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post #211 of 619
After I read 2nd time of this thread, it looks like some people want to have bit-stream over the LPCM.

I am a pure HTPC user and I don't have any stand alone player, not even PS3. All my sources are in the HDD in the HTPC. For the longest time, I use SPDIF send signal to my CB and since last 12 months all the BD has the TrueHD, DTS MA and LPCM signal to choose from therefore I have been dreaming my CB can do HDMI 1.3 one day. But it looks like this dream will become reality end of this year. During last few months, I use my HTPC ATI 4850 sent LPCM to my Integra 9.8 via HDMI 1.3 and it sounds VERY good. One of the thing a lot of people in AVS and AnyDVD forums have been discussed were TrueHD/DTS MA versus LPCM. I, again don't have any standalone player, can't do such comparison. But in the near future, end of this week, I will able to do that from new Asus Xonar HDMI sound card. This HTPC sound card will able to do PAP, non-convert signal from HTPC to pre-amp. I will sure to let you guys know. But I have a feeling that LPCM will be as good as the TrueHD or DTS MA from all the reading I read. But one way or the other if you reading this and still using your CB via anything other than HDMI, of course today, I can tell you that with my Integra, it sounds VERY good already and with Theta CBIII upgrade I can't begin to imagine how good this thing can be... Can't wait!!!
post #212 of 619
The Six Shooter will still be usable with the CB3 HDMI 1.3 audio upgrade. But there will be no need to use it for the new high resolution audio formats of Blu Ray (or HD DVD).
I will still use the Six Shooter for my Theta Compli for its multip-channel analog output of SACD and DVD-A. I have an Oppo 980, at least for now. I have an Oppo 980, but into my Integra 9.8 preamp processor, then multi-channel analog out to my Theta Six Shooter, it just doesn't sound as good as my Theta Compli multi-channel analog out to my Theta Six Shooter. Now once I get the upgraded HDMI 1.3 audio CB3, I may well find
(I bet I will) that using the Oppo to convert DSD to PCM out over HDMI to the CB3
will sound better. I will find out. But the Six Shooter still gives the CB3 a fantastic analog preamp with sound quality unmatched for that purpose by any other surround processor ever made or likely to be made - and for those in particular in need of a top notch stereo premp it will continue to work fantastically well as noted by our own Bulldogger.
post #213 of 619
Yea, I've been a Theta luver since I bought a Theta Generation V DAC back about 1994,
then sold that and got the Theta CB1 in early 1997 (and Theta Voyager back then),
and upgraded to CB2, then upgraded to Extreme DACs, then upgraded to CB3 with Six Shooter (and Compli) - - and now upcoming upgrade to HDMI 1.3 audio!!!

Not bad!!!
post #214 of 619
I am a little confused about the importance of having bitstream inputs for TrueHD and DTS MA. The Casablanca needs to use the extreme or premium or superior II DACS to process the new formats, but these DACS process LPCM signals. The new HDMI input board must therefore convert the HDMI input to LPCM. Is the advantage of being able to accept bitstream based on the likely superiority of the new input board doing this conversion as opposed to the conversion being done in the blu-ray player / transport?

Is a high-end conversion of the bitstream signal part of the justification of $3.5K for what some might cynically call a video switch?

Or is these a seriously dumb questions?
post #215 of 619
not a dumb question at all. And the basic answer is yes. There is the thought that having the conversion take place in the processor is superior to having it take place in the source. Generally, there's a lot of push back on that argument from those that feel that there is virually no difference between the two....which is probably why some companies are bypassing the option. The same debate was swimming around back in the late 80's and early 90's when D to A conversion was done inside the player with an analog signal sent to the pre amp. Then Theta challenged the debate by using outboard DACs and reducing the players to being transports. The difference was like night and day. It's a little more complicated than that in the bitstreaming vs LPCM debate but the basics are roughly the same.
post #216 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by mccaff View Post

I am a little confused about the importance of having bitstream inputs for TrueHD and DTS MA. The Casablanca needs to use the extreme or premium or superior II DACS to process the new formats, but these DACS process LPCM signals. The new HDMI input board must therefore convert the HDMI input to LPCM. Is the advantage of being able to accept bitstream based on the likely superiority of the new input board doing this conversion as opposed to the conversion being done in the blu-ray player / transport?

Is a high-end conversion of the bitstream signal part of the justification of $3.5K for what some might cynically call a video switch?

Or is these a seriously dumb questions?


Not dumb questions at all!!!

I don't know that it makes a difference whether the conversion to LPCM is done in the Blu Ray (or HD DVD) player or the surround processor. The same decoding chip/software will do that I would think whether in the player or processor. Its the DA conversion and analog ouptut state to analog amplifiers that makes the sonic difference@@

The Lexicon and Halcro surround processors can only do LPCM conversion because they came out EARLY when HDMI 1.1 or 1.2 was the standard.
So you must have a Blu Ray (or HD DVD) player which decodes to LPCM in the player if you use those surround processors.

Now that HDMI 1.3 is here, Theta is doing HDMI 1.3 which allows for LPCM decoding from the new high resolution audio formats in the surround processor.

Apparently Lexicon has mentioned they hope to have a new surround processor in a year or so with HDMI 1.3 audio to decode the new high resolution audio formats. Halcro has stated they have no plans - as of yet.

From a techie standpoint, yea its nice to have the surround processor do the HDMI 1.3 high resolution and have the processor display tell you what audio mode is being used. But you have to determine if its worth what it costs for you.
post #217 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by mccaff View Post

I am a little confused about the importance of having bitstream inputs for TrueHD and DTS MA. The Casablanca needs to use the extreme or premium or superior II DACS to process the new formats, but these DACS process LPCM signals. The new HDMI input board must therefore convert the HDMI input to LPCM. Is the advantage of being able to accept bitstream based on the likely superiority of the new input board doing this conversion as opposed to the conversion being done in the blu-ray player / transport?

Is a high-end conversion of the bitstream signal part of the justification of $3.5K for what some might cynically call a video switch?

Or is these a seriously dumb questions?


You don't need bitstreaming to make everything work. BD was designed with the idea that the audio is decoded in the player and from there on passed via LPCM.

If you do bitsreaming and let the processor handle the decoding, you won't get all audio from features like menu sounds, IME and other extras. To get all that, you will have to use LPCM. If you only care about the movie, you're fine.

In the end, your DACs will end up with LPCM anyway, so it's up to you if you decode in the player and everything works with LPCM from there on or if you pass bitstream to the processor, which decodes and creates LPCM. Both ways should give you identical results, unless one side screws up.

Now that's the BD side. Maybe one day there will be other formats that use the new audio codecs and if these can or should be decoded in the source as well remains to be seen.

With that said, I think decoding in the processor is a nice extra, but if you only have LPCM, you're not missing anything.

If I had to buy new, I'd look for a processor that can do everything. For an upgrade, LPCM only is fine, it wouldn't be a deal killer for me. If it could do the decoding, that'd be a nice extra.
post #218 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by javry View Post

not a dumb question at all. And the basic answer is yes. There is the thought that having the conversion take place in the processor is superior to having it take place in the source. Generally, there's a lot of push back on that argument from those that feel that there is virually no difference between the two....which is probably why some companies are bypassing the option.

WOOPS! I must beg to disagree. As I explained above. Companies are bypassing the HDMI 1.3 audio processing option right now only when they came to the dance earlier than Theta, when only HDMI 1.1 or 1.2 was available. Their existing models require significant hardware and monetary costs to upgrade to HDMI 1.3.
post #219 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan View Post

You don't need bitstreaming to make everything work. BD was designed with the idea that the audio is decoded in the player and from there on passed via LPCM.

If you do bitsreaming and let the processor handle the decoding, you won't get all audio from features like menu sounds, IME and other extras. To get all that, you will have to use LPCM. If you only care about the movie, you're fine.

In the end, your DACs will end up with LPCM anyway, so it's up to you if you decode in the player and everything works with LPCM from there on or if you pass bitstream to the processor, which decodes and creates LPCM. Both ways should give you identical results, unless one side screws up.

Now that's the BD side. Maybe one day there will be other formats that use the new audio codecs and if these can or should be decoded in the source as well remains to be seen.

With that said, I think decoding in the processor is a nice extra, but if you only have LPCM, you're not missing anything.

If I had to buy new, I'd look for a processor that can do everything. For an upgrade, LPCM only is fine, it wouldn't be a deal killer for me. If it could do the decoding, that'd be a nice extra.

Well said.
post #220 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

WOOPS! I must beg to disagree. As I explained above. Companies are bypassing the HDMI 1.3 audio processing option right now only when they came to the dance earlier than Theta, when only HDMI 1.1 or 1.2 was available. Their existing models require significant hardware and monetary costs to upgrade to HDMI 1.3.

disagreement noted
post #221 of 619
To clarify: We've been talkin' about digital decoding of the new high resolution audio codecs in the player (Blu Ray, HD DVD) and transmitting the digital LPCM over HDMI to the surround processor; vs not decoding in the player and transmitting the entire undecoded bitstream over HDMI 1.3 to the surround processor for LPCM decoding. With either approach, the DACs in the surround processor DA convert (to analog) the LPCM.

We have not been discussing using the player to both decode to LPCM and then to
DA convert to analog as a surround processor like the CB3 has better DACs and better for the decoding, and the CB3 has better analog output stages as well especially the Extreme DACs..
post #222 of 619
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

If you replace a DAC card of course you get to keep the old DAC card that you had previously paid for. And you can then sell it.

Re a discount on the upgrade, I suggest you PM or e-mail Norm or Craig but keep it off the forum as discussing that on the forum (other than MSRP pricing) is against forum rules. Keep in mind that historically Theta has had upgrade prices at lower margins than new pricing so you generally can't bargain as much on upgrades.

Re the display and whether it requires replacing, that's a good question.
Norm or Craig, please find out when you have a chance. Thanks.

Steve, just got home, and I haven't read all the posts yet. but I thought you guys would like an answer on the logos issue. It will have the new logos in the display window, and is included in the price. Part of the reason for the cost is that the CB III will need a lot of re-work inside to get the new card to talk to the DACs as well as the new software code to make everything work. I think in light of that it is fair, and this is the reason Dealers cannot do this Update in the field.
Also remember this will get you a complete up to date and tested unit which is also a added value. As for pricing Steve is correct, PM is the correct way to discuss that. Regards, Norm
post #223 of 619
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

The Six Shooter will still be usable with the CB3 HDMI 1.3 audio upgrade. But there will be no need to use it for the new high resolution audio formats of Blu Ray (or HD DVD).
I will still use the Six Shooter for my Theta Compli for its multip-channel analog output of SACD and DVD-A. I have an Oppo 980, at least for now. I have an Oppo 980, but into my Integra 9.8 preamp processor, then multi-channel analog out to my Theta Six Shooter, it just doesn't sound as good as my Theta Compli multi-channel analog out to my Theta Six Shooter. Now once I get the upgraded HDMI 1.3 audio CB3, I may well find
(I bet I will) that using the Oppo to convert DSD to PCM out over HDMI to the CB3
will sound better. I will find out. But the Six Shooter still gives the CB3 a fantastic analog preamp with sound quality unmatched for that purpose by any other surround processor ever made or likely to be made - and for those in particular in need of a top notch stereo premp it will continue to work fantastically well as noted by our own Bulldogger.

Steve, right again! This will free up the input to the SS that the Integra is using so my Oracle, ARC PH-5 vinyl combo can go back to the SS. A big improvement over the analogue inputs of the CB III. Regards, Norm
post #224 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Steve, just got home, and I haven't read all the posts yet. but I thought you guys would like an answer on the logos issue. It will have the new logos in the display window, and is included in the price. Part of the reason for the cost is that the CB III will need a lot of re-work inside to get the new card to talk to the DACs as well as the new software code to make everything work. I think in light of that it is fair, and this is the reason Dealers cannot do this Update in the field.
Also remember this will get you a complete up to date and tested unit which is also a added value. As for pricing Steve is correct, PM is the correct way to discuss that. Regards, Norm

Thanks for the confirmation. PM sent.
post #225 of 619
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Not dumb questions at all!!!

I don't know that it makes a difference whether the conversion to LPCM is done in the Blu Ray (or HD DVD) player or the surround processor. The same decoding chip/software will do that I would think whether in the player or processor. Its the DA conversion and analog ouptut state to analog amplifiers that makes the sonic difference@@

The Lexicon and Halcro surround processors can only do LPCM conversion because they came out EARLY when HDMI 1.1 or 1.2 was the standard.
So you must have a Blu Ray (or HD DVD) player which decodes to LPCM in the player if you use those surround processors.

Now that HDMI 1.3 is here, Theta is doing HDMI 1.3 which allows for LPCM decoding from the new high resolution audio formats in the surround processor.

Apparently Lexicon has mentioned they hope to have a new surround processor in a year or so with HDMI 1.3 audio to decode the new high resolution audio formats. Halcro has stated they have no plans - as of yet.

From a techie standpoint, yea its nice to have the surround processor do the HDMI 1.3 high resolution and have the processor display tell you what audio mode is being used. But you have to determine if its worth what it costs for you.

Steve, it would just make sense that the Theta doing the decoding of the bitstream should be better. They are almost surely going to use higher quality ancillary parts in the decoder section that a <$500 BD or HDDVD player, probably better than any cost player. Also Theta's massive power supply should keep these circuits more stable than any player. While I know this is just theoretical, I'd bet on it. We will hear soon. I do know there are many reports in the Audio Threads stating that bitstream decoded in a receiver or pre/pro sounds better than LPCM. At least Theta is taking this to the current limit of the art as it is now so we will have a choice.
As for Lexicon, I was told by two of their reps at the show that there are No plans for HDMI 1.3x for the Lexicon or Kilobuck Levinson. Regards, Norm
post #226 of 619
What about Theta Valis? Anyone who knows something about this long time ago announced processor from Theta?
post #227 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Steve, it would just make sense that the Theta doing the decoding of the bitstream should be better. They are almost surely going to use higher quality ancillary parts in the decoder section that a <$500 BD or HDDVD player, probably better than any cost player. Also Theta's massive power supply should keep these circuits more stable than any player. While I know this is just theoretical, I'd bet on it. We will hear soon. I do know there are many reports in the Audio Threads stating that bitstream decoded in a receiver or pre/pro sounds better than LPCM. At least Theta is taking this to the current limit of the art as it is now so we will have a choice.
As for Lexicon, I was told by two of their reps at the show that there are No plans for HDMI 1.3x for the Lexicon or Kilobuck Levinson. Regards, Norm

Lexicon is working on their replacement to the MC-12. It's too early to say it will be released on __/_/__. It will hopefully be out in 2009. I just wish Lexicon would fix their HDMI issues. I also hope Theta does HDMI right so there are no pops when switching HDMI sources.
post #228 of 619
What are Lexicon's HDMI issues??
post #229 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by hlkc View Post

Understood and my question/my point was I hope that is part of the $3.5K.

FWIW the display upgrade was not part of the CBI to CBIII upgrade. That was extra $500 IIRC. Of course it's hard to say how new owners will handle this time.
post #230 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Auber View Post

FWIW the display upgrade was not part of the CBI to CBIII upgrade. That was extra $500 IIRC. Of course it's hard to say how new owners will handle this time.

That display was actually an option to the upgrade, you really didn't need to buy it, if you couldn't or didn't want it.

With this upgrade, it "appears" that it's just a plate in front of your existing display that will need to be changed. That's my take on it.

Somebody that's actually taken one apart or maybe at least opened their unit might know for sure.
I have not had to have that opportunity myself, nor the desire.

I was told at one point that the new flouresent display upgrade may have had a price increase as well.

$500 IIRC....IIRC not to mean "Isn't It Really Cool" I take it
post #231 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim HTPC View Post

Lexicon is working on their replacement to the MC-12. It's too early to say it will be released on __/_/__. It will hopefully be out in 2009. I just wish Lexicon would fix their HDMI issues. I also hope Theta does HDMI right so there are no pops when switching HDMI sources.

Good. Hopefully the new version will be able to handle more than just 5.1 24/96 LPCM. They need to fix that too.
post #232 of 619
The ATI rep told me the upgrade was $4K. What's another 500 bucks?

BTW for $3500 you can buy the new Parasound C3 by CES 2009 (that's the timeline) or a Cary Audio C11a (I hope they don't kill it with a C11b 90 days latter ).

I know, Extreme DACS, channel by channel tweeking, 6 pack (my bad six shooter) etc etc.

All kidding and jabbing aside the Theta always sounded top shelf when compared to all others.
post #233 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

What are Lexicon's HDMI issues??

Speaker popping when using other HDMI switching devices. Since you own a Lumagen, I'll share the story. I helped them procure a loaner MC-12. They discovered a problem with the Lex's HDMI handling. They shared how to correct it, but nothing has been announced/acknowledged.

Since you most likely have the Latest Radiance XD firmware... Lumagen themselves made a work around. Speaker pops on a $300K install is not acceptable due to switching HDMI devices.
post #234 of 619
That problem was a funny combination issue between the MC-12HD when used with a Radiance. With the Radiance out of the loop the popping wasn't there as you yourself posted on the Radiance forum about 5 months after I first brought this issue up. The later Radiance firmware resolved that.

Shawn
post #235 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

That problem was a funny combination issue between the MC-12HD when used with a Radiance. With the Radiance out of the loop the popping wasn't there as you yourself posted on the Radiance forum about 5 months after I first brought this issue up. The later Radiance firmware resolved that.

Shawn

Because of this configuration, Lumagen discovered a flaw in the way Lexicon handles HDMI.
post #236 of 619
"Because of this configuration, Lumagen discovered a flaw in the way Lexicon handles HDMI."

Or a flaw in the way Lumagen handled HDMI since the only place that problem occured was with the Lumagen in the loop. Either way that problem no longer exists.

Shawn
post #237 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

"Because of this configuration, Lumagen discovered a flaw in the way Lexicon handles HDMI."

Or a flaw in the way Lumagen handled HDMI since the only place that problem occured was with the Lumagen in the loop. Either way that problem no longer exists.

Shawn

Take it up with Jim Peterson. When they evaluated the HDMI protocol, they found Lexicon was doing it improperly. And Lumagen is one HDMI device. What happens to those that buy other HDMI devices/switchers? They have been told how to fix the problem. We'll see what happens.
post #238 of 619
Was gone for a week at the beach.

Just wanted to rewind 4 months ago. Theta lovers were feeling no love and were in a quandry about our favorite products.

Well we now have a G8 v2 and a CB3 with all the audio codecs. By far the products we wanted upgraded.

Just wanted to say bravo to ATI, and I agree with Steve that we are in the right hands here.

Paul
post #239 of 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOMAIN64 View Post

Was gone for a week at the beach.

Just wanted to rewind 4 months ago. Theta lovers were feeling no love and were in a quandry about our favorite products.

Well we now have a G8 v2 and a CB3 with all the audio codecs. By far the products we wanted upgraded.

Just wanted to say bravo to ATI, and I agree with Steve that we are in the right hands here.

Paul

Thats why early this year I added the Integra 9.8 to my CB3 stable. A nice sounding stop gap while Theta determined to do the real HDMI audio 1.3 upgrade. And given how the Integra on the new high resolutution audio formats is clearly superior to Dolby Digital with the CB3, this I believe has been a strong incentive for Theta to do this upgrade - otherwise, as The Bland has asserted, Theta's CB3 would have been history. NOW THE CB3
IS ONGOING AV HISTORY!!!@@@
post #240 of 619
Quote:


Steve Bruzonsky

There are a lot of people in this thread that are saying incorrect things about LPCM and bitstream, steve do you think bitstream will sound better then LPCM?

Quote:


Brother, I'm an Audyssey Dealer, but also a purist. I use it all the time with Denon as well as Onkyo, & Integra. However when we use components at the level of Theta, Audio Research, and the like, I think they do more harm than good to the Harmonic Content, Air, FR, Imaging, Three Dimensionality, Dynamic Range,and overall Musicality. These are the things I value in High End Components, and I am loathe to put a filter in the transmission of these qualities. Regards, Norm

Really? Why would this happen only with high end equipment?

Quote:


they are I assume from circumventing the pure output of the Xtreme DACS and having to go through some kind of A/D and D/A conversions with much poorer quality DACS in a room correction device?

How do you know they are much poorer DACs? The theta runs BB 1704's which are a older production. How about you find out which DAC's are being used and then go from there.

Quote:


According to Tyree91 in post 143, Theta said " No DSD signal transfer or D/A is planned in either the CBIII or the Gen VIII due to the waning interest in SACD".

I already posted why, theta and the use of BB 1704 DAC's do not support DSD and it is a hardware limitation.

Quote:


Steve, it would just make sense that the Theta doing the decoding of the bitstream should be better. They are almost surely going to use higher quality ancillary parts in the decoder section that a <$500 BD or HDDVD player, probably better than any cost player. Also Theta's massive power supply should keep these circuits more stable than any player. While I know this is just theoretical, I'd bet on it. We will hear soon. I do know there are many reports in the Audio Threads stating that bitstream decoded in a receiver or pre/pro sounds better than LPCM. At least Theta is taking this to the current limit of the art as it is now so we will have a choice.

Do theta's DSP decoding and the 1's and 0's will be different then the 1's and 0's of other DSP processing?
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