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Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

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Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Old 11-24-15, 11:08 PM
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Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

I'm tired of listening to 3D Blu-rays with Dolby TrueHD soundtracks in Dolby ProLogic IIx because my PS3 is incapable of doing TrueHD and 3D at the same time (and it's pretty clear that Sony has no plans to give the PS3 this ability), so it's probably time I bought a stand-alone 3D Blu-ray player. I have a 7.1 Onkyo receiver that decodes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, but I'm not clear if I have to buy a player that says it decodes those formats or one that says it supports 7.1 channels. I've seen a lot of players that advertise Dolby TrueHD and DTS 2.0, but they don't mention DTS-HD MA or 7.1 channels specifically. Thoughts? Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-25-15, 05:02 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Ideally you should have a player that decodes everything, because without it you won't be able to hear any menu sound effects or secondary audio like picture-in-picture commentaries. My first BD player had full Dolby decoding but NOT DTS, so I'd have to set it to "bitstream" for DTS tracks and "PCM" for Dolby tracks. If I left it in PCM all the time, DTS-HD tracks would be down-rezzed to core DTS with any additional rear channels thrown out. I now have an Oppo which has full decoding and also an "Auto" setting as individual discs can be flagged to output as either PCM or bitstream- many output as PCM even when they don't have any secondary audio, but some 2-channel DTS tracks output as bitstream and my receiver won't Pro-Logic decode those on its own- playing those in PCM solves that.
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Old 11-25-15, 07:51 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
Ideally you should have a player that decodes everything, because without it you won't be able to hear any menu sound effects or secondary audio like picture-in-picture commentaries. My first BD player had full Dolby decoding but NOT DTS, so I'd have to set it to "bitstream" for DTS tracks and "PCM" for Dolby tracks. If I left it in PCM all the time, DTS-HD tracks would be down-rezzed to core DTS with any additional rear channels thrown out. I now have an Oppo which has full decoding and also an "Auto" setting as individual discs can be flagged to output as either PCM or bitstream- many output as PCM even when they don't have any secondary audio, but some 2-channel DTS tracks output as bitstream and my receiver won't Pro-Logic decode those on its own- playing those in PCM solves that.
If a player advertises Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, is it safe to assume an HDMI connection between it and my receiver would deliver 7.1 channels or does the player have to specifically advertise 7.1 channels? Those Oppo players look great and always get the best reviews. I'm just not sure I can afford one! Thanks.
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Old 11-25-15, 09:30 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Yes, 7.1 channels is part of the spec. $500 for an Oppo player is nothing considering laserdisc players averaged around $800 each (that's what I paid for my first DVD/LD combo player which I used for 11 years), and these are actually built to last, not throwaway like so many of today's electronics are so in the long run you'll save by not having to replace it. Yes, you can get an $80 Blu-Ray player but it likely won't have the full internal sound decoding (they REALLY should've made that a requirement of all players, as discs with secondary audio are pretty much useless without it and I doubt many consumers are smart enough to manually change the output for every disc like I did with my old player) and is also likely to break after a year or so.
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Old 11-26-15, 12:54 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

It's not dire.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158BDP5...00.html?tp=171

But, I'd sell you my old Oppo 93. There is a difference.
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Old 11-26-15, 12:56 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
Yes, 7.1 channels is part of the spec. $500 for an Oppo player is nothing considering laserdisc players averaged around $800 each (that's what I paid for my first DVD/LD combo player which I used for 11 years), and these are actually built to last, not throwaway like so many of today's electronics are so in the long run you'll save by not having to replace it. Yes, you can get an $80 Blu-Ray player but it likely won't have the full internal sound decoding (they REALLY should've made that a requirement of all players, as discs with secondary audio are pretty much useless without it and I doubt many consumers are smart enough to manually change the output for every disc like I did with my old player) and is also likely to break after a year or so.
For $500, I'd hope it would last a long time! Of course, with UHD Blu-ray on the horizon, I'm not sure I'd want to invest $500 right now in a player that won't support UHD down the road. The players I've been looking at are $80 and up because they're on sale for Thanksgiving/Black Friday. Supposedly they usually sell for $150-$200. I know they're not as good as Oppo, but are any of them decent in your opinion?
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Old 11-26-15, 01:35 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
It's not dire.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158BDP5...00.html?tp=171

But, I'd sell you my old Oppo 93. There is a difference.
Thanks for the link to the Sony BDPS5500. I know it's not top of the line, but it looks like it will solve my original problem. By the way, what isn't dire?
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Old 11-26-15, 05:34 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

If you look towards the bottom of the link, the 6500 does 4K and DVDAudio for $15 more.
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Old 11-26-15, 10:05 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
If you look towards the bottom of the link, the 6500 does 4K and DVDAudio for $15 more.
Thanks. The 4K upscaling is tempting when I think about the future. I have no need for it at the moment because my receiver and projector can't handle 4K. In the meantime, the 2D/3D converter and 1080 upscaling on the 5500 might be useful. (My projector can convert 2D to 3D, but the results aren't impressive. In fact, I haven't been impressed with any 2D to 3D conversions on any player, TV or projector I've seen so far, so maybe that shouldn't matter at all.)
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Old 11-26-15, 06:11 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

I haven't switched to Blu yet (hoping next spring to remodel the basement and upgrade), but I will attest to Oppo quality. I'm still using my Oppo DVD (forget the model #) that I bought in 2001, and it gets a lot of usage.
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Old 11-28-15, 10:07 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

I took advantage of Black Friday sales yesterday and bought the Samsung BD-H6500/ZA, but before I finished setting it up it quit reading discs! It read the first 2 BD's I tested with no problem, but it wouldn't read the next 3. Then I tried the first 2 discs a second time, and it wouldn't read them anymore. I returned the player and got the Sony BDP-S5500. So far so good. I can confirm it outputs DTS-HD MA 7.1 even though the box only advertises DTS 2.0, and it also solves my original problem: it plays Dolby TrueHD and 3D discs simultaneously. I really like how compact the unit is.
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Old 11-28-15, 10:01 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe View Post
By the way, what isn't dire?
Finding the features you mentioned for less than $500.
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Old 11-30-15, 10:22 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe View Post
I took advantage of Black Friday sales yesterday and bought the Samsung BD-H6500/ZA, but before I finished setting it up it quit reading discs! It read the first 2 BD's I tested with no problem, but it wouldn't read the next 3. Then I tried the first 2 discs a second time, and it wouldn't read them anymore. I returned the player and got the Sony BDP-S5500. So far so good. I can confirm it outputs DTS-HD MA 7.1 even though the box only advertises DTS 2.0, and it also solves my original problem: it plays Dolby TrueHD and 3D discs simultaneously. I really like how compact the unit is.
This really isn't as complicated as you thought (or how some people are making it out to be). No BR player made today isn't gonna support DTS-MA / TrueHD. Use an HDMI cable from the player to your receiver, set the player to passthrough or bitstream the audio and that's it. Let your receiver do the decoding.

As for what Alan Smithee said about not hearing menu sounds or PIP audio without onboard decoding might be true, but I never heard of that.
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Old 12-04-15, 03:01 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Just reviewed "Delta Force 2" for this site which has sound in 2-channel DTS-HD Master Audio and presents the conundrum I mentioned earlier- my Pioneer receiver will only play 2-channel DTS-HD tracks in straight 2-channel, so I have to output it as PCM on my player (oddly the disc is authored to output as bitstream with the player set to "Auto" so I had to manually set it to PCM for this disc.) If I still had my older Sony player instead of the Oppo, then my only choices for playing this would be in undecoded 2-channel with full-resolution audio, or in Pro-Logic but only with the core DTS signal output as PCM. Since the Oppo has full DTS-HD decoding, crisis averted.
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Old 12-10-15, 05:32 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
Just reviewed "Delta Force 2" for this site which has sound in 2-channel DTS-HD Master Audio and presents the conundrum I mentioned earlier- my Pioneer receiver will only play 2-channel DTS-HD tracks in straight 2-channel, so I have to output it as PCM on my player (oddly the disc is authored to output as bitstream with the player set to "Auto" so I had to manually set it to PCM for this disc.) If I still had my older Sony player instead of the Oppo, then my only choices for playing this would be in undecoded 2-channel with full-resolution audio, or in Pro-Logic but only with the core DTS signal output as PCM. Since the Oppo has full DTS-HD decoding, crisis averted.
I have had many Pioneer receivers that will automatically output dts/dolby digital 2.0 stereo tracks as ProLogicII surround. There is NO WAY your receiver will not do this. If the BluRay is playing in stereo (only the right and left front channels), then you have your receiver set on Pure Direct. Press the AUTO SURROUND button on the receiver or remote until PLII Movie appears.
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Old 12-11-15, 05:13 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

I have had many Pioneer receivers that will automatically output dts/dolby digital 2.0 stereo tracks as ProLogicII surround. There is NO WAY your receiver will not do this. If the BluRay is playing in stereo (only the right and left front channels), then you have your receiver set on Pure Direct. Press the AUTO SURROUND button on the receiver or remote until PLII Movie appears.
Mine will decode standard DTS tracks, but not DTS-HD (either Hi-Res or Master Audio) tracks. The Surround Mode button does NOTHING while those are playing- if I weren't so lazy right now I'd make a YouTube video showing it. I called Pioneer about this and they said that was "intentional", even though I've seen other receivers that did decode all 2-channel tracks regardless of format. There have been a few Blu-Rays with 2-channel DTS-HD-MA tracks (an Irish movie called "My Brothers") which light up the receiver's Pro-Logic decoding display but the audio not only comes out in 2-channel but also at a VERY low volume level, so switching the player to PCM is the only way to watch these on my receiver.

Another quirk I noticed is that my Oppo player will only output core DTS in the rare instance where standard-def 480i video has a DTS-HD track, such as one trailer on that same "Delta Force 2" disc. Setting the player to PCM also gets around that (of course there's likely no audible difference in this material anyways, but it's still the principle of the thing!) The only reason I don't keep the player permanently set to PCM is because it will then output all standard DVD audio as PCM, which eliminates the extra surround channel on DTS-ES tracks. Most of the time the "Auto" setting works best, except in the instance of these 2-channel DTS-HD tracks when the disc is flagged to output that as bitstream.
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Old 12-11-15, 07:17 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
Mine will decode standard DTS tracks, but not DTS-HD (either Hi-Res or Master Audio) tracks. The Surround Mode button does NOTHING while those are playing- if I weren't so lazy right now I'd make a YouTube video showing it. I called Pioneer about this and they said that was "intentional", even though I've seen other receivers that did decode all 2-channel tracks regardless of format. There have been a few Blu-Rays with 2-channel DTS-HD-MA tracks (an Irish movie called "My Brothers") which light up the receiver's Pro-Logic decoding display but the audio not only comes out in 2-channel but also at a VERY low volume level, so switching the player to PCM is the only way to watch these on my receiver.

Another quirk I noticed is that my Oppo player will only output core DTS in the rare instance where standard-def 480i video has a DTS-HD track, such as one trailer on that same "Delta Force 2" disc. Setting the player to PCM also gets around that (of course there's likely no audible difference in this material anyways, but it's still the principle of the thing!) The only reason I don't keep the player permanently set to PCM is because it will then output all standard DVD audio as PCM, which eliminates the extra surround channel on DTS-ES tracks. Most of the time the "Auto" setting works best, except in the instance of these 2-channel DTS-HD tracks when the disc is flagged to output that as bitstream.
OK so your receiver cannot decode DTS-MA/Dolby TrueHD, so you already know it is outputting the core dts track. Out of all the Pioneer receivers I have owned, if it was receiving a 2 channel audio source, whether it was dts, dolby digital, mp3, whatever, I always had the option to switch to Prologic/PLII to get simulated surround.Whats the model # of your Pioneer?
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Old 12-11-15, 08:45 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

OK so your receiver cannot decode DTS-MA/Dolby TrueHD, so you already know it is outputting the core dts track.
It CAN decode those, but on DTS-HD tracks it cannot decode Pro-Logic from it, nor apply any of its "sound field" processing to them- only play them in straight left and right. (You can't have it decode EX surround on 5.1 DTS-HD tracks either.) It can on 2-channel Dolby Digital Plus tracks; I've never seen a 2-channel TrueHD track. Model is VSX-23TXH. My dad has a Yamaha receiver which doesn't have those restrictions. I remember my first Sony receiver with DTS had the same restrictions with basic DTS tracks as well, but my Pioneer will pro-logic decode standard 2-track DTS on the odd times that comes up.

Maybe I'll shoot a video of it tomorrow to get out of studying for a few minutes.
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Old 12-11-15, 11:08 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
It CAN decode those, but on DTS-HD tracks it cannot decode Pro-Logic from it, nor apply any of its "sound field" processing to them- only play them in straight left and right. (You can't have it decode EX surround on 5.1 DTS-HD tracks either.) It can on 2-channel Dolby Digital Plus tracks; I've never seen a 2-channel TrueHD track. Model is VSX-23TXH. My dad has a Yamaha receiver which doesn't have those restrictions. I remember my first Sony receiver with DTS had the same restrictions with basic DTS tracks as well, but my Pioneer will pro-logic decode standard 2-track DTS on the odd times that comes up.

Maybe I'll shoot a video of it tomorrow to get out of studying for a few minutes.
That is very odd. How old is your receiver? Nevermind. Just did a search on it. Sorry for being so confident in my answer. Apparently this is a known issue. Just checked AVS forum and someone named 8traxrule brought it up, unless that's also you.
Looks like your receiver is at least 5 years old which isnt really too old. It's an Elite so you could probably sell it on ebay for a descent price and get another that does the job correctly. I have a VSX-1112 that will prologic the dts-ma stereo tracks.

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Old 12-12-15, 08:23 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Forgive me...why do you want to take a nice HD track and apply PLII to it?
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Old 12-23-15, 05:03 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Forgive me...why do you want to take a nice HD track and apply PLII to it?
No need to ask forgiveness. I'd rather listen to a stereo track (for a film, not music) in fake surround ProLogic than in only 2 channels, HD or not.
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Old 12-23-15, 05:17 PM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

Forgive me...why do you want to take a nice HD track and apply PLII to it?
ANY 2-channel movie track is meant to be played in Pro-Logic with center and surround channel decoding- doesn't matter if it's hi-res PCM or linear stereo VHS. A theater's sound system doesn't even give you the option of playing a film's analog track in straight left and right, at least not without some modification, and if it's in mono then all sound should be in the center channel.
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Old 12-24-15, 08:32 AM
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Re: Does the BD Player Have to Decode Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA If My Receiver Does?

I guess the OAR attitude around here only applies to visuals.

You guys should check out Dolby's latest incarnation found in receivers with Atmos. They've changed the name to Dolby Surround. (because re-using a name from 1982 seemed like a good idea?) It is pretty bold with the mix it creates. Doesn't work well for music, but for movies it isn't bad. It really does seem to make it more like a discrete surround mix. Black magic! Most call it Dolby Surround Upmixer, or DSU...to distinguish from the early version. Don't think there is any problem with DTS-HD tracks using DSU, either.
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