Originally Posted by AbMagFab
Thanks, this is great.
I have a great local dealer, where I got my current batch of items, so I'm good there.
"Deep Color" - Are you saying there isn't a source out there yet that supports sending deep color? I know I have my projector set this way, and it was calibrated this way. I was under the impression that the setting I configured on my HTPC also set it this way? If nothin now, what was it implemented for? But I'm not totally up to speed on this, so can you give me a little more detail, and/or shoot me a link?
I don't care about DTS-MA/HD or TrueHD decoding in the pre-pro, but I do care about multi-channel LPCM. Are you saying the D2 only supports 6-channel LPCM over HDMI, and not 8-channel? That's actually a potential big deal, as more and more BD are coming with 7.1 soundtracks (not many right now, but presumable we should be seeing more). Is this software/firmware upgradable, or a hardware limitation?
In terms of one HDMI out - does it support a second output over component, or even composite? If I wanted to have a small display in my rack area, does it support upping everything to HDMI, and at the same time sending everything to component or composite? Or is there only one path, digital or analog?
The constant-height thing could become an issue, but when I'm ready for a 2.4 screen, I'll need to upgrade my projector to one that makes it easier to switch formats via IR or something (my current VW60 might actually support it already).
Non-issues for me (now and as far out as I can see): 6-channel analog in, single sub control (although this might be an issue in the distant future, I can probably live with it or upgrade then), serial-port upgrades, ethernet (would be nice, but hardly a deal-killer).
Thanks again for the thorough response. If you can help a little more with my additional questions, that would be great!
The ONLY sources for "Deep Color" content at the moment are a new HD camcorder (Sony I believe), or computer graphics rendered on the fly from a special computer graphics card (note that this does NOT mean playing movie discs on an HTPC).
The Blu-Ray and HD-DVD disc specs don't support "Deep Color". There may be a NEW disc format in the future that adds it, but the contents of every "Blu-Ray" and "HD-DVD" disc are, and always will be "traditional color". The data on those discs is also recorded as YCbCr 4:2:0 (i.e., both the horizontal and vertical spatial color resolution are halved compared to gray scale spatial resolution). Basically they can't cram more color data into those formats without running afoul of the disk capacity and max bits per second disk read limits for the format.
Similarly, there is no "deep color" content for HDTV, SD-DVD discs, or SD-TV.
There have been various claims that video processors can take "traditional color" input and produce better "deep color" output by using the extra bits to hold what would otherwise be rounding errors in their processing. Although you can imagine cases where this would produce a measurable improvement, in real world video watching you can't really gain because you can't create information that wasn't in the source content to begin with. Rounding errors are ALREADY built into the source content.
NOTE HOWEVER: 10 or 12 bit (i.e., deep color) video processing INSIDE of devices -- whether video processors or TVs -- *IS* a good thing with real benefits. It is the step to where you are TRANSMITTING that color bandwidth over the HDMI V1.3 cables where things get kind of hand-wavy. Also Deep Color puts higher demands on HDMI cable quality, just like higher video resolution does.
Yes, the D2 (and AVM-50) only support 6 channel (5.1) input for HDMI PCM, just as is the case for their multi-channel Analog inputs. The Anthems will "process" that up to 7.1 speaker output.
We have a poster here, FILMMIXER, who is in the business of making audio tracks for big budget, commercial movies. He has commented on this several times, basically to the effect that the result of feeding 5.1 into the Anthem and letting it produce 7.1 output is very good indeed -- often indistinguishable. But that there are some few films which are attempting to feature aggressive rear surround content in 7.1 tracks.
Personally, I think 7.1 content will be nothing much more than a novelty for quite some time -- quite possibly forever. Keep in mind that movie theaters aren't set up for 7.1 either.
Nevertheless, it is a true limit of the Anthems, and the Anthems will almost certainly NOT receive an upgrade to add 7.1 input. If that bothers you, then the Anthems are not for you.
NOTE: This is a bigger deal for cheaper AVRs that DON'T offer a good audio solution for raising 5.1 input to 7.1 speaker output. Keep in mind that the vast majority of the home theater market out there right now is 5.1 speakers or less, and commercial movies are produced accordingly. That means even 7.1 tracks are designed to work well in 5.1 speaker setups. And matrixing rear surround content into the side surround channels of a 7.1 track, specifically to help 5.1 input systems produce 7.1 speaker output, is still normal.
The Component output situation is complicated. First you can't get most HDMI sources out as Component due to copy protection.
You CAN "pass through" a Component source to the Zone 2 Component outputs while ALSO processing an HDMI source for the Main outputs. If you want these to be from the same device then you need a source that has both styles of output active simultaneously.
NOTE: Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have, in their specs and in every player, a restriction that can be activated by any movie disc that prohibits high def video output over Component whether or not you are also using HDMI. To date there are NO DISCS that activate this restriction, and there is no reason to believe the studios are going to activate that restriction for new movies any time soon. So right now, most of those players implement unrestricted Component simultaneous with HDMI. But just so you know...
Also, most HDTV set top boxes allow simultaneous Component and HDMI. But most upscaling SD-DVD players DO NOT! For SD-DVD players you will likely be limited to NO Component output (not even 480i or 480p) if you are using the HDMI output.
Finally, the Anthem only has one video processor. If you are using that to process HDMI video (scaling and such) for your Main display, then you can't separately process Component video for your Zone 2 display. Your choices are to have Zone 2 be a COPY of the Main input (either processed or unprocessed) or to be UNprocessed video from another source. And if you Copy the Main video processed, you can't separately control the processing for Zone 2. That means you can't scale Main to one resolution for you primary display and Zone 2 to another resolution for your secondary display for example.
Most people use Zone 2 by separately cabling Component from their sources and passing UNprocessed Component to their secondary display (which means scaling and such gets done inside the secondary display).
See Chapter 2 of the manual for details.