View Full Version : HDMI vs. coax and optical
04-17-2007, 10:46 AM
Anyone ever noticed a difference between HDMI and coax/optical in Audio quality? Read in a magazine that HDMI offers inferior sound quality to the other two, which I can see as you are running video and audio through the same cable and we all know how much we "love" the last format that did that...:p
Also I don't have a high def player yet and was wondering if only the new HD audio formats where supported over HDMI or if they will come over coax/optical.? I have a Marantz SR7500 and it doesn't have HDMI so I was wondering if this was going to screw me.
04-17-2007, 11:17 AM
Logos - the new audio formats will NOT be available through optical or digi coax. You will only receive the DTS or DD signal that you're used to with regular DVDs... not the TrueHD/DTS-HD goodness.
04-17-2007, 11:28 AM
HDMI video, optical or coax for audio
04-17-2007, 11:31 AM
**** that sucks. 7.1 receiver and now I can't use it for the new audio formats? Why did they have to do something like that?
I can see for the video so they can copy protect it for the tv (and you are going to need a new tv for the hd picture). Everyone might be going out to buy and hdtv with hdmi but not everyone is going out to buy and new audio receiver so they can get the new sound through hdmi. There have to be alot of people out their now running expensive receivers and component setups giving the industry a big F*** you right now.
I have a never ending upgrade cycle for my pc I accept that. But now they are expecting a never ending upgrade cycle for audio and video?
04-17-2007, 12:31 PM
optic or coax doesn't have the bandwidth to support the new audio codecs as Brian stated above. Find a receiver with that supports at least HDMI 1.1 and you are golden to pass TrueHD via PCM. There are new AVR's comming this summer/fall that are 1.3 compliant that will do the decoding in the receiver.
Component video and coax/optical audio will be something that I believe will go away soon, everything will eventually be HDMI. One nice and simple cord to cover all aspects, no more clutter.
04-18-2007, 08:31 PM
I may be totally wrong here, but I thought I read somewhere that the reason the new formats will only work through HDMI is because HDMI has built in copy protection (Digital Rights Management, or whatever you call it). I don't think it has anything to do with bandwidth.
If a coaxial cable has enough bandwidth to carry all of your cable channels, your high speed internet connection, your voice phone calls, along with those of your neighbors all the way back to the cable company office, I think it can be made to handle the new HD sound formats.
04-19-2007, 07:50 AM
There are at least three main reasons for HDMI.
1. Copy protection. Not really pertinent to the discussion in this thread.
2. Simplifcation of cabling. Also not really pertinent
The optical cable used in Toslink connections is itself capable of carrying far more bandwidth than that used in any of the new formats (or old ones like SACD/DVD-A), but the INTERFACE is not. Just like you driving from your office to your home via the highway, the highways are much more capable of moving traffic than the single lane roads and your driveway, so regardless of how much traffic the highway can carry, you are limited by what your driveway can support. Same with optical - the actual interface for the cable will not allow the bandwidth that is required by uncompressed, multichannel audio. The same goes for the single coaxial interface. While the cable was designed to handle it, the electronics were not.
I, too have read articles posturing that their analog connections sounded better than the HDMI. This is easily possible depending on the electronics doing the processing - the DACs doing the decoding from the analog cables have had a much longer lifespan in which to improve upon itself, and may simply sound better due to a more mature development of the process. HDMI decoders might simply not have yet improved as much. I don't know.
I do know that with my level of equipment, I cannot tell a difference whatsoever.
04-19-2007, 09:54 AM
Isn't another solution for people owning older receivers that don't do HDMI to have multi-channel analog from Source to receiver? That's what I'm doing with my HD-XA1 to HK 635 with good results. But, I guess that's just good for 5.1 peeps, not 7.1.
04-19-2007, 10:10 AM
Sure is, just a heck of a wire mess compared to HDMI. The Panny BR player has 7.1 analog outs, no HD DVD player has one yet.
04-19-2007, 10:24 AM
just my two cents im sure if im correct but cant u use the audio dac 5.1 analog outputs on the hd dvd player to your receiver that has 5.1 analog input to get dd true hd?
04-19-2007, 10:27 AM
i was going to buy what andy has today. the toshiba x1 so maybe you guys can clarify that up for me
04-19-2007, 10:45 AM
Yep. Either use the analog outs or HDMI via PCM, to a capable AVR to receive TrueHD.
04-19-2007, 01:08 PM
Check on the HD-DVD model to see what formats it outputs. The original models did not output/decode all of the new formats. I haven't kept up with it very well, so I'm not sure of the capabilities of the latest players coming out.
04-19-2007, 01:15 PM
The XA1 will decode DD+ and TrueHD in 5.1
04-19-2007, 07:22 PM
The A1 has analog outs, and besides you can upgrade to an HDMI ready AVR pretty cheap now. Denon, Sony and some others all offer lower model AVRs with HDMI, I know you may hate to spend the cash but its well worth it in the end. My take, spend a fair amount 600-1300 on an AVR with the features you like(HDMI included), you may find some cheaper on ebay, refurbed units, and call it a day.
04-20-2007, 10:18 PM
I'm currently running a 7.1 surround system. I'm using 3 pairs of Rti12s with a CSi5 center. I also have a Paradigm bandpass encolsed 12 inch powered sub. I'm pushing about 250 watts to each of the 7 channels. This system really rocks the way it is now and has an amazing amount of bass. I have somewhat of an addiction though, so I decided to throw in a PSW10 subwoofer to see what happens. Here is where my problem is. I have a single output on my reciever for subwoofer output. I thought that I could plug a Y connector in there and run a single wire to my paradigm and a single wire to my PSW10 and have them work together flawlessly. This is not the case. When I do this, the Paradigm works fine, but I can't get the PSW10 to work. Please help me with this. Also, I would lke to know if using a y connector affects the sound quality, volume levels, or if this damages the sub in anyway. Please post back ASAP. Thanks.
04-20-2007, 10:38 PM
RF, welcome, and nice setup!
Even if the PSW10 was working, I doubt you could hear it over the Paradigm, or even the RTi12s. They are literally giving them away for a reason.
Everyone here loves SVS and many HSU. So, if you want to up the bass output, sell the paradigm, get a new bigger, badder sub, and donate the PSW10 to someone at work.
That's what I'd do, anyhow. Don't know much about the Paradigm. If it's getting the job done, don't worry about using the PSW10.
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