Originally Posted by Blu Camry SE
I am currently running a Panasonic DMP-BD10A Blu ray player to an Onkyo TX-SR605 receiver, using ONLY an HDMI connection....this connection is as follows:
The player's HDMI OUT is going to the receiver's HDMI INPUT 1
The receiver's HDMI OUT is feeding, from a second HDMI cable, my Sony SXRD TV's HDMI IN, for video transfer...
This player, which I unfortunately discovered after I purchased it due to highly unknowledgeable sales staff and conflicting online advice, DOES NOT pass any of the high resolution audio codecs via bitstream to the Onkyo (which is precisely what I bought this receiver for, as it decodes these formats onboard) nor does it even SUPPORT DTS Master Audio. I have been having some issues with this hookup since the day it was installed (by me and with assistance by a recommended installer in my area) which involve these issues:
First of all, is the gear HOOKED UP correctly? That is, ONE HDMI cable OUT from the player to the RECEIVER'S HDMI IN, and then an HDMI OUT from the receiver to the TV, to get high definition PICTURE and SOUND? If it is, let me explain what I have been getting in terms of performance because I don't believe I am experiencing the optimum results from the setup...
IN THE BLU RAY PLAYER, under "DIGITAL AUDIO OUTPUT" in the SETUP menu, there are selections for changing ALL THE AUDIO CODECS this machine supports to either PCM or BITSTREAM....that is, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS HD...now, regardless of the fact that I was told by a member of another board that these settings have NO affect on HDMI audio output and they're JUST for controlling the audio which comes from the digital COAXIAL and OPTICAL outs (which turned out to be, I suppose, not accurate because changing the high resolution settings here DID in fact affect the HDMI audio on my system), I still set the "legacy" Dolby Digital and DTS outputs to BITSTREAM, because those seem to have no problem passing to the 605 over HDMI to be decoded by the 605; this was confirmed by the receiver's display, of course, registering "DOLBY D" on the main screen with the little orange Dolby Digital light illuminating above that and the HDMI logo appearing as well. The problem comes into play with the new high resolution codecs...these soundtracks (Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD) cannot be passed from this machine via bitstream to be decoded and so I have been keeping the Plus, TrueHD and DTS HD settings on PCM, so the PLAYER decodes these tracks and sends them to the receiver via PCM -- but there have been some issues here.
First of all, when I play these "UNCOMPRESSED 5.1 PCM" tracks off certain Blu ray discs, the player and receiver do the HDMI handshake and then the receiver's display reads "MULTICH" on the main screen with "MULTICHANNEL/HDMI/PCM" illuminated in small lettering above that message....is this correct when playing uncompressed tracks? Is this what should be illuminating on the Onkyo's display when playing these tracks? I have been getting countless, conflicting advice on whether or not the receiver's DIRECT or MULTICHANNEL mode should be used when playing these tracks....some say use DIRECT, but then some say by doing that all bass management and processing done by the receiver goes out the window. My receiver AUTOMATICALLY defaults to MULTICHANNEL mode when playing these uncompressed tracks; but the thing is, these tracks don't sound all that great to me....or at least not as good as the anticipation seemed to make it -- all these uncompressed audio mixes sound, on MY system, very front-heavy without a great deal of surround activity and there is a definite, distinct lack of bass compared to Dolby and DTS tracks from standard DVDs. Now I have been told that this is because PCM audio seems to have a 10dB low bass reduction as compared to bitstream signals, and that this has been a problem since the first models of Super Audio CD players; is this true? At any rate, PCM audio tracks are passing this way to my receiver: the HDMI handshake ensues, and then the receiver reads "MULTICHANNEL" on the display....I need to make sure this is correct. There seems to be NO OTHER listening mode on my Onkyo to select from when playing PCM tracks -- cycling through the listening modes only allows for DIRECT or MULTICHANNEL, or "LAST VALID" I believe...so is MULTICHANNEL the way to go?
Now, I had thought MULTICHANNEL mode on a receiver was to control incoming audio from the ANALOG inputs; so, if I am running an HDMI cable from player to receiver, which is DIGITAL, why is a MULTICHANNEL mode being used? And, here is another issue I have been having with this....the manual states that by selecting "PCM" for these high resolution sound codecs, the player is downmixing the track to a two-channel PCM signal, and sending that to a receiver....so, is a two channel PCM mix REALLY the high resolution signal being seen at the receiver? Some say only bitstreaming to a receiver is the way to really get the impact of these tracks, and that something "happens" with a conversion to PCM -- but is this so? I have to say, when switching between PCM and Bitstream for Master Audio tracks (I'll get to this in a minute), I can hear a distinct difference between the two....BITSTREAM sounds HEAVIER, with more bass in the mix, and the PCM just sounds "thinner"; now, I have been told that my receiver is adding bass management more correctly than the player is, and that it's just better to do it at the receiver -- BUT, being that this player DOES NOT send ANY of these new soundtracks through bitstream, what is happening when I keep the SETTING on bitstream is that the receiver "sees" a "core" Dolby Digital or DTS mix from the TrueHD or Master Audio stream, and THAT'S what is displayed on the receiver's front panel...so, is keeping these settings on PCM the right way to get the "lossless" audio out to the receiver?
Now, with regard to DTS MASTER AUDIO....this has given me a headache from day one....I have a few Fox titles on Blu ray in my collection that sport these tracks, as you all well know, and this is what has been happening: for some reason, the Panasonic's "DTS HD" AUDIO OUTPUT settings seem to be affecting the DTS MASTER AUDIO tracks -- I suppose this is because DTS HD is the closest codec to Master Audio that this player can "support"...and so when I keep DTS HD on PCM, and play a Master Audio track, the receiver sees that MULTICHANNEL signal....if I keep DTS HD on BITSTREAM and play the same track, the receiver displays a "DTS" signal....I had assumed that this meant the player was extracting the "core" DTS mix from the Master Audio stream and playing that....but my question is this: if this player does not support DTS Master Audio, then what kind of signal is it feeding the receiver when playing these tracks? Like I said, keeping the setting on BITSTREAM seems to send an improved sound to my speakers and ears as opposed to PCM -- but for these Master Audio tracks, what should this be set to? The player DOES NOT support Master Audio, so first of all, is it correct that the player's DTS HD setting is the CORRECT one for playing Master Audio tracks, and second, what exactly am I hearing by keeping the DTS HD setting on BITSTREAM when playing these tracks -- am I still getting the core extracted DTS mix from the disc? So, either way, PCM or bitstream, Master Audio is being sent as a "decored" DTS track? Do I have this right?
Something else that has been bothering me....when I play ANY Blu ray disc and press the remote's onscreen display button for information, the audio tracks always come up as MULTICHANNEL....in other words, when playing an uncompressed PCM track, it reads "LPCM MULTI 48K..." and if I play a TrueHD soundtrack it will say "Dolby (symbol) TrueHD MULTI..." and if I play a Master Audio track, it will say "DTS HD MULTI...." Why is this happening? When I play a regular DVD, this onscreen message will read "Dolby Digital 3/2.1 CH" or "DTS 3.2.1".....but this does not happen when playing the high resolution formats....it ALWAYS reads "MULTICHANNEL" after the soundtrack name....is this because the player cannot send these tracks bitstream, and indicating that a PCM mix is being sent? But why then does it do this when I select BITSTREAM OUT for DTS HD and play Master Audio tracks? Shouldnt it then read "DTS HD 3/2.1 CH"? What is actually happening when I am sending DTS Master Audio tracks over HDMI to my receiver, but the player is not supporting DTS Master Audio and yet sending some kind of "DTS core" track instead? Do some kind of special HDMI cables need to be used for these high resolution codecs and video? Does it need a certain speed rating or is this just nonsense to make more money from companies like Monster?
Being that I am running everything via HDMI through my receiver, could the receiver be degrading the picture quality in any way? The manual for the Onkyo TX-SR605 claims 1080p video should pass right through the HDMI ports in and out to a display with no conversions; my Sony TV confirms that the screen IS seeing a 1080p signal when I press the DISPLAY button on the TV's remote, but upconverted DVDs at 1080p are RIDDLED with vertical jaggies especially through words and text on the screen -- such as when opening credits are being displayed and such. I am also getting bad pixelation and macroblocking on regular DVDs from this player, especially during dark sequences in films. Is the receiver doing this somehow, or is the video processor in the Blu ray player just not up to the task of upconverting? Is it my screen? Should 1080p signals from the player pass completely untouched by the receiver, even though it's running in a loop through the Onkyo? Is it my HDMI cables? The one that connects my player and receiver is a Monster; the one going to the TV is a thick, black HEAVILY shielded one I purchased onsite from my installer.
There are a MILLION different variables I still need to discuss with regards to these problems, but that's all I can think of for now...if anyone could please help me with some or any of these issues, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance.