Audio Specs Explained (or the Mystery of the Missing Audio Specs)
I see lots of people are asking about the audio formats supported by this player, and the SD capabilities of this player. I will handle the audio portion now, and later post a detailed review of the SD playback later on.
I will tell you right now that the website is MISLEADING. The manual is just as bad. (Read my earlier review post for the details).
The player does "DECODE" Dolby True-HD in PCM mode. That way people can output Dolby True-HD to a receiver the supports mutli-channel PCM if they lack Dolby True-HD support on their receiver.
Now, in the manual this mode disabled DTS-HD MA support. So, this means the player does SUPPORT DTS-HD MA. How you many ask? Bitstream. That means it can OUTPUT a DTS-HD MA signal but cannot internally decode it and output it via multi-channel PCM. Also, I confirmed with a customer service rep at Samsung that the player does do DTS-HD MA via bitsream, and he said we will notify the correct people to get the manual, box, and website corrected (NOTE: I believe he will do this. I also believe in honest politicians and Santa too.)
Here is the table of audio settings for the player.
Decodes Primary, Secondary and Effect audio streams together into PCM audio. You can enjoy Primary, Secondary and Effect audio
You can also enjoy DolbyTrueHD sound even if your receiver cannot decode DolbyTrueHD. Here is where the Dolby TrueHD Decoding comes in.
You cannot hear DTS-HD sound with this setting even if you have
an HDMI 1.3 receiver which has DTS-HD decoding capability. (So the player does BITSTREAM DTS-HD, but not DECODE it).
Recommended choice if you have an HDMI 1.1 or HDMI 1.2
receiver which cannot decode DTS-HD MA. (Mentions DTS-HD MA)
Also recommended if you are using an optical cable for audio
and your receiver cannot decode Dolby Digital or DTS.
Decodes Primary, Secondary and Effect audio streams together into PCM audio, then re-encodes the PCM audio into DTS bitstream.
You can enjoy Primary, Secondary and Effect audio together.
Audio quality may be lower than PCM or Bitstream (Audiophile) setups.
Recommended choice if you don’t have an HDMI supported receiver, but have a receiver with an Optical input that can decode DTS.
Outputs only the Primary audio soundtrack (main soundtrack of the movie) so that your receiver can decode the audio bitstream.
You can enjoy DTS-HD sound if you have HDMI 1.3 receiver
which has DTS-HD decoding capability.
You will not hear Secondary and Effect audio.
Recommended choice if you have an HDMI 1.3 receiver which has DTS-HD decoding capability.
Now here are the notes in the audio section.
- If you have selected a LPCM soundtrack on a disk, the output will automatically be set to PCM.
- Be sure to select the correct Digital Output or you will hear no sound or a loud noise.
- If the HDMI device (Receiver, TV) is not compatible with compressed formats (Dolby digital, DTS), the audio signal outputs as PCM.
- Secondary and Effect audio will not be heard with regular DVDs.
- Some Blu-ray Discs do not have Secondary and Effect audio.
- This Digital Output setup does not effect the analog (L/R) audio or HDMI audio output to your TV. It effects the optical and HDMI audio output when connected to a receiver.
- When the player outputs HD audio bitstream(Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio) from the Optical jack to an HDMI 1.3 receiver only 2 channel PCM audio will be heard. (Again this implies that the player does BITSTREAM DTS-HD Master Audio and does not DECODE it.)
- If you play MPEG audio soundtracks, audio signal outputs PCM regardless of Digital Ouptut Selections(PCM or Bitstream).
The manual and website are VERY misleading, yet accurate. The player does BITSTREAM all available audio formats (All Dolby and DTS formats INCLUDING DTS HD-MA), however in its PCM mode, in which the player DECODES audio formats, and it does not support DTS-HD MA (Which I assume is what the website is referring to when it says DECODING).
So, if you have a receiver that supports DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD then this player will output all formats. However, if your receiver only does multi-channel PCM over HDMI, then you can only use Dolby TrueHD in PCM mode.
So, if you want a player that will bitstream all audio formats, then this player will be right up your alley. If you want a player that decodes these formats to output to equipment that does not support these formats natively, and you have no plains to upgrade your A/V receiver then you might want to wait for the Panasonic BD-50 or the new Sony player.
I hope this helps to clarify this rather confusing situation a bit. Now, if you don't mind, I am going to pop some aspirin for my migraine from reading the manual and website, and watch some Fifth Element in Blu-ray... then again maybe not *OUCH*.