Originally Posted by Bob Sorel
Bob, what lies would you tell the player?
Since the Anthem AVM-40 is on my current short list of pre/pros under consideration, does it do all of the things that you have just explained correctly? Can it redigitize a 6 channel analog input to apply digital processing? Will it pass a 1080p/60 video signal through unmolested? From what I read in the user manual, it looks like it is doing some sort of processing due to the fact that it will allow the user to change the color space and data format. I would want it to simply pass the signal through untouched since it will be coming from a Crystalio 2 exactly the way I want it to go to my display.
Any problems with the AVM-40 in its handling of HDMI audio or 6 channel analog?
As for the AVM-40, I haven't actually played with one myself, but it looks to me like it re-constitutes the input signal as a new output signal. That's not a LOT of processing, but it does allow it to use the correct color space math if it needs to convert an RGB input signal into a YCbCr output signal (or vice versa), and it allows for signal formatting such as the choice of YCbCr 4:4:4 vs. YCbCr 4:2:2 or RGB vs. Extended RGB. There is no input or output level setting, so you will need to do color or gray scale adjustments with the display or source device controls.
It also implements the option found in the AVM-50 and D2 of pretending to the source device that it is directly connected to a TV. Among other things, this gets around the "HDCP Repeater Processing" bug commonly found in cable TV boxes -- i.e., where the cable box simply gives up the instant it discovers it is not directly connected to a TV.
It almost certainly also removes the original input audio and replaces it with a 2 channel mix-down (i.e., for driving speakers built into a TV).
The AVM-40 manual is available for download from the Anthem site. It probably has all the details you need.
The AVM-40 is too new for there to have been any real feedback yet. Based on the AVM-50, I would expect the HDMI 6 channel PCM, and 6 channel analog, to work just peachy. HDMI itself will still have some issues -- mostly, but not quite entirely -- due to strangeness in various source and destination devices. I know of no deal breakers, although Anthem is fighting a particularly stupid bug right now that they introduced in the latest software release which breaks 1080i for about 10% of the D2 and AVM-50 users (no idea if it impacts AVM-40). A fix is expected shortly since this problem did not exist in the prior software.
As for lying to the player, it's nothing that would get your conscience too worked up.
Basically you describe a speaker configuration to the player that leaves it with nothing to do. So:
1) You tell it you have a full complement of speakers, including a subwoofer, whether or not that is true.
2) You tell it that all of your main speakers are "large".
3) You tell it that all of your main speakers are at the same distance from the listening position. The distance you choose is irrelevant as long as they all get set the same.
4) You tell it that all of your speakers need no volume adjustment to stay in proper balance.
5) If it asks whether you have dipole or direct surrounds, you tell it they are all direct.
Essentially, these lies tell the player that it has no bass steering, missing speaker content steering, time alignment or volume balancing to do. Thus the audio track channels should pass through to the pre/pro unchanged. The pre/pro, of course, will have to take it from there, so you have to tell the truth to the pre/pro. Again, this is only relevant if you have a pre/pro that can process multi-channel ANALOG inputs this way, and you want the pre/pro to do this work instead of the player.