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Old 12-11-07, 05:41 PM   #1
Zelda_fan
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Default PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

My speaker setup isn't TrueHD ready, so I can either have my A3 send out a DD signal over optical (bitstream) or send out a PCM stereo signal and have my receiver decode it via ProLogic II. Which is going to get me better sound quality?
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Old 12-11-07, 09:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

Well the better sound quality will be PCM... but it depends on if you want discrete surround, or ProLogic. Try both and see which you prefer.
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Old 12-11-07, 11:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

I was going to say. If your reciever has 5.1 imputs, just use 6 75ohm analog cables and let the A20 decode true HD. But seeing as the A20 doesn't have 5.1 analog outs like the XA2.
Does your reciever have an HDMI imput, if so you can do the same as above.
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Old 12-11-07, 11:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hunt
Well the better sound quality will be PCM... but it depends on if you want discrete surround, or ProLogic. Try both and see which you prefer.
That really really really depends on the source audio. If we are talking about a real-time encode, then yeah PCM will probably be better. However if we are talking about a studio master encode then DD will more than likely trash PCM overall.

Yes, PCM will have overall better sounding highs, however you are really going to kill the low frequency effects since they are going to be mixed in with everything else causing you to rely more on your crossovers which won't quite replicate what the sound engineer intended. That, and discrete audio sounds a hell of a lot better than prologic.

Given that HD-DVD's include both a DD and DD+ track, I would say go with that, and use DD+ if your receiver supports it. In fact, better yet, use DTS if the disc has it, as that will trash any of the lossy dolby formats.
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Old 12-12-07, 06:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelda_fan
My speaker setup isn't TrueHD ready, so I can either have my A3 send out a DD signal over optical (bitstream) or send out a PCM stereo signal and have my receiver decode it via ProLogic II. Which is going to get me better sound quality?
Over optical: Go with DD bitstream. PCM over optical will only give you fake matrixed surround, while DD bitstream will give you true discrete 5.1.

The ideal would be sending your receiver PCM5.1 (not PCM stereo over optical), but your receiver needs to support HDMI for that instead of optical.
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Old 12-12-07, 11:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hunt
Well the better sound quality will be PCM...
This is incorrect. You are confusing PCM with Blu-ray disc PCM Uncompressed. PCM isn't encoded, but it doesn't necessarily mean its lossless.
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Old 12-12-07, 11:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilchris
This is incorrect. You are confusing PCM with Blu-ray disc PCM Uncompressed. PCM isn't encoded, but it doesn't necessarily mean its lossless.
Ah right you are... I didn't read the OP well enough I guess... thought he meant PCM source... not decoding and sent to the receiver as PCM.

Definitely use the DD then.
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Old 12-12-07, 10:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

So I just figured out how to turn on the "Dolby TrueHD" option in the settings. Most movies seem to default to the Dolby 5.1 English track.

WOW what a difference. Even though my setup on decodes regular 5.1 over optical, somewhere along the pipe they added some extra "oomph" to the TrueHD track. My setup sounds like a fricken movie theater. TBH I'm enjoying the sound quality improvements more than the video improvements. The HD sound really puts you in the movie.
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Old 12-13-07, 05:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelda_fan
So I just figured out how to turn on the "Dolby TrueHD" option in the settings. Most movies seem to default to the Dolby 5.1 English track.

WOW what a difference. Even though my setup on decodes regular 5.1 over optical, somewhere along the pipe they added some extra "oomph" to the TrueHD track. My setup sounds like a fricken movie theater. TBH I'm enjoying the sound quality improvements more than the video improvements. The HD sound really puts you in the movie.
You talking about compared to a DVD? Because yeah, DVDs bitrates aren't as high as even the core of a TrueHD track.
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Old 12-13-07, 11:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hunt
You talking about compared to a DVD? Because yeah, DVDs bitrates aren't as high as even the core of a TrueHD track.
yeah it kind of makes want to upgrade my setup to something that can handle TrueHD. If the core of the track sounds this good, I wonder what the real deal sounds like.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelda_fan
yeah it kind of makes want to upgrade my setup to something that can handle TrueHD. If the core of the track sounds this good, I wonder what the real deal sounds like.
What kind of sound stage do you have right now? (receiver, speakers, etc)
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Old 12-13-07, 04:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: PCM vs Bitstream over Optical (A3)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelda_fan
yeah it kind of makes want to upgrade my setup to something that can handle TrueHD.
For the HD-A3 all you need is a receiver with HDMI PCM 5.1 input. You don't even need it to support TrueHD. That's because TrueHD is decoded in the player, re-encoded to PCM (lossless) and output via HDMI.

Anyway, the Onkyo 605 is a good entry-level receiver that accepts HDMI PCM 5.1. Might want to consider it.
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