Bit rates - PCM - Transport

I know I may be asking a very dumb question, and I think I know the answer. But I just want to be sure. Basically, I'd like to get a better transport than my current DVD player to mate with my DAC. I see that there are dedicated transports (decks with no internal DACs), and cd players with digital outputs (so as to be able to use it as a transport if one so wished).
My question deals with the PCM output. Is the PCM signal bit rate dependent or independent? I mean, if a player is 18 bit vs. 20 or 24 bit, is this only a measure (or limitation) of the internal DACs, or, does it also define the quality of the PCM signal it can produce?
Or, as I believe it to be, is the digital output (PCM) simply raw data, unrelated to bit rate, hence the same (in theory) across all decks?

I hope this makes sense.
Most transports or digital outputs on players are capable only of standard PCM Redbook output: 16 bits resolution @ 44.1 kHz sampling rate. You can be sure that if the digital output on a manufacturer's component is capable of 24/96 or 24/192 (or DSD) output, that manufacturer will advertise it loud and clear.

That's one reason why upsampling DACs are popular: they take the 16/44.1 PCM output from the transport and upsample it to 24/96 (or whatever).

A lot of DVD players, as opposed to straight audio players, will output 24/96, though.

Having said that, there are a lot of reasons why a better transport will sound better than using your DVD player as a transport (unless it's a very fine DVD player!): quality of circuit design, susceptibility to jitter, quality of power supply, quality of passive components, quality of connectors, resistance to vibration of chassis, etc.

Hope this helps.