Originally Posted by nebrunner
I have my old model PS3 running into my onkyo 876 and going to a 5.1 setup. Right now it sounds good to me, but could someone explain what I am missing out by NOT having the new slim PS3 and NOT having the bitstreaming?
Right now its linear PCM correct? Is this somehow inferior than what the new PS3 is putting out? I guess I don't understand the difference so I don't understand what I'm missing by not buying the new version.
Your PS3 decodes all available audio codecs and sends them to your receiver as uncompressed LPCM multichannel audio.
Bitstreaming would allow you to send the undecoded audio data to your Onkyo, which would then do the same thing the PS3 does.
In the case of lossless audio codecs, the resulting LPCM is bit-for-bit identical in either case. If there is an audible difference, it will arise from how your Onkyo processes incoming LPCM vs incoming bitstreams. With my Onkyo 705, there is no difference other than level, which is easily compensated for with the volume control and input trim settings.
However, in the absence of any properly constructed double-blind testing, this has become a religious war. Claims of superior sound via bitstreaming or LPCM can be neither verified nor disproved; in all cases, it is impossible to demonstrate that audible differences are due to the transmission method rather than to processor setup or design.
In your current configuration, you are already getting lossless audio (if present on the disc), properly decoded, from your PS3. With your 876, bitstreaming will not improve sound quality.