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Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

I am looking to upgrade my Panasonic DMP-BDT110 (a free bundle that goes to my daughter) to the new Panasonic flagship BDT500.

The main question is if I will hear a noticable difference by investing in Audio Analogue outputs to my Oknyo 609, rather than continue with a simple HDMI connection? Or is it a case of only higher-end AVR and speakers that would benefit from this (see my kit below)?

I don't really want to invest in yet more cables unless I would hear a noticable difference.

I am assuming that the claims by Panasonic for a higher grade sound relate to the analogue connections, the 'High Clarity Sound Plus' notwithstanding (that is also available on the cheaper BDT310)?

Thanks,

Paul.

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

I have recently purchased the DMP-BDT500 blu ray player and i have the same amp as yourself, i have mine connected via a Wireworld Chroma 6 HDMI cable and the difference in sound quality over my previous DMP-BDT310 player is considerable. As i understand it the claims for a higher grade sound quality apply to both sets of connections so investing in Audio Analogue outputs should not be necessary providing you are using a good quality HDMI cable.

Of course it could be that using the Audio Analogue connection may reap even greater rewards but throughout the manual to my BDT500 there is no mention of this and i am more than happy with the sonic performance from my player as it's currently connected, it's a clear step up in peformance from the rest of the range.

I hope that's of some help to you.

BTW if you are interested in buying a DMP-BDT500 the best deal i found was from Richer Sounds, they are advertising the version of the player with a multi region dvd option for £299 but i got them to match and then beat the same player offered by electronicempire.co.uk at £249 bringing the total price down to £244...bargain! You can order it over the phone and get it price matched and delivered to your home :grin:

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

Oldboy,

Many thanks for the feedback, especially as you have the same AVR.  I will almost certainly go for it!

I assume that you let the Onkyo do the HD Audio decoding?

Paul.

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

Hey Oldboy,

I too have bought the Panasonic 500 and am loving it - what a great bit of kit - RS priced matched my Multi Region player too at £279 on the day they got them in - not quite as good as your deal but it put a smile on my face too.

Any tips on ideal settings ? Mine is paired to a Panasonic 42" GT30 and the picture is brilliant.

Couple of things that make me ask the question -

1. It puts my GT30 into Cinema mode automatically - not sure if this is the best setting or should I try a differeent option ? Bit annoying if its not the best.

2. Using the Viera link it automatically switches to TV on my Sony DA5400es av amp, however my Blu Ray image goes through HDMI 1 input which means I have to grab the Sony remote to switch it over to that input setting each time (TV setting only outputs stereo not Dolby HD formats). Again a bit annoying, what am I doing wrong?

3. Any tips on what should be turned on/off in settings please?

Sorry to bump the post but you always give out such great advise - Im not brilliant on the setting side of things and any tips would be much appreciated.

The only let down of this player is the really annoying remote - the swipe system is not to my taste, maybe I will get used to it in time but I wish they had not gone down this route. However, once you put a decent Blu Ray in I forget all about the remote and just start grinning - brilliant picture and awesome sound.

Its light years ahead of my old Sony 370 Smile

 

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

pauled51 wrote:

Oldboy,

Many thanks for the feedback, especially as you have the same AVR.  I will almost certainly go for it!

I assume that you let the Onkyo do the HD Audio decoding?

Paul.

No worries Paul, go for it...i guarantee you will not be disappointed!

To answer your question yes i let the Onkyo do the decoding, set the panasonic to bitstream to the amp...i think it's in the sound menu, select Digital Audio Output and select bitstream for the Dolby and DTS sound options. I will check that tomorrow just in case that info is not correct but im 90% sure that's how mine is setup, i'm not at home this evening so i can't check right now.

Hope that helps and i will confirm those settings for bitstreaming to the amp tomorrow Smile

Oldboy.

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

psurquhart wrote:

Hey Oldboy,

I too have bought the Panasonic 500 and am loving it - what a great bit of kit - RS priced matched my Multi Region player too at £279 on the day they got them in - not quite as good as your deal but it put a smile on my face too.

Any tips on ideal settings ? Mine is paired to a Panasonic 42" GT30 and the picture is brilliant.

Couple of things that make me ask the question -

1. It puts my GT30 into Cinema mode automatically - not sure if this is the best setting or should I try a differeent option ? Bit annoying if its not the best.

2. Using the Viera link it automatically switches to TV on my Sony DA5400es av amp, however my Blu Ray image goes through HDMI 1 input which means I have to grab the Sony remote to switch it over to that input setting each time (TV setting only outputs stereo not Dolby HD formats). Again a bit annoying, what am I doing wrong?

3. Any tips on what should be turned on/off in settings please?

Sorry to bump the post but you always give out such great advise - Im not brilliant on the setting side of things and any tips would be much appreciated.

The only let down of this player is the really annoying remote - the swipe system is not to my taste, maybe I will get used to it in time but I wish they had not gone down this route. However, once you put a decent Blu Ray in I forget all about the remote and just start grinning - brilliant picture and awesome sound.

Its light years ahead of my old Sony 370 Smile

 

Hello psurquhart,

Unfortunately i'm not at home this evening so i can't go through my menus and tell you how mine is setup, i've only had it a few days but i've got it setup nicely, i will post again tomorrow once i'm home and can go through the menus to tell you what to turn on/off etc and how i've got it setup.

I can answer a few of the other other questions right now though...the tv switching over to cinema mode is perfectly normal and is simply the tv recognising that a Panasonic BD player is connected and therefore it switches the picture mode automatically to cinema as it presumes you are going to watch a movie or tv show. I have calibrated the cinema option on my tv for movie viewing so when it switches over it's ready to go so i suggest you do the same, the settings out of the box for cinema mode are not entirely accurate.

If you are watching 3D content then you may find that that the brightness needs to be upped slightly to offset the darkening of the image that occurs with 3D content, the glasses darken the image i find, and i have calibrated one of the professional isf modes specifically for 3D viewing.

The issue you have with Viera link sounds to me like a HDMI switching issue with the amp, do you have HDMI control on the amp and is it switched on? If you do have it and it's switched on then it may just be a compatibility issue with the Sony amp and Panasonic tv, my Onkyo 609 sometimes has issues with Viera link if i leave my PS3 plugged in on standby for example so it's not out of the question that it's just a handshake issue with the amp.

What you can do is if the amp has HDMI control then turn it off and then turn the Viera link off on the tv and start again...start by turning on the amps HDMI control and then turn the Viera Link back on on the tv to reset the handshake and see if that cures it, oh and don't forget to select home cinema from the Viera Link button on the tv remote afterwards. If that doesn't work you may just have to live with it but my amp switches over automatically as you would expect.

I do agree with you about the touch section of the players remote, it feels clumsy doesn't it! I'm sure if i make the effort i will get used to it but initial impressions are that it's a bit gimmicky and not really needed to operate the player from day to day, the buttons seem to do the job just fine without any silly swipes!

Will update you tomorrow regarding settings for the player but i hope this info has been of some help in the meantime.

Best regards,

Oldboy.

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

Oldboy wrote:

psurquhart wrote:

Hey Oldboy,

I too have bought the Panasonic 500 and am loving it - what a great bit of kit - RS priced matched my Multi Region player too at £279 on the day they got them in - not quite as good as your deal but it put a smile on my face too.

Any tips on ideal settings ? Mine is paired to a Panasonic 42" GT30 and the picture is brilliant.

Couple of things that make me ask the question -

1. It puts my GT30 into Cinema mode automatically - not sure if this is the best setting or should I try a differeent option ? Bit annoying if its not the best.

2. Using the Viera link it automatically switches to TV on my Sony DA5400es av amp, however my Blu Ray image goes through HDMI 1 input which means I have to grab the Sony remote to switch it over to that input setting each time (TV setting only outputs stereo not Dolby HD formats). Again a bit annoying, what am I doing wrong?

3. Any tips on what should be turned on/off in settings please?

Sorry to bump the post but you always give out such great advise - Im not brilliant on the setting side of things and any tips would be much appreciated.

The only let down of this player is the really annoying remote - the swipe system is not to my taste, maybe I will get used to it in time but I wish they had not gone down this route. However, once you put a decent Blu Ray in I forget all about the remote and just start grinning - brilliant picture and awesome sound.

Its light years ahead of my old Sony 370 Smile

 

Hello psurquhart,

Unfortunately i'm not at home this evening so i can't go through my menus and tell you how mine is setup, i've only had it a few days but i've got it setup nicely, i will post again tomorrow once i'm home and can go through the menus to tell you what to turn on/off etc and how i've got it setup.

I can answer a few of the other other questions right now though...the tv switching over to cinema mode is perfectly normal and is simply the tv recognising that a Panasonic BD player is connected and therefore it switches the picture mode automatically to cinema as it presumes you are going to watch a movie or tv show. I have calibrated the cinema option on my tv for movie viewing so when it switches over it's ready to go so i suggest you do the same, the settings out of the box for cinema mode are not entirely accurate.

If you are watching 3D content then you may find that that the brightness needs to be upped slightly to offset the darkening of the image that occurs with 3D content, the glasses darken the image i find, and i have calibrated one of the professional isf modes specifically for 3D viewing.

The issue you have with Viera link sounds to me like a HDMI switching issue with the amp, do you have HDMI control on the amp and is it switched on? If you do have it and it's switched on then it may just be a compatibility issue with the Sony amp and Panasonic tv, my Onkyo 609 sometimes has issues with Viera link if i leave my PS3 plugged in on standby for example so it's not out of the question that it's just a handshake issue with the amp.

What you can do is if the amp has HDMI control then turn it off and then turn the Viera link off on the tv and start again...start by turning on the amps HDMI control and then turn the Viera Link back on on the tv to reset the handshake and see if that cures it, oh and don't forget to select home cinema from the Viera Link button on the tv remote afterwards. If that doesn't work you may just have to live with it but my amp switches over automatically as you would expect.

I do agree with you about the touch section of the players remote, it feels clumsy doesn't it! I'm sure if i make the effort i will get used to it but initial impressions are that it's a bit gimmicky and not really needed to operate the player from day to day, the buttons seem to do the job just fine without any silly swipes!

Will update you tomorrow regarding settings for the player but i hope this info has been of some help in the meantime.

Best regards,

Oldboy.

 

Cheers Oldboy,

Just about to try the above - will let you know how I got on.

Could I be cheeky and ask you to list your GT30's settings too on the cinema mode and professional isf mode ? Not asking much am I ? I  appreciate each tv is different but it would be a good guide. I have calibrated my GT30 using the Skynet Terminator Blu Ray but I am not overly confident I always get things right.

 

PERHAPS REGARDING THE 500 BLU RAY SETTINGS IT WOULD BE MORE BENEFICIAL TO ALL OWNERS TO START A NEW TITLED POST ? ONLY A THOUGHT IF YOU CAN BE BOTHERED ?

 

One final question for now - due to me not getting on with the swipe remote system, I tend to use the far easier tv's remote when using the Blu Ray player. The only really, really annoying thing is that it doesnt appear to have a button to open / close the Blu Ray players tray to insert / take out / load the discs ? Is there a hidden button on the tv's remote to get round this ? Seems like a bit of a clanger to omit one ? Any advice ? 

 

Anonymous
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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

Hello, first of all greetings to all from Spain. I write here because unfortunately in Spain this player is not going to sell and it´s hard to find people who have it.

Someone could tell me if you have option to move the subtitles? Have you option to move the image from 16.9 to 21.9 (1.85:1 to 2.35:1 I don´t how it says around here)?

Sorry for my English. Regards

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

psurquhart,

I can't list my tv settings in cinema mode as there are no numerical values on the menu but for professional my settings are as below:

contrast - 42

brightness - 30

colour - 32

sharpness - 4

C.A.T.S - off, P-NR - off, Gamma 2.2, 24p smooth film - off, Resolution Enhancer - off, Side Panel - high, 16:9 Overscan - off, Pixel Orbiter - on

White Balance and Colour Management are all set to 0 (zero)

That should give you a start with that mode but i will warn you now that i got inaccurate results from using the optimiser on the Terminator 2 skynet edition bluray, i ended up using an open source optimiser disc that you can download and burn to disc yourself called the AVS HD 709 calibration tool and that has served me very well...infact it's better than the retail calibration disc i bought (DVE Essentials).

In cinema mode only the contast, brightness, colour and sharpness differ from the settings i've posted above but they are different from the default values so i just hope i've given you a good starting point. I found the dvd version of the THX optimiser far more accurate than the bluray version on T2 so give that a go to calibrate the cinema mode on your tv, it should give you a far better result.

I will start a new thread for the settings on the DMP-BDT500 so everyone can benefit but to be honest it's not too complicated although i'm sure you will be interested to see the settings, hopefully i get a chance to post that this evening.

As for the tv remote when using it for the BD player no there is no way around it regarding the eject button, you are restricted to just the basic functions i'm afraid and there is no way of using any button as an eject button on the tv remote. What you can do is if you have a smartphone or an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch then you can download the free viera remote app to control both the tv and bluray player, i've got it on both my HTC android phone and my iPod touch...it works a treat!

I hope all that is of some help to you and i will post the BD player settings as soon as i can Smile

Regards,

Oldboy.

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

Oldboy wrote:

psurquhart,

I can't list my tv settings in cinema mode as there are no numerical values on the menu but for professional my settings are as below:

contrast - 42

brightness - 30

colour - 32

sharpness - 4

C.A.T.S - off, P-NR - off, Gamma 2.2, 24p smooth film - off, Resolution Enhancer - off, Side Panel - high, 16:9 Overscan - off, Pixel Orbiter - on

White Balance and Colour Management are all set to 0 (zero)

That should give you a start with that mode but i will warn you now that i got inaccurate results from using the optimiser on the Terminator 2 skynet edition bluray, i ended up using an open source optimiser disc that you can download and burn to disc yourself called the AVS HD 709 calibration tool and that has served me very well...infact it's better than the retail calibration disc i bought (DVE Essentials).

In cinema mode only the contast, brightness, colour and sharpness differ from the settings i've posted above but they are different from the default values so i just hope i've given you a good starting point. I found the dvd version of the THX optimiser far more accurate than the bluray version on T2 so give that a go to calibrate the cinema mode on your tv, it should give you a far better result.

I will start a new thread for the settings on the DMP-BDT500 so everyone can benefit but to be honest it's not too complicated although i'm sure you will be interested to see the settings, hopefully i get a chance to post that this evening.

As for the tv remote when using it for the BD player no there is no way around it regarding the eject button, you are restricted to just the basic functions i'm afraid and there is no way of using any button as an eject button on the tv remote. What you can do is if you have a smartphone or an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch then you can download the free viera remote app to control both the tv and bluray player, i've got it on both my HTC android phone and my iPod touch...it works a treat!

I hope all that is of some help to you and i will post the BD player settings as soon as i can Smile

Regards,

Oldboy.

 

Thanks for this Oldboy - interesting comments about the Terminator Blu Ray optimizer.

Just out of curiosity - why 24p smooth film off ? Surely this would work in conjunction with Blu Ray image play back to optimise settings ?

When I find more time, I will have a look at the AVS HD 709 calibration tool, however if its too complicated for my limited mind it may just scare me !

Always appreciate your help though, off to the Blu Ray settings post now - cheers.

Anonymous
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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

Oldboy,

Ordered from Richer Sounds today for £245!  Great price, which will include the 3 free blu-rays from Panasonic, so I added the 5 year warranty for an extra £24 - total price £269.

Cannot wait to test it out, although waiting for my MA Sub to be repaired by Sevenoaks Sound and Vision under warranty - it started 'humming' beginning of this week when in power mode but no input, so waiting for MA to deliver a new amp board for replacement repair. Sub still works, but with a low hum which can be heard quite clearly when all else is silent.

I'm hoping that this is not a bad sign of Monitor Audio quality (I've had it since last October).

Paul.

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

psurquhart,

24p smooth film is set to off because this is just Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) under another name which is processing the image (creating extra frames) to make motion smoother, this causes all sorts of issues with picture quality (shimmering, artefacts and halo effect to name just a few) and when the BD player is set to 24p in the first place you are seeing the movie as the director intended so there is no need to add further processing to the image.

I have found that the BDT500 has virtually eliminated all the motion issues i experienced with my previous BDT310 player and that adding any processing to the image is simply not required. Of course feel free to try this setting out for yourself but i find it artificial and simply not necessary even on the lowest setting, i'm far happier watching movies as the director intended, but each to their own.

Just tailor the settings to your own personal taste.

Hope that helps Smile

 

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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

pauled51 wrote:

Oldboy,

Ordered from Richer Sounds today for £245!  Great price, which will include the 3 free blu-rays from Panasonic, so I added the 5 year warranty for an extra £24 - total price £269.

Cannot wait to test it out, although waiting for my MA Sub to be repaired by Sevenoaks Sound and Vision under warranty - it started 'humming' beginning of this week when in power mode but no input, so waiting for MA to deliver a new amp board for replacement repair. Sub still works, but with a low hum which can be heard quite clearly when all else is silent.

I'm hoping that this is not a bad sign of Monitor Audio quality (I've had it since last October).

Paul.

That's great news Paul, i'm glad you got the same deal as myself with the BDT500...i intend to add the extra guarantee to my unit in the next few weeks as i forgot all about it when i ordered it but you can add it at any time fortunately. Did i tell you that Richers tried to deliver mine to the wrong address? They tried to deliver it to number 54 instead of 154...i wasn't a happy chappy, luckily the person at 54 refused the delivery so when i phoned up they changed the door number and it was delivered the next day but i almost lost the player despite being crystal clear when ordering!

I've already applied for my 3 free blurays by using the online registration, it's always nice to get freebies eh! It's a bit long winded to apply online as you have to supply a copy of the receipt and a photo of the barcode and serial number sticker on the box of the player in jpeg format to apply but it's a small price to pay.

That's bad news about your MA sub...hopefully it gets repaired soon so that you are able to enjoy the BDT500 to full effect but it's a problem that i've seen many times and not just with MA, there has been many threads on WHF about subs that develop the same fault so i wouldn't be overly concerned with the quality of MA products. I have always been of the opinion that they are a good quality products so you have just been unlucky in my opinion.

regards,

Oldboy.

 

Anonymous
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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

Oldboy,

Thanks for the comments - I feel much better now about my faulty sub.

Paul.

Anonymous
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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

Hi all

I've just joined this forum and am not a hifi techie so apologies for any naivity. I purchased the DMP-BDT320 Blu ray player from last week for an upstairs bedroom. Very good picture, sound and also CD quality (though not as good as my Arcam CD)

I then became aware of this model after purchasing the above-I wish to also replace by universal Denon 2910 DVD with a Blu Ray player in my main AV room where I have an Onkyo TX1008 receiver and Monitor Audio speaker system. I wanted good quality CD playback so I bought the BDT500 yesterday from Richer Sounds but yet to unbox it. I  have looked at the manual of the BDT 500 online and have the following questions before unboxing it:

1. Is the improved audio sound only applicable to analog outputs? Otherwise will the HDMI output sound the same as my BDT320?

2.The BDT500 has two HDMI outputs-one is an HDMI AV OUT SUB (p11 manual)- this is meant to have improved audio sound. Would I connect the main HDMI to the one input on my Onkyo receiver for DVD/BD, and then connect the HDMI AV SUB to another input on the Onkyo (CD input) for audio CD? Also is the improved sound of the HDMI AV OUT SUB only if you also switch off the HDMI video output for pure sound or does it somehow process audio better via this HDMI SUB output?

Is using the HDMI AV SUB for cd  2 channel audio as good or better than analogue output?

3. Analogue outputs for 2 channel stereo. The manual only speaks of 5.1/7.1 audio outputs (P12 manual)- does not specifically mention 2 channel analogue out. The down mix option  is "2 channel + 5.1" not simply 2 channel. If I simply want 2 channel stereo from a CD, should I simpy connect phono leads to thr front speakers R/L outputs- will this somehow cancel out any other channel outputs or will I get only a partial output? (sorry if asking the obvious)

4. Digital tube sound (P29)- is this specifically only for music CDs? Or does it apply to DVDs/BD? . Will this work on analogue output as well or only via HDMI or digital out?

5. High Clarity Sound Plus (video signal is turned off) (p29)- there is no mention of "plus" on the actual option screen- does this only apply to music audio from CDs ? Does it only operate if "video off" is selected in the HDMI AV SUB out option?

With many thanks for any clarification on the above before I unbox the BDT500

Chand

Anonymous
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RE: Panasonic DMP-BDT500: HDMI Audio versus Analogue outputs?

Hi all

I've just joined this forum and am not a hifi techie so apologies for any naivity. I purchased the DMP-BDT320 Blu ray player from last week for an upstairs bedroom. Very good picture, sound and also CD quality (though not as good as my Arcam CD)

I then became aware of this model after purchasing the above-I wish to also replace by universal Denon 2910 DVD with a Blu Ray player in my main AV room where I have an Onkyo TX1008 receiver and Monitor Audio speaker system. I wanted good quality CD playback so I bought the BDT500 yesterday from Richer Sounds but yet to unbox it. I  have looked at the manual of the BDT 500 online and have the following questions before unboxing it:

1. Is the improved audio sound only applicable to analog outputs? Otherwise will the HDMI output sound the same as my BDT320?

2.The BDT500 has two HDMI outputs-one is an HDMI AV OUT SUB (p11 manual)- this is meant to have improved audio sound. Would I connect the main HDMI to the one input on my Onkyo receiver for DVD/BD, and then connect the HDMI AV SUB to another input on the Onkyo (CD input) for audio CD? Also is the improved sound of the HDMI AV OUT SUB only if you also switch off the HDMI video output for pure sound or does it somehow process audio better via this HDMI SUB output?

Is using the HDMI AV SUB for cd  2 channel audio as good or better than analogue output?

3. Analogue outputs for 2 channel stereo. The manual only speaks of 5.1/7.1 audio outputs (P12 manual)- does not specifically mention 2 channel analogue out. The down mix option  is "2 channel + 5.1" not simply 2 channel. If I simply want 2 channel stereo from a CD, should I simpy connect phono leads to thr front speakers R/L outputs- will this somehow cancel out any other channel outputs or will I get only a partial output? (sorry if asking the obvious)

4. Digital tube sound (P29)- is this specifically only for music CDs? Or does it apply to DVDs/BD? . Will this work on analogue output as well or only via HDMI or digital out?

5. High Clarity Sound Plus (video signal is turned off) (p29)- there is no mention of "plus" on the actual option screen- does this only apply to music audio from CDs ? Does it only operate if "video off" is selected in the HDMI AV SUB out option?

With many thanks for any clarification on the above before I unbox the BDT500

Chand

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