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Getting back into HT. Questions regarding current and future blu-ray features (1 Viewer)

emmsys

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
3
Real Name
Ettore Colicchio
Hi,

I've been out of the HT loop since I got comfortable with progressive scan DVD players, HD on RPTVs and DTS-ES/DD-EX. Sounds like a lot has changed since then. I will definitely be upgrading to Blu-ray, new TV and possible new sound system (unless my HK AVR-235 7.1 analog inputs can be used). I've read some of the reviews on blu-ray players here (lots of great info by the way!) however it seems like blu-ray features/technology aren't set in stone yet. There's a lot of referral to HDMI 1.3, lossless audio formats and something about Java. I was hoping to get info this week and make some purchases within the next 2-3 weeks but it looks like things are a bit more complicated. If anyone can help me with the following questions then I would really appreciate it! I won't be asking about brand x vs. brand y....yet! :D

1) What is HDMI 1.3? Is it a whole new connector as well?
2) Sounds like there's 2 new audio formats from DD and DTS. What are the differences between the 2? What is the difference between those new formats and the one that can be output from blu-ray players via analog outputs? I.e., would it be better to use the analog outputs or wait for a new receiver that supports the 2 audio formats above?
3) There was mention of Java support by new blu-ray players come November. What does Java enable in these new players? Is it worth the wait?
4) I also ready something about 1080p/60 and 1080p/24. Are these only for digital TV (satellite etc.) or does it also refer to blu-ray players?

I'm sure I'll have more questions but these should be enough for now! Thanks in advance!

Ettore
 

Jim Rondeau

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 18, 2001
Messages
65
I'll try and answer your questions the best I can. I'm still in the early stages of moving to HD. I started with a PS3 a few weeks ago along with an HDMI receiver and have recently added an HD-DVD player (Toshiba HD-A2). I'm enjoying it very much, but am still learning too.

1.
HDMI 1.3 is just the current spec. I know it added the ability to pass "Deep Color" and such, but it's not totally necessary.

2.
One the Audio front, there are a few new items. Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, PCM, and Dolby Digital Plus. The first three are basically loseless formats meaning there is no compression. Dobly Digital Plus is encoded at 1.5 mps so it's not loseless, but it's a significant improvement over SD audio. I believe the HD-DVD specs require a DD+ track on all HD-DVDs. Unfortunately the majority of HD-DVDs have DD+ instead of TrueHD, but hopefully that will change soon. On the Blu-ray side there is much more use of uncompressed PCM and DTS-HD MA. Unfortunately, just about every current player can't decode DTS-HD MA. That is starting to change with new players.

3.
I believe the Java support in Blu-ray will allow more interactivity such as Picture in Picture commentaries, games and such (which HD-DVD already supports).

4.
I'm not well versed on the 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 stuff, but I do know it does apply to both Blu-ray and HD-DVD. I only have a HDTV with component so it doesn't apply to me anyways.

Hope I've helped you some. Let me know if you need more clarification on anything. If I've made any mistakes hopefully someone will correct me or add more info.
 

CRyan

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 9, 1999
Messages
1,239
Some clarification.

1. Deep color is not even supported by the Blu spec (or HDDVD for that matter). All 1.3 did really for this format is allow passing of the raw lossless stream for decoding by the receiver. Although, no player supports this today.

2. There currently are NO players that can decode DTS MA. And as far as I know none have been announced.

3. BD Java is there now. It is the PIP functions etc that are still not in a player yet. IF I was buying right this second I would wait for the 1.1 compliant models.

4. You have to have a set that supports /24 playback.
 

emmsys

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
3
Real Name
Ettore Colicchio
Hi,

Thanks for the clarifications! That's some good information. I have a couple more now hehe:

1) I'm used to good'ol DVDs where I would choose between DD 5.1 or DTS. You mentioned there's PCM now (besides the other lossless formats). What is PCM? Is this what gets output from a blu-ray player via its 7.1 or 5.1 analog outputs? What does a HT receiver do with the signal? I.e....if it's not DD or DTS...then what it is (besides being lossless)?

2) I've only heard for a little while that there were more movies being released on blu-ray instead of HD-DVD. I will likely have both anyway, but is it still true (or was it ever true) that blu-ray has more titles out? I don't mean to turn this into a HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray! I'm just curious if what the masses told me is true.

Thanks again for the great information!

Ettore
 

CRyan

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 9, 1999
Messages
1,239
Yes there are SEVERAL audio options now. Confusing but good.

One clarification. DTSMA is interesting. It has a 1.5mb 5.1 core that IS playable right now via blu ray players. The full lossless DTSMA is not yet playable.

So, right now if you select (of if the movie offers) Dolby True, DTSMA, or PCM, the PCM signal is sent to the receiver via HDMI in whatever number of channels it was encoded (5.1, etc.). In other words, the lossless formats are being decoded by the player into PCM and sent to the receiver for output as PCM.

Your reviecer has to support this. Optical is an option BUT it can only support PCM 2.1 so HDMI is the way to go.

You mentioned analog ouputs... This is also an option for players that have these. In this case, the player will simply decode the format into PCM and output audio over the anaolg cables. There is no decoding to be done here either by the receiver.

Movie count I have no idea. Maybe the number you heard was of sales. Blu ray is currently selling software at a 2:1 rate over HDDVD. As to quantiy of discs on the market I would suggest looking at studio support and decide what is best for you if you are going with only one format.

And a note on what I already posted. I would consider a PS3 purchase now becuase I have full faith that when 1.1 players come out, the PS3 will be updated to be the same. Most believe the PS3 has all the hardware needed and will be updated.
 

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