Originally Posted by James Parsons
Also, if you're using the HDMI connection to your receiver, you'd be completely bypassing the Blu-ray player's DAC and using the receiver's DAC instead. As long as you're using digital connections, the only place you need a good DAC is in your receiver.
Don't fall for the marketing hype by paying for expensive players because of their DAC. There might
be other reasons to buy an expensive CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player, but if you're using digital connections the DAC isn't one of them.
I don't consider it marketing hype, just a feature on the player that some of us need. There are people who are actively happy with their pre-HDMI receivers, who prefer analog output, or who want to bypass receivers altogether and use amps only. That's who the analog outs are made for.
I've used both, I had a receiver (the Sony STR-DG800) which only had HDMI routing, not processing, so I needed analog outs to play movies with the lossless (TrueHD, DTS-HD-MA) soundtracks. For me, having the Oppo do the sound decoding and sending those analog signals to my receiver was valuable. I also found that the Oppo's DAC did a very good job.
Once I changed to an HDMI processing capable receiver (Pioneer Elite VSX-33), I played with both, and although I liked the analog sound, I found the HDMI processing to be fairly equivalent and much more convenient. The DAC from the Pioneer was much improved over the Sony, so I moved to that for both music and home theater and have been very happy.
It's about how useful it is to you. If you have a good quality HDMI capable receiver and you're just interested in movies, then you go HDMI all of the way in my opinion.