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Old 05-16-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
Riff Magnum Riff Magnum is offline
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Default Should receiver or player decode?

Asked this question in the Yamaha 663 thread, but thought i might get some insight if i just make a new thread. I'm sure this has been covered, but i wanted to hear some opinions.

Would it make sense to find a player that would bitstream to the 663 for decoding or just let player do the decoding? Probably depends on the player, huh? I guess i'm struggling with the choice of putting alot of money into a player that does all the heavy lifting or spending big money on a top of the line receiver and just buy a player that bitsteams. Pros/Cons?
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:37 PM   #2
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wow..... good question. If you're trying to get a stand-alone player, then it'd be in your best interest to get the player to do the decoding, but really if you get a "top of the line" receiver, I'd imagine that it decodes more efficiently/better ??? (does that even make sense) For the "best bang for the buck" though, you'd probably be better off getting a player that decodes, then a TOP OF THE LINE receiver from the previous year that didn't...... All the players are "close" in price, but a Receiver that is pass-through only can be had for about HALF of what it was just last year..... and it still has all the quality components, and everything else that was "High quality" from last year..... it's basically a little programmed chip it's lacking, just because technology is moving fast, as it always does.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:54 PM   #3
richteer richteer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riff Magnum View Post
Asked this question in the Yamaha 663 thread, but thought i might get some insight if i just make a new thread. I'm sure this has been covered, but i wanted to hear some opinions.

Would it make sense to find a player that would bitstream to the 663 for decoding or just let player do the decoding? Probably depends on the player, huh? I guess i'm struggling with the choice of putting alot of money into a player that does all the heavy lifting or spending big money on a top of the line receiver and just buy a player that bitsteams. Pros/Cons?
The glib answer "whatever sounds best". :-)

Personally, to keep my options open, I'd buy a processor than can process all codecs and a player that can decode them or bitstream as desired. That way one can experiment to see what sounds best.
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:02 PM   #4
chasarms chasarms is offline
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There's really is no reason to think that one would sound any better than the other. In either case, it is PCM going into the D/A converters in the receiver. The process for decoding the codec is exactly the same. In fact, depending on the combination of player and receiver that you have, you may have the exact same DSP setup in the receiver and the player. For example, it is very likely that a Dennon or Pioneer BD player has the same guts to decode TrueHD as does a Dennon or Pioneer receiver.

I would prefer decoding with the receiver because, IME, a receiver is far less likely to fail over time. There are almost no moving parts, while a BD player is quite complex. I still have every audio receiver I have ever owned and they all work. I can't even count how many CD players and DVD players I have thrown in the garbage.

So, if I'm spending $1,200, I would prefer having $400 of it being more likely to fail, rather than $800. Make sense?

If you have a much older receiver and plan to use the analog inputs, then the question is already answered, but I read the OP as he is planning to purchase both.
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Last edited by chasarms; 05-16-2008 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:07 PM   #5
kingofgrills kingofgrills is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richteer View Post
The glib answer "whatever sounds best". :-)

Personally, to keep my options open, I'd buy a processor than can process all codecs and a player that can decode them or bitstream as desired. That way one can experiment to see what sounds best.
+1. If you're going to buy a receiver today, and you want to have the most options available to you and a bit of future-proofing, get a receiver with the HD codecs built in.

Also, whenever buying a receiver, player, or speakers always make sure you audition the heck out of everything before buying. Manufacturers tend to have certain traits inherent to their equipment. It's always good to find out for yourself what type of sound you prefer, as well as what combinations might work well together. For instance, some people love Kliptsch speakers, while others find them to be a bit schrill sounding and fatigueing.

Auditioning several examples is the ideal way to approach it, but I know a lot of people don't want to bother with auditioning items or even calibrating a TV set. In those cases they better be prepared to live with what they blind buy.
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasarms View Post
I would prefer decoding with the receiver because, IME, a receiver is far less likely to fail over time. There are almost no moving parts, while a BD player is quite complex. I still have every audio receiver I have ever owned and they all work. I can't even count how many CD players and DVD players I have thrown in the garbage.

So, if I'm spending $1,200, I would prefer having $400 of it being more likely to fail, rather than $800. Make sense?
Err, no.

I agree that a BD player, with its moving parts, is more likely to fail than a receiver, but I don't see where that fits into this scenario. If your receiver is decoding the sound and your BD player dies, you still can't watch any movies!
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:58 PM   #7
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I'm happy with my yamaha reciver V663 & panasonic BD30 that can bitstream all new formats
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:03 AM   #8
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Guys, whether I bitstream my CD signal to my Marantz SR-8002 receiver (a very nice unit), or I send it via LPCM from my CD player, they both sound about identical. There are slight differences in channel levels, but once I balance these out -- heck, I can't tell the difference. My system includes a very nice matched set of Paradigm Monitor series speakers all-around.

Same thing pretty much happens with DSD vs. LPCM when listening to SACD.

I wouldn't worry about this issue at all, to tell you the truth, and you were to get a great deal on a slightly older receiver that can't decode the signal internally but can do multi-channel LPCM, I'd go for it, provided your player can decode internally.

The only concern I'd have about an older receiver is if it has issues with "lip flap" over HDMI, for example.

Extreme audiophile nuts might be able to discern a difference between bistreamed or decoded LPCM signals, but keep in mind these are the same people who think cables as thick as your thumb make a difference, and changing their $1,000 CD player's power cord makes it sound "warmer and more satisfying -- almost liquid."
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Last edited by Ectoplasm; 05-17-2008 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:08 AM   #9
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Well . A leason I just learned , I was thinking the same as you , I had the Marantz Sr4001 Recv. & the Sony BDS300 , The 4001 only did PCM ,And the BDS 300 well didnt know what it could actually do yet. So I wanted to upgrade to get the new DTS-HD_MA & Dolby True HD and PCM. SO I went with the new Marantz SR-7002As you see I'm a Marantz fan so any ways it has HDMI 1.3a Switching & the new Codecs, So I'm thinking I'm all set to go , Well guess what , The Sony BDS300 wont pass the new codecs to the player , because it's only HDMI 1.2 So now matter what you chose on the Bluray menu in a movie DTS-HD-MA defaults to just (DTS) & Dolby True HD defaults to ( Dolby Digital) and PCM to 5.1 multi channel PCM.. So Now I need a new Blu-Ray player tht will at least let me chose the new codecs and pass them to my SR-7002 to decode them , As I was planning on buying the new Marantz
BD-8002 Blu-ray when it comes out in June cost $2000.00 which has the new HDMI 1.3a and can decode the new codecs or at least pass them through to the Recv. SR-7002 so it can decode them . So bottom line I have a new RECV. And A Blu-ray player BUT still cant enjoy any new codecs yet. So please think about what you buy , SMARTLY you would make sure both can decode the new codecs when buying them . My 2 cents ,But the cost of new RECV. & Blu-ray will be $4,000.00 .. So think wisely ....LOL
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:16 AM   #10
Ectoplasm Ectoplasm is offline
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That sucks, sandman. I'd take the Sony back if you still can.

Get something that will decode internally, like a PS3 or a Panny, and that you know will pass the signal. Or better yet, a player that has 7.1 outs on it.
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Last edited by Ectoplasm; 05-17-2008 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:28 AM   #11
chasarms chasarms is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richteer View Post
Err, no.

I agree that a BD player, with its moving parts, is more likely to fail than a receiver, but I don't see where that fits into this scenario. If your receiver is decoding the sound and your BD player dies, you still can't watch any movies!
My thought is if I am going to pay a premium to decode the lossless audio, I prefer to put that premium in the receiver, as it is less likely to fail. If I am more likely to replace the BD player due to out-of-warrenty failure than replace a receiver, I would rather replace a $400 bitstreaming player than a more expensive decoding player.

This is mostly mute, however, because in two years even the $199 BD players will probably decode lossless audio.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:38 AM   #12
jon s jon s is offline
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Some electronic manufacturers claim that HDMI is a terrible conduit for audio. They recommend for best audio quality, the player decodes the signal and the signal be sent via the analog outputs. That's of course taking the consideration that the output stages of the player is designed with high quality components. I have seen a review or two that also claim the same conclusion. If HDMI is that bad with audio, my question is how bad is it with video? I would think that video signals are more affected than audio. Unfortunately, since component cannot transit 1080P by design, we wmay never know the truth.

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Old 05-17-2008, 10:27 PM   #13
sandman6662 sandman6662 is offline
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That sucks, sandman. I'd take the Sony back if you still can.

Get something that will decode internally, like a PS3 or a Panny, and that you know will pass the signal. Or better yet, a player that has 7.1 outs on it.
I know man , but I bought the Sony Blu-ray with really the intentison of just getting my feet wet , more or less to see if I really liked blu-ray and I got a good deal on it . also i know I'd be replacing it down the road when marantz came out with a blu-ray . I did'nt know that marantz aould anounce that like 3 weeks later ..oh well not a big Sony fan anyway and when I get the New marantz BD-8002 it will do the job . But its just the point of the new HDMI 's 1.3a and not knowing whats what .. But I'll survie ..LOL
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:13 PM   #14
Moefiz Moefiz is offline
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Sandman I am in the same boat as you.

I got my RV-X663 about 3 months ago decodes all of the audio codes BUt the S300 can't....so right now I am looking to upgrade.
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:41 AM   #15
Yeha-Noha Yeha-Noha is offline
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Originally Posted by sandman6662 View Post
The Sony BDS300 wont pass the new codecs to the player , because it's only HDMI 1.2 So now matter what you chose on the Bluray menu in a movie DTS-HD-MA defaults to just (DTS) & Dolby True HD defaults to ( Dolby Digital) and PCM to 5.1 multi channel PCM..
I will be the first to admit that the S301 (=S300) is old technology. I too own one and anxiously waiting for the Panny 50's to come out. Anyway, you're statement above about the S300 is not entirely correct. True, the S300 won't bitstream DD THD or DTS HD MA because of the HDMI 1.2 issue. Right so far. It does send lossless LPCM 5.1 - 7.1 audio to your receiver via HDMI 1.2 though which is what you are saying but not sure. I might add though you must have the HDMI audio set to PCM under System Menu setup,

You are incorrect about DD-True HD. Didn't you upgrade to the 3.80 or better still 3.90 firmware? Those FW updates gave the S300/1 the ability to decode DD THD. Our Sony insider, Paidgeek, made it known in another thread that this is indeed the case. I say again, the decoded DD THD is lossless uncompressed PCM, and you must set the HDMI audio to PCM inorder to get it. If not, the default AUTO setting is just going to give you lossy DD like you're getting now.

The S300/1 unfortunately doesn't decode DTS HD MA. That's the most severe shortcoming of this BD player. That's why I'm getting the Panny 50. However to be fair to Sony, if they release a firmware 4.0 or whatever in the future that gives the S300/1 the ability to decode DTS HD MA and send it as lossless uncompressed PCM via HDMI, I am keeping my S301.

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