Originally Posted by tbuick6
I'm a little confused about this SACD decoding. Before upgrading to the 988, I had the 788. It also played SACDs and DVD-A with no problem via HDMI. I have an OPPO 981 for these formats. My PS3(60 Gig) also played SACDs via HDMI to the 788 with no trouble. Why would the receiver need to have onboard decoding to play SACD? Are there actually SACD players out there with HDMI outs that don't decode SACD internally?
The lower lines decode the PCM stream from the PS3 or other DVD players HDMI output. If you want to stream the DSD bitstream I think it requires the 988 or above, at least that was the case last year.
There are a number of players that stream the DSD bitstream and let the AVR decode it, otherwise they usually stream DSD as decoded PCM. The Pioneer DV-48, DV-58 and the Oppo 980 are three that stream DSD over HDMI that I know of. Of course the value of this is argueable, your AVR MAY do a better job and have better D/A front end or you could have a player with better decoders. Which is better gets into what your actual situation is and where your best D/A conversion is taking place. Could be your player in some cases, in many, the AVR has the better set of decoders.
edit....I use a PS3 for SACD playback on some occasions, I bought a DV-48 just to try streaming DSD directly to the 988. While the PS3 sounds great sending PCM to the 988, I found the HDMI DSD stream to provide slightly more openess, it just sounded slightly more alive to me. I know these are useless terms and I didnt do any level matching, so my results may be nothing more than a slight difference in levels. But in the end I prefered the DV-48 streaming DSD to the 988 over the PS3 streaming PCM.