Originally Posted by Phil17108
I have the video part of HD down but not the audio. I have never bothered to upgrade my receiver from a onkyp tx sr 502 that has the 6.1 audio. I know DirecTV only outputs a 5.1. I am using the optical audio for that and in the past for a dvd player that we never used.
I just redid every thing and the last thing was a new blue ray player that I am using the digital coax for the audio. I read there is something called lossless or low loss audio that only comes through the hdmi cable. I am wondering what others have experienced when upgrading to hdmi receivers. I have gone 3D and wonder if the low loss/lossless worth the $$$.
First - "props" to Otto - you are absolutely right. How much of a difference lossy audio versus lossless audio makes is truly dependent upon the speaker system being used. Well done.
To answer the OP's questions, lossy audio was invented because originally there wasn't enough space on the disc nor a fast enough method to send out the bits to support lossless multichannel audio. So a method was invented to reduce the number of bits and increase the number of channels to 5.1-channels (then 6.1-channel for DTS and 7.1-channels for LPCM, DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD).
Based on numerous studies, it has been shown that parts of audio are inperceptible to most humans. The obvious things are frequencies that are too high to hear or too low to hear (although those can be felt). In addition to those, we have a difficult time perceiving very soft sounds while a loud sound is also occuring. A finger cymbal being hit at the same time a cannon is fired will not be heard. The lossy algorithms take this into account when reducing the sounds to make the bits fit in the available space. Their goal with these algorithms is to 1) reduce the bit count to an acceptable level and 2) make it inperceptible to the average listener.
So, for you to notice the improvement with lossless audio, you would have to have a system that allowed you to hear the differrences. A bunch of little satellite speakers with little dynamic range will not provide an ability to hear the differences. Obviously your own hearing would have an impact as to whether or not you could hear a difference.
Finally, there is no such thing as low-loss audio. The whole idea behind the lossy audio was to save space. Low-loss would not save significant space and would make no sense. Be careful of any source that mentioned low-loss since they obviously are talking outside of their area of knowledge. By the way, Dolby Digital Plus uses more bits than Dolby Digital but is still a lossy audio scheme. It is definately not low-loss. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA are both lossless audio. The bits output from those two codecs are the exactly same bits that were originally recorded.
The bottom line to all this is the following question: What are you missing from your present system that you think lossless audio and a new receiver will solve? If you can give us an answer to that, we can probably tell you if you are on the right track.