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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone,

I am using an Onkyo receiver (apx. 5 years old) and an older Oppo blu-ray player (BDP-83). I have been using high speed HDMI cables for the last 2-3 years and have not experienced any audio drop-outs with Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio. Last night we tried to watch Hunger Games: Mocking Jay and the audio kept dropping out at random points like crazy. I can pause the movie and go back to the scene and it would momentarily play back fine until 15 minutes later it would happen again. We got so frustrated that I just downgraded to normal DTS just to finish the movie.

I have a feeling this may be a Dolby Atmos issue because none of the movies I played had audio problems. I do have the most recent firmware upgrade on the Oppo but I gotta say I'm pretty disappointed with issues with the Oppo. I have a cheap $80 Sony 3D blu-ray player. Many discs load faster than the Oppo. I never had a disc that wouldn't read (whereas that happened several times with the Oppo). The picture & sound quality (with blu-rays) seem to be extremely close between the two - although I do like the plethora of "fine tuning" menu options the Oppo has to offer. I also had a case where the Oppo failed to display subtitles during a scene in Avatar when Sigourney Weaver was talking to one of her assistants (as a human) in the native language. Turning off the Oppo and restarting it solved the issue.

In other words... While I love the Oppo I also have constant issues plaguing the device. But a cheap $80 Sony blu-ray player feels light & cheap but plays flawlessly. I don't get it. I haven't been able to test Mocking Jay on the Sony player yet to verify if it's the Oppo, the HDMI cables (which I doubt but possibly might be) or the receiver. Has anyone else experienced similar problems and/or know of a fix to this?
 

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Neither the Oppo BDP-83 or BDP-93 can play Atmos discs as "bitstream" without audio dropouts, however no issues when Oppo is set to LPCM but then no Atmos signal to the AVR. Oppo has confirmed this issue is not fixable via a firmware update, rather you would need to upgrade to the Oppo 103/103D to resolve the issue if you have an Atmos AVR and want to bitstream the audio to the AVR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Neither the Oppo BDP-83 or BDP-93 can play Atmos discs without audio dropouts. Oppo has confirmed this issue is not fixable via a firmware update, rather you would need to upgrade to the Oppo 103/103D to resolve the issue.
I (sadly) believe you.

So... basically what you are telling me is that my cheap $80 Sony blu-ray player outperforms my "high end" $500 Oppo blu-ray player?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The picture quality (on blu-rays) is virtually the same.

So the $80 Sony can take the Atmos signal and "downgrade" it to lossless Dolby True HD with no problem.
But the $500 Oppo, on the other hand, can't handle this level of processing (and hiccups as a result)?

I feel like I have been duped by snake oil marketing under the guise of false reviews. I will take the $80 cheap player that WORKS all the time (and has equal picture & sound quality) over a $500 expensive player (with comparable picture quality but with more menu options) that fails or has occasional glitches any day.
 

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The picture quality (on blu-rays) is virtually the same.

So the $80 Sony can take the Atmos signal and "downgrade" it to lossless Dolby True HD with no problem.
But the $500 Oppo, on the other hand, can't handle this level of processing (and hiccups as a result)?

I feel like I have been duped by snake oil marketing under the guise of false reviews. I will take the $80 cheap player that WORKS all the time (and has equal picture & sound quality) over a $500 expensive player (with comparable picture quality but with more menu options) that fails or has occasional glitches any day.
You haven't been duped and Oppo has been up front about this issue which is related to the chip the 83 used and that chip is no longer supported by the company that made it. Atmos was developed well after the 83 was designed/built. It's not the first a/v product to have an issue with new technology. You do realize it is now a 4 generations old 83/93/103/103D.

Most of us sold our older players (93) for $400 and upgraded a few years ago. I still have my 83 because it has played everything I've put in it from day one and I plan on keeping it until it dies. My Atmos setup is handled by a 103.

Does that $80 player do all the other things the 83 does so well. Most of us bought for use playing SACDs, playing numerous other audio formats, upconverting (mattered at the time), analog outs, etc, etc. If someone bought just as a blu-ray player then they should have just gotten the $80 player. At the time, more like $150 :)
 
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Neither the Oppo BDP-83 or BDP-93 can play Atmos discs without audio dropouts. Oppo has confirmed this issue is not fixable via a firmware update, rather you would need to upgrade to the Oppo 103/103D to resolve the issue.
This is incorrect. Both can play Atmos tracks just fine. What they can't handle is complex seamless branching copy protection schemes combined with DTHD 7.1 audio. Since Atmos is always bundled inside a 7.1 DTHD track, people tend to confuse and assume Atmos is the problem - its not.

This particular protection scheme was invented long after these 2 players were designed. Its also true that other players also have the same issue.
The REAL problem is that 7.1 DTHD takes large amounts of both processing power and internal memory. When seamless branching forces the processor to clear its buffer and re-buffer multiple times in a short period, dropouts can happen. Not every time and usually not repeatable. Its as much a drawback of DTHD as it is a drawback of the older processors, but there is it. The makers of these discs know all that when they make the decision to author them with insane amounts of seamless branching and playlist obfuscation to try to prevent copying.
 

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You can set the HDMI Audio out to LPCM (in the 83 audio setup menu), and you won't get audio dropouts.

But you won't get Dolby Atmos either.
 

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This is incorrect. Both can play Atmos tracks just fine. What they can't handle is complex seamless branching copy protection schemes combined with DTHD 7.1 audio. Since Atmos is always bundled inside a 7.1 DTHD track, people tend to confuse and assume Atmos is the problem - its not.

This particular protection scheme was invented long after these 2 players were designed. Its also true that other players also have the same issue.
The REAL problem is that 7.1 DTHD takes large amounts of both processing power and internal memory. When seamless branching forces the processor to clear its buffer and re-buffer multiple times in a short period, dropouts can happen. Not every time and usually not repeatable. Its as much a drawback of DTHD as it is a drawback of the older processors, but there is it. The makers of these discs know all that when they make the decision to author them with insane amounts of seamless branching and playlist obfuscation to try to prevent copying.

Guess what, it did nothing to stop movie pirating and rendered a $500 machine useless. Pirates 1 movie companies 0
 

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Had minor dropouts with my new Sony player that I purchased just to avoid this problem in my BDP-83. Played it in the Oppo BDP-83 using LPCM a and no problems. Since I don't have Atmos, I will leave the BDP-83 in LPCM for the foreseeable future. Guess I didn't need the Sony after all.

If this is the future of disc authoring, it makes me wonder about the future of discs and Atmos. I have two players that cannot deliver the True HD bitstream cleanly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Had minor dropouts with my new Sony player that I purchased just to avoid this problem in my BDP-83. Played it in the Oppo BDP-83 using LPCM a and no problems. Since I don't have Atmos, I will leave the BDP-83 in LPCM for the foreseeable future. Guess I didn't need the Sony after all.

If this is the future of disc authoring, it makes me wonder about the future of discs and Atmos. I have two players that cannot deliver the True HD bitstream cleanly.
Thanks for the advice and help on some options I can set the Oppo to prevent these drop-outs.

Is there a discernible quality difference when forcing the HDMI to LPCM? I don't remember where I have my settings at, but I do know that when Bitstream is in place it makes a very noticeable difference (in a good way) to have the bitstream active. That figures that copy protection is the culprit. It seems to always be the culprit. But at least I wasn't completely far off in assuming it was related to the Dolby Atmos audio track. Now at least I know it's the combination of the two.

A long time ago my BDP-83 had drop-outs with some Dolby True HD tracks (but never with DTS Master Audio), but that was because the HDMI cable being used was not high speed 1.3. Replacing the cable totally fixed the problem as it was a bandwidth issue. And yes... at the time the Oppo did an amazing job upscaling regular DVD's! But also at the time I was running a 40" Sony television. I'm now running a 64" F8500 and it's a lot harder to watch "regular" DVD's these days (lol). It's also good to know that older blu-ray players (not just the Oppo) will also have issues with the combination of copy protection and Dolby Atmos.
 

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As long as secondary audio is off in the player, the decoded True HD is of equal quality. It still travels through HDMI. The only difference is that it's decoded in the player, so your receiver/processor will not say Dolby True HD while playing. Since I don't have Atmos, it's a workable solution for me. Mockingjay has a good quality audio mix, and it sounded great to me over LPCM.
 

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Guess what, it did nothing to stop movie pirating and rendered a $500 machine useless. Pirates 1 movie companies 0
Manufacturers could put more computing power into their chips, but they don't.
Why? Because they want to sell new BR players, and not continuously firmware update the one you have now for too long.

Look @ people who buy $10,000 Blu-ray players! :eek:

* A hundred bucks one will last a year or two, if it doesn't break before, and then you just buy another one.
Because the one you buy for $1,000 it won't last much longer either.

It's just the name of wise business, for the electronic product manufacturers.

Look, since 2006-07 I had a dozen Blu-ray players; in less than 9 years. ...Normally, I should have had only one, or two @ the very max.
And for the next nine years, guess how many more I would "need" to buy. ...Just in order to keep up with copy protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As long as secondary audio is off in the player, the decoded True HD is of equal quality. It still travels through HDMI. The only difference is that it's decoded in the player, so your receiver/processor will not say Dolby True HD while playing. Since I don't have Atmos, it's a workable solution for me. Mockingjay has a good quality audio mix, and it sounded great to me over LPCM.
Thank you very much for the tip. I will definitely give it a try.

BTW... John Wick would not load on my Oppo BDP-83. I had to use the cheap Sony to play it, but the audio was fantastic! I didn't realize at the time it was a "Dolby Atmos" disc because I just saw "Dolby True HD on the receiver". For a while my Oppo couldn't play some of the newer discs like X-Men: Days of Future Passed and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The newest firmware upgrade fixed that, but for whatever reason is not able to load / detect John Wick but was able to recognize Mocking Jay. It's quite frustrating, and I wish the blu-ray manufacturers would adhere to some kind of standard. It's almost like we were working with Blu-Ray Ver1. Then 1.1. Then 1.2., etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Manufacturers could put more computing power into their chips, but they don't.
Why? Because they want to sell new BR players, and not continuously firmware update the one you have now for too long.

Look @ people who buy $10,000 Blu-ray players! :eek:

* A hundred bucks one will last a year or two, if it doesn't break before, and then you just buy another one.
Because the one you buy for $1,000 it won't last much longer either.

It's just the name of wise business, for the electronic product manufacturers.

Look, since 2006-07 I had a dozen Blu-ray players; in less than 9 years. ...Normally, I should had only one, or two @ the very max.
And for the next nine years, guess how many more I would "need" to buy. ...Just in order to keep up with copy protection.
The consumer just keeps getting suckered in :)
 

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Thank you very much for the tip. I will definitely give it a try.

BTW... John Wick would not load on my Oppo BDP-83. I had to use the cheap Sony to play it, but the audio was fantastic! I didn't realize at the time it was a "Dolby Atmos" disc because I just saw "Dolby True HD on the receiver". For a while my Oppo couldn't play some of the newer discs like X-Men: Days of Future Passed and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The newest firmware upgrade fixed that, but for whatever reason is not able to load / detect John Wick but was able to recognize Mocking Jay. It's quite frustrating, and I wish the blu-ray manufacturers would adhere to some kind of standard. It's almost like we were working with Blu-Ray Ver1. Then 1.1. Then 1.2., etc...
Yes, you would think Blu-ray would be a mature technology by now.

I purchased the Sony because of the X-Men disc. I did the Oppo firmware upgrade, but figured the BDP-83 was nearing its end-of-life, so I purchased a back-up player. When I had dropouts with Mockingjay in the Sony, it was frustrating.

I haven't had the Oppo fail to load a disc yet since the firmware upgrade. Haven't purchased John Wick, but I'd imagine it won't be the last problem disc.
 

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If my blu ray subscription to Netflix starts sending discs that my very reliable Samsung player won't play, I'll just go back to DVD. It has very close to the same video quality at my 11 foot viewing distance. I'm more interested in the content of the movie than the gadgets decoding it anyway.
 

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...And they'll do everything they can do too with our TVs, smartphones, computers, AV receivers, speakers, turntables, ...
to sell more and more year after year after year.

The main key of business is to not build products that last. ...Look @ Onkyo, @ Sony, @ Panasonic, ... they know the game very well.
But now with the Internet and more awareness from more people, we can see much easier and stay away from products that are not build to last and that aren't able to receive firmware updates for long enough because they don't have the required hardware in them to handle more data and play good with it.

Normally, you build a product for longevity, for tomorrow's readiness in advanced anticipation. ...You give your product enough horsepower inside to handle future firmware updates.
But nothing is near normal today. ...Not the way I just described. ...But just the other way around.

It's like that too with the car industry, and the airplane industry (they keep losing their planes).

I know; it sounds ridiculous, and it is.

________

I would go as far to say that we are self-destructing ourselves in the name of bad non-lasting consumption, or oblivion/obsolescence.
This could become the next largest human tragedy of our history, and destroy our most sensitive values to the point of creating more wars across our planet. It could well annihilate us and send our remaining ashes to kingdom come.
 

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I'm more interested in the content of the movie than the gadgets decoding it anyway.
I appreciate what you are saying about movie "content" being the most important. ....that being said, your last line about "gadgets decoding it" is rather dismissive, especially since this site is dedicated (for the most part) to enhancing the movie viewing/listening experience. This industry is built on the backs of those early adopters who embrace the latest "gadgets". Some work out, some don't....but to dismiss those who do embrace the new technology (on this site) seems contrary to the communities' mission.

Ron
 

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Guess what, it did nothing to stop movie pirating and rendered a $500 machine useless. Pirates 1 movie companies 0
That may be an over-reaction. The player is anything but useless.

Issues with seamless branching aside, DTHD is a hugely inefficient codec, requiring massive amounts of time and money to encode (for the studios). They actually have to buy extra hardware to encode it and pay hefty licensing fees. Issues with decoding are just the tip of that iceberg. These are some of the reasons why DTS has dominated the BD marketplace, lower cost being #1 . Once DTS-X and Auro3D become available, expect to see Atmos fade into the background the same as DTHD has. Atmos is Dolby's attempt to breath life into a dying codec.
 
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