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HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

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helicopterpilotdoug

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Post Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:37 pm

HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

OK, there are a lot of very knowledgeable members here, and I hope you can fill me in on what's the best. I understand HDMI audio is digital, and feeds into the receiver, then puts out sound from all speakers. I also understand the 8 channel outputs on blu-ray etc. is analog, feeds into the reciever, and again goes to the speakers. My question is there any difference and which will give me the best sound? I can't use HDMI audio on the Sunfire TG IV I have coming, and wondered if HDMI audio is better or not. Did a search on google, but can't understand a lot of what I see there since I'm not familiar with this stuff. So please give me a answer that is easy for a dummy to understand. :?
Thanks,
Doug
Sunfire: Theater Grand IV, Cinema Grand Signature.
Carver: TFM-45, PST-24 Cassette, Extra Carver Gear: CT-6, C-11 (S/N 00001).
Polk Audio: Mains SRS 2.1TL, Center CSiA6, Surrounds FXiA6 and FXiA4, Sub DSW MicroPro 1000, Extra Speakers SDA 2A, SDA 2Btl, Monitor 10A.
Turntable: Dual CS 714Q
Bluray/SACD: Oppo BDP 83SE
CD: Sony 330 300 Disk changer

http://www.douglasconnection.com
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BillD

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Post Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:11 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

As usual with digital, it all has to do with DACs (Digital to Analog Converters). A player with HDMI out (the audio portion) sends the digital signal unchanged to a receiver that can accept it (with HDMI inputs). The receiver then strips the digital audio portion off and passes the video portion to the TV attached. The audio portion is then decoded if the receiver has the proper functionality. And therein lies the rub.

HDMI is still an evolving standard. When Blu-ray came out, the introduced some very high quality codecs (CODEC is a mnemonic for COde DECode), which allow lossless compression of the audio signal (DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby True-HD). Dolby Digital and DTS were lossy compression algorithms with less bandwidth and sample rates. As such, they could be carried over coax (or marginally TOSlink optical). Furthermore, HDMI provided copy protection, so it couldn't be directly copied to other disks without being decoded and then re-encoded in some other format. So HDMI provided copy protection and the bandwidth to cary these new high definition audio codecs to decoders like your brand spanking new A/V receiver. But, the receiver needed a decoder and none except for the bleeding edge companies (like Denon) had them. So, market turmoil erupted as everyone dumped their old A/V receivers for new ones that could decode Dolby True-HD and DTS Master Audio (notice the prices on older A/V receivers these days?). There were very few companies that had offered 8-channel analog inputs to their receivers. Conventional wisdom was that DTS and Dolby Digital was enough, but that wisdom was dated, and Blu-ray winning the format war changed the industry.

But I digress. Your Sunfire doesn't have HDMI, so the point is moot. You need 8-channel input to get the new codecs. The Sunfire does a fine job in decoding DD and DTS, but for the new ones you need a good player that both has good DACs to decode the new codecs and 8 channel output to feed your Sunfire the analog audio. That's why I went with the Oppo BDP-83 upgraded to the SE. It has better DACs than the Sunfire, as far as my listening tells me, and full 8 channel output. In fact, if you just wanted to listen to any format disc and not have other inputs, you could use it as your entire A/V preamp, as it has level controls for all 8 channels and bass management controls. Get a Sunfire 400~seven and a True Subwoofer and you'd be all set with the Oppo and a TV.

But your coming TGP-IV has 8-channel input (Bob was smart not to just have digital inputs), so you're all set. Use them, but make sure your Blu-ray player has 8-channel outputs.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer
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helicopterpilotdoug

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Post Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

Thank you BillD! That helped me understand a lot. I'm using the Pioneer receiver right now, feeding both audio and video through HDMI. The sound is great. I know the TGP IV will not accept HDMI, and that's what lead to my research and questions about the quality difference, if any. If I understand it correctly, the audio fed through the HDMI is compressed. I read somewhere that with blu-ray there is a separate track that has completely uncompressed digital audio. I'm hoping what I'll get using the 8 channel audio output is this uncompressed audio track, and should have better sound quality. Is this correct?
Sunfire: Theater Grand IV, Cinema Grand Signature.
Carver: TFM-45, PST-24 Cassette, Extra Carver Gear: CT-6, C-11 (S/N 00001).
Polk Audio: Mains SRS 2.1TL, Center CSiA6, Surrounds FXiA6 and FXiA4, Sub DSW MicroPro 1000, Extra Speakers SDA 2A, SDA 2Btl, Monitor 10A.
Turntable: Dual CS 714Q
Bluray/SACD: Oppo BDP 83SE
CD: Sony 330 300 Disk changer

http://www.douglasconnection.com
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BillD

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Post Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:57 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

Some Blu-ray have uncompressed PCM tracks, but not many. Most are codecs like Dolby True-HD and DTS Master Audio (some people say CODEDC isn't COde DECode but COmpress DECompress) which are lossless and yield the same result as uncompressed.. But with digital it is always more than the codec, it is also the sample rate and bit width (whether compressed or not).

I'm one of those that believe that lossless compression doesn't have any affect on the sound but there are others that don't.

Look here
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer
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Jag_97470

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Post Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

You can do a search on 8-channel RCA and see what you come up with, for example;
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/6channel/index.htm

Some pictures attached of what your looking at, pretty cool set-up.
Attachments
8-channel RCA.jpg
8-channel RCA.jpg (19.28 KiB) Viewed 1194 times
eight channel.jpg
eight channel.jpg (28.66 KiB) Viewed 1194 times
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Jag_97470

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Post Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:51 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

Here is an article I found interesting on HDMI, especially the lower section of the article. When I was in BestBuy looking around, I wondered why the packaging on the HDMI did not specify the version? :-k Now I know. \:D/

http://www.canadahifi.com/makinghdmi.php
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mbskeam

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Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:17 am

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

good link.... :D
Mbskeam


#1 BLACK BEAUTY's made by the man, the myth, the legend Bob Carver
CARVER: TFM-75, TFM-45(3), SD/A-490T
SUNFIRE: Tube pre
2 sets of ALS'3, set of SILVERS, set of PLATS
AUDIOCONTROL: phase coupled activator
KENWOOD: BASIC M2a (2)

“Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.”
― Aristophanes

The only thing I'll feel......will be the RECOIL
Necronomicon Ex-Mortis....... Klaatu Barada Nikkto
"We should seek the greatest value of our action"
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helicopterpilotdoug

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Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:56 am

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

Well, the more I get into this, the more questions I have. As you know the TGP IV has no HDMI inputs. But from looking at the owners manual, I find there are inputs for 8 channel analog on the TGP IV, and I also see digital inputs, both optical and coaxial. Both my Direct TV receiver, and Blu-Ray player have digital audio outputs. My original plan was to use 8 channel audio from both the DTV and BR player, into the TG IV. But the TG only has one input for 8 channel. So I'm wondering if I can use the optical or coax digital in/outs and get better quality sound, and forget the 8 channel analog. Is this a good way to go, and will I get the 8 channel audio through these?

Sorry I'm so dumb about this stuff. My experience has been with analog stereo, only 2 channels to contend with! I knew there was such a thing as digital audio optical, but never worried about it since I was using older equipment that did not have digital capability.

Thanks for the help guys.
Sunfire: Theater Grand IV, Cinema Grand Signature.
Carver: TFM-45, PST-24 Cassette, Extra Carver Gear: CT-6, C-11 (S/N 00001).
Polk Audio: Mains SRS 2.1TL, Center CSiA6, Surrounds FXiA6 and FXiA4, Sub DSW MicroPro 1000, Extra Speakers SDA 2A, SDA 2Btl, Monitor 10A.
Turntable: Dual CS 714Q
Bluray/SACD: Oppo BDP 83SE
CD: Sony 330 300 Disk changer

http://www.douglasconnection.com
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BillD

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(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:29 pm

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Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:43 am

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

GO 8-channel into your TGP-IV from your Blu-ray as that is the only one that will produce the new formats. Go coax (or optical) from your TV or Cable box to your Sunfire's inputs. For cable boxes, I usually recommend (and the only time I recommend) TOSlink. Cable boxes are notorious hum generators, and optical provides the isolation needed. You should take the HDMI out of your Blu-ray directly into the TV (sans sound).
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer
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helicopterpilotdoug

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Location: Austin TX

Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:54 am

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

BillD wrote:GO 8-channel into your TGP-IV from your Blu-ray as that is the only one that will produce the new formats. Go coax (or optical) from your TV or Cable box to your Sunfire's inputs. For cable boxes, I usually recommend (and the only time I recommend) TOSlink. Cable boxes are notorious hum generators, and optical provides the isolation needed. You should take the HDMI out of your Blu-ray directly into the TV (sans sound).

Thanks Bill. That's exactly what I had come up with on this. 8 ch from BR, digital coax from Sat receiver, and analog from CD player. The HDMI will be run directly to the TV from both the BR and the Sat. Now all I have to do is get the Oppo, plus a A 753, and TFM-35 or A500 amps. Also find good interconnects for this stuff. Will it ever end??? :lol:
Sunfire: Theater Grand IV, Cinema Grand Signature.
Carver: TFM-45, PST-24 Cassette, Extra Carver Gear: CT-6, C-11 (S/N 00001).
Polk Audio: Mains SRS 2.1TL, Center CSiA6, Surrounds FXiA6 and FXiA4, Sub DSW MicroPro 1000, Extra Speakers SDA 2A, SDA 2Btl, Monitor 10A.
Turntable: Dual CS 714Q
Bluray/SACD: Oppo BDP 83SE
CD: Sony 330 300 Disk changer

http://www.douglasconnection.com
<<

mbskeam

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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:32 am

Location: Woodinville Wa

Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:10 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

Will it ever end???


NO...... :D :D :D :D
Mbskeam


#1 BLACK BEAUTY's made by the man, the myth, the legend Bob Carver
CARVER: TFM-75, TFM-45(3), SD/A-490T
SUNFIRE: Tube pre
2 sets of ALS'3, set of SILVERS, set of PLATS
AUDIOCONTROL: phase coupled activator
KENWOOD: BASIC M2a (2)

“Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.”
― Aristophanes

The only thing I'll feel......will be the RECOIL
Necronomicon Ex-Mortis....... Klaatu Barada Nikkto
"We should seek the greatest value of our action"
<<

BillD

User avatar

(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

Posts: 7295

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:29 pm

Location: The west's most mid-western town, Scottsdale, Arizona

Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:38 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

Depending on the quality of your CD player, you might try digital into your Sunfire. I use my Oppo as a CD player, though.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer
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Jag_97470

SILVER-7 TUBE AMP

Posts: 3383

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Location: Oregon

Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:07 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

BillD wrote:Depending on the quality of your CD player, you might try digital into your Sunfire. I use my Oppo as a CD player, though.


Question? If you only have a Redbook CD player why not use the analog RCA and let the Sunfire use it's internal DAC? I am using the analog RCA's on my Jolida CD player now, am I missing something here? Thanks
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BillD

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(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

Posts: 7295

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:29 pm

Location: The west's most mid-western town, Scottsdale, Arizona

Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:38 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

With a Jolida, if you take digital out, you miss the tubes, and the Jolida probably has as good a DAC as your receiver. The Sunfire has pretty good DACs, probably better than most Redbook players (but not all). So, all I'm saying is experiment with the sound of analog out of your player vs. digital.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer
<<

Jag_97470

SILVER-7 TUBE AMP

Posts: 3383

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:06 am

Location: Oregon

Post Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:48 pm

Re: HDMI audio or 8 channel, which is best quality?

BillD wrote:With a Jolida, if you take digital out, you miss the tubes, and the Jolida probably has as good a DAC as your receiver. The Sunfire has pretty good DACs, probably better than most Redbook players (but not all). So, all I'm saying is experiment with the sound of analog out of your player vs. digital.


Duh, now I remember why I ran it that way > tubes!! Thanks BillD
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