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Review and Measurements of Sony STR-ZA1100ES AVR

Sal1950

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#81
I see two benefits to this information: It would be interesting to me, since some movies offer both an LPCM and a lossless encoded track,
Many multich music discs do the same and it's always made me scratch my head.
Why would you bother with the encoded track when the pure LPCM track is right there?
If they sound different either something about the encoded track or your AV is wrong.
 

amirm

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#82
I see two benefits to this information: It would be interesting to me, since some movies offer both an LPCM and a lossless encoded track, and if the AVR performs better with one over the other, I could choose that option. And since lossless codecs are the only way to get access to Atmos or X immersive content, I think it's worthwhile to see how the AVRs are performing.
The logistics of this are quite complicated. Encoders for TrueHD and such are considered "professional products" which means they cost a fortune. I have not seen a consumer encoder.

Without the encoder, we would have to find a pre-encoded track. I did a quick search and nothing showed on the first page of results. Some discs have video test signals. I wonder if there are any with audio tones? If so, we could try to extract one of those.

Then there is the matter of getting the bits to the AVR. Finding a player and audio pipeline that can do this in such a limited manner may not be easy.

Audio Precision simplifies all of this by selling an HDMI option for my analyzer. It can generate all the signals we need and simplify my testing by allowing me to run other tests through HDMI. Problem? It costs US $6,500. Is it worth it to spend so much money on it?
 
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#83
“Why would you bother with the encoded track when the pure LPCM track is right there?”

Here’s the legacy of lossless compressed audio on optical discs...

DVD has Dolby Digital 5.1 audio

In the days when HD-DVD (& DVD-Audio) players were being developed, somehow a lossless compression algorithm called MLP got itself into mandated into the spec for Dolby TrueHD audio, as well as the decoder for HDDVD player.

The lossless compressed audio was MLP is short for Meridian Lossless Audio, from none other than Bob Stuart of Meridian Audio Ltd!
I think there must have been some insider connections/marketing to get it into the spec for HD-DVD/DVD Audio/Dolby True HD... because technically it’s wasnt great.

For in real life audio signals it offered quite minimal compression rates- usually about 20-30% smaller only, (compared with up to 50% for the likes of .flac). I guess people thought it was a good idea, and at least better than 0% data reduction, particularly if you’re dealing with up to 8 channels of surround audio.

Luckily, it never gained traction because BluRay and DTS Master Audio won that race and HD-DVD and it’s Dolby TrueHD lost out.

The same Bob Stuart/Meridian two decades started pushing MQA and it’s supposed benefits.

I’m hoping MQA goes the way of the dodo too...
 
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amirm

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#84
Luckily, it never gained traction because BluRay and DTS Master Audio won that race and HD-DVD and it’s Dolby TrueHD lost out.
You only have the fragments of that story right. The above is one of the wrong parts. :)

I was on DVD Forum steering committee that voted for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD-MA lossless formats. The proposal for them was from the studios, with Warner taking the lead. The consumer electronics companies hated it as they don't want to give a cent to non-CE companies when it comes to technology. We backed the studios as we wanted to see a lossless format in there. Wound up with two lossless formats (Dolby and DTS) for political reasons.

Meanwhile the BDA was dead set against changing their format to include any lossless audio. Their format was based on Blu-ray recorders they had created for Japan market and did not want to break compatibility with them. Those recorders only accepted lossy Dolby and PCM.

The format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD raged on with HD DVD having the advantage on lossless audio. And support of studios who wanted it. This eventually resulted in BDA adopting Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA-HD. They also took the lead from HD DVD, adopting VC-1 (developed in my team) and H.264 video codecs in addition to MPEG-2.

Put another way, if it were not for HD DVD, Blu-ray format would have had only an MPEG-2 video codec and lossy audio.

It is true that Dolby TrueHD is based on Meridian MLP technology. Meridian created it, Dolby used its might with the studios to get it adopted and is the licensing agent for it.

As an aside, both Dolby and DTS lost the licensing battle as apparently they had stipulated in their lossy codec licenses that follow on versions of the codecs would be free. So both TrueHD and DTS-HD-MA became free if the licensee already had a Dolby/DTS license. Screw up on both of their parts.

Dolby TrueHD is quite popular as an audio format in Blu-ray discs. So I don't know what you are saying as far as it going away. That is not remotely true. It is DTS-HD-MA that struggles to get parity with TrueHD. Here is a random example of a movie I just watched:

1568090541458.png


See, there is no DTS track in there. Just TrueHD.

Dolby is just so much stronger when it comes to working with studios to get adoption of its technology than DTS.
 

amirm

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#86

Vovgan

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#87
Audio Precision simplifies all of this by selling an HDMI option for my analyzer. It can generate all the signals we need and simplify my testing by allowing me to run other tests through HDMI. Problem? It costs US $6,500. Is it worth it to spend so much money on it?
In the fullness of time your blog will certainly generate extra demand for AP’s analyzers from HiFi manufacturers. Might AP be interested in giving you this $6500 option to pull demand for their products from home cinema manufacturers? Besides, you’ve doing a lot of PR for them already. Might be worth asking.
 
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amirm

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#88
In the fullness of time your blog will certainly generate extra demand for AP’s analyzers from HiFi manufacturers. Might AP be interested in giving you this $6500 option to pull demand for their products from home cinema manufacturers? Besides, you’ve doing a lot of PR for them already. Might be worth asking.
It is exceptionally difficult to get any discount from Audio Precision regardless of one's cause. I have a good relationship with them so may be able to get a few cents off but ultimately, it will still be thousands of dollars.

I may have to bite the bullet and do it at some point given how much HDMI testing I am starting to do and inconvenience of them with my current setup.... Sometimes I wish money did grow on trees. :)
 

JJB70

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#89
When did Sony decide to throw the hard won kudos of the ES label in the trash can by sticking it on anything? At one time the ES logo told you that you were getting something engineered to extraordinary standards, then Sony threw that reputation away. Sad.
 

Sal1950

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#90
I don't trust their stats. Here are the first five review on bd.com:
Seems in general that from the beginning of BD that DTS was the majority leader.
That is till Atmos and the immersive revolution, since then Dolby has once more taken control.
You are hard pressed to find any DTS-X discs being released.

All this still leaves me wondering why so many multich discs bother to include both lossless DTS and LPCM soundtracks?
 
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#92
Thank you Amin for providing inside information regarding DolbyTrueHD and DTS Master Audio.

The spirit of my reply was to explain the dual developments of lossless compressed audio in
the era of the physical disc, as it relates to the end-user/consumer, and its purported advantages. My view is that was some space savings to be gained, but technically MLP offers such little space reduction, why did Dolby bother?

I believe that in a movie/sound effect heavy content, Lossy compressed audio makes much more sense, as does lossy compressed video eg. VC-1, which aims to be perceptually transparent, and offers excellent data reduction.

Do you know how MLP was “chosen” by Dolby?
 
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