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Bitstream or PCM? - Page 2

post #31 of 99
I'm pretty sure if you set your A2 to decode, you will not get 6.1 either via HDMI in PCM mode. I have the newer A3 and it does the same. Are you sure you're not mix it up with optical out?
post #32 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by gluvhand View Post

Sitting here trying to prove someone else is wrong isn't getting you anywhere. Try proving you're right. Don't give us anecdotal B/S. You haven't properly countered one bit of the information presented to you. Instead, you make snide remarks and put little smiles or eyerolls at the end of your statements. I don't think you have anything valid to add. Next!

But that is just my point and you prove it, you obviously feel threstened or something know clue what. My point was that he had an opinion but because he did not use some high tech piece of equipment for what he was in his opinion hearing for himself was just not good enough. That was the point moron maybe if you learned to read better goly I swear. I get so mad that just because some one is not a super tech there opinion does not matter because they do not have some fancy graph or something tat proves nothing at the end of the day if I hear something different than you. I respect any ones opinion on here if someone tells me something that because of some piece of equipment tey have proves something I have no reason to disbelieve them and would take it to heart. If guy B over here says with his own ears he heard somehting that led him to believe something I would respect his opinion as well. That was always the point is it that hard for you to understand and yes I will attack any one who belittles another for there opinion on a trully opinionated question. And just for you
post #33 of 99
Isn't it true that Bitstream tends to be louder than PCM, that people perceive louder to be better, and there you have your answer?

I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, that folks with PS3's have been commenting on it for a long time, and that the phenomena is not relegated to only PS3's

As someone with both a PS3 and a Samsung 2550 I can say that bitstreaming from the Samsung sounds louder than sending via PCM from the PS3.

Even though one sounds louder than the other does one sound better than the another? No. Which tastes better a white egg or a brown egg?
post #34 of 99
In the many posts about how bitstreaming is better than player decoding, this is the only possible explanation offered by the subjectivists:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benananda View Post

I have a theory.

...what happens is when material is decoded I think the decoder makes a difference. If my player (LG BH200) decodes, the sound is relatively flat and less dynamic with less detail (almost like it was still compressed) compared to when my receiver (Marantz sr7002) does the work. Now, here's where my knowledge breaks down, because I cannot tell you why this happens. I can only blame the player, not the process, because the process is done correctly in my receiver.

So, if there actually are differences in decoders, wouldn't you expect marketing claims about decoding superiority? CE manufacturers trumpet claims of better analog audio, video, and anything else where there are actual differences in performance. Why wouldn't they make claims about their decoders?

I also find it curious that all of these supposedly better decoders are in receivers and none of them are in players. (At least, I've never seen a subjectivist post saying player decoding sounds better. It's always AVR decoding that gets the edge.) Why would that be? Some players cost thousands. Yet, somehow the Onkyo decoder is better than all of them. That seems odd to me.

Benananda admitted that he/she can't explain why one decoder would be inferior to another. Perhaps another poster who believes AVR decoding is necessarily better could weigh in here with an explanation.
post #35 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benananda View Post

Nope. I know it's asking a lot to carefully read my post, but I specifically said that PCM is FINE. In fact I mentioned that CARS with a PCM track is my favorite disk to listen to. I said this so you'd know that LPCM is NOT the issue, but that it is the decoding that suffers. For some reason you guys keep hearing (reading) what you want instead of what I'm saying. You really should apply for a Customer Service position. You're perfect!

You're right that I misread what you said about "Cars." But that only shows that there's a difference in the way your AVR handles the output of its own decoders vs. that of the player.

You see, what you're missing is that neither I nor anyone else is disputing the fact that you hear a difference. You say you do, and we believe you.

The problem is the conclusion you draw from that difference. ABX tests over the years have demonstrated conclusively, for example, that when comparing two signals identical other than a difference in overall level of 2dB, even experienced listeners will choose the louder on as being "better,"
attributing to all sorts of characteristics to account for its apparent superiority -- it's clearer, it's more open, it's got better separation, more localization, etc. etc. -- everything but "it's louder." Yet that's the only difference.

That's in blind AB testing where the switching is instantaneous and the sound sources are identical in every way.

Thus my skepticism that people who aren't carefully level-matching each channel with an SPL meter, who are not certain of what differences in processing their AVRs are subjecting the signals to, and who are often comparing not one sound with another, but rather thair memory of one sound with another, can provide useful objective observations on this topic.
post #36 of 99
I'll be honest. I like seeing True HD and DTS HD MA bettern than Multi Ch In on my Denon receiver.
post #37 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

You make no attempt to figure out what's going on, but confidently declare a winner. It could be (and probably is) as simple as a 1 or 2dB difference in the output level of the AVR's decoder stage. No A/B comparisons, no attempts to level match, no science, no logic.

I will say it again: subjective posts like this one are worse than useless. They're harmful. They contribute no actual data, and are based on nothing but an impression. It's like saying "I can see farther on Tuesdays than on Wednesdays," without talking about how much cloud cover there happened to be. People read these posts looking for actual information, and don't always know enough to sort the science from the superstition.

How in the world did you deduce that I made no attempt to figure out what was going on? Your obvious tendedncy to jump to conclusions would be enough for me to disregard your opinion on the matter, but there can be other things that come into play.

1 - Some receivers are able to apply secondary processiong (meaning aside from simple decoding) when using bitstreamed input, and are unable to do this when being fed MPCM. In fact, some codecs like the Dolby ones actually call for this by default as part of the spec.

2 - Any time PCM is fed from one device to another, be it by way of HDMI optical or some other method you are susceptible to jitter and other clock-related errors. this is why studios use master clocks to sync all of their digital gear to a single source, rather than several individual ones.

3 - Bitstreaming is immune to external clock error because the audio is not decoded into PCM data until it arrives at the destination (receiver). Yes, there will still be jitter but it will be limited to errors originating inside the AVR, and as a result of inconsistincies in its' master clock. Introduce external clock errors and you will in effect double the adverse effect, which IS audible for those of us who choose to use our ears instead of protractors to judge sound quality.

4 - Since ultimately the audio is being decoded, converted from digital to analog, and amplified through speakers in order to be enjoyed by a pair of ears (at least that's what I do with it) then it only seems fair to let the ears make the decision.

I am sure you can find a generic and name brand product in the supermarket that have the same ingredients but taste very different no? Good lord that must be a brainbuster for you considering that "theoretically" they should be the same.

Enjoy your denial, but for Pete's sake don't deny others the chance to formulate their own opinion. As far as your couple of dB difference theory, if the PCM audio differs in any way post decode (and a difference in output does qualify as a difference) then I guess the decode process isn't as universal and straightforward as you suggest is it? the fact that you suggest there could be a difference of ANY kind suggests you don't trust your own theory to begin with.

For those of you still wondering if there is a real difference, just try it yourself. Many of us that know how to use and trust our ears have discovered that (at least with some setups) there is!
post #38 of 99
Category5,

I'll classify your point #3 as myth instead of any scientific facts. Theory on both sides are all over the map from what I read.
post #39 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ta23 View Post

But that is just my point and you prove it, you obviously feel threstened or something know clue what. My point was that he had an opinion but because he did not use some high tech piece of equipment for what he was in his opinion hearing for himself was just not good enough. That was the point moron maybe if you learned to read better goly I swear. I get so mad that just because some one is not a super tech there opinion does not matter because they do not have some fancy graph or something tat proves nothing at the end of the day if I hear something different than you. I respect any ones opinion on here if someone tells me something that because of some piece of equipment tey have proves something I have no reason to disbelieve them and would take it to heart. If guy B over here says with his own ears he heard somehting that led him to believe something I would respect his opinion as well. That was always the point is it that hard for you to understand and yes I will attack any one who belittles another for there opinion on a trully opinionated question. And just for you

It's not your opinion that needs defending. You're obviously entitled to it. It's the smug attitude. I've never tested anything with "some piece of equipment" or refferenced a "fancy graph" but I will listen to those that have and try to experiment in a very loose way. Discounting others experiences is short sighted.
post #40 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post

As far as your couple of dB difference theory, if the PCM audio differs in any way post decode (and a difference in output does qualify as a difference) then I guess the decode process isn't as universal and straightforward as you suggest is it? the fact that you suggest there could be a difference of ANY kind suggests you don't trust your own theory to begin with.

I'm suggesting the two sources can be treated differently by the AVR in the analog domain. What's important (as you say) is what reaches the ears, and in this case, if you want to compare two signal sources, that what reaches the ears is matched within 1dB as to level. No comparison is valid unless that condition is met.
post #41 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by gluvhand View Post

It's not your opinion that needs defending. You're obviously entitled to it. It's the smug attitude. I've never tested anything with "some piece of equipment" or refferenced a "fancy graph" but I will listen to those that have and try to experiment in a very loose way. Discounting others experiences is short sighted.

The reason I said what I said is that how those who throw out all the fancy graphs or high tech devices talk to those of us who are not as enlighted like we are inferior because I do not know what a certain listening device is or how to read some report. It is not smugness sir just gets old and the fact that you attack me proves what I am saying, if what I said bugs you and you believe it to be smugness how do you think those of us who get talked to this way or told our opinion does not matter becuase we have no technical evidance to support our claims. Like I said I RESPECT those who know how to use the devices and read charts, I would love to see a techy and a non techy (some one who just uses there ears) and see what they come up with together because if the guy listening with ears and one with a device come to the same conclusion would be indeed interesting would it not? Also reread I never discounted any ones experience if anything I want to hear what everyone has to say, everyone techy and non techy novice and expert.
post #42 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by ResIpsa View Post

Isn't it true that Bitstream tends to be louder than PCM, that people perceive louder to be better, and there you have your answer?

I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, that folks with PS3's have been commenting on it for a long time, and that the phenomena is not relegated to only PS3's

As someone with both a PS3 and a Samsung 2550 I can say that bitstreaming from the Samsung sounds louder than sending via PCM from the PS3.

Even though one sounds louder than the other does one sound better than the another? No. Which tastes better a white egg or a brown egg?

I would agree that when I tested my Pio 51FD bit stream to PCM the bit stream was louder than internal decoding by the Pio. I had this conversation somewhere else as well and at that time I never adjusted the level of sound I did this later, not using a meter though and the only difference seemed like the sound bounced around my speakers better for surround sound, both sounded full and nice.

I will say BTW that a white egg does taste better than a brown egg...MHO.
post #43 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Category5,

I'll classify your point #3 as myth instead of any scientific facts. Theory on both sides are all over the map from what I read.


How so? Jitter can only affect the stream once it has been decoded. If it is decoded by the AVR then the only place jitter can come from is the clock/DACs in the AVR. The package itself (bitsream) is no more prone to jitter than a zip file from an email since the PCM has yet to be extracted.
post #44 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by xradman View Post

I'll be honest. I like seeing True HD and DTS HD MA bettern than Multi Ch In on my Denon receiver.

+1 but on an Onkyo

Both bitstream & PCM sound good in my system ; Pioneer bdp-51fd & Onkyo 805 ...though I do plan on going back and forth a few more times while making an effort to hear even the most subtle differences.
post #45 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post

1 - Some receivers are able to apply secondary processiong (meaning aside from simple decoding) when using bitstreamed input, and are unable to do this when being fed MPCM. In fact, some codecs like the Dolby ones actually call for this by default as part of the spec.

And some receivers can post-process PCM input but can't decode and post-process.

Of course, none of this is relevant to the issue at hand about differences in where decoding takes place.

Quote:


2 - Any time PCM is fed from one device to another, be it by way of HDMI optical or some other method you are susceptible to jitter and other clock-related errors. this is why studios use master clocks to sync all of their digital gear to a single source, rather than several individual ones.

3 - Bitstreaming is immune to external clock error because the audio is not decoded into PCM data until it arrives at the destination (receiver). Yes, there will still be jitter but it will be limited to errors originating inside the AVR, and as a result of inconsistincies in its' master clock. Introduce external clock errors and you will in effect double the adverse effect, which IS audible for those of us who choose to use our ears instead of protractors to judge sound quality.

Aren't 2 & 3 part of the same clock issue? Now, please complete your explanation. How do the potential clocking and jitter problems produce the kinds of inferior audio outputs being described in this thread?

Quote:


4 - Since ultimately the audio is being decoded, converted from digital to analog, and amplified through speakers in order to be enjoyed by a pair of ears (at least that's what I do with it) then it only seems fair to let the ears make the decision.

Yes - provided that the ears are presented with fair comparisons.

Of course, you should always base your own purchases on your own perceptions. But, how can your ears listening to your equipment in your room be meaningful beyond that?

EDIT: Also, if my ears heard something that science said they should not be hearing, I'd be skeptical about what my ears were telling me. I'd go back through my setups to make sure I had them right. Are the levels matched with an SPL meter? Is there anything in the equipment or its configuration that could account for the differences? Then I'd go in search of an explanation. Why the difference? I don't see any of that going on here.
post #46 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

...So, if there actually are differences in decoders, wouldn't you expect marketing claims about decoding superiority? CE manufacturers trumpet claims of better analog audio, video, and anything else where there are actual differences in performance. Why wouldn't they make claims about their decoders?...

Totally agree with you, BIslander,

AFAIK, there are no "high-end" decoder whatsoever; they're all coming from the same bunch. In other words, a lossless HD codec on a $ 200 player will be the same one as on a $ 2,000 high-end player. Same applies to AVR's.

Regards, Chuck
post #47 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Azanon,

Buy a better AVR

Seriously, if we're going to talk about individual equipment limitations, there is a long list of reasons why you should do this way vs other way.

Chances are mine is better than yours, Chief. I'm using a Marantz SR7002. Sure, you can say you use (insert really expensive AVR), but then the issue of whether I believe you comes into play.
post #48 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon View Post

Chances are mine is better than yours, Chief. I'm using a Marantz SR7002. Sure, you can say you use (insert really expensive AVR), but then the issue of whether I believe you comes into play.

I only have a lowly Pioneer VSX-92 that I bought for dirt cheap ($600) and it can do both decoding (TrueHD and DTS-HD MA) and post processing (IIx for TrueHD, THX Select 2 for DTS-HD)
post #49 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benananda View Post

BTW, I can't get 6.1 on my LOTR:FOTR disk either with regular DTS. This is because it is a known hardware issue. The PS3 also has this issue I believe.

Its a good thing there's a blu-ray of that movie and most other major movies like that with a lossless version of the audio. That being the case, it puts that fact in the "who cares" category.
post #50 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

I only have a lowly Pioneer VSX-92 that I bought for dirt cheap and it can do both decoding (TrueHD and DTS-HD MA) and post processing (IIx for TrueHD, THX Select 2 for DTS-HD)

I said mine post-processes too? Marantz can do TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, as well as THX Select 2, but it is my understanding that they can't do both at the same time. Am I wrong on that? I wouldn't necessarily know because my blu-ray player is a PS3 and, thus, cant bitstream lossless audio.

Meaning is there a THX Select 2 + TrueHD/DTS-HD MA mode?
post #51 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post

1 - Some receivers are able to apply secondary processiong (meaning aside from simple decoding) when using bitstreamed input, and are unable to do this when being fed MPCM. In fact, some codecs like the Dolby ones actually call for this by default as part of the spec.

Don't you have this backwards? On my PS3 + SR7002 combo, if I have the PS3 decode and send the decoded info PCM to the receiver, THEN the receiver can do its thing and apply a secondary processing because it doesn't have to do the first processing. However, if I make the receiver do the decoding too (send it bitstream), then there are limitations to the processing that I can layer over that.
post #52 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon View Post

I said mine post-processes too? Marantz can do TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, as well as THX Select 2, but it is my understanding that they can't do both at the same time. Am I wrong on that? I wouldn't necessarily know because my blu-ray player is a PS3 and, thus, cant bitstream lossless audio.

Meaning is there a THX Select 2 + TrueHD/DTS-HD MA mode?

Of course there is. Mine does TrueHD + THX Select2/DPL IIx and DTS-HD MA + THX Select 2. Only the entry level AVRs can't do both because of the lack of processing power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon View Post

Don't you have this backwards? On my PS3 + SR7002 combo, if I have the PS3 decode and send the decoded info PCM to the receiver, THEN the receiver can do its thing and apply a secondary processing because it doesn't have to do the first processing. However, if I make the receiver do the decoding too (send it bitstream), then there are limitations to the processing that I can layer over that.

I know, but not sure, that certain Onkyo models can't do secondary processing to LPCM. Sounds backwards but that's what I read.
post #53 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Of course there is. Mine does TrueHD + THX Select2/DPL IIx and DTS-HD MA + THX Select 2. Only the entry level AVRs can't do both because of the lack of processing power.

Of course there is, meaning I should just automatically know this? Just a suggestion, but maybe you should have considered explaining this nicely next time (in your original response).

Guess mine can do both too. But I want to ensure I get whatever "secondary" info might be on the blu-ray so I'm going to probably stick to decoding in the player, even if i buy a blu-ray player in the future that can bitstream.
post #54 of 99
One of the things being demonstrated here is that it is very difficult to actually do a fair comparison between the sound of bitstreaming and the sound of LPCM. People make these comparisons without understanding the effects of processing on the two sources, and their differences. They don't match levels. They can't do instantaneous switching, so they must trust their memories as to what things sounded like. Sometimes they don't even really know how their own processors work.

In other words, any comparisons you read about are subjective, and differences being reported cannot be fairly attributed to any one factor, because there is more than one factor that's different.

That's why I label such testimony as "more than worthless." It's not an attack on any individual or their right to an opinion. But it is an attack on the substitution of opinion for science. And it is an attempt to keep people who are looking for the truth from being swayed by opinion masquerading as science.

If someone buys a BD player that can bitstream a certain codec but not decode it internally, based on testimony that bitstreaming sounds better so internal decoding is not important, they are being harmed by that testimony. It IS a mistake to buy such a player if lossless audio is important, for a number of reasons.

People read these forums looking for expert advice. It's hard enough to find that, even in professional publications.

Again, I don't dispute that people are hearing a difference, or even that bitstreaming sounds better to them. It's the attribution of that difference to a single factor -- bitstreaming vs LPCM -- without accounting for all the other differences that are also present in the comparison, that I object to.
post #55 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

...People make these comparisons without understanding the effects of processing on the two sources, and their differences. They don't match levels. They can't do instantaneous switching, so they must trust their memories as to what things sounded like.


I bet you are reader of "The Audio Critic" (http://theaudiocritic.com )?
The amount of misinformation and pure voodoo "pseudo science" in the field of audio is staggering - most likely exceeding most of other high tech fields.
Just the fact that this debate resurfaces periodically, even though there is really nothing to discuss, as long as you agree that you cant have debate of FACTS versus BELIEVES...

Kris
post #56 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

One of the things being demonstrated here is that it is very difficult to actually do a fair comparison between the sound of bitstreaming and the sound of LPCM. They can't do instantaneous switching, so they must trust their memories as to what things sounded like.


Again, I don't dispute that people are hearing a difference, or even that bitstreaming sounds better to them. It's the attribution of that difference to a single factor -- bitstreaming vs LPCM -- without accounting for all the other differences that are also present in the comparison, that I object to.

Because of the current thread I decided to do a quick test last night to reaffirm my opinion. I came away befuddled. Test disk: Transformer blu-ray. Switching from bitstream to LPCM decoded in player had no discernable difference other than 3-4db. This was quite a surprise to me (a pleasant one). Other tests from last year had been with HD-DVDs, such as 300 and Harry Potter, and I remember a 'congested' feeling to the sound when decoded by the player. So, that's why your memory comment seemed appropriate. Looks like I'll have to do more tests!

As to your second point, think it MUST be something other than bitstream vs LPCM, because i agreed that PCM tracks sounded really good to me.

One other point. I have noticed that CDs can sound better coming out of one player (HDMI for both). As a transport, it SHOULD sound the same...but it doesn't work that way. All AVR settings are the same. That's why I have a dedicated CD/SACD player/transport, even though my blu-ray should sound just as good. The dedicated player sound quite a bit sweeter as a rule. i have no idea why. i will test this again tonight to make sure my 'memory' isn't faulty.
post #57 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon View Post

Of course there is, meaning I should just automatically know this? Just a suggestion, but maybe you should have considered explaining this nicely next time (in your original response).

In case you missed, I was j/k in my original reply. And if you don't know.....
post #58 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon View Post

Of course there is, meaning I should just automatically know this? Just a suggestion, but maybe you should have considered explaining this nicely next time (in your original response).

Guess mine can do both too. But I want to ensure I get whatever "secondary" info might be on the blu-ray so I'm going to probably stick to decoding in the player, even if i buy a blu-ray player in the future that can bitstream.

It cannot. I have the same AVR. Stick with in-player decoding if you want to use filters like Audyssey, THX, pro-logic, ect. on HD tracks. I use only Source Direct mode for the purest sound- and in my setup (full range speakers) it's by far the best. Marantz is really good with their direct mode. Give it a try sometime.
post #59 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benananda View Post

... Stick with in-player decoding if you want to use filters like Audyssey, THX, pro-logic, ect. on HD tracks....

Does anybody know how this works with an Onkyo 805 AVR? I.e., to have Audyssey implemented by the AVR does one have to do the decoding in the BD player?
post #60 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by millerwill View Post

Does anybody know how this works with an Onkyo 805 AVR? I.e., to have Audyssey implemented by the AVR does one have to do the decoding in the BD player?

Yours is fine. Marantz is the odd one in the bunch.
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