HD-XA2 HDMI Bitstream Ouput - High-Def Digest Forums
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  #1  
Old 07-31-2007, 01:38 PM
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Default HD-XA2 HDMI Bitstream Ouput

I have a Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player and recently purchased a new Onkyo Receiver that accepts and decodes all the current HD DVD digital audio formats. Unfortunately my HD-XA2 will not output a digital bitstream from HD DVD's via HDMI to the Onkyo. The Onkyo is receiving a Multichannel signal which means it is receiving the decoded PCM output from the Toshiba. My HDMI Digital Out setting on the Toshiba is set for "Auto", not PCM or downconverted PCM. I contacted Toshiba and they said my unit is working correctly and will only output decoded PCM and not a bitstream for HD DVD's. When I play a standard DVD on the HD-XA2, it outputs the 5.1 bitstream to the Onkyo just fine through the HDMI cable and the Onkyo decodes it as Dolby Digital. Anybody else having the same problem?
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Ledge View Post
I have a Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player and recently purchased a new Onkyo Receiver that accepts and decodes all the current HD DVD digital audio formats. Unfortunately my HD-XA2 will not output a digital bitstream from HD DVD's via HDMI to the Onkyo. The Onkyo is receiving a Multichannel signal which means it is receiving the decoded PCM output from the Toshiba. My HDMI Digital Out setting on the Toshiba is set for "Auto", not PCM or downconverted PCM. I contacted Toshiba and they said my unit is working correctly and will only output decoded PCM and not a bitstream for HD DVD's. When I play a standard DVD on the HD-XA2, it outputs the 5.1 bitstream to the Onkyo just fine through the HDMI cable and the Onkyo decodes it as Dolby Digital. Anybody else having the same problem?
Um, well, it's not really a "problem" in the sense that your XA2 is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. The "advanced content" authoring of HD DVD's require the player to decode the audio and output it as PCM. There's no such requirement on standard DVD's, so the player is very happy to output the DD or DTS to the receiver.

I have the XA1 and Onkyo 605 receiver, and it works exactly the same way. But don't feel bad - my PS3 does exactly the same. No HD DVD or Blu-ray player can currently output high def audio (Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA) as bitstream so the receiver can do the decoding.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:49 PM
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Your XA2 is working properly, right now no HD DVD or Blu-ray player can output the bitstream of any of the new codecs. They all decode to PCM then pass that. This is because there is no chipset which allows the passing of True HD, DD+, or DTS-HD MA. This shouldn't matter though as you are getting the exact same sound.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:47 PM
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Thank you CochiseGuy and Patsfan123 for enlightening me. I'm glad to know I don't have a defective unit, however I'm now upset with myself for jumping the gun and getting two HDMI version 1.3 devices when they offer no real advantage audiowise. I should have done my homework first. By the way, how will I be able to hear DTS HD MA discs in the future? Does the HD-XA2 have the ability to decode DTS HD MA? Do you think Toshiba will upgrade the HD-XA2 in the future via my network connection to allow passing a bitstream from HD DVD's?
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ledge View Post
Thank you CochiseGuy and Patsfan123 for enlightening me. I'm glad to know I don't have a defective unit, however I'm now upset with myself for jumping the gun and getting two HDMI version 1.3 devices when they offer no real advantage audiowise. I should have done my homework first. By the way, how will I be able to hear DTS HD MA discs in the future? Does the HD-XA2 have the ability to decode DTS HD MA? Do you think Toshiba will upgrade the HD-XA2 in the future via my network connection to allow passing a bitstream from HD DVD's?
Well, look at this this way - you're "future proof". That's how I looked at it. My 7 year old Sony receiver was working fine with 5.1 analog input from my XA1. But when I added PS3, I needed a receiver with HDMI audio to get the multi channel PCM. I researched & debated for several weeks, as any receiver with HDMI audio will work fine with the current arrangement of the players doing the decoding of audio. But in the end I went with the Onkyo 605, as I wanted my new receiver to last as long as the one it was replacing.

No, the XA2 cannot decode DTS-HD MA, but no U.S, HD DVD releases have used it - just some European releases have used it. It is much more prevalent on Blu-ray - alsmost all the Fox & some Lionsgate releases have used DTS-HD MA. But your XA2 can decode the 1.5mbps "core" DTS from DTS-HD MA, and it sounds very nice. I have the French movie "Brotherhood of the Wolf" encoded with DTS-HD MA, and just the DTS core sounds terrific.

I doubt if the XA2 can be upgraded with software to pass DTS-HD MA out as bitstream. It supposedly requires a tremendous amount of processing power. The only announced high def player in the world that can decode DTS-HD MA is a Denon Blu-ray player coming this fall - for $2,000!
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:09 PM
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Default XA2 should have bitstream output in future firmware upgrade

Fear not for purchasing the XA2! There is another update coming Sept. 4 to fix that framerate issue some people are talking about, and currently they are working on giving the XA2 the bitstream feature in an update after that. I would assume before Christmas it would come out at the latest. I can't remember the link, but I just read this about 10 mins. ago. It was quoted from a Toshiba rep. Search around and you might find something. Fingers crossed.
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:34 PM
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Default Onkyo/Integra 8.8 and Toshiba HD-XA2 connection

Thanks for your input. I just purchased an Integra 8.8. It is a great receiver, but I too was disapointed to discover that the output of the XA2 and the Integra did not exchage a signal that could produce the TrueHD and other Dolby signals. What setting should I set my Toshiba on to get the best exchange. Presently I have it set to the bitsteam setting in the audio section of the XA2. The receiver is receiving this as a muti-channel PCM. But this is driving me crazy...would I be better to set it to PCM in the XA2? I spoke to a Toshiba rep this last week on the phone who said that the HD-A35puts out a 7.1 bitsteam, but that it does not have the excellent video chip set of the XA2. He didn't seem to be aware of an XA2 upgrade to correct this. He also mentioned that he is getting a lot of calls from Onkyo product owners...not so many from Denon. So your advise...bitsteam or PCM on the Tosiba player?
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:45 AM
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i have a Toshiba A2 HD-DVD player, and i have been experiencing similar problems as those listed in this thread... my issue is, why does the HD-DVD player have the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA logos plastered on the machine, and detail the options/output settings in the manual, if it can't (and couldn't ever) send that HD audio signal to a receiver. whether it's decoding it or the receiver is (which my Onkyo SR606 isn't).

like the first post, my standard DVDs sound GREAT on the HD-DVD player, as their audio tracks are being sent bitstream and the receiver is picking up whether it's a DTS or Dolby signal, and adjusting it automatically. but the picture is terrible (even when upconverted). but when i have and HD-DVD in the machine, the receiver is only displaying it as a 'multichannel' signal, which sounds alright, but it's definitely not a TrueHD or DTS-HD sound quality.

thoughts/suggestions?
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Dizzle View Post
i have a Toshiba A2 HD-DVD player, and i have been experiencing similar problems as those listed in this thread... my issue is, why does the HD-DVD player have the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA logos plastered on the machine, and detail the options/output settings in the manual, if it can't (and couldn't ever) send that HD audio signal to a receiver. whether it's decoding it or the receiver is (which my Onkyo SR606 isn't).

like the first post, my standard DVDs sound GREAT on the HD-DVD player, as their audio tracks are being sent bitstream and the receiver is picking up whether it's a DTS or Dolby signal, and adjusting it automatically. but the picture is terrible (even when upconverted). but when i have and HD-DVD in the machine, the receiver is only displaying it as a 'multichannel' signal, which sounds alright, but it's definitely not a TrueHD or DTS-HD sound quality.

thoughts/suggestions?
Your A2 does not have the "DTS-HD MA logo plastered on the machine"; if you look a little more closely you'll see it says "DTS Digital Surround" - the same DTS audio that can be found on standard DVDs. With your HDMI audio set to "Auto" what it's doing is bitstreaming DD & DTS from DVDs to your receiver for decoding. But when an HD DVD is playing it's decoding whatever audio is on the disc and sending the resulting LPCM to your receiver, which the Onkyo 606 calls "multichannel". That includes TrueHD, but only the 1.5 mbps "core" of DTS-HD or DTS-HD MA. Among other reasons, the A2 does not have HDMI 1.3, which is required to bitstream high-def audio.

You say "it's definitely not a TrueHD or DTS-HD sound quality - have you heard a TrueHD audio on another setup to be able to make the distinction? I was getting TrueHD audio on my first gen XA1 player via 5.1 analog cables to my 8 yr. old former receiver and could tell a distinct improvement over DD+.
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