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  1. #1
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    Best sound output from BDP7600

    I have a BDP7600 connected to an old Denon surround-sound amp that lacks HDMI inputs but does have optical (SPDIF) and analogue inputs for 5.1 surround sound. What is the best way to connect the Philips blu-ray player to the amp: by optical cable or by analogue? Am I right in thinking that the optical cable simply allows the digital signal (Dolby 5.1 or DTS) to pass through to be processed in the amp, whereas the analogue output has already been transcoded within the Philips blu-ray player? If the latter, then analogue connects might give me the best sound if the 7600 is able to transcode HD sound efficiently, but I don't know if this is the case. I can't find any information on the 7600's audio transcoding abilities anywhere in the manual or online.

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    I'm hoping one of the boffins at Philips can answer my question...

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    i think the analogue will be better than that of optical as the signal loss is less.
    but when compared to HDMI, i guess the best will be used HDMI cable as it gives the least signal loss among these 3 options.

    also for BDP7600, is the analogue output only left & right? since for BDP9600, it has up to 7....

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwinnie View Post
    i think the analogue will be better than that of optical as the signal loss is less.
    but when compared to HDMI, i guess the best will be used HDMI cable as it gives the least signal loss among these 3 options.

    also for BDP7600, is the analogue output only left & right? since for BDP9600, it has up to 7....
    The 7600 can output 7.1 surround sound in analogue. It also has HDMI and digital optical audio out. I suspect you're right that the analogue connections give the best sound when connecting to an older AV system, but it would good if someone from Philips could give a bit more info on this.

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    Hi Blackcurrent,

    All depends a bit on what you want. Analogue is better - in terms of surrounding sound
    but HDMI will give you lossless.

    HDMI is convenient, simple, and easy to set up. If you don't care about lossless audio and some extra set up analogue is great.

    One thing in mind though that if you use this setting:

    tv ---------hdmi---------> 7600--------analog--------> 7.1

    then this may cause lip sync issue.

    Regards
    Last edited by Philips - Remko; 01-10-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philips - Remko View Post
    Hi Blackcurrent,

    All depends a bit on what you want. Analogue is better - in terms of surrounding sound
    but HDMI will give you lossless.

    HDMI is convenient, simple, and easy to set up. If you don't care about lossless audio and some extra set up analogue is great.

    One thing in mind though that if you use this setting:

    tv ---------hdmi---------> 7600--------analog--------> 7.1

    then this may cause lip sync issue.

    Regards
    Theanks Remko. My main question is really whether I should use analogue surround or SPDIF (optical digital), as my AV receiver doesn't an in input for HDMI. I'm currently using SPDIF but wonder if analogue is better. My understanding is that SPDIF merely let through whatever digital sound format is encoded in the source, whereas using analogue outputs will cause the 7600 to transcode to analogue 7.1 first. If this is correct, then I might have fewer compatibility issues using analogue, particularly with newer digital sound formats that my amplifier might not recognize.

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    then i guess he means the analog is better, no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwinnie View Post
    then i guess he means the analog is better, no?
    It's better than HDMI, but I was asking about SPDIF, so the answer depends in whether the optical signal is passed through or transcoded and what the bit rate is. I'm hoping one of the Philips boffins will know the answer.

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    Did you try both? What does your hearing tell you? Which one do you like more? I personally and especially on picture and sound go for what I like, what i feel, what I hear and see.......maybe you like your sound and picture this way and I do it the other way... Tastes are different as are flavours....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Did you try both? What does your hearing tell you? Which one do you like more? I personally and especially on picture and sound go for what I like, what i feel, what I hear and see.......maybe you like your sound and picture this way and I do it the other way... Tastes are different as are flavours....
    I need to invest in new cables to make a comparison but might do that. It's not just a question of sound quality though. I also want to know if using analogue outputs will give me surround sound from more audio formats than SPDIF would, since I think the Philips transcodes a wide variety of digital sound formats to 5.1 analogue, whereas my AV receiver doesn't. But that's only a suspicion as I can't find any information about the Philips's transcoding ability - which is why I raised the question on this forum.

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    Blackcurrant, I am in your situation. I have a BDP8000 connected to Denon Receiver AVR1906 via both optical SPDIF and analog 5.1 connections.
    I choose on the receiver which input has to be used.

    I make some test by comparing the same lossless track (Dolby True HD or DTS-HD MA) using optical or analog inputs.
    In the fist case (optical) only the "core" of the track is sended to the receiver, in the second case (analog) the player decodes the full HD track and sends it to Denon.
    For this reason, the analog 5.1 should be better than SPDIF.
    But honestly in my tests I did not find any appreciable difference. ANY. In both cases the sound is very good, but I hoped to hear the lossless tracks much better than the lossys.
    My conclusion is that the BDP8000 sound decoder is not very good, but I cannot exclude that other home theater systems could have different results.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by maumau View Post
    Blackcurrant, I am in your situation. I have a BDP8000 connected to Denon Receiver AVR1906 via both optical SPDIF and analog 5.1 connections.
    I choose on the receiver which input has to be used.

    I make some test by comparing the same lossless track (Dolby True HD or DTS-HD MA) using optical or analog inputs.
    In the fist case (optical) only the "core" of the track is sended to the receiver, in the second case (analog) the player decodes the full HD track and sends it to Denon.
    For this reason, the analog 5.1 should be better than SPDIF.
    But honestly in my tests I did not find any appreciable difference. ANY. In both cases the sound is very good, but I hoped to hear the lossless tracks much better than the lossys.
    My conclusion is that the BDP8000 sound decoder is not very good, but I cannot exclude that other home theater systems could have different results.
    Thanks maumau, that's interesting. I have a Denon AVR2106 connected to Philips BDP7600 by optical SPDIF only. I'm going to get analogue cables and try the analogue connection too.

    One of the things I'm wondering is whether the optical connection from the Philips merely allows the audio signal from blu-ray discs to pass through, without transcoding it first. If so, you're likely to hear very similar sound output from optical and analogue if the audio codec is one your Denon amp can process. But things should be different if the audio signal is in a format that the Denon can't translate. Then I would expect to see something rubbish like dolby prologic fake surround sound resulting from the optical connection, but full 5.1 channel surround sound coming through the analogue cables as I think the Philips player transcodes on board before outputting to analogue. So if I'm right (but I might not be), then you should get surround sound more often if you use analogue than if you use optical, since some film formats (e.g. downloads) might have exotic audio formats that aren't compatible older Denon amps.

    But it might be the case that the Philips blu-ray player transcodes audio signals before outputting over the optical connection, in which case - given your inability to detect any difference in quality - there's probably no point bothering with analogue at all. I'm hoping the Philips techies can tell us.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcurrant View Post
    I'm wondering is whether the optical connection from the Philips merely allows the audio signal from blu-ray discs to pass through, without transcoding it first.
    the optical connection sends Denon the full sound of lossy DD and DTS. My Denon can decode these formats properly.
    When the audio format is lossless (DD trueHD or DTS-HD MasterAudio), the optical connection cannot manage the full message, and only the "core" (the lossy DD or DTS part) of the track is sended to Denon.
    So, in my case, I do not expect any difference when using optical connection between lossy and lossless audio.

    Then I would expect to see something rubbish like dolby prologic fake surround sound resulting from the optical connection
    no, I have a good 5.1 sound

    but full 5.1 channel surround sound coming through the analogue cables as I think the Philips player transcodes on board before outputting to analogue.
    correct, Philips player transcodes both lossy and lossless audio through analog connections.
    The problem, in my case, is that I don't hear the (big) difference that should be.
    Is it because of my HT system (actually not cheap, but not hi-end) ?
    Is it because of my ears ?
    Is it because the Philips lossless audio trancoder is not good enough ?
    I don't know, but I bought BDP8000 mainly for the analog outputs that could have permitted to hear loosless audio even with my Denon HDMI-free.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by maumau View Post
    the optical connection sends Denon the full sound of lossy DD and DTS. My Denon can decode these formats properly.
    When the audio format is lossless (DD trueHD or DTS-HD MasterAudio), the optical connection cannot manage the full message, and only the "core" (the lossy DD or DTS part) of the track is sended to Denon.
    So, in my case, I do not expect any difference when using optical connection between lossy and lossless audio.
    Thanks, I didn't know that.

    Quote Originally Posted by maumau View Post
    correct, Philips player transcodes both lossy and lossless audio through analog connections.
    The problem, in my case, is that I don't hear the (big) difference that should be.
    Is it because of my HT system (actually not cheap, but not hi-end) ?
    Is it because of my ears ?
    Is it because the Philips lossless audio trancoder is not good enough ?
    I don't know, but I bought BDP8000 mainly for the analog outputs that could have permitted to hear loosless audio even with my Denon HDMI-free.
    I don't know the answer to that. I have seen a review of a Samsung blu-ray player with analogue outputs that apparently gave disappointing audio results through analogue, so if it's any consolation I think the Philips is probably just as good. You might be right in suspecting the Philips transcoder is to blame. It probably just does the minimum needed to widen Philips's market to owners of old amps. The fact that Philips won't give any info about it tends to suggest the same.

    Have you tried connecting full 7.1 surround to your Denon and selecting 7.1 in the Philips menu? Might just be worth a try, even if you've only got 5 speakers and a sub. 7.1 surround is the best the Philips can do, and I think your Denon can take 7.1 inputs.

    One other thought - is HD audio all it's cracked up to be or just marketing hype? Maybe there isn't much of an audible difference between lossy and lossless surround sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcurrant View Post
    Have you tried connecting full 7.1 surround to your Denon and selecting 7.1 in the Philips menu? Might just be worth a try, even if you've only got 5 speakers and a sub. 7.1 surround is the best the Philips can do, and I think your Denon can take 7.1 inputs.
    My Denon has only 5.1 inputs, and they are all connected with the analog outputs of Philips player.
    The optical output is also connected in the same time.
    I choose in the Denon receiver wich input is to be used between the two.

    I did not find in the Philips BDP8000 menu a specific voice "7.1", are you sure ?
    Actually, I cannot select in the Philips player if optical or analog outputs are to be used ...

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