What is PCM Stereo? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-17-2004, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I am watching the Jennifer Lopez's Lets Get Loud DVD.
It has the PCM Stereo. What is this? The PCM Stereo alone is over 1GB.
Is it 6.1, 7.1 or 8.1? How much better is it compare to DD 5.1?
What type of receiver do I need in order for me to play it right?
:confused:
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post #2 of 31 Old 09-17-2004, 09:02 PM
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Stereo is by definition 2 channel. PCM is the standard digital output from a cd or dvd player, when not using surround sound (in other words, if you set your dvd player to what is usually the default, it would be PCM).

Any receiver with a digital input (normal consumer electronics) will accept PCM. It's the digital equivalent of the red and white analog left and right inputs.

Hal
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post #3 of 31 Old 09-17-2004, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting, cause the audio size is much bigger than AC-3 in this DVD.
Thanks.
:p
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-17-2004, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tvset
Interesting, cause the audio size is much bigger than AC-3 in this DVD.
Thanks.
:p
PCM audio is uncompressed and takes up about 3.5 times more space than AC-3 (Dobly Digital) which is compressed, even though AC-3 is more channels. That's why some people feel DTS is better, since it is compressed less than Dolby Digital.
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post #5 of 31 Old 09-17-2004, 10:23 PM
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Yes, PCM is uncompressed as we could say SACD and DVD-Audio are. Probably the PCM is only 48/24, but DVD-V has an option to store 96/24 PCM which would be about equal in quality to DVD-Audio 96/24.

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post #6 of 31 Old 09-17-2004, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot guys.
So, it makes no sense for me to back up that audio track on my back up disc.
:D
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-18-2004, 12:07 AM
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it's just plain stereo.
yes, throw it away, we're into multichannel now!!!
:-)
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post #8 of 31 Old 09-18-2004, 01:24 PM
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Its not multi-channel, but it should have the best fidelity of all the tracks.
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post #9 of 31 Old 09-18-2004, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Landroval
Yes, PCM is uncompressed as we could say SACD and DVD-Audio are. Probably the PCM is only 48/24, but DVD-V has an option to store 96/24 PCM which would be about equal in quality to DVD-Audio 96/24.
SACD and DVD-A are compressed. But they are not lossy compression as is DD and DTS. The PCM is most likely 44.1kHz at 16 bits/sample - it's the CD standard. PCM stands for Pulse Code Modulation and is esentially the straight forward brute force way to encode digital audio.
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post #10 of 31 Old 09-20-2004, 06:01 PM
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Ok, this is nit picky, but small inaccuracies can lead to general misunderstanding. So I not trying to be a snob. I just want to clarify. :)

Quote:
Stereo is by definition 2 channel.
Stereo by definition is multidimensional. When stereo arrived on the scene, the good old LP record was the format of the day. It was limited to two channels. So it became understood to mean two channel, as opposed to mono.

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but DVD-V has an option to store 96/24 PCM which would be about equal in quality to DVD-Audio 96/24.
About? They are exactly the same.

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SACD and DVD-A are compressed.
Not sure about SACD, but DVD-Audio isn't necessarily compressed. 96/24 5.1 DVD-Audio is always compressed in order to meet the transfer rate requirements.

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The PCM is most likely 44.1kHz at 16 bits/sample
Not if it is on the DVD-Video zone. It doesn’t support 44.1kHz, only 48 and 96.
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post #11 of 31 Old 09-20-2004, 06:52 PM
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DVD-A signals are LPCM signals. They're only compressed using Meridian lossless packing technology (MLP).

Think of a PC file. Think file is the LPCM signal. Then you zip the file with Winzip. Then you get a lossless compressed file (the DVD-A signal) ;)
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post #12 of 31 Old 09-20-2004, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Craig F
Stereo by definition is multidimensional. When stereo arrived on the scene, the good old LP record was the format of the day. It was limited to two channels. So it became understood to mean two channel, as opposed to mono.
This is interesting. I always thought stereo meant 2. What is the root of the word and what does that mean?
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About? They are exactly the same.
Just to clarify - the end result is exactly the same because the compressed DVD-A is lossless and therefore can be recovered to be identical to the uncompressed PCM. But the data is obviously stored differently.
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Not sure about SACD, but DVD-Audio isn't necessarily compressed. 96/24 5.1 DVD-Audio is always compressed in order to meet the transfer rate requirements.
Well I don't know for sure, but I thought that DVD-A always used Meridian Lossless Packing. Any info on when DVD-A is not compressed?
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Not if it is on the DVD-Video zone. It doesn’t support 44.1kHz, only 48 and 96.
Yes your right on this - I looked it up in my DVD manual. But of course it is 44.1 kHz when playing a CD or MPEG1 on a V-CD.

Ed
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post #13 of 31 Old 09-20-2004, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ekb
This is interesting. I always thought stereo meant 2. What is the root of the word and what does that mean?
From the Greek word for solid.

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post #14 of 31 Old 09-25-2004, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
DVD-A signals are LPCM signals. They're only compressed using Meridian lossless packing technology (MLP).
Actually LPCM is uncompressed. The L stands for Linear which in this context means uncompressed. If a DVD-A track uses MLP compression then it is called PPCM (Packed PCM). BTW LPCM and PCM are the exact same thing. LPCM is used in discussions for DVD-Audio to differentiate it from PPCM. For CD-Audio and DVD-Video just PCM is used since they don’t support lossless compression.

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This is interesting. I always thought stereo meant 2. What is the root of the word and what does that mean?
Don’t know the root, but in English it is a prefix meaning multi-dimensional. Stereo in this context is short for Stereophonic. If I asked what Stereoscopic meant, what would you say? In this context it means 3-dimensional. Both 2 and 3 are multi-dimensional since they are both greater than one.

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Well I don't know for sure, but I thought that DVD-A always used Meridian Lossless Packing. Any info on when DVD-A is not compressed?
It’s up to the person who masters the disc. If the track doesn’t exceed the 9.6 Mbps (Mega-bits per second) transfer rate, then MLP is unnecessary.
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post #15 of 31 Old 09-25-2004, 02:19 PM
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pcm = pulse code modulation

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post #16 of 31 Old 09-25-2004, 06:21 PM
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Ok...so does this all mean that when I play a music CD (non DVD-A, non-SACD) that I select the PCM setting on my Denon 3802 when it is processing via the optical in and the PCM setting on my Denon DVD5900 when it is processing using external out to the 3802? I have not been doing this. And if I do what will I notice?
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post #17 of 31 Old 09-26-2004, 05:57 AM
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bump
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post #18 of 31 Old 09-26-2004, 12:56 PM
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When utilizing PLIIx Movie I'm under the impression that DD 2.0 triggers my subs whilst PCM doesn't.

Could that possibly be correct?

Darryl
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post #19 of 31 Old 09-26-2004, 03:33 PM
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coolstrategist
the analog out from your DVD player, outputs a pcm signal.
the optical/coaxial outputs a digital signal.
the difference is where the digital to analog conversion will take place.
you can connect them both to your receiver, and a/b them.
i have found the analog output from my DVD player, played through "direct", sounds better than the digital signal (that my 3802 than converts from d to a).
this is all in 2 channel, of course.
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post #20 of 31 Old 09-26-2004, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Actually LPCM is uncompressed. The L stands for Linear which in this context means uncompressed. If a DVD-A track uses MLP compression then it is called PPCM (Packed PCM). BTW LPCM and PCM are the exact same thing. LPCM is used in discussions for DVD-Audio to differentiate it from PPCM. For CD-Audio and DVD-Video just PCM is used since they don’t support lossless compression.
Craig,

Thanks for the clarification.

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the analog out from your DVD player, outputs a pcm signal
Itai,

The analog connection outputs an analog voltage signal, not a PCM signal, which stays completely in the digital domain. In fact, if you use your player's analog connection it means that the digital PCM signal was converted to analog by your DVD player's DACs;)
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post #21 of 31 Old 09-26-2004, 05:25 PM
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So do I select the PCM "setting" on my 3802 receiver or DVD 5900 (depending on which I prefer to decode) when I play a 2 channel music CD? What does this setting actually do? In other words I have never used it but enjoy the sound. Sonically does the PCM setting improve something? Sorry for all the questions but I am a bit confused.
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post #22 of 31 Old 09-26-2004, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by coolstrategist
So do I select the PCM "setting" on my 3802 receiver or DVD 5900 (depending on which I prefer to decode) when I play a 2 channel music CD? What does this setting actually do? In other words I have never used it but enjoy the sound. Sonically does the PCM setting improve something? Sorry for all the questions but I am a bit confused.
Just leave it on auto or select PCM, it won't make any difference since auto will just select PCM when it encounters a PCM signal. All it does is decode the PCM-encoded digital audio into good ol' 2-channel analog stereo sound.

The PCM setting won't improve anything - it's merely the decoding format available to decode PCM-encoded digital audio.
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post #23 of 31 Old 09-26-2004, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by keepinitcool
That's why some people feel DTS is better, since it is compressed less than Dolby Digital.
wrong dts uses worst compression than Dolby Digital
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post #24 of 31 Old 09-26-2004, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Craig F
Actually LPCM is uncompressed. The L stands for Linear which in this context means uncompressed.
The term "linear" has nothing to do with being uncompressed. It only refers to the way in which the magnitude of the sample is encoded. Specifically, the sample is quantized as an a number that is linearly proportional to an approximation of its magnitude.
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It’s up to the person who masters the disc. If the track doesn’t exceed the 9.6 Mbps (Mega-bits per second) transfer rate, then MLP is unnecessary.
I don't know enogh about this, but I'm curious. Are there cases where there is NO MLP compression? Or, in practice, is MLP essentially always present?
Ed
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post #25 of 31 Old 09-26-2004, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by psycho
wrong dts uses worst compression than Dolby Digital
That's quite a feat to find and use the *worst* compression
algorithim, if such a concept is even possible. I imagine that it must be so bad that nobody even bothers to listen to DTS :D
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post #26 of 31 Old 09-27-2004, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by keepinitcool
That's why some people feel DTS is better, since it is compressed less than Dolby Digital.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
response from psycho
wrong dts uses worst compression than Dolby Digital
Why do people feel the need to post stupid things like this. With bad grammar at that. How can you state that a subjective answer like that is "wrong".

The original poster was in fact correct. DTS is compressed less. Whether this is beneficial or not is your call.

Personally I think DD+DPL IIx is the best option we have today for HT but I'm not going to go around telling DTS fans they are "wrong".


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post #27 of 31 Old 09-27-2004, 08:00 AM
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Darryl,
Quote:
When utilizing PLIIx Movie I'm under the impression that DD 2.0 triggers my subs whilst PCM doesn't....Could that possibly be correct?
Not in my experience. If one triggers the sub, the other should too. They're both 2-channel sources.

Best,
Sanjay

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post #28 of 31 Old 09-27-2004, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sdurani
Darryl, Not in my experience. If one triggers the sub, the other should too. They're both 2-channel sources.

Best,
Sanjay
This is true based on my experience also. But I guess it depends on the receiver/preprocessor.

One thing I liked about my Philips FR975 (from a HTIB), was it was simple to use. If you set it up for a SUB, then the Sub was present until you turned it off. A simple press of the Surround on/off toggle switched it from 5.1 to 2.1. Even an Analog stereo source made use of the Sub, sending everything up to 80hz (I think) to the sub.

My new receiver, Pioneer VSX-1014TX-K, has so many surround modes and settings, I'm liable to leave it in "Auto Surround" and forgetaboutit. At least for now. I'll figure it out sometime.


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post #29 of 31 Old 09-27-2004, 11:58 AM
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Thanks Sanjay.

Later today we're reconfiguring my two subs and we'll see what happens from here on?


Toeside

The only way I can achieve that is to configure the subs so that they're switched on permanently which I don't want.


Regards

Darryl
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post #30 of 31 Old 09-27-2004, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Version

The original poster was in fact correct. DTS is compressed less. Whether this is beneficial or not is your call.

Personally I think DD+DPL IIx is the best option we have today for HT but I'm not going to go around telling DTS fans they are "wrong".
Agreed, and not only that, people look at the bitrate numbers for the two methods and assume that because DTS has a higher number that it has better sound. That bitrate number has little to do with how the decoded signal will sound. Dolby and DTS simply use different encoding and decoding methods and it's those methods that will decide how it sounds.

Jim
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