improve performance if you have an AV Receiver or an HDMI Pre-Amp/Processor. Or one of the very very few and rare Stereo Amps/Pre-Amps that have HDMI.
And there are a few very rare External DACs that can decode signals from HDMI.
You have Three Stereo systems, from what I can determine, very good stereo systems.
The OPPO disc players have very good DACs in them, so for music, direct analog playback from those players should do very well.
For Movies sound you have two choices -
1.) Use the Analog Out on the BluRay Player direct to the Stereo Amp.
2.) HDMI from the Oppo BluRay to the TV, then the TV Digital Audio Out back to the digital input on the Stereo or to a DAC that in turn feeds the Stereo.
In general, HDMI can deliver full BluRay resolution which can be up to 24b/192k. It CAN BE
up to that, but that doesn't mean they put it on the disc. But if it is there, HDMI can deliver it.
But, worst case, the Optical Audio Out of the TV will deliver 24b/48k to the Amp, which is still better than CD quality, which is itself pretty good.
Personally, I see no need for HDMI Audio in a Stereo system. HDMI to the TV and Digital Audio back to the Amp works fine for me, though I confess my system is not a grand as any of yours.
I don't know if there would be sync issues in taking analog Movie Audio directly from the BleRay player, but you likely have some ability to re-sync or correct the timing if there are sync issues. So, while this is a consideration, I don't think ultimately it is a problem.
Your third system is unclear. The Bryston 5B amp
and reference to a Center speaker imply that this is an AV system, that is Surround Sound, which means you need a AV Surround Pre-Amp/Processor
, or you need to dial it back to 2-channel. You really can not have a Center Channel unless you have Multi-Channel Surround decoding of the Movie. Given that you have a Power Amp, that means if you want more than 2-channels, you need an AV Surround Pre-Amp/Processor
, in which case, most certainly use HDMI.
Which AV Surround Pre-Amp/Processor
is another matter. For that we would need some sense of Budget.
A good all round Pre-Amp/Processor at a reasonable price might be the Marantz AV8008A at $4000 -
I have no idea whether you want to go up or down in price from there.
On the lower side, the Marantz AV7702 at $2200 -
But if you plan multi-channel on the Third system, even if that is only Right/Center/Left
, then you are somewhat compelled to get a AV Receiver or an AV Surround Pre-Amp Processor, in which case HDMI would be the best choice.
Or... scale back to 2-channel.