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ssimon
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Joined: Apr 25 2008 - 10:34am
Newbie Question about HDMI, PCM and DSD

Hi,
The background to this question is that I'm thinking of getting an Oppo BDP 95 because of its quality as an SACD player as well as a Bluray player. Here goes:

If I'm connecting a source component, ie, a bluray player, via HDMI to a receiver, is it correct to say that:

-- the audio signal is emerging from the player as either PCM or DSD

-- and that conversion of the PCM or DSD output from the player to analogue therefore takes place only in the receiver

The reason I ask is that the Oppo that is highly regarded for its ability to playback CD and multichannel SACD material very very well.

The hitch is that my multichannel AV receiver does not have analogue inputs -- just digital.

The conclusion I have reached is that spending money on a highly capable source component is pointless if the only way the amplifier can receive the signal is via HDMI. The reason is that the HDMI can move only the unprocessed digital PCM or DSD signal from the player to the receiver. Hence conversion to analogue is carried out by the DACs in the receiver, which are inferior to the DACs in the player.

Am I correct? If I am then I've probably got to separates, ie, a surround processor with analogue inputs and a multichannel amplifier. Combined with the new player I am considering, this adds up to big bucks...

Thanks for your patience.

S

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Well, we know from your post that

you are considering an Oppo BDP-95. However, could you tell us what AVR do you have?

deckeda
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Stop.
ssimon wrote:

... The conclusion I have reached is that spending money on a highly capable source component is pointless if the only way the amplifier can receive the signal is via HDMI. The reason is that the HDMI can move only the unprocessed digital PCM or DSD signal from the player to the receiver. Hence conversion to analogue is carried out by the DACs in the receiver, which are inferior to the DACs in the player. ...

These things are not absolutes, and not static truths.

The DAC in the Oppo might be better than your receiver today, but might not be better after you get your next receiver. So the question is, are your buying with the future in mind, at least somewhat?

The only reason the Oppo has multichannel analog outputs is for legacy high end pre-pros that have multichannel analog inputs, which are becoming less common.

DACs are getting better all the time, which makes incorporating good ones into receivers an increasing possibility.

And for 2-channel audio, you might decide to bypass both the Oppo and receiver's DAC anyway.

What the Oppo promises is 1) flexibility and 2) high overall video and audio performance, the latter of which will vary depending on how you connect it. In other words it remains a viable choice no matter how you hook it up. (Although at least for video, you WILL be using HDMI.)

Kal Rubinson
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Also, if you are going to use

Also, if you are going to use the digital outputs, why not get an Oppo BDP-93? Aside from the lesser analog outputs and lower price, it is identical to the 95.

Kal

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