Direct Multi-channel connection vs HDMI - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking to upgrade my a/v system.
Currently have a Sony STR-DE897 receiver and a Sony DVP-NS775V cd/sacd/dvd player connected via multi-channel out to multi-channel in using the 6 separate audio cables.
The sound separation is sooooo outstanding on this. You can hear every single little tidbit sound.

So my question is this. Got a Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray as a birthday present (wife was told it plays SACD also) and it does. But of course, it does not have the 6 separate outputs for the multi-channel. It uses HDMI but my receiver does not have HDMI inputs. Bottom line is this... will a new quality Sony (or comparable) receiver with HDMI inputs have the same quality sound as my 6 line direct connect current set up by using HDMI instead?

Thanks.
Edit: sorry if this is the wrong forum for this. Didn't know if it is or not.

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post #2 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 03:29 PM
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Almost any $700-1000 receiver will be better th
an your Sony.
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Almost any $700-1000 receiver will be better th
an your Sony.

Sorry, but that's not the answer I'm seeking.
The question is "Is HDMI a better audio connection than my 6 line multi-channel hook up".

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post #4 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrick8 View Post

Bottom line is this... will a new quality Sony (or comparable) receiver with HDMI inputs have the same quality sound as my 6 line direct connect current set up by using HDMI instead?

Yes.

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post #5 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 04:10 PM
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This is really subjective as there really is no clear concise answer to this.
This is like asking if an analog connection is better than a digital connection.
Some like the sound of an analog connection some like the digital sound.
Same goes for music media as some prefer vinyl over digital cd's or SACD's.
Personally I'm a digital guy and like using digital connections whether it's HDMI or Denon Link (Denon's own priority digital link.)
As long as your player bit-streams to your receiver using HDMI and there is no down res conversion going on in your receiver it should sound excellent.
Another advantage to using HDMI or Denon link is you don't have to use all those analog interconnects and you don't have to boost the LFE in your receiver by +15.


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post #6 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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That was my main concern. As long as the HDMI allows the separation in the speakers as my direct input of the 6 separate lines does now, I will love getting rid of the extra cables.

I appreciate the responses.

Rick

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post #7 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 05:36 PM
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The audio processing is the same with analog and digital. The only difference is where the processing is done. With analog, it happens in the player. With digital, it happens in the receiver.

The source material is digital coming off the disc. It gets decoded and processed (things like bass management and distance adjustments) and then it gets converted to analog to drive the speakers. With your current set-up, the player is doing all of the processing and the digital-analog conversion. Your receiver is just an amp. With HDMI, your receiver will do everything.

It's usually better to have the receiver handle the processing, but only because most receivers have better tools than most players. For example, player bass management is generally limited to a single fixed crossover in the 100-120Hz range. And players don't do any sort of room correction.
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

With your current set-up, the player is doing all of the processing and the digital-analog conversion. Your receiver is just an amp. With HDMI, your receiver will do everything.

Not necessarily. Not many receivers will accept direct DSD input from a SACD player. You'll most likely have to set the s570 DSD Output mode to "off" which means the Blu-ray player will be doing the decoding not the reciever.

To your original question though, you do not "lose" any channels or music details by connecting via HDMI vs. the 6 line direct. HDMI is not only more convienient, overall it is a better way to transfer audio signals.

Also keep in mind on the s570 there are settings for Super Audio CD Playback. Make sure you have it set to play the Super Audio CD layer NOT the CD layer. Also there is a setting for reading the 2CH layer vs. Multichannel layer.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricky_rocket View Post

Not necessarily. Not many receivers will accept direct DSD input from a SACD player. You'll most likely have to set the s570 DSD Output mode to "off" which means the Blu-ray player will be doing the decoding not the reciever.

Yes. I didn't want to get into all of the intracacies of DSD processing since it didn't seem to be the question the OP was asking. But, you are correct that even with HDMI, the player may need to convert DSD to PCM prior to transmission, depending on the capabilities of the processor.
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Yes. I didn't want to get into all of the intracacies of DSD processing since it didn't seem to be the question the OP was asking. But, you are correct that even with HDMI, the player may need to convert DSD to PCM prior to transmission, depending on the capabilities of the processor.


Is some cases it's better to do decoding (from bitstream to PCM) in player and all postprocessing like bass management, delays, room correction in receiver. Some bitstream processing requires a lot of CPU power (i.e. DTS-HD MA) and receiver may not have enough CPU resources to do both without compromises. HDMI in this case carries PCM data regardless of source material.
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Is some cases it's better to do decoding (from bitstream to PCM) in player and all postprocessing like bass management, delays, room correction in receiver. Some bitstream processing requires a lot of CPU power (i.e. DTS-HD MA) and receiver may not have enough CPU resources to do both without compromises. HDMI in this case carries PCM data regardless of source material.

With digital transmission, bass management and other such functions almost always happen in the receiver regardless of where the decoding takes place. While players may do the decoding, very few of them do any added processing when outputting PCM over HDMI.

But, yes, it is true that some AVRs lack the horsepower power to decode lossless and apply post-decoding DSPs. In those cases, player decoding is the way to go. Player decoding also facilitates secondary audio.
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-26-2010, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Again, I appreciate the responses.
Believe I'll go with the Pioneer VSX-1020-K
Looks like a lot of bang for under $500 with most reviews comparing it to units over $1K.

Rick

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post #13 of 20 Old 07-26-2010, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrick8 View Post

Again, I appreciate the responses.
Believe I'll go with the Pioneer VSX-1020-K
Looks like a lot of bang for under $500 with most reviews comparing it to units over $1K.

The Onkyo's are another good budget receiver.
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-28-2010, 10:50 AM
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The Onkyo's are another good budget receiver.

Also, you can get a good deal by shopping for an Onyko model from a year or two back (2008 or 2009) rather than the very latest. The following 2008 and 2009 Onkyo might be of interest (in your price range, and have a good set of audio calibration and processing features):

TX-SR707
TX-NR807
TX-SR706
TX-SR806
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post #15 of 20 Old 08-11-2010, 04:31 PM
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^^^^^^

Go to www.accessories4less.com and buy an Onkyo receiver you wont regret it...
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post #16 of 20 Old 08-12-2010, 07:44 PM
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There used to be some concerns about jitter over HDMI but I dont notice any issues when listening to Hig Rez via HDMI on my rig. The only difference is that most of the time you cant use room correction if listening via multi channel analog. Some will argue that Audessey is a must etc.

To be honest my speakers sound better raw I do have minimal room treatments though and I believe this is the proper way to handle any room issues. Bass correction however is a different story and is essential if one is to get good sound (very difficult to treat with traps etc.) - I do this with a Velodyne SMS-1 and it works just fine.
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post #17 of 20 Old 08-22-2010, 03:09 PM
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I think analog multichannel sounds far better on SACD and DVD-A. Everything else is great on HDMI.

Wishing I could post in the Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+)

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post #18 of 20 Old 08-22-2010, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gferrell View Post

I think analog multichannel sounds far better on SACD and DVD-A. Everything else is great on HDMI.

Having just come from an analog multi-channel system to a completely digital system, I experienced the complete opposite.
I think DSD multi-direct sounds the best for SACD and multi-channel direct sounds best for DVD-A.


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post #19 of 20 Old 08-23-2010, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by gferrell View Post

I think analog multichannel sounds far better on SACD and DVD-A. Everything else is great on HDMI.

Meaningless statement without details on what's doing the digital-to-analog conversion and the audio processing in each case. Because it's all digital on the disc and analog by the time you hear it, so the only possible explanation for any audible difference is in the equipment and how it's set up.

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post #20 of 20 Old 08-26-2010, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by gferrell View Post

I think analog multichannel sounds far better on SACD and DVD-A. Everything else is great on HDMI.

This statements is an example of "to each his own". I have the exact opposite experience with my setup. I have a Denon AVR 3310 and just bought an HK DVD 48 so I can play dvd-a through both 6-channel analog or HDMI and SACD's through 6-channel analog only. I also have a PS3 that can play SACD's through HDMI only.

My findings:

DVD-A's sound much better when set up through HDMI with my 3310 processing the PCM versus 6-channel analog processed by the HK DVD 48. The SACD's sound much better played through my PS3 via HDMI versus the HK DVD 48 which can only play multi-channel through 6 channel analog cable through the EXT. IN connection, so there's no processing done by the 3310. Hope this all makes sense.
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