Will this setup give me 5.1 audio? Please help an ignoramus... - AVS Forum
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm totally lost when it comes to audio formats. I keep getting more and more confused every time I read anything.

I'm getting a Sharp AQUOS LC-32D62U. I have a PS3, a DVD recorder, and soon an HD cable box from Comcast. Ideally I want uncompressed 5.1 audio support so I can take advantage of it in the future, but my biggest concern is that I will be able to play real 5.1 audio instead of using ProLogic II to fudge it.

I'm looking at Sony's HTD-DW995 receiver. I'm planning to hook the PS3 and the cable box to it with HDMI, then the DVD recorder to it with TOSLINK and component video. I will then run a single HDMI cable from the receiver to the TV.

Am I going to be able to get uncompressed (or at the very least compressed) 5.1 audio from all my capable devices with that setup? Also, do the receiver and TV support HDMI 1.3? I can't find any straight answers anywhere.

Please help me before my brain explodes
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, from what I'm seeing, all HDMI versions support uncompressed PCM 7.1, DTS, and DD, so I'm okay as long as I don't need Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and I shouldn't be concerned about those because most players should be able to decode those tracks into uncompressed PCM 5.1 and send them to the receiver that way.

Am I right or am I even more confused than before?
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:04 PM
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That receiver will give you DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1. It will not play any loss-less/uncompressed audio such as DD HD or DTS HD. It does not have the decoders built into it. If you have a player that decodes the loss-less audio this receiver will still not be able to play it as it does not have the decoders built in and it does not have any analog multi-channel inputs. So to sum it up, you can get 5.1 DD and DTS but no loss-less audio formats.

The 5.1 will still sound much better than just TV speakers, but if you are looking for HD audio you will need to look further up Sony's or anybody else's food-chain.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wafflebird View Post

That receiver will give you DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1. It will not play any loss-less/uncompressed audio such as DD HD or DTS HD. It does not have the decoders built into it. If you have a player that decodes the loss-less audio this receiver will still not be able to play it as it does not have the decoders built in and it does not have any analog multi-channel inputs. So to sum it up, you can get 5.1 DD and DTS but no loss-less audio formats.

The 5.1 will still sound much better than just TV speakers, but if you are looking for HD audio you will need to look further up Sony's or anybody else's food-chain.

It's my understanding that you don't need HD decoding in the receiver if you set the DD HD / DTS HD-capable player to self-decode the track and output uncompressed 5.1 or 7.1 LPCM over HDMI. Unless I'm wrong about this (and believe me, I might be), as far as I can tell the receiver just needs to accept 5.1 uncompressed PCM over HDMI to do what I want it to do (obviously 7.1 doesn't do me any good). I heard somewhere that if the TV doesn't support PCM 5.1, the receiver won't be able to play it, but that doesn't make any sense to me so maybe I misunderstood that part

Just to clarify -- I do already have a Kenwood 5.1 receiver, but it doesn't have enough inputs on it (or HDMI), which is why I'm buying a new one... I do know what DD and DTS are like, but the whole HDMI issue has me stumped, because I don't know what I need to get PCM 5.1 (I did know that the receiver doesn't support DD HD or DTS HD, but like I said, I didn't think that mattered).

Going higher up on the product chain isn't an option unless I give up eating for awhile

I guess my question narrows down to this: can that receiver play PCM 5.1 audio from an HDMI source capable of outputting it, and will it still be able to do that if I connect the receiver's HDMI output to that Sharp TV?
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, now that I've done even more research, it looks like it DOES support LPCM over HDMI, but only PCM 2.0, so I would have to use DD or DTS to get real 5.1 surround sound. I think that answers my question.

Does anyone know of a receiver (with speakers) anywhere near this price that can play PCM 5.1 audio? If not I guess I will go with this Sony anyway, and just use DD/DTS. My budget's already been met and PCM 5.1 doesn't make or break it. HDTV is all I'm really after... the receiver is an afterthought, something I only want because my current one doesn't have enough digital inputs. As long as I can get real surround sound I'm happy for now, compressed or not. I just don't want to pay $400 for this receiver only to find out there's something else out there in the same price range that supports PCM 5.1.
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:37 AM
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onkyo's 605 receiver can decode the HD formats and goes for 400$ plus shipping on e-bay.
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337H4X View Post

onkyo's 605 receiver can decode the HD formats and goes for 400$ plus shipping on e-bay.

Problem with that is that I'd have to buy new speakers too (I only have 5.1 speakers now and the aren't great)

I appreciate the suggestion, though.

I just read something else where someone swears the Sony can play PCM 5.1, so now I don't know what to believe. I don't know why manufacturers won't just be straightforward about their products
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I called Sony to ask them how many discreet channels of linear PCM the receiver could accept through its HDMI inputs, and I got about as much help as I expected... the salesperson didn't have a clue what I was even talking about, so I ended up talking to someone in tech support, and she didn't really understand either. She told me it supports 6 discreet channels over linear PCM, but she didn't sound very confident about it, and she kept following that up by telling me that it will work that way because it's a 5.1 system. So basically it's still a mystery, but at least I know what to ask now

If the receiver accepted PCM 5.1, would connecting a TV that doesn't accept PCM 5.1 into the receiver's output prevent it from being sent that way? I remember hearing somewhere that if the receiver handled 5.1 channels but the TV only handled 2.0, the playback device would only send 2.0 channels anyway, regardless of what the receiver could play.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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You know what? This thread is getting ridiculous... I'm just going to post a new one now that I actually know what I'm asking...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=973202
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