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# 20429 26-Mar-2008 11:50
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I am in the throes of buying a BD player.  My HT receiver is a Pioneer VSX-AX4AVi.  Will I get the benefit of the HD audio that Blu-Ray disks offer (DTS-HD etc) if I pass the info to the AX4 using lpcm via an hdmi cable?
What I need clarification on is the difference between bitstream and lpcm (in simple terms please).  From what I can tell in bitstream the player takes the 1s and 0s from the media and passes it to the receiver to decode, whereas for lpcm the player does the decoding then passes the 7.1 info in uncompressed digital form to the receiver.
I'm assuming this will allow the player to do the decoding rather than the receiver (AX4 only capable up to DTS-ES or DD-EX) and I can get the benefit of the HD formats without having to update my receiver (just yet).  The players I have seen (including the PS3) mostly claim the ability to output various HD audio modes in 7.1 pcm via hdmi.

Any assistance appreciated.




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534 posts

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  # 118764 26-Mar-2008 13:17
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Dingbatt: I am in the throes of buying a BD player.  My HT receiver is a Pioneer VSX-AX4AVi.  Will I get the benefit of the HD audio that Blu-Ray disks offer (DTS-HD etc) if I pass the info to the AX4 using lpcm via an hdmi cable?
What I need clarification on is the difference between bitstream and lpcm (in simple terms please).  From what I can tell in bitstream the player takes the 1s and 0s from the media and passes it to the receiver to decode, whereas for lpcm the player does the decoding then passes the 7.1 info in uncompressed digital form to the receiver.
I'm assuming this will allow the player to do the decoding rather than the receiver (AX4 only capable up to DTS-ES or DD-EX) and I can get the benefit of the HD formats without having to update my receiver (just yet).  The players I have seen (including the PS3) mostly claim the ability to output various HD audio modes in 7.1 pcm via hdmi.

Any assistance appreciated.


From what I can gather from manuals the VSX-AX4AVi has 2 HDMI inputs and will output audio from HDMI lpcm fine so you will be able to get all the benefits of a digital connection with your Blu-Ray player. There is no quality advantage in being able to send bitstream (the compressed raw data) directly to your receiver.

Blu-ray was designed with the intention that audio decoding would be done in the player.



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# 118984 27-Mar-2008 09:05
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Cheers Stuzzo
I was hoping lpcm would work for HD otherwise I would have had a large silver paper weight on my hands!




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  # 119018 27-Mar-2008 11:33
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Most BR players will output LPCM so you should be okay. The PS3 doesn't output any HD audio as bitstream (Dolby TrueHD comes out as LPCM) and there is no capability yet to process DTS-HD Master.

There are BR players that can output bitstream for both Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master and there are those who say it's better to decode in the AVR than in the player (I think they like to see the Dolby or DTS lights come on!). From a common sense point of view it's hard to see how an AVR would do a better job than the player.

So when I upgrade all I intend to do is find a lower priced AVR that does HDMI 1.1 and can process digital audio which I what I think you have.




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System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

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  # 119020 27-Mar-2008 12:00
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There are BR players that can output bitstream for both Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master and there are those who say it's better to decode in the AVR than in the player (I think they like to see the Dolby or DTS lights come on!). From a common sense point of view it's hard to see how an AVR would do a better job than the player.


Bass management - I am yet to see a player that will offer configurable LFE mixin on it, and most low cost recievers will only pass the incoming pcm direct to the dacs after volume and level control so you get nothing there.

I havent looked at the latest crop of recievers as I am in no position to afford one at all right now, but its something I see constant streams of complaints on other forums about.

I had a hell of a time when I got my first HT system finding one that would take the bass from the center to the mains rather then sending it to a sub (which I didnt have) while at the same time mixing the LFE into the mains. - Quite acheivable nowdays on most gear when fed a bitstream, but 5.1 analog in, and hdmi audio seems to bypass all that stuff.




Richard rich.ms

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  # 119022 27-Mar-2008 12:14
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I was hoping lpcm would work for HD otherwise I would have had a large silver paper weight on my hands!

Yes, you will be covered for the foreseeable future. All is not lost for those without HDMI capability on receivers though. Apart from ultilising the 5 or 7.1 inputs a lot of Blu-Ray movies have a 640 k/bits DD soundtrack, a significant improvement on the 448 k/bits of DVD.

The reasons to switch to an HDMI receiver are more about trying to obtain the simplicity of an all HDMI system. Whether that proves to be the case in practise is another question! 

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