Is there a better option than the PS3? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 213 Old 01-06-2008, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I jumped into the HD movie arena with the 360 add-on because it was by far the cheapest price point for me since I already had the 360. I love it but now it seems almost certain Blu-Ray is the winner. So, I returned any unopened HD-DVDs that I got for the holidays and have been looking at Blu-Ray players.

It seems to me the PS3 is the obvious choice because it is one of the best players and the big point to me is that it is profile 1.1 and could possibly be upgraded to 2.0 (I don't see why not). No standalone that I am aware of offers the possiblity of being upgradeable to 2.0, so that alone seems to make PS3 the winner to me.

Can anyone point out any other options they honestly feels could be better for me? Are there any standalones that might be upgradeable to 2.0 in the future?

The PS3 would also be nice for the occasional PS3 exclusive I might want to play (Medal Gear).

Thanks for the helps guys. Love AVS and just now researching Blu-Ray.
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post #2 of 213 Old 01-06-2008, 12:33 PM
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Everyones situation is different. After for some of us, our audio requirements are the biggest determining factor.
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post #3 of 213 Old 01-06-2008, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Could you be more specific? What audio limitations does the PS3 have that a stand alone would allow?
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post #4 of 213 Old 01-06-2008, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim01 View Post

Could you be more specific? What audio limitations does the PS3 have that a stand alone would allow?

no support for DTS-HD MA which is the lossless audio DTS format (that is, audio is transmitted in its original form not compressed as in the regular Dolby Digital or DTS).
Also the PS3 is noisy (although some swear it is not - I've had 3 in the house and they were all noisy) and it gets very hot (yes mine were in the clear, standing and not on an enclosed shelf).
On the plus side it is very fast and works well and theoratically can be upgrade to profile 2.
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post #5 of 213 Old 01-06-2008, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim01 View Post

Could you be more specific? What audio limitations does the PS3 have that a stand alone would allow?

It doesn't have 5.1 analog out.
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post #6 of 213 Old 01-06-2008, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies. My receiver is a few years old and doesn't take in HDMI, so I don't think the audio is of concern for me as I won't be getting a new receiver until the fall or winter at the earliest.

I use optical for audio, and it sounds like the PS3 allows the best that optical could handle.
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post #7 of 213 Old 01-06-2008, 03:26 PM
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The just-announced Panasonic DMP-BD50 might be just what you (and me, and thousands of others here) have been waiting for:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/06/s...s-new-dmp-bd50

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post #8 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah but the only question is what is that going to cost? To me it doesn't make sense to pay a couple hundred more than the PS3 for just a standalone player. If it was the same price then maybe.
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post #9 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 05:46 AM
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The BD50 is unlikely to have the same low price as the 40GB PS3.
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post #10 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 10:03 AM
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I also am an unwashed HD-DVD owner now obviously looking for a BD player.

Will a PS3 play CDs? :-) Seriously...
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post #11 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by shanec View Post

I also am an unwashed HD-DVD owner now obviously looking for a BD player.

Will a PS3 play CDs? :-) Seriously...

Played some for the first time this morning. They played very well, and the new visualizations were cool.
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post #12 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 10:10 AM
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You bet. The PS3 is the ultimate home entertainment console out there. Besides being unable to decode DTS-MA or bitstream HBR audio or play HD DVDs, this thing can meet all your home entertainment needs. It can stream audio/video/picture files right from your home PC with a wireless connection. Not to mention play video games.
Even if one decides to go with a standalone BR player the PS3 will always be there to do other things.
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post #13 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 10:13 AM
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Unless you harbor some ridiculous console bias, the fact that you're a gamer AND looking into Blu-Ray makes the choice pretty easy IMO.

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post #14 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 10:55 AM
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Agreed. All of the features the PS3 has (or could be upgraded to do) are pretty mind boggling.

I personally don't miss DTS-MA at all. My only caveat is the noise. The PS3 is not loud, but you can hear a bit of air coming from it in a quiet room. That being said, my 40GB is completely silent. Not a single whisper from it even after playing blu-rays for several hours straight.

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Originally Posted by malcolmp6 View Post

You bet. The PS3 is the ultimate home entertainment console out there. Besides being unable to decode DTS-MA or bitstream HBR audio or play HD DVDs, this thing can meet all your home entertainment needs. It can stream audio/video/picture files right from your home PC with a wireless connection. Not to mention play video games.
Even if one decides to go with a standalone BR player the PS3 will always be there to do other things.

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post #15 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I think it's obvious the PS3 is the choice for me. Especially with the announcement of 2.0 profile coming via a new firmware to the PS3.
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post #16 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 11:49 AM
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how does it do video quality of sd and hd dvds? also my audio is theu optical, does the ps3 cover all the audio types minus those that a hdmi connection carry?
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post #17 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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PS3 can't do HD-DVDs.

Just to be clear on one issue I thought I read. You can have the PS3 hooked up to a tv with HDMI, and then have the audio to the reciever with Optical and everything will work just fine correct?

The issue I understand is that you can't have the audio going through the HDMI and the optical at once. You have to choose just one. Is that right?
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post #18 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 01:16 PM
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I am currently looking for a BD player. I have the Panasonic BD30 but I am not satisified with its upscaling and lack of LFE output. I have it connected via HDMI to my Onkyo 805 and my Toshiba A35 blows it out of the water when it comes to audio and upscaling. I plan to sell the a35 but want to know how the audio on the PS3 sounds for BD and SD. How good is the PS3 as an upscaler? Is anyone using the PS3 with the Onkyo 805. When you play BD discs with your PS3 what does the Onkyo display on its screen? I heard the PS3 can handle uncompressed audio such as PCM. Is this better than the other HBR audio available? How does it compare?
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post #19 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim01 View Post

PS3 can't do HD-DVDs.

Just to be clear on one issue I thought I read. You can have the PS3 hooked up to a tv with HDMI, and then have the audio to the reciever with Optical and everything will work just fine correct?

The issue I understand is that you can't have the audio going through the HDMI and the optical at once. You have to choose just one. Is that right?

Yes, that's how I have mine hooked up since my receiver does not support HDMI. It defaults to HDMI audio, so you have to switch it to Optical. You also have to switch the audio output setting from PCM to Bitstream. There isn't an option to support both at the same time.

LPCM output from the PS3 should sound the same as using Bitstream and having your reciever decode it. I'm not using it, but lacking a technical glitch it should, and I haven't read anyone saying otherwise.

Recently someone brought up that LPCM conversion may even preferable to bitstream in cases where the player may need to mix audio tracks.
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post #20 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bori View Post

I am currently looking for a BD player. I have the Panasonic BD30 but I am not satisified with its upscaling and lack of LFE output. I have it connected via HDMI to my Onkyo 805 and my Toshiba A35 blows it out of the water when it comes to audio and upscaling. I plan to sell the a35 but want to know how the audio on the PS3 sounds for BD and SD. How good is the PS3 as an upscaler? Is anyone using the PS3 with the Onkyo 805. When you play BD discs with your PS3 what does the Onkyo display on its screen? I heard the PS3 can handle uncompressed audio such as PCM. Is this better than the other HBR audio available? How does it compare?

+1
same boat here
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post #21 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bori View Post

I am currently looking for a BD player. I have the Panasonic BD30 but I am not satisified with its upscaling and lack of LFE output. I have it connected via HDMI to my Onkyo 805 and my Toshiba A35 blows it out of the water when it comes to audio and upscaling. I plan to sell the a35 but want to know how the audio on the PS3 sounds for BD and SD. How good is the PS3 as an upscaler? Is anyone using the PS3 with the Onkyo 805. When you play BD discs with your PS3 what does the Onkyo display on its screen? I heard the PS3 can handle uncompressed audio such as PCM. Is this better than the other HBR audio available? How does it compare?


I own both the BD30 and PS3 and have also owned the A35 and XA2.

ANYTHING that you can bitstream out of the PS3 (DD, DTS) will sound identical to any other player you have. Uncompressed PCM off BR discs out of the PS3 will sound better than the BD30 in light of the low LFE for uncompressed PCM on the BD30. You should hear no difference between the PS3 decoding TrueHD to PCM then passing to your 805 as compared to the BD30 bitstreaming TrueHD to your 805 and then your 805 decodes to PCM. The TrueHD gets decoded to PCM one way or another and it has been reported that the PS3 does this perfectly, so for TrueHD it is a tie between the BD30 and PS3. For DTS-MA, the BD30 wins since it can bitstream the signal to your 805 and the 805 can decode it. The PS3 cannot bitstream the full DTS-MA signal or decode internaly and you will only get the "core" 1.5mbps track from any DTS-MA disc (which still sound phenominal).

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post #22 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Toe View Post

ANYTHING that you can bitstream out of the PS3 (DD, DTS) will sound identical to any other player you have. Uncompressed PCM off BR discs out of the PS3 will sound better than the BD30 in light of the low LFE for uncompressed PCM on the BD30. You should hear no difference between the PS3 decoding TrueHD to PCM then passing to your 805 as compared to the BD30 bitstreaming TrueHD to your 805 and then your 805 decodes to PCM. The TrueHD gets decoded to PCM one way or another and it has been reported that the PS3 does this perfectly, so for TrueHD it is a tie between the BD30 and PS3. For DTS-MA, the BD30 wins since it can bitstream the signal to your 805 and the 805 can decode it. The PS3 cannot bitstream the full DTS-MA signal or decode internaly and you will only get the "core" 1.5mbps track from any DTS-MA disc (which still sound phenominal).

I have the Onk 674 - Which audio codec is going to trip me up? I assume anything that can be bitstreamed is going to be fine, and DTS-MA is only one I will never get to experience correct? Unless the ability to decode (not bitstream) is added to the PS3 in the future, correct? I am just trying to figure it all out before I leap. The PS3 seems like the best option for me though so far, but I haven't gotten many replies to my inquiry about it.

And I am a well washed HD-DVD owner by the way.
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post #23 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 04:38 PM
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A35
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post #24 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 09:41 PM
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One issue that still confuses me on the audio side is that since the PS3 has hdmi 1.3 and can decode the Dolby TrueHD, do I need to have a avr/htib that has hdmi connections that are 1.3 also in order to hear the hi def codecs or will any version of hdmi on the avr be sufficient?

Isn't the hdmi 1.3 on avr's only significant if you are looking to have the receiver to decode the the hi def codecs if it is built in or am I misunderstanding the issue?
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post #25 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by striker8 View Post

One issue that still confuses me on the audio side is that since the PS3 has hdmi 1.3 and can decode the Dolby TrueHD, do I need to have a avr/htib that has hdmi connections that are 1.3 also in order to hear the hi def codecs or will any version of hdmi on the avr be sufficient?

Isn't the hdmi 1.3 on avr's only significant if you are looking to have the receiver to decode the the hi def codecs if it is built in or am I misunderstanding the issue?

The PS3 cannot bitstream lossless audio, so whether you have an HDMI 1.1 or 1.2 or 1.3 receiver, it doesn't matter, as long as it handles PCM over HDMI.

Furthermore, you should assume that the PS3 will never be able to support DTS-HD/MA. It may not seem important now, but once you upgrade to a HDMI receiver and hear lossless for the first time, you will wish this is supported, especially since Fox only release lossless on DTS-HD/MA.

The bottom line is given what we know today, if you care about audio, you should avoid the PS3.
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post #26 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 11:15 PM
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ABCD--would you explain Lossless? Im trying to understand most of this high end talk...lol
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post #27 of 213 Old 01-07-2008, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ABCD View Post

Furthermore, you should assume that the PS3 will never be able to support DTS-HD/MA. It may not seem important now, but once you upgrade to a HDMI receiver and hear lossless for the first time, you will wish this is supported, especially since Fox only release lossless on DTS-HD/MA.

The bottom line is given what we know today, if you care about audio, you should avoid the PS3.

Actually, other than making the effort, there seems to be no reason Sony cannot add support for decoding DTS-HD/MA in the PS3. If your point is that no one should take a non-existent feature for granted, I'd agree, but the PS3 has a very good track record of getting upgrades. It is basically Sony's Blu-ray flagship, Trojan horse, and ultimate weapon. For instance Sony announced at CES that BDLive (profile 2) support will be added to the PS3.

So how I'd put it, is that if someone believes DTS-HD/MA support is a critical feature and potentially getting stuck having to listen to lossy standard DD or DTS on discs which only support lossy audio in the DTS-HD/MA format is unacceptable ... then do not buy a PS3 until support has been announced.

Personally, I think given how immature the market is at this point, I'm happy to buy a product that's supported and has been upgraded frequently and in the worst case will have some future value as a game console or media center even if better/cheaper/quicker/full-featured players eventually hit the market.

One final thought, the PS3 is a very powerful box. It currently handles media center tasks very quickly and efficiently. Consider though, that there's a tendency to use only as much processing power as is needed in a dedicated player, this is likely why so many Blu-Ray players are slower at loading than the PS3. But what it also means is that as future interactive content stretches what's possible using the Java language, the net, and the disc media - many current generation players will be overburdened and slow.

So while we don't know for sure whether DTS-HD/MA support will ever be added to the PS3, there's something to be said in favor of buying a player with a strong record of updates and the power to handle future updates - whatever they may be.
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post #28 of 213 Old 01-08-2008, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by 03Cobra View Post

ABCD--would you explain Lossless? Im trying to understand most of this high end talk...lol

Audio on DVDs has been compressed in to formats like Dolby Digital and DTS which are "lossy". "Lossy" means that when the data is uncompressed it's not identical to the original but the goal was to get close. The Audio on CD's is uncompressed.

"Lossless" compression is a form of compression that reduces the size of the data, but when uncompressed, the data is restored to it's original state.

The LPCM format used on some Blu-Ray discs is uncompressed, but this takes up a lot of space that could be used for other purposes.

The Dolby Digital and DTS formats available on Blu-Ray discs are compressed and lossy, and you can use them like you would on a DVD player and play those tracks back via toslink, HDMI, or analog connectors.

The Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD/MA formats are compressed but lossless.

Because the powers that be don't want people to be able to get their hands on the original audio in digital format it can only be played back via HDMI to a receiver that supports HDCP copy protection, or output as analog.

Bottom line... if you want the best possible audio you need one of the following:

1) A player that can decode lossless formats and output them as LPCM to an HDMI compatible receiver.

2) A player that can output lossless formats as-is and bitstream them to an HDMI 1.3 compatible receiver.

3) A player that can decode lossless formats and output them to 5.1/7/1 analog outputs that you can wire via RCA cables to any 5.1/7.1 receiver that supports multi-channel inputs.
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post #29 of 213 Old 01-08-2008, 01:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 03Cobra View Post

ABCD--would you explain Lossless? Im trying to understand most of this high end talk...lol

The simplest way to explain it, even though it is not totally correct, is:

lossless: what you are hearing is identical to the studio master. Examples are PCM, TrueHD, and DTS-HD/MA.

lossy: what you are hearing is an approximation of the studio master, but many consider that good enough (not me). Examples are Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital plus, legacy DTS, DTS-HD/HR.

Enough though I am a strong HD-DVD supporter, I had argued repeatedly that BR is superior to HD-DVD in the audio department because of wider availability of lossless tracks. Believe me, I was not a popular guy.
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post #30 of 213 Old 01-08-2008, 01:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JonW747 View Post

So while we don't know for sure whether DTS-HD/MA support will ever be added to the PS3, there's something to be said in favor of buying a player with a strong record of updates and the power to handle future updates - whatever they may be.

I agree completely that the PS3 probably has the horsepower to internally decode DTS-HD/MA. However, you cannot walk into a store today and buy anything by any manufacturer, in any format, stand-alone or console, that can do this. All we have ever had are speculations and vaporware.

IMO there are other forces at play here other than technology. It could be political, or licensing, or financial, or it could be that one CEO doesn't like another, who knows. Believe internal player decodoing of DTS-HD/MA only when you see it.
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