Is dolby true hd worth the upgrade? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I now have a pioneer 912k 5.1 receiver. Thinking of updating to onkyo 515. It has Dolby true hd etc is the 7.1 Dolby true hd that much better in sound then just 5.1 dd or dts?
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post #2 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 08:05 AM
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You'll notice more going from 5.1 to 7.1 (assuming proper set-up) than going from lossy to lossless (especially with Blu-ray, which use max bit rate for their lossy tracks).

Sanjay
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post #3 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 08:36 AM
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If that is your main, or only reason to upgrade, I say no. Save that money and think about upgrading your speakers.

Or wait until a newer receiver has a "must have" feature you really need i.e. 3D support or room correction.
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post #4 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 09:32 AM
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There are other compelling reasons to update your AVR. The newer model is likely to have much improved processing, auto EQ and improved analog stages too. These and other differences will provide more of an upgrade in sound quality than the HD audio codecs will. For movies only the differences are less, for music they are greater.

One bigger question is whether your speakers and total setup are capable of resolving any of these differences.
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post #5 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 09:38 AM
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As noted above, for specifically Dolby TrueHD ... the answer would be no as the higher bitrate DD/DTS 5.1 audio on BDs is very comparable to the same HD audio tracks on the BD. However, for other improvements (specifically Audyssey MultEQ or higher), the answer shifts over towards yes, although the 515 you are considering only uses the most basic version of Audyssey 2EQ which cannot EQ the sub ... so IMHO the answer shifts back to no. The lowest 2012 Onkyo that doesn's use 2EQ is the 818, so you may want to consider perhaps last year's 709 (MultEQ XT) on clearance sale now or a lower level Denon model comparable to the 515 as they all use MultEQ as the lowest version.

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post #6 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 10:02 AM
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Well I am going to throw a twist onto what was already said...... What Sanjay and jdsmoothie said about it not being worth the change in AVR for Dolby true hd, they stated that the bit rate for the lossy DD is at its highest possible rate so the difference from that DD to true hd might not be that big (which is true). BUT here's the thing the only way to get that higher bit rate is thru HDMI and your receiver doesn't have HDMI.

So if you have a bluray player then YES you will notice a huge difference. So go for a new receiver.

Shawn
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post #7 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

...they stated that the bit rate for the lossy DD is at its highest possible rate so the difference from that DD to true hd might not be that big (which is true). BUT here's the thing the only way to get that higher bit rate is thru HDMI and your receiver doesn't have HDMI.

No, please do not spread incorrect info. Dolby Digital at 640 kbps and DTS at 1.536 Mbps are fully compatible with S/PDIF coaxial and TOSLINK optical outputs.

AJ
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post #8 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Well I am going to throw a twist onto what was already said...... What Sanjay and jdsmoothie said about it not being worth the change in AVR for Dolby true hd, they stated that the bit rate for the lossy DD is at its highest possible rate so the difference from that DD to true hd might not be that big (which is true). BUT here's the thing the only way to get that higher bit rate is thru HDMI and your receiver doesn't have HDMI.

So if you have a bluray player then YES you will notice a huge difference. So go for a new receiver.


You're likely confusing the higher bitrate DD/DTS audio on BD's which can pass over optical to "Dolby Digital +" which requires HDMI.

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post #9 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 10:17 AM
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I agree with other folks that said you did not need to upgrade. HDMI is a convenient way to connect but if your current receiver does not have the HDMI ports, you can connect the BD player to the TV via HDMI and run the optical or coaxial audio to the receiver.
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post #10 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys yes that Is what I do now connect the hdmi to my tv and another hdmi to my Sanyo projector. Then the hdmi's go into a monoprice splitter 4 input and 2 outputs. One goes to the tv and one goes to the projector and the sound goes to the recover via optical and coaxe.
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post #11 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 11:24 AM
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NO , it don't worth the upgrade to 515.

But if you want to upgrade, go to the receiver that got MultEQ XT such as Marantz 5006 or if you can double your budget go for Onkyo 818 with XT32

When I first got 606 I connect my PS3 to 606 using HDMI (PS3->606->TV) but when HDMI board was failed , I connect PS3 to 606 using optical and PS3 to TV using HDMI.

I don't notice any difference from True HD/DTS HD using HDMI compare to
normal DD/DTS via optical. (Same blu-ray, PS3 convert TrueHD/DTS HD to DD/DTS)

Anyways, when I upgrade from 606 to 3008 (2EQ to XT32) I notice the huge difference in bass and surround sound field. 3008 give me a lot better sound than 606.
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post #12 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiWavelength View Post

No, please do not spread incorrect info. Dolby Digital at 640 kbps and DTS at 1.536 Mbps are fully compatible with S/PDIF coaxial and TOSLINK optical outputs.

AJ

Ok..... Good to know, sorry about that. I was actually told what I stated by another AVS forum member like 2 years ago.

Shawn
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post #13 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 02:23 PM
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I never saw an upper limit on what TOSLink and coax could handle for bitrate. So the limitation is probably the spec.

Of course HDMI allow for higher bit depths as well

A test some years ago convinced me there would not be much of a difference between DD/DTS on Blu-ray vs lossless.

1.5 Mbs DTS sounds amazing on one of my concert discs. Hard to imagine an improvement on it.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #14 of 38 Old 05-07-2012, 02:29 PM
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^^^

I agree, I haven't really been able to reliably tell a difference between the lossless HD formats and the regular soundtracks. So, doing an upgrade just for the HD formats is likely to be of dubious benefit.

Room correction is likely to provide a much more noticeable benefit, however.
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post #15 of 38 Old 07-26-2012, 02:50 PM
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I bought a Yamaha RX-V371 several months ago. At first I thought I made out OK, despite having timed the purchase before the big sales hit. It has some features other entry level receivers don't, like 5.1 Enhance, Low Pass filter, etc. However already all receivers (including the RX-V373 that replaced this one) are coming with Dolby TrueHD decoding. Should I be concerned about how many BDs will have Dolby TrueHD in the near future?

How big is Dolby TrueHD really catching on, or going to catch on, down the road as far as BD discs having it vs DTS? Most BD discs still use DTS, but an increasing number seem to be using Dolby TrueHD, including the latest Mission Impossible. While I CAN use 5.1 Enhance for these movies, it doesn't entirely separate dialog to the center channel. In fact MI Ghost Protocol was one of the worst as far as hearing dialog mostly in the front speakers, even with 5.1 Enhance.

So, in my mind, the question isn't how does the sound of Dolby TrueHD compare to DTS, the question is, toward which codec is the movie industry pendulum swinging regarding which one they put on their BDs? If your receiver supports DTS but not Dolby TrueHD, I would think you'd be more concerned about proper channel separation than audio quality differences between two lossless codecs, which is going to be negligible at best.

My personal feeling is I hope DTS kicks Dolby TrueHD to the curb like Blu-ray did HD-DVD and Netflix did Blockbuster, even if they sound identical. I never have liked Dolby products, they're too commercialized and hyped. Either way, we're probably going to see an audio codec war on BDs in the next year or two though.
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post #16 of 38 Old 07-26-2012, 03:41 PM
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If your receiver supports TrueHD it'll also support DTS-MA.

I have yet to see a current receiver that doesn't support both.

Afro GT
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post #17 of 38 Old 07-26-2012, 05:49 PM
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+1

The vast majority of AVRs (to include the 371) have supported both HD DD and DTS codes going back at least 3-4 years.

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post #18 of 38 Old 07-26-2012, 07:38 PM
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Yes, it is worth it IMO. I notice more clarity and better defined bass.
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post #19 of 38 Old 07-26-2012, 07:46 PM
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Not taking sides but you need both...
For the Blu Rays, DTS Master Audio is the primary standard, but still Dolby has significant market penetration as well. Also Dolby Digital is the broadcast standard for HD TV. The next face-off will be in downloads from the cloud/internet, here Apple cold be a major factor. DTS also recently purchased SRS so they concentrating on multiple product categories including automotive..

Just my $0.02... wink.gif
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post #20 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

If your receiver supports TrueHD it'll also support DTS-MA.
I have yet to see a current receiver that doesn't support both.
If you mean me, I never said it supports TrueHD, regarding BDs it's primary support is DTS. Nowhere in the audio decoding options do I see TrueHD, and it isn't mentioned in the feature list on Yamaha's product info. The 373 model however does list it. I suppose that's one of the reasons Yamaha put a 5.1 Enhance feature in previously.

The only reason both would be "needed", is because some BDs have TrueHD instead of DTS. I challenge anyone to prove otherwise if you think the RX-V371 supports Dolby TrueHD, either via web info, it's manual, or a detailed description of how to set it to that, because quite frankly, I've checked all the settings and it's nowhere to be found. I wish someone could prove me wrong, but I'm betting no one can.

Like I said, the only way I've found to get dialog out of the center channel on a TrueHD encoded BD is to put it in 5.1 Enhance mode, and in that mode you still hear dialog in the front speakers, and on some movies it's louder than you hear it on the center speaker, like MI Ghost Protocol.
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post #21 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 04:31 AM
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Yamaha lists it as a feature on the 371 spec page ....

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/rx/rx-v371_black__u/?mode=model



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post #22 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi Def Fan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

If your receiver supports TrueHD it'll also support DTS-MA.
I have yet to see a current receiver that doesn't support both.
If you mean me, I never said it supports TrueHD, regarding BDs it's primary support is DTS. Nowhere in the audio decoding options do I see TrueHD, and it isn't mentioned in the feature list on Yamaha's product info. The 373 model however does list it. I suppose that's one of the reasons Yamaha put a 5.1 Enhance feature in previously.

The only reason both would be "needed", is because some BDs have TrueHD instead of DTS. I challenge anyone to prove otherwise if you think the RX-V371 supports Dolby TrueHD, either via web info, it's manual, or a detailed description of how to set it to that, because quite frankly, I've checked all the settings and it's nowhere to be found. I wish someone could prove me wrong, but I'm betting no one can.

Like I said, the only way I've found to get dialog out of the center channel on a TrueHD encoded BD is to put it in 5.1 Enhance mode, and in that mode you still hear dialog in the front speakers, and on some movies it's louder than you hear it on the center speaker, like MI Ghost Protocol.

your "challenge" didn't last long... tongue.gif fwiw, there's a grand total of zero avrs that have dts-ma support but not truehd...

the avr does not "pick and choose" which codec you use... the player (and the disk itself) does that... there is no such thing as "primary support", the avr is totally agnostic when it comes to codecs... whatever you feed it, that's what it will take...

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post #23 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 09:13 AM
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jesus, what a bizarre hyper contention.

It's Friday I guess.

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post #24 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi Def Fan View Post

Either way, we're probably going to see an audio codec war on BDs in the next year or two though.

But perhaps not the audio codec war you anticipate...

A 3D Focus co uk article "DTS and SRS to launch 3D audio late next year" (link), dated 7/27/2012, says that "Having completed the acquisition of SRS Labs, DTS has confirmed the two companies will jointly bring multi-dimensional audio (MDA) or '3D audio' technology to market in 2013". (Although a couple of other news sites I saw seemed less certain that any new technology might reach the consumer market quite so soon as 2013!) And based on the current DTS|SRS consumer deliverable marketplace, this "product" would presumably be aimed at all of the home theater, automotive, video game, and portable device segments.

Anyway, it seems to me that this 'news release' by DTS means that the next home theater audio codec 'war'--with a mix of sound objects and 3D audio--is already getting started...?! eek.gifcool.gifbiggrin.gif

And don't forget that Norwegian music label 2L lists the BD version of "SOUVENIR" by TrondheimSolistene (link), to be released in August 2012, as containing five 9.1 Auro-3D encoded tracks . . . although the first consumer Auro-3D decoders are not supposed to appear until later this year!
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post #25 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundChex View Post

But perhaps not the audio codec war you anticipate...

A 3D Focus co uk article "DTS and SRS to launch 3D audio late next year" (link), dated 7/27/2012, says that "Having completed the acquisition of SRS Labs, DTS has confirmed the two companies will jointly bring multi-dimensional audio (MDA) or '3D audio' technology to market in 2013". (Although a couple of other news sites I saw seemed less certain that any new technology might reach the consumer market quite so soon as 2013!) And based on the current DTS|SRS consumer deliverable marketplace, this "product" would presumably be aimed at all of the home theater, automotive, video game, and portable device segments.
Anyway, it seems to me that this 'news release' by DTS means that the next home theater audio codec 'war'--with a mix of sound objects and 3D audio--is already getting started...?! eek.gifcool.gifbiggrin.gif
And don't forget that Norwegian music label 2L lists the BD version of "SOUVENIR" by TrondheimSolistene (link), to be released in August 2012, as containing five 9.1 Auro-3D encoded tracks . . . although the first consumer Auro-3D decoders are not supposed to appear until later this year!
_

Keep in mind..
The object based protocol developed by SRS and now handled by DTS provides a single encoding technique called MDA. The basic concept of Multi-Dimensional Audio, or MDA, is to represent sound sources as objects in space just as they are in the real world, without regard to the number of channels or speaker locations. SRS suggests that MDA should not be considered a codec but rather like a PCM + stream where the objects have positional and spacial time parameters. Then depending upon the use case and hardware playback capability the stream can be delivered as 2.0 or 5.1 or 7.1 or 9.1 or 11.2 or 20.4.... It is interesting to note that this IP was developed by (2) senior guys that left Dolby after many years.... eek.gif

We have heard the MDA demos both @ CES 2012 and SRS, very, very impressive..

Here is a link for more info on MDA..
http://www.srslabs.com/landing.aspx?id=2459

Just my $0.02.. wink.gif
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post #26 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Keep in mind.. The object based protocol developed by SRS and now handled by DTS provides a single encoding technique called MDA. The basic concept of Multi-Dimensional Audio, or MDA, is to represent sound sources as objects in space just as they are in the real world, without regard to the number of channels or speaker locations. SRS suggests that MDA should not be considered a codec but rather like a PCM + stream where the objects have positional and spacial time parameters. Then depending upon the use case and hardware playback capability the stream can be delivered as 2.0 or 5.1 or 7.1 or 9.1 or 11.2 or 20.4....

Actually, you are quite correct that we are 'too casual' in referring to the MDA rendering engine as a 'decoder' . . . although it might be said that we 'acquired bad habits' by not distinguishing between the separate processing elements of DTS-HD decoding and (occasional) channel remapping...!

Nonetheless, in this instance, I was using the term codec with reference to what 'macro structure' I'm guessing we'll see as the DTS bitstream is extracted from some (still hypothetical) next generation 'BD-with-MDA'.

Based on the existing DTS 'core+extension' strategy, I might expect to see the following:

  • OLD (DVD era) Lossy DTS Core (5.1 channel).
  • OLD (BD era) Lossless DTS-HDMA Extension_#1 (7.1 channel).
  • NEW (BD-with-MDA era) Lossless DTS-HDMA style Extension_#2a (perhaps 14.2 channel) . . . Combine Core + Ext_#1 + Ext_#2a to create a "minimalist pre-rendered compatible MDA core" usable in case the MDA Objects complexity of this disk exceeds the capabilities of the MDA rendering engine in the current AVR.
  • NEW (BD-with-MDA era) MDA Objects Extension_#2b . . . Combine Core + Ext_#1 + Ext_#2a + Ext_#2b to create multiple objects ready for processing by the AVR's MDA rendering engine.

Of course I might be completely wrong...?! cool.gif

[And the Dolby Atmos Home Theater product will not doubt take a completely different approach... biggrin.gif]
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post #27 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

your "challenge" didn't last long... tongue.gif fwiw, there's a grand total of zero avrs that have dts-ma support but not truehd...
the avr does not "pick and choose" which codec you use... the player (and the disk itself) does that... there is no such thing as "primary support", the avr is totally agnostic when it comes to codecs... whatever you feed it, that's what it will take...

OK, truthfully, I'm usually one that can fairly easily figure out how to setup electronic gadgets (TVs, watches, receivers, etc) via checking the settings manually, so I hadn't read completely through the manual or checked the website thoroughly. I'll admit the "challenge" was more to get advice than to assertively argue the point, but I'm still stuck until someone can explain how to set this thing up for TrueHD if it does in fact support it.

If it supports TrueHD, why is it every time I put in a BD that has TrueHD (it's usually 7.1 TrueHD), I get no center channel dialog? No matter whether I click the Surround Decode button on the remote, the Straight button, or the Movie button, which just has a bunch of EQ presets. In scrolling through the Surround Decode button options, none of them say TrueHD.

Just DLed the pdf manual to confirm whether that feature page is correct. The manual says it does support TrueHD, but doesn't say how to set it up that way. It only says it's one of the HDMI decoding options. At this point I'm wondering if the TrueHD decoder is even working. The TrueHD decoder in a 5.1 receiver should be backwards compatible with 7.1 TrueHD though shouldn't it (eg: still play dialog in center channel only despite having 5.1 vs 7.1 channels)?

Again, can someone here that knows Yamaha's way of doing things tell me how to set this thing up for TrueHD? Currently I have no TrueHD disc to check it with. If not I'll have to call Yamaha, and I'm wondering if their phone staff even know the answer to this question. I'm not really thrilled with the way Yamaha labels their audio features. They seem to lead you to believe "Straight" and/or "Surround Decode" automatically detect and support the format being played, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.
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post #28 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 03:40 PM
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I've checked all the settings and it's nowhere to be found.

Here's why .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi Def Fan View Post

Currently I have no TrueHD disc to check it with.

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post #29 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 04:34 PM
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Here's why .....

I meant the checking I did WHILE a TrueHD BD was playing. Thus the reason for my say currently I haven't one, because i know it takes that format to properly check settings. I also already indicated above that I'm fully aware this receiver is designed to detect certain audio formats automatically, so it should have been clear what I meant.

Again, is there anyone that knows Yamaha's way of doing things that can tell me how to set up this receiver for TrueHD?
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post #30 of 38 Old 07-27-2012, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Here's why .....

I meant the checking I did WHILE a TrueHD BD was playing. Thus the reason for my say currently I haven't one, because i know it takes that format to properly check settings. I also already indicated above that I'm fully aware this receiver is designed to detect certain audio formats automatically, so it should have been clear what I meant.

Again, is there anyone that knows Yamaha's way of doing things that can tell me how to set up this receiver for TrueHD?

In post 27 you quoted the answer to your question.
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