Do I HAVE to use 6 analog channels to hear DVD-A?

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I just picked up a Panasonic RP91 DVD player and I wanted to check out DVD-A. So I went to Best Buy today and bought Welcome To My Nightmare by Alice Cooper.
I come home expecting to pop that disc in and kick back to some high quality surround sound music.
I hit play and sit back to the sound of silence.
My DVD player is hooked to my receiver via a digital input. Apparently you HAVE to use 6 analog inputs to enjoy the full effect of DVD-A.
Can someone confirm this for me?
If this is the case, then this is absolutley ridiculous.
My Harmon Kardon AVR55 Receiver does NOT have the 6 channel analog inputs. Looks like I might be returning the Alice Cooper DVD-A.
Do I have any alternatives other than buying a new receiver or listening to a inferior down-sampled 2.0 mix?
 

John Tillman

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Sorry Chad... I have the RP-91 going into a VSX-27 and the six analog cables are necessary.
Not only is it inconvenient, it is expensive! We used some more quad shield-RG6.
 

John Kotches

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Both High Resolution Digital Audio formats are (curiously enough) currently an analog output only phenomenon.
There are a couple of exceptions that prove the rule.
Accuphase is sending the SACD bitstream digitally between their components in a proprietary format as is Sharp.
For DVD-A Meridian will probably have the first digital output in (you guessed it) proprietary format.
MSB Technology could modify your player to add 3x Digital Outputs but you'd have to buy 3 of MSBs DACs to decode the digital output.
Several manufacturers will have DVD-A players with analog domain Bass Management right around the corner. Kenwood, Denon and EAD spring to mind... There will likely be more, but these are the ones I'm sure of.
Regards,
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John Kotches
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Philip Hamm

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Chad,
Even if DVD-A did have a digital output how did you expect your receiver to understand the bitstream? Think about it. Even if that wideband of a bitstream could be sent through current coax and optical cables (from what I've read it can't), how could your receiver with only stereo PCM, Dolby Digital, and possibly DTS capabilities decode it?
I think anyone decrying the lack of digital connection for either digital format is misguided. The fact is that even if a digital output was included, the current standards couldn't handle the bitrate, and current hardware couldn't handle the signal!

But the good news is that right now, today, if your receiver has an analog bypass mode, you can use the stereo output on your DVD-A machine and access super high quality PCM stereo recordings.
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Philip Hamm
Pat's the best!™
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click on the little green house to see the evolution of my home theater!
[Edited last by Philip Hamm on September 13, 2001 at 11:08 AM]
 

HankM

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I have a Panny R-91 and I use only the analog left & right outputs, I feed these into the corresponding external inputs on my Denon 5700. I prefer 24/96 2ch DVD-A over the 24/96 6ch.
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KeithH

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Philip, I don't mean to steer this thread too far off topic, but since you and I both own the Technics DVD-A10, I thought I'd ask you a question. I haven't checked this out in awhile, but do you know if the 'A10 allows you to play a 24/96 stereo DVD-Audio track at full resolution through the stereo analog outputs? I would think so. The reason I ask is that I have both a home theater system and a stereo system in my den. The stereo system is much, much better for music than is the home theater system. Currently, I have the 'A10 connected to my A/V receiver via the 5.1-channel outputs for both for stereo and multi-channel DVD-Audio. It would be great, however, if I could connect the 'A10 to the stereo amp via the stereo outputs just for stereo DVD-Audio. That should work, shouldn't it?
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HankM

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Keith,
The only drawback to hooking up your Tech to your 2ch system is that it will be hard be to select high resolution 2ch DVD-A or 6ch DVD-A without hooking it up to a TV. Many audiophiles are going through this since selection of audio is on the video side.
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KeithH

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Hank, that's no problem for me. I have the 'A10 and my main stereo system in my home theater room where there is a TV. I run an S-video cable between the 'A10 and TV currently. The only difference in what I want to do now is use a stereo amp instead of an A/V receiver for stereo DVD-Audio. If I can play stereo DVD-Audio tracks at full resolution through the analog stereo outputs on the 'A10, then I will use stereo amp for stereo DVD-Audio tracks and the A/V receiver for multi-channel tracks.
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[Edited last by KeithH on September 14, 2001 at 09:27 PM]
 

KeithH

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Philip and Hank, I answered my own question. I dug a pair of RCA cables out of the closet and ran them between the analog stereo outputs of the 'A10 and my stereo amp. Voila! 24/96 stereo DVD-Audio on my better system! I am excited!

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