What is the best player? Boxee Box, PCH A-300, Dune, WDTV2, AIOS, or NeoTV550? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 128 Old 03-06-2013, 03:53 PM
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How can that be if all the player does is pass the bitstream from the source directly to the AVR.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #92 of 128 Old 03-06-2013, 04:15 PM
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well, it is that way. I can say for sure after seeing 2 different players with realtek 1186 chip sound like that

they may be passing thru the sound but there could be some compression or loss before it passes thru

once it passes thru, it should have sounded ok but I listed to several sources that I know well and it was there every time. The bass is getting compressed; I have 4 subs so it is very easy to tell

I am also not the only one to say that Sigma sounds better than Realtek; I have seen others post similar things and also people say the video is better on Sigma as well; I agree with that too

the Sigma is a better chip for quality; the realtek is better for features and playing everything. I can play .flv files with realtek and I know my sigma won't play flv but that doesn't matter as much as the sound quality and picture quality
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post #93 of 128 Old 03-06-2013, 04:30 PM
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Hi Detroit,
Quote:
Originally Posted by detroit1 View Post

well, it is that way.

they may be passing thru the sound but there could be some compression or loss before it passes thru . .
There must be something else going on, as I believe what you hear.

They can't be compressing, as they would need to decode the stream and then re-encode it to add compression. The only exception would be a PCM track, which could be scaled for adjusting volume, but then that couldn't be considered bitstreaming and it wouldn't account for the differences you are hearing.

I suspect that the Realtek is either decoding the track or bitstreaming the wrong track. As Kelson said, they would sound identical if they were bitstreaming the same track.

Are you testing using HDMI? Are you using Blu-Ray rips? What type of audio tracks?
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post #94 of 128 Old 03-06-2013, 08:32 PM
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I have a dune d1 and a mede8er 600 (Realtek 1186)

They both sound the same using bitstream.
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post #95 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 03:49 AM
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what level of system were you playing it on? do you have subwoofers ?did you only connect to a tv and listen to sound? you won't hear a difference in that case because tv speakers are crap

If you hooked up to a full sound system it is easy to tell that the realtek sound is edgy, thinner bass, etc. to the point that I no longer wanted to listen to it on my system

I played files that I am familiar with and you can hear a difference Every time.

also, most people on these forums are "mass" consumers; they don't own hign end sounding equipment; that is the Main reason why they don't hear a difference; there IS a difference and others have also written on forums about the Sigma being better than realtek in audio and video
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post #96 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 07:34 AM
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not the first time that I heard about bitstreaming being different from one player to the other. I still have difficulties to understand how an identical in/out string of 0 and 1 (that's bitstreaming, everything is untouched and the AVR is doing the job) can really be different.

In fact it appears that most of the time the difference is not from the bitstream abilities of the chipset, but from the quality of the power supply of the player that can affect the transport itself. Many people have the feeling that simply changing the basic PSU of a media player to something a bit more high end gives a better result even when bitstreaming...Never tested it myself as I'm one of those "mass consumers" biggrin.gif
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post #97 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 07:47 AM
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yes power supply can make a difference as will the DAC's in the units

you can buy a receiver for $69 at the store with HDMI and then also buy a 2-3K receiver with HDMI

they will NOT sound the same at those levels; it is NOT just 0's and 1's; there is more to the sound than that

that is ridiculous; if that was the case, the $69 receiver would sound exactly like the 3K receiver and that is nonsense !
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post #98 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 08:12 AM
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I wasn't speaking about changing the AVR PSU, but changing the player PSU. If the mede8er has a ****** PSU while the Dune as a better one, this could be the reason why they sound different on the same receiver...Not the fact that the Realtek chipset is doing bitstream in a different way than Sigma.
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post #99 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 09:15 AM
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Power Supply may be a factor ; no doubt but what is Not in doubt is the realtek does NOT put out the same sound quality. I have now seen that in 2 different brand players and was disappointed

I was hoping this would not be the case but it is; the Sigma Box is better sounding and according to many, has better picture quality as well
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post #100 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroit1 View Post

. . . it is NOT just 0's and 1's; there is more to the sound than that . . .
Sorry, Detroit, but at the interface between the player and AVR, it is just ones and zeros. The problem must be that they are not the same ones and zeros.

I have been designing this type of equipment for over 35 years. I write the code that goes inside the DSPs and I can assure you that audio is not effected by some of the things that have been mentioned and is affected by others. For example, the power-supply at the receiving end does matter, the power-supply at the transmitting end does not. So given that you're using the same AVR, I would rule out a power-supply issue.

Here are the things that I think may be going on:

Realtek and Sigma select different audio tracks by default. Maybe Sigma is selecting DTS-MA while Realtek is selecting DTS-core by default.

Realtek and Sigma use different default play-back modes. Maybe Sigma is bitstreaming while Realtek is downsampling.

The different manufacturers are paying for different audio licenses. Maybe manufacturers that pay more for Sigma SoC's also pay more for audio licenses.

The issue I have with the information we are getting on this problem is the lack of detail. We really need information on the audio source (Blu-Ray? iTunes?), the codec (DTS? Dolby? PCM? FLAC?), and the format (2.0? 5.1? 7.1?). Also, nobody has even said that they are actually bitstreaming and not decoding or downsampling. Of course, a good AVR would provide all of that information, but it has yet to be posted for our perusal.

I will repeat this as absolute: If two players are bitstreaming the same audio-track into the same AVR, the result would be identical.
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post #101 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 01:05 PM
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On the realtek make sure surround sound is set to I think they call it TRUEHD set HDMI to auto and make sure FORCE DECODE AAC/MP3 is set to false unless you dont get audio with HDMI set to AUTO. These are the settings I use on Mede8er not sure if they are the same for all 1186 players, but the way they setup is hard to understand unless you read the manual
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post #102 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 01:43 PM
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none of those things mentioned about the kind of tracks is relevant here. I only have 1 Audio track on every file I play; could be DTS HD, TrueHD and many LPCM 5.1 .All other tracks have been removed from the file

I also play a Audio 96/24 files and you can tell in 5 seconds on those files as well


there is no way 1 is selecting bitstream and the other is not; there is ONLY 1 audio track on the files I am playing. the ONLY setting on my HDX that I use is Bitsteam and the ONLY setting you can use on the Realtek players I used is RAW on the Egreat or RAW or Auto on the iconbit so that is nonsense. There is also a setting for HD Audio that is set to on on the Iconbit

the Receiver/Pre Amp was showing either DTS HD , or Multi PCM so that is NOT the issue

and how do you explain that many others have compared Sigma and Realtek and thought the Sigma looked and sounded better; that was not me posting but other people

There IS a difference in the sound between my HDX with Sigma


Where can I bet $100 per file in a blind test between the HDX and the 2 model Realtek's and I will easily pick correctly the HDX; the sound difference is obvious; Better Stronger Bass and it is easy to tell every time

I bet no Sales Idiot or other consumer idiot will take will take my offer; they can B.S about it all day long; I can prove it with Cash on the line; Case Closed

the Realtek chip has to be doing something to the signal before sending it to the Receiver that degrades the sound ; I know my receiver is not doing it
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post #103 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroit1 View Post

what level of system were you playing it on? do you have subwoofers ?did you only connect to a tv and listen to sound? you won't hear a difference in that case because tv speakers are crap

If you hooked up to a full sound system it is easy to tell that the realtek sound is edgy, thinner bass, etc. to the point that I no longer wanted to listen to it on my system

I played files that I am familiar with and you can hear a difference Every time.

also, most people on these forums are "mass" consumers; they don't own hign end sounding equipment; that is the Main reason why they don't hear a difference; there IS a difference and others have also written on forums about the Sigma being better than realtek in audio and video

I have a Denon AVR4311 receiver with a 5.1 speaker system B&W 604S2, 601S2, CC6 and ASW1000 sub. I think its pretty good.

I should also mention that the AVR 4311 has a nice onscreen menu that provides lots of info about the audio and video source info. So you can clearly see if you are getting a 7.1 TrueHD bitstream at a certain sample rate. Like I said, when I did a back to back ... I couldn't tell the difference and i verified it with the denon to make sure I was actually listening to the same sample source.
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post #104 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 02:01 PM
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and that equipment is good enough to hear the difference; if you compared you would also hear it
I have 4 subs including a mid bass sub behind the seating area and like I said it is easy to tell with the Bass Difference; also I think the Realtek has slightly harsher sound in the Highs so that sucks too but the Thinner Bass is the biggest issue
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post #105 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 02:07 PM
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I should also point out that I recently had the Popcorn Hour A400 with Sigma 8910 chip and the sound was right; just like my HDX

I got rid of that player because it has other issues with playback; stuttering, etc but the sound was excellent just like my Sigma 8642 in the HDX

and this was on the Same Exact Sound System; Both 8642 and 8910 are Blu-Ray chips; they are made to handle the full range of audio and video

so now I have heard 2 Sigma chips that sounded good and 2 Realtek models that did not
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post #106 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 02:14 PM
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I'm currently struggling with NTSC MPEG2 29.97 interlaced content in a MKV on the Dune D1. I posted about it in another forum. I've tried everything but cannot get those files to playback without some degree of "micro stutter".
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post #107 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 02:19 PM
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If you convert that same MKV file to MPEG, M2TS, MP4 It will play on the Dune

I know these players write support for many files but I think MKV can cause more playback problems than other files. I think my HDX with Sigma Chip struggles with MKV files. I have not played one in a long time
I play all the other formats M2TS, MPG, MP4, TS
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post #108 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 02:34 PM
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Hi Detroit,

Now we're getting somewhere . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by detroit1 View Post

. . . I only have 1 Audio track on every file I play; could be DTS HD, TrueHD and many LPCM 5.1 .All other tracks have been removed from the file
So these are individual files and not disc rips? Are they MKV or AVI? The container really shouldn't matter since, as you said, all players are playing the same audio stream.

Except in the case of DTS. DTS is a layered audio format - It starts with DTS-core, it can then have an optional DTS-HD stream layered on top of it, and then another optional DTS-MA stream layered on top of that. So if you have a DTS-HD stream, a player may chose to play DTS-core or DTS-HD, depending on many factors. The most common factor is the license the manufacturer paid for. Other factors include the medium (only DTS-core can fit down S/PDIF) and the EDID data from the AVR (if using HDMI).
Quote:
I also play a Audio 96/24 files and you can tell in 5 seconds on those files as well
Are those audio files? If so, they would probably come out as PCM or AAC, as the concept of bitstreaming doesn't quite fit. If they are AAC, like iTunes music would be, then they might be decoded in the player or passed on to the AVR. Again, the AVR should be able to tell you. Are they compressed? what is the file format?
Quote:
there is no way 1 is selecting bitstream and the other is not; there is ONLY 1 audio track on the files I am playing. . .
But that has nothing to do with it. Although there is only one audio track, one player might decide to bitstream that track, while another decides to decode the track, and a third might decide to decode and downsample the track. Downsampling from 5.1 to 2.0 is very common when the manufacturer has scrimped on the licenses.
Quote:
. . . the ONLY setting on my HDX that I use is Bitsteam and the ONLY setting you can use on the Realtek players I used is RAW on the Egreat or RAW or Auto on the iconbit so that is nonsense. There is also a setting for HD Audio that is set to on on the Iconbit
What you set it for is not always what you get. Even though you set it for bitstreaming, it won't bitstream if the license doesn't allow it. I set my NeoTV to bitstream all formats, but it almost never does because the HDMI EDID data says it isn't supported (although that is clearly not the issue you have). Again, the AVR would tell you.
Quote:
the Receiver/Pre Amp was showing either DTS HD , or Multi PCM so that is NOT the issue
OK. This is the type of information we need. If the same track shows the same DTS HD on all players, then they are all bitstreaming. Multi-PCM would be normal for surround-sound music, but would typically indicate that the player was decoding and not bitstreaming. Video with native multi-PCM tracks do exist, but they are rare these days, as they are just too stompin' big.
Quote:
. . . and how do you explain that many others have compared Sigma and Realtek and thought the Sigma looked and sounded better; that was not me posting but other people

There IS a difference in the sound between my HDX with Sigma
Please, don't misunderstand. I totally believe what you and others are hearing. I'm not questioning that at all. Something is clearly different between Realtek and Sigma, and I'm just trying to determine what it is.
Quote:
the Realtek chip has to be doing something to the signal before sending it to the Receiver that degrades the sound ; I know my receiver is not doing it
Absolutely. And I suspect we can eventually find out what it is. Just bear with me . . .
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post #109 of 128 Old 03-07-2013, 05:19 PM
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If I have time when I get home tonight I will connect both my sigma 8911 player and my realtek 1186 player and pull out the sound meter and see if i can see a registered difference between them
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post #110 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 08:46 AM
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I playes files again on the iconBit player with Realtek and the result is the same. Thinner Bass

I even played the Police Concert from Blu-ray, which has some very heavy bass in it and you can tell the difference

I also tried HDMI RAW and HDMI Auto; no change, the LMPCM mode sounds worse, RAW and Auto sound the same

I wonder if these players can be modded to improve the sound; I would not buy a realtek chip for my main system; it's ok for a 2nd system but not for the main home theater
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post #111 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 11:40 AM
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Hi Detroit,

Thanks for testing.

Let's concentrate on that Police BD. I assume it is 5.1 surround-sound? What is the audio codec you select from the iconBit's audio-track menu and what does your AVR report the stream to be? One possibility is that, due to licensing, the iconBit is downsampling and throwing away the LFE track (or mixing them with left & right), thereby bypassing (or at least limiting) your subwoofer.

The key thing to look for is whether the AVR is reporting the audio track as exactly the same as what you select on the iconBit. If it's not, then the iconBit is overriding your selection, and that is most often due to licensing. But it could also be a bug in the Realtek firmware, which would explain why it effects other Realtek players as well. The bug could be related to EDID data, which would explain why some people don't have the problem, as it would be limited to particular AVRs.
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post #112 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 11:52 AM
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the Police is TrueHD and it shows correctly on the AVR; other files could be LPCM 5.1, which also shows correctly
the files I am play only have 1 track on them; all others are removed

as far as others having the problem or not; how carefully are they listening to this stuff? do they have multiple subs or at least a nice home theater system?

I am pretty sure that most are just connecting to their TV


I also had the A400 with Sigma 8910 chip and that sounded good as well with my system

that chip and my 8642 chip are blu-ray player chips; they are high end chips; that might be the difference here

I also had egreat R300 with 1186 Realtek chip a year ago and that did not sound as good either
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post #113 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 02:02 PM
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I just did my test using a radioshack digital sound meter set to 70 with response time set to fast. And the pink noise 7.1 dts-hd test disc. number for number they were the exact same across the board, with the exception of LFE channel while it peaked at the same sound level it was sporadic and jumpy. with the 8911 sigma player bass sat at a flat 85 (yes i know its to high.. for this test I turned the sub amp all the way up) But the 1186 player would make the spl meter jump between 80-86 during LFE.

Was actually surprised all my speakers are still in pretty good tune only off by 3db around the board. with the excpetion of center channel I boost it higher to help hear talking better.
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post #114 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 02:02 PM
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Hi Detroit,

Again, thanks for testing for me. I don't have any Realtek players, otherwise I could do some of this myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by detroit1 View Post

the Police is TrueHD and it shows correctly on the AVR;
Well, that means that it is bitstreaming. So I'm at a loss at explaining what is going on. The only other thing that the player could be doing is re-mixing channels. Does your AVR tell you the number of channels it's receiving?
Quote:
. . . other files could be LPCM 5.1, which also shows correctly
And LPCM is not encoded, so it's always bitstreamed. When DTS, Dolby or other formats are decoded, they are decoded to LPCM. Also LPCM needs no license, so there wouldn't be any license issues. But again, the Realtek could be re-mixing the LPCM tracks, converting down to stereo maybe?
Quote:
as far as others having the problem or not; how carefully are they listening to this stuff? do they have multiple subs or at least a nice home theater system?
Good question, I'm sure many here have good systems. But beyond that, how many of them have both Sigma and Realtek players to compare with?
Quote:
I am pretty sure that most are just connecting to their TV
In the general public, that is true. But most people here are way beyond the general public. However, you do need both types of players in order to hear a difference.


The thing I can't understand is how they can sound different if they are both bitstreaming. Theoretically, that's not possible. Something odd is going on here . . .
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post #115 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 02:10 PM
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the LPCM 5.1 are playing in all 5 channels and showing correctly on the AVR as is all DTS HD, TRUEHD ,etc

remember this is the 2nd time I have heard this with realtek chip; the 2 different Sigma Chip players both sounded good and sounded the same


it is the realtek players that have this thinner sound

I think it is the chip and that there is nothing I can do about it

I know the Sigma chip sounds good and I assume the Marvell chip sounds like the Sigma
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post #116 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 02:14 PM
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Hi Halfelite,
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfelite View Post

I just did my test using a radioshack digital sound meter set to 70 with response time set to fast. And the pink noise 7.1 dts-hd test disc. number for number they were the exact same across the board, with the exception of LFE channel while it peaked at the same sound level it was sporadic and jumpy. with the 8911 sigma player bass sat at a flat 85 (yes i know its to high.. for this test I turned the sub amp all the way up) But the 1186 player would make the spl meter jump between 80-86 during LFE.
Thanks for that test. Does it sound like something could be wrong with the Realtek's LFE channel? If LFE was just 'low', then it could explain what Detroit hears. But I would suspect that with pink-noise, "sporadic and jumpy" would be noticeable to the ears. Is that 80-86 in decibels? (I'm not familiar with the RS SPL meter).
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post #117 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 02:28 PM
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I'm glad you did that test and it was the Bass that was lower ! that makes sense now. The realtek chip is not putting out the proper bass

I don't have too many problems with the highs and mids but it is the Bass for sure
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post #118 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss View Post

Hi Halfelite,
Thanks for that test. Does it sound like something could be wrong with the Realtek's LFE channel? If LFE was just 'low', then it could explain what Detroit hears. But I would suspect that with pink-noise, "sporadic and jumpy" would be noticeable to the ears. Is that 80-86 in decibels? (I'm not familiar with the RS SPL meter).

correct that is 80-86db Now this was with fast response turned on. Usually most monitoring is done on slow. I could not really tell the difference but pink noise is not the best sound to listen for anomalies. the way the meter would react it would bounce up hit 86db then drop down to 82 then back up to 85. A true test would be run it through a range of tones but the wife took over the tv. With it bit streaming I would not think the LFE channel on the 1186 would play a role in it.
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post #119 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 04:08 PM
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Hi Halfelite,
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfelite View Post

. . . I could not really tell the difference but pink noise is not the best sound to listen for anomalies.
Yeah, it's hard to hear any particular frequency with pink-noise. A sweep would be better.
Quote:
A true test would be run it through a range of tones but the wife took over the tv.
I hate when that happens . . .
Quote:
With it bit streaming I would not think the LFE channel on the 1186 would play a role in it.
True. But I can't think of anything that would play a roll when bitstreaming.
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post #120 of 128 Old 03-09-2013, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfelite View Post

correct that is 80-86db Now this was with fast response turned on. Usually most monitoring is done on slow. I could not really tell the difference but pink noise is not the best sound to listen for anomalies. the way the meter would react it would bounce up hit 86db then drop down to 82 then back up to 85. A true test would be run it through a range of tones but the wife took over the tv. With it bit streaming I would not think the LFE channel on the 1186 would play a role in it.

Just so I understand, was this test done while bitstreaming to an AVR or was the decoding done in the player?
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