Official Pioneer VSX-521k owners thread - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 729 Old 05-30-2011, 07:30 AM
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hey everyone, more love for the VSX-521-K!

First off, I am probably 95% satisfied with the unit. Such great power and sound quality from such an inexpensive unit!

Here's my one gripe: it won't "see" the HDMI input from my WD TV set-top box. It "sees" my Zune HD docking station, Panasonic blu-ray player, and PS3 just fine. AND if I connect the WD TV directly to my tele, it works just fine. This FEELS like the Pioneer receiver requires a certain quality to its HDMI sources that the WD TV might not meet.

Any thoughts?

P.S. Reading over some of the other posted issues here, it's clear that you all know WAY more than I do about audio stuff! Sorry I can't offer any advice on the other issues.
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post #32 of 729 Old 05-31-2011, 08:47 AM
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Sorry I don't have any solution to the HDMI issue but I can contribute:

I have similar problems with my set-top and HDMI. It is routed into the receiver, which goes out to the TV. Sometimes, when changing channels, the receiver won't catch on to the new channel, especially if the picture format is different on the next channel (i.e. 720P to 1080i). And it completely descynchonrizes, and I lose picture. I have to turn all units off and on to somehow restore the picture.

Very poor performance on that issue. May consider going back to HDMI-to-TV and using Set-top Coax Audio for that hookup.

Could be the cables, but they work most of the time, and I tried rejigging them in their slots, and nothing happened. I may switch them around next time it happens to see if it restores the issue.

Also, channel switching when changing picture formats is also extremely slow. In the extreme. If you are switching channels between sports, you will miss things FOR SURE.
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post #33 of 729 Old 05-31-2011, 09:53 AM
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- set top boxes have been the bane of hdmi handshaking since day one... go ahead and hook it up with component video cables and a spdif cable... pq will be the same, and you won't have to deal with the headaches...

- the change in resolution when changing channels (i.e. if you go from a 1080i to a 720p signal, or vice versa) breaks the hdcp chain and forces a complete handshake throughout the entire chain... that's why you see the delay... the workaround for this is to set your set top box to output a fixed format... ime, setting it to 1080i is "best", as it's reasonably "easy" for the set top box to scale/interlace a 720p signal to 1080i, and much more difficult to deinterlace/scale a 1080i signal to 720p...

hth..

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #34 of 729 Old 05-31-2011, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marktwothousand View Post

Just a couple of gripes... HDMI picture and audio sync take way too long. Forgot channel surfing on this thing, you're going to have to use a program guide.

Also, I cannot, I repeat, cannot figure out what to operate the surround on when watching the set top box. Standard, Direct or Auto Surround?

Are there any other Pioneer VSX-x21K (521, 821, 921, 1021) owners out there who could advise on this?

Sometimes, the receiver doesn't detect that it is 5.1 sound on a channel, and forces Dolby PLII, so I don't know which surround option to keep it set on. I do not want to have to keep changing it. Direct is the fastest and more assured, but I wonder what the difference is between that and Standard.

see my previous post for workaround on hdmi handshake delays...

i would leave it on "auto"...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #35 of 729 Old 05-31-2011, 05:28 PM
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I have a Samsung HLT6756W and the 521k replaced an old Marantz SR4000 receiver, which is audio only. The set top box is ATT U-verse. My DVD player is old, non-blue ray and component output only. We very seldom use it. And we have a Mac Mini with HDMI output. One reason for buying the 521K was to watch internet TV and listen to my iTunes library on the home theater speakers instead of the TV speakers.

Installing the 521K was a real challenge - mostly due to my stupidity.
- the Mac Mini HDMI connection had no sound and the picture cut off the menus at the top. It took a couple hours focusing on the 512k before I realized the solution was 100% in the Mac Mini. It was thanks to a response Chris made to somebody regarding a different but similar issue that made me realize I was looking at the wrong device. Duh! Thanks for helping me see the light, Chris.
- I never got the OSD to work. I guess the reason is that I could not find the right Samsung input for the extra cable from the 521K "Monitor out". In any case, I figured OSD is not necessary and used the 521k display to run the MCACC tool.

Questions:

1. Any reason to make the OSD work? I looked at the menu in the manual, and it looks like the only selection that matters to me is the MCAAC and, in any case, the display on the 521k should be sufficient. Is that right?

2. I prefer to have the one HDMI connection from the 521k to the Samsung. Any reason to add component, or use only component instead of HDMI? I have not yet connected the DVD Player which has only component output. Will I need component from the 521k to the Samsung to make that work? I also assume the audio via the HDMI cable is the best.
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post #36 of 729 Old 05-31-2011, 07:10 PM
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"- I never got the OSD to work. I guess the reason is that I could not find the right Samsung input for the extra cable from the 521K "Monitor out". In any case, I figured OSD is not necessary and used the 521k display to run the MCACC tool. "

You need to use an RCA cable to get the OSD. It does not output via HDMI.
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post #37 of 729 Old 05-31-2011, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniskunk View Post

"- I never got the OSD to work. I guess the reason is that I could not find the right Samsung input for the extra cable from the 521K "Monitor out". In any case, I figured OSD is not necessary and used the 521k display to run the MCACC tool. "

You need to use an RCA cable to get the OSD. It does not output via HDMI.

You're saying that if your only connection to the display is HDMI it won't bring up the Pio OSD??

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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post #38 of 729 Old 06-01-2011, 06:52 AM
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Will I be losing out on anything with PQ if I don't use HDMI? Its been forever since I used component on anything.
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post #39 of 729 Old 06-01-2011, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dialleft View Post

1. Any reason to make the OSD work? I looked at the menu in the manual, and it looks like the only selection that matters to me is the MCAAC and, in any case, the display on the 521k should be sufficient. Is that right?

You're correct. I ran a composite cable last week to use the on-screen display, thinking that there were additional options that could only be accessed this way. There isn't. Using the display on the 521-K itself does everything you need.

Click here for my home theater setup
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post #40 of 729 Old 06-01-2011, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniskunk View Post
"- I never got the OSD to work. I guess the reason is that I could not find the right Samsung input for the extra cable from the 521K "Monitor out". In any case, I figured OSD is not necessary and used the 521k display to run the MCACC tool. "

You need to use an RCA cable to get the OSD. It does not output via HDMI.

"You're saying that if your only connection to the display is HDMI it won't bring up the Pio OSD??"

Correct. The video image generator for the OSD does not support HDMI. It's analog. You need to find an analog video input jack on your TV. Most still have them to support older tech like video game devices and VCRs.
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post #41 of 729 Old 06-15-2011, 12:49 PM
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Hello,
I recently got Samsung UN55D6420 along with Pioneer VSX-521-k & Samsung Blue-Ray player & Polk audio speaker
I completed the MCACC setup however for some reason i do not hear reasonable sound until i turn the volume upto 30+ Is this normal? My room is about 6 feet wide and 8 feet long, speakers in four corner and central near tv and woofer beside tv.
I have HDMI coming out of AV to TV in/Blue-Ray HDMI out to AV in/Satellite Optical out to AV in/Satellite Video out to TV in

Could someone please suggest any setup change to improve sound level.. thanks.
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post #42 of 729 Old 06-15-2011, 01:12 PM
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^^^

yes, that's perfectly normal...

the volume display isn't linear...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #43 of 729 Old 06-15-2011, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

yes, that's perfectly normal...

the volume display isn't linear...

Thanks Chris, after some research, i manually change the speakers setting under AV setup screen. I changed the speakers dB from -6dB to +6dB for all the speakers and +4dB for subwoofer, now the sound is loud enough..
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post #44 of 729 Old 06-15-2011, 07:35 PM
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^^^

no...

put them back where they were, and use the volume control to make it louder...

if you are "used to" an avr with a linear volume display, forget all you knew before... -35db on the volume scale on your current avr isn't pushing it at all...

your avr (assuming you ran calibration right), is calibrated so that "reference" level will show 0db (very loud) on the display... that doesn't mean that the avr doesn't have plenty left...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #45 of 729 Old 06-16-2011, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

no...

put them back where they were, and use the volume control to make it louder...

if you are "used to" an avr with a linear volume display, forget all you knew before... -35db on the volume scale on your current avr isn't pushing it at all...

your avr (assuming you ran calibration right), is calibrated so that "reference" level will show 0db (very loud) on the display... that doesn't mean that the avr doesn't have plenty left...

Oh gosh. Thanks for the clarification yet again, i didn't pay attention to "linear volume" in your last post. I have re-run the calibration and now the values are back to the original..

Thanks again...
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post #46 of 729 Old 06-16-2011, 05:10 AM
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^^^

you are welcome... glad you are straightened out and up and running...

a LOT of people have gotten tripped up by that... if you are used to a linear display/volume control (vs. logarithmic), it can seem quite odd that you seemingly have to turn the avr up "at least half the way" before you really even begin to hear anything...

what the display is really showing you is "decibels off of reference" (assuming a correctly calibrated avr)... and since the decibel scale is log 10 (i.e. 60 decibels is 10 times as "loud" as 50 decibels), it can be a bit confusing until you understand that...

here's a link to what log 10 "looks like"...

so... the difference between, say, -35db on your display and -25db on the display isn't "a little bit", it's actually "10 times as loud"...

hth...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #47 of 729 Old 06-16-2011, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for the insight Chris, this is really a serious theory to understand i guess i will have to get used to with big numbers on my display..
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post #48 of 729 Old 06-16-2011, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

you are welcome... glad you are straightened out and up and running...

a LOT of people have gotten tripped up by that... if you are used to a linear display/volume control (vs. logarithmic), it can seem quite odd that you seemingly have to turn the avr up "at least half the way" before you really even begin to hear anything...

what the display is really showing you is "decibels off of reference" (assuming a correctly calibrated avr)... and since the decibel scale is log 10 (i.e. 60 decibels is 10 times as "loud" as 50 decibels), it can be a bit confusing until you understand that...

here's a link to what log 10 "looks like"...

so... the difference between, say, -35db on your display and -25db on the display isn't "a little bit", it's actually "10 times as loud"...

hth...

Chris-are volume controls on guitar amps also logarithmic??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xuzps...eature=related

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post #49 of 729 Old 06-16-2011, 09:55 AM
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^^^

LOL!!!

that is truly a classic...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #50 of 729 Old 06-24-2011, 01:43 PM
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Deciding between 820 and 521 - seems the ONLY thing the 820 has that the 521 does not are speaker posts and the ipod plug (Ipod/usb).

If Ipod use would be rare and I would use other cables, and price is similar, would any of you not get the 521?
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post #51 of 729 Old 06-26-2011, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee_In_TX View Post

Deciding between 820 and 521 - seems the ONLY thing the 820 has that the 521 does not are speaker posts and the ipod plug (Ipod/usb).

If Ipod use would be rare and I would use other cables, and price is similar, would any of you not get the 521?

Someone mentioned earlier that the 521 has MCACC "auto". What is that though?

Also, to use an ipod with the 521-k does it have an aux jack? I use that in my car all the time for my ipod. It does not charge the ipod so this would be poor for heavy ipod users. But maybe you could keep the ipod plugged into the wall and plugged into the AVR at the same time? I don't know if that's ok.

Thanks to AVS for helping me with my first home theater system!

Panasonic ST30, Klipsch RB-61 II, RC-42 II, Denon AVR-1611, dual Lava 10" subwoofers

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post #52 of 729 Old 06-30-2011, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

- set top boxes have been the bane of hdmi handshaking since day one... go ahead and hook it up with component video cables and a spdif cable... pq will be the same, and you won't have to deal with the headaches...

- the change in resolution when changing channels (i.e. if you go from a 1080i to a 720p signal, or vice versa) breaks the hdcp chain and forces a complete handshake throughout the entire chain... that's why you see the delay... the workaround for this is to set your set top box to output a fixed format... ime, setting it to 1080i is "best", as it's reasonably "easy" for the set top box to scale/interlace a 720p signal to 1080i, and much more difficult to deinterlace/scale a 1080i signal to 720p...

hth..

Could you hook your set top box straight to the TV with HDMI and use ARC back to the receiver for sound to eliminate the full chain handshaking? Other components could be hooked up to the receiver normally and then route to the TV on the receiver's HDMI out cable (which would have the sound from the TV/set top box coming in on ARC).

My Onkyo RC270 takes a few seconds to go back and forth between 480i and any HD feed unless I set the set top box (motorola from charter) 4:3 setting to "off". That allows a normal 4:3 image instead of being stretched by the set top box (which I hate), and it flies through the changes after that. Unfortunately, the set top box refuses to save the setting and I have to do it every time I turn the box on. I have it set up in my "man cave".

I'm looking at the VSX-521k for the living room where everybody else in the house watches tv. I was looking at the much cheaper VSX-520k until I noticed here that Pioneer falsely stated it had ARC.
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post #53 of 729 Old 06-30-2011, 01:17 PM
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^^^

maybe... as not all displays will pass through a 5.1 stream that isn't coming from it's internal tuner (or is not otherwise internally generated, i.e. web apps, and son on)... most will downmix to 2.0 if an audio stream comes from an input port...

hooking the cable box up directly to the tv won't stop a handshake from occuring on a resolution change though... resolution changes will always force a handshake... it has to... it's an edid info change, and all edid info changes will force a handshake...

the "best" (only) way to avoid it is to force a fixed resolution...

you've got the mysterious "switches back by itself issue on 480i override" too, huh? i've seen this reported across multiple cem's (and seen it happen personally on both pioneer and d&m avrs/pre-pros), so i'm reasonbly convinced that's another funky cable box firmware issue (possibly related to it "losing the sink", so to speak, when the display is turned off)...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #54 of 729 Old 06-30-2011, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

you've got the mysterious "switches back by itself issue on 480i override" too, huh? i've seen this reported across multiple cem's (and seen it happen personally on both pioneer and d&m avrs/pre-pros), so i'm reasonbly convinced that's another funky cable box firmware issue (possibly related to it "losing the sink", so to speak, when the display is turned off)...

Yep. Charter's suggestion was to switch to composite cables, which I didn't want to do because it kills the ability for me to use whichever remote I pick up to change volume, etc.
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post #55 of 729 Old 07-02-2011, 10:10 PM
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I just picked up the 521k and when I run the hdmi video/audio from my htpc to the receiver then to the tv I get blinking video in live tv. Is this HDCP being broken on wtv files from media center? I havent noticed it with any other file type yet, only wtv.

edit: I may have fixed it. I swapped cables to put my better hdmi cable between the computer and the tuner. If this does fix it ill replace the other much older cable.
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post #56 of 729 Old 07-14-2011, 06:42 AM
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Hi all,

This is my first post here. My current setup (entry-level) is

AC Ryan PlayOn Mini
Marantz SR4200 (non-HDMI)
Infinity Primus 250 + Infinity C25 + JBL active sub (Yes, it is only 3.1)
Panny 42 Plasma (TH-42PV8H)

I hope to get VSX-521K to replace 4200 (nothing wrong with the Marantz). I desperately need someone to advice me before I sign on the credit card bill sheet.

Most of the audio/video is stream through PlayOn which has only 1 HDMI output (ver 1.3 I believe) direct to Panny HDMI (also ver 1.3) for video and audio via optical. Obviously, I don't get HD audio. That's one main factor for me to get a HDMI receiver.

Since PlayOn only have 1 HDMI output thus I believe the only and best connection to get the HD quality Audio/Video would be

PlayOn --- (HDMI) ---> VSX 521K --- (HDMI)---> Panny

Now Questions:

1) PlayOn HDMI OUT and Panny HDMI IN is ver 1.3 and VSX-521K is certified for ver 1.4. Do you think I would lose out in the quality of HD audio and video?
Worth if the Audio/Video is just as good as my current setup without VSX-521 K.

2) VSX-521K output at 80W (20 Hz - 20 kHz, THD 0.08% @ 8 ohms) that's just 10W power improvement than 4200 at 70W with same speakers (8ohm, 92dB). In term of power alone, does that really make a difference if i get VSX 521K? Should I get receiver with higher watt?

3) I am using bare wire now and will remain with VSX-521K. VSX-521K only has 2 binding post for 2 Front and the rest is clip-on. My 4200 has binding post for all speaker terminals. Any disadvantage with bare wire to clip-on post?

4) Is there any weak link in my current setup (except 4200) that should be changed to compliment VSX-521K ?

Really appreciate someone could advice/answer to the questions before a decision made.

I am supposed to get back to dealer within 3 days for the attractive price offered. 2 days left.
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post #57 of 729 Old 07-14-2011, 07:00 AM
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^^^

the ability to use the lossless codecs is really of no benefit to you with your speaker/sub setup...

if the only reason you are buying a different avr is to be able to process the lossless codecs, that's not a good reason...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #58 of 729 Old 07-14-2011, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

the ability to use the lossless codecs is really of no benefit to you with your speaker/sub setup...

if the only reason you are buying a different avr is to be able to process the lossless codecs, that's not a good reason...

Chris,

I don't quite get your point. can you elaborate further?

I guess I am pretty green or sometime lost in this arena. It's whole lots different ball games than the time where DD, DTS (non-HDMI era) was the main stream. Esp with different codec these days.
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post #59 of 729 Old 07-14-2011, 09:03 AM
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^^^

the difference between the "lossless codecs" (i.e. dolby true-hd and dts-ma) and the "lossy codecs" (dd, dts) is subtle on the best of system/setups...

and completely non-existent for the majority of home users...

regardless of what many will say...

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post #60 of 729 Old 07-14-2011, 09:11 AM
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You don't have to have the best system to tell the difference between TrueHD and regular Dolby Digital 5.1.

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