My dilemma, some advice please.

In the mix of building up my new home theater. I want to use the new codecs from blu ray, of course.
What I am not sure about doing is this.
Buying a new receiver that will decode them for me, and get a denon 2500 (transport only) via hdmi.

Or buying a denon 3800 with analog out's and get a krell showcase 7.1 or HTS 7.1. Let the blu ray do the decoding. I know this will be killer for 2 channel also.

Thanks in advance.
If you're only considering digital sources, it's been said here several times that the Integra DTC-9.8 is quite good.

You can let the Blu-ray player do the decoding to LPCM regardless of the preamp or receiver.

An advantage of separate amps is that they can be a one time cost - no need to replace them again. You can swap out the pre/pro as formats change.
imo, you'd be better off with a player that can decode the codecs and then send LPCM to the receiver via HDMI to use the (most likely) superior DACs in the receiver. If you have it decode the codecs in the receiver (i.e., bitstream out of the Blu-Ray player) then you have an issue where you can't listen to certain secondary streams with lossless audio. See a good summary here:

I forgot to say also will be using an amp if going with a receiver. The receiver will be used for the new codec decoding, if I go that way.
you'd be better off with a player that can decode the codecs and then send LPCM to the receiver via HDMI to use the (most likely) superior DACs in the receiver.
Whether sending LPCM or bitstream, the receiver or pre/pro will do the D/A. You are right about the merging of secondary audio streams when sending LPCM.
I forgot to say also will be using an amp if going with a receiver. The receiver will be used for the new codec decoding, if I go that way.
So you'll be spending money on amplification that you won't be using -- you'll be using a receiver only as a preamp. I think most would agree that a dedicated pre/pro would be better in that regard.

My Integra DTC-9.8 arrived Friday morning. The plan is for it to replace a Bryston BP26 2-channel preamp as well as a Benchmark DAC1 in my main 2.1 system. I'm anxious to see how clean it is.
How good is the integra 9.8 with 2-channel?
Sounds to me like our minds are already made.

I do enjoy my Onkyo 805 receiver... and INtegra reportedly is the better made end of that heritage... so it seems a less involved idea to go Integra if an HT rec is preffered now... regardless the reasons. I'll assume a deal can be had just now on one, or $$$ is a now consideration.
I found a very interesting article by Robert Harley in He defines two different functions involved in decoding a lossless BluRay:

“unzipping” of the TrueHD bitstream to PCM, and the conversion of that PCM to analog. The former is best done in the player; the latter in the controller.“unzipping” of the TrueHD bitstream to PCM, and the conversion of that PCM to analog. The former is best done in the player; the latter in the controller.

Here is the detail:

"...The confusion arises from the term “decode.” Here’s how it works. The film soundtrack starts out as high-res PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) audio and is encoded into, for example, a Dolby TrueHD bitstream for storage on the Blu-ray disc. (I’ll use TrueHD as a stand-in for all the new audio formats.) You can think of this process as creating a Zip file on a PC.

The file must then be “unzipped” on playback; that is, the Dolby TrueHD bitstream must be decoded back into multichannel linear PCM audio for conversion to analog. This decoding can take place in the Blu-ray player or in the controller.

If the decoding to PCM takes place in the player, the controller receives high-res PCM over the HDMI interface. The controller then converts the PCM to analog for listening.

If the decoding of Dolby TrueHD to PCM takes place in the controller, the HDMI interface carries the TrueHD bitstream.

It really makes no difference sonically where the “decoding” takes place—in the player or in the controller. In fact, it may be advantageous to decode in the Blu-ray player rather than the controller because the format has the capability of mixing different audio sources on the fly during playback. An example of this is a director’s commentary posted on a movie studio’s website after the Blu-ray disc has been released; you can watch and listen to the movie from disc as well as hear the director’s commentary streamed from the web. [ED NOYE - this is the BD 2.0 standard only where content can be accessed from the Internet assuming of course that the studio created it.]

There are many other examples of Blu-ray’s interactivity—features that are lost if the TrueHD-to-PCM decoding doesn’t take place in the Blu-ray player.

Not all Blu-ray players can perform this “unzipping” of TrueHD bitstreams to PCM. It requires a fair amount of DSP horsepower, making it an expensive (for now) feature for disc-player manufacturers. I expect, however, that all next-generation players will have this capability.

For a full listing of Blu-ray player features (including whether the player can output decoded PCM), go to Scroll down the page to see the player features. You’re looking for blue boxes in the True-HD and DTS-MA columns.
How good is the integra 9.8 with 2-channel?

Kal has said several times that with digital inputs the 9.8 is quite good. I don't expect it to be as transparent as my Bryston BP26, but I do expect Audyssey to make an audible difference.

Since I'm limited to 2 channels, virtual surround has always been a feature I desire. I've been pleased with the SRS TruSurround that was in my Pioneer DVD player and now in my Denon 3910 player. The Samsung Blu-ray player I bought does not support any type of virtual surround, but the Integra 9.8 does.

BTW, the Samsung Blu-ray player nails the HQV Benchmark DVD video tests. My Denon 3910 did quite well on the tests (that's why I chose it over a Marantz DV7600), but the HQV Reon, as expected, does very well.
Kal, in referring to the Integra 9.8 in his last Music In the Round column, said “All processors have limited DSP capabilities, and the Integra DTC-9.8 cannot use Audyssey EQ with HD sources over 96 kHz”. To me, a critical point that’s never been discussed in this forum or any other forum that I am aware of.

Does this issue go away as you move up the price scale (faster DSP chips, more DSP chips)? Only knowing this would be a good argument for doing all the decoding in the BD player, leaving the prepro with enough capacity to handle the Audyssey equalization at 192kHz.

Would love to see Kal comment on this.

i have a question and you might have answered it already and I may not have understood. heres what I have experienced. I had a B&K ref 30 preamp with older software and it seemed to have conflicts with all blu ray players when I went through the coax inputs. i bought a ref 50 that had newer software and it seems to work fine. I'm thinking of going to a Krell hts 7.1 as well and am wondering if it will work as well as the ref 50 for blu rays I use a coax from the BD player to the preamp. I know none of these have HDMI and dont care about that at this point. or shoudl I just stick with my ref 50 and be happy.


Later, or more current, can mean better when it comes to digital playback.

The item as I see it here however isn't so much that, but more pointed towards the interface compatibility of two items.

The only thing you need to know here is IF the Krell can decode the high def audio signals input to it from a BR player... and if by coax.

Simple. Call Krell and ask them.

other wise, you would have to rely upon the processor in the player and connect via analog cables rather than digi ones.

My understanding of the newer BR codecs is that they are transmitted by 1.3A HDMI, or not at all... I could well be wrong about that however.

First things first... does the gizmo have the decoding abilities?What interface is required for transmission of the information into it's processor?

There after, considerations as to build, technology, power supplies, etc, will give you some better insights as to which way you would prefer to go in that respect.
thanks, called krell they said it would handle it. We will see after I buy one lol maybe i should hang on to my B&K.

just for an opinion, I do 2 ch audio and 5 ch HT is it the collective opinion that a pre amp can make that big a difference in audio ? I have BK amps at the moment considering going to krell amps as well?
Do confirm with Krell that their unit is HDMI 1.3 capable - anything else is already obsolete

This is the wrong place to ask if something makes a difference - there are people here who recommend misting a room for improved sound...

If you can afford to go all Krell you will be the envy of us all - but before you do maybe listen to the new pre with your B&Ks - lots of other things can also improve room sound including EQ and room treatment - or maybe a big honking sub LOL