LPCM in a receiver

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by dkane360, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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    So I want to get a receiver that can take advantage of my roommates PS3, and be able to get the hd codecs. AFAIK, the PS3 can decode dolby true hd and dts master audio, and send them as LPCM through hdmi. So all I really need, is a receiver cable of getting LPCM from hdmi. I looked at the Marantz sr4002 which clearly states that it can do LPCM of hdmi, but I'm also looking at the Denon AVR-2308CI which says -

    DVI/HDMI Video Inputs – Compatible with 1.1 Spec. – Multi-Channel Audio 2 HDMI/1.3a Audio/Video repeater type with 36-bit Deep Color, xvYCC Color Space and 7.1 Uncompressed 24/96 Audio

    Does that mean it supports LPCM from hdmi? LPCM is still the lossless sound right?

    Thanks!
  2. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    Can't guarantee the specific, but Uncompressed = LPCM :) and it's lossless by definition.
    However by lossless people usually refer to compressed material which still retains all original bits and pieces then uncompressed.
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  3. yepimonfire Audioholic General

    yepimonfire
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    i might be wrong, but last time i checked LPCM only supports 2 channels, so you would have to use a matrix decoder and hope the PS3 uses a matrix encoder to down-mix the multi-channel audio. and yes, "7.1 uncompressed 24/96" means PCM, PCM is the only form of uncompressed raw digital audio.
  4. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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    I'm pretty sure the PS3 can output 7.1 LPCM, but I'll double check that.
  5. selden Audioholic

    selden
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    LPCM over optical or RCA digital connections is limited to two channels. LPCM over HDMI is not.

    Supposedly the newer "slim" PS3s have more audio capabilities than the older models.
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  6. yepimonfire Audioholic General

    yepimonfire
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    yea, i know nothing of HDMI but i know tons about optical and coax.
  7. Josuah Senior Audioholic

    Josuah
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    HDMI 1.0 allows transfer of 8 channel (7.1) LPCM according to HDMI on Wikipedia. (I thought you needed 1.1, but I guess I thought wrong.

    And yes, the PS3 will output 7.1 LPCM when set to do so. I've got mine set up that way. It is the original sound so there is no quality loss. By all definitions of lossless I know of this satisfies lossless.

    (The terminology I've seen used in players for the original compressed data is bitstream. So both LPCM and bitstream settings are lossless. But sent in different formats and at different data rates.)
  8. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    The way HDMI profiles work is that they are required to meet certain specifications. HDMI 1.0, as mentioned above, handles 7.1 LPCM. Any version above 1.0 must also handle it as per the rules of HDMI. The AVR-2308CI by default handles 7.1 LPCM, but it can also decode the bitstream if the player supports it. The original PS3 systems did not support bitstreaming but could internally decode DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD formats internally and convert them to LPCM for output. The PS3 slim can bitstream, and will also internally decode the formats and output them as LPCM should you desire them to do so (in the event you have a non HDMI 1.3 receiver).

    This is all an acceptable way to get the best out of your lossless sound. The processes do not change, the only thing that may change is where they occur. The chain of processes is as follows: bitstream is read from disc, bitstream is converted to PCM, and PCM is converted to analog through the digital to analog conversion process.

    If the PS3 decodes the bitstream and outputs LPCM the receiver will convert the PCM to analog. Since the receiver gets a digital signal it can still add any post processing that is necessary such as bass management, equalization, and DSP modes. If you bitstream to the receiver the conversion to PCM occurs inside the receiver instead of the PS3 (assuming the PS3 would be a slim). I don't believe there has been a credible report of an audible difference from using one method over the other. You might not get that tingly sensation by not seeing the DTS-HD Master Audio logo light up on the receiver, but the sound is still there.
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  9. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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    Thanks, that summed it all up nicely. I'm trying to decide between the AVR-1610, AVR-590, Marantz SR4002, Pioneer VSX-819H-K, AVR-2308CI, or any other receiver in the $300 range lol. I'm leaning towards the 1610 or 590 because of the Pro Logic IIz
  10. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    I've heard that Pro Logic IIz isn't that great, and with that said the AVR-590 and AVR-1610 don't support it out of the box, you have to buy an additional 2 channel amplifier to use it. The AVR-590 and AVR-1610 are very similar, the only change I see just by looking at it briefly is that the AVR-1610 does A/B speaker outputs. Both receivers are 5.1 out of the box (not a huge deal sine most folks don't need 7.1 anyway) and have very limited analog connectivity.

    The AVR-2308CI is the nicest of the group with the most options and power. The AVR-2308CI is also the only receiver on your list with a Phono input. The Marantz comes in behind it with some lacking HDMI features but makes up for it by having preouts for all channels, the only receiver in your group that does it. As a downside both the AVR-2308CI and SR 4002 have only 2 HDMI inputs. The Pioneer VSX-819H-K has 3 HDMI inputs, but it's just not in the same class as the Denon or Marantz receivers.

    Given that list I'd choose the Denon AVR-2308CI over the other receivers. However if I needed to capability to add more power (via preouts) and didn't care about the lack of a phono input I'd go with the SR 4002.
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  11. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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    I have an adcom GFA 545II laying around that I was going to use as the 2 channel amp. I didn't even think about the phono input, and I wanted to get a turntable eventually. So I guess it would make more sense to get the 2308CI. Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.
  12. GlocksRock Audioholic Spartan

    GlocksRock
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    I wouldn't worry too much about a lack of an HDMI input or two, you can get autosensing HDMI switches pretty cheap if you ever need to add extra HDMI inputs.
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  13. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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    Ok so I found a buyer for my old receiver, but now I have a choice. I can either sell my old receiver and buy an AVR-1610 (2308ci is sold out where I want it) or I can keep my receiver and just buy a blu-ray player with 7.1 analog outs (pioneer bdp-320).
  14. selden Audioholic

    selden
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    Don't forget that the receiver can't apply any digital processing to the multichannel 7.1 analog inputs.

    The 1610's Audyssey processing may be able to make a significant improvement in the audio, depending on your speakers and room.
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  15. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

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    No phono input on that 1610 though.;)
  16. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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