BluRay player with HDMI 1.3 and older HDMI AVR and monitor

MichaelD

Lifer
Jan 16, 2001
31,529
3
76
I finally decided to take/make the HD plunge. I've seen upconverted standard DVDs on another system and they looked fantastic. And of course, real HD material is The Real Deal.

I've got a Panny BD30K on the way. My HDTV (Hitachi 42" Plasma) has a full 1080i/1080p panel and HDMI inputs. My AVR (older Pioneer with HDMI inputs/outputs) is nothing special.

The BR player is HDMI 1.3 but neither the TV or the AVR are. In fact, the TV and AVR's manuals say nothing about which HDMI spec they are. Both the AVR and TV are about 1.5 years old (TV was manuf'd in Apr 2007, AVR not sure) so I'm guessing v1.1 rather than 1.0?

Anyway, would it be better to NOT run the HDMI from the BR player thru the AVR? I.E. BR-->straight to the TV? Would it make any diff at all? My HDMI cables are all v1.3 but that won't make any diff if not all of the devices in the chain are v1.3 too, right?

My line of thinking is "one less device in the signal chain=better picture and less chance of probs."

I will run a coax cable from the BR to the AVR for audio, obviously.

Thoughts? Thanks!
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
9,427
16
81
1.3 only matters for deep color -- which isn't used yet anyway -- and bitstreaming -- which you don't necessarily need. 1.1 will get you multichannel PCM, which is *better* sound than coax or optical can carry, and identical to the bitstreamed sound over 1.3. You just need a Blu-Ray player that can decode the new audio codecs into multichannel PCM. Unfortunately, that Panny won't do it. Did you just pay $250 for their outdated model when you can get their new one (which does decode everything) with six free movies for less?

What's your Pioneer's model number?

Edit to add: Return/cancel the BD-30, get this deal with the BD-35, then send in this form. Yes, Panasonic said online retailers are OK for the latter.
 

MichaelD

Lifer
Jan 16, 2001
31,529
3
76
:eek: Damn. Why you gotta be right? ;)

Thanks for your informative answer.

I paid $230, (shipped) for it...if I knew about the free movies, I'd have jumped on the deal for the newer one. I bought the BD30K based on reviews/comparisons in which it did very well.

So are you saying that HDMI will give me better audio than coax? (Assuming going from BR player into AVR). Isn't "digital=digital?"

I have an odd Pioneer AVR. The model number is VSX-917V (also known as VSX-917V/-s/-k). Nothing special but I got a really good deal on it and it's universal voltage (110/220 60Hz/50Hz). I have the user manual sitting in front of me and I can tell you that it says nothing about which HDMI spec it has. :(

Thanks for your help.

ps
Unfortunately, it's already shipped and returning anything from my location is a very long and risky proposition. :( I know I didn't get a "bad" BR player...i did my research but apparently not enough. :roll:
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
9,427
16
81
Digital is digital, but specs won't allow the highest-quality surround feeds be transmitted over coax/optical. Those are HDMI only, I believe due to copy protection issues.

Unfortunately, it looks like the 917 doesn't do HDMI audio at all! You're going to have to use the analog surround inputs if you want the full lossless sound, which means buying a Blu-Ray player that outputs analog surround sound. That means either the Panasonic BD-55, the Sony S550, or the Samsung P2500. You can get all three with four movies in that Amazon deal.

You really should return that BD-30. (Wait, if you're really in Micronesia that could be a serious pain.) Or trade up for a current-generation receiver that decodes the bitstreamed codecs...
 

MichaelD

Lifer
Jan 16, 2001
31,529
3
76
Thanks, S44. I appreciate your help.

Can't I just run the HDMI from the BR player to either the AVR or the TV and run a coax cable from the BR player to the AVR? The BD30 has a coax digital out. That was my original plan.

This is a "second, temporary" HT system. My speakers aren't exactly top notch. In storage I've got a Denon AVR and an Axiom/SVS sub 5.1 setup.
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
9,427
16
81
You can do it, yeah. But the sound will be limited a bit:

(1) Only standard DD/DTS, not the lossless versions (or uncompressed 5.1/7.1 PCM). Blu-Ray allows higher bitrate on the standard ones, it's true.
(2) There's no guarantee future Blu-Ray titles will have the surround tracks you want. The format requires *one* legacy sound format to be on the disc, but that could be stereo PCM instead of standard DD/DTS 5.1. Now lossless DTS works, I believe, as a standard DTS track plus a supplemental track that produces lossless output when combined, so even a Blu-Ray player that can't internally decode DTS-HR and DTS-MA (i.e. your BD-30) should *I think* be able to output a standard DTS 5.1 track. So I guess you'd only be hosed if the disc just has Dolby TrueHD and stereo PCM tracks, which perhaps isn't that likely.

On a temporary, not-so-great setup it probably won't matter much.
 

MichaelD

Lifer
Jan 16, 2001
31,529
3
76
OK, cool then. I think the odds of a future release being only Dolby True HD is pretty unlikely. Though not the best, DD has been around a long time and is "the standard." And sounds pretty darn good on a decent system.

As I said, my current audio setup is pretty lacking...but honestly surprising, considering the size of the room and the cost of the equipment.

Just for grins...here they are. Toys, but waaaay better than any HTIB I've ever heard. With 90W PC going into them, there is no shortage of volume, and all speakers are voice-matched. I cross over the mains at 100Hz...no probs. :)

PartsExpress/Dayton rocks! :D

For a second system, I'm happy with it.
 

MichaelD

Lifer
Jan 16, 2001
31,529
3
76
Originally posted by: s44
1.3 only matters for deep color -- which isn't used yet anyway -- and bitstreaming -- which you don't necessarily need. 1.1 will get you multichannel PCM, which is *better* sound than coax or optical can carry, and identical to the bitstreamed sound over 1.3. You just need a Blu-Ray player that can decode the new audio codecs into multichannel PCM. Unfortunately, that Panny won't do it. Did you just pay $250 for their outdated model when you can get their new one (which does decode everything) with six free movies for less?

What's your Pioneer's model number?

Edit to add: Return/cancel the BD-30, get this deal with the BD-35, then send in this form. Yes, Panasonic said online retailers are OK for the latter.

You convinced me. :evil: I ordered the Amazon deal...and with the 4 BluRay discs/$100 off promotion it came out to LESS than just the BD30 I already ordered. :roll: Freaking amazing.

I've already got an email in to obtain an RMA# for the BD30. I won't even open the box...just slap the label on there and be done with it.

My "second system" won't be in use forever...just another year or so. I figured "Why not have "the best" source material as possible? The fact that a few online etailers have already stopped carrying the BD30 also poked me a little bit. ;)

Thanks, S44. :beer: