Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio - FAQ? - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:05 PM
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Default Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio - FAQ?

Hi -

I know this has been covered in bits and pieces throughout the forums, but is there any way (unless it's buried in here somewhere) to answer all questions regarding getting either of these surround formats and what exactly you need to have in order to get them? Maybe including actual players/receivers model numbers etc. A lot of people bounce back and forth about how to get this.

Thanks so much, and my apologies if there is a central thread for this.

I inquire as I am ready to upgrade to a Pioneer Elite Receiver or Yamaha with my PS3, but everyone would love to view a central FAQ for this.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:17 PM
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Not every disc has TrueHD or DTS-HD:MA. Only discs with these codecs will allow you to use the feature. I know this is painfully obvious, but it needs to be said sometimes.

Every HD DVD player decodes TrueHD and outputs it over HDMI as multi-channel PCM audio. No HD DVD player decodes Master Audio. Certain Toshiba players will send bit-stream audio over HDMI 1.3, and I'll get to that later.

Blu-ray players have these codecs as optional. Some do TrueHD and some don't. I believe only one player has DTS-HD (not Master Audio) decoding on board. Several send bit-stream audio over HDMI 1.3. Blu-ray titles are more diverse and most Sony titles have PCM multi-channel audio; Warner and Paramount have done PCM and TrueHD nearly randomly; Fox has been using Master Audio, and MGM has done MA and PCM.

If your player decodes a format on board, it will send it out as multi-channel PCM audio over HDMI (any version) or as an analog signal (this requires six analog cables between the player and the receiver).

You will need a receiver that is matched to your player to get the audio. An older receiver without HDMI will use the 5.1 analog inputs (if available on both receiver and player). Some of the cheaper AV receivers don't accept audio over HDMI, and some don't accept multi-channel PCM audio. Make sure your receiver supports multi-channel PCM audio over HDMI. New HDMI 1.3 receivers matched with a player that sends bit-stream audio over HDMI can decode the audio on the receiver.

I know, it's pretty complicated. I understand Dolby actually recommends using the analog connectors. In the ideal world HDMI would work, but it's spotty. I would put HDMI directly into the display and use analog outputs - of course this also presents a problem because some receivers have a problem with the LFE channel.

The ideal is a player with HDMI 1.3 and bit-stream output and a receiver with HDMI 1.3 and ability to decode all formats. Of course I don't fully trust HDMI, but if it works you should be set for a few years at least.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:11 PM
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hey glocks,

quick question since we're on the subject, I have the panasonic dmp-10a and it is not hdmi 1.3, I have it running through hdmi, sounds good.

But my panny has 7.1 analogs and my onkyo has 7.1 analog......

Is there actually a difference reported between the two?

would there be a beneifit to running it analog?
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:09 PM
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HDMI does 7.1 whether 1.3 or not. The difference between HDMI and analog is minimal, I've heard. Try out both and see which one you like best. I've heard that HDMI had problems when it came out, but I'm using HDMI to get my audio and it sounds awesome.

If you're using analog, your player will have to do the decoding, as I believe they only take PCM signals.

I'm sure Glocks will correct me or add more info to what I've written.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:26 PM
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I have the BD-P1200 and 360 running straight to my TV through HDMI. I have a coaxial cable coming from the BD-P1200 and optical cable coming from the 360; both going to the receiver. My time with lossless audio and True HD is little to non-exsistant so I cannot tell if I'm missing something or not, but I can say this set up works.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:30 PM
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Ok, so we've established that the PS3 is not DTS MA compatible, yet. And when (and if) it is, it will work perfectly over HDMI with a 1.3a HDMI receiver?

Also, what about Dolby TRUE HD? Is the PS3 able to output TRUE HD to a 1.3a receiver? (not only the sound, but activate the processing on the receiver and light up the display)

I know this sounds lame, but I'm sure we'd all love to see the proper lights illuminate on the front of the receiver. I'm ready to upgrade to either the Pioneer Elite 94 or the Yamaha RX-V3800, but would love to have the audio/visual verification that DTS MA (one day) and DOLBY TRUE HD (now if possible) will show up on the display.
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat00139 View Post
If you're using analog, your player will have to do the decoding, as I believe they only take PCM signals.
You're right, with analog the player has to decode the audio.
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexpos View Post
Ok, so we've established that the PS3 is not DTS MA compatible, yet. And when (and if) it is, it will work perfectly over HDMI with a 1.3a HDMI receiver?
That's a hard question to answer because time can only tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nexpos View Post
Also, what about Dolby TRUE HD? Is the PS3 able to output TRUE HD to a 1.3a receiver? (not only the sound, but activate the processing on the receiver and light up the display)
No, the PS3 doesn't do bit-stream audio yet. It will decode TrueHD and send it out as PCM audio.
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Old 10-12-2007, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glocks out View Post
You're right, with analog the player has to decode the audio.

I currently have a Toshiba HD-A2, and have to use the optical out since my receiver (Pioneer Elite 54TX) doesnt have HDMI. I'm okay with that, the audio still sounds good.
However, I want to jump into Blu-Ray too, I've been eyeing the BD-P1400. Does that player decode the audio? I have up to 7.1 analogs and would of course be using that hookup. Would I be getting actual Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD?
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Old 10-12-2007, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchas41 View Post
I've been eyeing the BD-P1400. Does that player decode the audio? I have up to 7.1 analogs and would of course be using that hookup. Would I be getting actual Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD?
I believe the 1400 decodes TrueHD but not Master Audio.
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