7.1 Analog Audio vs. Digital Optical Audio - AVS Forum
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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My receiver is an Onkyo HT-S790. It has both multi-channel analog inputs and optical audio IN. I just bought the Sony Blu-ray BDP-S550, which has both 7.1 analog audio OUT and Optical Audio OUT.

Which connection is better with this setup? I've always assumed that digital is better, but maybe the receiver doesn't process the digital signal as well??? Please help.

I'm trying to figure out if the BDP-S550 is worth the extra $100 over the BDP-S350. Anything I'm missing that is a glaring difference? I'm assuming video is the same.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjtroy34 View Post

My receiver is an Onkyo HT-S790. It has both multi-channel analog inputs and optical audio IN. I just bought the Sony Blu-ray BDP-S550, which has both 7.1 analog audio OUT and Optical Audio OUT.

Which connection is better with this setup? I've always assumed that digital is better, but maybe the receiver doesn't process the digital signal as well??? Please help.

I'm trying to figure out if the BDP-S550 is worth the extra $100 over the BDP-S350. Anything I'm missing that is a glaring difference? I'm assuming video is the same.

If you can't do HDMI for audio, your next best bet is the analog audio out from your Blu-ray player. Optical (Toslink) and Coaxial do NOT pass the new lossless audio codecs found on Bly-ray. They max out at regular DD and DTS.

I don't understand why everyone thinks "digital" is better. Sooner or later in the pathway, the signal has to be converted to analog to be sent to the speakers....

In terms of LFE, size does matter!
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:56 AM
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Try both and see what you like best. With 5.1/7.1 analog, you may need to spend more times to tweak speakers & SW settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjtroy34 View Post

My receiver is an Onkyo HT-S790. It has both multi-channel analog inputs and optical audio IN. I just bought the Sony Blu-ray BDP-S550, which has both 7.1 analog audio OUT and Optical Audio OUT.

Which connection is better with this setup? I've always assumed that digital is better, but maybe the receiver doesn't process the digital signal as well??? Please help.

I'm trying to figure out if the BDP-S550 is worth the extra $100 over the BDP-S350. Anything I'm missing that is a glaring difference? I'm assuming video is the same.

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Old 12-23-2008, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjtroy34 View Post

My receiver is an Onkyo HT-S790. It has both multi-channel analog inputs and optical audio IN. I just bought the Sony Blu-ray BDP-S550, which has both 7.1 analog audio OUT and Optical Audio OUT.

Which connection is better with this setup? I've always assumed that digital is better, but maybe the receiver doesn't process the digital signal as well??? Please help.

I'm trying to figure out if the BDP-S550 is worth the extra $100 over the BDP-S350. Anything I'm missing that is a glaring difference? I'm assuming video is the same.

Depends. Can your receiver apply bass management to the multi-channel analog inputs? If not, can the BD player apply it's own bass management? If neither one can, you might be better off settling for DTS and DD over optical. But at any rate you can try it and see, as another poster noted.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:39 AM
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I don't understand why everyone thinks "digital" is better. Sooner or later in the pathway, the signal has to be converted to analog to be sent to the speakers....


Because digital is easier and with new technologies, bass management, etc. Digital still allows great flexibility.

Lossless is fine but its not like DD is horrible. The rest of the world would love to even have good DD (most dont). I have a local BR player in my HT room and then I have a full house standard DVD playback system that sends audio out to all rooms over Digital audio. DD gives me just as much enjoyment as lossless and that is all that matters.

While you ask why people think its better, I believe people just think its great, not better but still great. I would ask "why do people have such a hard-on for lossless and say everything else sucks?" Its splitting hairs exaggerations on sites like this that distort the true difference between the two in the end.

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Old 12-23-2008, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I would ask "why do people have such a hard-on for lossless and say everything else sucks?" Its splitting hairs exaggerations on sites like this that distort the true difference between the two in the end.

Who's making exaggerations?

If you can take advantage of lossless codecs, why not? Anyone can ascertain that "technically", it can be better than core DTS or DD5.1.

I don't recall anyone saying anyone saying that "everything else sucks". Talk about exaggerations on sites like this...
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:21 AM
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Ratman, Not in this thread but there have been lots of discussions on the lossless vs lossy, HDAudio vs DD and lots of opinion saying "DD sucks compared to lossless" which isnt really true....both are great, many people do not have both.

Im not arguing someone shouldnt go lossless, Im just saying that if they can not get lossless then digital audio is still really good. Lossless is nice but I do not care if audio is lossless or DD and I do have a great system so its not that I do not know the difference. If I didnt have HDMI in, I would simply never do analog 5.1/7.1 in....it sucks IMO because of the tweaking.

Anyways, The OP should just try it both ways himself to truely find out if its meaningful to him.

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Old 12-23-2008, 08:24 AM
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I agree with the previous posts. The issue is where are the better DACs and which box has better processing? I listen to SACD via 5.1 analog and have compaired it to an older ps3 with SACD over HDMI can not notice a difference ( once input trim on the analog is adjusted to match the HDMI levels ).

I think we can all agree that for the most part, most affordable home theaters are shockingly good and that many of the "necessary" improvements that the marketing types try to convince you that you need really aren't.

Sailn...
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Sailn View Post

...I think we can all agree that for the most part, most affordable home theaters are shockingly good ...

That's where I disagree

As previously mentioned, it comes down to the processing on your bluray player. If it can handle sufficient bass management, then you're good to go and can then use the lossless formats on bluray, yay! But if not, then you just use optical and regular DD or DTS. Not the end of the world.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:03 AM
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If one has the hardware to take advantage of the lossless codecs, there's no reason to not do so.

And yes... (as an analogy) legacy DD/DTS does sound great. But if I had my druthers, I'd certainly use them over Dolby Pro-Logic if my hardware supported it.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:20 PM
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The comparison is not between lossless and the traditional DD and DTS encodes on DVD. It's between lossless and the higher bit rate versions of DD and DTS on Blu-ray. DD and DTS at their maximum bit rates sound great, perhaps as good as lossless. And, with better bass management, EQ, and DACs in a receiver, they may actually sound better. Also, if you have a 6.1 or 7.1 system, your rear speakers will be silent most of the time with analog because most movies only have 5.1 soundtracks. Digital allows you to apply DSPs and fill those rear speakers with sound.
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