Will current Surround Sound receivers be able to decode the new HD sound formats?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Darren Gross, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    I've read a bit that they'll sound much better and won't have any of the compression issues, BUT will you need to buy a new receiver to decode the HD and Bleu-Ray sound formats?
     
  2. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I believe that current receivers will be able to play Blu-Ray/HD-DVD audio but much like the video, if you don't have an HDMI equipped receiver, you will not get the full audio experience. Here is a link that explains more on this. http://www.dvdreview.com/html/road_to_hidef_2.html

    Here is an excerpt:

     
  3. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    See, I am not so sure about that. This is one reason why I am awaiting on the specs so much.

    Since the video will be mangled somewhat using component cables, I'd sort of expect that the audio would be that way to, but I don't expect to hear that much of a difference.

    Some of this stems from the fact that Macrovision is sort of a video encrypter, rather than audio and video. I can see some compression over coax/optical, but it might be better than what we have now.

    Also, there is the 6 channel audio option, that is used on the "new" DVD-A/SACD, which I still think is a mistake, but that is another story.

    Glenn
     
  4. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Right, you will be able to get audio on current receivers but it will not be the lossless quality of True Dolby Digital/DTS (or whatever it is they are calling it)
     
  5. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    What are you referring to, Glenn?
    Thanks.

    Old receivers & preamps will work with the new formats. Just as SD DVD players converted DD 24/48 5.1 to two channel analog, HD disc players will downconvert to what today's (soon to be yesterdays) pre/rec will handle.Today's pre/rec will not be able to handle digital HiRez lossless of either format, DTS HD or DD +.
    Stay tuned!
    At this time, to the best of my knowledge, multi-channel lossless will be HDMI only. Nothing is written in stone, however, at this point.
     
  6. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I just bought a brand new receiver. Are you telling me I should have bought one with HDMI?
     
  7. Chris Will

    Chris Will Supporting Actor

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    I don't like this at all. I do not like to pass my video signals through my receiver. I have plenty of inputs on my TV so I prefer to just send the video directly to the tv. I just like having all my video sources on separate inputs on the TV instead of 1 input from the receiver which is then used as a switcher. I just hope there is some other way to send these new audio formats then just HDMI. I do not want to be forced to send the video through the receiver b/c I doubt that any of the players will have 2 HDMI outputs (one for audio and one for video). The more I hear about these formats, the more it makes me want to stay away.
     
  8. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    The DVD players and receivers that have the 6 channel analog in/outs. I don't know what the limit on these lines are, but if they are better than the digital in/outs, we could get a sound quality that is somewhere betwwen what we get now and total lossless.

    Chris said it right in a different way. I don't want to have to buy a new receiver to get lossless, and since the digital 5.1 won't carry the load, maybe the analog 6 channel audio (like they use for SACD & DVDA) will - or something close to it. I still don't think that lossless is going to be that much better, and yes, my ears are still working!

    Glenn
     
  9. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

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    According to the dolby article that I read in widescreen review a few months ago:

    the player will decode and mix the audio, and then you have three choices:

    1) you can send it over coax/optical digital, but the quality won't be lossless. However, it will be better than dvd, because of the higher bit rate.

    2) you can send it over analog outputs, just like sacd/dvd-audio in which case you do get full lossless.

    3) you can send it over your hdmi 1.1 as pcm tracks, and then the receiver can apply bass managment, post processing and d/a conversion to it.

    Number 3 is the most desirable, but you have to find out from the manufacturer of your current hdmi receiver, what sort of processing/bass management is available to pcm tracks that come over hdmi.

    Starting with hdmi 1.3 later this year, you will be able to send the lossless info in native form to be decoded by future receivers, but what I found interesting was that the dolby guys were quite adamant about preferring that the player do decoding and mixing.

    Bottom line is: if I were shopping around for a receiver right now (though I prefer to wait), I would make sure that it

    1)has one hdmi output and at least two hdmi inputs
    2)make sure that it can pass 1080p through hdmi connection
    3)find out what it can do with pcm signals that come over the hdmi... any post processing modes? bass management?

    The last is the hardest and I have known people to get contradictory information from the same company on that issue
     
  10. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I have a Denon AVR-3805 that doesn't have HDMI, and I'm satisfied with the sound, so I don't plan on upgrading in the near future. I'm sure that the lossless formats will be a nice improvement, but I do think that current 5.1 sound is already very good. As James Cameron said in an interview, "The sound for home theater is already good enough, we need to work on the picture". That's the real appeal of the new HD formats for me- a better, more filmlike visual experience. The better technology on the audio side will be icing on the cake when I eventually get a new receiver(and that won't be for awhile!).
     
  11. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    I posted;

    Larry,
    Your 3805, one of the best bang for the buck receivers out there, has 6 channel analog inputs. You should be good to go!
     
  12. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    Y'know, I've never had any reason to use them, so I didn't realize they would be compatible with the new formats. Thanks for the info! [​IMG]
     
  13. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    It's a glass way more than 1/2 full.

    those of us without all the fancy new HDMI stuff on our receivers will get BETTER-THAN-DVD sound as new HD players will downconvert the high-res lossless to hi-bit-rate lossy for our gear, or you can run analog.

    IMPORTANT: GET A PLAYER THAT WILL DOWNCONVERT THE HI-RES/LOSSLESS DD AND DTS TO LOSSY VIA DIGITAL COAX. Cheap HD DVD players are already announced that won't do it...presumably forcing you to run analog (maybe 2 channel).



    Then get an HD player that has 2 HDMI outputs...one to your receiver and one to your display.
     
  14. Brian Osborne

    Brian Osborne Stunt Coordinator

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    Dont be in too much of a hurry to buy a reciever with HDMI switching. This is all new to a lot of manufaturers and I don't know that anything is perfected yet.
    There are problems with sourcing HDMI through recievers. HDCP seems to be an issue for some.
    In short, test before you spend a load of money on a new Amp. Hookup YOUR equipment and make sure the HDMI switching works as it is supposed to.
     
  15. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Thank you Stan! If that holds up I'll be way more than just happy. Now, if they can only end this stupid format war....

    As for cheap HD players, I think everybody here will be going though the specs very carefully. I don't think that the first gen players would be missing anything though. When the Wal*Mart ones arrive, I wonder if they will even have an HDMI out!?

    Isn't that a weird thought! [​IMG]

    Glenn
     
  16. Ken_F

    Ken_F Stunt Coordinator

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    This isn't accurate. Both the HD-DVD and Blu-ray standards require that every player offer DD or DTS output via digital spdif/optical. Moreover, every HD-DVD and Blu-ray disk is required to provide a legacy (lossy) DTS or DD stream for output through spdif/optical.
     
  17. Ken_F

    Ken_F Stunt Coordinator

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    A copy of my post from the other thread:

     
  18. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Ken,

    that is simply an outstanding explanation of all the details. You not only articulated everything with good technical accuracy, but clearly and easy to understand as well. I've been educated...

    [​IMG]



    But if the disc only has lossless DD or DTS doesn't the player need to have the appropriate decoder to convert this to "regular" DD/DTS for a standard receiver? I thought that some of those early HD-DVD players were foregoing the necessary decoder chips?
     
  19. Ken_F

    Ken_F Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I upgraded my receiver only last year and will not be doing so again just for this lossless sound...unless I hit the lottery![​IMG]
     

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