Originally Posted by PioManiac
Regardless of how "high end" an AVR is,
How does a sub $200 player manage to decode the audio into a flawless pcm audio stream from these very same so-called "flawed" disc's?
Even when played through an entry level AVR for many users?
Seems to me it's primarily an issue when the AVR is asked to perform the decoding. Not the player and not the disc's for most of us pcm users who don't decode at the AVR level.
If the disc's were defective then even those decoding in the player to pcm (and not bitstreaming to the AVR for decoding) should also have issues.
It's not like PS3 users decoding at the player to pcm are accessing a different audio track...it's the same info the AVR has to process correct?
Does the player just filter something out before sending pcm to the AVR?
PS3 sending pcm to my Yamaha RX-V3900 has never had a hiccup in 4+ years.
I'm almost tempted to pick up a slim PS3 to see what all this bitstreaming fuss is about,
then return it promptly and go back to reliable pcm.
All my HDMI sources send audio via pcm, PS3, XBOX360, Toshiba HD DVD and Motorola HD cable.
It's not an AVR issue, regardless of your experience. Some devices decode these discs, some don't. The same AVR can have no problems with one disc on one player, yet put the same disc in another player and all of a sudden the AVR has no problem decoding it. There is more going on behind the scenes than just sending an audio signal. There's a lot of information being passed that is not audio. For instance, if a bad signal were to interfere with HDCP information, you would get audio dropouts if the audio was decoded at the AVR, but you would not get those audio dropouts if the audio is decoded in the player. You are correct in that passing a PCM signal will be more reliable than passing a bitstream signal. PCM audio will not dropout if there is an EDID or HDCP hiccup. However, not all devices will pass lossless audio via PCM. For instance, a Dune media player will down convert 7.1 Lossless audio to 2.0 lossless audio if you select PCM.
There are standards for HDMI audio. if they are met, any functioning device should be able to decode the audio flawlessly. Just because one player decodes more than the standard, does not make discs that play in that player correct. If a disc meets standards, ALL devices should be able to decode the signal. That's the whole point of having a standard.
HDMI is far more complex than just sending a video and audio signal. Standards must be met for the whole chain to function correctly. It is more than obvious that these discs do not meet those standards. Some chains of equipment may pass the signal correctly, others may not. That is the definition of a flawed disc.
I'm glad a Sony PlayStation meets your requirements and that it passes PCM audio. However, not everyone wants a Sony PlayStation, or would be satisfied with it as a media player. Properly authored discs will play properly in ALL devices, not just a few. The fact that the vast majority of discs play just fine in all devices, show that if the standards are met, the system works.
The biggest problem is actually HDCP. Any hiccup at all in the HDCP chain and you have problems. There's lots of ways for HDCP to have hiccups too. For instance, plug the HDMI audio output of a Video Processor into an AVR. Plug the HDMI video output of that VP into a display device. Now, plug the HDMI video output of the AVR into a second HDMI input of the same display. Seems like it should work fine, right? Maybe. The odds are high that you'll have audio dropouts due to confusion in the HDCP chain. The only way to get rid of them is to unplug or deactivate the AVR video out. HDCP works fine plugging one device into a display. Every time you add anything to the chain, even an AVR, you start increasing the odds you'll have a HDCP hiccup. EDID causes problems as well.