7.1 Analog Audio vs. Digital Optical Audio

vbimport

#1

My receiver is the Onkyo HT-S790. It has both multi-channel DVD inputs and digital optical IN. I just bought the Sony Blu-ray BDP-S550, which has both 7.1 Analog Audio Out and Optical Audio Out.

Which connection is better? I’ve always assumed that digital is better, but maybe the receiver doesn’t process the digital as well??? Please help.

I’m trying to figure out if the BDP-S550 is worth the extra $100 over the BDP-S350. Anything I’m missing that is a glaring difference? I’m assuming video is the same.

Thanks.


#2

By general rule of thumb digital optical audio is the best option, it does not suffer from interference like most cables do. Depending on the audio decoder, 7.1 digital surround sound should be available with the digital audio cable.

Your receiver should handle the digital just fine.


#3

Based on a quick review the BDP-S550 and BDP-S350, the 550 offers 7.1 Channel Dolby Sound , Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD output via RCA outputs and the 350 only offers high resolution output via HDMI…
Your Onkyo is only capable of decoding existing conventional DD and DTS formats via optical/coaxial inputs…
Use the 7.1 channel outputs to your receiver and you should be a happy camper…


#4

The only way you will benefit from lossless BD audio is with the 5/7.1 analog connects. The Sony cannot send anything over optical except the alternate audio streams, which will be DD at 640K or DTS-Core at 1.5M. While both of those are excellent audio quality, they are not “lossless” my any means.

But there are more wrinkles in this to consider. Your receiver very likely cannot apply bass management or DSP (decoding) to the analog inputs, it will be essential straight-through amplification with nothing more than volume control. This means that the player must be capable of doing some basic bass management on the analog outs, or even apply some DD decoding. If you use a sub and have your speakers configured as “small” this is an issue. If you watch 2-ch DVDs and want them to be decoded with something like DD-PLIIx, this is an issue too since your receiver will not be able to do this on analog.

Obviously, a lot depends on your intended listening and your preferences.


#5

[QUOTE=CDan;2181664]
But there are more wrinkles in this to consider. Your receiver very likely cannot apply bass management or DSP (decoding) to the analog inputs, it will be essential straight-through amplification with nothing more than volume control. This means that the player must be capable of doing some basic bass management on the analog outs, or even apply some DD decoding. If you use a sub and have your speakers configured as “small” this is an issue. If you watch 2-ch DVDs and want them to be decoded with something like DD-PLIIx, this is an issue too since your receiver will not be able to do this on analog. [/QUOTE]

I’m lost here. So the subwoofer won’t have intensities…everything will be loud…a thunder boom will have the same bass as a most subtler bass noise? I’m not the most knowledgeable on this subject.

I use a optical cable with my current ‘upscaling’ DVD player…just wondering if the 7.1 analog setup would be better as it seems I end up listening to ‘All Channels’ mode a lot.


#6

The BDP-S550 offers Bass Management and speaker size settings…
My original recommendation still stands…
Use the 7.1 analog out to your receiver and in addition you can use the optical out if you want your receiver to decode the DD/DTS tracks…


#7

Most movie soundtracks are 5.1 anyway. So your main concern would be hardware support as pipemanid pointed out above.