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current codecs strategy: BR player vs. receiver ?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Is it better (economically) to try to keep up with the latest (video codec) standards via the (Blue-Ray) disc player (i.e. at the 'source') or in the receiver (i.e. in the round-house 'switch' and amplifier)? In other words, why does/would the receiver (AVR) need to convert video standards at all, if the conversion is done at the source player and, subsequent to conversion, sent to the switch/amplifier via HDMI ?

I ask because:
  1. it occurred to me that disk players are cheaper than receivers ... AND I doubt that oem's make much effort to provide current firmware when their incentive is to sell more hardware devices.
  2. as I was investigating digital receivers (for my first digital receiver), I wondered why it matters, if a receiver has the latest video codecs, if the disc player can decode whatever and send it to the receiver via HDMI

Perhaps I'm not even asking the 'right' question? If not, I'd appreciate being straightened out ... and, hopefully, others might benefit from the perspective, as well. Thanks - in advance for whatever insights.
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by aNovitiate View Post

Is it better (economically) to try to keep up with the latest (video codec) standards via the (Blue-Ray) disc player or in the receiver?

I ask because:
  1. it occurred to me that disk players are cheaper than receivers ... AND I doubt that oem's make much effort to provide current firmware when their incentive is to sell more hardware devices.
  2. as I was investigating digital receivers (for my first digital receiver), I wondered why it matters, if a receiver has the latest video codecs, if the disc player can decode whatever and send it to the receiver via HDMI

Perhaps I'm not even asking the 'right' question? If not, I'd appreciate being straightened out ... and, hopefully, others might benefit from the perspective, as well. Thanks - in advance for whatever insights.


Mike..
You need to understand that as the primary sources (Satellite, Cable, Blu-ray) changeover to HD, the AVR is merely a switch to route the HD video through to the HD display. The AVR simply has to have the capability to switch the HD video stream while decoding and amplifying the HD audio stream.

Long term..
The more expensive component will be the AVR, also the Blu-ray players sell @ a unit rate of 10 to 1 over AVRs.

Just my $0.02...
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

the AVR is merely a switch to route the HD video through to the HD display. The AVR simply has to have the capability to switch the HD video stream while decoding and amplifying the HD audio stream.

`got it, M Code.

ok, this sounds like the media 'source' is 'de-coding' the video, but not the audio? ... i.e. the audio is 'de-coded' at 'the switch' (the AVR)? Hence, part 2 of my original question.
post #4 of 7
If you think you will want to keep up with most new technologies soon after they are released, then there is no good choice for a disc player OR receiver that will be long-term "future-ready". None of the upgrades since the HD disc formats were released (24 Hz, hi-res bitstreaming, 3D) were planned for in then-current receivers with HDMI, so that will probably be a problem with whatever upgrade comes next as well (higher resolution, more HDMI interaction, whatever).

Regarding your Part 2 question, all media devices "fully decode" the video, whether it is into analog component/S/composite or into digital HDMI. Only audio has multiple levels of decoding that can be split between a media device and a receiver (or display). Audio has compression as well as analog-to-digital conversion (and back). Audio in receivers has been "stable" for 2-3 years now with the ability to fully decode all of the current formats in all but the cheapest receivers. If they add new audio formats in a few years and you really want them, just plan to buy a disc player then that will decode them itself, or understand now that you may need to buy everything new then as well.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisW6ATV View Post

If they add new audio formats in a few years and you really want them, just plan to buy a disc player then that will decode them itself, or understand now that you may need to buy everything new then as well.

THAT's what I suspected. Thanks - for the validation, Chris.

I was wondering, why are we using a receiver to decode audio? ... when that can be done in the disc player and sent to the receiver via HDMI.
post #6 of 7
Even though the decoding (decompression) of the audio is basically just a mathematical function, some people think a receiver can do it better and they prefer that choice. Also, if you use a receiver to do the decoding, you get to see the format of the signal (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-MA, etc.) on the display of the receiver and again, some people like that.

There is actually a disadvantage to having your receiver decode these formats, if you like to use the special features of Blu-ray discs such as director commentary or voice-over add-ons. You will lose those abilities if your receiver is decoding audio from bitstreams.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
thoughtful answer, Chris. Thanks - for the candid realism.
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