Blu-ray and SACD



Do Blu-ray players (standard players, not PC drives) also play Sony’s SACD format?


Not so far, some of the panasonic versions can play dvd audio if that helps you any.


At the present moment the only one that can play the SACD format is the 80G PS3 and supports SACD over HDMI only. But there is a catch, there is no way right now of properly hooking it up so that you are utilizing the aspects of what SACD is suppose to offer you.



The 60GB PS3 can also do SACD playback, as well as the 80GB PS3 as stated above. The 40GB PS3 can not.

Not sure with blu-ray standalone players though.


[QUOTE=platinumsword;2003897]At the present moment the only one that can play the SACD format is the 80G PS3 and supports SACD over HDMI only. But there is a catch, there is no way right now of properly hooking it up so that you are utilizing the aspects of what SACD is suppose to offer you.


According to wiki, HDMI v1.2 supports SACD. Does the player itself not decode it properly?


Yes, the player needs to ba able to decode the format, HDMI 1.2 can carry the digital stream I think, but only if your unit knows how to play the disks.


This is from the PS3 site.

How should I connect my PlayStation3 in order to play SA-CDs?

The simplest way is to connect the analog AV output to an AV receiver/amplifier. This way you can play the stereo area of SA-CDs.
Note: some SA-CDs are stereo only but the majority of titles contain a stereo and a multichannel recording. These are stored separately on the disc. A handful of titles contain a multi-channel mix only.

The best way to enjoy SA-CDs on PS3 is by connection the console to an AV receiver through HDMI. Not all receivers are suited for this – not even all with HDMI input. See ‘What receiver should I use?’. PS3 outputs high-resolution PCM (24-bit, 176 kHz).
With this way you can enjoy the full benefit of multi-channel music from SA-CD.

Can’t I use the optical digital output?

Originally, you could for games, CDs, DVDs and even BDs but you couldn’t for SA-CDs. The optical connection, also known as Tos-link, is a so-called SPDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface). It can carry stereo PCM or compressed multichannel audio like Dolby Digital and DTS, but not lossless discrete multichannel audio like DSD, multichannel PCM, Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio.

With system software v 2.00, if you’ve got an AV Receiver without HDMI PS3 can convert multichannel SA-CD to multichannel DTS for you and feed it to the optical digital output. If you disable DTS out it will output PCM stereo, also during multichannel SA-CD playback. The output frequency is 48kHz.

In version 2.01 however, DSD-to-DTS conversion is disabled again. Optical output from SA-CD remains supported but in stereo only.

Can PS3 simultaneously output stereo via analog out and multichannel via digital out?

No (unlike PS2, reportedly). You are forced to choose between stereo and multichannel.

Can PS3 output DSD audio?

Streaming of the pure DSD signal would be very preferable over conversion to PCM but unfortunately at this moment PS3 does not support that.

Why not?

This is a mystery. Standards and regulations permit it. HDMI from versions 1.2 and up can transmit DSD securely with HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). We can only hope that there are no PS3 hardware constraints here and that Sony will issue a firmware upgrade in the future that enables this function. Sony has already released an AV Receiver that accepts DSD input.

What receiver should I use?

In principle any AV receiver with multichannel PCM input via HDMI will do. Models that do so include:

* Sony STR-DG910
* Sony STR-DA3300ES and -DA4300ES
* Marantz SR5002
* Onkyo TX-SR605 and -SR705

If you, like us, presume that Sony at some point in the near future will issue a firmware upgrade that lets PS3 output a pure DSD bitstream via HDMI you may want to buy an AV receivers that’s prepared for that. Choices include:

* Sony STR-DA5300ES (named TA-DA5300ES in Japan)
* Marantz SR6001, SR7001, SR8001, SR7002 and SR8002
* Yamaha DSP-AX761, RX-V1700, RX-V2700, DSP-AX1800, DSP-AX3800
* Onkyo TX-SR805, -SR875 and -SR905
* Denon AVR-3808, AVR-4308

Note: these lists are by no means complete yet.

I’ve got an other/older receiver. Can I still enjoy multichannel SA-CD?

As long as you’ve got multichannel PCM input you’re OK. Otherwise, if you’ve got Dolby Digital and DTS, you can still enjoy games, DVDs and Blu-ray Disc in surround sound but not SA-CD – except if you process it with a feature like Dolby Pro Logic II but that’s not quite how it’s supposed to be experienced.



So, then basically the SACD content is being converted to a 24-bit PCM signal @ 176 KHz, but not the actual DSD 1-bit signal @ 2.8224 MHz or whatever?

Unless I misread or misunderstood that information, a PS3 is great value. I’ll be able to play Blu-ray perfectly and SACD at not quite its native resolution but extremely close? As far as I know, at this point the jury’s still out as to whether DSD is “better” than PCM. Plus, I can play games. So, if a PS3 is considerably less than buying both a BD player and an SACD player, this seems like the way I should go.

Any objections to that or factors I’m not taking into consideration are welcome.