Originally Posted by Aetherhole
Has anyone else had the issue, when you updated to 1.1, the PiP, IME, etc. has no sound?
I popped in several different movies with some kind of picture in picture feature, whether it is U-Control, IME, etc. when the PiP shows up, there's no sound accompanied. The normal movie soundtrack continues.
Originally Posted by Aetherhole
I should also mention, I am using this unit with a Denon 4308CI and I have it set to pass the bitstream, if that makes a difference.
This is the problem with using a bitstream output. Dolby has written about this at length on their website in their DD+ and TrueHD for receivers articles.
With all previous players (HD-A1 through HD-A30), there was no option to output the audio in bitstream form. The DD+ or TrueHD audio for the movie was being decoded into 5.1 channel PCM inside the player.
HD-DVD players also have a second audio decoder. This second decoder is for the things you mention, like PIP commentaries, U-Control, IME, etc. Any sound that is not the movie's own soundtrack is being handled by the second audio decoder. All those secondary audio sounds are also decoded into PCM inside the player.
Then, the two PCM soundtracks from the two seperate decoders are mixed together into a single PCM signal that is sent out via HDMI to your receiver. With the HD-A1, HD-XA1 and HD-XA2 (and the HD-A35 if you are NOT using the bitstream output), that mixed PCM can also be processed through an internal DAC and be output as an analogue signal using the 5.1 analogue connection. And in all players, that single, mixed PCM signal can be sent through a DTS encoder and output via optical or coax S/PDIF so that any receiver that has a DTS decoder can play back the audio.
But when you set the HD-A35 to output the DD+, TrueHD or DTS-HD:HR/MA signal in bitstream format, there is no way to mix the audio from the second audio decoder inside the player. I'm am not completely sure what the HD-A35 is technically doing. My guess is that the only audio that is being output is the DD+, TrueHD or DTS-HD:HR/MA bitstream and that the secondary audio is simply not sent at all.
But even if the secondary audio IS being sent, there are no receivers available that can mix two audio sources at once. Again, my guess is that the HD-A35 is only sending the one bitstream because I'm sure sending two seperate audio signals to any receiver would muck things up in a major way!
So this is why bitstream output isn't necessarily such a great thing. At the moment, you really only NEED bitstream output for DTS-HD:HR/MA and that is because the HD-A35 cannot decode those formats internally. It can decode the 5.1 DTS "core" that is embedded, but you lose the extra extensions that give you the "high resolution" or lossless "master audio". So having the option of bitstream output is great if you import and you have HD-DVD discs that actually HAVE DTS-HD:HR/MA audio tracks on them. For virtually all North American HD-DVD releases, the player can internally decode the 5.1 DD+ or TrueHD audio, in which case it can be mixed inside the player as described above.
The other situation in which the bitstream output will be needed is if we start to get 6.1 or 7.1 channels. Right now, all the HD-DVD players out there only decode 5.1 channels of DD+ and TrueHD internally. A firmware update might be able to expand the internal decoding to 7.1, but I'm not at all sure. Toshiba makes specific mention of being able to output 7.1 channels using the bitstream output though when they describe the HD-A35 on their website.
So, in closing, if you want to hear the secondary sounds from PIP, U-Control, IME, etc., you will have to let the HD-A35 decode the DD+ or TrueHD movie soundtrack internally so that it can be mixed and output as a 5.1 PCM signal. If you are listening to a DTS-HD:HR/MA soundtrack, you will have to use the bitstream output and thus, you won't be able to hear the secondary sounds. And that will also apply if we ever start to see 6.1 or 7.1 channel releases on HD-DVD.
And just for the record, all of this will also be true of Blu-ray profile 1.1 and 2.0 players. They handle audio is exactly the same way, with two audio decoders delivering two PCM tracks that are mixed together and output as one multi-channel PCM stream to your receiver. The new Sony S500 and S2000ES can internally decode DTS-HD:HR, but they cannot decode DTS-HD:MA and as a real kick in the pants, they can't even output DTS-HD:MA in bitstream form, so all those Fox titles cannot be heard in their full glory! The Samsung P1400 can output DTS-HD:HR/MA bitstream, but cannot internally decode them. Although it doesn't really matter since it's a profile 1.0 player and has no second audio decoder anyway!
It appears that the dual format LG BH200 will be one of the first profile 1.1 Blu-ray players (it may even be profile 2.0 aka BD-Live - BD-Live is actually mentioned by name in LG's own press release from Sept.5), but all the info points to it being able to output DTS-HD:HR/MA as a bitstream, but no internal decoding. The PS3 may actually be the first player to get internal DTS-HD:MA decoding and the Samsung dual format UP5000 may also have internal decoding - bitstream output seems to be a lock for that unit.