What's The Point of Built In Decoding?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Paul Thunder, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. Paul Thunder

    Paul Thunder Auditioning

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    A newbie question: I bought a DVD player that has built in DTS etc, mainly because it decodes DVD Audio. What possible purpose can this serve?

    Also, my player has started freezing and skipping, even on brand new source material - does anybody know of an easy fix for this, or is it headed for the repair shop?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Well, DVD-audio players allow you to play DVD-A discs in high resolution by using 6 analog connections to the pre-ins on your receiver.

    The on-board DD/DTS decoding was mainly for when people had older Pro-logic only receivers with pre-ins, they could buy a player with on-board decoding, run analog connections to the receiver and get full 5.1 without having to buy a new receiver to decode it.
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Reasons for DD and DTS decoders on a player with hi-res capability:

    1) A lot of the extras on dvd-audios--videos, interviews, bonus tracks--use the DD or DTS formats because they save a lot of disc space so the hi-rez music tracks will be able to comfortably fit. And also, by including the on-board decoder the user doesn't have to switch to the receiver's digital input when those extras are activated.

    2) I guessing here but: possibly the dvd-audio people realized that many people couldn't do the five-full-range speaker + sub thing, and putting the DD/DTS decoders, along with their associated bass management systems, would help those customers successfully play back their dvd-audios using the player's optional "video" playback mode. I know DD and DTS aren't technically hi-res but both can sound pretty good anyway (I've lost track of the unexpected comment written by many reviewers & customers that say the DTS tracks are nearly indistinguishable from the hi-res tracks). And frankly, for many people these formats fully serve their audio needs & they could care less about hi-res.

    I've written at length here about this before, but IMO it does seem that the surround format--due to a variety of subtle sonic processes--reduces the "load" on each individual speaker as far as reproducing fine detail, in turn allowing such a system to sound better than its stereo counterpart using the same quality of components. Doing a search on constructing a surround mix vs. a stereo mix will help yield answers to how I came up with this theory.

    LJ
     
  4. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Second Unit

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    Lance,

    I am by no means an expert on high-res music, but I know you are pretty knowledgeable. I have just started getting into DVD-A/SACD, and I agree that delegating the sound to 5 speakers instead of 2 adds a lot of clarity.

    Dark Side was the first disc I bought, and when "Breathe" kicked in, the first thought I had was so much clearer it sounded. I was impressed.

    I think I would be hard pressed to detect a difference between the DTS and 5.1 high-res track. I know some of the purists prefer the 2 channel high-res track, but I don't think I'd be very interested in DVD-A or SACD if it weren't for the surround aspect.

    --Nathan
     
  5. Adrian D

    Adrian D Stunt Coordinator

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    That is the exact reason I bought my first DVD player with on-board decoding. Actually, I still have it hooked up that way in my living room, and it works great.
     
  6. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Agree with all thats been said. I had a DVD Changer with built in DD which I used with my old school Marantz SR-96, then I bought a Pioneer 45a uni-player, connected to the same receiver.

    I suspect that, at least as far as uni-players are concerned, that adding on board DD and DTS is pretty cheap and easy to do, since there are already D/A stages to deal with DVD-A and SACD.

    And, it does give the user a one input solution.

    Having said that, I upgraded to a NAD 762, and find that the decoding of DD and DTS stuff is much better than in the changer or the Pioneer. I attribute most of that to being able to optimize Bass Management, but suffice to say that I now use the Pio's analog outs for DVD-A and SACD only. For DD and DTS, its digital to the NAD.

    BGL
     
  7. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    exactly.

    i agree that it seems redundant, but (for 5.1 systems, anyway), it does give you more choice as to how (or where) you want to do things. and everyone is going to do things differently or have different preferences. everyone's bass management situation will vary with every single piece of equipment involved here. choice is a good thing.

    just to illustrate how everyone's situation is different, unlike brian l, i prefer to use my player for all decoding and bass management, no matter what. granted, my denon3803 and denon2200's dacs aren't too different, if even different at all, and the player's fixed 80Hz xover is what i would run on the receiver, anyway, but in using my player's analog outputs and the receiver's multichannel inputs exclusively, i'm able to run my receiver in "pure direct" mode all the time.
     
  8. Paul Thunder

    Paul Thunder Auditioning

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    Thanks for the information. Any suggestions on the freezing problem?
     

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