Bitstreamed dts-HD Master Audio - the "bitstream bomb" - UPDATED (Onkyo fix)
The "Bitstream Bomb":
***See Post #8 for latest information
This issue has been documented in various places around the internet, including some reputable message boards. HDM players that bitstream dts-HD MA have, with certain movies, a demonstrated high volume pop through certain receivers. It will certainly wake up your neighbourhood and may damage your speakers. I haven't seen any confirmed cases of speaker damage reported, but there is a legitimate fear.
Movies known to have the problem:
* Golden Compass (BD)
* The Fly (BD)
* Chronos (BD)
* Fantastic Four (BD)
* Hannibal Rising (HD DVD)
* Close Encounters of the Third Kind (BD)
* Eagles Farewell Concert (HD DVD)
Typically it occurs only once per movie.
Receivers known to be susceptible to the problem:
* Onkyo 605, 705, 805, PR885
* Integra 8.8, 9.8
* Yamaha RX-V3800, RX-V1800
There has also been an isolated complaint of it happening with a Pioneer 91TXH.
The problem appears to be related to older encodes that were authored prior to dts upgrading their authoring suite to 1.5 (September 2007) or 1.51 (December 2007). There have been no complaints noted with newer releases such as I, Robot. Some internet reports quote dts as saying that they have revised their authoring suite to take into account the issues with the specific IC. However, dts themselves have said that isn't the case but have acknowledged the two upgrades to their authoring suite. It could be that, as a byproduct of those revisions, the particular prefect storm of circumstances (specific IC, implementation, and particular datastream) necessary to produce the "bitstream bomb" has been addressed.
Marantz and Denon AVR's use a different IC chip for bitstream processing and do not have the problem. Also, some new pressings of Fantastic Four are apparently re-encoded and do not have the problem.
A number of different players have been used that all exhibited the same problem: Toshiba HD-XA2 & HD-A35; Pioneer BDP-95FD; Panasonic BD-30; and Denon 3800. I have experienced it in Fanastic 4 at about the 4 minute 35 second mark with an LG BH200 bitstreamed to an Onkyo TX-SR805.
You may want to use a different audio codec for those discs noted above. I know a number of people have been waiting for the Panasonic BD-50 and the Sony S350 because of the bitstream ability, but if you have an affected receiver, you may want to rely on a unit with onboard decoding.
Onkyo is reportedly aware of the problem and looking into it. This does not affect TrueHD via bitstream, only dts-HD Master Audio.
Last edited by JohnnyCanuck; 2008-04-11 at 01:23 AM.