converted to multi-channel LPCM. The LPCM track is then sent to your analog inputs. You're basically listening to the losslessly compressed soundtrack, just converted from a digital to a analog signal.

I believe DTS MA works the same way over analog inputs. If the player supports internal decoding of DTS MA then it is decoded and converted to LPCM as well.
A PCM track is still digital and thus cannot be sent via the analog outputs. 'DTS-HD MA' & 'Dolby True-HD' both work the same way over analog outputs. The players, such as the 'Sony S550' & the 'Panasonic BD55', decode the 'DTS-HD MA' or 'Dolby True-HD' bitstream and output 7.1/5.1 channels via the analog 7.1/5.1 outputs. The difference between the two audio formats is in the fact that in the case of 'DTS-HD MA', the player will also extract & output the standard 1.5mbps 'DTS core' bitstream via the digital SPDIF/Coaxial output, which it cannot do in the case of 'Dolby True-HD'.

Blu-Ray HD Audio Options:

DTS-HD Master Audio:
Output via HDMI v1.3- 'Dolby True-HD' full lossless Bitstream (Digital) / Full lossless multichannel LPCM (Digital).
Output via HDMI (versions older than v1.3) - Full lossless multichannel LPCM (Digital).
Output via SPDIF/Coaxial - Standard 1.5mbps 'DTS' lossy Bitstream (Digital).
Output via Analog outs - Full lossless decoded 7.1/5.1 analog audio / Downmixed stereo analog audio.

Dolby True-HD:
Output via HDMI v1.3- 'Dolby True-HD' full lossless Bitstream (Digital) / Full lossless multichannel LPCM (Digital).
Output via HDMI (versions older than v1.3) - Full lossless multichannel LPCM (Digital).
Output via SPDIF/Coaxial - NO digital Bitstream.
Output via Analog outs - Full lossless decoded 7.1/5.1 analog audio / Downmixed stereo analog audio.

There are ofcourse two other HD audio formats, 'DTS-HD High Resolution Audio' and 'Dolby Digital +', but since they are rarely used, if at all, I have left them out. I suppose it should suffice to state that both these formats are 'lossy' formats with superior sound to the standard 'DTS' and 'Dolby Digital' formats and were intended to be used where space on the disc is a contraint.

I hope this helps. Although, I am quite sure the above info is correct. But in case it is not, please excuse the same.
Sanjay
Member since July - August 1997

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Steve>JF

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Posted November 21 2008 - 02:43 PM

Hi Sanjay,
I have a few questions that you may be able to help me with. I have a Kenwood KRF-X9090D receiver that is Doble Digital 7.1 and DTS 7.1 compatible via coax or optical (SPDIF), and has analog 5.1 inputs (called "DVD/6-channel").

Questions:

1. If I buy a Blu-Ray player that has the analog outputs, will they be 7.1 or 5.1?

2. How would I connect 7.1 analog outputs from the Blu-Ray player to the 5.1 ouputs of my receiver?

3. Some players say they downmix 7.1 to 5.1. Does that mean the Doble Tru-HD 7.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio will not have the same uncompressed & lossless quality?

4. Do you think my money is better spent buying an upgraded receiver with HDMI 1.3 connections, Doble Tru-HD 7.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio compatible, and an HDMI only Blu-Ray player, or keep my receiver and buy a Blu-ray player with analog outputs (on-board decoding)? My receiver says that all volume adjustments in 6-channel analog must be made on the DVD player (which I'm sure is possible in the set-up menu of the Blu-Ray player), the subwoofer volume must be adjusted using it's own controls (maybe made in the Blu-Ray player as well?), and none of the sound quality features in the receiver would be active in 6-channel analog.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Steve

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted November 21 2008 - 03:49 PM

Sanjay, thanks for the correction. I don't want to confuse the fellow with incorrect information.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Sanjay Gupta

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Posted November 22 2008 - 08:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve>JF
Hi Sanjay,
I have a few questions that you may be able to help me with. I have a Kenwood KRF-X9090D receiver that is Doble Digital 7.1 and DTS 7.1 compatible via coax or optical (SPDIF), and has analog 5.1 inputs (called "DVD/6-channel").

Questions:

1. If I buy a Blu-Ray player that has the analog outputs, will they be 7.1 or 5.1?

2. How would I connect 7.1 analog outputs from the Blu-Ray player to the 5.1 ouputs of my receiver?

3. Some players say they downmix 7.1 to 5.1. Does that mean the Doble Tru-HD 7.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio will not have the same uncompressed & lossless quality?

4. Do you think my money is better spent buying an upgraded receiver with HDMI 1.3 connections, Doble Tru-HD 7.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio compatible, and an HDMI only Blu-Ray player, or keep my receiver and buy a Blu-ray player with analog outputs (on-board decoding)? My receiver says that all volume adjustments in 6-channel analog must be made on the DVD player (which I'm sure is possible in the set-up menu of the Blu-Ray player), the subwoofer volume must be adjusted using it's own controls (maybe made in the Blu-Ray player as well?), and none of the sound quality features in the receiver would be active in 6-channel analog.

Thanks in advance for your help!
I spent a good amount of time yesterday, replying to this post in detail. But when I pressed on 'Submit Reply', the forum database server failed and my entire post dissapeared into the vast cyber space. I guess one can't escape the vagaries of technology.

Anyhow here goes once again.

Answers:

1. The number of analog outputs will depend on the Blu-Ray player you buy. The two currently popular choices, the 'Sony BDP-S550' and the 'Panasonic DMP-BD55' both have 7.1 channel analog outputs. Both can be configured via menu settings to output only 5.1 channels. In which case the player will then simply mix the 'side surround' channels with the 'rear surround' channels and output 5.1 channels containing all the audio present in the encoded 7.1 channels.

2. Since your receiver supports only 5.1 (6 inputs), you would simply configure the player to output only 5.1 channels. In the case of the 'Panasonic DMP-BD55' the 5.1 channel analog outputs are physically bunched together and placed seperately from the two additional analog channels, thus making it quite simple to wire. I am not familiar with the 'Sony BDP-S550' and thus cannot comment on the physical placements of the 7.1 channel analog outputs. But I am sure, presumably, that the manual explains which two analog outputs to leave alone.

3. The term 'downmix' in reference to 7.1 to 5.1 channels, does not mean reducing the quality but rather simply reducing the number of channels. The player simply mixes the two set of surround channels to form one set of surround channels, while still maintaining the lossless audio. Please read my post above (post # 7), regarding the confusion of 'uncompressed' and 'lossless'. In short, 'lossless' does not imply 'uncompressed' and not all 'compression' is 'lossy'.

4. In the long run, one would be better served with replacing the reciever to get one with HDMI 1.3 switching and HD audio decoding built in. With your current receiver and a Blu-Ray player with 7.1/5.1 analog outs, you will be able to get HD audio, but the final audio quality will probably be inferior to a receiver with built in HD audio decoding. This is specially so in the case your receiver's tonal and volume controls cannot be used with the 5.1 ("DVD/6 channel") analog inputs. Since players with onboard decoding have an issue with outputing low volumes on the subwoofer out, atleast it is an issue with the 'Panasonic DMP-BD55', and considering that your receiver "sound controls" will not work witht the 5.1 (DVD/6 channel) innput, you may have issues with not being able to balance the bass correctly with the rest of the sound. In my case, I too have a receiver that does not have HDMI and HD Audio decoding, thus I bought the Panasonic DMP-BD55 for the analog outs. Although, my receiver, does allow all tonal and volume controls with the 7.1 analog inputs, I still feel an internal decoder in the receiver would have been better. For me the question of replacing the receiver or buying a BD player with analog outs, came down to the fact, that replacing the Denon AVR-5800 with a similiar quality receiver entails a cost of atleast $5000 compared to the $375 I paid for the 'Panasonic DMP-BD55'. Thus, if money is not an issue, or if the difference in cost involved is not too much, then I would personally recommend upgrading your receiver.
Sanjay
Member since July - August 1997

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Steve>JF

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Posted November 23 2008 - 06:28 AM

Thanks for your help, Sanjay! I think a new receiver is the way to go as well, since I have a 7.1 speaker (Polk) system already and I can take full advantage of it. I do remember reading something about the subwoofer volume not being loud enough when using the analog outputs/inputs (10db down I think) Keeping up with all the new technology is expensive, but I love home theater!


Thanks again!
Steve
Steve


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