Originally Posted by eieio
i'm totally new to blurays, so pardon my ignorance...
what is the advantage to using "Mix" turned On? what are the benefits of decoding the soundtrack in the bluray player, running the PCM through a mixer, and adding in a secondary audio? i have never before owned a bluray player so i'm not even sure what you mean. thx again.
Secondary audio is not part of the movie soundtrack. If you want to hear it, it must be mixed in by the player. Secondary audio is not included in the lossless bitstream. Again, secondary audio is sound effects for disc menus and the audio for PIP commentaries.
oh, additionally, i was told by a friend that it is crucial, for the best possible sound, that if one were to have a good receiver, i.e. my Onkyo 807, that one uses the Mix "No" option (plus the HDMI Audio set to Auto), because that way, the 370 outputs the untouched bitstream to the receiver. According to him, this would allow the 807 Onkyo receiver to receiver the purest form of the audio tracks, be able to process it using the RECEIVER's superior audio processing algorithms/powers, and allow us maximum options of audio output.
May i ask if you guys agree with that, or, do you guys feel that it is equally good, or maybe even better, if the audio processing were to be done "in bluray player", i.e. ask the bluray player to output PCM?
Your friend doesn't quite understand how things work. TrueHD and dts-MA are really just zip files used to compress PCM and save space on the disc. Decoding unzips the file, turning it back into PCM. It doesn't matter where the unzipping takes place. You get the same PCM either way. No matter where the file is decoded, your AVR handles all processing. In fact, player decoding is better with some receivers that lack the processing power to decode dts-MA and apply Audyssey.
But, there's a caveat with the Mix setting. Many players cannot decode dts-MA and mix secondary audio. So they use the lossy DTS core track instead.
So, if you set HDMI to PCM and Mix to Off, you will get the same lossless audio as you get bitstreaming to your Onkyo for decoding. The Onkyo does all of the processing either way. If you set Mix to On, you'll get lossless TrueHD because the player can decode the TrueHD track when mixing in secondary audio. But, with the Mix setting, you will get the lossy DTS core instead of lossless dts-MA.
The Sony 370's nomenclature vis-a-vis "bitstream output" is very confusing to me. Why won't there be simply an output option called: "Output: Bitstream" and another "Output: PCM"?
Many players do just that. Sony chose a different approach where the HDMI handshake between player and receiver determines whether the player bitstreams or decodes.