Manual? What manual?
With all of the positive press given to the Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player, I just simply had to know what all of the fuss was about first hand. Based on my bench tests and real world usage, I can safely say the BDP-83 is everything and more that everyone has been claiming it to be. It’s easy to setup and use and the user manual is among the most concisely written and organized I’ve come across for any DVD/Blu-ray machine. Imagine for under $500, you can enjoy your entire collection of CD, DVD, DVD-A, SACD and Blu-ray discs on this affordable, highly usable dream machine!
Discuss "Oppo BDP-83" here. Read the article.
Manual? What manual?
This is a great blu-ray player. You can actually win one here, sweepstar.com/sweepstakes/oppo-bdp-83-blu-ray-disc-player-with-sacd-dvd-audi/
Gene, would it be possible for you to conduct a listening test to determine whether you hear any difference between having the BDP-83 send bitstream TrueHD/DTS-HD vs. having it handle the decoding and send multi-channel PCM via HDMI?
This is a topic that continues to be debated. There are people who are convinced that bitstream output sounds better. But my understanding is that the whole point of "lossless" audio is that it will sound identical to multi-channel PCM.
Quote: "the whole point of "lossless" audio is that it will sound identical to multi-channel PCM."
Only if the losslessly compressed format and the PCM are the same bit-depth and sampling rate. There are many 16/48 PCM soundtracks out there that have 24/48 or maybe even 24/96 TrueHD or DTS-HD soundtracks along with them.
My own theory is that it's just a matter of settings and processing. Lord knows, many people fail to get all of their settings correct! And receivers sometimes don't apply things like bass management, room correction or DSP to various input signals.
So my guess is that if someone hears a genuine difference between TrueHD/DTS-HD bitstream output from the player and PCM output (that is the result of internal decoding) from the player that it is due to some incorrect setting or some difference in how the receiver processes the signals. But I would still love for Gene to really test it so that we can have a conclusive result.
You have to understand that it may be a bit much to ask Gene to DBT or visibly compare the two and say for sure. After all, what Gene hears we may not, or we might hear something that Gene doesn't either meaning a DBT would be the only fair way to compare them which takes time, and probably two BDP-83s. Because we aren't ignorant and are aware of what takes place we should know that there is no audible difference to be made. Proving there's no difference only proves it to Gene and reafirms what we already know, and what Gene probably knows as well. There will still be naysayers regardless of what proof you have brought before them, and we know that because the facts are really already there.
Proving cables sound the same has been time and time again, but people oblivious, ignorant, or to proud still spend money they probably don't have on "fancy danceable cables".
I'm not trying to take the fun out of your request, I admire you for asking it in truth. I remember I asked Gene to do something similar a long time ago, but you know what? I already knew the answer for the most part. In that case all I was missing were the terrible measurements I could spend hours laughing about. I knew what I had was a terrible joke for audio.
I own an Onkyo TX-SR705 and, depending on the sampling frequency, LPCM and bitstream TrueHD/DTS-HD are not all handled equally.
With LPCM, complete processing (bass management, room correction, DPL IIx, etc.) is applied to any signal that is up to an including 96 kHz sampling frequency. But if the LPCM is a 192 kHz sampling frequency signal, the 705 will not process it - it will only play it back exactly as it came in (with only the treble/bass "tone" controls available).
With a TrueHD bitstream, the 705 will completely process any signal up to an including a 48 kHz sampling frequency. But at 96 kHz, it will only play it back straight - no processing. And if it is a 192 kHz TrueHD bitstream, it will not play it at all!
With DTS-HD Master Audio, it will process up to 48 kHz signals. It will not process 96 kHz signals, but it will play them back straight. And it will play 192 kHz signals, but it will down sample them to 96 kHz in order to do so!
So with the Onkyo TX-SR705, everything is equal so long as the incoming signal is 48 kHz sampling frequency or less. But if I want to listen to a 96 kHz signal, I'm best off with a LPCM signal coming from the player as the 705 can fully process a 96 kHz LPCM signal, but cannot process TrueHD or DTS-HD MA at that high of a sampling frequency.
I do not know for certain, but my educated guess is that the 705 basically has limited processing power. When it is receiving a TrueHD/DTS-HD bistream, some of its processing power is "taken up" and used to decode the bitstream, leaving less processing power "left over" for things like bass management, room correction, DPL IIx, etc. With a LPCM signal, it doesn't have to "spend" any processor power on the decoding itself, so it is able to fully process a higher sampling frequency.
So that's a long explanation, but it's a first-hand account of an instance where a respectable receiver handles multi-channel LPCM slightly differently from TrueHD/DTS-HD bitstream. The "weird" thing though is that, in the case of my 705, having the player send LPCM actually holds the advantage!
The example I've seen the most of bitstream sounding better than LPCM is when people are comparing bitstream TrueHD/DTS-HD from a stand-alone player vs. the LPCM output from the PS3. I've seen several people claiming that a stand-alone player sending bitstream sounds noticably clearer and more detailed than the PS3's LPCM output.
Now, one theory of mine is that those people haven't properly configured the audio output of the PS3. If you just go into the PS3's Sound Menu, select HDMI for the audio output and then have it automatically configure the audio output, it doesn't always automatically select all of the various multi-channel LPCM output modes that are supported. Some people may also be mistakenly leaving the HDMI audio output setting under the BD/DVD menu to "bitstream" - limiting them to regular DD/DTS output or only 2-channel LPCM. And then, there are all the check boxes if you setup the Sound menu manually. Basically, there are just many possible ways to misconfigure the PS3's audio output, so it wouldn't surprise me if that were the cause of the "lower quality" audio in many cases.
So maybe the best test would be for Gene to compare the BDP-83's audio quality to the PS3's!
That's probably the biggest question out there and the one that is really on my mind. Set up a PS3 properly, have it do the decoding and output the multi-channel LPCM and compare its sound quality to the BDP-83's bitstream and also the BDP-83's decoded LPCM output. If the PS3 really is limiting the audio quality somehow, it should be rather obvious.