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Purchasing first Blu-ray player questions? (1 Viewer)

T r o y

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I've been out of the HT game for awhile.
I may be jumping into blu-ray very soon, and need suggestions on a moderately priced player. I don't want to spend a ton of money on one but one that does the following.
Internal decoding of HD lossless bitstream and analog audio outputs 5.1.

My system consists of the following equipment:
YAMAHA DSP-A1
OUTLAW 5 CH. AMP
DVDO SCALER
MITISIBISHI HD-1500 DLP PROJ.
TAW DVD PLAYER

What do I need to do in order to be able to listen to the HD lossless soundtracks on blu-ray discs? What about the video side? what connection ? HDMI cable directly from projector to my new blu-ray player and that's it?

Thanks guys for the help.
Troy
 

Matt Hough

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My first choice with your equipment would be the Panasonic 55. Second choice would be the Sony 550. Both offer analog inputs and internal decoding of the advanced sound codecs. Yes, HDMI directly to your projector.
 

T r o y

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Dave and Matt,

I haven't looked behind my DSP-A1 in quite some time, but do one of you know if the DSP-A1 has 5.1 ch. inputs ? I take it it does or else you wouldn't recommend a player that offers 5.1 ch. outputs.

Also, what's yall's take on the sound comparison improvement between
HD lossless DD /DTS vs. the compressed DD/DTS sound on standard dvd?
Is it really worth the extra money you spend on a blu-ray w/ 5.1 ch. outputs + internal sound processing?

Thanks so much,
TroyH
 

Clinton McClure

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Troy, the DSP-A1 does not have HDMI so it cannot receive and decode lossless HD audio from the BD player. It does, however, have 5.1 channel analog inputs so the above mentioned players can internally decode the HD audio from BD discs and send that audio via analog LPCM to the DSP-A1.

As far as the difference in sound... To my ears, it's a night and day difference.
 

Matt Hough

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I agree about the difference in sound quality. What I have most noticed is a much wider expanse in the sound and with a clarity and expressiveness that far surpasses standard DD and DTS.
 

T r o y

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Since I won't be able to pull the HD sound off the BR disc using Hdmi connection, how will the sound be hearing it in LPCM vs. HDMI?
Thanks
Troy
 

Kevin Stewart

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HD audio via HDMI and HD audio via analog should sound the same.

There's adjustments you'll have to make in terms of bass output (it will automatically be 10db lower), but once that's adjusted you'll be fine.
 

Clinton McClure

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Yeah, I'm not sure if the DSP-A1 has analog input bass management, but my Yamaha RX-V995 which came out at the same time does not. Like Kevin noted, I calibrated all my speakers 10dB soft so my sub sounds proper.
 

T r o y

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Clinton or anyone,
That's another question I guess I have. Since my DSP-A1 does not have bass management thru it's analog inputs. What do you suggest I need to do to calibrate all of my speaker levels with the new Sony BDP-S550 connected to my system. Also what about calibrating my Mitsubishi HC-1500 with the new
blu-ray signal being sent to it. Anything special I need to do on that end.

So basically what do I need to do calibration wise on the video and audio end of things once I buy my blu-ray player??

Thanks guys for any and all advice,
Troy
 

Clinton McClure

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As far as the projector, a professional ISF calibration is always best. If that is not in your budget, however, pick up a copy of Digital Video Essentials on Blu-Ray which will walk you through proper calibration. I've never calibrated a projector so I'm not sure how much it differs from direct view and projection televisions in that respect. Perhaps a projector owner or one of our pro calibrators (Michael TLV or Gregg Loewen) can help out here.

The disc will also have audio signals which you can use to calibrate your speakers. I am not familiar enough with the S550 to know if it has adjustable level controls in the set-up menu or if it's like my Sony BDP-S300 which only turns speakers on and off, but has no distance or level control. Others should know more about your BD player model.

You will also need an analog SPL meter from Radio Shack. I think they still run about $15 or so. Set it for slow response and "C" weighting. Put it at the listening position at ear height and pointed up about 45 degrees. It's easier to do if you get a small camera tripod to put it on. I picked one up from WalMart for a few dollars.

Basically, the way I calibrated my RX-V995 was to go into it's audio set-up mode and select -10dB for the main levels. This dropped my front L&R 10dB from everything else. I then found 72dB by playing the white noise test on the Video Essentials disc and adjusted my center and surrounds to 72dB. I like a bit more LFE so I calibrated my sub to 82dB.

Let us know if there's anything you still can't figure out or if you have any more questions.
 

Scott Merryfield

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An analog SPL meter from Radio Shack is $45. Here is a link to the current model, which looks a little different than mine, which I bought many years ago for around $30. An SPL meter is a very useful tool, and is well worth the expense.
 

Clinton McClure

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Wow! I had no idea they had shot up that much. I bought mine 7 or 8 years ago (I think) for only $15. Who would have thought the price would have tripled for the same technology...
 

T r o y

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Guys one more question...

I was checking out the S550 online manual on Sony's website regarding the audio setup for the multi-channel output. I will be connecting the S550's analog multi channel outputs to my Yamaha DSP-A1. The S550 has a setup for the speaker distance, test tone, speaker level ,etc.
Does setting up your speakers thru the S550 bypass your settings you have setup in your receiver ? I've already setup my speaker settings in my DSP-A1 for level , distance, etc. Does one bypass the other?

Please give me any advice you can offer,
Regards,
Troy
 

Scott Merryfield

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Troy,

Most receivers do no processing -- bass management, level settings, delays, etc. -- on the multi-channel analog inputs, so the settings on the Sony BDP-S550 would take precedence. That is the downside to using multi-channel analog inputs -- you lose all the processing power of your receiver.
 

Charlie Campisi

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To add to what Scott said, you do lose the processing power of your receiver. If your receiver has a calibration mic for instance that you used for setup, you'll have to use your own spl meter to calibrate with the S550. Your results for distance and levels of the speakers should all be fine with one exception ... there is no onboard control for the subwoofer crossover in the S550. You just set your speaks to small and select 'yes' for the sub and rely on it to do its job. I'm pretty happy with how it sounds, but the center came out a bit low and the sub a bit boomy, so I adjusted it to where I thought it sounded right after watching a few movies.
 

T r o y

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Charlie or Scott,

Just making sure what to do here once I get the S550.
So basically I'm setting up the S550 pretty much as if it were a receiver correct ? In terms of using it's test tones, speaker levels, distance setup on it's menu. Go ahead and do that . Now you say I should still use an analog SPL meter to calibrate the speaker volume level to say... what 75 db ?
My current speaker setup now is set to Large on my front mains (Klipsch KLF20's) Center KLF-C7 ( too large) and my rear speakers to small.
So still use the meter to calibrate the speakers level output to 75db.?
please provide any more info on this,
Thanks
Troy
 

Charlie Campisi

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Agreed. That's what I did. The only annoying thing about the calibration is that the S550 can only adjust levels down. Makes sense, since there is no amplifier. But the practical effect that most people are seeing is that it requires you to increase the level on your sub. So, I had to turn the dial on my sub to get it right, which then threw off my levels when watching tv from my satellite box, so those had to be recalibrated. And then, I thought the result was a little too boomy despite the SPL meter saying I was at the right levels. Not a huge deal if you know your way round your calibration discs and component menus, but it took a little longer than the 15 minutes I was expecting.
 

T r o y

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Should I also calibrate my sub to 75db as well?
Do I need to fool with buying a video calibration disc like VE HD version to help tweak my audio or does that even matter any more since I'm having to bypass my receiver's processing controls and use solely the sony BR player while audio tweaking my sound?

Troy
 

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