Uncompressed PCM vs Digital 5.1 - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 08-12-2007, 12:10 AM
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Default Uncompressed PCM vs Digital 5.1

Which is supposed to be better sound? I have a Samsung BD-P1200 and when I choose Uncompressed PCM over Digital 5.1 the PCM sounds much lower. The 5.1 is fuller and sounds better. I have yet to find a sound format that tops the 5.1 when going through a fiber optic cable. (except of course, DTS!) Any feedback?

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Old 08-12-2007, 02:39 AM
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PCM should be much better, but if you're sending your sound signal to your receiver via Toslink fiber optic, it shouldn't make a difference, as the best you'll get is Dolby Digital 5.1. The player will convert that 5.1 PCM track to a 2.0 channel track because optical cables don't have the bandwith to transmit anything better than a 2-channel PCM track, and then your receiver will either play it back as stereo, or use Dolby PLIIx to upmix it to a 5.1 track. A converted-into PLIIx track will sound much thinner than a natural 5.1 track, as the receiver is trying to "guess" where the sound should be.
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Old 08-12-2007, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

So are you saying that if I use regular cables instead of fiber-optic then the PCM will sound better? I did try that with TrueHD but it was very difficult to discern the difference between that and Dolby 5.1.

I still think DTS sounds better than any of them but so few dvds offer it.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaJim View Post
Thanks for the reply.

So are you saying that if I use regular cables instead of fiber-optic then the PCM will sound better? I did try that with TrueHD but it was very difficult to discern the difference between that and Dolby 5.1.
You can't hear PCM 5.1 or DTHD over an optical cable, it simply doesn't have the bandwidth.

You either need a HDMI-processing or multichannel analog receiver to hear those tracks. And yes, it sounds a lot better than DD5.1 unless the movie was poorly done to begin with.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:07 AM
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My receiver does have the multi-channel ability and that is how I tested the TrueHD. I guess whatever pleases you the best is what is the best sound!

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 08-12-2007, 11:21 PM
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Can I achieve the Uncompressed PCM and/or TrueHD sound by using the analog 5.1 connections on my Blu-Ray player and my Receiver?
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:07 AM
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You HAVE to use the analog 5.1 connections to get uncompressed PCM 5.1 or TrueHD 5.1 (unless you happen to have HDMI connections on your receiver). It is flat out impossible to get either of those formats through a fiber optic cable.

I would definitely suggest trying it out with your analog 5.1 connections. Unless your ears work differently than mine, or you don't have a very good speaker system, you will definitely notice the difference.
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Old 08-14-2007, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaJim View Post
Can I achieve the Uncompressed PCM and/or TrueHD sound by using the analog 5.1 connections on my Blu-Ray player and my Receiver?
i think it is a samsung that you have, not a sony right?

you should unplug all audio cables except for the multichannel analogs and make sure it is through the analogs that you are hearing sound from

you may find through analog that the overall levels are lower, but it is of a much greater fidelity than the dolby 5.1
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:54 PM
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Ooops, yeah, I meant Samsung! I did hook up analog to my receiver and it DOES sound great! The only piece I don't have is a sub-woofer which I now may invest in. My front r&l speakers are huge so I didn't need it in the past, plenty of bass through them.

I appreciate all the responses. It has helped.

One more question, is Uncompressed PCM Blu-Ray's answer to HD's TrueHD or are they different?
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:03 PM
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we are starting to see more truehd tracks on bluray
both formats are capable of truehd, dts-ma and pcm, but only bluray has the bandwidth to have great pq consistently on top of pcm
pcm - uncompressed lossless
truehd - compressed lossless
dts-ma - compressed lossless

lossless is the key word, all three are

there are something like four times as many lossless tracks on bluray releases as there are on hddvd
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