Originally Posted by tpro8
After reading Bob's response, I was under the impression that the 203 wouldn't be able to convert, or downmix to DD5.1?
Geese, there's so many audio formats. After AC-3, ATSC, PCM, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Atmos, etc. LPCM is a new one for me.
I think I'm going to wait for more details to be released on the new UHD players that were announced recently at CES. I don't like the Samsung K8500 because it doesn't support HDR10 & Dolby Vision. Since my TV does both, I want a player that supports both also. The LG UP970 holds some promise.
LPCM (often just called PCM) is the simplest form of digital audio. One LPCM stream per speaker channel. Although simple, it is not particularly compact. Thus you have the Bitstream formats which are ways of packaging up a set of LPCM streams into something more compact.
The legacy formats are DD and DTS. They achieve some of their compactness by being "lossy" in the sense that when decoded back into LPCM you don't get the same LPCM that went into the encoder in the first place. The stuff that's "lost" is cleverly chosen to be hard to hear.
DD+ is also "lossy" but higher bit rate than normal DD.
The newer formats are "lossless" in the sense that you get the same LPCM out on decoding as went into the encoder when the studio created the bitstream. Note that "lossless" is not the same as "sounds good". You can make a "lossless" bitstream out of pure garbage, and what you'll get when you play that bitstream is the identical garbage.
The DTS version of that is DTS-HD MA (MA for "master audio" -- gotta love the marketing guys). The Dolby version of that is TrueHD. Atmos is a variant of a TrueHD 7.1 bitstream.
The lossless tracks can't play on all hardware, and can't even be carried across all types of cabling. So both DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD are paired with a "compatibility" track -- DTS and DD respectively.
Optical cable is one of those cabling types that can't carry the lossless tracks. It can carry LPCM 2.0 (stereo LPCM) or DTS 5.1 or DD 5.1.
The OPPO can be set to send either LPCM or Bitstream out the Optical digital audio output. If you set it to Bitstream and play a Bitstream track you will get a DTS or DD bitstream -- the one that matches closest to the source content.
If the OPPO is set to LPCM output on the Optical digital audio output, you will get a stereo down-mix of whatever track you have selected to play -- presented on the Optical cable as LPCM 2.0.
So there's no setting in the OPPO to play a DTS style bitstream as DD on the Optical output, but if you are OK with just stereo audio as the result you can get LPCM 2.0 from any of the movie audio tracks the OPPO can play.
Music is dicier. Both SACD and DVD-Audio discs have licensing restrictions which keep the player from putting out audio on Optical cabling. The basic problem being the lack of Copy Protection on that type of cabling.