Answers to HD-A1 and HD-XA1 Audio Questions - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 1871 Old 04-10-2006, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SOWK View Post

OK, Real Answer people... Am I going to get real DTS HD 5.1 out of the A1 - or the XA1 through Analog? Or just Plain DTS?

-SOWK

Based on some previous posts, I think it might only regurgitate standard DTS (but probably at 1.5Mbps). DTS-HD might be downrezzed, but there's conflicting information on it...

Unfortunately, there aren't any DTS-HD titles that I'm aware of where you could actually test this. Maybe one of the Japanese releases has DTS-HD, but the only US launch title I was aware of that even had a DTS soundtrack, was Chronos:

Per Amazon: Hi-Res DTS 96/24 Digital Surround Sound

Not sure if any of the Universal titles will have DTS/DTS-HD...

As far as Dolby TrueHD, I think everyone is pretty aware that it will only decode TrueHD into 2-channels... Though with Phantom, we can get people to verify that in a week.

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post #92 of 1871 Old 04-10-2006, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skogan View Post

1st HD DVD Players To Decode All Mandatory, Optional Audio Codecs

From "This Week in Consumer Electronics"

Unfortunately the statement by the HD-DVD promotion group is still vague since other than the possibility, and hope, that the 5.1 analog outs will provide the true HD signal, the other options must be downsampled as anything accepting those outputs won't have the decoders necessary to decode the HD audio signals. Now, if at a minimum it downsampled to say DVD-Audio or even SACD, I would be all set.
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post #93 of 1871 Old 04-10-2006, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOWK View Post

OK, Real Answer people... Am I going to get real DTS HD 5.1 out of the A1 - or the XA1 through Analog? Or just Plain DTS?

Unfortunately we may not have a real answer until people get players and start testing them. A recent Toshiba ad in Sound & Vision magazine contained this disclaimer in small print at the bottom.
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Movies in true high-def > Stunning images > Enhanced audio > Plays standard DVDs & CDs > Uniquely interactive

Discs may require an HDMI or HDCP capable DVI input on your HDTV or HD monitor for high definition playback. Dolby Digital Plus support for up to 5.1 channels. Dolby True HD support for up to 2 channels. DTS-HD support for up to 5.1 channels of DTS core only. Some standard discs may not be compatible. Firmware update may be required for some interactive features depending on content, which may also require an always-on broadband Internet connection. Because HDDVD is a new format, certain disc, digital connection, and other compatibility issues are possible. If you encounter compatibility problems, please contact Toshiba Customer Support....

This seems to indicate that it does not support all the formats lumped under DTS-HD. Not as bad as it sounds since DTS Core can supposedly go up to 1500 kbps. So it could still be high quality audio, but not lossless.

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post #94 of 1871 Old 04-10-2006, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Interesting post(your provided link), so it appears there is a difference between the audio capabilities of the A1 and the XA1. If I read it correctly, the A1 can only output the standard DVD audio, DD and DTS, through it's analog 5.1 outputs, whereas the XA1 can output the "converted to analog" HiRez audio streams through it's 5.1 analog outputs. It appears the A1 does not have the audio decoders that the XA1 has.

I went back to the linked thread and asked the person who wrote it (Jonathan) if he had information indicating that the A1 doesn't output 5.1 analog. He replied in this post. Short answer is he just hadn't seen any information on the A1 that definitely said it had 5.1 analog out, so he only made the statement about the XA1 because he was sure that it does. So he doesn't have any information which contradicts what is in the spec sheet which says that the A1 has 5.1 channel analog out for all decoded formats.

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post #95 of 1871 Old 04-10-2006, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skogan View Post

1st HD DVD Players To Decode All Mandatory, Optional Audio Codecs

From "This Week in Consumer Electronics"

I wonder how they reconcile claiming all optional audio codec support when the HD-XA1/A1 only decode 2 channel DTHD and 5.1 DTS HD?

Those are the mandatory requirements for all HD DVD players. There's no extension to the optional (up to 7.1).

Gary


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post #96 of 1871 Old 04-10-2006, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschefdog View Post

I went back to the linked thread and asked the person who wrote it (Jonathan) if he had information indicating that the A1 doesn't output 5.1 analog. He replied in this post. Short answer is he just hadn't seen any information on the A1 that definitely said it had 5.1 analog out, so he only made the statement about the XA1 because he was sure that it does. So he doesn't have any information which contradicts what is in the spec sheet which says that the A1 has 5.1 channel analog out for all decoded formats.

Yes, I saw that over in the other thread, thanks.
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post #97 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 10:00 AM
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You know talk about 7.1 and above is interesting but how does it apply to the general home theater owner? I realize there will be some with rooms big enough to really benefit but how big would your room have to be?
Mine is 12X17 and I am running 6.1 when it is on a disk and I am not sure I really notice a difference.

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post #98 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 10:03 AM
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My HT is roughly the same size, DarrinH, and I notice the difference when a nice DTS ES disc is playing; but I have a 7.1 set-up and that might fill up the back area a tad bit more than a single back speaker. Can't wait to play around with the various options these new players will offer, whatever they end up being.

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post #99 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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There was recently a flurry of discussion about audio in the Hands On With Japanese Toshiba Player thread. Attached is a table provided by Amir from Microsoft. It was translated from the Japanese XA1 manual. It should help answer a lot of the questions people have been asking about HDMI audio output. The info probably applies to the A1 as well.

A few notes on the table.

It is still not clear what type of bit stream is passed for DD+ and DTS-HD if the "Bit Stream" option is selected. Is it the full bitstream? Or is it downconverted to standard DD and DTS Core? The latter seems more likely since it would work with current receivers. If it was possible to pass the full bitstream I would expect two Bit Stream options, one for current receivers and one for future receivers that will support the new formats.

The *3 Down Sampling PCM notation seems to mean down converted to 48 kHz since the 48kHz rows are the highest rates that don't contain *3.

Bottom line seems to be that the best option is to pick PCM output if you have a receiver with an HDMI input that will accept multi-channel PCM. This should provide the highest quality 5.1 sound.

If you don't have such a receiver but have 5.1 channel analog inputs, it's probably best to use the analog outputs which I expect will convert the PCM output streams listed in the table to analog using the built in "Multi-Channel 24-Bit/192kHz audio DACs".

If your receiver doesn't have 5.1 channel analog inputs either, then the Bit Stream mode should at least pass downconverted DD and DTS (which could still be higher bit rates than most DVDs) to your receiver.

Once there are receivers that accept a DD+ or DTS-HD bitstream, that might be the best option for playing back those formats if the player does not downconvert them.
LL

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post #100 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rdjam View Post

DTS-HD is the only format, based on today's findings, that will be able to give us REAL high res multichannel audio with these players. We need to push for DTS-HD content now.

Once again. I don't know why you keep saying you will get DTS-HD multichannel lossless with the A1/XA1 when it EXPLICITLY states "DTS-HD support for up to 5.1 channels of DTS CORE ONLY".

And what's with need to upgrade your receiver to support DTS-HD/TruHD? If you want 7.1 lossless just wait for a HD DVD player that can output 7.1 DTS-HD/TruHD via analog outputs. The 3806 has 8 analog inputs.
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post #101 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 04:48 PM
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I see where you're coming from rdjam. You want this first generation player AND HD Audio surround. And theoretically, IF a DTS-HD 7.1 bitstream can be be passed via HDMI, then the HD-XA1,A1 will be able to support lossless 7.1 provided your AVR has a DTS-HD 7.1 decoder. The pitfalls of being bleeding edge eh? =D

Personally, I'm going to wait until players are released that have 1080p output, 5.1 TruHD(or 7.1) and DTS-HD. These 1st gen players seem to be missing some key features.

In respect to the Dolby whitepaper I referenced in the other thread, I think what Dressler's getting at is, once we hit 2nd, 3rd gen players, they're all going to have full featured TruHD/DTS decoders and these players will be able to play lossless on current AVR's, so why upgrade your AVR? And I sort of agree, upgrading your AVR(SQ aside), you don't get any extra features over upgrading your 1st gen player to a 2nd gen player with a proper TruHD decoder. AND you might get 1080p to boot on the 2nd gen players.

I'm with you on running analog cables, BUT the fact that it's possible for those without HDMI receivers is great. They don't have to upgrade their receivers, they just need to wait for 5.1/7.1 TruHD decoder players. I'll wait for the 5.1/7.1 decoder players and just use 5.1 LPCM TruHD/DTS-HD over HDMI with my 3806.
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post #102 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 04:56 PM
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Dolby's approach makes more sense, since it permits the player to convert all channels to PCM to be transmitted to the AVR. This in turn permits the player to mix sounds from comentaries and the like before transmitting the PCM to the AVR. DTS wants the signal to be transmitted as a bitstream , which may mean no mixing by the player and only new AVRs having the capability of receiving DTS-HD.

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post #103 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 04:57 PM
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Just give me lossless 5.1 DTS-HD and I will be happy...

 

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post #104 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 06:17 PM
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I have a question for this thread. When I get my HD-A1 (next week/maybe?). I would love to hook the 5.1 analog outs from the player to my receiver. Unfortunately I only have 1 set of 5.1 analog ins on the receiver and those are being occupied by my DVD-A/SACD player. Now what do I do? Do I have to/or can I - buy a device that will take two separate sets of 5.1 analog ins and send 1 set of 5.1 analog outs to my receiver? (A/V switch box?) Does that piece of gear exist? It seems like a pain in the butt. Or do I just have to decide which DVD player uses it's analog outs?
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post #105 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 06:19 PM
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Just posted useful info on http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post7482770

We should decide to have the discussion in one place .

Amir

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post #106 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordofDoubleD View Post

I have a question for this thread. When I get my HD-A1 (next week/maybe?). I would love to hook the 5.1 analog outs from the player to my receiver. Unfortunately I only have 1 set of 5.1 analog ins on the receiver and those are being occupied by my DVD-A/SACD player. Now what do I do? Do I have to/or can I - buy a device that will take two separate sets of 5.1 analog ins and send 1 set of 5.1 analog outs to my receiver? (A/V switch box?) Does that piece of gear exist? It seems like a pain in the butt. Or do I just have to decide which DVD player uses it's analog outs?


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...C-PRICEGRABBER

Or better yet this one http://www.smarthome.com/7772.html

and another one http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ist&sku=392122

Here is one just for switching digital audio http://www.smarthome.com/77707.html
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post #107 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordofDoubleD View Post

Do I have to/or can I - buy a device that will take two separate sets of 5.1 analog ins and send 1 set of 5.1 analog outs to my receiver? (A/V switch box?) Does that piece of gear exist?

A quick web search turned up one, but it is over $400.

http://www.laaudiofile.com/mas3.html

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post #108 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert D View Post

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...C-PRICEGRABBER

Or better yet this one http://www.smarthome.com/7772.html

and another one http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ist&sku=392122

Here is one just for switching digital audio http://www.smarthome.com/77707.html

None of those will work for what LordofDoubleD is talking about, they do not have enough inputs.

The Zektor device is exactly what he will need, Zektor makes very good quality equipment BTW, used a component video switcher of theirs for years, worked flawlessly.
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post #109 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Just posted useful info on http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post7482770

We should decide to have the discussion in one place .

Thanks Amir. Hopefully that puts the issue to bed for DD+, the A1 and XA1 will not pass a full DD+ bit stream over HDMI. If the Bit Stream option is selected, it will be converted to standard DD before being passed over HDMI. I would be surprised if the answer for DTS-HD is different.

The good news is that they will NOT down convert before decoding a DD+ audio soundtrack for output as 5.1 channel PCM or 5.1 channel analog. So these paths should reproduce DD+ in all it's glory. It may not be lossless or 7.1 channels, but it could certainly be a big step up from the audio on standard DVDs. And it seems every HD-DVD will have DD+, most with 5.1 channels in multiple languages. A nice bonus for those who don't speak English since most standard DVDs only had stereo for languages other than English.

I started this thread hoping to keep the HD-DVD audio discussion in one place, but it seems to keep popping up all over the place. There was even a big debate about HD-DVD audio going on in a Blu-ray Software thread.

So far the info in the first post of this thread seems to hold up. I will review it this weekend to see if it needs any revisions or updates.

John S
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post #110 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

None of those will work for what LordofDoubleD is talking about, they do not have enough inputs.

The Zektor device is exactly what he will need, Zektor makes very good quality equipment BTW, used a component video switcher of theirs for years, worked flawlessly.


Huh the Sima 502-5 has five analog audio inputs, three coax digital inputs and two optical inputs. It will convert the analog audio to digital and output to a single coax or optical output. It also will convert composite and s-video to component video. How many inputs does he need?
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post #111 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

None of those will work for what LordofDoubleD is talking about, they do not have enough inputs.

The Zektor device is exactly what he will need, Zektor makes very good quality equipment BTW, used a component video switcher of theirs for years, worked flawlessly.

Thanks keenan,
The Zektor is exactly what I need. Looks like it will work perfectly. Now I need to scrape another $450.
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post #112 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert D View Post

Huh the Sima 502-5 has five analog audio inputs, three coax digital inputs and two optical inputs. It will convert the analog audio to digital and output to a single coax or optical output. It also will convert composite and s-video to component video. How many inputs does he need?

He needs two 5.1 analog sets for input and one set of 5.1 analog outputs. He needs to switch two 5.1 analog audio signals for feeding one set of 5.1 analog inputs on his recvr/pre-pro.
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post #113 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordofDoubleD View Post

Thanks keenan,
The Zektor is exactly what I need. Looks like it will work perfectly. Now I need to scrape another $450.

Check the PowerBuy section of the forum, I seem to recall these were offered there awhile back.
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post #114 of 1871 Old 04-13-2006, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordofDoubleD View Post

The Zektor is exactly what I need. Looks like it will work perfectly. Now I need to scrape another $450.

If money is tight, how about just using two manual switchers for RCAs, like from RadioShack? You just need 2 of them if each works for 3 cables. Being direct connect I would think they would have enough bandwidth. Might be a pain depending on how often you need to switch things, but a lot cheaper.

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post #115 of 1871 Old 04-14-2006, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Thanks keenan,
The Zektor is exactly what I need. Looks like it will work perfectly. Now I need to scrape another $450.

The MAS3 is now discontinued but Zektor is now suggesting the use of their HDS4.1 (which retails for $259) as an alternative. It provides 4 inputs and 1 output.

http://www.zektor.com/hds41/index.html

I was looking for a solution to this same problem and appreciate everyone's suggestions.

Scott

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post #116 of 1871 Old 04-14-2006, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by sshearer View Post

The MAS3 is now discontinued but Zektor is now suggesting the use of their HDS4.1 (which retails for $259) as an alternative. It provides 4 inputs and 1 output.

http://www.zektor.com/hds41/index.html

I was looking for a solution to this same problem and appreciate everyone's suggestions.

Scott

That would work, even though it's labeled for video it still has 6 analog inputs for each device so it should work fine for 5.1 analog audio. Teaching a remote to work the box is a bit tricky but easily done.

(I have a HDS4 I don't need anymore, if anyone is interested, PM me)
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post #117 of 1871 Old 04-15-2006, 07:47 AM
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There is an article in WSR #106 which would seem to indicate that discrete formats beyond 5.1 (with an occasional 6.1 thrown in) might be a moot point for the forseeable future. There was a discussion format with 8 well regarded recording engineers/surround mixers (including Elliot Scheiner) and they pretty much all agreed that they do not forsee their mixes exceeding the 5.1 format, if additional channels are needed they are comfortable letting the manufacturers provide various decoding schemes for the additional channel.

Reasons given include:
1) It is much more difficult to downmix a 6.1 (let alone a 7.1) mix to 5.1 then it is to derive additional channels from a 5.1 mix.

2) It is the manufacturers who are driving the need for additional channels beyond 5.1, not the studios (both music and movies).

3) There are a lot of inconsistencies with the way people have their 5.1 speakers configured, a 7.1 configuration adds too many variables/complexities to try to assure that everyone has a similar listening experience.

All in all a very interesting read, and would seem to indicate that even with the capability of the new HD disc formats to provide 7.1 (or higher) discrete channels, the source material will continue to be 5.1 and decoding to additional channels will be a function of the downstream processor/receiver.
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post #118 of 1871 Old 04-15-2006, 08:13 AM
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Yes, unfortunately a lot of the above is true. More channels is not in the cards in a mass market way. Higher resolution maybe. But not more channels.

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post #119 of 1871 Old 04-15-2006, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdS View Post

There is an article in WSR #106 which would seem to indicate that discrete formats beyond 5.1 (with an occasional 6.1 thrown in) might be a moot point for the forseeable future...

I read that article as well. It was interesting to hear how people in the business perceive adding more channels. It amazes me that people are so upset that the launch players don't support more than 5.1 given we probably wont see any content with more channels until later generation players are released. Even then it may only be a small percentage of titles that have more. Some people have even said they won't buy the first generation players for this reason alone. I would not deprive myself of enjoying HD movies for a year or more just because I couldn't get sound coming from behind my head.

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post #120 of 1871 Old 04-15-2006, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jschefdog View Post

I read that article as well. It was interesting to hear how people in the business perceive adding more channels. It amazes me that people are so upset that the launch players don't support more than 5.1 given we probably wont see any content with more channels until later generation players are released. Even then it may only be a small percentage of titles that have more. Some people have even said they won't buy the first generation players for this reason alone. I would not deprive myself of enjoying HD movies for a year or more just because I couldn't get sound coming from behind my head.

I had a 7.1 system up to a couple years ago and then went to a 6.1. I went to
a 5.1 a few months a go and I am not missing hardly anything at all. So few movie
soundtracks have a discrete rear channel and even those that do you might
notice it for a few seconds during the movie...

Give me lossless 5.1 - I could care less about additional channels ...

 

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