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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've searched, but found no conclusive answers. Some are claiming the LCPM are better, yet others a shouting that both are digital and "bits are bits".

What's the damn truth?


I'm really interested because I am getting a system soon and want to know if it's even worth the extra $$$ to get HDMI audio. Keep in mind that:


1) I do NOT plan on spending a lot.

2) I plan on getting a new system two years from now.

3) I do NOT need many inputs, just one for PS3 and one for my TV

4) I just want some better sound, surround sound/DD/DTS. Just something better than the speakers on my TV for watching movies.

5) Since I am on a budget, I do NOT expect amazing sound. I'm not much of an audiophile, yet....(mainly limited by budget)

6) IF HDMI audio is significantly BETTER than Toslink, I will step it up. If the difference is subtle, I think I'll settle for optical cable sound.
 

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I'm just going to copy/paste this from another thread and add that if you're just going to get something inexpensive to improve the sound, don't sweat HDMI audio and get what you like:


This article is worth reading: http://www.hemagazine.com/node/Dolby...PCM?page=0%2C0


After listening to TrueHD with a high end setup under ideal conditions the writer notes:
Quote:
The shocker came when we compared the lower 448 kbps Dolby Digital DVD bitrate to the original. There was an audible difference, but it was only ever-so-slightly noticeable (and this is with a high end audio system in an acoustically controlled environment that is so far beyond what typical home theater systems are capable of resolving). There was just the slightest decrease in presence with the DD version, not exactly a softening of the sound, but just a tad less ambience and a similarly small tightening of the front soundstage’s depth. Quite a remarkable result, I thought, and I was highly impressed with how much fidelity can be packed into such a relatively small amount of bitspace. If I was doing actual scoring, I would have awarded a 4.8 grade to the results I heard – the audible difference was that subtle.

I don’t think it’s worth fixating on TrueHD and then buy a HTiB or speaker package with 3 inch woofers that push little puffs of air – you’re just not going to tell the difference. Having said that, HTiB set ups that include receivers like the Onkyo SR606 or similar AVR aren’t too much more expensive and, aside from being TrueHD capable, offer other benefits as well. These receivers have enough connections (HDMI, optical, coaxial, pre-amp, etc...) and other features for you to expand as you change/upgrade your speakers and gear.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by esdub20 /forum/post/15484999


4) I just want some better sound, surround sound/DD/DTS. Just something better than the speakers on my TV for watching movies.

If it's just Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround sound (read: you play mostly DVDs or just use the Dolby Digital tracks on Blu-Ray), neither is better, other than HDMI allowing for one cable. You'd need an HDMI audio capable receiver for HDMI, whereas just about all modern receivers have toslink inputs.


If you plan on doing TrueHD, and I'm not saying do or don't, then you need either HDMI or multichannel analog audio. Toslink doesn't carry those higher resolution codecs.


HDMI would be easier and more flexible, but non-HDMI audio receivers usually have the multichannel analog inputs. However, the PS3 only uses HDMI for hi-rez audio, so do the math there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your reply.


So...is HDMI better than Toslink? I'm already kind of leaning towards getting the Sony STR-DG720 which is HDMI audio capable. I am wondering if this HDMI stuff is all hype. If sound quality is virtually identical, I also don't think the simplicity of using only one cable (the HDMI cable, that is) is worth the price hike.As I've stated, none of the previous threads about HDMI vs Toslink has a definitive answer.
 

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HDMI is better. HDMI is the way to go if you want something "future" proof'ed.


That said here are some arguments:


1. TrueHD and other sound a little better than "regular" tracks

2. TrueHD is a HUGE improvment over "regular" tracks

3. You need to spend alot of money to have speakers good enough to play the sounds that TrueHD offers


Believe what you want, but the fact is HDMI is better. My setup is a Samsung AS720 and a PS3, I set the PS3 to LPCM to the reciever and don't worry about a thing because my PS3 will handle which is the best audio for my games/movies and it does audio over HDMI so im "future" proof for at least a while. Also cost was a big factor.


Don't let audiophiles get ya down, one rags on a HtiB owner saying his $1500 speakers blow him away, then another comes along and puts his $1500 setup down because he spent $5,000 and on and one. Get the best value for your money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerManMike /forum/post/15488176



Don't let audiophiles get ya down, one rags on a HtiB owner saying his $1500 speakers blow him away, then another comes along and puts his $1500 setup down because he spent $5,000 and on and one. Get the best value for your money.


Thanks, man. I'm getting what I can. Probably get the Sony STR-DG720, which is HDMI audio capable and, supposedly, a really good match with the PS3. Right now it's going for $199 new, so I think it's my best bet right now. I'll probably start out with some cheap speakers for now. Maybe some Polk Audio RM6750 5.1.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by esdub20 /forum/post/15487773



So...is HDMI better than Toslink?

IF you're using TrueHD.


Think of it this way. Dolby Digital is a car eight feet wide. Toslink is a twelve foot wide garage, HDMI is a thirty foot wide garage. Either can fit the car fine, and if the car is the only thing in the garage, it's not going to care whether it gets the Toslink garage or the HDMI garage.


Now TrueHD comes along, and it's three eight foot wide cars side by side. Which garage do you need?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/15489688


IF you're using TrueHD.


Think of it this way. Dolby Digital is a car eight feet wide. Toslink is a twelve foot wide garage, HDMI is a thirty foot wide garage. Either can fit the car fine, and if the car is the only thing in the garage, it's not going to care whether it gets the Toslink garage or the HDMI garage.


Now TrueHD comes along, and it's three eight foot wide cars side by side. Which garage do you need?

Well put, good sir. Thanks again!
 

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DD and DTS tracks sent over optical and HDMI will be identical. The receiver is doing the decoding and processing in both cases. HDMI's advantage comes in its ability to transmit HD codecs and multichannel PCM. But, even then, DD and DTS are encoded at high bit rates on Blu-ray and sound great. They rival lossless.
 

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Old thread, but Ill resurect it only cause i did some comparison...


Toslink sounds better...



Toslink is PURE sound. There is no bits of energy its just light. Literally!



From what I have read, you have a Digital converter on both ends, one sending and one recieving the light pulses.



This alone reduces ground noise, unusual distortion problems, maganetic interference from AC outlets and appliances.



HDMI is a wire and accumulates distortion much easier than Toslink. In fact many high end HDMI cables will have a small frequency trap on one end which looks like a barrell coupled around it. This filters out high frequency interferance from nearby applainces and magnetics. The circuits of a HDMI circuit dont send pulses of light, they send pulses of electricity which can and will become distorted. Also HDMI is much more prone to lower Sound Quality levels depending of the type of circuitry and quaility thereof used at each end. Toslink uses a proprietery Toshiba technology which turns all the electricity into light.



To give you a better idea of just how much better Toslink is vs HDMI, the largest internet servers in the world, pay millions and millions of money to transport data all across the planet and want it done with the least amount of distortion and highest amount of speed and throughput ( as many people on a line at once as possible) They do this using fiber optics!


Now, You ask a question, why wont Toslink play Atmos or Dolby HD etc.. Cause the dacs that send and recive on each end of the fiber optic are not capable of sending and receiving that amount of data ( at this Time) through a Toslink cable) Toshiba made this technology and its upto them to uprade it. Has nothing to do with the plastic tube or the light. Its the dacs that send and recive the light.. In fact different types of clear material can be used to transport the light. Over certain distances and amplifer is needed to keep the lights bright enough and the cables need to stay rather staight and not kink to work properly.


HDMI can handle higher bit rates and more data due to the circuitry, NOT the wire it transports the data on! The quality of the data that Toslink transports is much higher... This is why Toslink is better..
If a circuit would be created that can handle the data similar to HDMI but on a Toslink or Optical cable, the new Optical transport would dominate and rule over HDMI easily...



Another hurdle is to have that new Optical circuitry become a standard for audio! That is no easy feat.. Many have been kicked to the curb, Beta was better than VHS.. Minidisc was better tha CD...Dat was better than cassette tape. etc etc... But the popular vote seemed to have won the majority and the better technologies sometimes go unseen and dissappear!




The name is a registered trademark of Toshiba, created from TOShiba-LINK


There is another Optical format which is similar but not the same as Toslink. Its called Adat LightPipe. They are not compatible and use different technology, basically the bursts of light are not the same..


It will take a special team of engineers to UPGRADE toslink or to make a new Optical cable with circuits capable of sending and reciving Atmos and the newest Surround modes.

When that happens, it will be the worlds best audio transport..

In fact, the next step in the evolution of Computing will be Light! The largest companies in the world are testing motherboards which transport daya from cpu.s to your computer screen using optics, not metal tracing, on mother boards...






FYI... :p;)
 

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Toslink can't handle HD Audio (DTS-MA, Dolby TrueHD, etc). The best you can do with a Toslink or optical audio cable is discrete 5.1 audio and possibly lossy Atmos with some systems. There is a noticeable difference in audio fidelity between optical and HDMI. HDMI is what we're stuck with, even with hybrid fiber cables which are required for long runs for 4k HDR. Hopefully in the future hybrid fiber cables will be the norm, and reasonably priced, so that regardless of cable run or audio/video needs, the data pipe will not be an issue and it will just be source/sink inputs.
 

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Toslink (optical cable) is just fine for discrete 5.1 audio (SmartApps, OTA television). I used it for years with OTA tv and it sounded great. However, to use HD Audio, which is a much better audio experience (better audio depth and fidelity), HDMI (copper or fiber based) at present, is the only way to achieve that.
 

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Since ALL of the Bit gets from one end to the other (otherwise the connection shuts down), there is NO Degradation.....hence HDMI is preferred due to it's higher Data Rate can carry ALL of the New Loss-Less Hi-End Audio Formats....and Optical can't.
 

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LOL


smh


sooo basically, you guys are saying that because hdmi allows more data, it sounds better?


how bout you play a stereo track through hdmi vs toslink then get back with me...


toslink always wins..


its what the engineers use at the studios to make music...!
 

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LOL


smh


sooo basically, you guys are saying that because hdmi allows more data, it sounds better?


how bout you play a stereo track through hdmi vs toslink then get back with me...


toslink always wins..


its what the engineers use at the studios to make music...!
We're not talking music specifically here. We're talking audio tracks associated with video (movies). HDMI, such as it is, is far superior over Toslink for transferring uncompressed, HD audio tracks from movies. Toslink, at present, CANNOT pass HD Audio from movie soundtracks like HDMI can.
 

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If you want to compare APPLES TO APPLES, then you would need to compare the SAME Digital Audio Format [i.e. PCM Stereo or DD5.1 or even better DTS5.1....and NOT any of the New Loss-Less formats]....and since ALL of the Bits WILL get transferred with NO ERRORS using HDMI as well as Optical, they obviously will sound IDENTICALLY the SAME...NO DIFFERENCE...cuz they're the SAME bits....
 

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We're not talking music specifically here. We're talking audio tracks associated with video (movies). HDMI, such as it is, is far superior over Toslink for transferring uncompressed, HD audio tracks from movies. Toslink, at present, CANNOT pass HD Audio from movie soundtracks like HDMI can.



Yes we are talking about music. In fact we are talking about SOUND which we hear from movies and music in general!

99% of the time, when someone plays a CD, it will be played in a Bluray player becuase noone wants several different units , like a cd player and a blueray player. So when someone plays a new cd they just bought, the music is passing through the hdmi wire cause that is the same wire audio from a bluray movie passes through.
So , Music is relevant... :confused: isnt it? SMH



You keep repeating that HDMI can play the newest surround sound formats where as Toslink cant. If you look aback in this thread, I am pretty sure I pointed that out way before you did. However, playing ATmos and the newest formats is not the question here. The question is rather simple...If playing the smae 2 channel audio, cause they both do that, the question is which one sounds better? The answer would be simple if you play a 2 channel audio track from them and to a a'b comparison..


Ive done that.. Many have... The result is Toslink always wins..
Again, this is why the studios use Toslink to make msuic tracks.. If Toslink could be uses to make movie tracks, they would use it but for now, we are stuck with HDMI which,,, like i keep saying, inferior as for a sound quality.
 

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If you want to compare APPLES TO APPLES, then you would need to compare the SAME Digital Audio Format [i.e. PCM Stereo or DD5.1 or even better DTS5.1....and NOT any of the New Loss-Less formats]....and since ALL of the Bits WILL get transferred with NO ERRORS using HDMI as well as Optical, they obviously will sound IDENTICALLY the SAME...NO DIFFERENCE...cuz they're the SAME bits....



What makes it "obvious" that hdmi would sound identical to Toslink?
Cause is very obvious that some people have not heard this experience which you claim is obvious!
Hence, the question as to which one sounds better!


BTW.. Toslink and Hdmi do not even remotely work in the same manner. All those "bits" you claim you know about and those "errors" which you assume does not exist, is alll your own imaginary assumption..


Reality is, they are not identical.. There is a difference. No they are not the same bits.



Please watch a few old videos... MANY agree.. Toslink sounds better. Its cheaper. Its just all around better for Sound Quality... In fact, if you want, you could use your Toslink connection to watch your favorite surround movie Atmos or not, although you will not get ATmos, you can just flip on Dolby Surround and it will be very close to Atmos and you will get better clarity.. Bigger sound stage. More detail..









Here is a video explaining how optical cables work, sort off... But the point of the video is to show that optical cable is far suprior to HDMI.. Its used to transfer data over the planet! HDMI is just some sort of newer connection that was decided to be used for Movie tracks but that dont mean its superiror in transfering data. It just means that at some point all the companies decided to use HDMI cause it puts video AND audio into one cable! They wanted to make a connection that connects all devices with one wire and so, HDMI was created... It dont mean its superior for Sound quality....
 
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