Originally Posted by Rich86
I was sort of looking for things that might cause intermittent noise or brief disconnects, etc. in the lossless audio stream in the player - hence me wondering about stuff on the board that might be problematic.
btw . . can anyone confirm for me that if I set the hdmi output on the player to bitstream lpcm, that the player does, in fact send lossless audio down the line from Dolby TrueHD sources? The spec's seem to suggest that. I do not believe it has the ability to decode DTS lossless to lpcm and bitstream it down the hdmi line, however (the book says you get DTS core only). The audio dropouts only occur when I am bitstreaming native lossless audio down hdmi. If I set it to lpcm output, no dropouts occur even when selecting Dolby TruedHD. If I'm still getting lossless Dolby TrueHD via lpcm, I'm only giving up lossless on my handful of DTS/MA discs with this problem (one of which is the Eagles concert HD-DVD, however . . . grrrrr . . .).
The A-series players were still, relatively speaking, a work in progress at the time of their discontinuation (as far the firmware is concerned). As HDMI wasn't completely standardized back then, the A35's firmware does not always play nice with every HDMI-equipped receiver, particularly some of the slightly older models. (This, of course, could also be said of many bitstream-capable BD players of the day.) Had the format been allowed to flourish, I've no doubt that the operational quirks would have been worked out.
That being said, there is a certain level of playback inconsistency with these players, again typical of a technology that hadn't quite reached maturity. There are those who swear by firmware version 2.7, for instance, and have rolled back their subsequent f/w updates, refusing to ever perform another update. On the other hand, v4.0 has been a godsend to many (myself included). It's possible you either may be having handshake issues between the player/receiver/TV or there could be an issue with your HDMI cable. The discs themselves are notoriously fragile, and there could be minor scratches on them that are wreaking havoc with your bitstreaming consistency. I had similar high-res bitstreaming drop out issues with all firmware versions above 2.7 and below 4.0; with 4.0, playback of all audio streams have performed flawlessly provided I take care to recognize and abide by the proper turn-on sequence relative to my individual setup (this can vary from setup to setup). Moreover, I will have bitstreaming issues even today if I change any of the audio settings during the course of viewing a movie. In order to prevent audio drop outs, I have to treat the player as though I were making certain settings changes on my PC: do a complete restart, which will require starting an HD DVD title from the beginning. If I don't do the restart, playback for me will be very unreliable. So I don't do much in the way of settings experimentation any more; I set and forget.
Noise, on the other hand, would seem to convey some sort of mechanical issue (the fan wearing out or perhaps a failing drive that's having trouble reading high-res tracks for streaming), so it's quite understandable that you would explore the inside for any obvious issues. I have noticed that over time my A35 isn't as quiet as it was in the beginning (whereas my A20, which isn't bitstream capable was always dead-silent). But the slightly elevated operational noise is pretty much a non-issue for me, as the player is kept in a component rack with doors (ventilated in the rear, of course).
Regarding your audio settings, I can confirm that if you set HDMI audio out to PCM, it .will decode the high-res audio internally and output the decoded signal to your receiver as multi-channel PCM. You'll still be getting high-res audio, only decoded by the player instead of the receiver. (Won't get into any debates with anyone as to which sounds better; go with whichever sounds best to you and your ears.
) With DTS HD MA, however, the player will extract the standard/lossy (core) DTS signal only and output it as PCM to the receiver as it does with the lossless audio track.
Not sure if any of this information will be a definitive solution for you, but hopefully it gives you an overview of what you might be dealing with.
Originally Posted by snowghost
Yes you'll get lossless that way with Dolby, and IIRC in one of the firmware upgrades you can now get the same with DTS HD Master.
No firmware update has ever been released by Toshiba to enable full internal DTS-HD MA decoding, at least not domestically.