Originally Posted by tdogroeder
Yes I was asking about analog multichannel. I was under the impression multichannel is better. This is for an older pioneer dvd player that plays sacd's & dvd-a's that only has optical, coaxial, & 5.1 analog multichannel for audio out options.
Calling the analog outputs multichannel confuses the issue. Digital transfers multichannel, too, so the multichannel-ness is not a distinguishing factor.
Over spdif, whether optical or coax, the system cannot transfer, AIUI, more than two channels of uncompressed sound and it cannot transfer multichannel lossless formats . So if you transfer multichannel sound over optical or coax digital connections what gets sent is plain old lossy Dolby or dts. AIUI, DVDs tend to use lower bit rate dd and dts on the disc and there seems to be a reasonable degree of agreement you can at least sometimes hear the difference between those lossy encoded soundtracks and either PCM or lossless.
OTOH, apparently blu rays typically use the highest bit rate lossy dd and dts and there is some indication these are at least almost always sonically indistinguishable from the lossless version. So if you are playing a BD without a HDMI connection you likely could not distinguish between using the player to decode then convert the sound versus the receiver because of the higher bit rate lossy encoding. But to KNOW you are hearing the lossless version you have the convert in the player, if you don't have an hdmi connection.
With dvds, the player sees the exact same track (all the digital bits are the same) as would the receiver if it were connected via optical or coax digital. There should be zero difference in that case, except the receiver likely cannot apply crossovers or any other digital processing to sound transferred via the analog outputs of the player.