OK I will rephrase my question. IS there a blu ray player that will output to a DAC with the full 24/96 from the Pure Audio discs? That is not something in the mega bucks price range? I messed with the settings on the player I have and still cannot get it. It might be full rez on the HDMI to the TV or such, but I also would not like to invest in another box between the player and the DAC. That is getting out of hand, for me.
15 responses Add your response
Can someone please confirm and comment on the following:
"All blue ray players will play standard resolution (44.1 or 48 kHz) music over digital outputs. It is only high-resolution recordings (88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 or DSD) with copy protection that will be downsampled for playback over digital output.
Due to bandwidth limitations, high resolution audio formats such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HDMaster Audio cannot be sent through the coaxial or optical digital audio output. A reduced resolution version of the same audio track will be output instead. To listen to high resolution audio formats in their best quality, please use the HDMI connection if you have a receiver that handles HDMI audio or use the multi-channel analog outputs if you do not.
Due to copyright restrictions, SACD audio cannot be sent through the coaxial or optical digital audio output. To listen to SACD, please use the HDMI or analog audio connections.
An examination of the digital outputs on DVD and Blu-ray players will show that the digital outputs are dumbed down to sample rates of 44.1 or 48 kHz at a bit-depth of 16 bits. These digital outputs are also limited to 2 channel PCM or lossy compressed 5.1 formats. No high-resolution audio is available at the digital outputs on any currently-available player".
That doesn't make sense really, as you can send GHz. microwave signals thru coaxial cable, the amplitude losses from long runs being the only negative factor, usually. But if it is how it is, so be it. Maybe I will soon be selling a bluray disc cheap. I did not see anything in the specs of the player that would indicate that restriction but it may be a standard. Was hoping for finally a convenient hi rez format with gear I already have.
Hi w8aaz, I am NOT an expert on this topic and we need someone to confirm my comments above and below. After some additional limited research, I found the following information (in quotes):
"Firstly, you will need access to the Blu-Ray Disc specifications, or an in-depth Authoring specification, to see whether there is a User Control feature to allow 24/192 in the free-and-clear. All the major labels DO NOT want such a thing, and prefer to limit digital outputs to 24/48. 24/96 can be made available as LPCM through DVD-V, but 24/192 requires the use of MLP and authoring as a DVD-A, and even then I am not sure that the disc can be flagged to output 24/192 (except via HDMI). The last thing the labels want is hi-rez masters being swapped like CD audio!
If such a control does not exist, you need look no further, as there would be no requirement for any manufacturer to support it in hardware. If it does, you can continue to search.
With regard to external DACs, there is nothing to stop a DAC manufacturer including a HDMI interface other than the added cost of the HDMI license. As HDTV continues to increase in market share, HDMI will become more prevalent, but don't be surprised if the high-end audio market continues to ignore it!
The major players only want encrypted interfaces for hi-rez audio and video transmissions. The 48/16 issues with the Sony via toslink is a result of DRM restrictions - part of the agreement on bluray was to limit audio output to 48/16 on non-encrypted liinks (ie toslink), so the Sony i playing at 96/24 but downsampling to 48/16 for the toslink due to this. If you have the gear, try playing over HDMI - your amp should report the input as the full 96/24".
My Comments: Based on my understanding, the higher resolution audio outputs can be output via HDMI (is this true?). Is it possible to use a blu-ray player, for example, the Oppo models, to output using HDMI to a DAC (or amplifier) that accepts HDMI (for example, the NAD Master M51 DAC)? Has anyone done this and does it work (I do not know)? I suggest you call Oppo and ask them if their models output full audio 24/192 out via HDMI. Assuming yes, you need a DAC (or amplifier) that accepts the HDMI signal and prepares it for input to your amplifier. I suggest you not sell your existing blu-ray player until you do some additional investigation. I hope my above comments help you solve this problem.
Or, I guess, you could replace your existing blu-ray player with the Oppo players (103 or 105), use the internal Oppo DAC, and output the audio signal to your amplifier using either the RCA or balanced (XLR) outputs. Can the Oppo models read your Pure Audio blu-ray disc and output a high quality audio signal to your amplifier (I do not know)? I do not know if this suggestion solves your problem so please investigate.
We need a hi-res audio Audiogon expert to comment on your question above and my comments. Please do not assume my comments above are 100% correct (I do not know).
OK so all I have that will take a HDMI input is my Sony TV. So I guess that I am stuck trying to listen to the disc thru the TV as I noted happening when I fired up the bluray player. Or get some sort of HDMI device between my system and the bluray player. This is getting to be a complication for sure. Since I have only purchased the one disc, now it is getting to how badly I want to hear it. Let us see....29-39$ per disc, or more, plus, more hardware and cables. You know, perhaps if it is intended only for people with "home theatre" type systems, they can have it. I am a two channel type of guy. Since my player already is also a 24/192 DAC I thought I could get something for not a lot of headaches but guess not. Thanks for the responses.
Hi W8aaz, Sometimes if you ask enough questions, you find the right answer. Please check out the $500 Essense DAC HDACC. It accepts HDMI from your blu-ray and outputs analog to your amplifier.
Through HDMI the HDACC can support uncompressed LPCM 24-bit/192k two-channel soundtracks from Blu-ray sources.
Will the Essense DAC HDACC solve your problem? Its cost is reasonable and seems to have the options you need. Comments?
Please the text below from The Absolute Sound:
"On Blu-ray Disc sources played back by the Oppo BP-95, the HDACC did a superb job of handling the HDMI digital stream and converting it into pristine sound. On the live music albums where I had the option, I preferred the sound from the higher-resolution LPCM soundtracks to the standard-resolution and down-mixed two-channel streams via SPDIF or TosLink. With most two-channel DAC/pre’s, I would not have had the option of using these higher-resolution tracks via HDMI simply because they do not have those inputs. Some audiophiles may want to acquire an HDACC for the primary purpose of using it to decode Blu-ray HDMI feeds for their 2.1 high-performance system".
Please review the Essense DAC HDACC.
If you have the Oppo BDP-93 or BDP-103, another option is the Audiopraise Vanity HD card. It's a little pricey at $849, but it replaces all your analog outs with digital outs that offer the full resolution digital tracks from Blu-ray discs. There's a version that even does DSD over PCM for SACDs.
Not having high hundreds or thousands available right now to guy yet another box for my system I thought I would be clever. Saw a little bitty box on ebay that supposedly takes the HDMI out of the bluray and extracts 24/196 to coaxial or toslink outputs. And runs off a USB port so I had to buy a little tiny USB walwort thinggee too. But the total expenditure was about 20$ maybe. So I tried it all today. Seems I can get either 16/192 or 24/48 by what I select on the player menu but not 24/192 data stream. Or even 24/96 which the disc is supposed to be. From observing the input rate display on the DAC. Oh well, best cut my losses, find a buyer for a hardly used disc, and perhaps get my vinyl source back into the mix despite some inconvenience of setting it up.
Unless you want to use the analog outputs, I think you have to use HDMI for full resolution DVD-Audio, and Blu-ray lossless codecs such as DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. You need a receiver or processor that has the appropriate decoders. That's why I went HDMI after getting into HD-DVD and Blu-ray. However, with these new Oppo players such as the 103 and 105, their DACs may be better than those in many receivers, and analog may be the way to go if you want to fool with all the cables.