No DolbyTRUEHD or DTS-HD through optical/coaxil on Blu-Ray players? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a little confused by this.

So even though a Blu-ray player, say a Sony BP-350/or 550 has built in decoding capabilites for these new audio formats, they cannot be sent out via the optical cable/coaxil cable, only through the HDMI ouput?

And this HDMI output has to be connected to a receiver, say a Sony 820 or Yamaha V663, that can decode the new format's, "Again?", to send them out to a 5 speaker set up(or more)?

Is this just an oversight with Blu-ray players that they can't send out this new audio format via optical or coax? Or is there more too it? Optical and cox out on the Blu-ray's just don't have the capacity to send it out this way? Is this something that is supposed to be FIXED in the newer upcoming models which would not force people to buy brand new receiving equipment?

I mean if the decoder for these new formats is already built-in to the players, I should not have to go out and completely upgrade my receiver just to listen too them, right?

Also, for those who have listened to the new formats, is it that much better than say DD or DTS 5.1(or 6.1ES)?

Just trying to find some answers on Blu-ray as I do intend, eventually(probably after, or at BLACK FRIDAY when the prices should drop) to buy one.

And which Blu-ray would you recommend?

If the above is true about the audio, then I guess I would be mainly getting it for the picture, of course, and just use DD and DTS for the sound, which always sounded good to me anyway.

Sony? Panny? Sylvania? Magnavox? My guess is the last two are going to plummet around the holidays in price.

Thanx
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post #2 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 05:23 PM
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One cannot output the HD audio formats via coax/optical nor can one output the HD MCH MPCM data if it is decoded in the player. Basically, you can get HD via HDMI or via multiple analog interconnects. Via digital coax/optical, you can only get the compressed codecs.

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post #3 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 05:25 PM
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Optical audio/toslink is not able to carry them I believe.(A.C.)
The AVR only needs to accept them and pass as LPCM, or you can get one that does the decoding internally if your player doesn't.
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post #4 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 05:26 PM
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optical audio (s/pdif) will only carry DD 5.1 DTS 5.1 and 2ch LPCM. this is why you have to use the HDMI connection to get DD true HD an DTS MA. and your question about processing, if your player is processing the audio then then player would send that information over HDMI to your receiver as a LPCM signal. if you choose to bitstream then your receiver will do the processing.
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post #5 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 05:26 PM
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wow...... we all replied almost at the same time.
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post #6 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 05:37 PM
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STEELERS, I just wanted to note for you that even if you only obtain lossy codecs with SPDIF, the maximum bitrates are still improved. For instance, with DTS core, you will be getting a max bitrate that is doubled, compared to DVD soundtracks, using optical/coax.

For most movies, I don't think the lossless codecs do all that much. Do I have an HDMI receiver? Yes, because I wanted it. However, if saving money on a new receiver means you can get to upgrade stuff like room acoustics, speakers, subs, display, etc, then that is what I would vote for.

Otherwise, I vote for Panasonic for stand-alone players, or Sony PS3 if that feature set pleases you.

 

 

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post #7 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEELERSRULE View Post

Is this just an oversight with Blu-ray players that they can't send out this new audio format via optical or coax? Or is there more too it? Optical and cox out on the Blu-ray's just don't have the capacity to send it out this way? Is this something that is supposed to be FIXED in the newer upcoming models which would not force people to buy brand new receiving equipment?

I mean if the decoder for these new formats is already built-in to the players, I should not have to go out and completely upgrade my receiver just to listen too them, right?

Steelersrule,
1) No sending HD audio through coax/optical - period (like Kal said). Just not enough bandwidth in these formats.
2) You can send the HD audio signal to the receiver for decoding through HDMI only if the receiver has these codecs (obviously)
3) You can send the decoded by BD player signal as the LPCM, but only if both player and receiver are HDMI 1.3 compatible
4) If the receiver has neither HD audio codecs nor HDMI 1.3 compatibilty (like my Denon 4306) you can send decoded signal through the 7.1 analog cables.
And that's exactly the funcionality I was waiting for all that time, and thats' exactly what these new BD players are equipped with. No need for upgrading the receiver !
My choice (so far) Panny BD-55

Hope it helped in your confusion

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post #8 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Fan View Post

3) You can send the decoded by BD player signal as the LPCM, but only if both player and receiver are HDMI 1.3 compatible

Not both. As long as the player can decode to MPCM, even HDMI v1.1 can handle it on both ends. Odds are, however, that any player that can decode dts HD/Dolby TruHD is going to have 1.3. I have sent the decoded MPCM to the Anthem's v1.1 HDMI input successfully.

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post #9 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Not both. As long as the player can decode to MPCM, even HDMI v1.1 can handle it on both ends. Odds are, however, that any player that can decode dts HD/Dolby TruHD is going to have 1.3. I have sent the decoded MPCM to the Anthem's v1.1 HDMI input successfully.

Yeap. I send it to a Lexicon MC12HD and a 4806CI. You don't need 1.3 just a player that internally decodes.

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post #10 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 06:16 PM
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Steelers -
It's not an oversight - the bit rate of the new lossy codecs like DTS HD HR and the lossless ones exceed the rate which coaxial digital and SPDIF can handle, so no amount of firmware updates or new hardware will change that. I wish I could throw out a number for you of what the max bit rate is for those connections, but I can't. I imagine it would be 1.5 Mbps or something a little above, which is the max for DTS core. Bit rates for Dolby THD and DTS Master are between 2 and 5 Mbps.

I find the newer codecs to sound much better, but that depends on the quality of the rest of your system. If I understand correctly, but the audio in the new codecs is recorded at 24 bit word length/96 or 192kHz sampling rate, versus 16 bit or 20 bit/48 kHz sampling rate. To my own ears, the sound is overall much smoother, fuller sounding, the bass deeper and tighter, and low level sounds and details are much easier to hear. Now I must confess this is what I heard on my HD DVD movies played on a basic Toshiba player that internally decoded Dolby THD and Dolby Digital Plus to DTS core 1.5 Mbps over SPDIF to my receiver. I imagine it will sound even better when I get a BR player to internally decode them out through multi-channel analog outputs.

So the new codecs do sound better - whether or not you can hear those improvements in your setup depends on the quality of the equipment you have.

Good luck. There's more to the disk-based high definition formats than just better video - it's better sight AND sound !

Bill
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post #11 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Fan View Post

Steelersrule,
4) If the receiver has neither HD audio codecs nor HDMI 1.3 compatibilty (like my Denon 4306) you can send decoded signal through the 7.1 analog cables.
And that's exactly the funcionality I was waiting for all that time, and thats' exactly what these new BD players are equipped with. No need for upgrading the receiver !
My choice (so far) Panny BD-55

Hope it helped in your confusion

Unless you are out of HDMI inputs, you don't need to use the analogs, either. The 4306 accepts 7.1 MPCM over HDMI.

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post #12 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 06:54 PM
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Hey, storman - could you provide some sourcing for several of the statements in your post, please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by storman View Post

Steelers -
The bit rate of the new lossy codecs like DTS HD HR and the lossless ones exceed the rate which coaxial digital and SPDIF can handle, so no amount of firmware updates or new hardware will change that.

It is my undertanding that the limitation is in the S/PDIF protocol, not the capacity of the transmission cable. But, I haven't seen anything definitive on the subject. It's more about copy protection that bandwidth, I think

Quote:


Bit rates for Dolby THD and DTS Master are between 2 and 5 Mbps.

Don't those codecs use variable bit rates, ranging far above 5mbps when more bandwidth is needed?

Quote:


the audio in the new codecs is recorded at 24 bit word length/96 or 192kHz sampling rate, versus 16 bit or 20 bit/48 kHz sampling rate.

Movies are mastered at 48 kkHz and that's the rate used for nearly all BD releases. A handful have 96 kHz sampling. I'm not aware of any with multichannel 192 kHz tracks. BD bit rates range from 16 to 24. Check out blu-raystats.com for listings of BD audio/video release formats.
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post #13 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 09:06 PM
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Bislander -
You make a good point - people like me shouldn't just go throwing around numbers without backing them up or siting examples. I should have just responded by saying that the new codecs are recorded at higher bitrates and often are recorded at higher sampling rates and longer word lengths, thus offering the potential for better sound quality than legacy DD and DTS core.
BTW, I got those numbers from page 60 of the Pio 51FD manual. My bad for overlooking the phrase "can record at ..." for each of the newer codecs.
I apologize to the original poster and the rest who read and contribute to the forum.
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post #14 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 09:44 PM
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No problem, storman. A lot of statements and numbers get tossed around as fact in these forums and then get repeated by others who assume they are correct. Sometimes, a reality check is in order.

Meanwhile, I remain curious about the real reason that optical and coax can't be used for lossless audio.
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post #15 of 58 Old 11-13-2008, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

No problem, storman. A lot of statements and numbers get tossed around as fact in these forums and then get repeated by others who assume they are correct. Sometimes, a reality check is in order.

Meanwhile, I remain curious about the real reason that optical and coax can't be used for lossless audio.

The real answer is HDMI has HDCP, (copy protection) and optical/coax does not.

Optical can transmit a whole hell of a lot more than 5Mbps
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post #16 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 01:51 AM
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Is there a sonic difference or loss in quality using analog outs versus HDMI??
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post #17 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliko View Post

Is there a sonic difference or loss in quality using analog outs versus HDMI??

There are primarily two kinds of differences.

First, the device with the better digital-analog converters (DACs) will produce better audio. Good receivers generally have better DACs than most players.

Second, the device with better signal processing tools for bass management and EQ for room adjustments will produce better audio. Receivers almost always have better tools than players.

So, HDMI is probably preferable in most circumstances. But, the differences may not even be noticeable. And, the PCM produced by player and receiver decoding will be the same regardless of where the decoding takes place.
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post #18 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 05:03 AM
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What is optical and coax? Seriously, they are just about obsolete in my set up these days...

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post #19 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

It is my undertanding that the limitation is in the S/PDIF protocol, not the capacity of the transmission cable. But, I haven't seen anything definitive on the subject. It's more about copy protection that bandwidth, I think

As I understand it, the S/PDIF specification does not define any bandwidth limitations. Rather, each particular S/PDIF device has its own bandwidth limitations. For example, some S/PDIF devices support up to 16-bit/48kHz LPCM, but other S/PDIF devices support up to 24-bit/192kHz LPCM, and possibly higher.

However, the S/DIF specification only defines 2-channel or 4-channel LPCM. It does not define 6-channel or 8-channel LPCM, although there is a reserved bit that could easily be defined in the future to support 6-channel or 8-channel LPCM.

So it seems to be more about pushing HDMI-HDCP than any technical limitations of S/PDIF.


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post #20 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 09:58 AM
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After reading this thread, it's still unclear to me if I can get the older audio surround sound standards (Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1) to work on my Denon 4800 using the optical cable & NOT connecting 5-7 analog cables.

I see Blu-ray players with optical out connections, but are the Blu-ray DVDs encoded with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 as a "secondary audio choice"?

I'm not ready to upgrade my non-HDMI receiver just yet, but would like to get a Blu-ray player for Xmas.

Will I get 5.1 surround sound via the optical cable from the Blu-ray player to my receiver or will it be simple "stereo" audio?

For standard DVDs in the menu you can typically choose "Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo" or "Dolby Digital 5.1 surround", so I'm hoping Blu-ray DVDs allow you to choose the older DD5.1 spec.

i'm guessing the answer is no, so maybe you can explain what sort of audio I WILL get via the optical cable to my Denon 4800. Does it even separate the subwoofer channel?

Thanks in advance. My first post, so go easy on the noob...
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post #21 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod View Post

What is optical and coax? Seriously, they are just about obsolete in my set up these days...

Still have HDTV.
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post #22 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanindiana View Post

After reading this thread, it's still unclear to me if I can get the older audio surround sound standards (Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1) to work on my Denon 4800 using the optical cable & NOT connecting 5-7 analog cables.

Absolutely yes.
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post #23 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanindiana View Post

After reading this thread, it's still unclear to me if I can get the older audio surround sound standards (Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1) to work on my Denon 4800 using the optical cable & NOT connecting 5-7 analog cables.

I see Blu-ray players with optical out connections, but are the Blu-ray DVDs encoded with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 as a "secondary audio choice"?

I'm not ready to upgrade my non-HDMI receiver just yet, but would like to get a Blu-ray player for Xmas.

Will I get 5.1 surround sound via the optical cable from the Blu-ray player to my receiver or will it be simple "stereo" audio?

For standard DVDs in the menu you can typically choose "Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo" or "Dolby Digital 5.1 surround", so I'm hoping Blu-ray DVDs allow you to choose the older DD5.1 spec.

i'm guessing the answer is no, so maybe you can explain what sort of audio I WILL get via the optical cable to my Denon 4800. Does it even separate the subwoofer channel?

Thanks in advance. My first post, so go easy on the noob...

I believe I've read that the new DTS and DD hi-def sountdtracks contain a core (lossy) version of DTS or DD (that the specs require this). The bottom line is you can absolutely get regular (non-HD) DTS and DD from Blu-ray through optical and/or coax outputs.

Brian
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post #24 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchalebk View Post

I believe I’ve read that the new DTS and DD hi-def sountdtracks contain a core (lossy) version of DTS or DD (that the specs require this). The bottom line is you can absolutely get regular (non-HD) DTS and DD from Blu-ray through optical and/or coax outputs.

DTS uses a core + extension approach. There's only one DTS track on the disc. The player uses the part(s) appropriate to the output. If you are bitstreaming dts-MA over HDMI to a processor with the proper decoder, the player sends the whole track. If you are sending over optical, the player only sends the core.

With Dolby, there's a companion DD 5.1 track on the disc that gets sent over optical instead of the TrueHD version.

Most discs only offer the lossless versions of the tracks on the audio selection menus. You can't choose DD 5.1 or a legacy version of DTS. The software knows which version to use and acts accordingly. Unfortunately, players don't necessarily tell you what they are outputting. I have a Panasonic BD55, for example. When I select a TrueHD track, the display button on the player brings up a menu saying it's playing TrueHD. But, my AVR reports it is receiving DD 5.1. I believe the player is actually using both tracks. I get the lossless version decoded for output over analog and the companion DD 5.1 track is bitstreamed to my receiver over S/PDIF. That's exactly how I want it to work.

The bottom line is that you will get a compatible DD or DTS output over optical. In fact, it will probably be encoded at a higher bitrate than the version you get on DVD. Many people say they can't hear a difference between these higher bitrate lossy tracks and the lossless versions.
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post #25 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 11:51 AM
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I'm using 2 channel audio only in my "home theatre" system, using my 2 channel preamp and amplifier.

I'll be getting a Sony 550 next week and plan on running the 2 channel analogue audio outs to my pre-amp. Will I be getting any of the HD formats downmixed to 2 channel stereo?

Thanks in advance.
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post #26 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.a.b. View Post

I'm using 2 channel audio only in my "home theatre" system, using my 2 channel preamp and amplifier.

I'll be getting a Sony 550 next week and plan on running the 2 channel analogue audio outs to my pre-amp. Will I be getting any of the HD formats downmixed to 2 channel stereo?

Thanks in advance.

Yes. The lossless tracks will be downmixed to 2 channels.
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post #27 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to evveryone for answering my question, and a special thanks to Howie for sending that spread sheet about the BD players and what they can do. It was extremely helpful.

Since I have a Yamaha HTR-5590, I will go the analog audio out route from the 5.1(it might be 6.1 audio in, but I am not sure. Have to go look at manual) out on a Sony BD-550, which appears to be moderately priced(I think it is $399 now, but may be lower come Black Friday) and appears to be one with ALL the completed codecs/decoders onboard the unit as of Nov. 2008.

I do appreciate everyones input.

I thought I might be asking a question that people here have got tired of answering over, and over, and over, and over...........

I will save this thread for myself.

P.S. Any 5.1 or 6.1 analog audio out cables you recommend that do an excellent job, and are not absurdly priced(ala MONSTER). But I have notice you can find, sometimes, the RCA audio cables by Monster at dirt cheap/closeout prices because most people don't use them. MYSELF INCLUDED, until now.
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post #28 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 12:54 PM
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Try monoprice.com. They're a forum sponsor with a link at the top of the page. I buy their "premium" audio cables at $3 a pair.
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post #29 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jostenmeat View Post

STEELERS, I just wanted to note for you that even if you only obtain lossy codecs with SPDIF, the maximum bitrates are still improved. For instance, with DTS core, you will be getting a max bitrate that is doubled, compared to DVD soundtracks, using optical/coax.

.....

Not true- in both cases (DVD, Blu-ray) max for DTS is 1.5Mbit over SPDIF and there are many DVDs which has full DTS track.


Andrew
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post #30 of 58 Old 11-14-2008, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew_HD View Post

Not true- in both cases (DVD, Blu-ray) max for DTS is 1.5Mbit over SPDIF and there are many DVDs which has full DTS track.


Andrew

Oh really? I swear I read that max variable bitrate for DTS on DVD was 768 kbs. DD, at least I thought, improved less dramatically (448 to 640, or something like that).

 

 

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Sony Bdp S350 1080p Blu Ray Disc Player , Yamaha Rx V663 Receiver
Gear in this thread - S350 by PriceGrabber.com

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