You want to relieve your receiver from the burden of converting audio files. This is so flawed that I don't actually know where to start. Transmission of audio streams requires a physical connection from the player to the AVR and speaker. You are better to bitstream to a more capable decoder (like the one in your AV Receiver) which can decode the audio into 5.1 channels (of PCM, internally), which then goes through processing and produces audio. Bitstream sends an encoded 5.1 signal over digital optical or coaxial. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding about how audio is recorded. Archive View Return to standard view. Orion's point seems to me to be that you cannot "polish a turd" in that a low sample rate or highly compressed signal cannot benefit from being turned into a PCM signal and that is clearly right in the practical world. The only situation where PCM comes out on top is when using secondary audio streams. Compatible with high-end modern players that fully supports most surround sound formats. I suspect in a double blind test there will be no 'golden eared' audiophiles alive to pick em. I am confused – should PCM carry all channels by default yet provide a better quality as an uncompressed protocol? Better quality access to additional audio tracks. No, it is over HDMI ARC. For all intents and purposes it's a lossless transport system. No more additional audio information can be captured by oversampling. You have a sound system that relies on the receiver to decode and process files. With Both Dolby and DTS options on tv I get 5 channels. Put another way, Nyquist's Theorem basically states that you cant get any better digital representation of the analog signal by increasing the sample rate. You want to take advantage of 5.1 surround sound when using digital optical or coaxial. So you may be comparing the originating analogue waveform with the Analogue output after the PCM is demodulated and say "there is where the loss occurs", you are correct that there is loss but why would you look at this ? I think that is why some very old records can sound way more enjoyable than more recent digital recordings. Although the above discussion focuses on PCM vs Bitstream with respect to Blu-ray Disc players, the same information may also apply to Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players. Whether you’re playing standard or high-res audio, your speakers will produce the same audio quality. Maybe I was being a bit obtuse referring to PCM signals as opposed to .wav formats. Finally, both PCM and bitstream need to convert audio files to analog before your speakers can produce the output that you need. Data can be written in PCM, IEEE 754 or ASCII. physically connected to your home theater receiver. Are you saying that it can accept a true 7.1 PCM (and DTS/DD 5.1?) It's desirable in this case because the 'PCM' option allows you to transport lossless audio to an AV receiver that can accept multi-channel PCM (more than 2.0) but does not support the HD Dolby and DTS audio formats. A digital optical or digital coaxial cable doesn't have sufficient bandwidth capacity to transfer a decoded, uncompressed, full surround audio signal like an HDMI connection can. In your case, you are not starting off with lossless audio, so no point in being worried about any thoughts of a 'gain' in quality by using the 'PCM' output setting. You’re using a sound system that favors the decoding of audio files from the player. Your AVR will then decode the data for uncompressed output. Comparable to WAV or AIFF in size, RAW Audio file does not include any header information (sampling rate, bit depth, endian, or number of channels). Because bitstream relies on the receiver for decoding, it's ideal for limited bandwidth situations. This is not like 128k mp3 sound where artifacts are common. In fact, if you’re going to use PCM and bitstream for the same audio format on the same speakers, the output you’re going to hear will most likely be the same. Then are you really enjoying the entertainment. Originally developed by Dolby Stereo Digital in 1994, Dolby Digital is an audio compression technology. You really need to visit and soak it in. but also accept greater than 2.0 PCM before being upmixed. It is not 'rocket surgery' so a cogent reply should not be too hard. I suspect we are getting at much the same thing and arguing over error rates and the language used to express the concepts. Whirlpool Enthusiast reference: I pretty much agree with Orion 2012 but add that before you would even start worrying about PCM streams you have to know that your DTS or Dolby digital streams are inadequate for what you are wanting to hear. PCM and bitstream may seem very different in terms of the formats that they can produce, but both of these two configurations are capable of delivering high-quality audio. Transmission offers better flexibility for receivers and speakers to deliver high-quality audio output. PCM refers to an algorithm that devices use to represent analog waves. Even in the second article referenced by Orion the error rate of PCM is shown to have a range of formats with varying accuracy in sound reproduction at p5.10: "Quantization Error Quantization Error • Analog signals are continuous • Digital signals have discrete values • A digital word that is converted to an analog signal will always contain errors • Quantization Error or Noise is dependent on the number of bits used in the conversion". Hi, I’m Jason. Robert has written for, and made appearances on the YouTube series Home Theater Geeks. PCM vs Dolby Digital. In both the recording and reproduction processes there are many bottlenecks. I apologise with great obsequiousness to the power of a billion- genuinely for using PCM and .wav interchangeably. Since you are using ARC, you are looking at the limitation being the TV's HDMI IC and the supported bandwidth of the ARC channel on the HDMI IC. They make the theoretical potential sound quality better. PCM uses raw signals that your converter generates, and codecs, such as DTS or Dolby Digital, won’t affect its quality. Support for digital optical or coaxial output is limited. Some teles will not output more than 2 channel PCM over optical. Provides better support for hi-res secondary audio channels. Using bitstream for your audio is better if: If you’re planning to use bitstream for programs that rely on secondary audio, then the output that you’ll get from it will be limited. People sometimes use Bluray players and source equipment to decode the lossless HD Dolby and DTS audio formats when they have receivers that can't decode them. As a result, the receiver will display Dolby, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or another format on its front panel display depending on which type of bitstream signal is decoded. DTS Neo is a matrix surround encoded 2 channel PCM audio signal. Below from the Wikipedia entry on .wav formats there are lots of .wav formats listed from high to low bit rates and high to low sampling rates. posted 2013-Oct-13, 12:19 pm AEST O.P. Data can be written in PCM, IEEE 754 or ASCII. Welcome to Home Theater Academy, my blog. Home Theater Academy is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. As for sound quality and where to decode, it's pretty much academic. Is this what I should be having it on, or should I have PCM? It’ll only work on delivering these to your speakers for output. source and then mix it to NEO:6? The process of converting audio files may differ, but it’ll always end up in an analog format before your speakers can read it. PCM – outputs the stereo channels in stereo and the 5.1 channels in stereo Dolby Digital – outputs the stereo channels in some kind of fake surround sound and the 5.1 channels in 5.1 RAW – seems to do the same thing as the Dolby Digital setting. I blame the awful quality of modern recordings on the current crop of recording engineers. Given HDMI and the strong relationship with DRM ... perhaps the 3rd reason for not outputting all uncompressed PCM channels becomes more apparent. Where there is a well recorded session of perfect sounding DTS material and it is designed for the medium and all the reproduction gear is perfect as well as the engineering, mixing, mastering and all that is done with flair there may be a call for a PCM multi channel version. Finally, the connection may be a problem for those who are trying to set up wireless connections for the player to the receivers. On internal sources only, which is what I explained. You can either decode this into a lossless PCM format and then transmit this to the receiver, keeping in mind that you didn't get extra quality because it wasn't there to begin with. Aside from that, you’ll need a physical connection for PCM because the files that your player transmits usually take a lot of space, and it won’t be possible to send it over-the-air. Jessica Kormos is a writer and editor with 15 years' experience writing articles, copy, and UX content for, Rosenfeld Media, and many others. With Both Dolby and DTS options on tv I get 5 channels. I'm not sure how we, well ... you, started talking about the recording process though ? A receiver set to bitstream will activate the AV processor to detect any encoded surround sound format that it receives from the player. The standard audio file format for CDs, for example, is LPCM-encoded, containing two channels of 44,100 samples per second, 16 bits per sample. So, the compromise when using PCM is: if you want to take advantage of better secondary audio tracks and lower latency, you may have to steer away from the idea of having a wireless connection or building a more sophisticated sound system. Support for digital optical or coaxial output can go up to 5.1. There are some beautiful digital works too but not as many IMHO that approach or go beyond the technical barriers. I always thought cinemas sounded, well, shit. We often use this type of connection for CD players, so most AVRs are compatible with PCM. The player decodes the audio, without bandwidth concern, which is an issue for bitstream. Almost every device that converts digital to an analog audio output, and vice-versa, uses this technology to deliver audio files. Since DTS Neo:X appears to upmix (or keep the same) only, it is not as if it is being given any more than 2.0 to start off with, the downmixing to 2.0 would happen before that point. It needs to be compressed to send 5.1 ... so it is encoded in either DD or DTS, rather it is left encoded that way. Many people will still hear the same sound quality from PCM and bitstream if they’re not using high-end receivers with better processing capability. Most TV's cannot pass 5.1 audio out, it is model dependent. There are dozens of different factors that you need to consider, and, sometimes, you might have to compromise one feature over the other. If the receiver offers higher quality audio processing, it can be used. There are three major groups of audio file formats:Uncompressed audio formats, such as WAV, AIFF, AU or raw header-less PCM; Raw Audio Format – WikipediaRAW Audio format or just RAW Audio is a computer format for storing uncompressed audio in raw form. It's of course entirely possible that approaching years does play a part! You’re using a receiver that offers better audio processing power. Aside from the output, both configurations work well with most DVD and Blu-ray players with no noticeable difference. The problem with bitstream starts when the program relies on secondary audio settings. 5.1 support over digital optical or coaxial. You would be familiar with this concept in recorded audio, people fine tuning their audio systems hoping they can accurately reproduce the sound of a trumpet in a room from a recording on a CD or vinyl (or whatever medium) are in an awkward psychological position. You are using PCM though, that is the actual audio in its digitised form: WAV – WikipediaThough a WAV file can hold compressed audio, the most common WAV format contains uncompressed audio in the linear pulse code modulation (LPCM) format.

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