For my HT I use a two-year old Samsung that, so far, works fine with every Blu-ray I've played in it. I've explained to him that in my A/V receiver I use separate inputs for audio and video -- for no other reason than the fact that my Yamaha A/V receiver does not have HDMI inputs. I'm very happy with my setup and have no degradation going TOSLINK or coax from the source to the receiver, with the video being fed directly into the flat-screen HDMI inputs, with sound turned off. He's heard my HT system and knows the quality of sound I'm getting.
Adapt or perish, as they say.
I am not an engineer, just a fanatical hobbyist. However my colleague is. He was curious about the multi-channel analog outputs on the back of the Oppos (93 and 95) and read in another forum that regardless of the nature of the input the A/V receiver would pass the signal to its DSP anyway and not go a straight analog path.
Common sense, at least to me, would dictate that if you have an analog input into the preamp stage the signal path should be straight to the amps and then the speakers. To confirm this he wrote a support email to Yamaha and they, incredulously, confirmed this. Here is the (edited for clarity) thread, Yamaha's responses in italics:
The Yamaha receiver can do DTS-HD, Dolby True HD and DSD (SACD) via HDMI so there is really no reason that you would need the analog inputs.
I have a Yamaha RXV 1800. This receiver has multichannel inputs. Is there any benefit sound wise, in using the multichannel inputs over the HDMI inputs? I am considering buying an Oppo 95 which is a blue ray player regarded as having excellent analog outs. If I connect this blue ray player using the multichannel inputs, is the analog signal converted in the receiver at any point into a digital signal? I hear that the sound is converted to a digital signal in the receiver and since it's converted to digital, there is no benefit over HDMI. Is that the case or is the analog signal kept intact?
It is not reprocessed but it does go through the digital audio chip sets.
Does the Yamaha turn the analog signals back to digital inside the receiver?
I sent my own email to Yamaha:
Here is what they replied:
I own a Yamaha receiver as well and I need to understand this correctly: you are stating that your A/V receivers with 5.1 or 7.1 ANALOG inputs are going to take the already decoded and converted ANALOG signal it receives from the 5.1 or 7.1 ANALOG outputs of a source component, and then reconvert that already converted signal back to DIGITAL through the DSP and then reconvert it back to ANALOG for output to the speakers?
Why on Earth would you do such a thing?!
It has to go through the chips, no way around that one, there is no direct analog path.
I need to understand why Yamaha, and Lord knows how many other A/V processor manufacturers, are doing this. Am I wrong to think this really stinks? What is the point of the analog outputs if Yamaha and others are going to crap all over that signal.