Due to the overwhelming number of repeated questions being asked about setup of BD players and Audio Video Receivers it would be extremely useful to have a sticky FAQ thread for these questions.1. How do I get uncompressed audio between my Blu-Ray Player and my Audio Video Receiver?
A. A more detailed description of audio formats appear below. This is the brief answer for most folks. You need either
a Blu-Ray player that decodes the audio formats on-board and outputs them as analog 5.1 or 7.1 outputs for connection to your older non HDMI Audio Video Receiver, or you need to connect the player via HDMI to your AVR and set the player to send "PCM" as the audio output format
. This assumes that you have a player capable of internally decoding both DTS-MA and/or Dolby True-HD. If you connect in one of these methods it does not matter if your AVR is capable of decoding these sound formats since the decoding is done in the Blu-Ray Player.2. I don't understand these uncompressed audio formats, please explain it to me.
A. This is actually a slightly complicated question so we will break it up into pieces. First of all there are two types of lossless audio tracks on Blu-Ray discs. Uncompressed PCM, in which the uncompressed audio is stored as raw information as a soundtrack on the disc, or "lossless" audio which is encoded in DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD format. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA are very similar formats, with technical differences beyond the scope of this FAQ (see the Wikipedia links below if you really want to delve into the differences). Different studios might choose DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD based on their licenses, authoring software, bandwidth consideration for the disc, etc. It is extremely uncommon to see both a DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD track on the same Blu-Ray disc.
For these lossless formats to work, the Blu-Ray Player (or AVR) must uncompress the compressed audio file and then output it as PCM which can then be converted from digital to analog. This can be done either in the Blu-Ray Player (if it supports decoding the format) or it can be done in the AVR (if it supports decoding the format). From an engineering perspective there should be no difference
in where this decoding is done. If the player decodes the audio and sends it as digital PCM information to the AVR, the data should be identical to what you would get if the player sent bitstream (raw DTS-MA or Dolby True-HD data) to the AVR for decoding.3. So what's "bitstreaming"?
A. Bitstreaming is sending out Dolby TrueHD or DTS-MA from your Blu-Ray player to your Audio Video Receiver as a raw stream of bits
which your Audio Video Receiver must then decode. You can only do this over an HDMI connection. Many early Blu-Ray players could not decode the audio formats and had to send them out as "bit stream" to the AVR which could then decode the advanced audio. Most newer Blu-Ray players are capable of doing on-board decoding of both DTS-MA and Dolby-TrueHD and sending them as PCM audio to the Audio Video Receiver.4. Can I get these advanced/lossless formats over toslink optical or coaxial?
A. No. For a variety of reasons including bandwidth limitations and copy protection, advanced audio (DTS-MA, Dolby TrueHD and lossless PCM) can only be passed over an HDMI connection (or as direct analog output from 5.1 or 7.1 jacks on the player).5. I still don't understand. What if I have an older receiver and only have toslink and/or coax inputs, what is going to happen when I watch a Blu-Ray disc?
A. If you have an older AVR with only toslink or coaxial audio inputs then you would connect the Blu-Ray player to your display via HDMI and simultaneously
connect your Blu-Ray player's toslink/optical or coaxial digital output to your Audio Video Receiver. You will get either Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 or 7.1 depending on the disk in question. These are not the uncompressed audio tracks, but are encoded at higher bitrate than is typical for DVD.6. What is the best Blu-Ray player for me to get for uncompressed audio with my particular receiver??
A. This question assumes that everyone here knows everything about your particular AVR, which is often not the case. If your AVR has HDMI input then the best and simplest option for you is to simply get a Blu-Ray player that decodes the lossless formats and connect it to your AVR via HDMI and then set the audio output on the player to PCM
output. If you have a legacy AVR (or separate sound processor, etc) with 5.1 or 7.1 analog inputs and you don't plan on upgrading it any time soon then choose a Blu-Ray player with on-board decoding AND
analog audio outputs which you can then connect to your AVR. If you do plan on upgrading your AVR soon then you can probably get a less expensive Blu-Ray player without the onboard analog outputs, and simply connect it to your AVR via optical or coax for the time being, and then change to HDMI for lossless audio at some time in the future.
More information to be added to this FAQ in the near future.
Wikipedia links below;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS_(so...D_Master_Audiohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_TrueHDhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCM