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Optical (Dolby Digital) vs HDMI (TrueHD) Sound

post #1 of 171
Thread Starter 
I'll try to keep this short.

I have an HD-DVD player that I use for all my HD viewing. It's connected to my reciever by 5.1 anolog outputs allowing me to get TrueHD sound.

I recently purchased a PS3 and figured that I'd just sell the HD-DVD player.

What I wasn't considering is that my my reciever does not have HDMI inputs so the only way I can connect the PS3 to my reciver is by an optical cable.

Is there a noticable difference in sound in listening to a movie in TrueHD versus whatever format my reciever will accept from the Optical Cable? (It's an older Onkyo, mid priced reciever, about 5 years old) I'm assuming it supports dolby digital, DTS, etc, and it's 5.1. If there is a difference in the sound, is it enough to justify having an HD-DVD player for movies and just using my PS3 for gaming? I guess my other option is to sell the HD-DVD player and use that money to buy a new reciever that accepts HDMI...
post #2 of 171
I think there is a pretty big diffrence if of course you have the speakers and surround setup already in place. I just purchased an Onkyo TXSR604 hdmi reciever for $360 from Circuit City. Its on sale for $400 and you can use a printable $40 of $199 & up Coupon. I must say I really love having full HDMI capabilities and at a price that didnt break the bank. If you plan on picking up Resistance it has a great 7.1 pcm soundtrack, Ive read several games plan on using the sound capabilities aggresivley. Also its of course nice for Bluray soundtracks too
post #3 of 171
I use HDMI to my TV for video and the optical to my surround sound system and it is bad ass. I haven't heard anything else to compair but its as good as anything that has come out of my surround system. Its awsome even at only 5.1
post #4 of 171
I'm using optical for my ps3-reciever connection and it sounds incredible! I was under the impression that optical was better, but guess not. It sounds awesome as is.
post #5 of 171
I use HDMI for audio and video, because I didn't want to buy another cable.

Optical is fine, so long as you aren't going to go beyond a 5.1 sound system.
post #6 of 171
The opitical will pass upto 1.5Mbps and 6.1 channel sound. The HDMI connection can give lossless digital sound, I have seen it go as high as 20Mbps, big difference.
post #7 of 171
How many HDMI 1.3 receivers are there right now though? Are you really getting 20mbps of uncompressed audio right now?

I'm pretty happy with the conversion to DTS to be sent over optical on my HD-DVD player. I assume the PS3 also converts to 1.5mbps DTS over optical?
post #8 of 171
Wouldn't your receiver have to support both HDMI 1.3 and True HD for you to get the True HD decoding?

I don't think that running sound through the optical would hurt. You would likely have to pay a lot to get a 1080p HDMI 1.3 receiver w/True HD.
post #9 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by footbag View Post

Wouldn't your receiver have to support both HDMI 1.3 and True HD for you to get the True HD decoding?

I don't think that running sound through the optical would hurt. You would likely have to pay a lot to get a 1080p HDMI 1.3 receiver w/True HD.

The PS3 internally decodes TrueHD (up to 7.1 channels) into PCM. So no, an HDMI 1.3 receiver is not needed. To get TrueHD audio in full resolution, all you need is an HDMI 1.1 receiver that accepts multichannel PCM.
post #10 of 171
I've been thinking about upgrading my receiver again to take advantage of these new formats.. I can get TrueHD from my current receiver through the analog inputs (and I do for HDDVD) but I can't tell a huge difference when switching between DD and TrueHD unfortunately. I can tell that there is a difference, just not what I've expected so far.

I keep hearing how great the PCM sounds and have been tempted to upgrade the entire receiver to an HDMI one.

My question is, for a relatively inexpensive system (several year old 150w subwoofer and 7 speakers ranging anywhere in price from $30 (rear surrounds) to $60 (surrounds) to $90 (front L/R) to $150 (center).. will the difference really be worth the pricy upgrade (I'm hearing $400) to a new receiver to hear the PCM?
post #11 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofdec7 View Post


My question is, for a relatively inexpensive system (several year old 150w subwoofer and 7 speakers ranging anywhere in price from $30 (rear surrounds) to $60 (surrounds) to $90 (front L/R) to $150 (center).. will the difference really be worth the pricy upgrade (I'm hearing $400) to a new receiver to hear the PCM?


Based on the costs of those speakers, I would say no. Unless you got those speakers used, and at an extreme discount. I'm not trying to be snobbish or anything, but I think the benefits of lossless PCM sound come with more top of the line equipment and speakers, and it also has to do with the acoustics of the room that you are using them in. For people that have dedicated home theaters and top of the line speakers, I'm sure the improvement is pretty dramatic. For people with Best Buy type speakers and no acoustical treatments or considerations, the improvement would probably be very modest.
post #12 of 171
Thread Starter 
Let me see if I understand.

To get True HD out of the PS3 all I need is a reciver that will accept HDMI 1.1?

But to get PCM it will have to be a reciever that will accept HDMI 1.3?

My TV is a Samsung 61" DLP Projection HDTV (HL-S6187W) I'm not sure what version of HDMI it supports. How does this affect the setup? Is HDMI backward compatible so that I could feed 1.3 to from the PS3 to the reciever, and then 1.1 out of the reciever into the TV?
post #13 of 171
Thread Starter 
Ok, i think I got it figured out by reading in some other forums. It appears I will only need a reciever with HDMI 1.1 to great sound out of my PS3. Right?

Any chance, (and I seriously doubt it) that there's a way to convert and HDMI signal into 5.1 analog? (Allowing me to keep my current reciever)
post #14 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal1hundred View Post

Any chance, (and I seriously doubt it) that there's a way to convert and HDMI signal into 5.1 analog? (Allowing me to keep my current reciever)

Currently no such device exist. For one, it has to pass 1080i/p video unscathed AND not disrupt the HDCP handshaking. The other is that it has to take the audio and convert it to PCM; this conversion without high quality Digital-to-Analog Conversion components may make the entire process moot.

Once you've got a decent HDTV that you're happy, my advice is to save up for a new receiver. Sherwood is making TWO semi-high end ones that it will release later this year.


fuad
post #15 of 171
I like my JVC RX-D702b digital receiver. Not as high end as most brands, as you would imagine, but I needed a slim receiver to fit in my media stand.

Has 2 HDMI inputs.
post #16 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal1hundred View Post

Let me see if I understand.

To get True HD out of the PS3 all I need is a reciver that will accept HDMI 1.1?

But to get PCM it will have to be a reciever that will accept HDMI 1.3?


I'm pretty sure if you want to get PCM, you just need a receiver that will accept audio via HDMI and is HDMI 1.1 or better. The only reason you would need HDMI 1.3, is if Sony doesn't add DTS MA-HD via their big March firmware upgrade. Then you would need a HDMI 1.3 Receiver that also does DTS MA-HD. But for the lossless PCM that is currently on tons of Blu Rays, you just need HDMI 1.1

Of course, I could be completely wrong about all of that, I'm just trying to learn all this crap too!
post #17 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

I'm pretty sure if you want to get PCM, you just need a receiver that will accept audio via HDMI and is HDMI 1.1 or better. The only reason you would need HDMI 1.3, is if Sony doesn't add DTS MA-HD via their big March firmware upgrade. Then you would need a HDMI 1.3 Receiver that also does DTS MA-HD. But for the lossless PCM that is currently on tons of Blu Rays, you just need HDMI 1.1

Of course, I could be completely wrong about all of that, I'm just trying to learn all this crap too!


The way you just described it is also my understanding of hdmi from many of the threads I have read here.
post #18 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal1hundred View Post


My TV is a Samsung 61" DLP Projection HDTV (HL-S6187W) I'm not sure what version of HDMI it supports. How does this affect the setup? Is HDMI backward compatible so that I could feed 1.3 to from the PS3 to the reciever, and then 1.1 out of the reciever into the TV?

That's my question as well, as I've got an older (Samsung 42" DLP 720p native, accepts 1080i) HDTV. If I upgraded to a HDMI v 1.3 receiver, and went PS3 to receiver to TV, all via HDMI, would the TV still accept the signal? Not sure which version of HDMI it accepts, but safe to assume NOT 1.3. So, I guess I mean, are the HDMI versions backwards compatible so to speak?
post #19 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by shook2323 View Post

That's my question as well, as I've got an older (Samsung 42" DLP 720p native, accepts 1080i) HDTV. If I upgraded to a HDMI v 1.3 receiver, and went PS3 to receiver to TV, all via HDMI, would the TV still accept the signal? Not sure which version of HDMI it accepts, but safe to assume NOT 1.3. So, I guess I mean, are the HDMI versions backwards compatible so to speak?

You can answer this yourself by plugging in a HDMI cable directly to your TV now. It'll work. Just make sure you do not check the 1080p box on the PS3 setting.


fuad
post #20 of 171
Right, it works now, which is PS3 through monoprice 2X1 HDMI switcher to TV.

My worry was that I would get a top end receiver, but my TV wouldn't accept it...
post #21 of 171
PS3 Dolby HD ---> Denon TrueHD reciver ---> Optoma HD72
^that is what i want to run? will the dolby run in its native encoding to the reciver?

I have the same question. I have a older tv so i am not sure if its compatible with a HDMI 1.3 reciver with Dolby HD. WriteSimple, your test method dosnt work, the PS3 will just output a 1.1 HDMI signal skipping the Dolby HD. I wonder if I will loose Dolby HD because its plugged into a old TV. anyone have any sources with proof it will work? if not, i am gonna have to sell my tv before 1.3 hits the main stream. thanks
post #22 of 171
HDMI 1.3 for audio is a joke. Save yourself the $$ and buy a 7.1 HDMI receiver and enjoy uncompressed PCM which is theoretically identical to DTS-HD and TrueHD.
post #23 of 171
What are the specs for the PCM stream post-conversion? 192/24 or something like 48/16 ?
post #24 of 171
pioneer elite vsx81 or higher will work perfect for Decoding with PS3.

it passes 1080 as well.
post #25 of 171
The separation over hdmi vs optical to me is huge... I'm noticing much better separation from front to back using my boston Micro 90 5.1 serup... but then again my new receiver has an autoconfige to adjust the speakers so I *may* not have had the denon avr2700 set up properly.

Jerz
post #26 of 171
If I buy an HDMI receiver now, and it doesn't have Dolby+, if a Blu-ray disk has only Dolby digital and Dolby+ tracks, would I still get lossless audio with my receiver if I select the Dolby+ track?
post #27 of 171
Yes Kevin, as long as the receiver takes audio with HDMI 1.1. This is because the PS3 will convert the DD Tru-HD and DD+ into PCM and send that over HDMI. As an analogy, think of the sound formats like DD+, as .zip files of .wav files.

As an aside, wav files are actually lossless PCM data, except they're 2 channel and usually 16-bit and 44.1 Khz. This means the file is literally sending the processor a new frequency value for each channel (right and left) 44,000 times per second, and that the value is one in a 16-bit (65536 value) range. 0 to 65535 are mapped to actual frequencies from 0 or 20 Hz up to about 20 Khz, and the PCM values are used by the DAC's (digital to analog converters) to recreate the original analog sound created by the speakers. Perhaps knowing this you can see how 96Khz and 24bit (about 16.7 million values vs. 65,000) sound can permit a much more accurate analog signal to be recreated.

Getting back to the analogy, the zipped file is like DD Tru-HD, (DD+ is lossless but not as much as normal DD). For DD Tru-HD the zip file contains the whole entire wav file but just in a different format (it has been losslessly compressed). If you could, whether you get a special media player on your computer that could play the zip files directly (akin to decoding in the receiver), or whether you'd have to extract the wav files before playing them (conversion to PCM in the PS3) makes no difference at all. The same data is there in both cases.
post #28 of 171
Thanks Felgar, you lost me for a minute

But you answered my question and made me feel better about buying my new receiver. The last thing I want is to buy a new one now and find in December that it can't play DD+ and/or DTS-HD audio. I am getting a Denon 2807 which passes PCM over HDMI.
post #29 of 171
Yup, the 2807 will do just fine. (Heh, I can go with the simple version too)
post #30 of 171
Ok, I'm a little lost with all the new HDMI stuff (at least it's new to me). I've got a PS3 hooked up to a Pioneer 5070 plasma via HDMI and I currently run all my audio via optical to my kind of dated RCA theater in a box system. If I want to upgrade, what should I be looking for? I want to go to 7.1, but I'm confused about using multiple HDMI connections. How would I get audio to the receiver and video to the display via HDMI if there's only one HDMI out on the PS3?

Forgive me if this is a basic question, but like I said, I'm new
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