I hope this is accurate, because I am looking forward to adding the Pioneer. It will look good next to the Toshiba. But the more I read on the shortages of the blue Diode, it is not looking good for the HD or the BR camps, or for that matter the PS3.
While I have no doubt that the Pioneer Elite Blu-ray player is well built and a good machine. Why would anyone want it if it will not include internal decoding and does not have 7.1 analog outputs? Even the Toshiba HD-A1 should have had 7.1 outputs but at least they included Dolby True HD.
The only way I will purchase a Pioneer Blu-ray player is if they have internal decoding for Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The 5.1 analog outs is not really acceptible and I would rather see 7.1 analog outputs. If they ever start releasing 7.1 surround mixes everone that has 5.1 outs and no HDMI 1.3 will be out of luck! It is almost pointless to introduce formats that are capible of 8 channels of playback if the hardware does not actually support it.
I am not a big Panasonic fan but there are at least offering the kind of player that Sony and Pioneer should have from the start.
but wouldn't 7.1 over HDMI (1.1 or 1.2) in LPCM form be better still? It would avoid an additional d/a conversion and likely sound better than the dacs in the player. Though I can understand why someone with a good decoder with 5.1 analog input might like that in the short term... over HDMI is the better choice moving forward (and since few receivers have 7.1 analog input, might as well think about moving towards HDMI anyway as long as we're looking forward).
Unless all current models of Blu-ray players can output 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 as LPCM via HDMI 1.1 or 1.2 is useless at this time. And both HDMI 1.1 and 1.2 can not output Dolby True HD or DTS-HD. My concern is for the blu-ray player to at least decode the lossless Dobly and DTS internally so I can listen to those audio tracks. There will be no recievers that will decode the new lossless track until the last quarter of 07'.
I would agree that using HDMI is better but HDMI 1.3 will be needed for 7.1 lossless. Dolby Digital Plus can do a max of 7.1 and Dolby True HD has a max of 8 channels. I dont know of any other way to get the new formats to the reciever other than analog inputs at this time. Not including PCM tracks that only seem to be on selected titles. I am asuming that the PCM tracks can be outputed over HDMI or analog outs?
can HDMI 1.1 and 1.2 not pass 7.1 LPCM? I hadn't realized that.
Since the Panny will be upgradeable to decode D THD and DTS-HD I'm not worried about what it can/can't do initially... but if the most it can ever provide even when upgraded is 5.1 over HDMI because of the limits of HDMI 1.1/1.2 then that would be an issue. I had just assumed it could (in the future) pass 7.1 LPCM from D THD and DTS-HD sources.
Q: Do I need v1.3 HDMI to hear the new Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master HD audio content on HD-DVD or BluRay players? No. HDMI has the flexibility to transport these new high definition, lossless audio formats in either an uncompressed PCM stream, or as an encoded stream. Both Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD, as well as DTS Master HD bitstreams are transportable over all versions of HDMI as decoded PCM output signals for A/V receivers. To use PCM outputs, consumers should make sure that their HD-DVD/Blu-ray players support the decoding of the HD audio formats into multi-channel PCM, and that their AV receiver or preamp processor supports multi-channel PCM over the HDMI inputs. Newer devices with HDMI 1.3 support may also offer the option to transport the high definition audio formats as a compressed, encoded stream that will be decoded by the A/V receiver (whereas the above transport method has the playback device performing the decoding)
Ok it sounds like all players that can do multi-channel pcm out will be able to convert Dolby and DTS lossless to LPCM via HDMI.
However I would love to know if this is anyway affects the sound of ether format? When I choose DTS-HD I want to know that I am actually hearing DTS-HD even though its being converted to LPCM? Mmmmm I need to research this alot further before buying a Blu-ray player. I really want to be able to decode and listen to Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio on the next reciever I purchase next year without having to convert it to another format if I can help it.
Upgrade Plans: Upgrade Polk CS100 to Klipsch RC-64 Center Channel Buy Blu-ray player Update/Upgrade old Yamaha RX-V995 reciever to newer update reciever. Add Sony SXRD VPL-VW50 1080p Projector Add Stewert Film Screen - Options Cinecurve or Perferated THX screen
more upgrades and changes to be done after that is done. Then I want to build a seperate two channel system, old school stereo system.
extracting a compressed lossless signal to LPCM is just that... it's like "unzipping" the file producing a bit-for-bit LPCM replica of the original master signal prior to lossless compression.
In theory, therefore, going LPCM over HDMI should be bit-for-bit perfect.
HD DVD adds some additional processing to the signal for "advanced" authored content because of the possibility of dynamically mixing audio streams etc. In that case, HD DVD might not be giving you a "bit for bit" result and might have monkeyed with the audio signal in some less-than-audiophile ways like applying digital level attenuation etc.
I've asked lots of questions over at AVS about this and Amir has basically admitted that "advanced" HD DVD might force processing this way unless someone came out with an "audiophile" HD DVD player that had the user-selectable option to bypass advanced-content audio mixing.
Not to concerned about HD-DVD right now as there is really no DTS-HD tracks for any titles yet. At this time I am still planing on Blu-ray to be my main HD platform. So I am more concerned about how it would work using Blu-ray more so than HD-DVD. I might buy a 2nd or 3rd generation HD-DVD player after I get my Sony VPL-VW50 1080p projector. Or a Vidikron or Runco if they have a 1080p model near the same price range that is better than the Sony when I am ready to buy?
I am just really trying to make sure I don't end up with a blu-ray player that is not going to be able to do what I want it to do. I really wish I could just buy the player with HDMI 1.3 and internal decoding both so I would be totally set for now and next year.
Another reason to I want internal decoding on the Bluray player is my current reciever does not have HDMI at all. I would have to use the analog inputs until the end of 07 when the new recievers come out.
Wow, my friend probably sees me as a bigger nut than ever since I probably wrote him 3 pages of material trying to educate him on what's been going on with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.
He was telling me how great the Batman Begins HD-DVD is. Maybe he watched it as his friends. But he went on to say how great the sound is. Now, I have no idea if this is really true, but he said the sound was great because they took their time with it, and adjusted the levels so it didn't have that problem so many movies do, that it's real quiet in the quiet scenes, and then you have to turn it down during the action scenes.
I told him what he was describing was dynamic range compression, generally not considered a good thing, but something that can be done with any receiver (in the analog stage) or by DVD players when dealing with DD tracks.
He'd been trying to tell me about things I've been way ahead of, like Blu-Ray using MPEG-2. But he tried to say because they're wasting so much space they have to compress the sound and you can really hear it. His friend with all the toys who snatched up the Toshiba player immediately upon release must have really corrupted him. I imagine his friend thinks that wide dynamic range is what an overcompressed soundtrack sounds like.
Probably doesn't have a clue about basic things like setting levels either.
Meanwhile, I'm busy figuring out just how I'm going to reconfigure my living room for 6.1/7.1 sound.
It's really funny (and refreshingly pleasant) to discover a component you bought years ago is actually better than you thought it was. Don't know why I forgot it had 7.1 inputs (been awhile since I'd used that mode I guess), but I really thought the amp only had 100 watts for the surround back channel(s), but it is in fact 100 per surround back channel. For some reason I thought it split the wattage when you had two surround back. Nope. Saweet. So even wattage all around. Great Pioneer mid-levlel receiver it was. Even lots of great reviews on the 'net.
EDIT: Talked to my friend more about Batman Begins. I guess he compared the soundtracks of both the DVD and HD-DVD, and he conceded it's just a different mix and has nothing to do with the format. I think he's just trying to justify to himself a jump into HD-DVD since HD-DVD is starting to approach affordability for him, and they have their act together already. I wonder if they used one of the sound mixes DTS would typically pick. Those tend to have better dialogue intelligibility and be less boomy for me.
Hi David, are you sure this is true? My understanding is that, if a BD is authored with BD-J advanced content, then any lossless audio has to be decoded by the player and the decoded PCM bitstream can then be passed out via HDMI (1.1 or above). That's why I've been holding out for a 2nd (or even 3rd) generation Blu-ray player that has on-board decoding for both DD TrueHD and DTS-HD.
Actually I've noticed that the lossless audio tracks on most BDs released so far tend to be either LPCM or DTS-HD. I can't recall seeing any mention of a DD TrueHD track on a BD. Do you know of any such BDs? I was wondering whether there is some kind of agreement in the industry not to use DD TrueHD on BDs?