How important is HD codec support? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-04-2013, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking into buying a sound bar, and I'm curious how important it is to get one with support for HD codecs. Specifically, I am considering getting either the Sony HT-CT150 or HT-CT550. In the Amazon description it says the 550 supports Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD, which the 150 does not. This seems like it might be a problem; for example, some reviews I've read said that streamed Roku movies have noticeably worse sound on the 150 than the 550 due to the better codec support in the 550. However, from my (admittedly basic) understanding of these things, since no bar is actually producing 5.1 sound, won't any HD audio streams automatically be downgraded to a lower quality equivalent? Is it worth it to spend more money to get more codec support?
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-05-2013, 04:45 AM
 
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About the only thing using Dolby True HD and DTS-HD is Blu-Ray, if it is converted to optical it will be at highest quality compressions and would be tough to tell the difference. The Roku uses Dolby Digital just like Satellite or Cable, any of the sound bars can handle that fine. The amount of compression those sources use can vary greatly depending on program. And, yes the bars use the 5.1 signal to try and give a simulated surround effect but you would still want to send it a 5.1 signal as compared to stereo. The sound bars use different algorithms depending on the format it received.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-05-2013, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, BobL. I will be playing a lot of Blu-rays, and plan to connect everything via HDMI, so I will definitely be using sources capable of outputting TrueHD and dts-HD.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-05-2013, 07:42 AM
 
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Yes but the difference in sound quality when converted will be negligible.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-05-2013, 08:00 AM
 
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Also, if the soundbar supports Multichannel PCM from HDMI you will still get the same quality but the Blu-Ray player does the conversion instead of the sound bar. Only if you use optical or digital coax will it be converted to a lossy format.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-05-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, wouldn't be using optical or coax, just HDMI. So it sounds like this is pretty much an unnecessary feature.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-05-2013, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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For reference, here is what brought this issue to my attention:
"There's a major shortcoming with the CT150, and that is lack of support for "Dolby Digital Plus", "Dolby True HD" and "DTS HD". This means that you cannot play surround sound on the Netflix app w Roku. Other devices (e.g. PS3) may do downcoding, but Roku does not. This means Netflix + Roku + CT150 = stereo sound--which is worthless. This is pretty critical if you consume most of your video through the Roku as I do. See the owners manual page 36 for a complete list of supported streaming encodings. I was rather disappointed when I read this. i.e. don't buy this unit if you use Roku + Netflix."
http://www.amazon.com/review/R38WC3F24IT1V6/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm/?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B003C1AO2I&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-05-2013, 01:32 PM
 
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I don't think Netflix or Roku use DD True HD or DTS HD. I'd check though, I believe they only use regular DD or DD+ for Roku, both lossy formats. I don't think that poster knew what he was talking about.

http://support.roku.com/entries/221264-how-do-i-setup-5-1-surround-sound

I don't believe Netflix offers any of the newer formats, they only state 5.1 surround which to me is probably regular DD.
http://support.netflix.com/en/node/510#gsc.tab=0

http://support.netflix.com/en/node/2251#-manually-set-the-audio-settings-on-your-playstation-3-&gsc.tab=0

I didn't find this for the Roku but they have you turn off Dolby Digital Plus, I highly doubt they use it.

I am just saying I would make my decision on whichever bar sounds best to you, which format it can handle is irrelevant if it does not sound good.
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