Does Theta Digital's Failure to Have HDMI Impact Whether You Want to Buy??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 620 Old 10-05-2006, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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This subject has been discussed a bit here and there in various threads at this forum.

I luv my Theta CB3 and Six Shooter analog multi-channel robot preamp and sounds fantastic with HD DVD and multi-channel SACD and DVD-Audio.
I am very happy as is. But if Theta can develop HDMI with equal quality then it should sound even better!!!

Theta initially indicated that its upcoming Valis would be DVI - but now they have dropped out the DVI from the upcoming production run, stating it is HDMI compatible for upgrade later. Theta's track record re "promises" - great re Casablanca, which I've had for ten years, lousy re Casanova, which is discontinued. One can easily question Theta's mentioning that the upcoming Valis
is HDMI upgradeable given because it may not be good to by a product on the
idea that it is upgradeable - don't count your eggs before the chickens lay them!

Curious - how does HDMI affect each of us? How much do we lean more towards say Lexicon MC-12 HD and Halcro because they already have HDMI?

A number of forum members have discussed this with folks at Theta in recent months, and I am hoping that perhaps, if we keep this civil, they will choose to
chime in here with some comments. And mebbe we can persuade them to consider pushing HDMI up faster on their schedule.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:

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post #2 of 620 Old 10-05-2006, 08:45 PM
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I'm not currently in the market for a new pre/pro, but if I were, I would only consider pre/pros with HDMI. I love my Toshiba HD-DVD player and think it sounds great connected via the 5.1 analog inputs to my Krell pre/pro. However, if I were looking to spend 10k+, I would want something that has HDMI now. I will be shocked if Theta doesn't offer it as an upgrade to the CBIII, but it's still a gamble for a lot of folks.

I frankly don't understand why it takes high-end manufacturers so long to implement new features like HDMI. Under the HDMI 1.1 spec, all of the decoding will be done in the DVDp, so all the pre/pro has to do is apply bass management, crossover points, etc. I'm sure someone here has an explanation as to the technical reasons for the long wait, but it makes no sense to me.
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post #3 of 620 Old 10-05-2006, 08:59 PM
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I have spoken to Theta about this. They are definitly planning an upgrade for the Casablanca to support HDMI, the problem is HOW they are going to do this. It seems as if their dealers want them to keep the CB as an "all-in-one" product, when it is clear that this is not in the the interests of the best possible sound and/or setup.

What I recommend is splitting the Audio and Video functions out into two seperate units operating under a single control. Imagine if you would a Lumagen under control of the CB3. All of your video switching and enhancements occur in the Lumagen with the Lumagen sending the audio portion of the signal to the Theta via either HDMI (single input - audio only) or via a new control and audio connection. Changing inputs on the Theta would also send the proper commands to the Lumagen to switch as appropriate (this would work much as the Six Shooter does).

Given this, then all of the video switching in the Theta could be eliminated (who uses it anyways?)

This, for me, would be the best way to deal with HDMI. It seems that currently, HDMI audio chipsets are quite horrible. If you could put into the Lumagen support circuitry to enhance the quality of the digital HDMI audio signal before sending it on to the Theta, then you would really have something. And who says this needs to be proprietary - this could be a new standard to interface a quality audio pre-pro to almost any video processor!

This is the way it should work!


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post #4 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 04:33 AM
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Peter,

"Changing inputs on the Theta would also send the proper commands to the Lumagen to switch as appropriate (this would work much as the Six Shooter does)."

This is exactly what my Universal Translator does now.

http://www.switch-box.com/

And it isn't just limited to a CB3 and a Lumagen. It can be used with many pre-pros and many different scalers and video switches. With it you get what you are talking about above... you hit an input on your pre-pro and the UT commands your scaler to switch inputs to match automatically.

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post #5 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 06:29 AM
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Steve,
I also been wrestling with the corollary. If Theta can implement HDMI 1.3 then does it make any sense to buy a six shooter now? It sounds like a great product/deal but wouldn't HDMI render it unnecessary?

Buying new, Theta would be at a significant disadvantage w/o HDMI...

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post #6 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 06:47 AM
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Steve;
I purchased a CBIII earlier this year. It is understandable that some people would not consider a new prepro without HDMI but it really depends on priorities.
I listen to far more music than watch movies (90%-10%) although my wife watches movies on the system constantly. My top priorities were sound and reliablility. The other finalists were the Lex (could get a great deal on one) and the Halcro. After listening to the Lex, to my ears, I knew it wasn't the right choice for me.
When I was looking the Halcro had just been released (I waited for it because I thought it was "the one") and the reported problems with the unit made me uneasy. I already own a great sounding DVD player (PMDT) that is both expensive and trouble-prone. I didn't want to repeat that experience.
The CBIII was much more stable than the earlier versions and the sound, again, to my ears, was excellent.
So I chose the CBIII. Do I wish they had HDMI? Perhaps. But I also decided that I wanted to keep video out of the pre-pro (is the advantage theoretical or practical) so there is no video card in my CB (I use a Faroudja NRS for video).
I also believe that HDMI is not truly standardized yet. Yes, there are standards released for HDMI 1 and they have been implemented in various products. But how often do we hear about incompatibility between HDMI 1 components? Too frequently for my comfort.
But I would prefer to have the option as the BlueRay vs. HD-DVD battle works itself out. Since that isn't imminent I guess I can wait a while for Theta to figure out how they will implement HDMI in the CB. Until then I am really enjoying the CBIII as is.
Next decision is to figure out if the 6 Shooter makes sense given the CB III's eventual HDMI capability.
BP

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post #7 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BP View Post

Steve;
I purchased a CBIII earlier this year. It is understandable that some people would not consider a new prepro without HDMI but it really depends on priorities.
I listen to far more music than watch movies (90%-10%) although my wife watches movies on the system constantly. My top priorities were sound and reliablility. The other finalists were the Lex (could get a great deal on one) and the Halcro. After listening to the Lex, to my ears, I knew it wasn't the right choice for me.
When I was looking the Halcro had just been released (I waited for it because I thought it was "the one") and the reported problems with the unit made me uneasy. I already own a great sounding DVD player (PMDT) that is both expensive and trouble-prone. I didn't want to repeat that experience.
The CBIII was much more stable than the earlier versions and the sound, again, to my ears, was excellent.
So I chose the CBIII. Do I wish they had HDMI? Perhaps. But I also decided that I wanted to keep video out of the pre-pro (is the advantage theoretical or practical) so there is no video card in my CB (I use a Faroudja NRS for video).
I also believe that HDMI is not truly standardized yet. Yes, there are standards released for HDMI 1 and they have been implemented in various products. But how often do we hear about incompatibility between HDMI 1 components? Too frequently for my comfort.
But I would prefer to have the option as the BlueRay vs. HD-DVD battle works itself out. Since that isn't imminent I guess I can wait a while for Theta to figure out how they will implement HDMI in the CB. Until then I am really enjoying the CBIII as is.
Next decision is to figure out if the 6 Shooter makes sense given the CB III's eventual HDMI capability.
BP

The Six Shooter retails for only 2 grand. Of course, if you use more than 5.1 channels out of the CB3, then you need two Six Shooters or it just doesn't work and sound like it should. If like me you have multiple subs with pass throughs, you can run just a .1 (one sub) from the CB3 and chain the subs. The Six Shooter is fantastic if you have a Universal CD/SACD/DVD-A multi-channel player - a MUST.
(And it works fantastic analogwise with HD DVD and the new audio formats, too.)
And of course who knows how long before Theta gets HDMI for the CB3, and even if they do, will you have a Universal player with compatible HDMI for SACD and DVD-A? I know, those formats are semi-dead, but I still like them.

I agree - I like to keep the video in my separate Lumagen VisionPro HDP. But most folks don't do that. Since HDMI 1.3 will carry both video and high resolution multi-channel audio, and we don't know if you can use HDMI 1.3 for video only and then use analog or digital audio from the player (depends on the player, odds are this will be a problem), I would think that Theta can design the CB so that it not only processes the audio from HDMI 1.3, but so that it has an extra
HDMI 1.3 output to run to a separate video processor.

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post #8 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 07:35 AM
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Steve,

"and even if they do, will you have a Universal player with compatible HDMI for SACD and DVD-A? I know, those formats are semi-dead, but I still like them."

Already exists, I use it with my MC-12HD.....

"Since HDMI 1.3 will carry both video and high resolution multi-channel audio, and we don't know if you can use HDMI 1.3 for video only and then use analog or digital audio from the player (depends on the player, odds are this will be a problem)"

No, you very likely will be able to use HDMI just for video and use existing S/PDIF digital for audio, that can be done today. Just that in doing that you can't get full resolution audio in this manor as it can't be spit out over S/PDIF. To get full resolution audio digitally requires HDMI.

"I would think that Theta can design the CB so that it not only processes the audio from HDMI 1.3, but so that it has an extra HDMI 1.3 output to run to a separate video processor. "

Of course they can, this is what every pre-pro and receiver that accepts HDMI does already....

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post #9 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 07:43 AM
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I have owned my Casablanca for 9 years and really like the fact that it has been possible to upgrade it. The only thing I don't like is the long periods between upgrades when there are features I want and I have to wait for them.

I considered purchasing the Six Shooter when I got interested in SACD and DVD-A. But as Steve noted, these technologies never really became mainstream so I decided to delay that purchase.

Now HD-DVD and BluRay are available and I am getting ready to start enjoying them. I was considering the Six Shooter as a compromise since it could also be used with the higher resolution audio formats. Unfortunately it looks like the analog outputs have been dropped from entry level second generation HD-DVD players so that is no longer an option.

There is still plenty of uncertainty about the next generation of DVDs too. Without either a single format or a universal player it is difficult to know what to do in this area either.

It would be great if Theta developed an HDMI option for the CB3. I would prefer something that kept it a single box because I don't have unlimited space in my equipment rack. But I think I can survive without that option for a little while longer. I am going to try and focus on enjoying all the music, DVDs (and new HD-DVDs) I have, and see how all these questions get answered over the next 6 months to a year.

John
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post #10 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 08:36 AM
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The SS is a wonderfull piece of equipment. Can serve also as a 2 ch pre-amp that connects seamlessly to the CB3. HDMi would be great to eliminate all the analog cables that i must use between the compli and the HD-A1. I have a preoblem right now as i have 7.1 setup, but only 5.1 analog in.

As for MCH, what players can actually get SACD/DVD-A pcm out thru hdmi ? is the lexicon 12HD upgradable to hdmi 1.3 ?
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post #11 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHL View Post

It would be great if Theta developed an HDMI option for the CB3. I would prefer something that kept it a single box because I don't have unlimited space in my equipment rack.
John

I think your point is important - for most folks, limited space, cabinets, a single box is important. Yea, I can get buy with multiple boxes, but I am the exception, not the rule, not the market.

The Casablanca is due for a nice redesign since its not 10 years later since it first came out. Here's some ideas for Theta to think about, I'm not saying they are all practical or cost effective:

1. No need for all the stereo analog inputs. Maybe two pairs of stereo analog inputs at most. And don't even need them if #2 below can be done.

2. How about incorporating the Six Shooter into the Casablanca, in one box?
And having say two of the analog stereo inputs work both digitally, analog direct, and analog matrix (meaning analog direct for front left and right and digital derived for other channels). Question can this be done with quality of Six Shooter sonics intact, thanks to shielding, etc.?

3. Excellent sounding DACs no longer need or should retail at $1,000 per channel like the Xtreme DACs. $500 per channel, like for the Superior 2 DACs, is probably reasonable. Bottom line is the Six Shooter and Toshiba HD DVD player proves how good those cheap DACs in the HD DVD player sound via the Six Shooter, so hard to justify spending $1,000 per DAC these days. Let folks who want the very best stereo sound buy the Gen VIII Dac from Theta.

4. Of course the video board should be reworked for HDMI, maybe offer a few different swappable video boards based on customer needs, and to keep use of space down some.

5. The digital audio board can be reworked. Don't need 6 coaxial inputs.
Don't need ATT digital or Single Mode. Need 3-4 toslink, 2-3 coaxial,
and of course HDMI.

6. Digital EQ, at last for the low end bass and subwoofer channel, with a microphone, and auto and manual setup for the EQ. See my review of the Velodyne SMS-1 in this thread - its a great piece and these days I would think that the upgraded CB could so something like this pretty easy without costing all that much.

Just my two cents. HDMI for the Casablanca is I assume a major undertaking - mebbe other stuff should be considered with it, too, all at once???

Lets face it. By far most of the Theta customers have the CB custom installed and setup. They don't have room or want a separate box - hence they don't buy the Six Shooter. Ease of use and the custom installer not having to come back are priorities. They don't want to read AVS Forum to figure out how to do it. They don't even want to read the manual. And yea they will love less cables. The custom installer who sells them the product wants something simple - so whether now or in a few years, HDMI will at some point be it. I'm sure some custom installers are already moving to the Halcro and Lexicon, due to HDMI,
over Theta both due to HDMI and price. And the Valis will be a partial answer for Theta once they equip it with HDMI - but its not on the spec sheet for the current upcoming product - but the Valis must run with its own Virtu PowerDac multi-channel amplifier, and many custom installers and customers will want different amplifiers, so its important that the updated Casablanca be a reasonable price range in comparison to competitors like the Lexicon MC-12 HD and Halcro. Of course it can cost several thousand more than them for its quality.

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post #12 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 08:50 AM
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"As for MCH, what players can actually get SACD/DVD-A pcm out thru hdmi ?"

Oppo 970 will spit out MC DVD-A and SACD (converted to PCM) over HDMI v1.1.

I run this to a MC-12HD. After the Lexicon gets the MC it can then run its full processing on the signal (L7 to expand it out to 7 channels), bass mangement, time alignment, room EQ for all 10 possible channels...etc..etc.

"is the lexicon 12HD upgradable to hdmi 1.3 ? "

No idea, Lexicon hasn't said anything about it either way. They tend to not say much about what 'might' occur in the future for worries about pissing off customers if/when those statements don't happen. Typically if Lexicon does make a statement about something it happens.

As far as HDMI v1.3 I really don't care about it in the Lexicon. It is a red herring for all the reasons that have been discussed numerous times before.

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post #13 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 09:05 AM
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Steve,

"And the Valis will be a partial answer for Theta once they equip it with HDMI - but its not on the spec sheet for the current upcoming product - but the Valis must run with its own Virtu PowerDac multi-channel amplifier"

And that requirement of pairing it with the PowerDAC via S/PDIF cables is likely going to be what keeps the Valis from ever accepting audio over HDMI because in effect it would defeat the copy protection that is desired on high resolution MCH audio.

Look at Meridian. They only way they were approved to output high resolution audio from DVD-A over (3) S/PDIF connections in their players was to come up with their own encryption to 'protect' the data. Unless Theta does something similiar with the Valis, with the appropriate hardware to decrypt the data in the PowerDac, they may have licensing problems trying to implement audio over HDMI.

If Theta had put it all in one box, which would have made sense since they are required to be paired together anyway, this would not have been an issue.

Ditto MCH high resolution audio over HDMI into a CBx and the CBx then spitting it out over S/PDIF to something like a Gen VIII DAC. Not going to happen because of the piracy concerns.

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post #14 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Shawn, I know you keep up on some of this stuff as much as anyone.

Explain again what advanced coding is on HD DVDs and Blue Ray,
and how this may negate using the surround processor to do the HD audio decoding, as opposed to the player. Thanks.

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post #15 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 09:51 AM
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Steve,

"Explain again what advanced coding is on HD DVDs and Blue Ray,and how this may negate using the surround processor to do the HD audio decoding, as opposed to the player. Thanks. "

You have a HD-DVD player now... correct?

Have you noticed how if you are playing a movie you can bring up the movies setup menu and it overlays on top of the movie and the movie keeps playing? If so did you also notice that you can get menu sound effects which are mixed right into the audio of the movie itself when you interact with that overlaid menu?

In essense that is 'advanced content' on the disc. Another example would be a directors commentary being mixed into the movies soundtrack while it is playing instead of being a completely different audio track. Other things will offer advanced content as well.

To be able to do these sorts of features the player must be able to mix together multiple audio streams while the movie is playing. To be able to do this the audio must be in the LPCM format within the player. In other words the player must decode any encoded audio. Since the player decodes the audio automatically for any HD-DVD marked as using 'advanced content' (which I believe is literally all of them) even with HDMI v1.3 a player won't spit out bitstream (still encoded) audio. It can't do that and be able to perform the advanced content functions. The HDMI v1.3 player is going to decode the audio, do any advanced content mixing it needs to and spit out the decoded LPCM over HDMI.

So, in a nutshell.... even if one had a HDMI v1.3 player and a HDMI v1.3 compatible pre-pro (will full support for decoding DD+, DD THD...etc...etc.. internally) if you played a HD-DVD marked as 'advanced content' (which is all of the so far) in the player the *player* is going to automatically decode the audio within the player (to be able to handle advanced content) and spit it out as multi-channel LPCM.

In other words the reality is the audio transfered from the player to the pre-pro is going to be no different then what occurs today with HDMI v1.1.

That is why HDMI v1.3 for audio is a red herring.....

Shawn
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post #16 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 11:44 AM
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Peter,
Quote:


If you could put into the Lumagen support circuitry to enhance the quality of the digital HDMI audio signal before sending it on to the Theta, then you would really have something

What exactly do you mean by this? I can tell you this, I don't want any video processor touching a single solitary bit of the audio data. Leave it the heck alone! HDMI chipsets may be horrible, but they're not altering the audio data they are given. They're horrible because of interoperability issues, dropouts, etc.

Michael
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post #17 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Grant View Post

Peter,What exactly do you mean by this? I can tell you this, I don't want any video processor touching a single solitary bit of the audio data. Leave it the heck alone! HDMI chipsets may be horrible, but they're not altering the audio data they are given. They're horrible because of interoperability issues, dropouts, etc.

I agree with Michael. E.G., connect the HD DVD player HDMI to the CB. The CB then plays the audio. The CB than has an HDMI output which connects to your external video processor or video display. Look how often Lumagen does firmware upgrades - no way Theta or any audio company will ever have the expertise or quickness on the video side that Lumagen does.

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post #18 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

Steve,

"Explain again what advanced coding is on HD DVDs and Blue Ray,and how this may negate using the surround processor to do the HD audio decoding, as opposed to the player. Thanks. "

You have a HD-DVD player now... correct?

Have you noticed how if you are playing a movie you can bring up the movies setup menu and it overlays on top of the movie and the movie keeps playing? If so did you also notice that you can get menu sound effects which are mixed right into the audio of the movie itself when you interact with that overlaid menu?

In essense that is 'advanced content' on the disc. Another example would be a directors commentary being mixed into the movies soundtrack while it is playing instead of being a completely different audio track. Other things will offer advanced content as well.

To be able to do these sorts of features the player must be able to mix together multiple audio streams while the movie is playing. To be able to do this the audio must be in the LPCM format within the player. In other words the player must decode any encoded audio. Since the player decodes the audio automatically for any HD-DVD marked as using 'advanced content' (which I believe is literally all of them) even with HDMI v1.3 a player won't spit out bitstream (still encoded) audio. It can't do that and be able to perform the advanced content functions. The HDMI v1.3 player is going to decode the audio, do any advanced content mixing it needs to and spit out the decoded LPCM over HDMI.

So, in a nutshell.... even if one had a HDMI v1.3 player and a HDMI v1.3 compatible pre-pro (will full support for decoding DD+, DD THD...etc...etc.. internally) if you played a HD-DVD marked as 'advanced content' (which is all of the so far) in the player the *player* is going to automatically decode the audio within the player (to be able to handle advanced content) and spit it out as multi-channel LPCM.

In other words the reality is the audio transfered from the player to the pre-pro is going to be no different then what occurs today with HDMI v1.1.

That is why HDMI v1.3 for audio is a red herring.....

Shawn

Lets discuss this from the practical side.

When I watch a HD DVD, I could care less about the menu sound effects, so losing them by decoding in the surround processor is no big deal to me.

Lets say I want to listen to an alternate audio track. I won't be able to listen to that over HDMI. But I've also connected a toslink cable (or from my HD DVD player to my surround processor, so I will simply switch sources on my surround processor. No problem.

Now I do luv bringin up the menu/settings while the HD DVD is playing. That's not audio, that's video. Shawn, can I use HDMI and bring up the menu/settings
while the movie is playing, or only if the movie is stopped, or not at all???

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post #19 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 01:00 PM
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" When I watch a HD DVD, I could care less about the menu sound effects, so losing them by decoding in the surround processor is no big deal to me."

Except I don't think you will have a choice about this. If a HD-DVD is authored with Advanced Content the player is going to decode the audio internally.

"Lets say I want to listen to an alternate audio track. I won't be able to listen to that over HDMI."

Why not?

If you select a different audio track the player will simply spit that audio over the HDMI audio connection instead of the main track.

This is nothing like LDs which could have different tracks being output at the same time on different outputs. (Analog vs. digital) It is no different then a DVD. Whatever language/track you select is what is output on all available outputs.

" Shawn, can I use HDMI and bring up the menu/settings while the movie is playing"

Yes, works fine.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

" Except I don't think you will have a choice about this. If a HD-DVD is authored with Advanced Content the player is going to decode the audio internally.

" Shawn, can I use HDMI and bring up the menu/settings while the movie is playing"

Yes, works fine.

Shawn

Shawn, I think these are the most important points. Are you are saying that assuming the disc is Advanced Content, then even HDMI 1.3 will not allow any audio decoding in the surround processor using the HDMI connection, that the audio decoding must be done in the player? If so, then what the heck good is HDMI except for video???

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post #21 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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A bit of clarification. I was talking with a contact at Theta. We discussed the upcoming Theta Valis surround processor. It was all designed for DVI. But as folks know, the market has quickly moved away from DVI, going to HDMI.
A new surround processor with DVI didn't make sense. Theta took DVI out, no sense doing it. But knowing that HDMI is coming more and more, Theta redesigned the Valis to have an open backplane and internal hooks for HDMI while keeping the rest of the design fixed. (Not that I, a non-engineer, understand some of these technical terms all that well, but that's what I was told.)

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post #22 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 02:50 PM
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". Are you are saying that assuming the disc is Advanced Content, then even HDMI 1.3 will not allow any audio decoding in the surround processor using the HDMI connection, that the audio decoding must be done in the player?"

As I understand it, yes!

"If so, then what the heck good is HDMI except for video???"

Do you mean HDMI in general or HDMI v1.3 WRT audio?

HDMI in general.... to be able to transfer the full resolution multi-channel soundtrack to a pre-pro digitally so one doesn't have to rely on the processing, dacs and analog line stage in the player.

If you mean what good is HDMI v1.3 vs. HDMI v1.1 WRT audio... there isn't much of a point when one actually understands what is going to occur in the case of 'Advanced Content' on HD-DVD. That *is* one of the points those of us that have been saying HDMI v1.1 is all that is needed for MCH audio have been trying to make. Far too many people don't realize this....

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post #23 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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My recent talk with Theta indicates that they are interested in feedback from us here at AVS Forum regarding whether they should plunge ahead quicker with HDMI 1.1 or 1.2 rather than wait for HDMI 1.3. b Their engineers have been working with HDMI 1.1 and some 1.2 parts that have been available.

Here are some concerns and questions raised by Theta as they consider the HDMI issues:

1. When will HDMI 1.3 be here?

2. Are the final specs for HDMI done yet or are they still subject to revision?

3. Isn't the current HDMI 1.1 connector a pretty lousy one which is being redesigned for HDMI 1.3?

4. What benefit does HDMI 1.3 have for you as compared to the current HDMI 1.1, if any? (some discussion of this above re Advanced Coding).

5. If you own a Casablanca or are considering buying a Valis, do you want Theta to come out with HDMI now in its interim form? How much would you be willing to pay for this now, knowing it will later be superceded by HDMI 1.3 and a new connector? How many HDMI s would you want? Do you want scaling? Really good scaling, better than what's built into your projector or plasma? Are you willing to pay for it while its still 1.2? Or do you want to be frugal for now and settle for switching?

So folks who might seriously consider Theta, or currently have Theta, if you can give us your thoughts re the above, and if there is enough interest, maybe Theta will move to HDMI sooner than later!

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post #24 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

HDMI v1.3 vs. HDMI v1.1 WRT audio
Shawn

Shawn, help??? What does WRT mean?

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post #25 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

". Are you are saying that assuming the disc is Advanced Content, then even HDMI 1.3 will not allow any audio decoding in the surround processor using the HDMI connection, that the audio decoding must be done in the player?"

As I understand it, yes!

"If so, then what the heck good is HDMI except for video???"

Do you mean HDMI in general or HDMI v1.3 WRT audio?

HDMI in general.... to be able to transfer the full resolution multi-channel soundtrack to a pre-pro digitally so one doesn't have to rely on the processing, dacs and analog line stage in the player.

If you mean what good is HDMI v1.3 vs. HDMI v1.1 WRT audio... there isn't much of a point when one actually understands what is going to occur in the case of 'Advanced Content' on HD-DVD. That *is* one of the points those of us that have been saying HDMI v1.1 is all that is needed for MCH audio have been trying to make. Far too many people don't realize this....

Shawn

Shawn, you are confusing me. What does "WRT" mean?

Now you are saying that HDMI v1.1 will not allow Advanced Content discs to have audio decoding done anywhere but in the player, right? Assuming this is the case, then other than for video purposes, why would Theta even bother
to do HDMI v1.1? All discs so far are Advanced Content and we don't see this changing in the forseeable future.

Will HDMI v1.3 be any different in this regard? Will it allow Advanced Content discs to have audio decoding done in the player?

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post #26 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 03:02 PM
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Steve,

"Here are some concerns and questions raised by Theta as they consider the HDMI issues:"

They should know the answers to all of this if they actually have done any work with HDMI....

But doing their homework for them....

"1. When will HDMI 1.3 be here?"

The specs are done. Products shipping with some forms of HDMI v1.3 should be fairly soon. The G2 top of the line Toshiba is will have HDMI v1.3 in it, as will the PS3 if it ever ships.

"2. Are the final specs for HDMI done yet or are they still subject to revision?"

Specs for v1.3 are final. If anyone thinks there won't be later versions I think they are kidding themselves. If one is always waiting for the 'latest and greatest' before working with HDMI I tend to doubt they will ever end up working with HDMI.

"3. Isn't the current HDMI 1.1 connector a pretty lousy one which is being redesigned for HDMI 1.3?"

Same connector for HDMI v1.3 with an optional smaller connector for things like camcorders and such which don't have much connector real estate to spare.

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post #27 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 03:13 PM
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Steve,

WRT = With Regard To....

"Now you are saying that HDMI v1.1 will not allow Advanced Content discs to have audio decoding done anywhere but in the player, right?"

With HDMI v1.1 the decoding of DD+ and Dolby THD must occur in the player anyway since HDMI v1.1 doesn't have the possibility of sending those formats bitstream. HDMI v1.3 has the capability of sending them bitstream but because of the 'Advanced Content' the players are more then likely going to be doing the decoding internally anyway.

"Assuming this is the case, then other than for video purposes, why would Theta even bother to do HDMI v1.1? "

You mean besides giving Theta owners the ability to actually use their very expensive surround processors and DACs to be able to listen to the latest surround formats (DD+, Dolby THD, etc) in full resolution, with the full processing and bass management functions of the CB3? Ditto doing the same thing thing with DVD-A and SACD?

Call me crazy but some might think that is worthwhile....

Shawn
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1. When will HDMI 1.3 be here?

November/December 2006!

2. Are the final specs for HDMI done yet or are they still subject to revision?

There will always be revisions. Now is the time to jump.

3. Isn't the current HDMI 1.1 connector a pretty lousy one which is being redesigned for HDMI 1.3?

There is no new HDMI 1.3 connector. There is only a camcorder option. Consider it like mini-usb.

4. What benefit does HDMI 1.3 have for you as compared to the current HDMI 1.1, if any? (some discussion of this above re Advanced Coding).

HDMI 1.3 will offer a few things (in addition to better compatibility and stability). It will pass the digital bitstream so it can be processed in the digital domain, and do everything HDMI 1.1 and 1.2 will do.

5. If you own a Casablanca or are considering buying a Valis, do you want Theta to come out with HDMI now in its interim form? How much would you be willing to pay for this now, knowing it will later be superceded by HDMI 1.3 and a new connector? How many HDMI s would you want? Do you want scaling? Really good scaling, better than what's built into your projector or plasma? Are you willing to pay for it while its still 1.2? Or do you want to be frugal for now and settle for switching?

I own the CB3 and would not consider a Valis. I would like Theta to come out with HDMI 1.3 sometime in the middle of 2007 for the CB3. I would pay $500 for a new input card. I would like them to team with someone like Lumagen so that I could move all of the switching out of the Theta and into an external processor (optional) and use the second HDMI output of the Lumagen to route audio to the Theta. Theta should stay out of the already crowded Video Scaling market and partner with someone who knows this market and serves it as well as they serve audio.

However, DIGITAL EQ IS A MUST UPGRADE FOR THE THETA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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post #29 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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"Now you are saying that HDMI v1.1 will not allow Advanced Content discs to have audio decoding done anywhere but in the player, right?"

With HDMI v1.1 the decoding of DD+ and Dolby THD must occur in the player anyway since HDMI v1.1 doesn't have the possibility of sending those formats bitstream. HDMI v1.3 has the capability of sending them bitstream but because of the 'Advanced Content' the players are more then likely going to be doing the decoding internally anyway.

"Assuming this is the case, then other than for video purposes, why would Theta even bother to do HDMI v1.1? "

You mean besides giving Theta owners the ability to actually use their very expensive surround processors and DACs to be able to listen to the latest surround formats (DD+, Dolby THD, etc) in full resolution, with the full processing and bass management functions of the CB3? Ditto doing the same thing thing with DVD-A and SACD?

Call me crazy but some might think that is worthwhile....

Shawn

Shawn, on the one hand, you state that with Advanced Content, only the player can decode the audio, even with HDMI v1.3 able to relay the bitstream for high end audio to the surround processor. Then at the end you state the opposite, that the surround processor over HDMI v1.3 can decode the audio. Which is it?

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post #30 of 620 Old 10-06-2006, 03:52 PM
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Steve,

Just what I said.

HDMI v1.3 can transmit bitstream DD+, Dolby THD etc..etc. It can. That is something v1.1 can't do.

However, if a disc is authored in advanced content mode then to support that functionality the player is going to decode the audio formats internally and as such will not spit out audio in bitstream mode. All HD-DVDs so far have been authored as Advanced Content.

That second point is one that most HDMI v1.3 advocates don't understand.

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