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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my setup primarily used for Home Theater I have for Audio:

Theta CB3 With Extreme Dacs

Three Theta Citadels for Front Channels

Two Bryston Amps for Back Channels

Aerial LR5's (two pairs) and CC5 Speakers - SW 12 Subwoofer

For DVD I use A Denzel HTPC - I use the computers on board Digital sound.

This setup is very convenient for me as I keep all my movies on the HTPC and it is very convenient to call them to view.

I was recently told that with a setup like mine I am missing out by using the PC's sub standard sound to listen to the movies and should really consider a high End DVD Player (which quite frankly will be the smallest investment in what I have already spent).

DVD Players recommneded are Theta Compli (which would be my first choice having a lot of Theta Gear) or a Ayre DVD Player.

The above required for Sound as I think in video using Theatertek and ffdshow no DVD player can compare with the picture (just my opinion)

I would really like to avoid using a external DVD player as the HTPC is just so convenient.

Would appreciate advise.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mburnstein
why not use your HTPC with a SDI output on a high end DVD player like Ayre? Then the Ayre will do your audio and you can still use your HTPC for the video massaging!!
I'm using an SDI Ayre connected to an HTPC equipped with an HOLO3D card.


The Ayre sounds wonderful, and the PC does a good job with video, although recent standalone scalers would probably work better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses, I did not know that you can use SDI - Ayre - Holo option - this is why I love this forum. I am going to consider/research it.

I will be getting a Qualia (Ordered recently) - It is recomended to use Qualia's in built scaler.

The best option looks like a Theta Compli (If it has a SDI option) because it can be connected to the CB3 through a Digital connection for sound on DVD Movies, DVD AUDIO and SACD. Use the Theta with SDI as you are using the Ayre and in the future get a scaler such as the Lumagen which will work with the Qualia's resolution.
 

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Ash,


Even with DVDs, the Qualia works better with 1080i HDMI or DVI signals.


If DVD video is important to you, consider one of the recent models (like the Pioneer) that can upconvert to 1080i with an HDMI output.


The Qualia is less good with 480p signals. That rules out the Ayre which does not upconvert, unless you use an external processor.
 

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the problem i see very often is that many are investing $2000 into a DVD player that can only EVER output a resolution of 480p. why not take that manoney and put it into an upscaling 720p player. now i realize that the sound will be much better in, say a krell dvd player than a denon upconvrter, but ultimately one must decide which takes precedence: video performance or sound. from there, one can determine which player fits their needs. i personally feel that an upscaliig dvd player is much better because the picture is far cleaner. based on your setup, i suppose you are using high resultion from your htpc and going back down to 480p will have you wishing that you had an upscaler. just my 2 cents. cheers!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony A.
based on your setup, i suppose you are using high resultion from your htpc
Exactly. This way I have both video and audio quality.


Although video is no longer very important, I stopped watching movies on DVDs a year ago. I just can't stand DVDs anymore, I prefer to wait and get the HD version.


I use my Ayre mainly for music now, and to watch some old series that will probably never be available in HD anyway.
 

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I can see HTPCs being great for software aspects of DVD playing, but are the PC video cards' "video electronics" of the same quality as, for example, an Ayre, Tag, or some other high end player that emphasizes video quality.

Quote:
the problem i see very often is that many are investing $2000 into a DVD player that can only EVER output a resolution of 480p. why not take that manoney and put it into an upscaling 720p player.
Because there are external scalers and displays with better scalers than "upscaling" DVD players. So, only 480i/480p is needed.


larry
 

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dvd players of today will become obsolete in 2 years with blue ray and hd-dvds coming out soon
 

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Trinnov Alt16, Parasound Amps, Martin logan speakers, 120” screen, SVS subs and dedicated media room
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It's my understanding if you use a digital audio output (COAX or Optical) you are bypassing whatever DACs are in your DVD player, and allowing your CBIII to do the trick.


Ash, what is your impression of the CBII? Have you compared it to the Meridian 861 processor? What size is your room?


I am considering either of the above for home theater, but am having a hard time making up my mind due to a local dealer having Meridian, but can never get it to work, and the room is 2x my room size (12x19x9high).


Best,


eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Eric,

I have owned a Theta Casablanca since 1999, so you may find my recommendation biased. I started out with lexicon and have auditioned Meridian Pre Pros a few times.

Theta has the best upgrade policy – I did upgrade to three extreme DACs last year and CB3 this year.

The CB3 in my opinion is the best sounding receiver out there.

I have used the CB 3 with Bryston Amps all these years and still use them for my side and rear channels. Recently I added three Citadels for my front channels.

My room Size is 22x20x8 and I do not have a dedicated room.

After starting this thread and auditioning my current setup with sound from my el cheapo HTPC motherboard Digital out and a Standalone DVD digital out I have come to the conclusion that the CB3 processing is so good that both digital outs sound alike - Very good.

The CB3 is a tweakers delight it has unlimited Settings and options. My system has grown from small speaker to full range speakers and multiple subwoofers and I have been able to accommodate the changes.

I run different outputs with different crossovers to optimize use of my speakers.

Above all, the Extreme DACS are a world apart in how they sound, I am convinced that when Extreme 2 DACs come out them will be a upgrade path for Extreme DACs.

I would call John at Theta and discuss upgradeablity of DACs and your System needs.

Also pm and I may be able to get you in touch with a dealer you can Save a bunch of Money.

Ash
 

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Quote:
I can see HTPCs being great for software aspects of DVD playing, but are the PC video cards' "video electronics" of the same quality as, for example, an Ayre, Tag, or some other high end player that emphasizes video quality.
HTPCs scale the video stream which puts them ahead of the non-scaling players you mentioned. Since the scaling is done entirely in the digital domain (w/o extra A/D->D/A conversions) and since the computer has significantly more resources (3Ghz proc + GPU) than the typical external scaler or upsampling player, the image quality is superior. Also, video card outputs are either RGB or DVI which drive most PJs. The component outputs of a set-top box usually require a transcoder to drive a PJ (another weak point in the video chain). Computer video cards are designed to drive resolutions of at least 1600x1200 with zero noise... 480p, 720p and 1080p are child's play.


As for the sound comments, I'd suggest auditioning a good pro sound card (RME, Lynx, etc.)... most of your recordings are mastered through these cards! Some have master-clock capability which will allow perfect sync between the card and your external DAC solution.
 

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I have had different DVD players in my system and have noticed differences in sound on DVDs.


BUT --


Last December, since I got a Lumagen video processor with SDI, I got a Panasonic RP-91 DVD player with SDI mod.


Initially, my Theta Voyager clearly sounded better on DVD. But after a bit of tweaking - Symposium Rollerblocks under, Brightstar Little Rock on top,

modded for three prong IEC so I could use Granite Audio power cord., and use of Granite Audio digital RCA to BNC cable (NC input of the CB2).


RESULT - on DVD, sonically hard to distinguish from my Voyager.


Now on redbook CD, Voyager kicks ass with the RP-91. But for DVD alone, the RP-91 is absolutely fine now.
 

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A good quality audio card for your PC will do you just fine. In fact, most of the recording studios are mastering the CD/DVD audio streams using PCs and Macs these days anyway. The issue is that you will be sending the stream digitally to the Theta anyway, and letting it process the signal.


In the end, the PC is far more flexible and cheaper than a stand-alone player. You are better off.
 

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Trinnov Alt16, Parasound Amps, Martin logan speakers, 120” screen, SVS subs and dedicated media room
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Hey Ash,


My dealer-buddy did a shoot out a couple weeks ago with the universal McCormack player, Cinema 6 DVD player, Lexicon RT-10, and a marantz universal player.


All in all he said the video was impressive on all players while shooting through his DLP - forgot what type.


However, he said the Cary had noticably better audio quality running through the Cinema 8 (also Cary) Pre-amp processor.


He mentioned the 35 lbs of the Cary ought to amount for something. I would concur - my uncle has a Ref 50, LX5 amp, and the Cary DVD player matched with Martin Logans, and it sounds fantastic.


Glad you are enjoying the CBIII. I'm 90% sure I'm going to order one from a dealer-friend in LA, but still trying to ascertain if the Xtreme Dac will be able to "play" decipher the DD+ and DTS++ HD-audio signal. Sounds like it may be an encryption thing - and I certainly don't want to spend a chunk of change only to have to replace/upgrade my Xtreme DAC simply so I can listen to audio, the way it should be listened to...


Best,


Stieger
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Stieger,

I am now convinced that with a Theta CB3 'Digital' source component does not matter - I know I might get flamed for this including from my dealer.

I upgraded my extreme cards using the free software available in Theta's web site. I am sure as technology changes Theta will provide reasonably priced upgrades.

The new sorround card is due to arrive in December or later.

I hope my post helped you get pushed over the fence - life is too short.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ash Sharma
Stieger,

I am now convinced that with a Theta CB3 'Digital' source component does not matter - I know I might get flamed for this including from my dealer.

I upgraded my extreme cards using the free software available in Theta's web site. I am sure as technology changes Theta will provide reasonably priced upgrades.

The new sorround card is due to arrive in December or later.

I hope my post helped you get pushed over the fence - life is too short.
I can tell you that with my Theta CB2 with Xtreme DACs, that my Theta Voyager and a Granite Audio 650 CD player sound about the same as digital transports. My Panasonic RP-91 (with tweaks) sounds about the same as the Voyager on DVD, the the Voyager kills it on redbook CD.

Whether this will change with the CB3 - well, when I do the upgrade I'll find out.
 
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