PCM vs. Analog Audio

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim Tressler, Oct 16, 2002.

  1. Jim Tressler

    Jim Tressler Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like to hear peoples opinions on PCM audio vs. regular analog (left / right).

    I have a new Hughes DSS Dolby Digital receiver that automatically shoots everything out the optical digital output (even if its not in dd) .. my onkyo recognizes it as pcm.. I can still change surround modes (dts neo, dpl 2) and onkyo modes (all ch stereo, tv logic...) And when dd is present, the onkyo receiver switches automatically.. the ps2 does the same thing.. my question is.. am i missing anything with pcm.. to my ears it sounds just as good as the analog stuff.

    thanks!

    Jim
     
  2. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  3. morrisjones

    morrisjones Agent

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    If you're like me, you won't be able to hear any difference between the two. [​IMG]
    The DAC (Digital-Analog Converter) is the device that converts the stored data on the compact disc into an analog signal for your amplifier and speakers. When you select the "digital" input on your receiver, the receiver has to do the conversion. When you select "analog," the CD player does the conversion.
    Mojo
     
  4. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    Jim I think you are confused as to what PCM and Analog is. Every sound stored on a cd, dvd, or over digital cable is digital there is no analog (maybe on an analog video stream but that's it). PCM is a form of digital audio; analog audio is cassette tapes,8track, vinyl records, reel-to-reel these are all analog audio. If you used the analog outputs on your DSS receiver your box would be converting the digital audio to analog. But if you use the digital connection it will transmit that digital info still in digital form to your Onkyo receiver where your receiver with convert the digital audio into analog. This process is done using DACs (digital-to-analog converters). Whether it be done in your DSS box or your receiver that's up to you. All the optical cable does is give you an option to decode the audio in a different device.

    Daniel Smith
     
  5. Scott_AH

    Scott_AH Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope you don't mind me piggy-backing here but what difference does PCM make in a digital cable scenario. My digital cable provides truly digital channels only on 68 and up--2 to 67 are still analog. Does this mean that, on the lower channels, the cable box is converting an analog signal to digital and then shipping it to my receiver only to be turned back into analog???

    Scott
     
  6. morrisjones

    morrisjones Agent

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    Doh! I didn't notice that the source was a DSS receiver. :b

    In any case, it's all digital coming down from the satellite. Not PCM, MPEG-2 audio. So the receiver is transcoding that to PCM. Listening on the analog inputs would bypass a translaion step.

    Though I still doubt you could hear any difference.

    Yep, Scott, if your cable box is putting out digital audio, it's either encoding the analog audio so your receiver can convert it back, or the cable company is providing a duplicate of the analog channels up in the broadband stream.

    Mojo
     
  7. Jim Tressler

    Jim Tressler Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks all... makes a lot of sense now!

    jim
     
  8. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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  9. morrisjones

    morrisjones Agent

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    Oh yeah. Good point. [​IMG]
    Mojo
     

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