BD-UP5000 Universal Player Samsung [OFFICIAL OWNERS THREAD] & FAQ - Page 10 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #271 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SileasResearch View Post

Interesting to note that the BCM7440 chipset says it supports DVD-A and SACD, as well as USB 2.0 Hosting (two ports).

Given how DVD-A works, that could just be a firmware update, but SACD would require DSD capable DACs, which may not be on the board. Depends on the DACs. Some do both, and could be reconfigured over the normal SPI / I2C control interface.

The later makes me think there could be the possibility of a hardware hack to add storage; however, and this is big, the processor is a BGA (Ball Grid Array), so if the lines were never brought out on the layout, there is no getting to them at all. I'm hoping that board layout is just the reference design, and the USB connectors were just depopulated. Those SATA ports are tempting too. I like how "media center" is a target application as well.

Broadcom, however, is extremely tight with regard to datasheets, etc. so this would be a complete reverse engineering job.

Is there any possibility that 2-channel TrueHD is "hard-wired" in? I can't believe anyone would be stupid enough to do this, but, they were stupid enough to make this the minimum requirement for the TrueHD logo, so I don't know...
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post #272 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by haggisbingo View Post

>>Everything works fine thru the 7.1 analog out to my Yamaha Z9 using the straight audio mode.

Anyway for more specifics for the audio?

Most of us want the "knock your socks off" upgrade in audio sound from PCM, TrueHD, and DTS-MA - the high-resolution, lossless formats and even DD+ which can be great (as demonstrated by Transformers). All of these can be played from analog.

However, I believe you can even play regular Dolby 5.1 over analog and it works but doesn't sound that great...

What more can I say?

Soundstage was greatly improved?

More expansive dynamic range?

Increase frequency response across the midrange?

I think I'll have to spend more time with it.

Really, everything works and works well. I'm going to go enjoy a movie now.
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post #273 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by edfowler View Post

What more can I say?

Soundstage was greatly improved?

More expansive dynamic range?

Increase frequency response across the midrange?

I think I'll have to spend more time with it.

Really, everything works and works well. I'm going to go enjoy a movie now.

It would probably help to know what the audio tracks you listened to are: PCM, DD+, TrueHD, or DTS-MA? If for no other reason, to confirm what we've heard so far.

From what we know, the best audio for this unit (at this time) should come from PCM and DD+ tracks. TrueHD tracks should only be heard thru 2 speakers (if this is different for you, we'd REALLY like to know). DTS-MA will likely be down-rezzed to a lesser DTS.
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post #274 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by haggisbingo View Post

Is there any possibility that 2-channel TrueHD is "hard-wired" in? I can't believe anyone would be stupid enough to do this, but, they were stupid enough to make this the minimum requirement for the TrueHD logo, so I don't know...


No - that would not be a hardwired thing. If you look at the product brief, there are 5 I2S lines running out from the chip to the DACs. Internal to that block diagram shows the "REX" Advanced Audio DSP, which is handling all the codecs.

Actually says 7.1 I2S and Stereo I2S, but that means 5 pairs (4 + 1). The Stereo pair is for the 2 channel analog output jacks, so the other 4 are there no matter what format it is decoding. I skipped ahead since I architect, design, write firmware for, and test this stuff all the time.

So, the specific firmware we need them to update (for audio issues) is the REX audio DSP code. Broadcom needs to update the codecs that run on there, deliver that to Samsung, and then Samsung needs to integrate that together with a new firmware release (for the whole platfrom), then validate it, then release it. For all we know, the firmware is already in a validation cycle.

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post #275 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by edfowler View Post

I was pleasantly surprised to find the one BD-UP5000 sitting on the shelf at BB in little ole Muncie Indiana yesterday morning.

Snagged it and hooked it up late last night.

I'm coming from using an HTPC mostly for HiDef discs (also have an A1 and PS3 but they cannot come close to the video quality of the HTPC in my set up).

Everything works fine thru the 7.1 analog out to my Yamaha Z9 using the straight audio mode.

The picture quality is almost as nice as my HTPC, however, the thing is a lot more straightforward and has played everything I have put in it so far without a hitch.

It will play HD DVD and BR back to back without a hiccup.

The analog outs have sent all of the channels to the Z9 on everything I've played.

PQ is really excellent.

Sound quality is excellent for both formats.

The player seems perfect.

Are you saying all 7 channels (plus subwoofer) are getting Dolby TrueHD? (decoded in the player?) and you are or are not getting DTS-MA throgh all 7 channels also decoded by the player? Thanks for any info...
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post #276 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by SileasResearch View Post

No - that would not be a hardwired thing. If you look at the product brief, there are 5 I2S lines running out from the chip to the DACs. Internal to that block diagram shows the "REX" Advanced Audio DSP, which is handling all the codecs.

Actually says 7.1 I2S and Stereo I2S, but that means 5 pairs (4 + 1). The Stereo pair is for the 2 channel analog output jacks, so the other 4 are there no matter what format it is decoding. I skipped ahead since I architect, design, write firmware for, and test this stuff all the time.

So, the specific firmware we need them to update (for audio issues) is the REX audio DSP code. Broadcom needs to update the codecs that run on there, deliver that to Samsung, and then Samsung needs to integrate that together with a new firmware release (for the whole platfrom), then validate it, then release it. For all we know, the firmware is already in a validation cycle.

SilasResearch - I have two questions for you
  1. Do you have any techical contacts, or know anyone with contacts at Samsung who may be able to read this thread to glean relevant feedback and bug reports?
  2. Do you have anything that could be called a regular sleep schedule?

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Spence

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post #277 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

Why is there so much enthusiasm for the Panasonic BD30? From what I read, it doesn't decode advanced audio codecs to the analog outs.

It's designed for the newer HDMI receivers. I think this was a great move on Panasonic's part since it keeps the cost down and, at the same time, provides a person with a new HDMI receiver with only the features they need. If one needs advanced audio via analog outs, Panasonic has a player for that too. But the reason there is so much enthusiasm for the 30 is that it does everything well, superb picture, the fastest loading times I've seen for a stand-alone player and glitch-free operation.

With that said, I was still hoping the Samsung would do its job since I have no problem consolidating two players to one 'do it all' unit. But I surely won't take a step backward to accomplish that.
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post #278 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by edfowler View Post

The analog outs have sent all of the channels to the Z9 on everything I've played.

Isn't this conflicting with what other owners have said? Are you saying this is true with the advanced audio codecs??
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post #279 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by SpenceJT View Post

SilasResearch - I have two questions for you
  1. Do you have any techical contacts, or know anyone with contacts at Samsung who may be able to read this thread to glean relevant feedback and bug reports?
  2. Do you have anything that could be called a regular sleep schedule?

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Spence

I have had some Samsung contacts, but that is in the HDRadio receiver module group. I don't know of anyone else. I have never dealt with Samsung customer service, so I don't know how they get bug reports. Broadcom is the one that really needs to hear this stuff since it is their reference design.

Sleep schedule? Huh? What's that?

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post #280 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by SileasResearch View Post

I have had some Samsung contacts, but that is in the HDRadio receiver module group. I don't know of anyone else. I have never dealt with Samsung customer service, so I don't know how they get bug reports. Broadcom is the one that really needs to hear this stuff since it is their reference design.

Let's hope technical representatives from all concerned can in some way be brought to monitor this thread, and others like it. As you've stated, they may already have (and probably do) have the next firmware revision in testing, they may benefit from "real world feedback".

Do you know if the player came with any type of built in bug reporting wherein it might send some sort of log file back to Samsung? Perhaps an insert with an address with which to report bugs? ...I mean since early adopters are now considered "beta testers" you'd think we would be provided with the tools to help them develop and fine tune their product.

I strongly believe that Samsung would not have released this product in it's current state without having some fixes nearly ready to deploy. The slow release of this product is a "bone" for the early adopters clamoring for product before Christmas (and probably something for the accountants within Samsung).

I have no player (yet), but I have faith that the issues currently being experienced will be rectified. I'll be making yet another visit to my local (Madison) BB after lunch today. I'll report my findings in the appropriate tracking thread.

SilasResearch? You are a better man than I. If I had a player, I'd be off of the computer and putting the thing through it's places for at least the next 12 hours straight (or as long as my 5 year old would let me).

Keep up the good work.

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post #281 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mntwister View Post

If this unit only sends Dolby True out of the analogs as 2 channel stereo, and if it doesn't decode DTS master and send that out of the analogs, then I might just wait and see to be sure that there will be a firmware update for this, as this is one thing I have waited for having no HDMI on my receiver. There are a couple of other players out there that do send these 2 formats through the analogs, one being the Samsung 1400 and the other (that I am aware of) the Panasonic dmp-bd10a, but I waited for this for the Reon HQV processor. As far as hd-dvd playability, there aren't that many movies that get me excited that are available yet on the format but should they come out it would be nice to know I can also play those.

Sorry for re-posting the Sound and Vision review.

Yes but don't they only send 5.1 analog? I have 7.1 so I am hoping this guy is the one...Am I correct here?
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post #282 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:33 AM
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Can't agree with that Sileas. Blame Samsung for not properly testing the chip for the job it was intended to do. These issues should have showed up in testing and Samsung should have either gotten the firmware fix (if that could even 'fix' it) or gone to a different chip. As the manufacturer of the machine, it's their responsibility to assure that the components used, even if not theirs, are up to speed.

But this is just not how the industry works. Samsung is absolutely relying on Broadcom to deliver the complete and validated reference design - read the BCM7440 product brief - it promises fast time to market, fully validated software! Samsung does product design and manufacturing, not R&D to create a platform. As for a different chip, which one? There aren't any. The BCM7440 is the only game in town for the moment. I agree, Samsung is responsible for the quality of the product to us, but Broadcom is responsible for the quality of the product they deliver to Samsung.

Being in this industry (as a product designer and engineer) and dealing with exactly these types of situations, the best way to get this fixed is to cut out the attack on the guy in the middle (Samsung) and go directly to Broadcom. Companies like Broadcom get way too many passes on poor quality because:

a) We don't buy Broadcom branded products, so we don't know it is their stuff inside we should complain about to their customer service department (they don't have that - they are a B2B company)

b) They often provide the only solution in the design market, so they have a monopoly, as is the case here with the combo players. Whatever they supply is what the CE companies get, and therefore what we get.

I understand your perspective, and I agree that Samsung ought to fix it, but I know they can't. They most likely don't have the source code for any of the codecs (just object files) and probably only minimal source for the rest of the setup (like some UI stuff). Their engineers can't fix this stuff, but just submit bug reports to Broadcom, which is what I think we should do, as consumers, considering that it is Broadcom's reference design, and Samsung was just the branding, marketing, and manufacturing.

Here's what will happen with our complaints to Samsung:
-They will go to the CSRs.
-Maybe, eventually, they will get compiled into a list and given eventually to someone in operations or finance when players get returned.
-This will trickle over to product development and engineering
-A manager will get the list, and ask some engineer to take a look and give a response
-Anything that is a broadcom issue will be noted as such, and will say "can't fix - broadcom issue, waiting on broadcom firmware release"
-This will go back to the manager, who will tell someone they looked at the list and they are waiting on broadcom firmware releases.
- it will stop here

Nothing will happen at all until broadcom issues a new release to Samsung. That is where the focus needs to be.

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post #283 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:39 AM
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Well, if that's the process, then it should have happened before the unit was released. It still goes back to Samsung's in-house testing, which has been shown to be lacking on more than one occasion with their units. If the fault lies with Broadcom, then it should have been discovered by Samsung in-house. Hell, you found out these issues in one hour!

I would not buy a unit that we sit there and 'hope' will be fixed to do what it should have done from the 'git go'. I understand what you're saying, but this just happens far too frequently and, as consumers, we need to vote with our wallets. I for one would not recommend this unit to any friend until it operates the way it's supposed to.
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post #284 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by SpenceJT View Post

Do you know if the player came with any type of built in bug reporting wherein it might send some sort of log file back to Samsung?

Nope. Don't see one, that sort of thing is rare, too. Only Microsoft has that sort of automated thing as far as I know. I've always had mechanisms in my products for logging, but it is pretty high touch for a customer.

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Go Badgers! I was born there, and my Dad was an EE professor there in the 60s and 70s.

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SilasResearch? You are a better man than I. If I had a player, I'd be off of the computer and putting the thing through it's places for at least the next 12 hours straight (or as long as my 5 year old would let me).

eh... not in the mood, and it is late (early now). We live in an apartment, so it's hard to play it loud at these hours. I've watched chunks of a bunch of things throughout the night, but am right now catching up on some HD shows from the past week.

Quote:


Keep up the good work.

Thanks! I'm going to dig for the line into Broadcom to complain. Dolby Licensing may be another route too, since they are *extremely* protective of their license and the quality of anything with their logo on it.

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post #285 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Isn't this conflicting with what other owners have said? Are you saying this is true with the advanced audio codecs??

In my case, I can't give an exact answer. Put Spiderman3:BR in last night. The audio defaults to a 5.1 mix. The option I switched to after a few minutes was "uncompressed". Can't remember what else it said - I'll check a little closer (packaging and menu) for exact wording and what the coding is. Display on my Lex shows 5.1a (analog bypass).

Can't even begin to describe the difference. This is not just onboard DD 5.1 decoding.

Same kind of thing on HP PoA - Alternante audio is "PCM" (and clearly mutichannel - the effects pan smoothly front to back/back to front). I'll try to pay more attention to the wording - I just wanted to get to the movie.

Again, for analog out, this player fits MY needs.

For those who are HDMI, I don't know.
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post #286 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:52 AM
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This is not just a Broadcom or a Samsung issue, although they are the ones who need to make it work. There are other third-party players involved, especially on the SW side (those providing the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD navigation and interactive stacks). Plus there is Silicon Optix on the video post-processing side. Broadcom is likely responsible for enabling the audio codecs directly, but even that could have be outsourced to a DSP company. Don't believe everything you read on their website - that's marketing at work.

I have no other expectation that to believe it will take several firmware updates to get it right, and to enable all the features the Broadcom 7440 is capable of. The Audio codecs, the Reon tweaking, the interactive features, and the boot time are all things that likely can and will improve with time. That is until Broadcom, or Sigma Designs, or ??? come up with another solution.

I hope Samsung is proactive in releasing firmware "as it matures" rather than waiting till they get it all right.

Now, lets continue to see what this unit can do, and for now what it can't do.

Cheers!

Garry
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post #287 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:53 AM
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[quote=SileasResearch;12500850]Ok folks, I'm up again. Yeah, it's 4:15PM, and yes, I am just getting up. I work full time (designing consumer electronics) and was finishing my part time classes finals this week, and was out late.

So, I am going to answer a couple of questions quick:

1) For all of you getting confused about the 128Mb of Flash memory, let me make something very clear:

-Just like your PC, the player has two types of storage, Voltatile and Persistant (non-volatile). In your PC, you call these the RAM (and you probably have anywhere from 256 Mb to 4 GB) and the hard drive (500GB or so). The RAM (Random Access Memory) is for running programs, the hard drive is for storing data. Volatile refers to whether or not it survives the power being turned off. This is a basic computer architecture thing and has been, well, almost always.

-This player has 128MB of Flash. Flash is "Flash memory", which is persistant storage, just like the hard drive (and is just like that USB Flash stick you have). For comparison, the Xbox360 HDDVD add-on has 192 MB of flash. The new iPod Touch has either 8 or 16GB. This is not the RAM. Right now, I have used a few megabytes of the flash for the web-enabled content from Transforers. This has nothing to do with, say, the problem I am having with Pirates 3 and the menus. .....[quote]

Someone asked earlier if a new owner of the 5000 could open their box and by inspection determine how much memory and what kind of memory was installed. SilasResearch you seem best qualified to open your 5000 and check how much memory is installed and what type given your qualifications.

This would go a long way to solving the perception of the 1.1 profile limitations that are being implied by having only 128Mb of memory.

I too am waiting for the holy grail of combo players and this one seems so close....so very close.
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post #288 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by John Schneider View Post

In my case, I can't give an exact answer. Put Spiderman3:BR in last night. The audio defaults to a 5.1 mix. The option I switched to after a few minutes was "uncompressed". Can't remember what else it said - I'll check a little closer (packaging and menu) for exact wording and what the coding is. Display on my Lex shows 5.1a (analog bypass).

Can't even begin to describe the difference. This is not just onboard DD 5.1 decoding.

Same kind of thing on HP PoA - Alternante audio is "PCM" (and clearly mutichannel - the effects pan smoothly front to back/back to front). I'll try to pay more attention to the wording - I just wanted to get to the movie.

Again, for analog out, this player fits MY needs.

For those who are HDMI, I don't know.

Yes, this is the uncompressed PCM track that WILL work great on the BD-UP5000. DD+ should also work great. These are known now to work great over the analogs on this machine (and Bitstream to receivers too).
It's the TrueHD (mostly on HD-DVDs) tracks that would only come out of 2 speakers as of now. Also DTS-MA is believed to be down-rezzed to something less. These are the big problem areas, but, IMO are temporary and definitely not worth canceling an order over.
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post #289 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Well, if that's the process, then it should have happened before the unit was released. It still goes back to Samsung's in-house testing, which has been shown to be lacking on more than one occasion with their units. If the fault lies with Broadcom, then it should have been discovered by Samsung in-house. Hell, you found out these issues in one hour!

I draw a line between feature issues and stability / bug / minimal operation issues. What follows will surely tick a bunch of people off, but I think it is important to distinguish between the type of issues:

What I consider non-critical issues because, although extremely important, were stated in the specifications as the expected performance of the product:
1) Dolby TrueHD two channel only. It was stated in the manual on page 10. This is not a bug, but just a unfortunate below expectation specification. Apparently, this was the case for the 1400 as well, but a firmware update fixed that.
2) Lack of DTS-MA is not a surprise either, considering it is not on the BCM7440 product brief.

What I consider critical issues because they affect the proper operation of the stated product specifications or long time expectations of operation or licensing requirements:
1) Substandard speaker setup. This is really odd to me, and seems like a violation of Dolby License for on board Dolby Digtial decoding. This is worth a license complaint to Dolby. But my guess is that Broadcom pushed through a waiver for the time being on Samsung's behalf.
2) The Dolby Digital Plus motorboating is not good. That is definitely a Broadcom issue, and needs to be fixed in the DSP binaries ASAP.


Now, with regard to finding issues, note that I have not been able to deterministically reproduce the motorboating issues. Internally, it is probably some sort of timing issue, such that it only happens at just the right times in a cycle. I will probably figure it out eventually, but I can guarentee you that Samsung (nor any other product company) would have standardized tests in place to catch that. Samsung is relying on Broadcom to provide a fully validated and licensed implementation of the codecs (meaning Broadcom spent the money and time for testing, instead of Samsung doing it).

With product cycles as they are (shorter and shorter, with two a year now), there is no time to validate all subsystems from the system integrator level (which is Samsung). Each subsystem supplier does that, and the system integrator relies on that documentation. If you build a house, you rely on the contractors to provide quality work with quality components, but you don't give them a contractors' exam yourself, and personally inspect and qualify every piece of hardware they use. You look at their license and then specify or approve the brand of components, and then go from there.

I'm not trying to defend Samsung here, but I am trying to explain how it works and what the trade-offs are that enable us to go from the from the announcement of an enabling reference design at CES *this year* to a product manufacturered this fall (!!!). The LG player based on the BCM7440 probably doesn't have the analog outs simply because Broadcom did not have that part of the reference design software done yet, and putting the outputs on there was too high a risk for when the product would release. LG could not get away with "7.1 Analog outputs - for future use!"

At this point, I bet the delays in the Samsung product are directly attributable to Broadcom not having the on-board codecs done yet. That REX DSP subblock looks to be completely new, and was probably the highest risk thing on there. I laughed hard at the fact that they put two MIPS cores with their own separate data caches on there. HD and BD are running on two separate processors! They completely side-stepped the issue of merging the HD and BD codebases by just sticking the two separate processors in there. That is a great risk reduction technique, at the cost of a little extra silicon. I am not sure about the pedigree of the DSP, but I'm going to hunt that down. Looks pretty new. I'll have to look at the HD or BD reference designs to see what they were using before to understand what this new thing is.

Yeah, I found the issues quick, but that is what I do. I am not even close to an average consumer. I bang on products and find root causes all the time - it is just one of those things I've always been good at since I was a kid.

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post #290 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 07:46 AM
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Someone asked earlier if a new owner of the 5000 could open their box and by inspection determine how much memory and what kind of memory was installed. SilasResearch you seem best qualified to open your 5000 and check how much memory is installed and what type given your qualifications.

This would go a long way to solving the perception of the 1.1 profile limitations that are being implied by having only 128Mb of memory.

I too am waiting for the holy grail of combo players and this one seems so close....so very close.

I'll do it if someone pays me $799.99 plus Los Angeles, CA tax.
While I'm in there, I'll also checkout the possibility of populating the USB ports.

Seriously, though, I am not poping the top off. Yes, I am qualified, but no, I am not an authorized service center which will not void my warranty. That, and it is already sandwiched in the rack, and that alone will keep me from wanting to ever move it again (if you saw my rack, you would understand).

I did a bit more research about the 128MB. Yeah, that is half of what is required for the 1.1 spec (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray...layer_profiles), but this is only for non-volatile storage of cookies and images and such. All this means is that you will need to delete stuff sooner than if you had 256Mb. But looking at that table, it seems that HD-DVD requirements have pushed every other spec to BD-Live (2.0) levels.

Checking the BCM7440 product brief, it says:
Quote:


The BCM7440 is supported with a complete reference design, the
BCM97440, and a software stack that includes support for Blu-ray
(Profile 1.0 and 2.0) and HD DVD HDi and Navigator. Choosing a
solution that is based on field-proven technology already shipping in
existing platforms from leading OEMs will ensure full Blu-ray/HD DVD
compatibility.
DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT
• Hardware: Complete BCM97440 hardware reference platform
• Software: Full support for Blu-ray and HD DVD profiles

The issue with the 128MB comes down to BOM (bill of materials) price. Doing a quick spot check on digikey, 128MB (2Gigabit) NAND is in the $5 range (I am adjusting down for Digikey markup). 256MB (4Gigabit) NAND is over $10. That $5 difference translates into about $25 to $30 on the MSRP, so I bet Samsung opted down to keep the price of this thing lower than the LG, but have some practical support (if not official) for higher levels of BD-J.



From my experience with both formats now, I have to say that HD-DVD seems far more demanding with regard to interactivity. The specs for BD-Live seem like HD-i. This is in line with the HD-DVD forum's anger at CES this year about the LG BH100 announcement considering it did not meet spec, and was a last minute addition to the product due to the availability of the LG / Hitachi co-developed dual media transport. I was there, and it was uncomfortable. One day it was a "Bluray / HD-DVD combo player" and the next it was a "Bluray player that can playback HD-DVD content too"

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post #291 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by RacingMonk View Post

Can anyone confirm if this beast will play DVD+R disks?

I have read here from the early reviews that it plays DVD+R and DVD+R DL just fine
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post #292 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodshed View Post

So is it assumed that this player will never internally decode DTS HDMA because the Broadcomm wont support it?

Not exactly.

The product brief on the BCM7440 mentions DTS-HD as a supported format, but not DTS-MA. There could be two reasons for that:
1) The hardware actually cannot do it, but I find that unplausible considering the requirements for any sort of lossless unpacking (MLP, TrueHD, DTS-MA) are not severe compared to lossy reconstruction. This hardware is stated to be able to do DVD-A (mutlichannel MLP) and Dolby TrueHD is an extention of that.

2) The business need for DTS-MA onboard was not clear at the time of the product brief, or the licensing details with DTS for supporting DTS-MA were not yet worked out, so it was left off the brief. This is far more likely.

The former is a technical reason, which is rarely the issue. The later is the more likely reason.

So, no, you cannot make that assumption. I believe the technical capability is there to support it. It is a business priority and probably a licensing issue too.

It is probably a below the line item, considering the logic that anybody that actually cares about DTS-MA will have a processor / receiver that can decode it over HDMI, which is unfortunate since it appears to be the only high quality format on some discs (uncompressed not available), which is probably contrary to the expectation on the business side a year ago.

We'll see. Are there any players that decode DTS-MA onboard? I've heard that none do.

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post #293 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SileasResearch View Post

Not exactly.

The product brief on the BCM7440 mentions DTS-HD as a supported format, but not DTS-MA. There could be two reasons for that:

My understanding is that unlike TrueHD vs DD+, DTA-MA is essentially the same codec as DTS-HD. In other words, DTS-MA is DTS-HD. In fact I think DTS-MA is more properly called DTS-HD MA.

So a third possibility is that they simply didn't feel the need to call out DTS-HD MA separately from DTS-HD.
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post #294 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SileasResearch View Post

I draw a line between feature issues and stability / bug / minimal operation issues. What follows will surely tick a bunch of people off, but I think it is important to distinguish between the type of issues:

What I consider non-critical issues because, although extremely important, were stated in the specifications as the expected performance of the product:
1) Dolby TrueHD two channel only. It was stated in the manual on page 10. This is not a bug, but just a unfortunate below expectation specification. Apparently, this was the case for the 1400 as well, but a firmware update fixed that.
2) Lack of DTS-MA is not a surprise either, considering it is not on the BCM7440 product brief.

What I consider critical issues because they affect the proper operation of the stated product specifications or long time expectations of operation or licensing requirements:
1) Substandard speaker setup. This is really odd to me, and seems like a violation of Dolby License for on board Dolby Digtial decoding. This is worth a license complaint to Dolby. But my guess is that Broadcom pushed through a waiver for the time being on Samsung's behalf.
2) The Dolby Digital Plus motorboating is not good. That is definitely a Broadcom issue, and needs to be fixed in the DSP binaries ASAP.


Now, with regard to finding issues, note that I have not been able to deterministically reproduce the motorboating issues. Internally, it is probably some sort of timing issue, such that it only happens at just the right times in a cycle. I will probably figure it out eventually, but I can guarentee you that Samsung (nor any other product company) would have standardized tests in place to catch that. Samsung is relying on Broadcom to provide a fully validated and licensed implementation of the codecs (meaning Broadcom spent the money and time for testing, instead of Samsung doing it).

With product cycles as they are (shorter and shorter, with two a year now), there is no time to validate all subsystems from the system integrator level (which is Samsung). Each subsystem supplier does that, and the system integrator relies on that documentation. If you build a house, you rely on the contractors to provide quality work with quality components, but you don't give them a contractors' exam yourself, and personally inspect and qualify every piece of hardware they use. You look at their license and then specify or approve the brand of components, and then go from there.

I'm not trying to defend Samsung here, but I am trying to explain how it works and what the trade-offs are that enable us to go from the from the announcement of an enabling reference design at CES *this year* to a product manufacturered this fall (!!!). The LG player based on the BCM7440 probably doesn't have the analog outs simply because Broadcom did not have that part of the reference design software done yet, and putting the outputs on there was too high a risk for when the product would release. LG could not get away with "7.1 Analog outputs - for future use!"

At this point, I bet the delays in the Samsung product are directly attributable to Broadcom not having the on-board codecs done yet. That REX DSP subblock looks to be completely new, and was probably the highest risk thing on there. I laughed hard at the fact that they put two MIPS cores with their own separate data caches on there. HD and BD are running on two separate processors! They completely side-stepped the issue of merging the HD and BD codebases by just sticking the two separate processors in there. That is a great risk reduction technique, at the cost of a little extra silicon. I am not sure about the pedigree of the DSP, but I'm going to hunt that down. Looks pretty new. I'll have to look at the HD or BD reference designs to see what they were using before to understand what this new thing is.

Yeah, I found the issues quick, but that is what I do. I am not even close to an average consumer. I bang on products and find root causes all the time - it is just one of those things I've always been good at since I was a kid.

SileasResearch, Thank You so much for your great technical insight into this (these) issues and providing us a better perspective on the root cause(s) to the reported problem areas. You da man right now it seems!
I totally agree with just about all that you have said and I think it would be best now if all of us concerned with fixing these flaws direct our concerns and reports to a BroadCom contact (as well as carbon copying Samsung and maybe Dolby Labs). The feedback to them will not doubt help broaden their perspective of what is desired by us consumers (if they aren't already aware of the issues) and ensure that it was brought to their attention to get fixed.

Now one more question since you seem to be very knowledgeable on the design architecture of these chips. With regard to the missing speaker level and speaker distance adjustments for the multi-channel analog outputs, is this flaw fixable? or is this flaw locked into the hardware design an thus will not be able to be implemented? I am hoping it would be firmware fixable. If so, I may un-cancel my cancel request for my purchased-ordered unit from BestBuyBusiness. Here's hoping... Thank for your great valuable input!

Words of wisdom, "The more you know, the more you know that you don't know."
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post #295 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 08:19 AM
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Ok, since most owners have focused on audio, I decided to put my attention more to the video. I have three displays available for testing this UP5000 : Sharp Aquos 46" 1080p , Sony 70" XBR2 and JVC RS1 projected to a 144" screen.

So far only did a few tests on the Sharp Aquos via HDMI and it's not looking good. All 3 discs tested (Planet Earth HD DVD, Midnight Run HD DVD, Transformers HD DVD) show rather heavy digital noise (don't know if I'm using the right term, manifests itself as moving black dots on bright surfaces of the picture). Tried all Reon settings (sharpness levels and off setting, noise reduction levels and off setting) and the digital noise never went away. Next on the list is to try the component outputs and see if I get the same problem, but so far I'm extremely disappointed. My A2 on the same TV looks perfect...

Another problem : navigation on the planet earth HD DVD is jacked up. When selecting a chapter via the menu, nothing happens, menu keeps running and then you can't select anything until the menu loop starts again. Only thing that can be selected in the menu and actually does something is the "play all" option.

One cool thing is the tray opening either from cold boot or from playing a disc is much faster than on the A2 or XA2. Unfortunately that's the only good thing I can say about this player so far

I will do some further testing with all 3 displays in both components and HDMI, but as it stands now, this will go back to Best Buy if a firmware correcting this deal breaker doesn't come out before 01/31/08. I might have a defective unit but I doubt it.

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post #296 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 08:19 AM
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So, if I understand all the reports here correctly:

1) the BD-UP5000 will not decode 5.1/7.1 DolbyTrueHD through either an HDMI 1.3 bitstream connection to a 1.3 capable receiver or through analogue connections to any receiver, nor will it do DTS HD-MA in that manner?

and;

2) the BD-UP5000 will convert those formats to 5.1/7.1 LPCM (lossless) format through any HDMI connection or through analogue connections which, in effect, is sonically equivalent to DolbyTrueHD?

and;

3) true (5.1/7.1) DolbyTrueHD and DTS-HD-MA through bitstream and analogue connections will be provided through a firmware fix by January?

P.S. What's "motorboarding" and is it anything like "waterboarding?"
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post #297 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 08:21 AM
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I just would like to know more info about the video portion. Does it play the video portions as well as the Toshiba XA2 and Panasonic BD30 or PS3? Also is the upconverting of SD Dvd's compare to the Toshiba XA2?
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post #298 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

But isn't it much more expensive than the BD30? All I want is a sub- $500 player (or sub $800 combo player) that outputs advanced audio over 5.1 (or 7.1) analog. Why does BluRay seem incapable of doing that??

but the panny 30 will not decode the advanced audio. only bitstream them via HDMI. You are best off with a panny 10a and a A35.

Just enjoy HD in whatever form you can (Sat, Cable, D-VHS, OTA, HD DVD, or BD).
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post #299 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2silber View Post

So, if I understand all the reports here correctly:

1) the BD-UP5000 will not decode 5.1/7.1 DolbyTrueHD through either an HDMI 1.3 bitstream connection to a 1.3 capable receiver or through analogue connections to any receiver, nor will it do DTS HD-MA in that manner?

and;

2) the BD-UP5000 will convert those formats to 5.1/7.1 LPCM (lossless) format through any HDMI connection or through analogue connections which, in effect, is sonically equivalent to DolbyTrueHD?

and;

3) true (5.1/7.1) DolbyTrueHD and DTS-HD-MA through bitstream and analogue connections will be provided through a firmware fix by January?

P.S. What's "motorboarding" and is it anything like "waterboarding?"

Im curious too....I think you are correct on #1, but Im not sure on #2.....If #2 is true, then Im buying this player as fast as I can get my hands on it. Otherwise, I might wait a little bit.

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post #300 of 13918 Old 12-16-2007, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tai4de2 View Post

My understanding is that unlike TrueHD vs DD+, DTA-MA is essentially the same codec as DTS-HD. In other words, DTS-MA is DTS-HD. In fact I think DTS-MA is more properly called DTS-HD MA.

So a third possibility is that they simply didn't feel the need to call out DTS-HD MA separately from DTS-HD.

Really good point.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS-HD_Master_Audio

It looks like DTS has been messing with the branding for this, so you are probably right.

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