Bitstream vs. Linear PCM - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 666 Old 11-07-2009, 10:45 PM
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Either his receiver can't or isn't set up to apply processing to multichannel PCM.

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post #452 of 666 Old 11-08-2009, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

Huh. What happens when you have settings greater than 2-channel LPCM selected? Still just 2-channels of sound? With your receiver, games shouldn't be putting out DD or DTS. They should be putting out multichannel PCM.

When i disable everything that has PCM in the title in Audio Output section it goes back to DD and DTS. But my receiver supports multichannel PCM.
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post #453 of 666 Old 11-08-2009, 02:44 AM
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Some things i noticed. When in video settings i choose bitstream through HDMI and i play a blu-ray with DTS-HD MA the receiver says DTS and also ps3 says DTS 1.5Mbps. When i change the bitstream value to Linear PCM the receiver says nothing and PS3 says DTS-HD MA 4.5Mbps -5.6Mbps on the bitrate info bar. When it comes to games Uncharted 2 on the receicer says DTS, Superstardust HD which is supposed to be in DTS says nothing and also the God of war 3 demo says nothing. IS there anything i can do? My receiver supports multichannel PCM. Please help/advise. Thanks a lot guys. I really appreciated it.
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post #454 of 666 Old 11-08-2009, 12:07 PM
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Anyone?
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post #455 of 666 Old 11-08-2009, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggp159 View Post

Anyone?

I'm assuming you don't have ps3 slim. When you bitstream w/ non slim modlel you receiver gets the core track (DTS-MA becomes DTS/True DD becomes DD). When you set it to pcm, the ps3 decodes the hd audio for you receiver and sends it pcm.

Apparently when you receiver gets pcm it goes blank. Since all games are in pcm, that's why it's blank when you play games as well.

Maybe you should talk to pioneers t/s, because this doesn't sound normal if your receiver does support multichannel pcm.

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post #456 of 666 Old 11-08-2009, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by zetram View Post

I'm assuming you don't have ps3 slim. When you bitstream w/ non slim modlel you receiver gets the core track (DTS-MA becomes DTS/True DD becomes DD). When you set it to pcm, the ps3 decodes the hd audio for you receiver and sends it pcm.

Apparently when you receiver gets pcm it goes blank. Since all games are in pcm, that's why it's blank when you play games as well.

Maybe you should talk to pioneers t/s, because this doesn't sound normal if your receiver does support multichannel pcm.

Thanks for the reply i run some more tests and its seems that i was one particular game that has the problem. Everything is fine now. The game was Bayonetta (Japanese import) and my system defaulted to the english soundtrack that is not DD5.1 or DTS. I have a question though. What is the advantage of having a ps3 slim for blu-ray audio. Just that the ps3 slim will pass the audio to the receiver in bitstream and not decode it itself to LPCM?
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post #457 of 666 Old 11-08-2009, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggp159 View Post

I have a question though. What is the advantage of having a ps3 slim for blu-ray audio. Just that the ps3 slim will pass the audio to the receiver in bitstream and not decode it itself to LPCM?

Exactly correct

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post #458 of 666 Old 11-09-2009, 10:40 AM
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Actually i did experiment with the game some more and found something interesting. When the ps3 automatically decides the audio formats everything is checked and the game reverts to PCM 2.0. If i deselect Linear PCM 5.1 frequencies 48,96,192khz and boot the game again the game now plays in DD 5.1 as it should. My receiver's manual says the it supports mutlichannel PCM from 32khz to 192khz. Even if i deselect the remaining frequencies for Linear 5.1 PCM(44.1-176.2) and select 48,96,192Khz the game still plays in PCM 2.0. Also tested the Casino Royale blu ray and the sound plays fine in Linear PCM 5.1 48Khz 4.6Mbps as the ps3 is reporting and the surrounds play just fine.So its not a problem with the receiver.What is going on? Can someone shed some light on this? Thanks again
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post #459 of 666 Old 11-09-2009, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggp159 View Post

Actually i did experiment with the game some more and found something interesting. When the ps3 automatically decides the audio formats everything is checked and the game reverts to PCM 2.0. If i deselect Linear PCM 5.1 frequencies 48,96,192khz and boot the game again the game now plays in DD 5.1 as it should. My receiver's manual says the it supports mutlichannel PCM from 32khz to 192khz. Even if i deselect the remaining frequencies for Linear 5.1 PCM(44.1-176.2) and select 48,96,192Khz the game still plays in PCM 2.0. Also tested the Casino Royale blu ray and the sound plays fine in Linear PCM 5.1 48Khz 4.6Mbps as the ps3 is reporting and the surrounds play just fine.So its not a problem with the receiver.What is going on? Can someone shed some light on this? Thanks again

Please someone enlighten me! thanks
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post #460 of 666 Old 11-09-2009, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggp159 View Post

I have a question though. What is the advantage of having a ps3 slim for blu-ray audio. Just that the ps3 slim will pass the audio to the receiver in bitstream and not decode it itself to LPCM?

The slim will pass the raw bitstream to the avr and the avr will decode the hi-def codecs. The advantage of this is some AVR's might sound better decoding the hi-def codecs themselves rather than the ps3 decoding and sending the LPCM signals to the AVR. With the ps3 slim you can decide which option you wish to use. With the phat, you only have one option...internal decoding by the ps3 itself.

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post #461 of 666 Old 11-09-2009, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggp159 View Post

Please someone enlighten me! thanks

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post #462 of 666 Old 12-02-2009, 08:42 AM
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I also have to agree. Have a stand alone JVC bluray to yamaha vx r663 to panasonic plasma. I set it to PCM because a couple of blurays would not convert to 7.1 audio with it set on bitstream. Left it liek that for awhile after I read there was no difference. Then I switched it back to bitstream and let the yamaha do the decoding. WOW unbelievable difference. Especially with True HD which could be send 7.1 by my reciever on bitstream. Switch player from PCM to bitstream and did it numerous times with different blurays and the sound difference was much richer and fuller with deeper bass and much better effects with The Matrix, Reloaded, Revolutions, and Twister. I don't know exactly why this is but there was no question about the sound difference. I even tried turning up the volume higher on PCM but the sound quality was just not there. Maybe it is player related...I dunno. But I am bitstreaming from now on.
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post #463 of 666 Old 12-02-2009, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnanne View Post

I also have to agree. Have a stand alone JVC bluray to yamaha vx r663 to panasonic plasma. I set it to PCM because a couple of blurays would not convert to 7.1 audio with it set on bitstream. Left it liek that for awhile after I read there was no difference. Then I switched it back to bitstream and let the yamaha do the decoding. WOW unbelievable difference. Especially with True HD which could be send 7.1 by my reciever on bitstream. Switch player from PCM to bitstream and did it numerous times with different blurays and the sound difference was much richer and fuller with deeper bass and much better effects with The Matrix, Reloaded, Revolutions, and Twister. I don't know exactly why this is but there was no question about the sound difference. I even tried turning up the volume higher on PCM but the sound quality was just not there. Maybe it is player related...I dunno. But I am bitstreaming from now on.

I also have the Yamaha 663 (running PS3 to it and have it hooked up to Polk speakers and a Panny plasma). I use the Linear PCM b/c that's what most recommended in this forum. Sounds great, but I'm going to have to check this out and see for myself. What speakers do you have?

*edit - b/c I'm using a PS3 and not a standalone bluray player, I'm going to guess the PCM is still the way to go, but I'm no expert here...

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post #464 of 666 Old 12-02-2009, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post

The slim will pass the raw bitstream to the avr and the avr will decode the hi-def codecs. The advantage of this is some AVR's might sound better decoding the hi-def codecs themselves rather than the ps3 decoding and sending the LPCM signals to the AVR. With the ps3 slim you can decide which option you wish to use. With the phat, you only have one option...internal decoding by the ps3 itself.

the most important benefit is the DTS MA or True HD lights turn on when using the slim!!!
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post #465 of 666 Old 12-02-2009, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnanne View Post

I also have to agree. Have a stand alone JVC bluray to yamaha vx r663 to panasonic plasma. I set it to PCM because a couple of blurays would not convert to 7.1 audio with it set on bitstream. Left it liek that for awhile after I read there was no difference. Then I switched it back to bitstream and let the yamaha do the decoding. WOW unbelievable difference. Especially with True HD which could be send 7.1 by my reciever on bitstream. Switch player from PCM to bitstream and did it numerous times with different blurays and the sound difference was much richer and fuller with deeper bass and much better effects with The Matrix, Reloaded, Revolutions, and Twister. I don't know exactly why this is but there was no question about the sound difference. I even tried turning up the volume higher on PCM but the sound quality was just not there. Maybe it is player related...I dunno. But I am bitstreaming from now on.

LPCM to the receiver is the proper and prescribed way to do Bluray audio, but of course some people like to see the TrueHD lights blink on on their receiver. I seriously doubt there is any measurable audio difference there unless your receiver is screwy.

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post #466 of 666 Old 12-04-2009, 10:37 AM
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I really don't care about the lights. At first I was happy to see them. Then I switched to PCM on my bluray and just saw PCM on my reciever. NO biggie and I listened to some good heavy scenes from some blurays. I kept tweaking my reciever and just was not happy with the sounds from the big scenes. Switched player back to pass through which allows bitstream to receiver and wow....I am serious big difference. I can't explain why unless my JVC player does some weird decoding that just does not sound as good. I dunno. But I am telling you had nothing to do with the pretty lights on the yammy. I have Klipsch F-2 fronts, synergy C2 center and 4 yamaha surrounds and a yamaha sub.
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post #467 of 666 Old 12-04-2009, 11:23 AM
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Some receivers don't apply the 10 db boost and bass management to the LFE channel from LPCM signals. Also, bitstream tends to be a bit higher then LPCM when referring to levels on your volume dial.

Not saying this is the case with your system, but with big action sequences, the above could lead to a perceived difference.

I've tried both with my setup, and with the exception of the slight volume level increase with bitstream, I haven't noticed an audible difference. Not to say there isn't one, as variables change with equipement and one's ears.

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post #468 of 666 Old 12-04-2009, 12:37 PM
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No I hear you and understand there should not be a difference but there is. I tried bumping up the volume when using PCM because I did notice the volume difference. But yeah still notice a vast improvement with bitstream. I would prefer PCM because I cannot use 7.1 with HD-MA. It works with True HD and sounds great. I am seriously confused but don't really care one way or the other. On one hand I know it should not make a difference if the player or receiver decodes but in this case I believe it does.
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post #469 of 666 Old 12-06-2009, 05:14 AM
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I wonder how you know if your receiver does not give the extra 10dbs boost and bass management to the LFE channel from LPCM?? I have a yamaha rx v663. I will check the manual but I doubt there is any info on that. Just weird to me how the sound difference (very noticeable bass difference for sure). Your logic makes sense in this case.
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post #470 of 666 Old 12-06-2009, 08:42 AM
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I have a Samsung 5 disc DVD player that I run my PS3 through via the HDMI input, then I output to my TV. I do notice that the bitstream is a little louder than PCM but should I stick with the recommended PCM for my setup? I watched Dark Knight and it sounds unbelievable. Then I popped in a game and left the setting on bitstream and my samsung displayed DTS as the audio. After about 20 minutes of game play, I loss sound. I then switched back to PCM and no audio is loss. Should I just let the PS3 automatically decode then?
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post #471 of 666 Old 12-11-2009, 07:44 AM
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I recently switched back to PCM to experiment a little more. I tired upping the volume and increasing the LFE channel a couple of Dbs. The sound now is more like what bitstream sounded like. Now I think there are the same but PCM is quieter with a little less LFE. So if this is increased you can achieve the same or very similar sound. I noticed while bitstreaming The Matrix the lip sync was off. It was actually pretty far off......but only with TrueHD not with regular DD. This prompted me to go back to PCM and make it work. I even have an HDMI lip sync controller on my receiver. Did not help. On or off the voices were off. Does not happen with PCM. I guess bitstreaming to the receiver is not as good due to these issues and a lack on receiver control (no 7 channel matrixing while bitstreaming HD-MA.) I am now back on the PCM bandwagon.
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post #472 of 666 Old 12-11-2009, 10:31 AM
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The PS3 also automatically applies compression to HDMI audio to "even out" volume highs and lows. This is on by default and can be switched off under Video Options on the XMB (why it's on by defaults, and not under audio options, is beyond me.)

I'm not sure if using bitstream outputs bypasses this compression (it shouldn't) but that could also be an issue...haven't tested myself.

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post #473 of 666 Old 01-14-2010, 05:09 PM
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i was gonna make a new thread but i found this one here, i guess i'll ask here then just make a new one if i cant get an answer

Im very confused on the whole PCM/Vitstream thing. I've looked though some of the other posts and flipped through the last few pages here but im really not sure what to do

heres my setup, older PS3 with the latest software update, Pioneer elite sc-05. 5.1 setup with Def tech bp7004 towers, clr2002 center, and bp2x rears and an elemental design a5-350 sub


First and formost: what exactly is the difference between Bitstream and Linear PCM If i understand right Bitstream just streams it directly unaltered to your reciever, while PCM .. does what, compress it? That makes no sense to me because i always thought you wanted the most uncompressed clean signal. However most people seem to think PCM is the way to go, wouldn't bitstream be the best bet if this is the case? Im very confused, can someone clarify this for me

I am trying to figure out if i should use linear PCM or Bitstream. my ps3 is used mostly for gaming and some for blu ray. What would you guys sugest? it seems most people want PCM

theres a couple issues with PCM im seeing brought up though

1) does it always output to 7.1 for games? I think i read in one thread that theres a problem where it always outputs 7.1 for games or something, is that true? i notice on my receiver its showing 7.1 even though its a 5.1 setup. What gives? Am i losing audio with this? Thats probably the biggest concern with it showing 7.1. I notice with movies its actually showing 5.1.

2)if thats the case and it outputs 7.1 for games, would going into audio setup and unchecking all 7.1 outputs fix this and let it output 5.1 correctly, or would i lose audio that was supposed to go to the back 2 channels? right now its on automatic setup which incluced 7.1 i believe

2) How do i find out if my receiver does multi channel PCM? Im wondering if that has something to do with it showing 7.1 for games. Im pretty sure i read somewhere where pcm will have problems if your reciever doesn't do MCPCM. All it says on my reciever when i use linear PCM is "PCM" If i put it on bitstream it shows DD or something else.

3) how do you guys find out what the system is outputing to? i see people reporting what channels its outputting on and even what rate its streaming at. I cant seem to see an option for that. Can you check it durring games at all? I know pushing triangle durring movies lets you change from bitstream to PCM but thats all i noticed. I m not sure how to check the output or how to switch it in games. The only way i was able to tell it was outputing to 7.1 when gaming instead of the 5.1 it should is my reciever has an icon on the to left showing the different active channels. But i see no indicator for the Kbs or whatever its called rating

Im just trying to figure out what route i should go for for primarily gaming, and whats up with this 7.1/5.1 problem. Hopefully someone can help straighten this out
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post #474 of 666 Old 01-14-2010, 10:54 PM
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i'm going to try and make this simple as possible. bitstream will do DD and DTS which most ps3 games use for sound. blu-ray movies use pcm audio/hd audio dts-hd audio and can only be sent by hdmi to hear all 5.1 channels and up, because of the high bandwidth. most DD, DTS bitsream tracks are around 1.5 mbs were PCM/HD audio is usually around 4.5 mbs and if you have a receiver that has hdmi and can decode the HD audio track(your ps3 can do this as well) it will sound better then DD or dts ( you can view this while watching a blu-ray if you hit select button and look at the top right hand corner, it will show the sound type and the bit rate and also the video codec and bit rate as well.) if you use hdmi for ps3 games your receiver will still use multi speakers for sound it just wont be DD ,but if your have a good receiver with a good processor the sound will be very good via hdmi. i have an onkyo tx-sr604 and my ps3 games sound awesome. pcm/hd audio is much better then DD/ dts. i hope this help clear things up.
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post #475 of 666 Old 01-15-2010, 05:59 AM
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Based on your setup, I'll make this super easy for you - LPCM everything.

I basically have the same receiver (SC-07), and have used it with my old PS3 Phatty that sent signals via LPCM, and a new Slim that bitstreams (games should always be PCM, but the Slim outputs HD codecs via bitstream so the receiver can decode the signal - the PS3 Phat does not and should always be set to LPCM). You can go into the PS3 setting and only select outputs at 5.1, but that shouldn't make a difference. Signals required for 5.1 are still being sent out with 7.1 signals.

Since you have a pretty sweet AVR, I suggest you check out the AMP section and take a look at the SC-05/07 thread. The first page of the thread has tons of links to useful information for getting the most out of that puppy.

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post #476 of 666 Old 01-15-2010, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigdaddye View Post

blu-ray movies use pcm audio/hd audio dts-hd audio and can only be sent by hdmi to hear all 5.1 channels and up, because of the high bandwidth.

That statement is a bit misleading. I'd restate it as:

Blu-ray movies CAN use linear PCM/hd audio or DTS-HD audio, in addition to the older Dolby Digital and DTS audio formats.

The way you wrote it, makes it sound like your HTR has to support multi-chan PCM and/or DTS-HD.

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post #477 of 666 Old 01-15-2010, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valence01 View Post

That statement is a bit misleading. I'd restate it as:

Blu-ray movies CAN use linear PCM/hd audio or DTS-HD audio, in addition to the older Dolby Digital and DTS audio formats.

The way you wrote it, makes it sound like your HTR has to support multi-chan PCM and/or DTS-HD.

P.J.

correct i was trying to make the point of which is better and why. pretty sure 98% of blu-rays have both hd/pcm audio and DD/DTS ,but the pcm/hd audio is better. thanks
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post #478 of 666 Old 01-16-2010, 12:39 PM
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hmm still not clear on the real difference between bitstream and PCM. All im hearing is that suposedly PCM has a higher MBS rate or something but i dont get what the actual difference is in how they play. As i said earlier from what i read bitstream outputs the audio data directly while PCM decodes it in the player and puts it out as a different higher bit rate stream.. is this correct or not? I always thought 'pure unaltered' audio was the best bet which makes me wonder why everyone likes PCM if its mucking with the audio for TRue HD tracks and the like

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i'm going to try and make this simple as possible. bitstream will do DD and DTS which most ps3 games use for sound. blu-ray movies use pcm audio/hd audio dts-hd audio and can only be sent by hdmi to hear all 5.1 channels and up, because of the high bandwidth. most DD, DTS bitsream tracks are around 1.5 mbs were PCM/HD audio is usually around 4.5 mbs and if you have a receiver that has hdmi and can decode the HD audio track(your ps3 can do this as well) it will sound better then DD or dts ( you can view this while watching a blu-ray if you hit select button and look at the top right hand corner, it will show the sound type and the bit rate and also the video codec and bit rate as well.) if you use hdmi for ps3 games your receiver will still use multi speakers for sound it just wont be DD ,but if your have a good receiver with a good processor the sound will be very good via hdmi. i have an onkyo tx-sr604 and my ps3 games sound awesome. pcm/hd audio is much better then DD/ dts. i hope this help clear things up.


see thats the thing. The brief testing i did with just kung fu panda had me switching from PCM to Bitstream with dolby Tru HD. And i'll be damned if bitstream didn't sound better. I tried the select thing and the mbs was higher with PCM but it sounded louder and crisper with bitstream. This is what makes no sense to me.

Shouldn't the PCM sound better? It has a higher bit rate. One thing i noticed was when i switched to bitstream my reciever flashed with Dnorm +4 or something briefly. Im not sure what that means, but it didn't do that when its on PCM


Quote:
Originally Posted by Valence01 View Post

That statement is a bit misleading. I'd restate it as:

Blu-ray movies CAN use linear PCM/hd audio or DTS-HD audio, in addition to the older Dolby Digital and DTS audio formats.

The way you wrote it, makes it sound like your HTR has to support multi-chan PCM and/or DTS-HD.

P.J.

If PCm supports DD and DTS and the like, whey doesn't it just show that thats whats playing instead of just having PCM on the reciever display? Thats what seems to be confusing the hell outa me. In theory from what im reading PCM has a higher bit rate so it should sound better, but the brief testing makes bitstream sound better. Bitstream supposedly streams stuff unchanged direct to the reciever so i would THINK that would be preferable over PCM which seems to screw with the audio before sending it out. I guess im not seeing what makes PCM so much better other than a higher bitrate. If its not playing the codecs right isn't that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ballen420 View Post

Based on your setup, I'll make this super easy for you - LPCM everything.

I basically have the same receiver (SC-07), and have used it with my old PS3 Phatty that sent signals via LPCM, and a new Slim that bitstreams (games should always be PCM, but the Slim outputs HD codecs via bitstream so the receiver can decode the signal - the PS3 Phat does not and should always be set to LPCM). You can go into the PS3 setting and only select outputs at 5.1, but that shouldn't make a difference. Signals required for 5.1 are still being sent out with 7.1 signals.

Since you have a pretty sweet AVR, I suggest you check out the AMP section and take a look at the SC-05/07 thread. The first page of the thread has tons of links to useful information for getting the most out of that puppy.

see thats the thing, it DOESNT output to 5.1 correctly. At least not for games when i just let it do auto detect for the audio and it grabs everything up to 7.1. If i play a movie it will set it to 5.1, but with games its always showing 7.1 on the reciever and im not sure if im losing audio I guess it would be best to just go in and manually disable the 7.1 options then?

Also you mention that the PS3 fat doesn't do bitstream for HD codecs.. but it doesn't doesn't it? The latest patch lets you select bitstream for the HDMI audio


I want to clarify something btw. All this bitstream/PCm thing ONLY applies to BD movies right? It seems like for games it will always do PCM no matter what i select. If thats the case then why do games just list DTS and dolby digitial options? Am i not getting those on pcm? I think i remember uncharted had an actual option in game to switch it to DD which would change my recievers display to DD instead of PCM. I could have sworn this actually sounded better too. Whats going on there? This is probably one of my biggest concerns. Why would a game let you switch to dolby digital option if PCM is the default for all games and should sound better?


ungh this is giving me a headache.

oh ya, anyone know the answer to number 2

2) How do i find out if my receiver does multi channel PCM? Im pretty sure i read somewhere where pcm will have problems if your reciever doesn't do MCPCM. All it says on my reciever when i use linear PCM is "PCM" If i put it on bitstream it shows DD or something else. Shouldn't it say MCPCM? Maybe ballen knows since he has the next step up from my reciever? If it didn't do MCPCM would i only be gettin stereo or what?
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one more thing ont he whole 5.1/7.1 thing with games

over on another thread someone said this

"If I recall correctly, when playing CD's, games, etc, when set to PCM, the PS3 sends out all content with the max # of channels the receiver can handle, not how many speakers you have hooked up... it's a problem since you can't up-mix a CD to 7.1, for example... you can uncheck the PCM formats it will output, but that is an issue for true 7.1 content."

so if i uncheck 7.1 in the audio options would i actually be losing audio? This is real annoying, i dont get why it doesn't just auto set it to 5.1 for games like it does with movies, this sounds like a bug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshin-dono View Post

hmm still not clear on the real difference between bitstream and PCM. All im hearing is that suposedly PCM has a higher MBS rate or something but i dont get what the actual difference is in how they play. As i said earlier from what i read bitstream outputs the audio data directly while PCM decodes it in the player and puts it out as a different higher bit rate stream.. is this correct or not? I always thought 'pure unaltered' audio was the best bet which makes me wonder why everyone likes PCM if its mucking with the audio for TRue HD tracks and the like




see thats the thing. The brief testing i did with just kung fu panda had me switching from PCM to Bitstream with dolby Tru HD. And i'll be damned if bitstream didn't sound better. I tried the select thing and the mbs was higher with PCM but it sounded louder and crisper with bitstream. This is what makes no sense to me.

Shouldn't the PCM sound better? It has a higher bit rate. One thing i noticed was when i switched to bitstream my reciever flashed with Dnorm +4 or something briefly. Im not sure what that means, but it didn't do that when its on PCM




If PCm supports DD and DTS and the like, whey doesn't it just show that thats whats playing instead of just having PCM on the reciever display? Thats what seems to be confusing the hell outa me. In theory from what im reading PCM has a higher bit rate so it should sound better, but the brief testing makes bitstream sound better. Bitstream supposedly streams stuff unchanged direct to the reciever so i would THINK that would be preferable over PCM which seems to screw with the audio before sending it out. I guess im not seeing what makes PCM so much better other than a higher bitrate. If its not playing the codecs right isn't that bad?



see thats the thing, it DOESNT output to 5.1 correctly. At least not for games when i just let it do auto detect for the audio and it grabs everything up to 7.1. If i play a movie it will set it to 5.1, but with games its always showing 7.1 on the reciever and im not sure if im losing audio I guess it would be best to just go in and manually disable the 7.1 options then?

Also you mention that the PS3 fat doesn't do bitstream for HD codecs.. but it doesn't doesn't it? The latest patch lets you select bitstream for the HDMI audio


I want to clarify something btw. All this bitstream/PCm thing ONLY applies to BD movies right? It seems like for games it will always do PCM no matter what i select. If thats the case then why do games just list DTS and dolby digitial options? Am i not getting those on pcm? I think i remember uncharted had an actual option in game to switch it to DD which would change my recievers display to DD instead of PCM. I could have sworn this actually sounded better too. Whats going on there? This is probably one of my biggest concerns. Why would a game let you switch to dolby digital option if PCM is the default for all games and should sound better?


ungh this is giving me a headache.

oh ya, anyone know the answer to number 2

2) How do i find out if my receiver does multi channel PCM? Im pretty sure i read somewhere where pcm will have problems if your reciever doesn't do MCPCM. All it says on my reciever when i use linear PCM is "PCM" If i put it on bitstream it shows DD or something else. Shouldn't it say MCPCM? Maybe ballen knows since he has the next step up from my reciever? If it didn't do MCPCM would i only be gettin stereo or what?

To make it simple, the difference between bitstream and PCM, is where the audio is getting decoded. If you choose PCM, audio gets decoded from DD5.1 or DTS 5.1 or DTS-HD or whatever, to PCM and then gets sent over the audio portion of HDMI to your receiver where it's converted from digital to analog and played over your speakers. If you choose bitstream, the audio track in DD5.1, DTS 5.1, DTS-HD or whatever, gets sent directly to your receiver over the audio portion of HDMI. There it gets decoded to PCM, converted from digital to analog and played over your speakers.

So really, the choice is simply a matter of where you want the audio decoded. In some cases your receiver may not support one or another audio format and the PS3 does. So, you would choose PCM so that the PS3 would decode the audio and send it to the receiver.

I should point out that it's quite difficult to do an objective comparison between the two, if there is ANY difference in volume between the 2 cases, as listeners invariably pick the louder one as being better sounding. Ideally, whether you chose PCM or bitstream, it should sound identical.

To your question of why the receiver is just displaying PCM instead of telling you that it's DD5.1 or DTS5.1, the receiver cannot possibly know the origin of the soundtrack that was decoded by the PS3. All the receiver can know is that it is receiving multi-channel PCM. The PS3 does know and there is an overlay menu somewhere that will tell you the format of the audio track that is currently being decoded and sent as PCM to the receiver. If you want your receiver to display DD5.1 or whatever, then you must configure the PS3 to send bitstream. Then the receiver will know what is the format of the original audio track, since in that case, the PS3 sends the audio track precisely as it is read from disk with no decoding at all.

Bitstream vs PCM applies to Bluray and SD DVDs. I don't remember offhand if it applies to games also. I would think that it does.

As to whether your receiver does multi-channel PCM or just 2 channel, I would say that you ought to be able to hear the difference. Set the PS3 to PCM and play a movie, selecting DD5.1 or DTS5.1 or something multi-channel and listen, if you don't hear anything different from the rear speakers, then assuming you don't have any post-processing (dolby prologic, etc) enabled in the receiver, your receiver does not support multi-channel PCM and the PS3 is down-mixing multi-channel to 2 channel PCM and sending that to your receiver. When the PS3 and your receiver do their HDMI handshake thing, your receiver reports to the PS3 what audio formats it supports. It's very trivial technically, to support multi-channel PCM, but I wouldn't be surprised if some receivers don't support it in which case, the PS3 is forced to downmix to 2 channel stereo PCM, if you've config'd the PS3 to do the decoding by choosing PCM. If you choose bitstream, then the PS3 will send the audio track format or your choice, but it shouldn't allow you to select a format that your receiver does not support.

P.J.
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