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Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

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miggyboys's picture
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Hello all!

I bought an Audiolab M-DAC last year for my HiFi setup, therefore designating my Marantz CD player to just a transport. Can/is this principle be applied to my AV setup? (please note my AV setup and HiFi setup are separate from each other and not connected)

Is it the case that my Sony Blu-Ray player when outputting via bitstream is just acting as a transport, with my AV Receiver doing all the audio conversion?

What about the picture side of things? Is the picture data being sent to my AV Receiver to be decoded OR is my Blu-Ray player doing that?

The reason I ask is that if this is the case for both queries above, then buying a better quality Blu-Ray player could be a waste of money as it is just acting as a transport.

I look forward to your expertise and views!

Setup

Blu-Ray: Sony BDP-S363

AV Receiver: Denon AVR-2310

 

__________________

HiFi: Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Marantz CD6000OSE, Audiolab M-DAC, NAD C350, Denon TU-260L II, Tannoy Revolution R2, Vortexbox, QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary bi-wire speaker cable.

AV: Sharp LC-46LE831E, Denon AVR-2310, Sony BDP-S363, SkyHD, Mordaunt Short Genie 5.1, various QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary speaker cable.

Thanks

Miggyboys

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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

For lossless audio codecs its immaterial which device decodes the audio.

When playing blu-rays recorded at 1080p/24 and output at same the player doesnt do any video processing. 

 

If different resolutions and/or scan rates are to be used then some video processing will be required. So you would want your best kit to do the work.

Some 3D players may also give extra options when playing back 3D content such as affecting the strength of the 3D effect.

 

 

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miggyboys's picture
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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

AnotherJoe, thanks for your reply. So are you saying yes to my two queries, that the Blu-Ray is just acting as a transport and the audio and video processing is being done by my AV Receiver?

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HiFi: Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Marantz CD6000OSE, Audiolab M-DAC, NAD C350, Denon TU-260L II, Tannoy Revolution R2, Vortexbox, QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary bi-wire speaker cable.

AV: Sharp LC-46LE831E, Denon AVR-2310, Sony BDP-S363, SkyHD, Mordaunt Short Genie 5.1, various QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary speaker cable.

Thanks

Miggyboys

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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

miggyboys wrote:

Is it the case that my Sony Blu-Ray player when outputting via bitstream is just acting as a transport, with my AV Receiver doing all the audio conversion?

Yes.

Quote:

What about the picture side of things? Is the picture data being sent to my AV Receiver to be decoded OR is my Blu-Ray player doing that? 

For 1080p/24 blu ray films, the AV receiver plays no role as the player does all the job.  In my experience, I have not found any difference between blu ray players at different price points in blu ray picture performance. DVD upscaling however, varies between players, & this job can also be done by the AV receiver. More often than not, blu ray player is a better upscaler than a receiver.

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My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

AnotherJoe's picture
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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

Audio for lossless is the same whichever device does the decoding (provided they support the codecs).

No video processing is required for 1080p/24 when output on a 1080p/24 tv - if a different resolution/scan rate is used then the video processing can be done via either the bd/av/tv.

Pick the one that has the best video processor - normally the player unless you have a high end av or tv.

 

Looking at your bd/av it wont make much difference - both are more than fine.

 

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Lounge Samsung UE55D9000, Denon DBT-3313, Onkyo TX-NR5009, Tannoy Arena Highline 500 LCR, ACRyan playon!HD mini2 

Reception Samsung UE46C8000, Panasonic BDP310, Sony STR-DA5400ES, KEF2005.3, ACRyan playon!HD mini2 

gel
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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

miggyboys wrote:

Hello all!

I bought an Audiolab M-DAC last year for my HiFi setup, therefore designating my Marantz CD player to just a transport. Can/is this principle be applied to my AV setup? (please note my AV setup and HiFi setup are separate from each other and not connected)

Is it the case that my Sony Blu-Ray player when outputting via bitstream is just acting as a transport, with my AV Receiver doing all the audio conversion?

What about the picture side of things? Is the picture data being sent to my AV Receiver to be decoded OR is my Blu-Ray player doing that?

The reason I ask is that if this is the case for both queries above, then buying a better quality Blu-Ray player could be a waste of money as it is just acting as a transport.

I look forward to your expertise and views!

Setup

Blu-Ray: Sony BDP-S363

AV Receiver: Denon AVR-2310

 

 

When bitsteaming with my amp I have always heard differences between Blu-ray players.  The ones with better DACs have always sounded better.

__________________

 

Main AV Setup: Panasonic 50VT65 TV (THX calibrated), Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1, Optimum AV300 AV Stand, QED Silver Anniversary XT Speaker Cable & Chord Silver Plus HDMI Cables. Gadgets: iPad 4 & iPhone 4S.

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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

gel wrote:

When bitsteaming with my amp I have always heard differences between Blu-ray players.  The ones with better DACs have always sounded better.

You do realise that when bitstreaming, the DAC of the blu ray player isn't used at all! The Denon 2500BT you auditioned few years ago when you noted improvements, doesn't have a DAC at all as it's a transport!!

DAC = Digital-to-Analogue Converter. When bitstreaming, "sound" is transmitted to the AV receiver digitally for the receiver's DAC to convert into analogue.

__________________

My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

gel
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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

bigboss wrote:

gel wrote:

When bitsteaming with my amp I have always heard differences between Blu-ray players.  The ones with better DACs have always sounded better.

You do realise that when bitstreaming, the DAC of the blu ray player isn't used at all! The Denon 2500BT you auditioned few years ago when you noted improvements, doesn't have a DAC at all as it's a transport!!

DAC = Digital-to-Analogue Converter. When bitstreaming, "sound" is transmitted to the AV receiver digitally for the receiver's DAC to convert into analogue.

 

Definitely sounded different, so did the Pioneer BDP-lx52, only reporting what I have heard.

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Main AV Setup: Panasonic 50VT65 TV (THX calibrated), Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1, Optimum AV300 AV Stand, QED Silver Anniversary XT Speaker Cable & Chord Silver Plus HDMI Cables. Gadgets: iPad 4 & iPhone 4S.

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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

gel wrote:

bigboss wrote:

gel wrote:

When bitsteaming with my amp I have always heard differences between Blu-ray players.  The ones with better DACs have always sounded better.

You do realise that when bitstreaming, the DAC of the blu ray player isn't used at all! The Denon 2500BT you auditioned few years ago when you noted improvements, doesn't have a DAC at all as it's a transport!!

DAC = Digital-to-Analogue Converter. When bitstreaming, "sound" is transmitted to the AV receiver digitally for the receiver's DAC to convert into analogue.

 

Definitely sounded different, so did the Pioneer BDP-lx52, only reporting what I have heard.

It can sound different if the player uses its DAC to convert audio, & not when bitstreaming.

__________________

My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

miggyboys's picture
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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

Gel: 'When bitsteaming with my amp I have always heard differences between Blu-ray players.  The ones with better DACs have always sounded better'.

Could this be because some Blu-Ray players are better at obtaining files without errors compared to others? (logically, more expensive players?). This is getting to the crux of my questions and I'd have the same query about video - are some Blu-Ray players better at obtaining image data/files?

__________________

HiFi: Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Marantz CD6000OSE, Audiolab M-DAC, NAD C350, Denon TU-260L II, Tannoy Revolution R2, Vortexbox, QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary bi-wire speaker cable.

AV: Sharp LC-46LE831E, Denon AVR-2310, Sony BDP-S363, SkyHD, Mordaunt Short Genie 5.1, various QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary speaker cable.

Thanks

Miggyboys

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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

Bigboss & anotherjoe - good points.

However, why is it that WhatHiFi and other magazines state that certain Blu-Ray players had better colour / detail reproduction than others - is this because they're outputting via PCM or via analogue? Surely not? Are they really seeing differences in quality via HDMI / bitstream?

 

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HiFi: Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Marantz CD6000OSE, Audiolab M-DAC, NAD C350, Denon TU-260L II, Tannoy Revolution R2, Vortexbox, QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary bi-wire speaker cable.

AV: Sharp LC-46LE831E, Denon AVR-2310, Sony BDP-S363, SkyHD, Mordaunt Short Genie 5.1, various QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary speaker cable.

Thanks

Miggyboys

gel
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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

miggyboys wrote:

Gel: 'When bitsteaming with my amp I have always heard differences between Blu-ray players.  The ones with better DACs have always sounded better'.

Could this be because some Blu-Ray players are better at obtaining files without errors compared to others? (logically, more expensive players?). This is getting to the crux of my questions and I'd have the same query about video - are some Blu-Ray players better at obtaining image data/files?

 

Yes I would agree with somehow the better Blu-ray players are better at delivering the sound better, I recently compared my LX71 against the LX70a the difference was only slight but big enough, especially with music Blu-rays.  Definitely when it comes to picture I have seen huge differences.  I guess this comes down to the Blu-ray players and each one is Manipulating  it different.

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Main AV Setup: Panasonic 50VT65 TV (THX calibrated), Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1, Optimum AV300 AV Stand, QED Silver Anniversary XT Speaker Cable & Chord Silver Plus HDMI Cables. Gadgets: iPad 4 & iPhone 4S.

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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

- Make sure you have the mixing options on the blu-ray player turned off. You will want to avoid the internal mixer so the original sound is output either as bitstream or LPCM.

- Similar story for video - make sure any noise reduction is turned off. You want the original picture to be sent out without any extra processing.

(If you alter these settings for your own preference then differences will occur. This is where high end players differentiate themselves.)

 

Sound output via hdmi, optical or coaxial does not use the DACs. The DACs in a player would only be used when using the analog outs.

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Lounge Samsung UE55D9000, Denon DBT-3313, Onkyo TX-NR5009, Tannoy Arena Highline 500 LCR, ACRyan playon!HD mini2 

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miggyboys's picture
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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

bigboss wrote:

miggyboys wrote:

Is it the case that my Sony Blu-Ray player when outputting via bitstream is just acting as a transport, with my AV Receiver doing all the audio conversion?

Yes.

Quote:

What about the picture side of things? Is the picture data being sent to my AV Receiver to be decoded OR is my Blu-Ray player doing that? 

For 1080p/24 blu ray films, the AV receiver plays no role as the player does all the job.  In my experience, I have not found any difference between blu ray players at different price points in blu ray picture performance. DVD upscaling however, varies between players, & this job can also be done by the AV receiver. More often than not, blu ray player is a better upscaler than a receiver.

So to clarify, regarding images, blu-ray 1080p/24 is processed by the AV receiver, not the blu ray player? 

What about DVD / standard definition? I have no processing set on my blu ray, as the chipset in my Denon AVR-2310 is superior to my blu ray player. In this case, are the raw native video files being sent to my AV receiver without any playing around by my blu ray player whatsoever?

__________________

HiFi: Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Marantz CD6000OSE, Audiolab M-DAC, NAD C350, Denon TU-260L II, Tannoy Revolution R2, Vortexbox, QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary bi-wire speaker cable.

AV: Sharp LC-46LE831E, Denon AVR-2310, Sony BDP-S363, SkyHD, Mordaunt Short Genie 5.1, various QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary speaker cable.

Thanks

Miggyboys

Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Posts: 4290
RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

Unless you set up your receiver to process the image (which you certainly shouldn't do with 1080/24p content), picture data will pass through your receiver untouched and will be decoded/processed by your TV. You receiver will extract and process the audio data if you're sending it as bitstream from your BDP.

Things are a little different when upscaling lower resolution content. You should experiment and see which component does the best job here (your BDP, AVR, or TV). In all likelihood, you'll be hard pushed to tell the difference between the three, unless perhaps you're viewing images on a huge projector screen.

In other words, I strongly suspect that, unless you're engaging unnecessary image processing somewhere in the video chain, you'll be getting the best out of your equipment picture-wise.

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RE: Is a Blu-Ray player just a transport when using Bitstream?

Can receivers be set up to process/not process different sources i.e. don't process 1080p/24 but do process 1080i (SkyHD) or SD (DVD from blu ray or SD from SkyHD) ?

Upscaling wise, my Denon AVR-2310 definitely upscales the best between my Sony blu ray and Sharp LC-46LE831E TV so it is set to upscale SD sources and my TV and blu ray are set not to upscale anything. I know WhatHiFi recommend upscaling at source but they also say experiment as other components could work better...

Just to state, my picture is exceptional and I calibrated my screen using DVE. I'm just checking how the throughput works and if getting a better blu ray player really makes a difference if another unit is doing the processing/conversion.  

 

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HiFi: Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Marantz CD6000OSE, Audiolab M-DAC, NAD C350, Denon TU-260L II, Tannoy Revolution R2, Vortexbox, QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary bi-wire speaker cable.

AV: Sharp LC-46LE831E, Denon AVR-2310, Sony BDP-S363, SkyHD, Mordaunt Short Genie 5.1, various QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary speaker cable.

Thanks

Miggyboys