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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First Hi! - newbie here


I've had a lot of experience in the field of A/V, Home Theatre and Computers but I have always been lacking in the technical side of audio specifications. The first thing I want to know is when using a PC for movies or general high quality digital audio what is the difference in having the PC decode the Audio and send an analogue signal to a speaker compared to sending the uncompressed audio stream to the amp and have the amp decode the sound. At the end of the day the signal has to be converted to analogue before it arrives to the speakers so does it matter if we don't get to see the special DTS-HD MA decoding light come up on the amp?


Perhaps am I misunderstanding what is going on and the PC is not correctly decoding the audio if the amplifier doesn't show the respective active decoding icon?


- I know some people seem to think they're not getting proper audio unless their amp is sufficiently illuminated.


Regards
 

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You seem to be speaking of a specific amp with specific features that no one but you knows about.


Before anyone can answer your question, you need to be specific about exactly which amp you are talking about and lot more details.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by biroshima  /t/1468943/help-understanding-digital-audio-decoding#post_23221303


First Hi! - newbie here


I've had a lot of experience in the field of A/V, Home Theatre and Computers but I have always been lacking in the technical side of audio specifications. The first thing I want to know is when using a PC for movies or general high quality digital audio what is the difference in having the PC decode the Audio and send an analogue signal to a speaker compared to sending the uncompressed audio stream to the amp and have the amp decode the sound. At the end of the day the signal has to be converted to analogue before it arrives to the speakers so does it matter if we don't get to see the special DTS-HD MA decoding light come up on the amp?


Perhaps am I misunderstanding what is going on and the PC is not correctly decoding the audio if the amplifier doesn't show the respective active decoding icon?


- I know some people seem to think they're not getting proper audio unless their amp is sufficiently illuminated.

In an ideal world there would be no difference between decoding A/V media using a PC or an AVR.


In the real world I often invoke this rule: "Keep the audio signal in the digital domain as close to the speakers as is reasonably possible".


This rule favors using an AVR or other external digital player (including many newer BD players)to do the decoding for audio files and streams that are on the PC.


Check AVS's HTPC threads for more discussion of this topic.
 

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Quote:
This rule favors using an AVR or other external digital player (including many newer BD players)to do the decoding for audio files and streams that are on the PC.

Or you can do it using a decoding plate amp that sends the signal via spdif to the amp from the HTPC. Digital right to the speaker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk  /t/1468943/help-understanding-digital-audio-decoding#post_23221434


In an ideal world there would be no difference between decoding A/V media using a PC or an AVR.


In the real world I often invoke this rule: "Keep the audio signal in the digital domain as close to the speakers as is reasonably possible".


This rule favors using an AVR or other external digital player (including many newer BD players)to do the decoding for audio files and streams that are on the PC.


Check AVS's HTPC threads for more discussion of this topic.

To be honest that is what I always followed, I'm just trying to get the best understanding as I am considering upgrading my hardware now that my Blu Ray collection is starting to build.

I'll go over to the HTPC threads for my other queries then, thanks for your response.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraut  /t/1468943/help-understanding-digital-audio-decoding#post_23221476


Or you can do it using a decoding plate amp that sends the signal via spdif to the amp from the HTPC. Digital right to the speaker.

My understanding using SPDIF I'd loose higher quality like DTS-HD MA down to DTS core, but thanks anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander  /t/1468943/help-understanding-digital-audio-decoding#post_23221726


There is a lot that happens prior to analog conversion - bass management and room correction at the top of that list. It is unlikely your PC can handle those tasks as well as a receiver.

Are you saying this assuming a generic onboard sound card is being used or do you believe that even the high end dedicated sound cards don't compare with an AV Receiver?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by biroshima  /t/1468943/help-understanding-digital-audio-decoding#post_23221766

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander  /t/1468943/help-understanding-digital-audio-decoding#post_23221726


There is a lot that happens prior to analog conversion - bass management and room correction at the top of that list. It is unlikely your PC can handle those tasks as well as a receiver.

Are you saying this assuming a generic onboard sound card is being used or do you believe that even the high end dedicated sound cards don't compare with an AV Receiver?

High end dedicated sound cards are not unfamiliar territory for me. For example I have a fair collection of audio interfaces for pro audio including LynxStudio, DAL and M-Audio's finest. My main use for them is live recording.


That all said I'm not looking at just the audio interface but the big picture.


I just did a major upgrade on the computer I'm typing on right now. The new MB is a GigaByte 78LMT-USB3. Works a treat! Right out of the box it came with one of the highest performing and most flexible digital audio playback interfaces I know of - HDMI. What AV media format can't you send out in native mode via HDMI?


Thing is, what is a good target for a HDMI output? Wow, it is an AVR! As Bislander pointed out, the AVR has bass management, automated and manual system optimization, and lots of good power amps.


Now in principle I could have an 8-out analog interface and some magic piece of digital AV player software on the PC and provided all of those features and functions. I even have a good candidate audio interface - a M-Audio 1010LT. Now where is that magic piece of AV digital player software? I see pieces of it, but not the whole enchilada. Ooops!


That AVR is looking better all of the time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by biroshima  /t/1468943/help-understanding-digital-audio-decoding#post_23221766

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander  /t/1468943/help-understanding-digital-audio-decoding#post_23221726


There is a lot that happens prior to analog conversion - bass management and room correction at the top of that list. It is unlikely your PC can handle those tasks as well as a receiver.

Are you saying this assuming a generic onboard sound card is being used or do you believe that even the high end dedicated sound cards don't compare with an AV Receiver?
It's your equipment. Why don't you tell us what it can do.
 

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There is some mix up in the OP and subsequent discussion in this thread between 'decoding' and DAC. The player can still 'decode' dts-HD MA and still send a digital signal (PCM) to the AVR, without DAC to analogue.


There are specific scenarios where there is a difference in the decoded PCM whether the source or AVR decodes dts-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD.


1. secondary or PiP audio;

2. If the audio has Dolby ProLogic encoding:;

3. If the audio is dts-HD MA 192kHz.
 

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biroshima - are you asking about the difference between having the player decode and send PCM (digital) to the receiver or sending the encoded file to the receiver for decoding? That's different from having the player do the digital analog conversion. As long as the output to the receiver is digital, the AVR will be doing all of the processing.


And, aside from a few minor things, it doesn't matter where the decoding is done. Decoding is nothing more than unpacking a compressed file, much the same as unzipping a data file.
 
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