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OPPO Digital Presents: DV-980H (1080p, SACD DSD, 7.1 Surround, USB 2.0) - Page 204

post #6091 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitting Bull View Post

Since Oppo has stated that their new Blu-Ray player will be the 980 with BD thrown in, I have a question.

Does the 980 natively decode the various Dolby and DTS options, etc., or does it off load this processing onto the AVR?

I ask this because I have heard, though not personally verified, that AVRs with Audyssey on board cannot handle the additional task of Dolby/DTS decoding at the same time, due to lack of processing power.

Any ideas folks?

There is no limitation on standard DD and DTS audio with any AVR's/processors while using Audyssey.
The only one I have heard of is that some AVRs are limited with 192KHZ audio, and that the Audyssey is not functionable with it.
However, for most people 192KHZ audio is very rare.
Not all processors have this limitation.

I believe the DV-980H will decode standard DD and DTS, and as an option can convert that audio and output it as PCM.
The user can also choose to bitstream the audio and have the AVR/processor decode the audio.
Usually it's best to let the AVR decode it when possible.
post #6092 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitting Bull View Post

Since Oppo has stated that their new Blu-Ray player will be the 980 with BD thrown in, I have a question.

Does the 980 natively decode the various Dolby and DTS options, etc., or does it off load this processing onto the AVR?

I ask this because I have heard, though not personally verified, that AVRs with Audyssey on board cannot handle the additional task of Dolby/DTS decoding at the same time, due to lack of processing power. Thus the AVR will dispense with its Audyssey processing if Dolby or DTS decoding is also required.

Any ideas folks?

I just took one for the team and cancelled audio CD playback. Upon further investigation, the DV-980H offers the option to

1) send out the raw audio (ac3, dts bitstream)
2) send out PCM up to 192khz

The settings apply to the S/PDIF (digital + coaxial) and can be applied to the HDMI output as well.
post #6093 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

I got this response from Oppo clarifying their last e-mail:

"The LT/RT option is designed for Stereo sources which have ProLogic flags. You should not be using this setting when playing back sources which lack ProLogic flagging. DVD-Audio and SACD do not have ProLogic flags, so you will want to use STEREO as your DownMix. Otherwise, if you are loading the multi-channel tracks, you will be losing the Center and Surround information.

Your receiver may matrix 5.1 channels from Stereo, but it is using only the LEFT and RIGHT channel information. None of the original CENTER or SURROUND information is used in your current configuration."

So it appears I've misunderstood the manual's recommended settings for using the L&R analog outputs for SACD/DVD-A sources.

The manual states to set downmix to Lt/Rt when the analog L&R outputs are connected to a Pro Logic capable processor. I thought this meant that the center and surround information would be mixed into the L&R channels so that the processor could then properly decode the center and surround information using Pro Logic II.

But Oppo's response indicates this only works for discs encoded for Pro Logic and that SACDs and DVD-As do not include this encoding. So in my case where I've set downmix to Lt/Rt, Oppo is saying that center and surround information is being lost. It's funny though, it doesn't sound like anything is missing. So it seems I need to set downmix to "Stereo" so I won't be losing any information.

Anyone else have any experience with this? Or am I the only one trying to get multichannel sound out of the 2 channel outputs?

There are a number of DVD movies that include THX test tones. You should find one and have it play each channel's test tone. That way you will know if you are getting the center and surround channels mixed into the stereo analog outputs. My copies of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 both have these test tones. There are many other movies that have them.
post #6094 of 6369
I have to say I am a bit frustrated with the zoom modes in this model.

If I play back 4:3 picture on DVD, I am getting black bars on the left and right of my 16:9 screen. That is to be expected if the aspect ratio is correct. I am running the newest firmware and have the TV Display option set to "16:9 Wide / Auto."

Now to eliminate the black bars on the left and right of my screen, I would have to zoom in by factor four thirds (roughly 133% of the original picture).

The Oppo has the 120% zoom option. When I use this, the black bars do disappear. By the numbers, that makes no sense, as a 20% increase in picture size should still show black bars. The real problem, however, is not the number. As someone else pointed out a few months back, the aspect ratio gets disrupted on this zoom option. At least this is my experience with letterboxed 4:3 DVDs. You know, the terrible picture format that puts widescreen into 4:3 picture, resulting in bars not only on the left and right, but on the top and bottom as well.

Basically, what I would like to see is a 33% zoom option so that the widescreen monitor gets filled with 4:3 picture (cropped at top and bottom obviously).

With letterboxed 4:3 DVDs, the only reasonable zooming option is the 2.0 factor. Contrary to the 1.2 and 1.5 zooming options, the 2.0 option does keep the aspect ration correctly. Yet there is just way too much picture cropped, and an unnecessary loss of picture resolution.

I hope this gets looked into for a possible firmware update or maybe future Oppo products.
post #6095 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by simpucker View Post

I hope this gets looked into for a possible firmware update or maybe future Oppo products.

The 983H and BDP-83 have better zoom modes, including a full-screen zoom which is the right amount to eliminate pillarboxes on 4:3 titles.

-Bill
post #6096 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

I got this response from Oppo clarifying their last e-mail:

"The LT/RT option is designed for Stereo sources which have ProLogic flags. You should not be using this setting when playing back sources which lack ProLogic flagging. DVD-Audio and SACD do not have ProLogic flags, so you will want to use STEREO as your DownMix. Otherwise, if you are loading the multi-channel tracks, you will be losing the Center and Surround information.

Your receiver may matrix 5.1 channels from Stereo, but it is using only the LEFT and RIGHT channel information. None of the original CENTER or SURROUND information is used in your current configuration."

So it appears I've misunderstood the manual's recommended settings for using the L&R analog outputs for SACD/DVD-A sources.

The manual states to set downmix to Lt/Rt when the analog L&R outputs are connected to a Pro Logic capable processor. I thought this meant that the center and surround information would be mixed into the L&R channels so that the processor could then properly decode the center and surround information using Pro Logic II.

But Oppo's response indicates this only works for discs encoded for Pro Logic and that SACDs and DVD-As do not include this encoding. So in my case where I've set downmix to Lt/Rt, Oppo is saying that center and surround information is being lost. It's funny though, it doesn't sound like anything is missing. So it seems I need to set downmix to "Stereo" so I won't be losing any information.

Anyone else have any experience with this? Or am I the only one trying to get multichannel sound out of the 2 channel outputs?

I did some testing using the SACD "A Chorus Line". I read a review that mentioned on the first track the choreographer's voice comes from behind. I figured this would give me a good idea of what I should be hearing.

*Note: Please keep in mind that I am only speaking about listening to SACD and DVD-Audio titles via the L&R analog outputs on the 980H, NOT DVD Video titles (For DVD Video I bitstream via digital coax to my processor).

When I set downmix to "Lt/Rt", this is exactly what I hear and nothing seems missing. If I set downmix to "Stereo", the image collapses to the front and sounds much like the regular stereo CD. Again, nothing seems to be missing. This seems to contradict what Oppo was telling me. According to Oppo, when set to Lt/Rt I should be missing all the center and surround information, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

Out of curiousity, I set downmix to 5.1 (even though I'm only using the L&R outputs) to see what would happen. As expected, the center and surround information was obviously missing. For example, the choreographer's voice only appeared as an echo/ambience in the front channels. This seems to confirm that the choreographer's voice is suppose to come from the surround channels. What was unexpected was the fact that the audio that was coming from the L&R channels was obviously clearer/better and had more dynamic range. So there does appear some audible degrading of the audio quality when downmixing.

This has again left me a bit confused about Oppo's recommended settings for my setup. One thing is clear, however. Setting downmix to 5.1 definately is audibly superior to the other 2 channel downmix options. This makes a stronger case for either swapping my 980H with my 51 so that the 980H can use my processor's multichannel inputs (I would lose lossless decoding for BDs however) or replacing the 51 with a BD player that will also do SACD and DVD-Audio.

I'd appreciate anyone sharing their experience they may have with this or knowledge about what the different downmix settings are actually doing. As it stands, contrary to Oppo's recommendation, I set downmix back to "Lt/Rt" as this sounds the most "correct".
post #6097 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

*Note: Please keep in mind that I am only speaking about listening to SACD and DVD-Audio titles via the L&R analog outputs on the 980H, NOT DVD Video titles (For DVD Video I bitstream via digital coax to my processor).

I just completed some testing of my own. First I connected a stereo analog cable from the left and right front outputs on my Oppo to my A/V receiver. Then I manually changed the DVD input on my receiver from HDMI to analog and changed the audio mode to direct in order to only play back the front left and right speakers.

I used the 5.1 test tones on my DVD Audio recording of the 1812 Overture on Telarc. With the Oppo down-mix set to 5.1, Lt/Rt, and Stereo, I heard no sound from the center and surround test tones. Only when I set the down-mix to V. Surround did I here the center and surround test tones. It doesn't appear from the user manual that this was what Oppo intended. From reading the manual, it seems like I should have heard the center and surround test tones from both the Lt/Rt and stereo down-mix settings.
post #6098 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmcdo View Post

I just completed some testing of my own. First I connected a stereo analog cable from the left and right front outputs on my Oppo to my A/V receiver. Then I manually changed the DVD input on my receiver from HDMI to analog and changed the audio mode to direct in order to only play back the front left and right speakers.

I used the 5.1 test tones on my DVD Audio recording of the 1812 Overture on Telarc. With the Oppo down-mix set to 5.1, Lt/Rt, and Stereo, I heard no sound from the center and surround test tones. Only when I set the down-mix to V. Surround did I here the center and surround test tones. It doesn't appear from the user manual that this was what Oppo intended. From reading the manual, it seems like I should have heard the center and surround test tones from both the Lt/Rt and stereo down-mix settings.

Thanks for checking. I didn't try the V. Surround option as I thought that was just for letting the 980H convert 2 channel sources to multichannel for output via the multichannel outputs. I'll give that a try and see what happens.

I'm puzzled by one thing you said. You said you hooked up only the L&R channels from the 980H to your A/V receiver, changed the input to analog/direct. So when the 980H sent 2 channels to your receiver, how is it that your receiver output multi channels when set to "direct" when only receiving 2 channels? Was the receiver using the information from the 980Hs 2 channels to recreate the center and surround by using some kind of processing (Pro Logic II?)?
post #6099 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

Thanks for checking. I didn't try the V. Surround option as I thought that was just for letting the 980H convert 2 channel sources to multichannel for output via the multichannel outputs. I'll give that a try and see what happens.

I'm puzzled by one thing you said. You said you hooked up only the L&R channels from the 980H to your A/V receiver, changed the input to analog/direct. So when the 980H sent 2 channels to your receiver, how is it that your receiver output multi channels when set to "direct" when only receiving 2 channels? Was the receiver using the information from the 980Hs 2 channels to recreate the center and surround by using some kind of processing (Pro Logic II?)?

I set my receiver to direct so that it would not apply any processing to the signal. My receiver only output the stereo signal it received from the Oppo. The whole point of the experiment was to see what settings in the Oppo would cause center and rear channel signals to be mixed into the front left and right stereo channels in the Oppo.
post #6100 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmcdo View Post

I set my receiver to direct so that it would not apply any processing to the signal. My receiver only output the stereo signal it received from the Oppo. The whole point of the experiment was to see what settings in the Oppo would cause center and rear channel signals to be mixed into the front left and right stereo channels in the Oppo.

After rereading your post, I see what you were doing. Silly me thought you meant you heard tones coming from the center and surround speakers.

I tried the V. Surround option and like the Stereo option, the sound on A Chorus Line SACD collapsed to the front without much surround information even with Pro Logic II processing. The review I read about this recording said that on the first track the choreographer's voice comes from the rear RT surround. The only 2 channel downmix option that achieves this is Lt/Rt. According to Oppo, this information should be lost when using Lt/Rt. To confirm the voice should come from the surrounds, I set downmix to 5.1 although on the L&R output connections are being used, and sure enough, the voice was missing.

From your testing it seems that in Lt/Rt and Stereo, the center and surround information is lost. According to Oppo, it should only be lost when set to Lt/Rt. Reading the manual, it seems that the correct setting for Pro Logic II processing is Lt/Rt (Oppo says this is only for 2 channel sources with Pro Logic II encoding).

What I find strange is that unless I set downmix to Lt/Rt, there isn't much information in the surrounds when using Pro Logic II. This result was consistant accross several SACD/DVD-A titles. According to Oppo the center and surround information should be lost with this setting, and your test seems to confirm that, but it doesn't seem that way in listening to actual content.

Oppo has told me that SACD and DVD-A recordings do not include Pro Logic II encoding in the L&R channels. I wonder if the recordings I've listen to actually do have this encoding?

I've also noticed something else after listening to several different SACD/DVD-A recordings. For some reason it seems there isn't near as much bass in the multichannel version as there is in the stereo version. Has anyone else noticed this? Is it possible that I'm doing something wrong in my setup that's causing this? Or is this simply a difference in how it's mixed in Stereo and Multichannel? Turning up the sub on a multichannel recording doesn't give a satisfactory result.
post #6101 of 6369
Thread Starter 
You may want to note this in the Manual (PG 42):

• Lt/Rt – Dolby Pro Logic II Left Total/Right Total. This mode is intended for use with two channel Dolby Pro Logic II receivers. The center and surround channels are mixed into the two front channels according to the Lt/Rt matrix. A Dolby Pro Logic II receiver will decode the two-channel audio into surround audio.
• Stereo - This mode down-mixes decoded multi-channel (5.1ch) audio to 2-channel stereo output. For original stereo content the output will still be stereo. For original multi-channel content the surround and center channels will be mixed with the left and right

Support is mistaken about the purpose of Lt/Rt. What they needed to explain is that the algorithms for mixing may be different, as the Lt/Rt is designed to be used on a ProLogic configuration. The performance may be different.

As for different bass performance, this can be due to differences in bass management. Multi-channel recordings usually have a dedicated LFE track, while Stereo recordings do not. Depending on how you have the player/receiver set for bass management will determine how much bass you get from the Mains and Subwoofer.
post #6102 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

After rereading your post, I see what you were doing. Silly me thought you meant you heard tones coming from the center and surround speakers.

My interpretation of the Oppo directions is that in the stereo down-mix mode the surrounds would be mixed straight into the corresponding front channels while the center would be mixed equally into both front channels. With the Lt/Rt down-mix mode, it sounds like they are mixing these same channels into the front channels using Dolby Pro Logic II encoding so that an AV receiver can retrieve an approximation of the surround mix using DPL II decoding. I don't know why it didn't work this way with my setup. I have searched through the user manual to see if there is some other setting that needs to be enabled in order for the down-mix modes to work as stated, but I can't find any.

It's also interesting to note that the LFE channel is not mentioned in the down-mix instructions, so I don't know what their intention is for this channel. I forgot to state that in my experiment the LFE channel test tone did not get mixed into the fronts using the V. Surround down-mix mode. Not all multichannel recordings use the LFE channel, but with the ones that do it would appear that this channel would be totally lost when mixing multichannels down to stereo.

My suggestion would be that you set the SACD priority to 2-Channel (p. 41). That way you'll get all the channels already mixed to stereo by the manufacturer. Unfortunately there is no comparable setting for DVD-A because these discs don't usually include a stereo mix.

An even better suggestion would be to go ahead and listen to the full surround mix through the multichannel analog inputs on your receiver. For many years I shared the multichannel analog inputs on my old receiver between a Pioneer SACD/DVD-A player and a Pioneer quadraphonic open reel tape deck using Y connectors. I never noticed any degradation in the sound quality with this arrangement. You could do the same thing with your Oppo and blu-ray players.
post #6103 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuromancer View Post

You may want to note this in the Manual (PG 42):

• Lt/Rt – Dolby Pro Logic II Left Total/Right Total. This mode is intended for use with two channel Dolby Pro Logic II receivers. The center and surround channels are mixed into the two front channels according to the Lt/Rt matrix. A Dolby Pro Logic II receiver will decode the two-channel audio into surround audio.
• Stereo - This mode down-mixes decoded multi-channel (5.1ch) audio to 2-channel stereo output. For original stereo content the output will still be stereo. For original multi-channel content the surround and center channels will be mixed with the left and right

Support is mistaken about the purpose of Lt/Rt. What they needed to explain is that the algorithms for mixing may be different, as the Lt/Rt is designed to be used on a ProLogic configuration. The performance may be different.

As for different bass performance, this can be due to differences in bass management. Multi-channel recordings usually have a dedicated LFE track, while Stereo recordings do not. Depending on how you have the player/receiver set for bass management will determine how much bass you get from the Mains and Subwoofer.

Thanks. That explanation better coincides with what I'm actually hearing. So it appears that (as I thought) information from the center/surrounds is not lost when downmix is set to Lt/Rt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmcdo View Post

My interpretation of the Oppo directions is that in the stereo down-mix mode the surrounds would be mixed straight into the corresponding front channels while the center would be mixed equally into both front channels. With the Lt/Rt down-mix mode, it sounds like they are mixing these same channels into the front channels using Dolby Pro Logic II encoding so that an AV receiver can retrieve an approximation of the surround mix using DPL II decoding. I don’t know why it didn’t work this way with my setup. I have searched through the user manual to see if there is some other setting that needs to be enabled in order for the down-mix modes to work as stated, but I can’t find any.

It’s also interesting to note that the LFE channel is not mentioned in the down-mix instructions, so I don’t know what their intention is for this channel. I forgot to state that in my experiment the LFE channel test tone did not get mixed into the fronts using the V. Surround down-mix mode. Not all multichannel recordings use the LFE channel, but with the ones that do it would appear that this channel would be totally lost when mixing multichannels down to stereo.
My suggestion would be that you set the SACD priority to 2-Channel (p. 41). That way you’ll get all the channels already mixed to stereo by the manufacturer. Unfortunately there is no comparable setting for DVD-A because these discs don’t usually include a stereo mix.

An even better suggestion would be to go ahead and listen to the full surround mix through the multichannel analog inputs on your receiver. For many years I shared the multichannel analog inputs on my old receiver between a Pioneer SACD/DVD-A player and a Pioneer quadraphonic open reel tape deck using Y connectors. I never noticed any degradation in the sound quality with this arrangement. You could do the same thing with your Oppo and blu-ray players.

I was wondering the same thing about the LFE channel. Perhaps this information is being lost when downmixed? In the 980H I have the L&R speakers set to large, center and surrounds are greyed out, and sub is set to off. I thought with the sub set to off, LFE information would be mixed into the L&R channels.......perhaps not?

I agree the best solution is to use the multichannel connections so downmixing to 2 channels wouldn't be needed. I also considered using Y connectors, but was advised by Anthem that this could cause an issue depending on how the players behave, so I decided against that option.

So it seems I'm down to the following options:

1. Leave things as they are (BD player connected via multichannel analog and 980H connected via digital coax and 2 channel analog). This gives me access to the lossless tracks on BDs. Multichannel music would be compromised by the downmixing to 2 channels. I do watch movies much more than I listen to multichannel music so this may still be an acceptable solution that wouldn't cost me anything.

2. Switch my 980H and BD player connections. This would give me the best from multichannel audio recordings, but I would lose access to the lossless tracks on BDs. I really don't know how much difference this would make so I may test it and see if I notice much difference. I do know that I've noticed BD movies sound better, but I don't know if it's due to the lossless codecs or just that the standard lossless tracks can use their maximum bitrates. Again, this opton costs nothing.

3. Replace both players with a single player that handles all formats. This would give the best of both music and movies, but since I like to use the center channel for movies but not for music, I would have to change the center channel setting depending on whether I am listening to multichannel music or movies. Of course this option would involve the cost of a new player.

Any thoughts on these options?
post #6104 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

Thanks. That explanation better coincides with what I'm actually hearing. So it appears that (as I thought) information from the center/surrounds is not lost when downmix is set to Lt/Rt.



I was wondering the same thing about the LFE channel. Perhaps this information is being lost when downmixed? In the 980H I have the L&R speakers set to large, center and surrounds are greyed out, and sub is set to off. I thought with the sub set to off, LFE information would be mixed into the L&R channels.......perhaps not?

I agree the best solution is to use the multichannel connections so downmixing to 2 channels wouldn't be needed. I also considered using Y connectors, but was advised by Anthem that this could cause an issue depending on how the players behave, so I decided against that option.

So it seems I'm down to the following options:

1. Leave things as they are (BD player connected via multichannel analog and 980H connected via digital coax and 2 channel analog). This gives me access to the lossless tracks on BDs. Multichannel music would be compromised by the downmixing to 2 channels. I do watch movies much more than I listen to multichannel music so this may still be an acceptable solution that wouldn't cost me anything.

2. Switch my 980H and BD player connections. This would give me the best from multichannel audio recordings, but I would lose access to the lossless tracks on BDs. I really don't know how much difference this would make so I may test it and see if I notice much difference. I do know that I've noticed BD movies sound better, but I don't know if it's due to the lossless codecs or just that the standard lossless tracks can use their maximum bitrates. Again, this opton costs nothing.

3. Replace both players with a single player that handles all formats. This would give the best of both music and movies, but since I like to use the center channel for movies but not for music, I would have to change the center channel setting depending on whether I am listening to multichannel music or movies. Of course this option would involve the cost of a new player.

Any thoughts on these options?

Apparently your AVR doesn't have HDMI so your options are limited. Only you can decide what best meets your needs and budget.

If it were me and it was within my budget my first choice would be to invest in a new AVR/Processor that has HDMI capabilities.

My second choice would be to purchase a new player such as the Oppo BDP-83. It plays everything and you could use the multichannel analog outputs for music and movies.

A third option would be an analog switch but these might not be a cost effective option if you consider the price of the Oppo. However, you may be able to find a used one on audiogon or ebay. Zektor is one solution that comes to mind.
post #6105 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch57 View Post

Apparently your AVR doesn't have HDMI so your options are limited. Only you can decide what best meets your needs and budget.

If it were me and it was within my budget my first choice would be to invest in a new AVR/Processor that has HDMI capabilities.

My second choice would be to purchase a new player such as the Oppo BDP-83. It plays everything and you could use the multichannel analog outputs for music and movies.

A third option would be an analog switch but these might not be a cost effective option if you consider the price of the Oppo. However, you may be able to find a used one on audiogon or ebay. Zektor is one solution that comes to mind.

Thanks for the suggestions.

As always, budget is the limiting factor. Replacing my Anthem AVM20 processor (non-HDMI) with something of equal/better quality and flexibility is way out of my budget. Even getting something like the Oppo 83 is stretching it a bit (I need a new amp so I have to account for that as well). I am waiting to see what Oppo's new player will offer (and at what price).

I think I'd rather get a new player than an analog switch because of the expense of a quality switch plus I'm not looking to add additional components.

While I'm waiting to see what Oppo will offer in their new BD player, I think I'll do some testing to see how much difference I notice between lossless and lossy codecs on movies. If I don't notice the difference, I'll just just swap connections for now and revisit my options later.

So it's down to keeping the two players I have now, or replace them with one new player.
post #6106 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

Thanks. That explanation better coincides with what I'm actually hearing. So it appears that (as I thought) information from the center/surrounds is not lost when downmix is set to Lt/Rt.

I'm well aware that the user manuals states that using the Lt/Lt down-mix results in the center and surround channels being added into the front channels. However this does not work with DVD-Audio discs, at least not on my Oppo player.

I just tried the same experiment with the test tones from a standard DVD, and both the Stereo and Lt/Rt down-mix modes work correctly as advertised. I don't have any SACD's with test tones so I can't perform this experiment with a SACD. It appears that these down-mix settings only apply to standard DVDs.

My recommendation would be to connect both components to the multichannel inputs using Y connectors. As long as you don't turn on both at the same time, I don't see how there could be any harm.
post #6107 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmcdo View Post

I'm well aware that the user manuals states that using the Lt/Lt down-mix results in the center and surround channels being added into the front channels. However this does not work with DVD-Audio discs, at least not on my Oppo player.

I just tried the same experiment with the test tones from a standard DVD, and both the Stereo and Lt/Rt down-mix modes work correctly as advertised. I don't have any SACD's with test tones so I can't perform this experiment with a SACD. It appears that these down-mix settings only apply to standard DVDs.

My recommendation would be to connect both components to the multichannel inputs using Y connectors. As long as you don't turn on both at the same time, I don't see how there could be any harm.

Perhaps Oppo was correct when they told me that SACDs/DVD-As don't get downmixed when set to Lt/Rt. Perhaps what I think sounds correct when listening to actual material isn't really correct. Whatever the case, you are right that the best solution is not to downmix to 2 channel if possible.

Regarding using Y connectors, Anthem said it depends on the behavior of the connected players circuits, even in standby, that would determine if there is a problem or not. Personally, I'd rather not risk it and use another option.

Right now I'm leaning towards swapping the connections of my BD player and 980H and just forgo the option of using the lossless codecs for movies, at least until I decide if I'm going to just replace the two players with one that will handle all formats.

I really appreciate the feedback and effort you guys have put into helping me with this. At a minimum it's been very educational.
post #6108 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

I think I'd rather get a new player than an analog switch because of the expense of a quality switch plus I'm not looking to add additional components.

Another switching option would be three "cheap but reliable" Radio Shack stereo switches (2 stereo pairs in, 1 pair out, about $15 each) as suggested by Kal Rubinson in this thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1146284
However, in line with your budget concerns, I think even $45 is too much to spend on what may be a short-term interim solution. (The RS stereo switches would be a good option if you were planning to keep using your existing players.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

While I'm waiting to see what Oppo will offer in their new BD player, I think I'll do some testing to see how much difference I notice between lossless and lossy codecs on movies. If I don't notice the difference, I'll just just swap connections for now and revisit my options later.

That is a good idea, as an interim solution. Then you will be able to listen to the high-quality multichannel tracks on your SACD and DVD-A discs without any downmixing/upmixing workaround. There have been many comments that it is difficult to hear the difference between the "legacy" lossy audio codecs and the lossless codecs on blu-ray. (The lossy audio codecs are higher bit rate on blu-ray than on standard DVD, in particular 640 kbps vs 448 kbps for Dolby Digital.) The following article (which I've seen cited a lot) may also be of interest. This discusses listening test comparisons of various Dolby and DTS audio codecs, done by journalists for an AV magazine on the "reference systems" at the Dolby and DTS headquarters. Quote: "From both listening sessions, I came away with a newfound respect for the abilities of these audio codecs to deliver excellent sound quality at dramatically reduced bitrates."
http://www.hemagazine.com/node/Dolby...compressed_PCM
post #6109 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic icons View Post

Another switching option would be three "cheap but reliable" Radio Shack stereo switches (2 stereo pairs in, 1 pair out, about $15 each) as suggested by Kal Rubinson in this thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1146284
However, in line with your budget concerns, I think even $45 is too much to spend on what may be a short-term interim solution. (The RS stereo switches would be a good option if you were planning to keep using your existing players.)



That is a good idea, as an interim solution. Then you will be able to listen to the high-quality multichannel tracks on your SACD and DVD-A discs without any downmixing/upmixing workaround. There have been many comments that it is difficult to hear the difference between the "legacy" lossy audio codecs and the lossless codecs on blu-ray. (The lossy audio codecs are higher bit rate on blu-ray than on standard DVD, in particular 640 kbps vs 448 kbps for Dolby Digital.) The following article (which I've seen cited a lot) may also be of interest. This discusses listening test comparisons of various Dolby and DTS audio codecs, done by journalists for an AV magazine on the "reference systems" at the Dolby and DTS headquarters. Quote: "From both listening sessions, I came away with a newfound respect for the abilities of these audio codecs to deliver excellent sound quality at dramatically reduced bitrates."
http://www.hemagazine.com/node/Dolby...compressed_PCM

Thanks for the great link. Looks like I may not even notice a difference between lossy and lossless unless there is a difference in the mixes.

I haven't had a chance yet to change connections to test this, but hope to do so soon.
post #6110 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

Thanks for the great link. Looks like I may not even notice a difference between lossy and lossless unless there is a difference in the mixes.

I haven't had a chance yet to change connections to test this, but hope to do so soon.

I got a chance to swap the connections on my 980H and 51, so now the 980H is connected to the multichannel inputs on my processor and the 51 is connected to the digital input for bitstreaming.

I first checked out the BD "Slumdog Millionaire" on the 51 to see if I would notice a difference between DTS-MA and core DTS. It seemed there might be a slight difference in favor of DTS-MA, but I am not sure. This is actually a good thing as it seems any loss in AQ is very minor if at all.

Considering when watching movies my attention is on video and audio, I think this will work out fine. When listening to music, my sole focus is on audio so I'm more likely to notice AQ differences.

This brings me to the 980H, now hooked up via multichannel analog with downmix set to 5.1. Now here there is a marked improvement over downmixing to 2 channel then using Pro Logic II to extract the multichannel mix. So no more downmixing to 2 channel for me!

However, it still seems on some recordings, particulary "A Chorus Line" and "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Extraordinaire" (I know, Christmas is over) that the multichannel mix has much less bass than the stereo mixes. Listening to other titles from Billy Joel and Five for Fighting, there is no lack of bass on the multichannel mixes, so I've come to the conclusion that it is just a difference in the mixes and there is nothing wrong with my setup or the 980H.

This makes my decision about whether or not to replace my 980H/51 combo with a single player (probably either the Oppo 80 or 83) more difficult. As I see it, the primary gains would be fewer components/simpler hookup (minor gain, IMO), possibly better sound from SACDs on the 83 (not sure if I would notice the difference and not sure about the 80), better error correction for BDs (the 51 is a bit sensitive to this, and IMO this would be the primary benefit), and faster BD handling (I say that the 51 is fine, but I might think different if I actually had a much faster BD player)

The main downside would be cost considering I've already spent $700 for the 51 and 980H. Even if I could recoupe $300 for both (not sure about the whole selling process), I'd still end up having spent $700 if I got the 80 and $900 if I got the 83. Not sure it's worth it at this point. I would like to replace my aging amps (had them almost 30 years!) and am considering upgrading my L&R speakers (had them almost 24 years!), so there goes the upgrade budget! Also, with my current 2 player solution, I can set my processor's speaker configuration differently for each player to get the best out of music (no center since my center isn't an exact sonic match) and movies (with center to anchor dialog).

I'll give it some more time and see how it goes.
post #6111 of 6369
I just received the DVD Audio title "Blue Man Group, The Complex" and noticed that despite the fact that I have my 980H's center speaker setting to OFF, this title still outputs information through the center channel.

For reference, I use the 980H for SACDs and DVD-As via the multichannel analog outputs. For music I prefer to have the center channel set to OFF because my center speaker is not an exact sonic match to my L&R speakers and is located in a less than ideal position. While using the center works fine for movies, it doesn't blend as well for music, hence the reason I set the center to OFF.

Is this a bug in the 980H? Or do some discs override the 980H's settings?

Thanks.
post #6112 of 6369
Thread Starter 
What happens if you change the CENTER back to ON then back to OFF?

If you disconnect all cables from the player except for CENTER, do you still get audio from the CENTER channel?
post #6113 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuromancer View Post

What happens if you change the CENTER back to ON then back to OFF?

If you disconnect all cables from the player except for CENTER, do you still get audio from the CENTER channel?

Thank you for responding.

LOL...... I got an e-mail from Oppo also asking what happens if I turn the Center back to ON then OFF. The answer is there is no change in behavior. I did try disconnecting cables and whatever cables remained connected were passing a signal, again, no matter what the speaker settings.

After further testing, it's apparent that this title completely ignores all the speaker settings in the 980H. Even if I set ALL the speakers to OFF, except the L&R channels which cannot be set to OFF, I still get sound from all speakers and sub. BTW, for testing purposes I made sure my processor (Anthem AVM20) was set to "ANALOG DIRECT" for the multichannel inputs so that no processing was going on there. Between this and cable connecting/disconnecting, I have ruled out that the processor is doing anything to cause this behavior. It's clear the 980H is sending a signal out all 5.1 analog connectors. Besides, it's only on this disc that this strange behavior happens. My other DVD Audio/SACD titles do not exhibit this behavior. I must admit that my collection is small right now as I have only recently been buying DVD-A/SACD titles.

This behavior only happens when I play the DVD Audio track on this particular disc. The other tracks (DTS, PCM) play as they should according to the 980H's speaker settings. I tried a couple other DVD Audio titles as well and they work properly, even when the DVD Audio track is selected.

Another problem I've had with the "Blue Man Group, The Complex" title is menu navigation. All the menu options (audio tracks, features, etc) are on the main page. When you try to move the "cursor", the movement does not correlate with the direction selected. For instance, I may try to move the cursor up by pressing the up arrow on the remote, but the cursor may move down, sideways, or not at all. I haven't been able to figure out a pattern and trying to select a particular audio track or feature becomes an exercise in random button pushing until you finally land on the place you want.

I tested this disc in my Pioneer 51, and the menu works normally. However, as you know the 51 lacks DVD Audio abilities so I could not test that audio track to see what would happen on the 51.

Oppo has asked me if I would send them the disc, but as I told them, I am very reluctant to do so as it was difficult to locate an affordable new copy (or any copy; it seems this title has been discontinued) and I do not want to risk damage/loss in transit. I've ask them if they could obtain another copy by other means. Hopefull they can and see what is going on.

I also told them I would also appeal to my fellow AVS members for help as there must be some Oppo owners who are also Blue Man Group fans.

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

EDIT: Would it be inappropriate for me to post in other Oppo threads to try to find another owner with the DVD Audio title in question? I'm interested in whether this problem is unique to the 980H or if it occurs on other Oppo players (DVD or BD players). It doesn't seem like many owners visit the DVD section anymore much less this thread.
post #6114 of 6369
I just received an e-mail from Oppo saying that according the maker of the decoder chip, it cannot redirect high res audio (96k or above) from the center channel to the L&R channels.

However, this is incorrect. I have other DVD Audio titles that have a 96k/24 bit DVD Audio track and the 980H redirects the center channel information without any problems to the L&R channels (I retested them tonight to verify this).

Oppo is going to see if they can get a copy of the Blue Man Group DVD-A to see if they can figure out what is going on here.

My luck seems to be if there's going to be some mysterious problem, I'm going to have it!

Hopefully Oppo can figure it out.
post #6115 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

Oppo has asked me if I would send them the disc, but as I told them, I am very reluctant to do so as it was difficult to locate an affordable new copy (or any copy; it seems this title has been discontinued) and I do not want to risk damage/loss in transit. I've ask them if they could obtain another copy by other means. Hopefull they can and see what is going on.

I just bought one for $13, so OPPO should have no problem obtaining a copy without breaking the bank.
post #6116 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smarty-pants View Post

I just bought one for $13, so OPPO should have no problem obtaining a copy without breaking the bank.

Could you check that title out on your Oppo player(s) and see if it ignores the speaker settings? I'm curious if this behavior is limited to the 980H or if it also occurs on Oppo's other players.
post #6117 of 6369
Judging from the lack of response, it seems interest in this bug is limited. However, just in case anyone reading but not posting is interested in the status of this bug I'm posting the latest e-mail I received from Oppo.

"We received the disc and tested it. Indeed it is strange that the center channel cannot be turned off for this disc. It might be related to an unusual channel layout used by this disc. We often see DVD-A discs splitting the channels to Group 1(Lf-Rf-Ls-Rs) and Group 2(C-LFE) but this disc uses Group1 (Lf-Rf) and Group 2(C-LFE-Ls-Rs). However we are not certain this is the cause. We are forwarding the disc to our decoder chip maker for further study.

The navigation issue is highly likely a disc authoring problem. We tested on a Denon DVD-A player and the DVD-A menu behaved the same way as on the OPPO player. The user's Pioneer BD player does not access the same DVD-A menu, but the DVD-V menu on a different section of the disc. When we set the DV-980H's "DVD-Audio Mode" to "DVD-Video", the DV-980H can also properly navigate the DVD-V menu on the disc. The problem is limited to the DVD-A menu on the disc.
"

I'm glad to see they are interested in fixing this and not just sweeping it under the rug.
post #6118 of 6369
As many of you know, I own a BDP-83 but am experiencing the click/pop between SACD tracks. As far as I've learned (thanks Saturn!), the 980H doesn't seem to have this problem.

Is this the best option, in your opinion, for picking up an SACD player that does DSD and PCM over HDMI? I also want something that is quiet physically...minimal fan noise and transport noise.

Just wanted to get some other options, or to affirm that the 980H is the way to go.
post #6119 of 6369
Thread Starter 
The DV-980H uses a different decoder solution has its own SACD DSD problem: a thump when inserting a SACD or switching to a different audio stream (such as a 44.1KHz PCM stream from a CD).

The only similarities is that these are both OPPO products and both use MediaTek (MTK) decoder solutions.
post #6120 of 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuromancer View Post

The DV-980H uses a different decoder solution and has its own problem: SACD thump when inserting a SACD or switching to a different audio stream.

I don't see those being issues I can't work around/live with...once the disc is playing, as long as it plays OK, I'm fine.

I guess my question transcends just Oppo players...although I found another AVS thread that talks about which players do DSD over HDMI, and there aren't many in the same price range as the Oppo.
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