Please help: specific situation - dvd/blu-ray player - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-11-2012, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there,

This is my first post, hope this is in the right place. I've done a lot of research but I'm still lacking some knowledge.

I've got a very specific situation, I've got most of it figured out but specs on the blue ray player still have me confused.


Maybe its best that I explain first, if you are willing to read, otherwise go to the list of questions down below.

- Me and a friend are going to build a small cinema-room. A 70 square meter room (750 square feet) with about 30 seats.
- 5 meter wide screen (16 feet)
- projector using hdmi input preferably
- 5.1 surround system using active PA speakers something in the line of five DB technologies Cromo 10's and one db technologies 808 sub.

db technologies speakers:
[URL=http://www.dbtechnologies.com/index.php?id=22&L=0&tx_amdbt_pi1[category]=234&tx_amdbt_pi1[product]=829]http://www.dbtechnologies.com/index.php?id=22&L=0&tx_amdbt_pi1[category]=234&tx_amdbt_pi1[product]=829[/URL]

db technologies sub:
[URL=http://www.dbtechnologies.com/index.php?id=22&L=0&tx_amdbt_pi1[category]=4&tx_amdbt_pi1[product]=810]http://www.dbtechnologies.com/index.php?id=22&L=0&tx_amdbt_pi1[category]=4&tx_amdbt_pi1[product]=810[/URL]

These speakers require a XLR balanced input. My plan is to use a dvd and blu ray player that has 5.1 rca analogue output, connect those to three radial J+4 boxes to boost the rca signals to +4dbu signals. This way I can make long cable runs with balanced xlr cable and have no noise interference (hiss, hum, ground loops...)
radial J+4 box:
http://www.radialeng.com/r2011/j4.php

volume control will be set on the amps (built-in in the speakers) and/or on the radial boxes, with hardware buttons, so no remote for volume but thats really not an issue.

I come from an more audio/analogue background, I run a recording studio and have played concerts for years etc... I was first thinking of getting a system like the 3000 series from JBL, but thats crazy expensive for a couple of passive speakers. Using these concert/PA speakers (with built in amps) will get me a much better sounding and more powerfull system for less money. At least that is what I think, feel free to correct me.

So I figured all I need is a player with 5.1 analogue rca outputs, no biggie, right!?
Well it turns out these are hard to find these days.

The needed specs are these:

A player that:
- plays regular dvd's (duh)
- plays blu-ray discs (not mandatory but these days its hard to find one that doesn't. And I might consider switching to blue ray discs on future film purchases if it really is that much better)
- has 5.1 rca analogue outputs (or balanced TRS/XLR outputs, but my research tells me that that simply doesn't exist. Weird)
- has hdmi out (which I'll only use for video)
- has component video and/or composite video as backup.
- Needs to support 5.1 dolby digital, 5.1 dts and 5.1 dts ES on a REGULAR DVD disc (not blu-ray disc)
- under 500 euro/dollars

Now, I think I've might have found this in the Panasonic DMP-BDT500
http://www.trustedreviews.com/panasonic-dmp-bdt500_Blu-ray-Player_specs


but looking at the specs I realize I don't know the basics of the more modern formats. Please help me out on my following questions:

1. Image quality: when using hdmi, I don't get how there can be differences in image quality between players. Hdmi sends digital information, it only gets converted to analogue by the TV or projector, so I figure its the latter who will determine the image quality, as the digital data sent from the player will always contain the same digital information, regardless of which player. Am I thinking wrong here?

2. On-board decoders; the specs of the panasonic-dmp-bdt500 say that it supports:
- Dolby TrueHD
- DTS Master Audio
- Dolby Digital 5.1
- Bitstream Audio Out
But does that mean I can play a REGULAR DVD with regular DTS 5.1 on it in surround? How about a regular DVD with 5.1 DD or 5.1 DTS ES?? (this is my biggest question)

3. The review says: 'true audiophiles might be put off by the lack of DVD-Audio and SACD playback.' Can someone explain this to me in simple language? cuz I read this as: 'my regular DVD's will play without any sound'

4. If a player has a 7.1 rca analogue output system, can I simply connect my 5.1 system; leave the 2 additional rca ports unconnected and it'll do the job just as long as I select a 5.1 soundtrack from the disc's menu?

5. Any other good players that meet the requirements set above?


Thanks for reading, any help would be very much appreciated.

Robin
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-11-2012, 10:46 PM
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You are bound to get a number of conflicting answers to some of these questions, as some of it is subjective. I do not claim to be an expert, but I can share what I believe I have learned along the way. See below . . .

1. Image quality: when using hdmi, I don't get how there can be differences in image quality between players. Hdmi sends digital information, it only gets converted to analogue by the TV or projector, so I figure its the latter who will determine the image quality, as the digital data sent from the player will always contain the same digital information, regardless of which player. Am I thinking wrong here?

Many folks insist there are differences in image quality even using hdmi. Personally, I have not seen anything dramatic (I own 3 different model blu-ray players, but all Sony) , but I also have not spent time with strict comparisons either.

2. On-board decoders; the specs of the panasonic-dmp-bdt500 say that it supports:
- Dolby TrueHD
- DTS Master Audio
- Dolby Digital 5.1
- Bitstream Audio Out
But does that mean I can play a REGULAR DVD with regular DTS 5.1 on it in surround? YES. How about a regular DVD with 5.1 DD or 5.1 DTS ES?? YES (this is my biggest question)

3. The review says: 'true audiophiles might be put off by the lack of DVD-Audio and SACD playback.' Can someone explain this to me in simple language? cuz I read this as: 'my regular DVD's will play without any sound' DVD-A & SACD have nothing to do with regular DVD or Blu-Ray movie title playback. Your DVDs will work fine

4. If a player has a 7.1 rca analogue output system, can I simply connect my 5.1 system; leave the 2 additional rca ports unconnected and it'll do the job just as long as I select a 5.1 soundtrack from the disc's menu? Yes - you should be able to tell the player that there are no rear surround channels in your system and it will send everything via the 5.1 analog output connectors. However, there is an issue here. The LFE channel tends to be sent out about 10db down via the analog out channels of blu-ray players. So you have to be able to compensate for that somehow in your system. If your setup permits you to boost the LFE channel higher than the other channels, then you should be able to address this and get the channels in balance.

5. Any other good players that meet the requirements set above? I have had excellent experience with my Sony players. My favorite is the BDP-S1000ES (it has analog outputs, although I do not use them). If you want top quality analog outputs, look into a mint condition/used Sony BDP-S5000ES as it has a terrific reputation for the analog outputs. Oppo owners also swear by the analog outputs of those players. Price may be an issue in either case, depending on where you can find what you want. And, btw - once you get used to watching blu-rays - I predict you will never again be satisfied with DVDs!

A long-time audio/video addict!
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-12-2012, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the advise and explanations!

However, there is an issue here. The LFE channel tends to be sent out about 10db down via the analog out channels of blu-ray players. So you have to be able to compensate for that somehow in your system. If your setup permits you to boost the LFE channel higher than the other channels, then you should be able to address this and get the channels in balance.

Wow, this is really weird, is this the issue with all blue ray players?

Thanks for the advise on the sony's will check that out. Although finding such specified units on the used market is very rare where I live (Belgium).
I did come across Oppo this night in my endless search, looks very good but is pretty expensive, I'll need to consider.


If anyone else has some models they can advise I'd be happy to read into them!
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