Bitstream and LPCM Confusion with the PS3

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by mitch, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. mitch

    mitch Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi All,

    Maybe someone can once and for all easily explain to me what my correct optimum sound settings should be with my PS3.

    My system consists of the PS3 [just upgraded to 2.2 firmware], Integra 7.8 AVR, and Sony 46" LCD Bravia widescreen all connected via HDMI. I have a 5.1 system with my Snell E.5 mains, CR.5 center, and SR.5 surrounds along with my awesome SVS PB12/Plus 2 Sub and a Velodyne HGS 15 Sub. I also have a Toshiba A2 HD DVD player. It ttook me a while to put all of this together as you can imagine, so, just like all of you, I would like to have the best settings possible.

    What should my optimum audio settings be on my PS3? I think right now, it is set on HDMI auto and LPCM. Do I need to check or set anything else? When would I need Bitstream if at all? I watch both SD and BD DVD's.

    By the way I played with the Mosquito Noise Reduction on some of my SD DVD's after the firmware upgrade but didn't really see any appreciable difference. How about you?

    Thanks as always for your answers and help,

    Mitch
     
  2. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Your current configuration will yield the best results for the PS3.
     
  3. Craig_Ehr

    Craig_Ehr Second Unit

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    Personally, I would rather have my receiver do the decoding than the PS3. I only set it to "PCM" for Dolby TrueHD (and presumably some day for DTS-HD [MA]), and the rest of the time it is set to "Bitstream". If you just want to set it once and not have to think about it again, "PCM" is your best bet.
     
  4. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    "Bitstream" would be the ideal way (this will pass through the original soundtrack format untouched from the player => receiver decodes it), but I guess the problem is that e.g. PS3 won´t support "bitstream" via HDMI yet (am I correct?).. So you basically need to use PCM for the HD-audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD) at this point.

    "Normal" DD and DTS work just fine via "bitstream" and e.g. optical connections. So with SD DVDs, you can use "bitstream".

    PCM - Player decodes
    Bitstream - Receiver decodes
     
  5. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    From my understanding the signal either in Bitstream or LPCM is bit for bit identical, so its your choice to either have the player decode it or the receiver. Some people say they can hear a difference, some don't.
     
  6. James_Garner

    James_Garner Stunt Coordinator

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    I just purchased Sony's STR-DG910 to go with my PS3 (System Update 2.20) and I just don't like the way PCM sounds on my Dolby/dts BDs. They sound nowhere near as sharp. Also, when I set the PS3 on PCM, the Dolby EX and DTS-ES extensions on both DVDs and BDs are not recognized, but they are on bitstream. I found this out after renting the "Stargate" Blu-ray from Blockbuster. I'd rather spend a few more bucks on a Receiver with built-in Dolby TrueHD/dts-HD and wait for a PS3 bitstream update. Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD sound pretty good in the older Dolby Digital and DTS decodings, anyway. MUCH better than PCM; Although PCM sounds good on my Multi-channel SACDs. EDIT: I traded the DG910 for an Onkyo TX-SR 605 at a cheaper price. I tweaked the volume control on my PS3, and now EVERYTHING sounds MUCH better in multichannel PCM mode (especially with the new dts-HD update for PS3).
     
  7. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    IMO, if you spend around 1000$ (+/-) for A/V-receiver, it should do the "job" (decoding the audio). I mean, that´s one reason why you buy it in the 1st place. [​IMG]

    But yes, if the HD-player doesn´t support "bitstream" via HDMI, PCM is very good option. No question. I just hope that most players will in the near future.
     
  8. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Someone needs to put this in a convenient logic matrix format =p
     
  9. Anthony_H

    Anthony_H Stunt Coordinator

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    This is taxing my lay brain gentlemen. Lets start with 101... I have only optical cable connected with a non-HDMI receiver. Is there any way I can get this superior audio through my current connections.. or MUST I have HDMI connections?


    Thanks,

    A.T.
     
  10. Jeff Robertson

    Jeff Robertson Second Unit

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    Optical is bandwidth limited. You will not be able to do any of the advanced audio formats. And, the best I think you can do with PCM is 2 channel.


     
  11. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    Optical is actually just DRM limited. It has more than enough bandwidth for lossless or uncompressed multichannel sound, the reasons it doesn't are entirely artificial.
     

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