Analog multichannel outputs? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-02-2008, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been thinking about getting a PS3 as a Blu-ray player, but apparently the PS3's lack of analog multichannel outputs is making a lot of people get a standalone player (or so I hear).

So, what exactly are analog multichannel outputs?

edit - Sorry, PS3/Blu-ray would go here, but I'm not sure if this is the right forum for my particular question, d'oh.
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-02-2008, 07:57 AM
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Same thing they are on many SD-DVD players and SACD / DVD Audio players..

The player can output multi-channel audio where it does the decoding and PCM to analog conversion (DAC) and then there is an analog output, one for each channel. 6 individual outputs for 5.1, 8 individual outputs for 7.1....
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-02-2008, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgsooner View Post

I've been thinking about getting a PS3 as a Blu-ray player, but apparently the PS3's lack of analog multichannel outputs is making a lot of people get a standalone player (or so I hear).

So, what exactly are analog multichannel outputs?

edit - Sorry, PS3/Blu-ray would go here, but I'm not sure if this is the right forum for my particular question, d'oh.

Normally, BD players are connected via HDMI or conventional digital audio to a device, such as an AV receiver, that will either decode raw bitstreams of multichannel and other audio sent from the player, or process already-decoded multichannel or other audio as Linear PCM sent from the player.

With multichannel analog outputs, a player decodes all codecs internally and converts the sound from digital to analog, sending each audio channel individually to an analog output.

These outputs can then be connected to any line-level input. You could use a receiver or pre-amplifier that doesn't have HDMI; you could even drive a set of powered speakers directly. You could insert a multichannel equalizer into the signal path, or any of the other things you can do with an analog signal.

The PS3 is a device that requires (at minimum) an optical digital input on the receiver in order to get any multichannel sound, and requires a receiver that can process multichannel LPCM in order to use the lossless HD audio codecs. You wouldn't buy one unless you could meet those requirements

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post #4 of 19 Old 07-02-2008, 08:56 AM
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They are outputs so you have a complete set of speaker wires going directly from dvd/BD player to the receiver and then another set of speaker wires going from the receiver to your speakers, if you didn't think you had enough wires back there allready...

HDMI is so much cooler lossless audio and 1080p video, one cable.

Does your current receiver have multichannel analog inputs, neither of mine do and most don't.

Not having analog outs is just something for people to complain about that have their nose in the air because the PS3 is a kids game console which it is everything but.
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-02-2008, 09:38 AM
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Most don't??? I would say most have at least one set of Multi-channel analog inputs.... I mean you are excluding a ton of sources by not having that input.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-02-2008, 09:50 AM
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It would be hard to quantify. They are pretty much standard on current midrange or higher AVRs, some lower-end as well. That's because you need them for nearly any SACD or DVD/A player ever made.

And they were common during the DVD era, especially early on, when many DVD players had analog MCH outs (for use with such receivers, which were marketed as "Dolby Digital Ready" or some such verbiage).

There is a set of them on my Onkyo 705 (being used by my Pioneer "universal" player), and there was a set on my very entry Technics SA-DX1050 from 8 years ago.

But "most" receivers ever made, including all the ones in low end HTIB systems, shelf systems, etc, probably don't have MCH analog ins.

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post #7 of 19 Old 07-02-2008, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my65ffrcobra View Post

They are outputs so you have a complete set of speaker wires going directly from dvd/BD player to the receiver and then another set of speaker wires going from the receiver to your speakers, if you didn't think you had enough wires back there allready...

DVD/BD players do not have speaker wire outputs. They have line-level, usually RCA, outputs.

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HDMI is so much cooler lossless audio and 1080p video, one cable.

Agreed.

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Does your current receiver have multichannel analog inputs, neither of mine do and most don't.

Debatable. Probably, in terms of volume sales, you are right. OTOH, in terms of number of available models, I think not.

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post #8 of 19 Old 07-03-2008, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

DVD/BD players do not have speaker wire outputs. They have line-level, usually RCA, outputs.

Agreed.

Debatable. Probably, in terms of volume sales, you are right. OTOH, in terms of number of available models, I think not.

Thanks, guess since I have not used any, I wasn't sure, RCA connectors would be much more convient than speaker wires. You would still need one rca jack for each of the 5 or 7 channels though right?

I agree I meant volume of sales not models, but when you take into account all the cheaper brands, and htib it may be pretty close on the models as well. Both my amps are in the $300 range so neither have more than 2 channel analog inputs.
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-03-2008, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my65ffrcobra View Post

They are outputs so you have a complete set of speaker wires going directly from dvd/BD player to the receiver and then another set of speaker wires going from the receiver to your speakers, if you didn't think you had enough wires back there allready...

HDMI is so much cooler lossless audio and 1080p video, one cable.

Does your current receiver have multichannel analog inputs, neither of mine do and most don't.

Not having analog outs is just something for people to complain about that have their nose in the air because the PS3 is a kids game console which it is everything but.



Actually--no. Not having analogue outputs is a legitimate source of complaint from those of us who have otherwise perfectly good receivers/pre-pros WITH MCH inputs but NO HDMI and don't want to buy TWO new devices in order to FULLY benefit from Blu-ray. I understand the economics of the situation that led to the PS3 lacking MCH analogue outputs, but to dismiss reservations about the feature as "being snobbish" is, frankly, absurd. If the PS3 had MCH analogue outputs, I'd already have one. Instead, I'm waiting for the Sony S550 to hit the shelves (the Panasonic BD50 is more expensive than I wish to spend). If it turns out the S550 is more than I want to spend, then I'll likely get a PS3 and live without the advanced audio for a while--but I will consider that a less than optimal solution. So perhaps, in future, you might wish to avoid sweeping generalizations that weaken whatever point you otherwise might have been making.
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-04-2008, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my65ffrcobra View Post

Thanks, guess since I have not used any, I wasn't sure, RCA connectors would be much more convient than speaker wires. You would still need one rca jack for each of the 5 or 7 channels though right?

Yes but, more significantly, the RCA cables convey different level signals than do speaker wires.

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post #11 of 19 Old 07-04-2008, 08:43 AM
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In short, if you don't know what multichannel outputs are, you probably don't need them. Reading one reply above, in particular, left me feeling like the AFLAC duck in that commercial with Yogi Berra...
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-04-2008, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my65ffrcobra View Post

Not having analog outs is just something for people to complain about that have their nose in the air because the PS3 is a kids game console which it is everything but.

huh?

i'm concerned b/c i want high def audio without having to invest in a new receiver too.

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post #13 of 19 Old 07-04-2008, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post



Actually--no. Not having analogue outputs is a legitimate source of complaint from those of us who have otherwise perfectly good receivers/pre-pros WITH MCH inputs but NO HDMI and don't want to buy TWO new devices in order to FULLY benefit from Blu-ray. I understand the economics of the situation that led to the PS3 lacking MCH analogue outputs, but to dismiss reservations about the feature as "being snobbish" is, frankly, absurd. If the PS3 had MCH analogue outputs, I'd already have one. Instead, I'm waiting for the Sony S550 to hit the shelves (the Panasonic BD50 is more expensive than I wish to spend). If it turns out the S550 is more than I want to spend, then I'll likely get a PS3 and live without the advanced audio for a while--but I will consider that a less than optimal solution. So perhaps, in future, you might wish to avoid sweeping generalizations that weaken whatever point you otherwise might have been making.

I agree!

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post #14 of 19 Old 07-04-2008, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-star View Post

huh?

i'm concerned b/c i want high def audio without having to invest in a new receiver too.

A legitimate concern. But personally, I did the math and realized that I would probably pay enough extra for those analog outs to finance a good part of the new receiver. And if I wanted more than one analog MCH audio source (such as my SACD/DVD-A player), I would still be screwed.

It's an necessary feature for people who need it. But it's not a de facto indicator of higher quality or better performance. It's just a feature, and if you don't need it, the way most users won't, it's irrelevant.

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post #15 of 19 Old 07-04-2008, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

A legitimate concern. But personally, I did the math and realized that I would probably pay enough extra for those analog outs to finance a good part of the new receiver. And if I wanted more than one analog MCH audio source (such as my SACD/DVD-A player), I would still be screwed.

It's an necessary feature for people who need it. But it's not a de facto indicator of higher quality or better performance. It's just a feature, and if you don't need it, the way most users won't, it's irrelevant.

I don't think anyone has argued it is an indicator of a "better" player to have MCH analogue outputs (unless one construes "better" as "meeting my specific needs"). However, while the difference in price between the Panasonic BD50 and the PS3 is more than I want to pay, it is still far less than what it would take for me to get a receiver of equivalent quality to my own (equipped with all the audio decoding and such). So while I could adopt the approach of putting the difference towards a new receiver, I don't want to compromise on the quality of the receiver just to get the "bells and whistles" and I'm sure I'm not alone in that regard.
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-04-2008, 02:38 PM
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If I were Sony, I'd make a separate PS3 SKU with analog outs and charge an extra $50 for it.

I bet this would cost them maybe $5 in parts and would greatly increase the profit (or decrease the loss) on those machines sold. They could call it the Home Theater Edition or something.
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-04-2008, 04:38 PM
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It's a non issue, if you care enough about hidefinition sound (and had the associated 10K + monoblocks where it would make a big difference) you'd pony up the money for a decoder. We're still at the early adopter stage for this technology, so of course it'll cost you for the privilege, wait for a few years, there will be lots of options that will be more affordable.

The primary demographic that would be after those sort of features 1) wouldn't use a gaming device for home theatre 2) would be worried about about the quality of the D/A conversion built into any player.
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-04-2008, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven975 View Post

If I were Sony, I'd make a separate PS3 SKU with analog outs and charge an extra $50 for it.

I bet this would cost them maybe $5 in parts and would greatly increase the profit (or decrease the loss) on those machines sold. They could call it the Home Theater Edition or something.


I think they'd need it to be at least $300 more expensive to make a profit on it, considering the machines are sold at a loss and purchasers would be less likely to buy as many games. It could work though, make sure it's a quiet running version, chuck in a IR receiver and put it in a more standard looking metal case and you'd have ppl on AVS at least buying them
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-05-2008, 09:29 AM
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I conceed, I was being to general. My brother has a nice projector setup too and your cenario applies to him. I just think lots of people pass on that complaint just to rip on the ps3 as a BD player, without even knowing what it is, or having the need for it. Same with the lack of IR remote on the PS3 that I get tired of hearing about it, get the $13 dongle and be done. Its worth the $13 premium for the fast load times alone, never mind all the other benefits.

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Originally Posted by Ovation View Post



Actually--no. Not having analogue outputs is a legitimate source of complaint from those of us who have otherwise perfectly good receivers/pre-pros WITH MCH inputs but NO HDMI and don't want to buy TWO new devices in order to FULLY benefit from Blu-ray. I understand the economics of the situation that led to the PS3 lacking MCH analogue outputs, but to dismiss reservations about the feature as "being snobbish" is, frankly, absurd. If the PS3 had MCH analogue outputs, I'd already have one. Instead, I'm waiting for the Sony S550 to hit the shelves (the Panasonic BD50 is more expensive than I wish to spend). If it turns out the S550 is more than I want to spend, then I'll likely get a PS3 and live without the advanced audio for a while--but I will consider that a less than optimal solution. So perhaps, in future, you might wish to avoid sweeping generalizations that weaken whatever point you otherwise might have been making.

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