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Confused about Lexicon MC12HD audio processing

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
After not upgrading my MC12HD unit for a couple of years, I recently downloaded and installed the latest firmware from the Lexicon site (V2.00).
What I'm not clear about from the release notes, is does this latest software support decoding for Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio?

If one exists, can someone point me to a comprehensive list of all formats that the MC12HD decodes?

Thanks!

--curtis

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post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by curtisG View Post

After not upgrading my MC12HD unit for a couple of years, I recently downloaded and installed the latest firmware from the Lexicon site (V2.00).
What I'm not clear about from the release notes, is does this latest software support decoding for Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio?

If one exists, can someone point me to a comprehensive list of all formats that the MC12HD decodes?

Thanks!

--curtis

Lexicon MC12 does not decode the latest codecs. Not possible as the physical hardware is not capable of doing it. It will however output the HD codecs in PCM as long as your BD player can decode it (most now can).
post #3 of 20
Curtis,

I think the MC-12HD is either HDMI 1.1 or 1.2 (keep in mind it was released over 7 years ago). Those versions of HDMI cannot bitstream coded soundtracks (need HDMI 1.3 and above), so you have to continue decoding them to PCM in your Blu-ray player before transmitting.

At the time the MC-12HD came out, its HDMI inputs were only capable of receiving 1080i video and 5.1 audio. The first of two free firmware updates (v1.25) allowed for 1080p 24/50/60 input signals; the second update (v2.0) allowed for discrete 7.1-channel input.

The release notes for v2.0 can be found here.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidino View Post

Lexicon MC12 does not decode the latest codecs. Not possible as the physical hardware is not capable of doing it. It will however output the HD codecs in PCM as long as your BD player can decode it (most now can).
Thanks for the suggestion.

I own an OPPO-103 BD player, which has built-in codecs for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. So I can set the BD player to output LPCM via HDMI and then this should work then?
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Curtis,

I think the MC-12HD is either HDMI 1.1 or 1.2 (keep in mind it was released over 7 years ago). Those versions of HDMI cannot bitstream coded soundtracks (need HDMI 1.3 and above), so you have to continue decoding them to PCM in your Blu-ray player before transmitting.

At the time the MC-12HD came out, its HDMI inputs were only capable of receiving 1080i video and 5.1 audio. The first of two free firmware updates (v1.25) allowed for 1080p 24/50/60 input signals; the second update (v2.0) allowed for discrete 7.1-channel input.

The release notes for v2.0 can be found here.
Thanks for the pointer to the release notes.
I believe the Lex has HDMI 1.3 ports, but can't confirm that anywhere.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by curtisG View Post

I believe the Lex has HDMI 1.3 ports, but can't confirm that anywhere.
While I'm not sure which version of HDMI it has, but if you call or e-mail Lexicon they will confirm that it is not 1.3.
post #7 of 20
I keep wondering how hard would it really be for Lexicon to update the MC-12HD to decode the HD codecs (MC-15 anybody?) with full HDMI 3D, and why haven't they done it already? Are they trying to put themselves out of business?
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

... Are they trying to put themselves out of business?

Nope. They've succeeded!
post #9 of 20
They are part of Harman. They simply have no interest in that market at this point and not developing a new processor is not going hurt Harman. This is a very small piece of their business. As of now, Harman has outsourced Bryston for a Synthesis processor (which is essentially a rebadged SP3)
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

I keep wondering how hard would it really be for Lexicon to update the MC-12HD to decode the HD codecs
To decode the HD audio codecs, they'd have to swap out the decoder card, which they've done in the past with the v3 upgrade (the original Cirrus decoder chipset sits inert on the motherboard). Or they could add another card (of the 3 expansion slots, only 2 are occupied: v3 and v4EQ).

In order to get an encoded bitstream into the MC-12HD, they would have to replace the HDMI inputs to 1.3 or later, which would mean replacing the video board (again, been done in the past). Also, since PLIIz doesn't require any more MIPs than PLIIx and] there are 2 unused AUX outputs, it's possible to add height channels.

However, of the updates I'd like to see, decoding HD audio codecs is lowest on my list because that same function is built into practically every BD player. Instead, I would like to see them update things like surround proccessing and room correction, which are proprietary to them and not available elsewhere.
post #11 of 20
"Or they could add another card (of the 3 expansion slots, only 2 are occupied: v3 and v4EQ)."

In a Mc12hd Eq all three slots are occupied. The hdmi board feeds the audio into the system using the third slot. They could put the decoder on the hdmi board or swap out the cirrus decoder again.

Shawn
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

In a Mc12hd Eq all three slots are occupied. The hdmi board feeds the audio into the system using the third slot.
Thanx for the correction. I had opened up my MC-12 a few times for updating but never popped the lid on my 12HD, and assumed the only difference was the HDMI video card.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

They could put the decoder on the hdmi board or swap out the cirrus decoder again.
That would work. Updating both would allow for new decoding and later version of HDMI to deliver bitstream. If they updated the room correction, they could give users the option of using the AUX outputs for an additional pair of subs (instead of height channels). The update seems technologically possible, just don't know if it makes business sense for them.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Thanx for the correction. I had opened up my MC-12 a few times for updating but never popped the lid on my 12HD, and assumed the only difference was the HDMI video card.
That would work. Updating both would allow for new decoding and later version of HDMI to deliver bitstream. If they updated the room correction, they could give users the option of using the AUX outputs for an additional pair of subs (instead of height channels). The update seems technologically possible, just don't know if it makes business sense for them.

Which seems to me would not be all that big a deal on a $10,000 piece of equipment! Maybe it was more about somebody at Lex or Harman deciding that there was insufficient financial reward in doing so compared to specing an all-new SOTA chassis such as the MD-20 (money well spent? HAH!). Or is it just that Lex no longer steers their own ship?
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

Which seems to me would not be all that big a deal on a $10,000 piece of equipment! Maybe it was more about somebody at Lex or Harman deciding that there was insufficient financial reward in doing so compared to specing an all-new SOTA chassis such as the MD-20 (money well spent? HAH!). Or is it just that Lex no longer steers their own ship?

The product is just too old to invest this level of R&D into no matter what else Lexicon may or may not be up to. Still a great processor, I have an MC8. But in today's technology terms it's ancient. I have mine modified for 7.1 analog bypass input which is how I deal with the newer codecs on BluRay. I believe the MC12 has 5.1 or 7.1 analog bypass. The MC8 did not. I also think the MC12 analog bypass is not really a bypass but a 5 channel re-digitize??? The advantage is you can use all the Lexicon DSP features. The downside is another AtoD and DtoA in the path.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

I also think the MC12 analog bypass is not really a bypass but a 5 channel re-digitize???
Both, you can digitize 6 incoming channels or switch to pure bypass (only volume control in signal path).
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

The product is just too old to invest this level of R&D into no matter what else Lexicon may or may not be up to. Still a great processor, I have an MC8. But in today's technology terms it's ancient. I have mine modified for 7.1 analog bypass input which is how I deal with the newer codecs on BluRay. I believe the MC12 has 5.1 or 7.1 analog bypass. The MC8 did not. I also think the MC12 analog bypass is not really a bypass but a 5 channel re-digitize??? The advantage is you can use all the Lexicon DSP features. The downside is another AtoD and DtoA in the path.

i have friend using mc12b with no hdmi , the a to d n d to a was great , hes using denon 4010 as bluray player , it "upgrade" the japanese's style sound from 4010 n improve the quality as well

i also use denon 4010 to my krell showcase , i can tell that the bluray player 's sound was kind of thin because there's no proccessing n upsampling from showcase, tradition japnasese style .thats why i sold my krell at last .
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

The product is just too old to invest this level of R&D into no matter what else Lexicon may or may not be up to. Still a great processor, I have an MC8. But in today's technology terms it's ancient. I have mine modified for 7.1 analog bypass input which is how I deal with the newer codecs on BluRay. I believe the MC12 has 5.1 or 7.1 analog bypass. The MC8 did not. I also think the MC12 analog bypass is not really a bypass but a 5 channel re-digitize??? The advantage is you can use all the Lexicon DSP features. The downside is another AtoD and DtoA in the path.

No offense but that comment just makes no sense to me. What does "too old" mean in audio anyway, considering how many people still swear by vinyl and tubes (not me)? I realize the processors would have to be upgraded, but that should not be a big deal or that expensive nowadays, and with that done everything else should be pretty straightforward; they already have the HDMI part done, though that would need updating also. For what Lexicon charges for the MC-12 such an upgrade seems imminently doable to me. A refresh of the faceplate would be required of course for marketing purposes. Apart from room/speaker EQ improvements, I am not so sure any "newer" (how many are there in the Lex price range?) audio processor really sounds better than the Lex even in it's current form. As for the "level" of R&D you mention, what are you talking about? All the audio-specific R&D is already paid for from the MD-20 debacle; and in fact NOT using it is a total waste! It's as if Lexicon is being run by a bunch washed-up purchasing hacks from the Pentagon.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

No offense but that comment just makes no sense to me. What does "too old" mean in audio anyway, considering how many people still swear by vinyl and tubes (not me)? I realize the processors would have to be upgraded, but that should not be a big deal or that expensive nowadays, and with that done everything else should be pretty straightforward; they already have the HDMI part done, though that would need updating also. For what Lexicon charges for the MC-12 such an upgrade seems imminently doable to me. A refresh of the faceplate would be required of course for marketing purposes. Apart from room/speaker EQ improvements, I am not so sure any "newer" (how many are there in the Lex price range?) audio processor really sounds better than the Lex even in it's current form. As for the "level" of R&D you mention, what are you talking about? All the audio-specific R&D is already paid for from the MD-20 debacle; and in fact NOT using it is a total waste! It's as if Lexicon is being run by a bunch washed-up purchasing hacks from the Pentagon.

You need to bark at Lexicon, not us here. I'm just telling you no manufacture the size of Lexicon, especially now that they are part of Harmon, is going to invest R&D in a product of this age. If they were serious about the high end HT processor market, they would have a new model out by now. The fact that they don't indicates to me they have decided to exit this niche market. I agree the Lexicon MC12/8 is a fantastic processor but as far as updates go, I think it's done. I can live with that as I run my Bluray around it. However many do not have the facilities to do that or don't want the added complexity of switching to a different processor just for BluRay.. So there are new products for them to pursue like the ADA which seems to be the hot new processor.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

I can live with that as I run my Bluray around it. However many do not have the facilities to do that or don't want the added complexity of switching to a different processor just for BluRay..
Aside from 3D passthrough, why would you need to run Blu-ray around it? Is your unit pre-HDMI?
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Aside from 3D passthrough, why would you need to run Blu-ray around it? Is your unit pre-HDMI?

Yes. I modified my MC8 for 7.1 direct input basically in this mode the MC8 is just a volume control. The input mod is balanced and I use an external Lucid DAC fed with direct AES from the BluRay player. yes, the BluRay AES output is a mod as well.
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