HDMI/dvd-audio question

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by LanceJ, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I don't keep up with video gear as much as some people here do, so hope one of those people can help.

    I saw this LG LDA-511 dvd player at Best Buy with the dvd-audio logo but there was no 5.1 analog output on the back panel, just a stereo output. But there was an HDMI connector. This is LG's page for the same player I guess, but this looks different from what I saw at BB.

    This is my question: has the HDMI committee/forum/group whatever allowed the HDMI connection to carry 5.1 hi-res signals in a format *any* brand of receiver can decode?
    I think Pioneer and Denon have digital connection systems for dvd-audio (or is it for sacd?) but AFAIK these are proprietary, use a different connector and won't work with other brands. If there IS finally a common connection method, that would take care of one of the complaints about 5.1 hi-res set-up (sacd uses the same analog connection method).

    I read through the connection, general audio and dvd-audio sections of the player's online manual, but there was no mention whatsoever of this issue.

    I thought maybe the LG operated like the Panasonic DVD-S47 which is a stereo-only hi-res player, but the LG's manual didn't even mention that possibility. What gives?

    Thanks for any thoughts on this.
     
  2. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    In the description it says that it is a DVD audio (DVD video, etc.) player but SACD seems to be specifically excluded. That says to me that the only connection you need for this player is HDMI (provided your receiver is also thus equipped).

    As long as you have a universal player and a receiver with HDMI, you will be able to play everything (including multi-channel audio and hi-def video) through the one cable, except for SACD. Sony is still being bullheaded about copy protection and insists on the decoder being inside the player, with the exception of Denon and Pioneer's proprietary linked equipment, so that everyone still has to run 6 cables from their DVD player to their receiver, whether they have HDMI on both machines or not.

    Don't take my word for it, however. I would contact somebody at LG and ask them.
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    That's true.....if the receiver includes hi-res PCM decoders and a DSD decoder. Seeing how crappy both formats are doing, I have to wonder how many receiver manufacturers have actually done that? Very few I'm sure. [​IMG]

    Besides the Pioneer and Denon models, the only receiver (and one that doesn't cost $1,000+) that might contain a hi-res PCM decoder is that upcoming Panasonic with the single HDMI connector (Panasonic developed much of the hardware for the dvd-audio format).

    Yep, an email to LG might be in order.
     
  4. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    Receivers can NOT include onboard DSD decoders without consent from Sony. I know my Yamaha 2600 includes a hi-res PCM decoder for DVD audio, but since I've had to connect 6 cables to listen to SACD anyway, I just let the player do all the hi-res decoding.
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    My, that's some good long-term thinking that will really help the format's success, eh? [​IMG]

    As messy as dvd-audio standards can be sometimes at least they let people & corporations run with it. FYI: just to expand on that, here's one of the most popular home dvd-audio creation (technically called "authoring") programs for sale with no license or royalty fees involved: Minnetonka Audio's Discwelder Bronze. It sells for $99. A professional dvd-audio authoring software package like Dvd-Audio Creator from Sonic Solutions, designed with help from Panasonic, that some of the big labels use IIRC goes for about $6,000 (part of the jump in price is the inclusion of an encoder for MLP, a lossless compression codec). You can also buy dvd-audio sound cards from regular retailers.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I just sent an email to LG about this, so we'll see what happens (I know there are hundreds waiting for more info about this issue, all wanting to play those thousands of HOT surround titles on their systems [​IMG] ).
     
  7. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Got a response already (good) but I guess I should have made my question more clear:

    Me: To Whom It May Concern, The LG LDA-511 dvd player can play dvd-audio discs, but how do you get those signals to the receiver? There is only one pair of left/right analog outputs on the player, so here is my question: Are the *multichannel* (i.e. 5.1 surround) signals carried by the player's HDMI output? If so, what receivers can I use this player with to hear the 5.1 signals? I downloaded the player's manual but it said nothing about this issue. And as far as I know, there are only three companies that sell receivers with dvd-audio decoders built into them: Pioneer, Denon and Panasonic. But only the Panasonic has an HDMI connector, IIRC the other two use a Firewire connector. Thanks for any help with this.

    Them:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Damn.

    I sent them another email, this time re-phrasing my original question and including even more details, plus links to other companies' sites that have photos and .pdf manuals of what I'm talking about.

    But despite all that, I get an email today talking about their high volume of mail or something & they ask me to re-send the original email.

    [​IMG]

    If they don't understand what I'm asking *this* time, that's the end of this little adventure.

    Along with other peoples' experiences here & on other forums, without trying to be humorous I'm truly starting to think a lot of electronics companies use their customers as beta testers for their products.

    As a whole, the A/V industry has become incredibly sloppy as far as shared standards are concerned, and IMO this short-term/selfish thinking is going to bite them all in the ass (if you're a regular reader of these forums, you know this has already been happening).
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    For what it's worth, here's what the manual for Panasonic's SA-XR70 receiver says about dvd-audio/HDMI:

    From page 7 (my emphasis):


    I was hoping this receiver had bass management for dvd-audio - oh well. And downmixing a 5.1 track into stereo can result in weird stereo imaging and an overall messy-sounding mix. This is why the words "NO DOWNMIX" scroll across the display of many dvd-audio players when certain dvd-audio discs start playing (AFAIK these discs also include a separate stereo track, so no downmixing of the 5.1 is needed anyway).
     
  10. Jacob C

    Jacob C Second Unit

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    HDMI 1.2 can, from what I understand, transfer DVD-Audio and SACD. That also assumes that the reciever has the hardware to decode it though.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Wow, so there are three versions of HDMI out there?

    I'm sure glad the HDMI people weren't in charge of the committee who set up the standards for the wheel way back when: "This year's wheel will be much rounder than the previous two, ushering in improvements all users will surely be clamoring for." [​IMG]
     
  12. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    It's not the HDMI committee's fault. I reiterate that it is Sony's. It's still not for sure whether Sony will come on board for HDMI 1.2 or even 1.3 for SACD. True, there are shortcomings with the HDMI interface, as it stands currently, but none of it is really the fault of HDMI itself.

    I have no problem with the 30 ft. HDMI 1.1 connection between my Yamaha 2600 receiver and Panasonic AE900 projector. It works exactly as it's supposed to.
     
  13. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I just figured something as simple as a cable connection didn't need "versions". So IMO this constant updating is silly & the confusion and frustration it causes leads to more people just blowing HDMI off totally. As far as Sony and the lack of transmission of sacd signals is concerned, I am completely unsurprised they would pull a dumb stunt like that.
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Just checked my email - no response from LG yet. I am hoping that's because my question has been referred to someone in their technical division.
     
  15. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    LG finally replied last week:

    I guess that answered the question......[​IMG]
     
  16. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Sony/Philips approved DSD transmission for HDMI v1.2 last September. To date, the only component scheduled for release with HDMI v1.2 connection is the upcoming Panasonic SA-XR57 receiver (HDMI v1.2 is stated in its owner's manual). Not even the new Sony G-series receivers are HDMI v1.2-equipped.
     
  17. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    You know, even for Sony that doesn't seem very smart. To me this pretty much proves they have dropped 95% of their support for their own format.

    I saw a new all-in-one 5.1 HTiB from Sony at Best Buy and despite being an upscale (for an HTiB) model, there was no sacd capability. This is a new development because most of their previous all-in-ones in the $350+ range the past @3 years *have* included sacd.
     
  18. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    and being Panasonic, will it/won't it decode DSD? TI's Aureus DSP chips do, if they used it in the Panny and it isn't disabled...
     
  19. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Forgive me if this is me being ignorant, but I don't understand why anyone would want 5.1 audio to go through the HDMI cable?

    Shouldn't you be using the optical/coaxial outs to go to your reciever? If you use the HDMI cable to go to your reciever, then you'll (obviously) need another HDMI cable to go from the reciever to the TV.

    So at that point, why spend the $$ on 2 HDMI cables when you can just go HDMI directly to the TV and optical/coaxial audio to the reciever.

    Of course, unless you're doing some sort of HDMI 'mixing' in the reciever, but.....


    Basically, what I'm getting at is, Lance, why not just use the optical/coaxil? You shouldn't be worried about 5.1 audio through HDMI. Right?

    Or am I missing something here?
     
  20. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Take your ordinary CD, with its glorious 44.1 KHz, 16 bit uncompressed stereo audio. Up the sample rate to 96 Khz, and increase the wordsize to 24bits. Add four more channels, so that the center, surround, and subwoofer (or a height channel) can join in on the fun. That's DVD-Audio. It's rather more spectacular than DVD-Video's dolby digital or dts. The bandwidth required exceeds that of spdif.

    Normally, DVD Audio players are connected using analogue cables (three pairs of interconnects). One then has the choice of digitizing that audio, and applying all the various filters, electronic crossovers and such that modern receivers offer, or not digitizing, and amplifying the straight signal. The latter is more pristine, but the former is often necessary to deal with peculiarities of speaker setup.
    A high bandwidth digital connection (usually through IEEE1394 or HDMI) avoids this additional digitization step. It also is the only way of providing multichannel DVD-Audio if the player does not have multichannel analogue outs.
     

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