dvd audio + sacd

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Wayde_R, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Been looking at a couple of players. The expensive Marantz dv8400 and the much cheaper alternative, Pioneer DV-563A.

    I read somewhere that a regular digital out isn't capable of passing the high res sound of five channels so a higher bandwidth alternative is required such as firewire. Both units feature digital outputs as well as separate 5.1 channel outputs. I assumed you'd want to use the 5.1 channel outs for high res 5ch sound as the only option now I'm a little confused.

    My receiver is an ArcamAVR200 which has 5.1 ch inputs. Would I be better off using the 5.1 ch inputs for a more true rendition of dvdaudio? Does the digital outputs somehow 'cheat' or compress the sound in an undesirable way? Are the 5.1 outputs even capable of passing the hi res audio signal through it? This would make both units kind of useless.

    Any advice or explanations would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Wayde
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The digital outputs will only pass the Dolby Digital or DTS tracks of a DVD-Audio disc to your receiver. In order to listen to the high resolution DVD-A tracks, you will need to pass the audio signal through your player's 5.1 analog outputs to the 5.1 ch analog inputs of your receiver.

    You can thank the paranoid recording industry for the confusion and clumsy solution.
     
  3. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Scott is perfectly correct, however i should point out you have more options than the marantz and pioneer, there is also the yamaha and denon players, both of which in my opinion are very good players, and they are about 1000 US you can likely get them cheaper.
     
  4. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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    Except for the still new, scarce, and expensive equipment that has a FireWire (aka i.Link aka IEEE1394) digital audio input, the only way to listen to the high-res audio tracks on a DVD-Audio player is via analog outputs. You must feed these outputs into the multi-channel analog inputs of your receiver or pre/pro.

    All DVD-Audio players use their analog outputs to reproduce the signal at its full resolution. This is a common point of confusion, but rest assured that if you use the analog outputs, the signal is not crippled or downsampled or limited in any way. The signal quality will be limited only by the quality of the DACs and analog components in the player. The only reason that the digital output (S/PDIF) is crippled is because of piracy paranoia on the part of the recording studios. They seem to feel that if they allow stereo 96 kHz 24 bit PCM to be output via S/PDIF (which is not encrypted or secure in any real way), that the market will suddenly be flooded with pirated copies of the album, and nobody will buy the DVD-Audio disc anymore. The other reason that S/PDIF cannot be used for DVD-Audio playback is simple technical limitations. S/PDIF is intended for either stereo PCM or a data stream (like DD, or dts). It cannot carry 5.1 channel PCM. Even if that 5.1 channel PCM could be packed into a data stream that S/PDIF could deal with, the data rate would be several times too high for S/PDIF to handle. The FireWire implementation that is being used is encrypted and secure, and it has the bandwidth to handle virtually any number of channels at any resolution.

    All DVD-Audio discs also include material playable on a DVD-video player. This will include a multi-channel soundtrack in either DD or dts format, and sometimes a 2-channel version as well. The video content will be minimal to non-existant - usually just a non-changing background picture. This DVD-video compatible material is there so that DVD-Audio software can be played on the enormous installed base of DVD-video players. This material is not intended to be played on a DVD-Audio player, and in fact, you may have a very hard time trying to get a DD or dts output from a DVD-Audio disc on a DVD-Audio player.

    In any case, the DVD-Video compatible DD or dts soundtrack on a DVD-Audio disc is at 48 kHz sampling rate and up to 24 bits of resolution, and it is of course, compressed using one of those formats. It will not sound as good as the DVD-Audio multi-channel version due to the "lossy" compression. That means that the sound after decompression is not the same as the sound before, but is simply a reasonable representaion of it. The DVD-Audio tracks are either 48 kHz or 96 kHz at 24 bit, uncompressed PCM, or compressed using lossless MLP. The key is the lack of compression (or use of lossless compression). The multi-channel tracks are usually, but not always, 96 kHz, so the frequency response (and phase accuracy) is greater than that of the DD/dts tracks. The notable exception is a dts track in "dts 96/24" format, which extends dts' frequency response.
     
  5. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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  6. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks a lot for the great info.

    I was confused about the format but not half as confused as retailers about the existence of dvd audio. I've been looking around my area for record stores that carry discs, I look forward to hearing a few titles in particular. But it seems most retailers have no idea what they are. The big warehouse store (future shop) doesn't even carry them and its employees think I'm from outer space asking about it. HMV carries them and is willing to order any they don't have. But there is still a lot of confusion when I ask for a certain title in dvd-audio, I can expect several minutes of explaination.

    I hope the format takes off, and I hope Sony eventually comes around and gets with the program. I'll be looking into and possibly auditioning the Denon and Yamaha versions as well.

    Thanks guys!
    Wayde
     
  7. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    after the S2300 Yamaha seems to have gone quiet on universal players while Denon have at least mentioned the 1400 and 5900. wonder why..
     
  8. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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    Wayde, since you seem to be a fellow Canadian, I'll pass on some info on where I've found discs. You'll have more luck finding DVD-Audio and SACD in Best Buy than in Future Shop. They also carry some DTS surround CDs, but they are mixed in with the DVD-Audio discs, so it's confusing.

    I have purchased a few SACDs from HMV at retail and online. I have also had luck online with MyMusic.ca. An Ottawa reatailer called CD Warehouse carries all of the above, but I don't know what you'd have in your city. FutureShop.ca carries all of the above formats as well. Their selection isn't great, but the prices are at least consistant.
     
  9. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Aaron B. says:

     
  10. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    When i got my S2300 back in February i was told by yamaha canada that they were not selling these units in canada and that ti would be repalced by two separate units int he fall.

    why i dont know pretty dumb if you ask me but hey there it is.

    as far as sacd and dvd-a in canada try A&B sound. their website is still being worked on now, but you can find sacd's by doing an advanced search and picking super audio as the genre..... as for dvd-a no word on how to find them yet.

    but the A&B sound service is second to none
     
  11. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  12. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Wait a minute folks--I've got more info to confuse everybody with! [​IMG]

    When you play many dvd-audios, there IS a signal present at the player's digital output, but it is not a high resolution one. While playing these discs on my Pioneer DV-656A dvd-audio player, the display says "Digital Out Converted". It doesn't say to what sampling frequency/bit length, but my Technics SA-DA8 receiver only accepts up to 48kHz sampling signals and I get music out of it, so.........

    On my Eric Johnson Ah Via Musicom dvd-audio, it's stereo 96kHz/24bit track played nicely on my Panasonic R31 dvd-video player (I think DTS Entertainment discs have this feature too), but only through its analog outputs--the optical digital output was completely shut-off (I looked). But I don't own that disc anymore so don't know how it would behave on a dvd-audio player.

    I'm not really sure why the regular resolution signals are permitted--maybe if you own an outboard DAC or you can only use your player's digital output in your particular system?

    I don't know why the dvd-audio manufacturers don't sit down around one of those huge round conference tables & hammer out a standard hi-res digital link EVERYONE would be required to use. Why are so many companies so selfish & shortsighted these days?? [​IMG]

    LJ
     
  13. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Brian,

    Pioneer is using iLink and all iLink is supposed to interoperate.

    Since I don't have a plethora of iLink stuff around here (shocking but true) I have no clue as to whether this claim is true or not.

    Regards,
     
  14. Kevin_Kr

    Kevin_Kr Supporting Actor

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    I would skip the pioneer as it downconverts the sound so you are not getting full resolution. Try the pioneer elite 45a which isn't to spendy but a very nice piece.
     
  15. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    kevin,

    The iLink equipped DV-47ai doesn't downsample anything.

    That's the whole point of iLink, or any other proprietary solution.

    Regards,
     
  16. Kevin_Kr

    Kevin_Kr Supporting Actor

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    I'm aware the 47i doesn't downconvert with ilink, I was referring to the 563 which the post was started about. Technically it does not donconvert it is just using the one cheaper dac versus multiple quality dacs.
     

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