Originally Posted by RebelMan
you really shouldn't look at the potential loss of an on-board SSP decoder for Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD MA as a deal breaker, that would be short sighted.
In a perfect world the player would do all of the necessary mixing of audio streams and decoding and the SSP/AVR would do all of the necessary post processing, bass management and spatial computations. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. The marketing juggernaut that is the Internet has seen fit to alter our perceptions of what the perfect world is by convincing us to believe that on-board SSP decoding leads to the promise land.
The reality is on-board SSP decoding is not what the studios see as the promise land but rather as the land of misplaced opportunity. According to Classe', the studios that they recently approached have no intention of allowing the audio streams to be decoded anywhere but the player. According to the studios, it is impractical to feed an outboard decoder the numerous data streams that must be mixed. Furthermore, when Classe' approached the studios about the matter they were strangely looked at because the studio's couldn't understand why it was thought that the decoding should take place anywhere else but in the player!
Infrastructure support between the player and the SSP will be insufficient to support the advanced codecs if the studios won't correctly
allow the transfer of the RAW bit-streams; rendering this entire discussion a moot point. So unless the software allows it, on-board SSP decoding would go unrealized. Why incur the extra expense in an SSP for a feature that may never be utilized? I'll tell you... marketability and influence. The reality is people are persuaded by features whether they need them or not and Classe' wants to sell SSPs.
Anyone remember HDCD? Has the lack of software support deterred your non-HDCD CD spending habits? I don't think so. Likewise, the lack of software supporting the RAW bit streams enabling HD audio support for outboard decoders won't deter your HD media spending habits either. Trust me!
If anyone is wondering what sort of impact these intentions the studios have will have on Classe's decision to release an advanced decoder upgrade the short answer is it will probably matter very little. Ironic? Not really. It will remove any potential need for Classe' to explain away why it wasn't necessary in the first place. As I said people have a preference for features even if they will never use them. Marketability and influence can be equally powerful as a friend or a foe. Classe' may be smarter to have that on its side rather than to side against it for the proper reasons.
But if Classe' doesn't offer the upgrade you might be wondering what this means to the players that don't include the necessary advanced decoders required to work in full tandem with an SSP-800? My answer would be that it means to avoid them and choose another player that does or will, ( a.k.a. PS3
). The Blu-ray audio specification doesn't require that the advanced audio codecs be used at all, and all HD-DVD players are required
to provide the advanced Dolby decoders anyway! Furthermore, most people looking for an HD player are primarily interested in HD video not HD audio and they may prefer not to spend the extra money for what they don't think they need in a player and will choose those accordingly. Need proof? Consider the plethora of 128kbps lossy compressed iTunes music files and mp3 downloads and there you'll have it!
For people that do
want HD audio, generally enthusiasts with an insatiable need to pursue the grail of high-performance audio, they will most likely be willing to spend the extra money to get that last bit of performance from a player that offers advanced decoding as a service. However, the reality is you don't need
HD audio to fully enjoy HD video, this is something the masses already know that the rest tend to forget or neglect (Lossy vs new lossless/PCM formats.
). That's why both types of players exist (some with and some without the advanced decoders) and why they will continue in this fashion for a while. Need more proof? Recall what happened to SACD and DVD-A players and there you'll have it!