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AVRant #142: On a Burro

August 27th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

We’re giving ooVoo a shot again. See below for the full video of the taping session complete with lots of pre-banter and a sneeze and topic Tom edited out. This week Dina and Tom discuss PlayOn the Wii, Best Buy theft policies, and something about Samsung. Engadget has a poll (and so does AV Rant). YouTube tries to make money – for them and you. Jessica Beal is dangerous (and not just if your wife catches you looking at her). Bad decisions in Star Wars. Tom’s thoughts on the new PS3, bitstreaming in general, and the MLB. Roku gets a little respect from both hosts. Tom has some nice words about his sons? Thanks for listening and don’t forget to vote for us at Podcast Alley.

Why is that zombie holding that huge baby?





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  1. Rob
    August 27th, 2009 at 22:16 | #1

    ok! So I’m not mad at Tom. lol

    I WOULD like to know if Tom is still getting my tweets though (@FirstReflect) because he never replies lately.

    I also really want to know if Dina got my email (I sent it over a week ago).

    Maybe I should just let Tom THINK I’m mad at him so that he will feel guilty enough to have me on as a guest for a second time! :D

  2. Rob
    August 27th, 2009 at 22:27 | #2

    Dina: “I don’t think you and I talking is gonna get us a whole lotta nothin’. ”

    Tom: “Yeah…I don’t think so either.”

    Hey…it got Tom a PS3, didn’t it? :D

  3. Andy S
    August 28th, 2009 at 11:46 | #3

    On the PS3 bitstream vs decode in the PS3, I thought that one of the reasons some people really wanted this is that some receivers are set up so that certain things are configurable in one mode that aren’t in the other, and having the option allowed you to set it up for what’s best for your receiver.

    I’m getting tempted to get a Slim. It’s finally priced right. I doubt I’ll play games that aren’t exclusives on it, but it’s nice to have the option.

    It would have probably preordered already if they’d have put a $3 IR sensor on the stupid thing.

  4. Rob
    August 28th, 2009 at 12:19 | #4

    Andy S – from every receiver manual I’ve read, if there are any limitations in terms of processing an incoming signal, TrueHD/DTS-HD MA bitstreams are more limited than a multi-channel PCM signal.

    For example, with my Onkyo TX-SR705 – it will fully process (bass manage, room correct, apply DPL IIx, etc.) any signal with up to a 48 kHz sampling frequency. It will also fully process a 96 kHz multi-channel PCM signal. But if I send a 96 kHz TrueHD or DTS-HD MA bitstream, the 705 will only play it back straight! The 705 won’t apply any processing to a 96 kHz TrueHD/DTS-HD MA bitstream signal!

    At 192 kHz, the 705 will only play back a PCM signal straight – no processing. But a 192 kHz TrueHD bitstream signal won’t play at all! Nothing. A 192 kHz DTS-HD MA bitstream signal will get down-sampled to 96 kHz and no processing will be applied.

    Other receivers are similar. If there are any configuration or processing limitations, it’s the TrueHD/DTS-HD MA bitstreams that are more limited. In other words, multi-channel PCM is always the best choice!

    It makes sense too. The receiver only has so much processing power. With a bitstream, some of its processing power is “taken up” with decoding the bitstream signal. As a result, there is less processing power “left over” for applying various processing. With a multi-channel PCM signal, all of the receiver’s processing power can be put towards processing the signal. No processing power is “spent” on just decoding the input.

    TrueHD/DTS-HD MA bitstream output is about one thing and one thing only: seeing the little logo lights on the front display of your receiver! There are zero audio benefits to be had. The only time bitstream output would be better is in the case of a Blu-ray player that cannot do internal decoding of TrueHD and DTS-HD MA.

    So bitstream output is no reason to get excited about the PS3 Slim. But there ARE good reasons to be excited and to seriously consider buying one.

    Biggest advantage? It’s quieter! Engadget says it’s about 10 dB quieter when playing Blu-rays than the original 60GB PS3!

    IMO, if you have ANY interest at all in playing videogames and you don’t already have a Blu-ray player – get a PS3! It really is a fantastic value at it’s new $299 price. It’s a great Blu-ray player: fast, always up-to-the-minute in firmware support. And there are some really great games for it now and in the not-too-distant future.

    It’s a shame about the lack of IR support. I’m perfectly happy with the Bluetooth remote – I can live with *gasp* TWO remotes for my system…lol There is, of course, the IR-to-Bluetooth adapter work-around. The PS3 Slim also now offers HDMI-CEC support. It’s got the BRAVIA Link name – I don’t know if it will only work with Bravia Link Sony TVs or if other brands’ HDMI-CEC might also work as well. Certainly can’t hurt to try though. Might be a reasonable work-around :)

  5. Andy S
    August 28th, 2009 at 12:22 | #5

    “There is, of course, the IR-to-Bluetooth adapter work-around.”

    For $60. :|

    “The PS3 Slim also now offers HDMI-CEC support. It’s got the BRAVIA Link name – I don’t know if it will only work with Bravia Link Sony TVs or if other brands’ HDMI-CEC might also work as well. Certainly can’t hurt to try though. Might be a reasonable work-around”

    I’m waiting for somebody to test that. I’m pretty sure my Onkyo 805 supports CEC, but from what I think I read at gizmodo (maybe engadget), it’s still limited in function so not really a big deal if it works or not.

  6. Rob
    August 28th, 2009 at 12:25 | #6

    Just saw the ooVoo video. Dang! Dina’s got some guns!

    Better watch out, Tom! I think Dina might have you beat in the muscle department now :D

  7. David
    August 30th, 2009 at 23:00 | #7

    According to Gene, bitstream is very important for a bluray player. Check out what he said about the Oppo below.

    “In most speaker configurations this won’t be a huge issue and it’s a total NON issue if you allow the player to simply pass the bitstream to your AVR (A/V Receiver) and allow that device to do all of the bass management, time alignment and decoding.

    In all honesty, if you’re buying a universal Blu-ray player to play all formats, I’d advise on mating it with an HDMI 1.3 AVR and utilizing a single HDMI connection to pass all of the audio formats via bitstream to allow the AVR to handle all of the decoding. It took us years to get away from the 6 bulky analog cables and goofy bass management implementation of disc players. Let’s embrace the digital age of the 21st century and use HDMI. As such, most of my testing and actual usage of this product was in fact with the player passing bitstream through the HDMI connection, including SACD. Oh yea, let me give kudos to Oppo again for offering the option of passing multi channel SACD via bitstream without doing any PCM conversion to allow the end user to decide whether or not their AVR should apply the bass management, or if they just want to be a purist and run DSD all the way through.”

    As you can see, he doesn’t say anything about making the TrueHD lights turn on, bitstream is all about quality and bass management.

    So who’s right Tom? You or Gene? :p

  8. Rob
    August 31st, 2009 at 03:35 | #8

    I can’t speak for Gene, of course, but he seems (from the excerpt you printed, David) to be under the mistaken impression that 5.1/7.1 PCM output from a Blu-ray player is handled only in “direct” mode.

    This is not the case.

    With 5.1/7.1 analogue connections, it was very often the case that the receiver would only play back exactly what was passed from the player. So any bass management, time alignment, channel level matching, etc. had to be done in the player and most players had rather poor configuration options.

    But with multi-channel PCM, it is a totally different matter! Modern receivers can fully bass manage, time align, channel level match, apply room correction, apply DSP, etc. the incoming multi-channel PCM signal!

    So I am in stark disagreement with Gene on this matter if he is really under the impression that modern receivers cannot fully process a multi-channel PCM signal. As I wrote earlier, some (like my Onkyo 705) can do MORE with multi-channel PCM than they can with bitstream!

    Sometimes, even Audioholics and other professionals can be a little behind the times and make incorrect assumptions. With Blu-ray, there is no need to depend upon the play to do bass management, time alignment, et al. It can simply decode the TrueHD/DTS-HD compression, pass along the uncompressed PCM via HDMI and then the compatible receiver can FULLY process that PCM input and apply all of the same settings (and in some cases MORE) that it could to a bitstream from the player.

    Sorry to say it, but Gene is dead wrong on this one!

  9. Nelson
    September 1st, 2009 at 16:56 | #9

    For IR control of the PS#, don’t forget about the $19 Blu-wave remote. I use it with my Harmony setup. True it won’t turn on the PS3 but you know what? I have to walk over to it to put a disc in anyway so no big loss for me. I would like a quieter PS3. Oppo for $499 or PS3 slim for $299? No contest for me.

  10. Rob
    September 1st, 2009 at 17:23 | #10

    Nelson – you walk all the way up to your PS3?! I just throw discs like frisbees until one goes in :D

  11. Nelson
    September 4th, 2009 at 15:03 | #11

    I’m old school like that, Rob. :)

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