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post #1 of 41 Old 01-03-2015, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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LPCM vs DTS HD?

Ok I have seen many posts on here about this same question and cant find a good answer. My receiver can either decode dts had master or lpcm 5.1. What one is better???
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post #2 of 41 Old 01-03-2015, 06:05 PM
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Neither.

Either your BD player decodes it or the AVR decodes it.

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post #3 of 41 Old 01-03-2015, 08:50 PM
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Yeah, they're both lossless formats, the results are identical.
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post #4 of 41 Old 01-03-2015, 09:22 PM
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DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD are zipped versions of LPCM. Same data, down to the last bit, just packed more efficiently to save storage space on the disc.

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post #5 of 41 Old 01-03-2015, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photodude565656 View Post
Ok I have seen many posts on here about this same question and cant find a good answer. My receiver can either decode dts had master or lpcm 5.1. What one is better???
Quality-wise: no difference.

I prefer sending the signal as is for my receiver to decode so I can visually see that the receiver is getting the signal I intended to send. I know it makes no difference but I put more trust in my AV receiver that specializes in sound than in my output devices.
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post #6 of 41 Old 01-04-2015, 03:05 PM
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Sound wise as all the other people said there is no differences.
But if we are talking in the context playing a Bluray disc and you want the secondary audio (Director comments and other) you have to use LPCM so the player can mix in main and secondary stream before sending it to the AVR.
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post #7 of 41 Old 01-04-2015, 04:45 PM
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Lots of players will re-encode secondary audio for a bitstream output. So, a PCM output is not necessary. The player decodes the soundtrack, mixes in the secondary audio, and re-encodes they mix.

Of course, the re-encode is only lossy. But, when mixing in a commentary track, it hardly matters whether the source is lossless.
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post #8 of 41 Old 01-04-2015, 08:32 PM
 
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I will quote from a previous discussion on this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by xgecko View Post
I have been reading the back and forth regarding the differences between Bitstreaming and LPCM and can offer a few thoughts. First off I will start with the assumption that there was an audible difference between the two for some of the tests that were related here.

Assuming the above one must consider what can cause it. For one thing, it is entirely possible that in the case of listening to an original LPCM track vs the DTHD or DTS-MA version the engineer did actually do something different with respect to how they were mixed. This would easily explain audible differences but only when comparing an actual LPCM track against the parallel Bitstream track.

In the case of a DTHD or DTS-MA track that is being decoded either on the card (or whatever source is being used) vs being decoded in an AVR then we have to look at how the decoding treats the metadata that is indeed in some of these streams. In the case of DTHD we know for a fact that it can include metadata describing how to handle things like dynamic range compression, dialog normalization and so on. I will post links at the end supporting these statements.

I cannot find any direct data supporting the notion of similar metadata for DTS-MA tracks however there is support for a sub-audio track that can have an effect on the output if used. It is possible for this to be a potential source of differences.

Finally, we come to the decoder itself. What we can be absolutely certain of is a case where we have the exact same chipset used exactly the same in both components - in this case I am talking more about SA players that have the same decoding chipset as the AVR/Pre-Pro it is attached to. This almost certainly cannot apply to the HDAV as I suspect it is a combination of hardware and software that is unique. The point here is that in this case we should have exactly the same sound as the decoded data is merely being transported over a wire from the SA that is a bit longer than the traces on the circuit board or inside the chip between the decoder and the DAC. I.e. LPCM is bit exact. Once the stream is decoded into LPCM it remains unchanged thereafter - as long as nothing else interferes (I am thinking of the Windows Audio Path). Any differences would have to arise in the decoding process.

One other potential difference in any case is that the AVR/Pre-Pro might treat bitstreamed data differently than LPCM and subject them to different DSP routines.

The upshot of all this is that while it is possible for a bitstreamed signal to sound identical to an LPCM signal, it is also possible that they are handled differently such that there is an audible difference. How often does this happen in real life? I personally am not sure as I have yet to hear any of this. I can state that a DTS-MA or DTHD encoded track that is decoded becomes an LPCM track. The question is whether or not any processing was done to the data. If so then this can account for the differences. If not, then the differences people are talking about become very hard to explain. Knowing how hard it is to set up a true blind test one would have to wonder at that point if there were subtle cues influencing the test. If it is not a double blind test with very sophisticated switching systems this is a very real possiblity.

Hopefully this helps people clear up this issue. We do not have enough data on hand to truly explain what people have related here, but one thing is clear. Depending upon your decoders you may or may not have a real difference. We actually can have a case where one system has an audible difference on certain material where a different system would sound identical. This is especially true in the case of DTHD as it is known to have metadata that can effect the decoding and different decoders can indeed handle this differently.

Finally, the best test of all would be to perform a digital comparison of the final output just prior to the DAC. This is really the best way to identify differences; if there are any then they would be easily identified. The catch here is that one would have to have quite a lab to accomplish this...


The DTS site has a couple of whitepapers on it that help but do not really answer the metadata question...

http://www.dts.com/Technology/DTS-HD_Master_Audio.aspx

The Wiki page on DTHD explicitly states that there is metadata used for dialog normalization and dynamic range compression with perhaps other options too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_truehd


Hopefully this information allows us all to move on and accept that some might hear differences and others might not. As always YMMV.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-hom...than-lpcm.html
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post #9 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 12:21 AM
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^^ That's a lot of verbiage saying very little. A lossless decoder is going to produce a PCM output that is bit-for-bit identical to the PCM that was fed into the encoder. If the output differs from the input, then it's not lossless.
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post #10 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 04:15 AM
 
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LCPM cannot carry metadata, bitstreaming can. I will shorten the post to the most important part so it does not get lost:


Quote:
In the case of a DTHD or DTS-MA track that is being decoded either on the card (or whatever source is being used) vs being decoded in an AVR then we have to look at how the decoding treats the metadata that is indeed in some of these streams. In the case of DTHD we know for a fact that it can include metadata describing how to handle things like dynamic range compression, dialog normalization and so on. I will post links at the end supporting these statements.

I cannot find any direct data supporting the notion of similar metadata for DTS-MA tracks however there is support for a sub-audio track that can have an effect on the output if used. It is possible for this to be a potential source of differences.

Again, LCPM cannot carry metadata while bitstreaming can. If metadata is used to alter the final sound, you will hear a difference between decoding in the player (LCPM to the receiver) and the receiver (bitstreaming to the receiver).
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post #11 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 09:06 AM
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I believe you will have less lipsync issues with DTSMA (bitstream) vs LPCM.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #12 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpcforever View Post
If metadata is used to alter the final sound, you will hear a difference between decoding in the player (LCPM to the receiver) and the receiver (bitstreaming to the receiver).
Why would the decoder in the player ignore the metadata but the same decoder in the receiver would not?

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post #13 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Why would the decoder in the player ignore the metadata but the same decoder in the receiver would not?
Precisely.

In the end, the only tIme the question of that kind of difference between processing of PCM and an a lossless encode would come up is when a disc contains both a PCM and a losslessly compressed track, which almost never happens.
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post #14 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Why would the decoder in the player ignore the metadata but the same decoder in the receiver would not?
When you want to play an Atmos, Auro-3D or DTS:X soundtrack. Players can't decode their metadata at all.

Presumably this is irrelevant to the OP, though.

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post #15 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
When you want to play an Atmos, Auro-3D or DTS:X soundtrack. Players can't decode their metadata at all.

Presumably this is irrelevant to the OP, though.
Why bring up immersive audio when the question was about LPCM vs DTS-HD bitstream?

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post #16 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Why bring up immersive audio when the question was about LPCM vs DTS-HD bitstream?
I was responding to the comment about metadata. That's why I said it's probably irrelevant to the OP.

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post #17 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
I was responding to the comment about metadata. That's why I said it's probably irrelevant to the OP.
If it is irrelevant to the OP, why confuse the situation by bring it up?

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post #18 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 03:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
If it is irrelevant to the OP, why confuse the situation by bring it up?
It is an easy to understand example that shows LCPM and bitstreaming can easily create different sound, no matter how many times you say they cannot. The bitstream consists of both LCPM streams AND metadata. If you only send the LCPM streams, you lose the metadata. Receivers have the ability to decode far more metadata than a bluray player - even if you compare budget models of both.

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post #19 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 03:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photodude565656 View Post
Ok I have seen many posts on here about this same question and cant find a good answer. My receiver can either decode dts had master or lpcm 5.1. What one is better???
You have two different views before you. One that says there is no difference and one that says there is. The best choice is to go the safe route and decode in the receiver (bitstream the dts hd master to the receiver). If the "no difference" group is right you lose and gain nothing. If the "there is a difference" group is right you gain better sound (when metadata is involved).
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post #20 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpcforever View Post
It is an easy to understand example that shows LCPM and bitstreaming can easily create different sound, no matter how many times you say they cannot.
Where did I say anything "many times" in this thread? Selden's example was comparing Atmos decoding to TrueHD decoding. The OP asked about DTS-HD decoding in the player vs DTS-HD decoding in the receiver.

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post #21 of 41 Old 01-05-2015, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpcforever View Post
The bitstream consists of both LCPM streams AND metadata. If you only send the LCPM streams, you lose the metadata.
That statement misses an important point. The player will process the metadata as part of the decoding process. It will apply DRC and dialnorm and other such metadata driven adjustments, the same as a receiver. The player doesn't ignore the metadata, as your post seems to suggest.

Quote:
Receivers have the ability to decode far more metadata than a bluray player - even if you compare budget models of both.
How about limiting this discussion to the question the OP asked - the one about DTS-HD. To the best of my knowledge, decoders in players process DTS-HD (and Dolby TrueHD) metadata exactly the same as decoders in receivers. In all the years since those codecs were developed, I have never seen anything to indicate that decoders in players and receivers handle them differently.

Going beyond the OP's question, there are some differences in DTS-HD decoders when it comes to handling ES extensions and speaker remapping for expanding 5.1 sources to 7.1. Some decoders are limited in those situations and those decoders tend to be installed more often in players than receivers. But, they can show up in either type of device.

Moving even more afield, if you are playing an object based encode, then you need to use an object based device to fully process the data, which is likely to be a receiver rather than a player. But, by the same token, some receivers cannot apply room correction when decoding a DTS-HD track. If you have such a receiver, then it is better to decode in the player so that the receiver can then do room correction.

The bottom line on the OP's question is that it makes no difference whether a player decodes a DTS-HD track itself for PCM output or bitstreams the track to a receiver for decoding. Beyond that, there are lots of variables associated with the specific equipment being used and the type of track being processed.
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post #22 of 41 Old 01-06-2015, 05:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
That statement misses an important point. The player will process the metadata as part of the decoding process. It will apply DRC and dialnorm and other such metadata driven adjustments, the same as a receiver. The player doesn't ignore the metadata, as your post seems to suggest.

It ignores all metadata it does not understand. Atmos is a perfect example of this.


Quote:
How about limiting this discussion to the question the OP asked.
No thanks, not when people make blanket statements that are wrong. Someone has to correct their bad information, else people will believe it to be true. You should rather complain about limiting the discussion to the question the OP asked to the person who went past the limit first. It started in post 3 and continued in post 4.

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post #23 of 41 Old 01-06-2015, 05:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Where did I say anything "many times" in this thread? Selden's example was comparing Atmos decoding to TrueHD decoding. The OP asked about DTS-HD decoding in the player vs DTS-HD decoding in the receiver.
Other than you, no one said you said something "many times". When you remove words from a sentence and only snag a very small part, you end up confused - like you just did. Using the words in context, you would have understand that you can say it once or you can say it a billion times, it does not matter how many times you say it; the blanket statement that LPCM and bitstreaming are the same is still wrong. They MIGHT be the same, but they might not be. You cannot say for certain. In fact, you have no idea what metadata his player can process, so you cannot actually say the two are the same in his very limited case.

Atmos was brought up to counter the blanket statement you made that was wrong. You claimed "DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD are zipped versions of LPCM. Same data, down to the last bit, just packed more efficiently to save storage space on the disc." but failed to mention that metadata could exist which is then included in the DTS or Dolby codec. You then forgot to mention that if the player cannot process the metadata during the decoding, it ignores it, making the sound different from the unencoded version if the receiver can process it. You then complained when someone brought up atmos as a counter to your blanket statement, proving you wrong.


Own up to your error and move on.

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post #24 of 41 Old 01-06-2015, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpcforever View Post
Atmos was brought up to counter the blanket statement you made that was wrong.
Atmos is a different format; it's object based audio. By comparison, DTS-HD is data compression/packing. You're comparing two different decoders. The OP was asking about the same decoding in two different devices.

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post #25 of 41 Old 01-06-2015, 08:31 AM
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htpcforever - the post you quoted was about a possible source of difference between a PCM original, which has no metadata, and a losslessly compressed version of the same PCM source, which may have metadata for added processing such as DRC. If the OP is asking whether he should choose a multichannel PCM or lossless track on a disc, then there may actually be a difference. But, as was previously noted, there are almost no discs with both multichannel PCM and DTS-HD or TrueHD tracks. At no point in the post you quoted or in the discussion that followed in that thread was there ever any suggestion that a decoder in a player processes the same DTS-HD or TrueHD track any differently than a decoder in a receiver.

So, let me ask: do you believe there are such differences? If so, what are they? And why did you come to that conclusion? I am not asking about codecs other than DTS-HD and TrueHD. We are all in agreement that you need the correct equipment to handle newer encodes such as Dolby Atmos, just as you need the right equipment to handle 3D or 4K video.

As for your attacks on Sanjay, perhaps you are not aware that when it comes to audio, he is one of the most knowledgable posters at AVS. You might learn something if you engage in a meaningful discussion about codecs such as DTS-HD and TrueHD rather than getting into a pissing match.
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post #26 of 41 Old 01-06-2015, 08:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
htpcforever - the post you quoted was about a possible source of difference between a PCM original, which has no metadata, and a losslessly compressed version of the same PCM source, which may have metadata for added processing such as DRC. If the OP is asking whether he should choose a multichannel PCM or lossless track on a disc, then there may actually be a difference. But, as was previously noted, there are almost no discs with both multichannel PCM and DTS-HD or TrueHD tracks. At no point in the post you quoted or in the discussion that followed in that thread was there ever any suggestion that a decoder in a player processes the same DTS-HD or TrueHD track any differently than a decoder in a receiver.

So, let me ask: do you believe there are such differences? If so, what are they? And why did you come to that conclusion? I am not asking about codecs other than DTS-HD and TrueHD. We are all in agreement that you need the correct equipment to handle newer encodes such as Dolby Atmos, just as you need the right equipment to handle 3D or 4K video.
You are confused. The OP is asking if he should decode in his player or in his receiver. To "decode" (aka, play) LPCM in the receiver, he must decode in the player. To decode DTS HD Master in the receiver, he must bitstream in the player. If you decode in the player, you lose any metadata it cannot process, same as in the receiver. HOWEVER, receivers can decode much more metadata than players. It is in his best interest to decode in the receiver if at all possible.


Quote:
As for your attacks on Sanjay, perhaps you are not aware that when it comes to audio, he is one of the most knowledgable posters at AVS. You might learn something if you engage in a meaningful discussion about codecs such as DTS-HD and TrueHD rather than getting into a pissing match.

No attacks, simply correcting wrong information. Anyone who makes a blanket statement that the basic LPCM streams are the exact same as the entire contents of the container is simply wrong. This has been easily proven to be the case.

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Perhaps you will answer the question I asked - what DTS HD metadata can a decoder in a receiver process that a decoder in a player cannot?

btw, you're the one who confused the issue by quoting a post about the potential differences between a PCM original and a lossless track. That post was not about differences between decoding the same lossless track in a player or receiver.

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post #28 of 41 Old 01-06-2015, 09:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Atmos is a different format; it's object based audio. By comparison, DTS-HD is data compression/packing. You're comparing two different decoders. The OP was asking about the same decoding in two different devices.
No, he was asking about the DTS HD Master container. That container can easily hold more than just the LCPM streams (as we have already proven). Atmos is metadata contained inside a Dolby container, which is then decoded by a device that understands this extra data. It is not a new container in any way, shape, or form. If you do not believe me, you should at least believe Dolby:


Quote:
We invented a new, scalable algorithm as well as new extensions for our existing technologies, Dolby TrueHD, which is Dolby’s lossless Blu-ray™ format, and Dolby Digital Plus™, which is used by leading streaming video providers or for secondary languages on Blu-ray Disc. Both formats now support Dolby Atmos sound, meaning that you’ll be able to play Dolby Atmos movies from your Blu-ray player or streaming device. A Blu-ray player that fully conforms to the Blu-ray specification can play a Dolby Atmos movie without a firmware update. The player will need to be connected to an AVR capable of supporting Dolby Atmos and set to audio bitstream out.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-rec...l#post25147242


If you are upset about it being dolby, then just replace atmos with dts:x. DTS:X is metadata contained inside the DTS container which is decoded by a device which understands this extra data. The container holds more than just the LCPM streams. You are confusing a lossless compression container with the data contained inside it. You need a codec to decode that container, but that container can easily hold more information than just the basic LCPM streams. This has already been proven via atmos and DTS:X. It has been proven with dialog normalization and much more.


Most receivers can understand and process far more metadata information than most players. If one has to make a guess as to the capabilities of a receiver and a player, one would be foolish to assume the player has superior metadata processing capabilities.


So, given that most receivers have more metadata processing capabilities than most players, and given that we do not know which player and receiver the OP has, the wise thing to suggest is to decode in the item with more metadata processing capabilities - which is the receiver. If we knew exactly which player and receiver the OP has, we could compare the capabilities of both and then make a far more informed suggestion. But since we don't, the wise suggestion is to decode in the receiver.


If the OP only wants the basic LCPM streams, he can decode in the player without any care. If he wants both the metadata and the LCPM stream, he might be able to decode it in the player, but there is no guarantee of that. He should decode it in the receiver to be safe.
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post #29 of 41 Old 01-06-2015, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by htpcforever View Post
That container can easily hold more than just the LCPM streams (as we have already proven).
The OP was talking about a 5.1 signal, not immersive audio.

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post #30 of 41 Old 01-06-2015, 09:25 AM
 
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Perhaps you will answer the question I asked - what DTS HD metadata can a decoder in a receiver process that a decoder in a player cannot?

btw, you're the one who confused the issue by quoting a post about the potential differences between a PCM original and a lossless track. That post was not about differences between decoding the same lossless track in a player or receiver.
The OP asked if he should decode in the player or the receiver, " My receiver can either decode dts had master or lpcm 5.1." LPCM, it what you get after you decode the bitstream container, along with any metadata contained in it as well. The player will either send LPCM to his receiver or it will send DTS HD Master to his receiver. If it sends the former, the DTS HD Master is decoded in the player with the potential loss of metadata (anything the player does not understand is ignored). If it is the former, the DTS HD Master is decoded in the receiver with the potential loss of metadata (anything the receiver does not understand is ignored). The receiver has better odds of understanding more metadata than the player.

I already posted the metadata information. Metadata is contained in the container (in this cast DTS HD Master), along with the basic LPCM tracks. Items such as dialog normalization and DTS:X are inside the DTS HD container that are not part of the LPCM track. Many players can decode dialog normalization, none can decode DTS:X (especially since it is not yet out, March 15th). I doubt any player will ever decode DTS:X.


It really depends on the player. If it cannot decode things such as dialog normalization then he will never get it if he does not bitstream. He will only get the LPCM streams.


EDIT: Here is some metadata information directly from DTS themselves:


Quote:
DTS-HD Encoder


DTS Stream Types:
  • DTS-HD Master Audio™, lossless "bit for bit" variable bit-rate with embedded core of DTS Digital Surround™ at a constant bit-rate up to 1509 kbps
  • DTS-HD High Resolution Audio™ at constant bit-rates from 2046 kbps up to 5760 kbps
  • DTS Digital Surround™ at constant bit-rates up to 1509 kbps for DVD-V and DVD-A, 1234 kbps for Music Discs
  • DTS Express™ for Blu-ray™ Secondary Audio offers mono, stereo and 5.1 stream types with optional embedded Primary Audio dynamic volume and Secondary Audio mono panning metadata. Data rates range from 48kbps to 256kbps, depending on the channel count.
http://www.dts.com/professionals/aud...ech-specs.aspx


So if the player cannot decode the audio dynamic volume or the mono panning metadata, that information is lost if the player does the decoding. Until we know which player he has, we cannot say for sure if it understands that metadata or not.

Last edited by htpcforever; 01-06-2015 at 09:35 AM. Reason: removed huge space
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