"MP3 Decoding" in Harmon Kardon - question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by shujaatkhan, Jul 5, 2001.

  1. shujaatkhan

    shujaatkhan Auditioning

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    Hi All,
    I had a question about MP3 decoding which the new HK receivers tout. How is it different from any other regular SP/DIF input on the other receivers??
    The reason why I ask is that I've been listening to MP3's on my HT for a few years now, and it goes from my PC's spdif out to the receiver's (Sony ES 555 and JVC 884vbk before that)) spdif in, and it worked just fine.
    So is this HK "MP3 decoding" just a marketing gimmick or is it really something different.
    TIA
    PS. Also, S&V claimed (in their last issue) that this was the only receiver that they reviewed with "MP3 decoding".
     
  2. Will Ernst

    Will Ernst Agent

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    It's marketing hype. How are you supposed to transport MP3 over a coax connection? MP3s are binary data not mystical electrical impulses that can just be sent out. It has as much MP3 decoding as my parent's 1970 Marantz receiver.
    -will
     
  3. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    I had been wondering about this too. Here's what I found on Harman/Kardon's website:
    quote: MP3 Audio Playback
    The AVR 310 is one of the first A/V receivers to provide on-board decoding for the MP3 audio format used by computers and portable audio devices. In addition, some new CD players are capable of playing back optical discs that are recorded with MP3, rather than standard CD audio information. By offering MP3 decoding, the AVR 310 is able to deliver more precise conversion of the digital signals to an analog output, along with the benefits of listening to the MP3 audio through the AVR 310’s high current amplifier and the speakers from your surround system, rather than the smaller speakers and low powered amplifiers typically used with computers.
    To take advantage of the AVR 310’s MP3 capabilities, simply connect the PCM output of a computer’s sound card or the PCM output of a portable digital audio device to either the rear panel Digital Inputs or the front panel Digital Inputs. As soon as the digital signal is available, the MP3 Bitstream Indicator will light, and the audio will begin playing.
    NOTES:
    - The AVR 310 is only capable of playing signals in the MP3 (MPEG 1/Layer 3) format. It is not compatible with other computer audio codecs.
    - The digital audio input signal may be either optical or coaxial, but the signal must be in the PCM format. Direct connection of USB or serial data outputs is not possible, even though the signals are in the MP3 format. If you have any questions about the data output format from your computer or a sound card, check with the device’s Owner’s Manual or contact the manufacturer’s technical support area.[/quote]
     
  4. Julian Data

    Julian Data Second Unit

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    That HK MP3 decoding doesn't make sense to me as when you connect your PC to play MP3s.. you still have to PC play the MP3. So bascially, the PC is already decoding the MP3 codec and the receiver is just passing it through the speakers. I don't see how the onboard chip on the HK can help. Decode what? 1s and 0s? Are they doing a DAC or a ADC? Regardless, there's no need for MP3 decoding, IMHO.
    Now if you have MP3s on a CD I see where you would need one for a CDP or a DVDP but a receiver? If the CDP/DVDP can't read the MP3 disc, then how is it going to pass the MP3 info to the receiver????????
    I am lost with the HK MP3 thing.
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  5. shujaatkhan

    shujaatkhan Auditioning

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    "To take advantage of the AVR 310’s MP3 capabilities, simply connect the PCM output of a computer’s sound card or the PCM output of a portable digital audio device to either the rear panel Digital Inputs or the front panel Digital Inputs. As soon as the digital signal is available, the MP3 Bitstream Indicator will light, and the audio will begin playing."
    And this is no different from any other digital receiver!
    It just wont show a seperate "MP3 indicator light"
    I emailed HK and directed them to this discussion, to see if they could clarify. Lets see if they bother with it.
    My guess is that they won't respond since it seems like bs to me, and like you all said, it doesnt make sense.
    Later..
     
  6. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    The HK has an MP3 decoder on board. You can send it an actual MP3 bitstream and not just a PCM bitstream.
    Now whether you actually have a device that will send the undecoded MP3 bitstream is another matter. HK is/was/are releasing a USB to coax adapter, so you won't even need a digital audio output on your computer - or even a sound card for that matter.
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    John Golitsis
    Next Big Thing Electronics
     
  7. Julian Data

    Julian Data Second Unit

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    Johnny,
    It still doesn't make sense to me regardless of how the connection is made to the PC. As you still have to select the file. Unless they will provide software for the PC to have the onboard MP3 decoder to decipher, it might work but in the way things stand via PC, you will be selecting the MP3 file in which the MP3 software on the PC will "play" thus negating the use of an onboard MP3 decoder.
    Now with the recent arrivals of MP3/DVD/CD players, the gist of having onboard MP3 decoding on a rec/pro is, well..
    rendundant, IMHO.
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