Ayre DX-5 bluray player - Page 11 - AVS Forum
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post #301 of 1443 Old 01-22-2010, 09:07 AM
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Charles, I have one more for you.

In a player such as the new Ayre would there be any benefit in having two HDMI outputs, one dedicated to video and one to audio?

I understand that the audio output must still have a video signal, which I believe would be at a constant frequency. Would this constant frequency video signal vs. an active signal be more benign in terms of affecting the audio signal or is this a non-issue?

Thanks.
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post #302 of 1443 Old 01-22-2010, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GGA View Post

In a player such as the new Ayre would there be any benefit in having two HDMI outputs, one dedicated to video and one to audio?

I understand that the audio output must still have a video signal, which I believe would be at a constant frequency. Would this constant frequency video signal vs. an active signal be more benign in terms of affecting the audio signal or is this a non-issue?

There are four benefits to having a separate HDMI output:

a) Lower jitter for the audio signal. Remember that with HDMI, the audio master clock is created with a PLL from the video pixel clock (Transition-Minimized Differential Signalling, or TMDS clock) in the HDMI signal. A PLL can never eliminate jitter, it can only reduce it. So the lower the jitter in the source, the lower the jitter in the receiver.

Our HDMI audio board is specifically designed to have as low of jitter levels as possible. We use an ultra low jitter crystal oscillator to generate the TMDS (pixel) clock. This is fed with a low-noise dedicated power supply regulator to ensure that it won't have jitter induced from noisy supplies. This feeds a brand new Analog Devices ADV7510 HDMI transmitter, with extremely short impedance-matched traces going to the HDMI connector to ensure the best possible signal.

b) The video clock used for the audio output is a constant 720p signal. This was chosen for two reasons -- it is the lowest rate that will support all audio formats (up to eight channels of 192/24) and it also has the lowest "N" and "CTS" ratios of any full-bandwidth video clock.

The N and CTS (Cycle Time Stamp) are the numbers used by the sink (receiver) to recreate the audio clock from the TMDS clock. These numbers set the ratio of the two clocks, and the lower these numbers, the lower the jitter in the reconstructed audio clock.

c) The above two advantages apply to "normal" audio connections, that it is to say HDMI connections that do not use Audio Rate Control (or one of its proprietary derivatives like Pioneer's PQLS or Sony's HATS). Audio Rate Control completely bypasses the audio jitter problem by putting the master audio clock of the SSP in charge and slaving the transport's speed to that clock.

Our HDMI Audio board supports Audio Rate Control. No current SSP's do so yet, but it is inevitable. We may even try to reverse engineer the Pioneer (and possibly Sony) formats -- they haven't been too forthcoming about the details. But I'm not sure if its worth the trouble or not. We'll see how much demand we get. Adding these features is easily done via a firmware update.

d) The entire analog section of the Ayre DX-5 is galvanically isolated from the video section with high-speed opto-isolators. This means that they don't even share the same ground. This is a requirement if you want both the best picture quality and best sound quality.

So if you send the main HDMI cable to your display and the audio HDMI cable to your SSP, these will be totally isolated. At least until you connect another piece of equipment to both sinks (receivers) with the same source, or try to use your SSP as a video switcher.

When you put all of these things together, the audio (and picture!) quality of your system will be significantly improved by running a the separate HDMI audio only output to your audio system.
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post #303 of 1443 Old 01-23-2010, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

When you put all of these things together, the audio (and picture!) quality of your system will be significantly improved by running a the separate HDMI audio only output to your audio system.

So in my previous setup I was using HDMI for video only, and MC analog for audio. I frequently had lipsync problems on movies, and had to manually fiddle with with offsets to get audio and video to match up.

In my current setup I'm using one HDMI connection for both video and audio on movies, and have had very few lipsync issues.

How does splitting HDMI audio and video with two HDMI outs affect lipsync?
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post #304 of 1443 Old 01-23-2010, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by racerguy View Post
How does splitting HDMI audio and video with two HDMI outs affect lipsync?
That's a good question, but I don't know the answer. I'm afraid that the easiest way to find out will be to try the DX-5 when it comes out -- there are just too many variables involved to give you a definitive answer without a lot of testing.

Starting with HDMI 1.3, they instituted an "Auto-Lipsync Correction" feature. With this scheme, the downstream devices (displays and/or processors) can transmit the amount of video and audio delay required to maintain synchronization. As far as I can tell from reading the document, the source is allowed (but not required) to delay the audio to compensate for any video processing delays.

I don't know anything about your system, what standards it supports and what standards it doesn't support. In fact, I don't even know if the base Oppo platform that we use supports Auto-LipSync correction. (I could find out, but I try to limit my use of Oppo's resources to a bare minimum as they have other things to do than worry about problems that we create by adding features that they do not support.)

I can give you some background information that will help. Maybe somebody on this thread knows more about how the Oppo handles Auto-LipSync and can put the pieces of the puzzle together.

First of all, attached are the relevant pages from the HDMI 1.3a specification. There is a lot of jargon there:

EDID = Extended Display Identification Data - The display device has a memory chip that is powered by the HDMI link (so that it can be read even when the power is off) and tells the source what the capabilities of the display are. (This is basically just a two-wire I2C link with a different name, for those who know about data transfer protocols.)

VSDB = Vendor Specific Data Block - When a standard is written, they can't foresee every eventuality. So they created a part of the EDID that was reserved for communicating information outside of the standard. This allowed two things -- one was that specific companies could set up proprietary communication protocols, and the other was the additional HDMI data could be inserted here after the rest of the standard was finalized. Auto-LipSync falls into this category, and this is where the amount of video and audio delays are put for communication back to the upstream device via the EDID.

So if the reason for the improvement you noted with an HDMI connection was due to the Auto-LipSync feature, and the Oppo supports this feature, then our separate HDMI Audio-Only board should also support this feature and should reduce the need for lip-sync adjustments.

But this is only speculation and there are too many variables to provide a definitive answer to your question. However, I can assure you that the audio-only output will provide improved sound quality over the combined audio/video output. This improvement will be more substantial if you can maintain galvanic isolation of the grounds between your audio and video system.

 

HDMI13LipSync.pdf 91.0537109375k . file
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post #305 of 1443 Old 01-23-2010, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post

I thought the consensus was that using Toslink creates issues of its own, at least for CD, given the jitter induced by use of the plastic cable.

Yes, S/PDIF is a flawed way to transport digital audio. The master audio clock is embedded in the bitstream, along with the data and word clocks. If the transmission link has anything less than infinite speed, jitter will be added to the recovered master audio clock (degrading the sound quality).

A Toslink connection is slower than just about any other method of sending S/PDIF, so if all else is equal, it will mean a signal with higher jitter. On the other hand, it provides complete galvanic isolation between the two linked components. Depending on the situation, this could be a greater advantage than the increased jitter levels.

In the case of a video system, it is imperative to isolate it totally from your audio system for both the best picture quality and the best sound quality. If you can arrange your system such that only lower-quality sources are connected via Toslink, you will come out far ahead. Who cares how much jitter is on the audio of a "Cheers" re-run???
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post #306 of 1443 Old 01-23-2010, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by GGA View Post

How does one recognize if a wall-wart has a switching power supply? I'm pretty sure I have a battery powered Toslink S/PDIF converter in one of my boxes.

This is quite simple. Just look at the label on the power supply. If it says "110 VAC" or similar, with just one voltage, then it is a linear supply. But if it says "90 - 240 VAC" or some other wide range, then it is a switching supply.

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Originally Posted by GGA View Post

Meridian's goal with the HD621 is to isolate audio and video and feed only audio to their processor. They made the standalone HD621 instead of an HDMI card to add to their processor, as they did not want any video entering their processor. Like Charles, they think sending video to a processor is a very bad thing. I'm probably worrying about nothing.

However, if I really wanted to go bizarre I could use three sets of back-to-back toslink s/pdif converters, ie, convert s/pdif to toslink and then convert toslink back to s/pdif and use the s/pdif x3 inputs on the processor. Ultimate isolation but two sets of conversions on non-lossy LPCM cannot be a good thing.

Go ahead and "go bizarre".

I'm not sure that Meridian realizes how much damage is created when the video and audio systems have a common ground. I suspect that the HD621 exists primarily because it was the easiest way to add HDMI capabilities to their existing audio processors. You would have to ask them, and then hope that whoever answered was as blunt and ill-mannered as I am...

I would be surprised if the HD621 offers electrical isolation between the HDMI products and the S/PDIF products. But even if it did, I'm not a big fan of sticking extra connectors and circuitry into any critical signal path, video or analog.
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post #307 of 1443 Old 01-23-2010, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by GGA View Post

Do you also consider it important to isolate digital audio from analog audio? If one has a DAC connected to their (non-transformer coupled) preamp would you think any of these transformer devices are worth experimenting with on the input of the preamp?

Good question.

I haven't had a turntable since I've had kids, so I haven't had a chance to see if connecting a digital source causes any degradation of the connected analog sources. It certainly is possible, but if so, putting an isolation transformer between the transport (source) and the DAC itself wouldn't make much (if any) difference. The DAC already has a bunch of high-speed digital circuitry in it which make noise. However, simply turning the DAC off should solve that problem (asuming it even exists).

The video system presents a different problem altogether. All displays use switching powers supplies. Even in the '50s they had them -- they were called "flyback circuits" and were used to generate the high voltage required to operate the picture tube.

The only difference is that in the old days when you turned the TV off, if was "off". Nowadays when you turn it "off", the switching power supply remains running -- that's how it can respond to the remote control's signal to turn it "on". The switching power supply puts high-frequency garbage both into the AC mains and also into anything connected to the display. That's why we build isolation into our video players.

Having isolated grounds in the inputs of our newer preamps (and also the newer Levinsons) is only a partial solution. It will disconnect the noise source when it is not selected, but it doesn't help performance when you are actually watching your video display....
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post #308 of 1443 Old 01-25-2010, 10:04 AM
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Charles, thanks very much for all the information. Very helpful indeed.

Quote:


However, if I really wanted to go bizarre I could use three sets of back-to-back toslink s/pdif converters, ie, convert s/pdif to toslink and then convert toslink back to s/pdif and use the s/pdif x3 inputs on the processor. Ultimate isolation but two sets of conversions on non-lossy LPCM cannot be a good thing.

Go ahead and "go bizarre".

Remarkably I found the following device that looks like it will convert coax to Toslink and then allow me to loop back to covert Toslink to coax. Exactly what I need and all in one box. Amazon sells it no less. I've put it on my list of things to try.

http://www.m-audio.com/images/global...CO2_Manual.pdf

Was there ever a Part 2 to the following?

http://www.conceptorg.com/techlibrar..._and_Audio.pdf
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post #309 of 1443 Old 01-25-2010, 10:09 AM
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Remarkably I found the following device that looks like it will convert coax to Toslink and then allow me to loop back to covert Toslink to coax. Exactly what I need and all in one box. Amazon sells it no less. I've put it on my list of things to try.

http://www.m-audio.com/images/global...CO2_Manual.pdf

I use one as a straight toslink to coax converter and it works perfectly.


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post #310 of 1443 Old 01-25-2010, 11:29 AM
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Wow. I haven't quite read all of the this thread yet, but I have to say. This thread is a testament to high end audio. So many times "high end" ends up being snake oil.

I work on audio recording software and can relate to the pain of clock jitter. I learned the hard way when tasked to write software that records audio from multiple audio devices (with independent clocks). Just the task of keeping them in sync is a PITA. Most people would assume that since they are both digital they are perfect. And I suppose they are, but they are two different versions of perfect. Which one is more perfect? If there is such a thing...

It's nice to read some legit technical explanations for a change. Now if my budget was "more perfect" I might actually consider purchasing a DX-5.

-- jaydillyo

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post #311 of 1443 Old 01-25-2010, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

Remarkably I found the following device that looks like it will convert coax to Toslink and then allow me to loop back to covert Toslink to coax. Exactly what I need and all in one box. Amazon sells it no less. I've put it on my list of things to try.

Even though there's a Toslink path between the two coax connections, the coax jacks are undoubtedly all tied to the same internal ground. Kinda defeats the purpose of isolating the coax grounds.

Roger

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post #312 of 1443 Old 01-25-2010, 01:57 PM
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Charles, I am wondering if the DX-5 will work with D-Box Motion system? I had a DX-7, and the SPDIF output was altered enough, so that the D-Box system could no longer recognize the audio track coming out, and would not synch with the media. Along the same lines, there needs to be a DD or DTS stream coming out of the SPDIF output at the same time that the HDMI audio is being used to make it work.

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post #313 of 1443 Old 01-25-2010, 04:36 PM
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Even though there's a Toslink path between the two coax connections, the coax jacks are undoubtedly all tied to the same internal ground. Kinda defeats the purpose of isolating the coax grounds.

Thanks Roger. I am out of my element and know just enough to be dangerous. Is there any point to opening the converter up and seeing how the coax grounds are handled or is there no point to having them separate? Does the fact that the coax are transformer coupled have any relevance to the grounds?
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post #314 of 1443 Old 01-25-2010, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by GGA View Post

Thanks Roger. I am out of my element and know just enough to be dangerous. Is there any point to opening the converter up and seeing how the coax grounds are handled or is there no point to having them separate? Does the fact that the coax are transformer coupled have any relevance to the grounds?

You know, I owned one, used it for years, and never realized it was transformer coupled on the coax output. Thanks for enlightening me. Yes, that makes all the difference. Sorry for the bum steer.

I just can't help thinking you can find an equally good, cheaper solution in a 1:1 isolation transformer. No power supply needed. Some DIY ideas here, but I have not seen any commercial units.

Roger

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post #315 of 1443 Old 01-25-2010, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Free View Post

Charles, I am wondering if the DX-5 will work with D-Box Motion system? I had a DX-7, and the SPDIF output was altered enough, so that the D-Box system could no longer recognize the audio track coming out, and would not synch with the media. Along the same lines, there needs to be a DD or DTS stream coming out of the SPDIF output at the same time that the HDMI audio is being used to make it work.

Boy, you are testing my memory banks, and I'm failing right now. I remember about six years ago we had a customer in the Phoenix area who bought one of our DVD players. He loved it but had troubles getting it to work with some accessory.

Is the D-Box that couch vibrator thingy? I seem to recall that was what the problem was. I also can't remember what the problem was or if we were able to fix it. If we couldn't fix it, it was due to the Pioneer firmware that was at the heart of the unit. If there was some problem with voltage levels, I'm sure that we were able to fix it.

Were you the person that had that unit? I can try and go back through my ancient e-mails. The archived posts on the AVS Forum have apparently been wiped out in a computer crash, but I should still have all of my old private messages.

I can probably go back and reconstruct all of that and figure out what the problem was and if we were able to solve it. But I doubt that you would have the same problem with the DX-5. Since it is based on a different player using a different MPEG decoder chip and different firmware, there shouldn't be any problem there. And I can't imagine a hardware problem that we couldn't fix.

Please give me some more information and I'll try to dig up what I can on the situation.
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post #316 of 1443 Old 01-26-2010, 06:19 AM
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Good memory Charles!!

Yes, that was me, and D-Box is more than just vibration, it is motion that is synchronized with the movies, in the same way that the movie score is created, so each movie has a motion code.

http://www.d-box.com/

Anyway, I was not sure if it was due to the anti-jitter modifications on the output. I have an Oppo, and it works with it, just not sure of the changes.

There are a lot of "high end" installations that have D-Box systems. People who wouldn't bat an eye about spending 10 grand on the ultimate Blue Ray player, so it might be worth checking out to make sure it will work.

Phil
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post #317 of 1443 Old 01-26-2010, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Free View Post

Good memory Charles!!

Yes, that was me, and D-Box is more than just vibration, it is motion that is synchronized with the movies, in the same way that the movie score is created, so each movie has a motion code.

I went back through some of our old correspondence. I believe at that time, the D-Box was called the Odyssee. It turns out that the problem you were having at that time was that the Odyssee wasn't working because of a bad XLR-RCA adapter to get the S/PDIF signal to the controller box.

But then there was another problem. With some SuperBit discs (remember those???) there was a popping noise with your Lexicon MC12 during the disc's menu. It happened with the Ayre DVD player, your Panasonic D-VHS player, and even your Tivo box from time-to-time.

We never solved that at the time, but I still have the e-mails where the guys from Lexicon were giving you the run-around even back then. (I guess some things never change...)

You were the only one who had that problem, so we ignored it at the time because it also happened with other sources. We figured it must have been the Lexicon. Years later, we had more problems with an Arcam SSP that was very popular and did the same thing.

So we did our usual investigation and found out that the problem was the Dolby spec. Dolby sends out their data in "packets" and each packet has a header saying how long the packet is supposed to be. It turned out that the SuperBit discs violated this structure, but only with the sound effects in the menu.

The Dolby spec never said how the MPEG decoder in the DVD player was supposed to handle these bad packets, and it never said how the decoder in the SSP was supposed to handle these bad packets. The result was a popping noise (a *loud* one!) during the menu of improperly authored discs.

Lexicon wouldn't (or couldn't) change their firmware. Arcam wouldn't (or couldn't) change their firmware. Pioneer couldn't help us because the decoder we were using was discontinued (they changed models every year).

So we ended up writing a special program in our FPGA. It would monitor the audio signal. If there was a Dolby Digital ID in the header, we would then look at the length of the packet. If the packet length matched, we would let it through. If it didn't we would mute the digital audio output. Problem solved.

This was easy to implement on the DX-7 as it only required a firmware change. But the D-1 didn't have an FPGA! So we made a daughterboard and added an FPGA to monitor the audio signal and look for bad packets.

Roger, if you're still reading this thread, you'll understand some of the reasons why I still cringe when I hear the words "Dolby Digital". That was a lot of work for a small company like us. But we were the ones who solved it. Not the authoring company that made the defective disc. Not Lexicon. Not Arcam. But Ayre. At that time we had two engineers -- me and one other guy. It was a pain in the ass. But we did it -- somebody had to.

In all fairness, we couldn't have solved the problem without Dolby's help. They were actually unbelievably great about the whole thing. They analyzed the disc. They found the problem. They tried to get Pioneer to fix it. They bent over backwards and had tools and equipment to trace down the problem. They never charged us a dime. Things went kind of slow, but that's always the way it is with big corporations.

The bottom line is that there was never any problem connecting to the D-Box, except for a bad XLR-RCA adapter. It was the disc authoring problem that had you eventually sell the DX-7, even though it had the best picture you had seen....
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post #318 of 1443 Old 01-26-2010, 11:59 AM
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Thanks Charles, I remember some of that, you are right, I had to use an adaptor out of the DX-7, because it didn't have an SPDIF connector, and that one was defective. The audio problem was an issue with Ayre, but I don't recall the same problem, especially with my Tivo, as I still have both that and the Lexicon. You are correct, however, that the Lexicon people were pretty useless. Although I still have the MC-12, I would not buy another Lexicon product (especially now that they did what they did with that Oppo re-badge).

I honestly don't recall why I sold the DX-7, could have been that audio issue. It was a great image, but I started working with Video Processors, and felt that I could do better going that route at the time.

Anyway, I do recall how helpful you were at the time, and it was a pleasure doing business with you. I also recall the dealer was useless, which makes it unfortunate that one can only buy your products through the dealers.

Have you ever thought of selling direct, and cutting out the middleman? There are a number of great companies that are finding that business model is a very good one.

Phil
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post #319 of 1443 Old 01-26-2010, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free View Post

The audio problem was an issue with Ayre, but I don't recall the same problem, especially with my Tivo, as I still have both that and the Lexicon.

I went back through my old e-mails and found that you were having troubles with an HD Tivo making popping noises when changing from HD to SD channels, and that you had a JVC HM-DH-40000 D-VHS tape deck that made noises while navigating menus or pausing and resuming. These were in addition to the popping noises from the Ayre during the menus of SuperBit discs. Looking back, I'm not sure if any of those problems were related as far as the defect on the incoming signal. But it seems that the Lexicon didn't like anything besides a perfect signal and would hiccup anytime there was something out of the ordinary. Perhaps you have updated the firmware since then and they fixed some of the problems. I know that we fixed the problem in our players so that they would work with any SSP.

At that time, you were the only customer that had a problem with the Ayre, and it seemed that the Lexicon was the problem. In the end it turned out that most SSP manufacturers OEM'ed their decoding engines from one of two or three companies. One of the companies (the one Lexicon used) couldn't handle the signal that the Ayre created with the improperly-authored SuperBit DVD's. Later on, more and more companies started using that same OEM engine and we started having more complaints. That's when we realized that it wasn't just the Lexicon.

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Have you ever thought of selling direct, and cutting out the middleman? There are a number of great companies that are finding that business model is a very good one.

Actually, it is a terrible model. It is like going back 3,000 years to when Greek artisans would have to stop working once a week and take their wares to the market place. It didn't take long to realize that it was a better use of their time to keep making their hand made stuff and let somebody else take their work to the market and receive some sort of commission.

If you look at the history of audio companies for the last 40 years, the trash can is full of the ruins of audio companies that tried to go direct. Remember Conrad-Johnson's Synthesis loudspeakers? After they discontinued the line, their designer, Dave Fokos, tried going direct. He lasted about a year. Remember Wingate amplifiers? They were probably the first company in the world to make a zero-feedback solid state power amp. (You can see his circuit online because he got it patented.) It got a great review in The Absolute Sound. He lasted about a year.

It goes on and on. Every once in a while there is a company that kind of hangs in there for a while. Right now it is Outlaw. I don't know how they are doing, but I don't think they are in any danger of becoming the market leader...

It turns out that the whole "cutting out the middle-man" is just a myth anyway. If you don't have dealers demonstrating and promoting your products, then you have to do it yourself. It doesn't save anybody any money in the end. In your particular case, we have a new dealer in the Phoenix area. Perhaps you will find them more helpful than the previous dealer. And you can always call the factory for additional advice. But there is nothing like seeing the equipment in person at the store, trying it out, and if it seems like it might be right for you, to take it home overnight for a test in your own system. We can't do that from 1,200 miles away.
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post #320 of 1443 Old 01-26-2010, 10:54 PM
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Charles, further to the isolation issue, would an HDMI over optical cable be useful in connecting my projector to my (soon to be purchased) DX-5? Something like this:

http://www.vitextech.com/documents/f...20Brochure.pdf

That particular cable doesn't require a power supply if the HDMI jack can supply 500 mA current.

Auraliti PK90-USB > Ayre DX-5 > Ayre KX-R > Ayre MX-R > YG Kipod II Signature Passive
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post #321 of 1443 Old 01-27-2010, 05:18 AM
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Charles, perhaps Tivo had a software update that solved that problem, that was also found in the Ayre, and DVHS deck, as I have not updated the Lexicon and I have not had a trace of the issue for years, since I sold the Ayre.

Just a small side note, not that there is anything too private in those messages to you, however they were Private Correspondence, and I am a little disturbed that you posted them word for word on a public forum.

I understand your viewpoint on the direct sales model, though I disagree, as there are some great companies that make it work well. One example is Emotiva Audio. Anyway, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on that one.

Can you post here who the new local Phoenix dealer is, or should I PM you?

Phil
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post #322 of 1443 Old 01-27-2010, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Free View Post

Charles, perhaps Tivo had a software update that solved that problem, that was also found in the Ayre, and DVHS deck, as I have not updated the Lexicon and I have not had a trace of the issue for years, since I sold the Ayre.

Just a small side note, not that there is anything too private in those messages to you, however they were Private Correspondence, and I am a little disturbed that you posted them word for word on a public forum.

I understand your viewpoint on the direct sales model, though I disagree, as there are some great companies that make it work well. One example is Emotiva Audio. Anyway, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on that one.

Can you post here who the new local Phoenix dealer is, or should I PM you?

Hello Free,

Glad to hear that your system is working properly now. There is nothing more frustrating that paying mega-bucks for the "best" equipment and then having problems that don't appear in the $99 WalMart special. It's good to be leading edge, but not bleeding edge....

Sorry about the e-mails. As a rule, I don't post private communications publicly. In this case I didn't think there was anything that was confidential and just wanted to jog your memory (mine sure needed it!). In any case, I have edited the post. Let me know if that is OK or if you want me to edit it further.

I have never heard of the Emotiva line before. I went to their website and saw quite a variety of equipment at very low prices. From their descriptions, it sounds to be well-designed equipment. From their prices and cosmetics, it is clear that it is made in China. There is nothing wrong with that, and at least they aren't trying to play the game of some companies that sell Chinese-made equipment for top-dollar US-made prices!

I was surprised to see that our new Arizona dealer is not on our website yet. My understanding is that everything was settled with the new dealer, but I work from home since my accident a few years ago. Please call Steve at 303-442-7300 x233 to find out the status of the Arizona dealer. I will have the website updated.
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post #323 of 1443 Old 01-27-2010, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim Wiens View Post

Charles, further to the isolation issue, would an HDMI over optical cable be useful in connecting my projector to my (soon to be purchased) DX-5? Something like this:

http://www.vitextech.com/documents/f...20Brochure.pdf

That particular cable doesn't require a power supply if the HDMI jack can supply 500 mA current.

If you read the fine print you will see that although the four main signals are optically isolated, the other signals (Display Data Channel, Consumer Electronics Control, etc.) are not. So it won't provide total isolation between your audio and video system.

Oddly enough, however, we tried similar optical cables back in the days of DVI and found that they provided a noticeably superior picture to conventional cables. I have no idea why that would be, but it was quite obvious, even with a system that was already totally isolated between the video and audio sides. We could replace a 15 foot copper cable with a 100 foot optical cable and see a better picture -- yet the optical cable has to perform two conversions -- go figure....

Many HDMI outputs are unable to supply 500 mA of current. In that case, the picture quality will be even better if you replace the cheap (switching, I believe) external power supply with a nice quiet linear power supply.

We're getting pretty tweaky here, but if you are spending many thousands of dollars on a display, many thousands of dollars on a player, and several thousands of dollars for a screen, it's not unreasonable to spend a thousand dollars or so to get an optical cable that will give you that last bit of picture quality. Again, I can't explain why it is better, but I have seen it with my own eyes.
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post #324 of 1443 Old 01-27-2010, 09:13 AM
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Thanks Charles, no worries. I will check out the local dealer when I get a chance.

Phil
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post #325 of 1443 Old 01-27-2010, 10:21 AM
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Oddly enough, however, we tried similar optical cables back in the days of DVI and found that they provided a noticeably superior picture to conventional cables. I have no idea why that would be, but it was quite obvious, even with a system that was already totally isolated between the video and audio sides. We could replace a 15 foot copper cable with a 100 foot optical cable and see a better picture -- yet the optical cable has to perform two conversions -- go figure....

That is very interesting. In the 20k forum Glimmie made this observation:

Quote:
One of the important paramaters in any parallel cable is never mentioned in HDMI cable reports. This reinforces my belief that most of these esoteric cable companies have no clue as to what a good cable really is.

First, HDMI (and DVI) is not a serial interface. It is what I call a Quasi serial interface. HDSDI, SPDIF, even lowly RS232 is a true serial interface, that is one wire and return (ground) carrying the data. While HDMI does serially encode the RGB data it's still an overall parallel interface as the RGB and clock are seperate pairs and herein lays the problem.

Most articles on cables refer to capacitance as the achiles heel of long high speed cables. Yes, that quite true but very few if any manufactures seem to explain the "skew" between the pairs. This can kill the overall performance faster than capacitance if not held in tight tolerance.

Consider a twisted wire pair. No machine is perfect and the twist per inch is not perfect. It's tolerance depends onthe care and accuracy of the twisting machine. Twist the pair tighter and it becomes physically shorter but electrically longer. Or the inverse for a looser twist. So consider that the four pairs of wire are not equal in length. On a short cable the error is not enough to misframe the bits against the clock. But once we get to 50 feet or more, a sloppy twist tolerance can cause enough timing shift to make the data unreadable. And yet the eye pattern of all the individule data pairs and clock may look quite good and well within spec.

So the capacitance is not the sole governing issue on long parallel cables, Neither is the wire gauge. When you consider the voltage and current levels of the TDMS spec, the difference between 28, 26, and 24 gauge wire is insignificant. Thicker wires do help for cables that will be pulled through conduit but that's it. They have no electrical benefit, only mechanical strength. And the popular most misunderstood "skin effect" is not applicable either. Sure skin effect is a major factor at these frequencies but a 28ga wire is no better or worse than a 24ga. 28ga is well within spec.

I first got bit (no pun intended) with this in the early 1980s interfacing to a Cray parallel port to a graphics video buffer. It had a pure ECL bit for bit parallel interface and my cable had rather sloppy twist tolerance. And then again we went thorugh this in the late 1980s with parallel digital video. The problem is still here anytime you make a parallel interface and always will be. Even fiber is not immune - are all the fibers in a multi fiber cable the same legnth. Impossible in our universe but if they are close enough considering the data rate versus the length you're ok.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1219790&page=2

I wonder if Glimmie's explanation is the reason optical cable looked better.

I use a 50' run of CAT6 with Gefen HDMI converters on each end. I wonder if it looks better than copper or optical. I don't think I'll ever know.....
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post #326 of 1443 Old 01-27-2010, 03:52 PM
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Thanks Charles, no worries. I will check out the local dealer when I get a chance.

Sorry, I gave you bad information. We are in the process of changing dealers, but it turns out that the new dealer is still pending at the moment. Again, please check with Steve if you have any questions.
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post #327 of 1443 Old 01-27-2010, 04:00 PM
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I wonder if Glimmie's explanation is the reason optical cable looked better.

Everything he says is spot-on. But it still doesn't explain why things would look different with different cables. It only explains how you might get "sparkles" if things were far enough out of spec to get data errors.

But I've seen (and heard) plenty of thing that have no logical explanation. I really don't know why the optical DVI looked better, but it wasn't subtle. We showed it to many people and everyone saw the same thing. Ours was Sumitomo (Japan), but as I recall, the heart of their converter was from the same Korean company that was linked above.

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I use a 50' run of CAT6 with Gefen HDMI converters on each end. I wonder if it looks better than copper or optical. I don't think I'll ever know.....

I don't know if the prices have come down. Six or eight years ago, the optical DVI cables were close to $1000. But even if they still cost that much, it would be worth borrowing one to try in your system. I'm sure it would look much better than your current setup. The only potential glitch would be pulling the cable, as the connectors are larger than the CAT 5/6 connectors.
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post #328 of 1443 Old 01-27-2010, 04:34 PM
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The only potential glitch would be pulling the cable, as the connectors are larger than the CAT 5/6 connectors.

Aye, there's the rub. System was installed 8 years ago with 50' of SDI coax, S-Video, and RGBHV and a 1.5" plastic conduit. The latter was a life saver when we pulled the CAT6 last year.

50' of fiber optic from DVI Gear (who I believe is highly regarded) is $450, but those connectors! Oh well, you can never have it all.

http://www2.dvigear.com/hdfiopca.html
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post #329 of 1443 Old 01-27-2010, 07:48 PM
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I replaced 2 years ago a 30 meters cat5 Gefen extender with an optical HDMI cable. As you can see on the link, prices are way down, now it's only $999.

The Gefen was not very good, I often had some sync problems with it, hence the replacement.

The optical cable behaves more cleanly, like an ordinary short cable in fact, but I did not notice any picture improvement.

That said, there are 3 copper HDMI cables in serie with it, one from the player to the video processor, one from the processor to the HDMI optic cable start and one from the end of the optic cable to the projector.

Robert
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post #330 of 1443 Old 01-28-2010, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by GGA View Post

Aye, there's the rub. System was installed 8 years ago with 50' of SDI coax, S-Video, and RGBHV and a 1.5" plastic conduit. The latter was a life saver when we pulled the CAT6 last year.

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The optical cable behaves more cleanly, like an ordinary short cable in fact, but I did not notice any picture improvement.

That said, there are 3 copper HDMI cables in serie with it, one from the player to the video processor, one from the processor to the HDMI optic cable start and one from the end of the optic cable to the projector.

If you browse around on:

www.vitextech.com

you will find DVI cables with detachable ends so that you can run them through conduit. Also the HDMI cables have much smaller ends and may fit as-is.

But the most interesting thing is a two-box system for HDMI that gets rid of the copper altogether. There are two optical cables, presumably one for the video data and the other for the DDC, CEC, and other stuff. It doesn't look cheap but it would give total isolation between the video and audio.

Robena, I am a big believer in "simpler is better". When we had our D-1xe with the progressive-scan output board using the 14-bit satellite communications DAC chips running directly into our 7" CRT projector onto an 84" screen, the picture quality was stunning - especially with 576p PAL discs.

More boxes means more cables means more power supplies (often switching, meaning more noise) means more chances for ground loops. With the DX-5, the ideal setup will be HDMI one cable to your display and HDMI one cable to your SSP (or just two analog cables to your stereo amp). If that is your only source, you won't have to worry about scaling because we already have the best scaler there is built in. You won't have to worry about isolation because we've already done that inside the DX-5. The video output is completely separate and electrically isolated from all of the other audio outputs (analog, AES/EBU, and HDMI audio). It's only when you start adding in other sources that you have to be careful.
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