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Questions - Universal DVD Player and more

Audiolab 6000A Amplifier

amol12

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Lately I have been hunting for a DVD player.

1. I have seen some players named as Universal DVD Player. What is a Universal DVD Player? How does it differ from other DVD players which are earthly (non - universal :) )?

2. Another question is if I will eventually buy a AV receiver (having hdmi capabilities and able decode various audio formats) and will connect the DVD player to it digitally, what is the point in buying a Rs 10000 DVD player as against a Rs 5000 DVD player both supporting similar playing formats and similar digital outputs? Wouldn't the cheapest DVD player supporting digital output terminations suffice?
 

rikhav

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Hi Amol
Welcome to the forum

A UNIVERSAL DVD PLAYER is a player which can play DVD audio discs and SACD's along with the normal movie dvds

A normal DVD player won't be able to play DVD audio discs and SACD's.

Now about the HDMI query, i can just give you a little idea as i am not using it. Maybe someone using HDMI sourcing from DVD player to AVR can explain you better

High end DVD player's also have HDMI out so you can connect your AVR with HDMI capabilities with the dvd player's HDMI. I am not sure how much difference there will be in sound in between HDMI and digital out. Someone else using HDMI will post about it soon I am sure
 

amol12

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Thanks rikhav for your answer,
My obvious question 3 is do we get Hindi/English songs in DVD audio disc or SACD formats in India? Pardon my ignorance as I have just started hunting for a decent HT system.

Even I wont be using HDMI for a couple of years but I need to buy a AV receiver now, hence the question. Do I buy a costlier DVD player or do I buy a cheaper one sufficing the digital world needs spending more money on the AV receiver?
 

rikhav

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Thanks rikhav for your answer,
My obvious question 3 is do we get Hindi/English songs in DVD audio disc or SACD formats in India? Pardon my ignorance as I have just started hunting for a decent HT system.

Even I wont be using HDMI for a couple of years but I need to buy a AV receiver now, hence the question. Do I buy a costlier DVD player or do I buy a cheaper one sufficing the digital world needs spending more money on the AV receiver?

Not sure about Hindi but we get english songs (rock, pop, western classical) on dvd audio and sacd. Many of our members do own them so they can guide you from which shop you can get it.

About your query about the DVD player, I am sure someone will help you out soon. Oppo has just launched DV983H which is one the best DVD players you can get. Try if you can get it from USA as its just $400 over there.

You can read about the features of the player from the link below

OPPO DV-983H 1080p Up-Converting Universal DVD Player with VRS by Anchor Bay Video Processing and 7.1CH Audio
 

venkatcr

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FIRST QUESTION - WHAT IS A UNIVERSAL DVD PLAYER?

Very strictly speaking, a standard DVD has just two sets of data inside. One is the video compressed using MPEG-2 and the other is audio that, in its simplest form, has been encoded using DTS or Dolby Digital. Again strictly speaking, a non-universal DVD player is not supposed to play another other type of media.

Secondly DVD come in various capacities:

Single-sided/single-layer 4.38 GB 2 hours (DVD-5)
Single-sided/double-layer 7.95 GB 4 hours (DVD-9)
Double-sided/single-layer 8.75 GB 4.5 hours (DVD-10)
Double-sided/double-layer 15.9 GB Over 8 hours (DVD-18)

There was also for a short time a DVD-14 which does not exist anymore. This had two sides, with single layer on one side, and double layer on another.

What has happened in the recent past is that DVDs have taken on many forms. There are DVD, DVD-9, DVD-18, DiVX. DiVx is a video encoding technology, released by company called DivXNetworks that came about as an open source competition to Microsoft's MPEG-4 codec. Because of the higher compression ratio as compared to MPEG-2, DivX can store multiple movies on a single DVD.

In addition to movies, there are DVDs that store only audio.

There is the Super Audio CD (referred to as SACD).

Developed by Sony and Philips, an SACD is capable of capturing sound up to 100kHz using sampling up to 2800kHz (2.8 MHz). A CD can only handle up to 44.1kHz. An SACD has the same capacity as a DVD-5, about 4.7GB and 8x the capacity of a regular CD. Using Direct Stream Digital (DsD), the music can be delivered either as 2.0 stereo or via 5.1 channels with no loss in quality. DsD also removed the need for Delta-Sigma modulation and Decimation and Interpolation filters which means the music you hear from an SACD is as natural as possible.

Then there is DVD-A, usually referred to as DVD-A.

DVD-Audio is one of the standards controlled by DVD Forum, an authority behind various DVD standards. DVD-Audio is audio only, aimed to replace regular audio CD within next few years. Audio can be stored in various formats, including uncompressed (L)PCM format (in frequencies from 44.1kHz upto 192kHz) with bitrates as high as 9.8Mbit/sec. Other formats allowed include Dolby Digital 5.1, MPEG-1 (stereo, audio layers II and III), MPEG-2 (multichannel), DTS and SDDS.

An universal DVD playe is supposed to play ALL these format of DVDs and a standard audio CD also !!! Current DVD players may not necessarily play anything more than DVD-9 unless specified by the manufacturer.

Universal DVD players have a set of 6-channel analog audio outputs that allow the consumer to access SACD and DVD-Audio on an AV receiver that also a set 6-channel analog audio inputs.

Due to differences in the way SACD and DVD-Audio signals are encoded on a disc, the DVD player must convert the signal to an analog form as digital audio connections on a DVD player that are used for access Dolby Digital and DTS audio are not compatible with SACD or DVD-Audio signals.

SECOND QUESTION - WHICH DVD PLAYER TO BUY?

Logically speaking, any good Universal Player will suffice IF you have a good AVR. For example, if you have an high end AVR from Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, NAD, or CA that can decode all audio codecs, and also upscale the video to 1080p, it would be sufficient to buy a decent Universal DVD player costing around Rs.5000. Remember both the DVD player and AVR must support HDMI. You will see why down below.

Many AVRs do not support multi channel Linear PCM (7.1 ch 32-192KHz), but can accept the standard Dobly, DTS and other video related audio signals through bitstream. These signals can be sent to the AVR mostly though coaxial or optical digital connection. When you send the signal in digital form, the AVR does the decoding including DAC conversion.

Till now everything is fine. But what happens when multi channel Linear PCM is not supported by the AVR? We will expect the DVD player to do the decoding and output the signal in analogue form. Thus slighly high end universal DVD players will have 6 to 8 analogue audio outputs. Most AVRs will have a minimum of six corresponding audio-in to just amplify these signals.

For an AVR to do all these, you need one that supports Multi Channel linear PCM, and has a HDMI input. Multichannel linear PCM CANNOT be transmitted through coaxial or optical digital connections.

DVD Players that do perform audio decoding will have DSP chips with a minimum specification of 192 KHz at 24 bits (usually referred to as 192/24) made by companies such as Cirrus Logic, Burr Brown, Analog Audio, etc.

There are couple of other things to keep in mind when buying DVD Players. In most players, the actual mechanical part that holds and plays the DVD is made by companies such as Sony or TEAC. The DVD player manufacturer adds value in designing the PCB, and the electronics needed for audio and video decoding. In addition they ensure high quality connectors as well as good power supply units to make sure the player functions well. See he following link for more information on power supplies.

http://www.hifivision.com/audio-vid...own-transformer-affect-hifis-performance.html

Very low priced DVD Players will use cheap mechanisms from China and save money on the decoding electronics. Remember if the DVD player outputs trash as video and audio, your poor AVR wil amplify just that- TRASH.
 
Last edited:

venkatcr

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Thanks rikhav for your answer,
My obvious question 3 is do we get Hindi/English songs in DVD audio disc or SACD formats in India?

The music of Dhoom is available in DVD-A format. I am sure many new movies will be released as will be non-filmy music. Many of the producers of fusion music are now recording in DVD-A formats. Believe me, this is a tremendously eye opening way of listening to music. Once you hear multi-channel LPCM amplified properly, you will find regular two channel audio to be passe.

If you like orchestra, music with multiple instruments and singers, light rock and such, you must ready yourself for DVD-A and SACD.
 

amol12

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Thanks again venkat.
Correct me if I understand incorrectly
1. Multichannel Linear PCM is needed for HD-DVD and Blu-ray players. (AV receiver with built-in decoding of Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio will further need HDMI 1.3).
2. Just a example for my clarification - Onkyo range supporting the Multichannel Linear PCM starts from Tx-SR606.
 

venkatcr

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Thanks again venkat.
Correct me if I understand incorrectly
1. Multichannel Linear PCM is needed for HD-DVD and Blu-ray players. (AV receiver with built-in decoding of Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio will further need HDMI 1.3).
2. Just a example for my clarification - Onkyo range supporting the Multichannel Linear PCM starts from Tx-SR606.

Amol:

1. Yes multichannel (L) PCM is needed HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players. For the AV Receiver to receive and decode LPCM from the player, both the player and the AVR would need HDMI. Remember, as we discussed above LPCM is not limited to HD-DVD and BluRay. An ordinary universal player that specifies it is capable of reading SACD and DVD-A will also be outputting multichannel digital signals.

2. I am not sure about all models from 606 upwards - but I have checked the following models as supporting LPCM - 606, 705, 805, 875, and 905. I am not certain about some models that exist within these model numbers.


Cheers
 

amol12

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Jul 21, 2008
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Thanks Venkat and rikhav.
You have answered all my queries in no time. I have decided that I will buy a Universal (LPCM capable) DVD player and LPCM capable AV receiver.

Brand/model I will decide after I finalize my total budget for these 2 and speakers and when I will buy which piece of HT components as I will not buy them at one go. I have many more questions, but I will reserve them for other forums/threads. This thread can be closed.
 
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