5.1/7.1 PCM, HDMI, and DSP - An Explaination of the Future-Proof receiver - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 3041 Old 10-28-2006, 09:38 PM
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For something that was supposed to make things "easier", it seems to me that HDMI has turned out to be a confusing mess. Having read through various manuals (Onkyo 604 and Marantz 7001 in particular) I don't see anywhere where it explains the processing done on HDMI PCM multi-channel input. Does the Onkyo do at least bass management and speaker levels for this? Are you sure the 7001 does all 3 processing types? If you have to call each manufacturer to get this basic information, in my opinion something is really wrong...
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post #92 of 3041 Old 10-28-2006, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbaldwin View Post

For something that was supposed to make things "easier", it seems to me that HDMI has turned out to be a confusing mess. Having read through various manuals (Onkyo 604 and Marantz 7001 in particular) I don't see anywhere where it explains the processing done on HDMI PCM multi-channel input. Does the Onkyo do at least bass management and speaker levels for this? Are you sure the 7001 does all 3 processing types? If you have to call each manufacturer to get this basic information, in my opinion something is really wrong...

SPDIF was a huge mess when it came out too. Considering that HDMI was just introduced, I think we're doing fairly well. Technical documentation is horrible in any consumer product. Usually it's a copy-and-paste job from the older manuals, which is why PCM HDMI specs are missing. Remember, these are gigantic companies trying to pass information to highly segregated groups. It should take a lot of support calls and another generation before they figure it out. I'm pretty sure the 604 doesn't do processing on HDMI PCM, but the 674 does. Check the manuals under the surround-sound format, see if multi-channel PCM is listed. If it can do DPLIIx on the PCM stream, then it can certainly do bass management. We're used to an unusually long period of stability in home audio, so a lot of people entering the market in the last few years think stability is the mainstay, when in fact, for many years, things were very chaotic. With HDMI and the high-def formats bringing the thundering herd of change, no one should be expecting a good execution in first-generation (or even second-generation) technology. Give it time.
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post #93 of 3041 Old 10-28-2006, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post

SPDIF was a huge mess when it came out too. Considering that HDMI was just introduced, I think we're doing fairly well. Technical documentation is horrible in any consumer product. Usually it's a copy-and-paste job from the older manuals, which is why PCM HDMI specs are missing. Remember, these are gigantic companies trying to pass information to highly segregated groups. It should take a lot of support calls and another generation before they figure it out. I'm pretty sure the 604 doesn't do processing on HDMI PCM, but the 674 does. Check the manuals under the surround-sound format, see if multi-channel PCM is listed. If it can do DPLIIx on the PCM stream, then it can certainly do bass management. We're used to an unusually long period of stability in home audio, so a lot of people entering the market in the last few years think stability is the mainstay, when in fact, for many years, things were very chaotic. With HDMI and the high-def formats bringing the thundering herd of change, no one should be expecting a good execution in first-generation (or even second-generation) technology. Give it time.

I understand, but if they can't document it it gives me the impression they aren't really sure what is going on with their own equipment. And who's to say if you call the person you reach will know. It's just not very reassuring given how expensive some of these receivers are (at least in my eyes).
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post #94 of 3041 Old 10-29-2006, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbaldwin View Post

I understand, but if they can't document it it gives me the impression they aren't really sure what is going on with their own equipment. And who's to say if you call the person you reach will know. It's just not very reassuring given how expensive some of these receivers are (at least in my eyes).

If they won't know, they'll contact the engineering department and find someone who will. Documentation is usually the first thing to suffer when companies try to compress the budget or compress the timeline. Poor documentation rarely means they don't know what the product does, it almost always means they did a cut back on the budget and schedule for the documentation, resulting in a half-assed job (which is all too common, unfortunately). I agree, it sucks and I wish it was different, but it's always been that way. It makes it a pain for us, customers, but thats the price we pair for early adoption.
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post #95 of 3041 Old 10-29-2006, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbaldwin View Post

For something that was supposed to make things "easier", it seems to me that HDMI has turned out to be a confusing mess. Having read through various manuals (Onkyo 604 and Marantz 7001 in particular) I don't see anywhere where it explains the processing done on HDMI PCM multi-channel input. Does the Onkyo do at least bass management and speaker levels for this? Are you sure the 7001 does all 3 processing types? If you have to call each manufacturer to get this basic information, in my opinion something is really wrong...


I don't know that technology has made our lives easier in general... our lives are just different.

HDMI is the worst cluster**** debacle I have ever witnessed in terms of overt consumer confusion. A connector with version numbers?!? It's simply absurd... They could have put 100 audiophiles in the room and brainstormed ideas about digital interconnects and come up with a simpler solution than HDMI turned out to be. Video and audio in one cable.... what a fools errand with all the changing video and audio formats. HDMI is by definition NOT futureproof no matter how you look at it. In 10 years, the current cable will probably be replaced by something entirely different.

Blazar!
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post #96 of 3041 Old 10-29-2006, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strange View Post

Yes, Lindahl. I was relieved to read Marantz's answer.
Now all I have to do is find a BR-Player with DTS-HD or Dolby True HD and verify it

If the Marantz SR7001 processes 7.1 PCM over HDMI, its younger brothers SR4001/SR5001 (w/ HDMI Ver 1.1) should also do. Refer to this:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post8654435

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post8654074
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post #97 of 3041 Old 10-29-2006, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

HDMI is the worst cluster**** debacle I have ever witnessed in terms of overt consumer confusion. A connector with version numbers?!? It's simply absurd... They could have put 100 audiophiles in the room and brainstormed ideas about digital interconnects and come up with a simpler solution than HDMI turned out to be. Video and audio in one cable.... what a fools errand with all the changing video and audio formats. HDMI is by definition NOT futureproof no matter how you look at it. In 10 years, the current cable will probably be replaced by something entirely different.

Blame the industry for the mess.

They keep trying to revise the standard because of paranoia (DVD-A / SACD audio copy protection / v1.1 & v1.2) or because they want to put DD+ / DD-HD / DTS-MA stickers on their receivers (v 1.3).
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post #98 of 3041 Old 10-29-2006, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

A connector with version numbers?!? It's simply absurd... They could have put 100 audiophiles in the room and brainstormed ideas about digital interconnects and come up with a simpler solution than HDMI turned out to be.

hmmm ......
......
......




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post #99 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 02:04 AM
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Quickly coming back to the great explanation of different levels of receivers (thanks for that, it helped me a lot!).

I was in contact with Denon Switzerland and got the following answer:
"All HDMI 1.1 receivers can receive 5.1 PCM over HDMI." (although I'm not sure if "all" means "all" or "all Denon" ... I think it really means "all").
"The following Denon models can receive 7.1 PCM over HDMI and apply digital signal processing incl. EQ in the receiver:
AVC-A1XVA, AVC-A11XVA, AVR-4306, AVR-3806, AVR-2807, AVR-2307
"

This would mean that all those models are at least "Level 5 Receiver" (or even level 6?) accoding to my little understanding (Lindahl already mentioned the 2807 under "Level 5" if I remember correctly).
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post #100 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Check back next year in October, 2007..
Dolby and DTS have yet to release their final electrical specifications, it is impossible for an AVR brand to fully implement a standard not yet 100% confirmed or certified..

I don't understand. Level 6 says:
''Level 5 receivers are ones that output 7.1 channels of uncompressed lossless HDMI PCM formats.''
So there ARE receivers at the moment that can decode DD+ and DD HD (lossless) or an I missing something?

Also a question:
I now have a Denon A1-SRA with a 7.1 input. Has this something to do with this and can I use it in the future?
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post #101 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by sanderdvd View Post

So there ARE receivers at the moment that can decode DD+ and DD HD (lossless) or an I missing something?

There aren't any receivers that can decode DD+ and Dolby TrueHD (no such thing as "DD HD"). As M Code says, earliest you'll see those is 2007.

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post #102 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easypeacy42 View Post

I was in contact with Denon Switzerland and got the following answer:
"All HDMI 1.1 receivers can receive 5.1 PCM over HDMI." (although I'm not sure if "all" means "all" or "all Denon" ... I think it really means "all").
"The following Denon models can receive 7.1 PCM over HDMI and apply digital signal processing incl. EQ in the receiver:
AVC-A1XVA, AVC-A11XVA, AVR-4306, AVR-3806, AVR-2807, AVR-2307
"

This would mean that all those models are at least "Level 5 Receiver" (or even level 6?) accoding to my little understanding (Lindahl already mentioned the 2807 under "Level 5" if I remember correctly).

Using the information you provided and doing a little bit of extra reasearch, it looks like all latest HDMI Denons are level 6 (accept 7.1 PCM and do processing). I've updated the first post to reflect this. Thanks for the info!

Quote:


So there ARE receivers at the moment that can decode DD+ and DD HD (lossless) or an I missing something?

As Sanjay said, no current receivers can do this, you need a receiver that has HDMI 1.3. But the great thing is, you don't need this type of receiver! The high-def DVD players can decode the signals for you and send them as multichannel PCM signals either over an analog connection, or, preferrably, over HDMI 1.1.

This is actually preferrable since special decoding can be done on the player, for example director comments overlaid on the original soundtrack. These types of special decoding can't be done on the receiver since it doesn't have access to the necessary information on the disc.

Believe it or not, providing the new DD and DTS formats over HDMI 1.3 is actually a step backwards and will only cause more confusion and problems. I really don't have a clue what they were thinking.

EDIT (added): They should have spec'd all HDMI versions to only carry uncompressed lossless audio (PCM) at various resolutions (24/192, etc.) from the very beginning, like they did with video. It was extremely boneheaded of the HDMI consortium to do what they did with multiple audio formats. They only thing they did was give receiver manufacturers opportunities to screw things up. Not only that, but if we move to HDMI only receivers, you won't need all those Dolby and DTS encoders anymore, making them a whole lot cheaper. All you'd have would be a PCM processor.

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I now have a Denon A1-SRA with a 7.1 input. Has this something to do with this and can I use it in the future?

I'm not familiar with the Denon A1-SRA, but you can certainly connect 7.1 analog outputs to your 7.1 analog inputs to achieve nearly the same thing (obviously, there's a DAC involved, and possibly an ADC involved too). If it has an HDMI input, it may be able to receive 7.1 over HDMI (or 5.1).
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post #103 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post

As Sanjay said, no receivers can do this, you need a receiver that has HDMI 1.3.

I forgot about that part. Having decoding in receivers for the new HD audio codecs is pointless if you can't transmit those codecs in their native bitstream form. It's not enough just to have the decoders in the receiver, it also needs HDMI 1.3 for transmission. Probably be a while before both are available in receivers.

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post #104 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 05:12 PM
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Can all the receivers that accept 5.1-channel PCM over HDMI do at least the "simple processing" (bass management and levels) on the PCM signal? I am wondering about the XR57 in particular. Thanks.
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post #105 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbaldwin View Post

Can all the receivers that accept 5.1-channel PCM over HDMI do at least the "simple processing" (bass management and levels) on the PCM signal? I am wondering about the XR57 in particular. Thanks.

The XR57 does not apply BM and time alignment to the 5.1 ch PCM coming over HDMI. This is clearly indicated in its manual. Not sure about level trim.
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post #106 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay_WJ View Post

The XR57 does not apply BM and time alignment to the 5.1 ch PCM coming over HDMI. This is clearly indicated in its manual. Not sure about level trim.

Ok, so I guess I don't really see the point for the HDMI input then. It sounds like it is the same as the 5.1 analog input - it just amplifies the signal untouched. Since you can send everything else over s/pdif what is the point (other than 1 cable instead of 6, that is)?
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post #107 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbaldwin View Post

I guess I don't really see the point for the HDMI input then.

The point is that you can't judge all manufacturers, let alone HDMI functionality, by what Panasonic does. Check around: functionality varies by manufacturer and model. I think Denon receivers, for example, treat the incoming PCM signal like any other digital stream and allow you to apply all the settings (bass management, time alignment, 7.1 surround processing, THX enhancements, Audyssey room correction, etc). Since the signal is being received via HDMI, it is full resolution.
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Since you can send everything else over s/pdif what is the point (other than 1 cable instead of 6, that is)?

S/P-DIF cannot transmit hi-rez multi-channel content, only legacy DD and DTS.

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post #108 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

The point is that you can't judge all manufacturers, let alone HDMI functionality, by what Panasonic does. Check around: functionality varies by manufacturer and model. I think Denon receivers, for example, treat the incoming PCM signal like any other digital stream and allow you to apply all the settings (bass management, time alignment, 7.1 surround processing, THX enhancements, Audyssey room correction, etc). Since the signal is being received via HDMI, it is full resolution. S/P-DIF cannot transmit hi-rez multi-channel content, only legacy DD and DTS.

Sanjay

I was just referring to the one HDMI input in the Panasonic for both comments (the only other use for the HDMI input would be for s/pdif-type signals).
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post #109 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbaldwin View Post

I was just referring to the one HDMI input in the Panasonic for both comments (the only other use for the HDMI input would be for s/pdif-type signals).

Correct. I saw your previous question [Can all the receivers that accept 5.1-channel PCM over HDMI do at least the "simple processing" (bass management and levels) on the PCM signal?] and blurred it together with the Panasonic question. My mistake.

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post #110 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by crbaldwin View Post

Ok, so I guess I don't really see the point for the HDMI input then. It sounds like it is the same as the 5.1 analog input - it just amplifies the signal untouched. Since you can send everything else over s/pdif what is the point (other than 1 cable instead of 6, that is)?

But I think for the Panny, digital multi-ch PCM (versus analog) is important because the receiver is digital (no A/D and D/A necessary).
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post #111 of 3041 Old 10-30-2006, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbaldwin View Post

Ok, so I guess I don't really see the point for the HDMI input then. It sounds like it is the same as the 5.1 analog input - it just amplifies the signal untouched. Since you can send everything else over s/pdif what is the point (other than 1 cable instead of 6, that is)?

to pick up on what Jay said - the XR57 digitizes signals coming in the 5.1 analog input so you are already undergoing one d/a (in the player) and a/d (in receiver) cycle; you can't send multichannel LPCM over s/pdif so HDMI is the only way to keep everything in the digital domain.

Boo!
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post #112 of 3041 Old 10-31-2006, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post

I'm not familiar with the Denon A1-SRA, but you can certainly connect 7.1 analog outputs to your 7.1 analog inputs to achieve nearly the same thing (obviously, there's a DAC involved, and possibly an ADC involved too). If it has an HDMI input, it may be able to receive 7.1 over HDMI (or 5.1).

Thanks for your reply Lindahl! But I still don t understand the whole picture (shame on me...... ). I m going to tell you what I think (not that I m sure its true of course!):

In the picture of my receiver you see a EXT input for 7.1 channels (2x front, 1x center, 4x surround and 1x subwoofer). IF there will be a HD-DVD/BR player in the near future that can decode DD+ and Dolby True HD (LossLess format) I could connect this with 8 analog cables to my Denon A1-SRA. The only thing my Denon than takes care of is amplify the sound. This way I can enjoy the new audiostandards fully as was ment to be.

Can you please explain to me (not with a too techical tone ) if I am right? This way I can prepare if I will need another reciever in the near future.

Also, it it possible for you to make a sumarry of the fact why decoding in a player would be better than in a receiver.

You also mentioned this to me:
I'm not familiar with the Denon A1-SRA, but you can certainly connect 7.1 analog outputs to your 7.1 analog inputs to achieve nearly the same thing (obviously, there's a DAC involved, and possibly an ADC involved too). If it has an HDMI input, it may be able to receive 7.1 over HDMI (or 5.1).

why do you say that I can achieve NEARLY the same thing. And the same thing as what? also what means ''obviously, there's a DAC involved, and possibly an ADC involved too.

Thanks for helping me out!! Really appreciate your topic and time you put in other peoples questions!
ps. Sorry for my bad English.......
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post #113 of 3041 Old 10-31-2006, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by sanderdvd View Post

Also, it it possible for you to make a sumarry of the fact why decoding in a player would be better than in a receiver.

He said why in post #102 on this same page.
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post #114 of 3041 Old 10-31-2006, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Can you please explain to me (not with a too techical tone ) if I am right? This way I can prepare if I will need another reciever in the near future.

Your explaination is correct.

In addition, the Denon may be able to provide processing on the analog inputs (after an ADC and DAC - see my next response). If it can't, or you decide not to do processing on the analog inputs, then you'll have to set up your HD-DVD/BR player to do the processing for you (bass management, time delay, level trim). While annoying, it is a trivial task.

Quote:


why do you say that I can achieve NEARLY the same thing. And the same thing as what? also what means ''obviously, there's a DAC involved, and possibly an ADC involved too.

Nearly the same thing as 7.1 PCM over HDMI. The PCM over HDMI will be completely digital, whereas the PCM over analog connections will be analog in nature, meaning you'll need to digital and analog conversions (DAC/ADC). Whenever a conversion takes place, there's an opportunity for unwanted coloration of the audio signal.

DAC = digital to analog conversion
ADC = analog to digital conversion

The player will perform a DAC and send the PCM over your analog connections. The receiver may or may not perform an ADC to be able to perform processing (bass management, etc.) on the analog inputs. If this happens, then another DAC will need to happen after the processing before sending the processed signal to the amplifier section.

I believe all Denons allow you to choose whether or not to apply the ADC, processing and the final DAC before amplification. You'll have to look at the manual for how to do this, but I believe it's the Pure Direct option.

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ps. Sorry for my bad English.......

It's far better than tech support at HP (had to send in my laptop for repairs yesterday).
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post #115 of 3041 Old 10-31-2006, 03:25 PM
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For folks wondering what might be coming after HDMI 1.3:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061031/...te/wireless_hd

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post #116 of 3041 Old 10-31-2006, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay_WJ View Post

But I think for the Panny, digital multi-ch PCM (versus analog) is important because the receiver is digital (no A/D and D/A necessary).

Makes sense. I'm looking for a cheaper receiver (hopefully <$600) that will do the "simple processing" of 5.1 PCM over HDMI. I'm still waiting to hear back from Onkyo but it sounds like the Onkyo 604 won't do it according to this thread. What's the next "step up" that will do it? Will the Denon 887 do it? This is turning out to be more difficult than I imagined...
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post #117 of 3041 Old 11-02-2006, 10:06 AM
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I have a question regarding the A/V receiver and LPCM over HDMI 1.1 (or higher). If I have a Toshiba A2 HDDVD player and hook it up via HDMI to an A/V receiver is this the only connection I need? Ie. if I play DVD, HDDVD & CDs all from the Toshiba A2 does it do ALL the decoding (DD, DTS, new HD audio formats, and stero for the CD) and send everything to the A/V receiver via HDMI? If this is true with this setup my A/V receiver does absolutely no decoding of anything, just applification and bass management/lip sync type things?

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post #118 of 3041 Old 11-02-2006, 10:23 AM
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What you said is pretty much true but you can change the HDMI Audio settings on the Toshiba to send bitstream. That way your normal DD and DTS DVDs would be decoded in the receiver. There really isn't any "decoding" for CDs since it is PCM native.
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post #119 of 3041 Old 11-02-2006, 10:41 AM
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Is there any advantage to this? So just to clarify you can tell the Toshiba to not decode DD & DTS (for DVDs and HDDVDs), but if it is the newer audio format then decode those. Or you can set the Toshiba to just decode everything and send it out as LPCM. It seems like the latter way is easiest unless there is some benefit that I am missing?

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Originally Posted by obie_fl View Post

What you said is pretty much true but you can change the HDMI Audio settings on the Toshiba to send bitstream. That way your normal DD and DTS DVDs would be decoded in the receiver. There really isn't any "decoding" for CDs since it is PCM native.

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post #120 of 3041 Old 11-02-2006, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcg View Post

Is there any advantage to this? So just to clarify you can tell the Toshiba to not decode DD & DTS (for DVDs and HDDVDs), but if it is the newer audio format then decode those. Or you can set the Toshiba to just decode everything and send it out as LPCM. It seems like the latter way is easiest unless there is some benefit that I am missing?

If you have >5.1 speakers, you'll want to send the older DD & DTS streams out as bitstreams (not PCM), since the Toshibas (not sure about BDs) can't do the 6.1 decoding for DTS-EX and DD's equivalent. Otherwise, there's no difference between doing the legacy (older format) decoding on the receiver or the players.
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