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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During a discussion in another forum it was mentioned that ARC cannot handle lossless codecs. If this is correct then how can I get lossless audio if I play some UHD content directly on my TV (through USB or streaming from my PC)?

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Neither ARC nor Digital Audio Optical/Coax (aka TOSLINK or SPDIF) has sufficient Data Rate Capacity to support the new Hi-Rez (i.e. Loss-Less) Digital Audio Formats....and ARC formats are the SAME as Optical:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/PDIF
http://hometheaterreview.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-arc-audio-return-channel

COMPRESSED Dolby-Digital-PLUS (aka E-AC-3, defined in ATSC Audio Spec) provides up to 7.1 Surround Sound, and can also be transferred beginning with HDMI 1.3, incl. ARC I/F....but ARC is LIMITED to 3.0 Mbps Max Data Rate [on HDMI can go up to Max of 6.144 Mbps]. This is in addition to the original Stereo PCM, DD5.1, DTS5.1 and DTS6.1 (ES Discrete or ES Matrix) formats [some may not be implemented in individual components]:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Digital_Plus

Typical Data Rates for various Dolby Formats are given in a Table, found in fol. article re ALL of the various Dolby DISCRETE and MATRIXED (Fake/Synthetic) Surround Formats:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Digital

DTS5.1 is encapsulated within the DD5.1 Format, but with a Max Data Rate of 1.5 Mbps. Info for ALL of the DTS Formats is found here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS_(sound_system)

During the HDMI Negotiation Process, the Source (i.e. SMART TV) will DOWN-REZ Digital Audio Format into the "BEST" Format that is COMPATIBLE with the Destination (i.e. AVR).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Neither ARC nor Digital Audio Optical/Coax (aka TOSLINK or SPDIF) has sufficient Data Rate Capacity to support the new Hi-Rez (i.e. Loss-Less) Digital Audio Formats....and ARC formats are the SAME as Optical:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/PDIF
http://hometheaterreview.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-arc-audio-return-channel

COMPRESSED Dolby-Digital-PLUS (aka E-AC-3, defined in ATSC Audio Spec) provides up to 7.1 Surround Sound, and can also be transferred beginning with HDMI 1.3, incl. ARC I/F....but ARC is LIMITED to 3.0 Mbps Max Data Rate [on HDMI can go up to Max of 6.144 Mbps]. This is in addition to the original Stereo PCM, DD5.1, DTS5.1 and DTS6.1 (ES Discrete or ES Matrix) formats [some may not be implemented in individual components]:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Digital_Plus

Typical Data Rates for various Dolby Formats are given in a Table, found in fol. article re ALL of the various Dolby DISCRETE and MATRIXED (Fake/Synthetic) Surround Formats:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Digital

DTS5.1 is encapsulated within the DD5.1 Format, but with a Max Data Rate of 1.5 Mbps. Info for ALL of the DTS Formats is found here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS_(sound_system)

During the HDMI Negotiation Process, the Source (i.e. SMART TV) will DOWN-REZ Digital Audio Format into the "BEST" Format that is COMPATIBLE with the Destination (i.e. AVR).
Thanks.
But is there any way in which I can enjoy the original audio of the content I am streaming to my TV for example say Dolby Atmos?



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You need an AVR (or highend soundbar like the Yamaha YSP-5600) that is capable of decoding the lossless audio. If you are playing the files directly on the TV it will only be able to output compressed audio over ARC. Certain new TVs can send the compressed format of Atmos over ARC, but you will never be able to get lossless audio. For that it needs to be fed to a device capable of decoding it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You need an AVR (or highend soundbar like the Yamaha YSP-5600) that is capable of decoding the lossless audio. If you are playing the files directly on the TV it will only be able to output compressed audio over ARC. Certain new TVs can send the compressed format of Atmos over ARC, but you will never be able to get lossless audio. For that it needs to be fed to a device capable of decoding it.
Thanks.



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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can streaming devices be of help? If yes what are the options, especially considering Netflix and Prime?

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As stated above, you need a hub (AVR) that takes inputs via High Speed HDMI, decodes, and then sends the audio thru your external speaker system (not the tv) and then all you do is push the video to your tv. ARC, for the most part, is not any better than optical with the exception in some cases where you can get Atmos. Lossless audio via ARC probably won't happen until HDMI 2.1(eARC) is available because it may use the un-used ethernet channel, but that's still a way off.
 

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The Internet [esp. Servers generating 1000's of Streams] generally do NOT have the Data Rate Capacity to support Blu-Ray's Hi-Rez (Loss-Less) Digital Audio Formats, such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD_Master Audio, etc:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_TrueHD
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS-HD_Master_Audio

So Internet Servers SOMETIMES use fol. Alternative COMPRESSED LOSS-LESS Digital Audio Formats, such as ALAC (some Apple iTunes), FLAC (everybody but Apple), APE, MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding, etc:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Lossless [some Apple iTunes]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey's_Audio [APE]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Lossless_Coding [MPEG4]

With literally DOZENS of Internet Boxes and THOUSANDS of different Servers out there, there is NO WAY I can provide you a COMPLETE LIST. But fol. should get you started now you know which FORMATS (typ. ALAC and FLAC) you need to search for. Going rate is in ballpark of $1/track and $10/album:
https://www.cnet.com/news/what-is-flac-the-high-def-mp3-explained
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/133842-what-is-high-res-audio-and-which-streaming-services-offer-it
https://www.macrumors.com/2017/03/02/spotify-lossless-audio-quality-plan

Getting Loss-Less Digital Audio to the I/N Box is just 1/2 the problem....the OTHER 1/2 is getting it to a SUITABLY EQUIPPED AVR or BD/UD-Player. Many AVR's do NOT support these new I/N Formats via HDMI Inputs so you need to look into whether the I/N Box CONVERTS them into something the AVR DOES understand, such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Loss-Less Formats.

My OPPO BD-Player (also new UD-Player) is unlike most Players, outputting ALL Supported Audio Formats [incl FLAC, ALAC, etc Files...e.g. downloaded using PC] via the DISCRETE ANALOG 5.1/7.1 RCA Audio Jack Outputs to my AVR [most Players do NOT output Loss-Less Formats via Analog I/F]. Something to consider if you are thinking about getting a BD or UD-Player anyway.....

If you are thinking of Streaming "4K"...or even HD Movies....while listening to a Loss-Less Audio Track.....it isn't happening....yet.....indeed most are still in LIVING STEREO rather than DD5.1 SURROUND....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Internet [esp. Servers generating 1000's of Streams] generally do NOT have the Data Rate Capacity to support Blu-Ray's Hi-Rez (Loss-Less) Digital Audio Formats, such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD_Master Audio, etc:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_TrueHD
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS-HD_Master_Audio

So Internet Servers SOMETIMES use fol. Alternative COMPRESSED LOSS-LESS Digital Audio Formats, such as ALAC (some Apple iTunes), FLAC (everybody but Apple), APE, MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding, etc:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Lossless [some Apple iTunes]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey's_Audio [APE]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Lossless_Coding [MPEG4]

With literally DOZENS of Internet Boxes and THOUSANDS of different Servers out there, there is NO WAY I can provide you a COMPLETE LIST. But fol. should get you started now you know which FORMATS (typ. ALAC and FLAC) you need to search for. Going rate is in ballpark of $1/track and $10/album:
https://www.cnet.com/news/what-is-flac-the-high-def-mp3-explained
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/133842-what-is-high-res-audio-and-which-streaming-services-offer-it
https://www.macrumors.com/2017/03/02/spotify-lossless-audio-quality-plan

Getting Loss-Less Digital Audio to the I/N Box is just 1/2 the problem....the OTHER 1/2 is getting it to a SUITABLY EQUIPPED AVR or BD/UD-Player. Many AVR's do NOT support these new I/N Formats via HDMI Inputs so you need to look into whether the I/N Box CONVERTS them into something the AVR DOES understand, such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Loss-Less Formats.

My OPPO BD-Player (also new UD-Player) is unlike most Players, outputting ALL Supported Audio Formats [incl FLAC, ALAC, etc Files...e.g. downloaded using PC] via the DISCRETE ANALOG 5.1/7.1 RCA Audio Jack Outputs to my AVR [most Players do NOT output Loss-Less Formats via Analog I/F]. Something to consider if you are thinking about getting a BD or UD-Player anyway.....

If you are thinking of Streaming "4K"...or even HD Movies....while listening to a Loss-Less Audio Track.....it isn't happening....yet.....indeed most are still in LIVING STEREO rather than DD5.1 SURROUND....
Thanks.

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The Internet [esp. Servers generating 1000's of Streams] generally do NOT have the Data Rate Capacity to support Blu-Ray's Hi-Rez (Loss-Less) Digital Audio Formats, such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD_Master Audio, etc:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_TrueHD
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS-HD_Master_Audio

So Internet Servers SOMETIMES use fol. Alternative COMPRESSED LOSS-LESS Digital Audio Formats, such as ALAC (some Apple iTunes), FLAC (everybody but Apple), APE, MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding, etc:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Lossless [some Apple iTunes]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey's_Audio [APE]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Lossless_Coding [MPEG4]

With literally DOZENS of Internet Boxes and THOUSANDS of different Servers out there, there is NO WAY I can provide you a COMPLETE LIST. But fol. should get you started now you know which FORMATS (typ. ALAC and FLAC) you need to search for. Going rate is in ballpark of $1/track and $10/album:
https://www.cnet.com/news/what-is-flac-the-high-def-mp3-explained
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/133842-what-is-high-res-audio-and-which-streaming-services-offer-it
https://www.macrumors.com/2017/03/02/spotify-lossless-audio-quality-plan

Getting Loss-Less Digital Audio to the I/N Box is just 1/2 the problem....the OTHER 1/2 is getting it to a SUITABLY EQUIPPED AVR or BD/UD-Player. Many AVR's do NOT support these new I/N Formats via HDMI Inputs so you need to look into whether the I/N Box CONVERTS them into something the AVR DOES understand, such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Loss-Less Formats.

My OPPO BD-Player (also new UD-Player) is unlike most Players, outputting ALL Supported Audio Formats [incl FLAC, ALAC, etc Files...e.g. downloaded using PC] via the DISCRETE ANALOG 5.1/7.1 RCA Audio Jack Outputs to my AVR [most Players do NOT output Loss-Less Formats via Analog I/F]. Something to consider if you are thinking about getting a BD or UD-Player anyway.....

If you are thinking of Streaming "4K"...or even HD Movies....while listening to a Loss-Less Audio Track.....it isn't happening....yet.....indeed most are still in LIVING STEREO rather than DD5.1 SURROUND....


The Oppo UHD BD is essentially unnecessary. My Sony UBP X800 supports all of the formats of the Oppo and has a dedicated audio only HDMI output for my AVR. You pay alot in the Oppo for DACs that are not better than the same dACs in the Pioneer Elite AVR. Since surround quality hinges on excellent calibration which requires high resolution filtering of the channels in the Receiver, the signal should stay digital until the amp. Since Oppo eliminated the HDCD decoder in the UHD player, it has no advantage. The Sony even plays DVD-A, which I thought would never happen.

BTW, my Netflix app on my UHD bluray player only output Dolby Digital, but the Netflix app on my 4k Sony 930e TV outputs Dolby Digital Plus over HDMI ARC to my receiver. I contacted Sony and the app has to be updated via an OS update.


"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible", Frank Zappa.
 

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Also DD+ is clearly superior to DD. The difference in surround ambience and quality is completely obvious on a properly calibrated system.


"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible", Frank Zappa.
 

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The Oppo UHD BD is essentially unnecessary. My Sony UBP X800 supports all of the formats of the Oppo and has a dedicated audio only HDMI output for my AVR. You pay alot in the Oppo for DACs that are not better than the same dACs in the Pioneer Elite AVR. Since surround quality hinges on excellent calibration which requires high resolution filtering of the channels in the Receiver, the signal should stay digital until the amp. Since Oppo eliminated the HDCD decoder in the UHD player, it has no advantage. The Sony even plays DVD-A, which I thought would never happen.

BTW, my Netflix app on my UHD bluray player only output Dolby Digital, but the Netflix app on my 4k Sony 930e TV outputs Dolby Digital Plus over HDMI ARC to my receiver. I contacted Sony and the app has to be updated via an OS update.


"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible", Frank Zappa.
The point I was trying to make is that using the ANALOG (5.1/7.1) OUTPUT [6 to 8 Coax with RCA Jacks] means I (and others) do NOT have to upgrade their AVR every time there is an incremental change in the HDMI I/F. I'm STILL using a perfectly usable [and Expensive] 2006 Pioneer AVR [with Linear MOSFET's to minimize Transient IMD] that doesn't have ANY HDMI Ports and allows my Wife to readily control just the UDTV [which Selects desired Input] and the Cable Box using the FULLY-FUNCTIONAL R/C that came with the Cable Box (incl. Selecting Cable Box for TV Input when I forget to return to "normal" watching conditions after watching a Disc). So I did NOT have to buy a new AVR nearly EVERY YEAR in order to keep up with the fol. subsequent HDMI versions:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI
http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_2_1/index.aspx

HDMI 1.3, Jun2006, Increase to 10.2 Gbps Max, added Deep Color, Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD Master Audio, Auto Lip Sync, etc.

HDMI 1.4, May2009, added "4K" MaxRez of 4096×2160 at 24 fps and 3840×2160 (Ultra HD) at 24/25/30 fps; 100 Mbps HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC); Audio Return Channel (ARC); added 3D format at 720p50, 1080p24, 720p60 and 1080p24 plus other features.

HDMI 1.4a, Mar2010, added [mostly for DirecTV] 3D formats, incl. 720p50, 1080p24, 720p60 and 1080p24, side-by-side horizontal at either 1080i50 or 1080i60, and top-and-bottom at either 720p50 and 1080p24 or 720p60 and 1080p24.

HDMI 1.4b, Oct2011, added 3D 1080p video at 120 Hz – allowing frame packing 3D format at 1080p60 per eye (120 Hz total).

HDMI 2.0, Sept2013, Increase to 18 Gbps Max, added "4K" video at 60 fps, Rec. 2020 color space, up to 32 audio channels, up to 1536 kHz [SACD?] audio sample frequency, dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen, up to four audio streams, 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, 25 fps 3D formats, 21:9 aspect ratio, dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams, the HD-AAC and DRA audio standards, improved 3D capability, and additional CEC function.

HDMI 2.0a, Apr2015, added High Dynamic Range (HDR) with STATIC metadata [SAME throughout the entire Movie]

HDMI 2.0b, Mar2016 AND Dec2016: Initially supported the same HDR10 standard as HDMI 2.0a as specified in the CTA-861.3 specification. In December 2016, additional support for HDR Video transport was added to HDMI 2.0b in the recently released CTA-861-G specification which extends the static metadata signaling to include Hybrid-Log-Gamma (HLG).

HDMI 2.1, Jan2017, Increase to 48 Gbps Max; added HDR with DYNAMIC Metadata [can change from Scene to Scene]; "4K" at up to 120 fps [future Nirvana for Sports Programs] as well as "8K" and "10K" at up to 120 fps; Game Mode VRR which allows for variable refresh rates (VRR) for more fluid motion in games; Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) for object-based audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X; and other features. [Should be available in new equipment "soonish"......]

I don't think that ANY of these would prevent FULL USE of my Pre-HDMI AVR....with ANALOG I/F on BD or UD-Player, it would STILL playback ALL of the new Audio Formats!!!!!
 

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There ARE some SIGNIFICANT differences between your Sony UBP X800 UD-Player and the Oppo UD-203 UD-Player, such as fol. NOT in your Sony:

a) ANALOG 5.1/7.1 OUTPUTS [advantages of which were discussed above]

b) Plays Dolby Vision Discs.....the OTHER HDR Format [Sony & Oppo both do the usual HD10 HDR Format]:
http://variety.com/2016/digital/new...-ultra-hd-movies-from-sony-mgm-uni-1201673240
https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/04/warner-universal-and-lionsgate-promise-dolby-vision-4k-blu-ray
http://investor.dolby.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1033806
Movie Lists:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Cinema#Films_presented_in_Dolby_Cinema
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/465-h...ailable-4k-hdr-titles-will-updated-often.html
and Technology:
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/139947-what-is-dolby-vision-dolby-s-very-own-hdr-tv-tech-explained
https://www.whathifi.com/advice/dolby-vision-hdr-everything-you-need-to-know
http://www.techradar.com/news/dolby-vision-is-it-worth-paying-extra-for-the-premium-hdr-format

I was disappointed to see that Oppo UD-Player no longer supports the High Definition Compatible Disc (HDCD) Format found in my Oppo BD-Player [same as CD except employs unused bits for 20-bit vice standard 16-bit Samples [I have DOZENs of old HDCD's]. However, now that Oppo has worked out the bugs in Dolby Vision, perhaps they can add it to the list of on-going upgrades....Oppo has been VERY GOOD at uploading "missing" and new features into their products, as well as aggressively fixing User Reported BUGS:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Definition_Compatible_Digital

And more importantly, Oppo UD-Players do NOT (yet) support Internet Streaming Functions (e.g. Netflix, et.al. found in your Sony UD-Player with SURROUND Sound Formats where available)....although they ARE currently supported in Oppo BD-Players....so it will eventually be rolled out.....
 

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There ARE some SIGNIFICANT differences between your Sony UBP X800 UD-Player and the Oppo UD-203 UD-Player, such as fol. NOT in your Sony:

a) ANALOG 5.1/7.1 OUTPUTS [advantages of which were discussed above]

b) Plays Dolby Vision Discs.....the OTHER HDR Format [Sony & Oppo both do the usual HD10 HDR Format]:
http://variety.com/2016/digital/new...-ultra-hd-movies-from-sony-mgm-uni-1201673240
https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/04/warner-universal-and-lionsgate-promise-dolby-vision-4k-blu-ray
http://investor.dolby.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1033806
Movie Lists:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Cinema#Films_presented_in_Dolby_Cinema
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/465-h...ailable-4k-hdr-titles-will-updated-often.html
and Technology:
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/139947-what-is-dolby-vision-dolby-s-very-own-hdr-tv-tech-explained
https://www.whathifi.com/advice/dolby-vision-hdr-everything-you-need-to-know
http://www.techradar.com/news/dolby-vision-is-it-worth-paying-extra-for-the-premium-hdr-format

I was disappointed to see that Oppo UD-Player no longer supports the High Definition Compatible Disc (HDCD) Format found in my Oppo BD-Player [same as CD except employs unused bits for 20-bit vice standard 16-bit Samples [I have DOZENs of old HDCD's]. However, now that Oppo has worked out the bugs in Dolby Vision, perhaps they can add it to the list of on-going upgrades....Oppo has been VERY GOOD at uploading "missing" and new features into their products, as well as aggressively fixing User Reported BUGS:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Definition_Compatible_Digital

And more importantly, Oppo UD-Players do NOT (yet) support Internet Streaming Functions (e.g. Netflix, et.al. found in your Sony UD-Player with SURROUND Sound Formats where available)....although they ARE currently supported in Oppo BD-Players....so it will eventually be rolled out.....


Unfortunately, you ignored the most important aspect of modern AVRs like my SC37 Pioneer Elite. All I need is an HDMI interface that supports lossless surround formats, DSD and MLP. Room correction is incredibly important and I don't want to convert Analog to Digital and then Digital to Analog. I had an analog input receiver for multichannel SACD in 2007. It never sounded as good as the phase calibrating MCACC function in my SC37. The latest Pioneer Elite AVRs have power MOSFET output stages and have full bandwidth specs for 4 ohm speakers.


"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible", Frank Zappa.
 

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Also, I expected the firmware for the Sony player and TV to be updated for DV this year.


"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible", Frank Zappa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I use my Sony PS3 for playing Blu-Rays and streaming my downloaded content (though it seems capable of streaming only limited formats). I hope I am not missing out on something big..

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I was disappointed to see that Oppo UD-Player no longer supports the High Definition Compatible Disc (HDCD) Format found in my Oppo BD-Player [same as CD except employs unused bits for 20-bit vice standard 16-bit Samples [I have DOZENs of old HDCD's]. However, now that Oppo has worked out the bugs in Dolby Vision, perhaps they can add it to the list of on-going upgrades....Oppo has been VERY GOOD at uploading "missing" and new features into their products, as well as aggressively fixing User Reported BUGS:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Definition_Compatible_Digital
I believe ffmpeg now includes HDCD decoding functionality (feed it 16 bit CD WAV rips and out comes 20 bit PCM or FLAC or whatever you want) - so you could rip your HDCDs to 20-bit files should you wish. (No idea if this is legal in the US - but is there 'fair use' legislation, particularly given that CDs are not encrypted)
 
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