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HD Sound and connections (1 Viewer)

Steve>JF

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Joined
Apr 19, 2003
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I'm not sure if this belongs in the Receiver forum, so forgive me. I read a review of a receiver that stated the following:
"Signal sources include a Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1 Blu-Ray player. The player doesn't output bitstream for Dolby TruHD and other new surround codecs, and the receiver has no onboard decoding for them. Still, they got along just fine communicating via high-resolution PCM, a maneuver that allows TruHD to live up to its potential."

Then later in the review:
"And it accepts Doble TruHD and DTS-HD Master from your Blu-Ray player's built-in decoder via high-resolution PCM."

Can someone explain this to me? Does this mean that the player was hooked up via coaxial or optical or analog? If so, what connections are required for PCM? Is the the signal HD sound or not?

Thanks!
 

Jeff Gatie

Senior HTF Member
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Aug 19, 2002
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It means the Blu-ray was hooked up via HDMI, and although the receiver does not decode TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc., the BD player first decodes it to multi-channel PCM and then outputs it via the HDMI. It would have to be an HDMI connection because coax/optical cannot handle 5.1 multi-channel PCM and analog would not use the term "PCM" because analog is analog.

Multi-channel PCM (sometimes called 'LPCM') is the digital format that comes from decoding HD audio (TrueHD/DTS-HD etc.), so the final result would sound the same (sans any additional processing) as decoding the HD format(s) on the receiver. So the multi-channel PCM output is defintely HD sound.
 

Steve>JF

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Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Messages
44
Thanks, Jeff. Another question: With a fully operational receiver that has HD sound decoding, is it a bitsteam signal that is is sent from the player (you must set the player for HDMI>bitstream)? Isn't this the best way to go (transfer/connection)? I don't have a Blu-Ray player yet and I don't have a an HD decoding receiver, but I'm thinking of getting both. My present reciever has 5.1 analog, but I think I want to be able to adjust everything from the receiver, not the player.
 

Jeff Gatie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
6,531

There are 3 ways to get true HD audio from a Blu-ray player:

1) Analog outs from the player to the receiver. This usually requires all bass management/calibration to take place in the BD player.

2) Decode in the player, send to receiver as LPCM via HDMI. Note, this is often the only method to use with in-film extras (commentaries, PiP features, etc.), because additional audio streams have to be mixed in with the main soundtrack, thus the main track must be decoded before being mixed.

3) Bitstream from the player, send to receiver via HDMI, decoded in the receiver.

All should theoretically sound the same (given no additional processing), with the ease of 2) and 3) being obvious (less cables, less calibration). Purchasing an HDMI 1.3 capable receiver would allow any and all methods, with 3) being the easiest and 2) used for PiP and other special content where decoding and remixing is required on the player.
 

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