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Digitally speaking when using HDMI can one player produce a better AQ or

  • Yes - In the digital realm one player can produce better PQ or AQ then another.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No - Bits are Bits and I do not believe one player can produce better/different bits then another.

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Considering recent and upcoming BD players I am curious to know, and learn 2 things.


1.) Digitally speaking I would like to know when talking about PQ and AQ only do you feel there can be differences in BD players. Or do you feel bits are bits.


2.) If you feel that comparing one BD player to another you would hear or see a difference in PQ or AQ what specific component in the player leads to that difference. Again we are talking about if you are using a digital connection (HDMI) only.


I am in the camp that believes that if you use HDMI bits are bits and one player wont provide a different or better bits then another. If I am wrong then I would like to be educated that if there are differences where it comes from.


No placebo, or brand effect. Science only would be great. Assume you have two different players hooked up to the same processor via HDMI, and the display and processor has been professionally calibrated using both. For example.... Can a player look better or sound better then a PS3 if both are hooked up via HDMI?
 

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I think I may have answered to hastily. How do you explain the adjustments on some players as my BD-30 and XA-2 have. Some how they tweak the picture even at 1080p. The dnr audio range control works over HDMI also. So I say they can enhance a digital signal. Please disregard my vote. I vote yes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINIGUY /forum/post/15420521


I think I may have answered to hastily. How do you explain the adjustments on some players as my BD-30 and XA-2 have. Some how they tweak the picture even at 1080p. The dnr audio range control works over HDMI also. So I say they can enhance a digital signal. Please disregard my vote. I vote yes...

My example was talking about a display that was already calibrated for the players. The use of extra picture adjustments in the player would become redundant. In addition those types of adjustments do not make the signal better.


What audio adjustments are you talking about? Speaker distant, delay etc? If so I do see value in a player having those adjustments in some cases, however they do not make the signal better, but only adjust for the room.


Perhaps, however, I am not talking about what you are referring to.


Imagine everything is constant and the processor and or TV has all the color control for the PQ and audio adjustments i.e. speakers distance and cross over
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vancouver /forum/post/15420602


JStew,

Care to add some info on what you think makes it possible for one player to produce a better digital signal then another?

You are saying it yourself, the player processes the signal in the digital domain. the quality of the process would therefore render a difference in the signal. On the audio side, I was referring to bass management and dynamic range control among others. there seens to be some processing going on somewhere. Maybe I'm offbase here but these threads are loaded with comparisons and differences of Blu-Ray players.
 

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you should rephrase to:


1: Yes, I just bought an expensive player so I will pretend there's some difference.


2: No, I can't afford an expensive player so I will pretend there isn't any difference.


Just paid 1.5k USD for a Denon 3800 so I voted yes
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINIGUY /forum/post/15420879


You are saying it yourself, the player processes the signal in the digital domain. the quality of the process would therefore render a difference in the signal. On the audio side, I was referring to bass management and dynamic range control among others. there seens to be some processing going on somewhere. Maybe I'm offbase here but these threads are loaded with comparisons and differences of Blu-Ray players.

You are right and there is value in having your player being able to adjust dynamic range control, cross over etc. As well as video settings adjustments. Obviously thats types of settings can be found in many players and arnt usually in more expensive or less expensive players as a given rule. Lets assume no player had those adjustments or you werent going to use the adjustments of the player but rather just send a raw digital signal and have the processor/reciever and display do all the work. remember in my original example I said to assume the setup was calibrated for each player.


I honestly havent read in any of the threads comparisons of players while in their digital domain only. If you have have seen a post like that I would be very interested to read it. The threads are brand specific for the most part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by cR4p /forum/post/15421938


you should rephrase to:


1: Yes, I just bought an expensive player so I will pretend there's some difference.


2: No, I can't afford an expensive player so I will pretend there isn't any difference.


Just paid 1.5k USD for a Denon 3800 so I voted yes

Well, that really isnt the purpose of this poll, and I specifically wrote no placibo or brand effect...just pure science. Not saying your player isnt good or anything, just that for the purpose of this thread if you voted yes I would like to understand more scientifically why.


But you do make a point in that some will vote based on what they own or what they hope.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stereo /forum/post/15424944


Bits are bits, but retrieving, handling and processing those bits is what matters. There are differences in sound and video quality between players.

I agree bits are bits, but if you consider that HDMI1.3 can transfer up to 3.4 Gbit/s per channel (or 10.2 Gbit/s total, which is simply the bandwidth multiplied by the three color channels (RGB)), I'm not surprised in potential loss of data.


People that think that digital means 'it either works or it doesn't' are just plain wrong. When you have a massive amount of data, you will notice a degrading picture (pixelation or dropouts are one example), but if you loss a small amount of data you might not see or hear an immediate difference, but you'll lose the details that actually matter.


So I'm part of the camp that believes that a good transport and cable do make a difference - but to a certain extend. A $100 Monster Cable is overkill, just like a $5000 BR/DVD Player. Things change dramatically though if you let the $5000 BR/DVD player do the D/A conversion and you feed your amp/processor via analogue.


Speaking of transports... I remember the good old days where I used to own a separate transport and DAC as a CD player... Sometimes I wish I could do a 1:1 comparison with the old transport/DAC setup and my current configuration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is an interesting response from Classe when asked if they were coming out with a BD player. This is a direct quote.

"We’ve investigated Blu Ray very seriously and, from a purely technical standpoint, it is difficult to see where we could add value to a Blu Ray player’s performance. This means that we would be challenged to produce a Blu Ray player that is better than a Playstation 3."


Launching a Blu Ray player would therefore risk compromising our reputation..."
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by williak /forum/post/15427288


Kinda says it all, doesn't it? Now if only they (high-enders) would fess up on CD, SACD, and all the other bits is bits stuff they've fought for years on end...

well most of those high enders were selling the value of their CD and SACD players on the use of their internal DACs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
15 people say one player can produce better digital bits then another, but no examples or solid reasons posted why...yet. Anyone care to chime in?



Lets use the PS3 as an example. Which player produces a better picture or audio quality when hooked up digitally and what causes it to be better?


I assume the people who voted "yes" or "no" did so because of a comparison they did. What two players did you compare? Was it for audio, video or both?


Here are the comparisons I did.


Audio only:

Rotel RCD 1072 vs PS3 = no difference in CD playback. Not possible to tell the difference. Obvious difference when the RCD 1072 used its internal DACs.


Rotel RCD 1072 vs Rotel 1060 = No audible difference for CD playback when both connected by optical.


Rotel RCD 1072 vs Oppo 980 = no difference in audio quality when connected via coax or optical.


PS3 vs Oppo = no difference in CD quality when both hooked up via HDMI.


Video Only:

A1 vs Xbox add on (HD DVD) = no difference in video quality. I tested MI3, Serenity and King Kong.




I havent been able to compare a hi res PCM track between two different players... has anyone else been able to? What did you find?


I do know I have heard differences in audio quality when different processors are introduced when using the same source player. obviously the processor is doing something to the PCM signal before sending through the DACs.


Perhaps I should have made it a rule that if you vote yes or no you need to have actually done a comparison and post the results here.


***I'm not saying I am correct by voting no, I am just saying I have yet to hear or see a difference. If someone else has I would greatly appreciate some insight. What player did you compare, and what difference did you see or hear? Picture settings and cross over settings in a player do not count to me as producing a better signal. Since my display is calibrated or can be calibrated to a specific player and my processor has all audio control I need I am interested in finding a player which send a better raw digital signal then another.


I am guessing some out there have information that shows the player takes more information of a disc? Or perhaps makes sure none of the digital information gets lost before being sent out through the HDMI cable there by creating a better digital signal resulting in better AQ or PQ?
 

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Bits are bits. There is no difference in picture or sound when both the player and the display are properly calibrated to send and display unprocessed image and sound. However better/more expensive players may have better deinterlacers, upconvertors, features, build quality, style, warranty, name, etc. It's sort of akin to saying all new cars are able to go at 60MPH, but they all do it differently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by xradman /forum/post/15428371


Bits are bits. There is no difference in picture or sound when both the player and the display are properly calibrated to send and display unprocessed image and sound. However better/more expensive players may have better deinterlacers, upconvertors, features, build quality, style, warranty, name, etc. It's sort of akin to saying all new cars are able to go at 60MPH, but they all do it differently.

well said..and I totally agree.


In todays world of 1080p up-converters and deinterlacers arnt important. I do however put a value on build quality, style, name and one you didnt mention...customer service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What I would really like to see is a quote from another CE which totally contradicts Classe's opinion and says something along the line of:


"With the current state of technology in the digital HD realm of audio and video we see great potential to improve on current players such as the PS3..."
 

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The question is flawed as you have to consider a number of variables: Is the player upconverting? What is playing the audio?


I voted no (I own the Denon BDP-2500BTCI) as I considered that the question was intended to apply to 1080p output from a BluRay disc.


I will admit that the new Pioneer Elite player is supposed to upsample the color space to 36 bit when connected to a new Pioneer Kuro TV. This would be a feature that other transports/TVs would not enjoy. Whether or not this results in an improved picture or not remains to be seen.


There are differences in the video processing, especially in upconversion in BluRay players. With the Reon/Realta chip vs ABT chips vs the scalers in the TVs. This would all be in the digital domain and would be applicable to a transport and would lead to one's bits is better than another's bits. So is upconversion included in the question?


Since the question was relative to a transport only, the player needs to be connected to an AVR for best audio results. Usually, if you go just to the TV, then the player will output only two channel PCM or Dolby digital. You lose the lossless audio codecs.


If you look at a transport as connecting to a modern AVR capable of decoding lossless codecs, then the player has no business altering the audio datastream. All controls should be in the AVR. Otherwise the two will fight. One exception to this was the LFE output on PCM tracks on the Denon 2500s requiring the LFE channel to be bumped up 5 db to fix a bug (now long since fixed via firmware update).


But I would not hold it against a transport to alter CD output, to add predictive high frequency samples in an attempt to reduce phase distortion as Pioneer did with some of their Elite laserdisc players of a decade ago.


So the question needs to be made more clear for a definitive answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by voyager6 /forum/post/15428806


The question if flawed as you have to consider a number of variables: Is the player upconverting? What is playing the audio?

No upconverting. I am talking about BD players playing BDs.


I am not sure what you mean by what is playing the audio. Assume the processor and speakers are consistent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by voyager6 /forum/post/15428806


I voted no (I own the Denon BDP-2500BTCI) as I considered that the question was intended to apply to 1080p output from a BluRay disc.


I will admit that the new Pioneer Elite player is supposed to upsample the color space to 36 bit when connected to a new Pioneer Kuro TV. This would be a feature that other transports/TVs would not enjoy. Whether or not this results in an improved picture or not remains to be seen.

personally my guess is "upconverting color" to 36 bit is a gimmick, but like you said it remains to be seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by voyager6 /forum/post/15428806


There are differences in the video processing, especially in upconversion in BluRay players. With the Reon/Realta chip vs ABT chips vs the scalers in the TVs. This would all be in the digital domain and would be applicable to a transport and would lead to one's bits is better than another's bits. So is upconversion included in the question?

No upconversion is not in the question. Assume that no player could upconvert, or that feature not used. Just the raw signal from the player.


Quote:
Originally Posted by voyager6 /forum/post/15428806


If you look at a transport as connecting to a modern AVR capable of decoding lossless codecs, then the player has no business altering the audio datastream.

agreed



Quote:
Originally Posted by voyager6 /forum/post/15428806


So the question needs to be made more clear for a definitive answer.

Perhaps you are right. I assumed that people would assume I was only talking about BD players playing BDs. In all honesty upconversion in this day an age isnt hugely different from one player to another IMO. Upconverted SD DVD is like putting a silk dress on a pig.


That aside this question is for BD players player BD video and audio only. As said in my original post "talking about PQ and AQ only do you feel there can be differences in BD players" ...I should have added "when playing BDs only".



I think we are probably on the same page when you cut through all of this.
 

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I think an insider is best suited to answer this...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post14907972

Copy of a post of my reply to a similar question elsewhere:


The outputs of the video decoder blocks on the SoCs are bit-accurate for H.264 and VC-1, meaning the decoded video quality at that point is exactly the same for all players.


So, the differences in players is in the post-processing of the video, such as scaling, deinterlacing, edge enhancement, noise reduction, color correction, etc. This is where the "art" comes in.


Some player manufacturers (and consumers) may also tweak various settings (such as brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, sharpness, edge enhancement, 2D/3D noise reduction, gamma, color conversion, etc.) to achieve the specific "look" to the video that they want. The most accurate picture, although possibly not the most personally visually pleasing picture, is when all those type of controls are bypassed or zero'd out.


"Despite the video decoders outputting the same video quality can some players give a slightly better image due to internal circuitry, better power supply, etc. or is all of that pretty much irrelevant with digital?"


Once the power supply is of sufficient threshold in quality to reliably handle the player, and a good PC board design is used, it is largely irrelevant with digital.


However, they could affect the drive electronics as that contains analog circuitry. Once some of this analog front-end stuff is integrated onto the main SoC decoder, these things become more important.


These things can also affect the analog audio and video outputs, however, as the audio and video DACs should have nice, clean power as any power supply noise is pretty much coupled directly onto the analog outputs.


The quality of the HDMI output is important, as that could be considered analog due to the frequencies and levels involved. We have seen differences in HDMI outputs in their ability to drive various cables and cable lengths, and some HDMI switchers, without introducing some sparkling in the video.

__________________

Keith Jack

Sigma Designs

BD, IPTV, HDTV decoder supplier

Blog: http://www.keithjack.net


http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post14633159

Yes. Although with MPEG-2 sources there can be a little wiggle room since the video decoding for MPEG-2 isn't bit-accurate. The same thing happened to DVD players, with manufacturers tweaking the post processing to achieve their desired "look" to the picture.

__________________

Keith Jack

Sigma Designs

BD, IPTV, HDTV decoder supplier

Blog: http://www.keithjack.net
 
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