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Owen Smith

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It's just not defined as 4 or 5 channel. Unless you mean 2 x optical but then all the crap "receivers" would need a 2 x optical input...... Or am I somehow nuts and missing something late night?
They're suggesting outputting DTS over a single optical output. Great in theory, it's a 1.5 megabits per second multi channel lossy codec so actually sounds rather good. The problem is you'd have to licence the encoder source code from DTS and then integrate it into your DSP source code. It might be do-able, but I doubt it would be cost effective.
 

J. PUPSTER

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The SMv3 is only analog out; so this is a v4 discussion. The Surround Master tech looks and sounds alien to me (you know I saw a Tic Tac about 15 years ago, flew silently right above me, horizon to horizon in ‘bout 2 seconds) it sure wasn’t these guys I’m pretty sure!

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chucky3042

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They're suggesting outputting DTS over a single optical output. Great in theory, it's a 1.5 megabits per second multi channel lossy codec so actually sounds rather good. The problem is you'd have to licence the encoder source code from DTS and then integrate it into your DSP source code. It might be do-able, but I doubt it would be cost effective.
Yes, that was my take on it. Issue is for it to be useful other receiver manufacturers would have to adopt the format. We have had zero success even talking to any manufacturer to adopt involve decoding, so I do not like my chances
 

Sonik Wiz

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Yes, that was my take on it. Issue is for it to be useful other receiver manufacturers would have to adopt the format. We have had zero success even talking to any manufacturer to adopt involve decoding, so I do not like my chances
I think @Owen Smith's point is that IF the decoded Invove output could be converted to discrete DTS inside the box, then output via SPDIF it would be compatible with every modern AVR that has an SPDIF input & handles DTS. Which is pretty much all of them. There would be no resistance to Involve by the MFG'er because it would be conveyed by DTS which is already baked in to the AVR.

And yes I know a lossy format in today's tech would be controversial. But as Owen said, the high bit rate DTS really sounds very good.
 

Sonik Wiz

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Could you pair a stand alone DTS encoder if one exists with a SM and then connect it to a SPDIF input?
It's been done long ago calked DTS Connect & another approach by Dolby. Basic idea was whatever native surround format you were using convert to DTS or DD surround to hook up to an AVR with SPDIF inputs. It's old tech, might be cheap to revive & re-purpose.

 

Owen Smith

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I think @Owen Smith's point is that IF the decoded Invove output could be converted to discrete DTS inside the box, then output via SPDIF it would be compatible with every modern AVR that has an SPDIF input & handles DTS. Which is pretty much all of them. There would be no resistance to Involve by the MFG'er because it would be conveyed by DTS which is already baked in to the AVR.

And yes I know a lossy format in today's tech would be controversial. But as Owen said, the high bit rate DTS really sounds very good.
It was Fredblue's suggestion originally on this thread, I was just trying to get people to understand what he was saying.

And it's not unheard of even in today's tech. On UK digital terrestrial TV, the HD channels are broadcast with AAC audio and sometimes this is in 5.1. When using HDMI audio that is converted to LPCM in the set top boxes or TVs and output as that. But for compatibility with older AV amps it is common to have an optical output as well and this carries the 5.1 audio transcoded to 640kbps Dolby Digital 5.1. OK it's not DTS, but it's considerably higher bit rate than DD on DVD and it sounds quite good. There's no option to output the original AAC 5.1 bitstream, because nothing supports it.

Historical note: 640kbps is the highest bit rate that Dolby Digital can support. This is twice the 320kbps it ran at in cinemas with the optical encoding between the perforations. I assume the idea at one point was the perforations on both sides could be used to increase bit rate, but it never happened. LaserDisc increased the bit rate to 384kbps and DVD in increased it again to 448kbps.
 
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Akaiquadster2

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Many moons ago when the original Sony PS3 came to us with SACD and other multichannel features they accidentally released a firmware update (2.0) - for the whole of several hours before 2.01 was immediately available! This was because they accidentally, and without licence or HDMI protection, provided the capacity (with its bandwidth limits) of playing multichannel over the optical output rather than the HDMI cable.

To this day I have a dedicated PS3 with this firmware never to be upgraded! When I use the unit for SACD multichannel it delivers the best surround experience of my life!

The HDMI option is far inferior in terms of surround effects even if technically superior in terms of signal capacity (and copyright protection)

TBH I have next to nil technical understanding of the how and why, or just what the PS3 is doing, but, my ears like the results!

I am yet to test the SACD via RCA to SMv2 for comparison on how it decodes the downmix layer🤔 BUT if I had SMv3 I could at least send it via the optical - wonder how that would work given the PS3 is pumping out a multichannel signal - all I can say is I’m glad some of you know what’s actually happening 😂😂
 

Owen Smith

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Many moons ago when the original Sony PS3 came to us with SACD and other multichannel features they accidentally released a firmware update (2.0) - for the whole of several hours before 2.01 was immediately available! This was because they accidentally, and without licence or HDMI protection, provided the capacity (with its bandwidth limits) of playing multichannel over the optical output rather than the HDMI cable.
I wonder what format it outputs over optical? For stereo it could be PCM, and there is the bandwidth for DSD but do any amps receive that over optical? But for 5.1 there isn't the bandwidth or a supported format for lossless over optical, so it must be encoding it to something like DTS or Dolby Digital.
 

JohnA

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TBH I have next to nil technical understanding of the how and why, or just what the PS3 is doing, but, my ears like the results!
Thanks to this obscure bug so many DSD iso files are now circulating.
I send stereo DSD ISO files straight to my DAC via USB and it does the decoding to analog better than the OPPO (special edition) can muster. Happy bunny.

Was it a genuine oversight with the original PS3 code, was it intentional, who knows. I think the universe is all the better for it.
 

Owen Smith

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Thanks to this obscure bug so many DSD iso files are now circulating.
There are at least two other ways of ripping SACDs now, and have been for years. The first is custom linux firmware on an old SACD capable PS3 which extracts the data. The second is various universal Blu Ray players with the right chipset in and some firmware on a USB stick streaming the data over the network.
 

Akaiquadster2

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I wonder what format it outputs over optical? For stereo it could be PCM, and there is the bandwidth for DSD but do any amps receive that over optical? But for 5.1 there isn't the bandwidth or a supported format for lossless over optical, so it must be encoding it to something like DTS or Dolby Digital.
The 2.0 firmware added the ability for the PS3 to decode the SACD to 5.1 PCM and then re-encode it to pass the multichannel over optical (DD or DTS or whatever you had set). Apparently 😳🤔
 

Akaiquadster2

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There are at least two other ways of ripping SACDs now, and have been for years. The first is custom linux firmware on an old SACD capable PS3 which extracts the data. The second is various universal Blu Ray players with the right chipset in and some firmware on a USB stick streaming the data over the network.
Yes I have never been tech minded enough to use the PS3 to burn SACD backups or whatever of my collection- of my 4400 plus CDs I’ve only had less than 6 fail to play and now most are digitally transferred to a Cocktail Audio X10 and a 5TB handsize portable hard drive!
 

JohnA

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Had my brother in law around yesterday for an audition, and also help me setup rear levels etc.
He's a pianist and composer, knows his way around sound way more than I do.
He could even tell the miniscule difference Chord's MScaler made (I couldn't)

He was gobsmacked with the blue beastie. He *loved* how you can choose how far in the action you can place yourself.
He didn't like TSS mode at all, found it fake, hazy with missing highs.
Involve mode he fell in love with immediately.
Even on pure piano recordings he found it superior to pure stereo.
His preference is setting the rears 5-6db louder than I do, he wants to feel in the action, rather than being a spectator.
He said he would have it on all the time if it were him and could have rear speakers set up permanently.

His face would light up immediately every time I was switching to 'Involve' mode ha ha.

Chucky & Biatch: you have Steven Wilson'd most of my 2-channel music collection (not all, but hell is the transformation impressive)
 

Owen Smith

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His preference is setting the rears 5-6db louder than I do, he wants to feel in the action, rather than being a spectator.
He said he would have it on all the time if it were him and could have rear speakers set up permanently.
Not surprising given he's a pianist, he's normally sat in the middle of the action. I used to play Tuba and I have a slightly different reaction, I am used to playing with the orchestra in front of me with the cellos on the left, violins on the right (opposite to normal), then any soloists, and finally audience beyond them. I'd like to be able to play classical music in surround like that. Just sitting backwards doesn't do it, because the mics are typically between the audience and the orchestra. I suspect only a full B channel ambisonic recording and then tailored decode on playback would do it, because no-one is going to issue specific mixes for the Tuba player (Tuba/Trombones/Trumpets would do).
 
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