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Ok, so we all know that the HDMI is limited to 2.0 pcm due to the unfortunate demise of Vinci Labs and NHT collapse. However, this is also a very nice piece of equipment that does well for all my other needs - other than handling the HBR/bluray movies natively.


Sure, I can use the 7.1 analog ins and going by Kalman's review, the 7.1s are quite nice. But the weight of the market is moving toward digital transfers of data (eventually!) and I can't help thinking that if I keep trying to live in an analog world in this respect, 7.1s might end up as a highend deal and I'll lose out on resale of my equipment. Because if I want to do 7.1 "right", due to the disease of audiophilia, then I start thinking about things like the McCormack MAP-1, Parasound P7, Switchman (!) etc. And then I start thinking about higher end dvd or bluray players because they have better DACs because that is what I am relying on using the analog outs. That's not cheap either...


So I could just say screw it and Go digital via the 9.89.9 or Onkyo pre/pros. However, it seems that the analog sections aren't as good as they could be in these things. Are they good enough for me? Yeah, probably and the addition of Audessey would likely be a huge plus to my system. But is pretty expensive also and, to my mind, a rapidly depreciating asset as I figure that one day we will have relatively decent and more affordable pre/pros out there. I could get a budget receiver that decodes evrything, but I remember the difference when I went from a cheap pioneer receiver to separates so I'd rather not go that route. If I start spending more on a receiver to get something that sounds decent to hold me over, I fear that for many things it still won't measure up to using decent separates (nht controller/power5). I do get into buying new equipment but I try to keep a lid on it since the end goal is really the music or movies anyway. So this way could be relatively expensive for me or entail a lot of equipment churning and expense. Because every time I do buy a new piece of gear I try to step up..


Anyway, I never really thought about trying to use the 2.0 PCM hdmi capability of the NHT. The questions I have are:


1) Can all bluray players derive a 2.0 PCM from their dts-MA/TrueHD tracks and feed it to the NHT Controller? I think pcm tracks on bluray disks are a dying breed, but if they are there they are worthless to the NHT owner anyway since they can accept other than a 2.0 anyway.


2) What is the format of this 2.0 PCM feed in terms of bits and sampling rate? I'm sure the player is keeping the important information, but How much info is the player discarding losing or tossing away?


3) Can the NHT Controller overlay dts/dolby II on top of a PCM 2.0 hdmi feed, If so, what do I lose? Obviously, I know we are going from a discrete lossless dts/MA/TrueHD to a matrixed output, but how much quality do we lose? Anyone want to venture some guesses and place the resulting quality in relation to the lossy codecs - like 2.0 pcm matrixed is roughly equivalent to Dolby digital or DTS? If so, maybe I could make due for while.


Anyone with a bluray out there willing to runs some tests on something they have multiple formats of - like a dts dvd and a bluray of the same? I know discrete is better but HOW MUCH? Yes, I know I am asking for a lot of speculation etc. but other than the specific NHT controller questions I think this is something that many of forum readers are trying to gauge. I will eventually get a bluray and go digital with HBR decoders in some equipment that doesn't exist yet, but Can I get more time by making due and at what sonic cost?
 
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