: DTS ES EX Matrix Decoding, Split from OPPO BDP-83 Thread.


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eljay
2010-04-08, 01:40 PM
After some discussion in this thread (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=87000&page=5) (starting at post #74) regarding issues with DTS Matrix decoding, I sent an e-mail to OPPO asking them if there are any plans for a firmware upgrade.

I purchased my BDP-83 a couple of months ago and I was surprised to find out last night that it won't decode the DTS-HD MA 6.1 Matrix audio track on the new "Lord of the Rings" BD release. A bit of Google searching shows that the inability to handle DTS Matrix decoding is a known issue with the BDP-83.

My Marantz SR6003 A/V receiver cannot simultaneously decode and apply Audyssey processing to HD audio, so I rely on my player to decode DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD audio and bitstream it to the receiver as LPCM.

Are there any plans for a firmware upgrade to the BDP-83 to address this issue?

In a very short time (I love the quick turn-around they have!), I got this reply:DTS ES and Dolby Digital EX decoding is something that we are investigating with our decoder manufacturer, but we do not know at this time if we will be able to add this technology to our current line of products.

My reply was as follows:Thanks for the quick reply. I appreciate that your company is looking into the matter. However, I am disappointed to know that the BDP-83 does not handle ES/EX, and that it may not be possible to upgrade its firmware so that it can handle it. ONe of the reasons I bought this player was because the specifications clearly state that it can handle DTS-HD MA (http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-83/):

"DTS-HD Master Audio delivers an auditory experience that matches the lifelike images of high-definition video with up to 7.1 channels that are bit-for-bit identical to the studio master. The BDP-83 supports bit-stream output of DTS-HD Master Audio. It can also internally decode DTS-HD Master Audio and output via HDMI or the 7.1ch analog audio output terminals."

There is no "proviso" in the specs to indicate that it cannot handle ES/EX. In fact, according to the DTS company website (DTS.com), the correct designation for a decoder that cannot handle Master Audio ES or ES Matrix is "DTS-HD Master Audio | Essential" (http://www.dts.com/Corporate/Press_Room/Press_Releases/2008/11/DTS_launches_a_variation_of_DTS-HD_Master_Audio.aspx).

I look forward to some positive news from OPPO regarding the resolution of this matter.

eljay
2010-04-08, 02:09 PM
And OPPO's reply:The player is DTS and Dolby Digital Essential only. It can bitstream all DTS and Dolby Digital formats, but it can only decode Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital TrueHD, DTS, DTS High Resolution and DTS-HD Master. It does not support any of the ES or EX formats for decoding at this time.Obviously I now know this. It would have been much more useful if the specs had actually, clearly stated the same thing.

dm_4u
2010-04-08, 02:56 PM
Perhaps I'm missing something here...but does it really matter where it's decoded?

Most consumers are going to run the BDP-83 through their A/V Receiver and if the Oppo can't decode ES/EX...then most newer Receivers certainly will do it for them.

Is this only an issue for people running Marantz Receivers?

eljay
2010-04-08, 03:08 PM
As I mentioned in post #278:My Marantz SR6003 A/V receiver cannot simultaneously decode and apply Audyssey processing to HD audio, so I rely on my player to decode DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD audio and bitstream it to the receiver as LPCM.If I forego the Audyssey processing then, yes, I can let the receiver do the decoding.

That being said, even though the receiver did identify the audio as Matrix - which I gathered from the fact that 7.1 speaker icons lit up on the front panel - there wasn't any audio coming out the back speakers unless I selected a processing mode. This should not be the case, but for some reason that's how it played out with the LOTR discs.

dm_4u
2010-04-08, 03:27 PM
It would be interesting to find out if the BDP-83 works (as in passes thru properly the ES/EX audio) with other receivers.

57
2010-04-08, 03:30 PM
No reason it shouldn't - just a bunch of bits, so no "processing" is required in the BD player. I don't have any DTS-ES/EX to try.

eljay
2010-04-08, 03:31 PM
In the thread I linked to in post #278, cfraser ran a few tests with his BDP-83 hooked up to Denon receivers. They detected the flag in the bitstreamed audio and sent sound to the back speakers.

My Marantz is supposed to do the same thing but for some reason it didn't. I'm going to try out T2 on BD to see if it's a general issue or something peculiar having to do with the LOTR discs.

bolmsted
2010-04-08, 03:40 PM
Why can't you do decoding and Audyssey at the same time? Does it state this in the documentation somewhere?

eljay
2010-04-08, 03:42 PM
It's in the manual, I've ready about it on-line and I have actually tried it out: Bitstream the HD audio, no Audyssey; send HD as LPCM, Audyssey is available.

(The receiver is able to decode and apply Audyssey to all non-HD audio.)

Anyway, that's off-topic for this thread. My point was that one of my main reasons for buying the BDP-83 is that it appeared to handle ALL HD audio, and not just DTS-HD MA | Essential (and the Dolby equivalent).

cfraser
2010-04-08, 05:43 PM
^ So, in your case, you have hit the imperfect storm: a BDP that's fussy about how it puts out audio in some cases, and an AVR that's fussy about how it processes audio in those cases. Audyssey is hard to give up once you've heard it done decently. Bummer, and you are right to point out that Oppo should be a tad more specific in their specs (Marantz is pretty clear *in the manual* about their limitation), but a tiny bit in Oppo's defense, and I'm not making excuses, just about nobody knows what DTS-HD MA|Essential means. [But we all remember now. :)] Or Dolby Digital Plus, and the odd other one that had limited application (yes, I know some were big into HD-DVD, but...).

What is odd is that the BDP-83 handles DTS-HD MA 7.1 perfectly, whether decoding or bitstreaming. At the very least the Oppo should *display* on the info screen (not the front panel) what the true audio track format is, presuming it can. I speculated in the "other" thread that it gets its info from the decoded bitstream, and thus can't tell it's DTS-HD MA 5.1 ES if we accept its hardware can't decode that and thinks it's regular 5.1. The other more "conspiratorial" side would be that Oppo is hiding the fact that it can't decode it, and it knows it's 5.1 ES, but doesn't tell you on-screen so you're less likely to notice the discrepancy/limitation (kind of a reach...). This is a slight nuisance for the many who bitstream and may not be able to normally see the actual format as displayed by their AVR's front panel, and thus may engage some "unnecessary" Neo6/ES/PLIIx/z processing for the backs, not knowing there's already a discrete (but probably derived anyway) channel there for them (I've done this before when going strictly by what the Oppo displays on-screen).

Players (and AVRs even when bitstreaming) not handling the EX (especially) or ES flags properly for decoding is an old story from the DVD days...

eljay
2010-04-08, 06:05 PM
Yup, a "perfect storm" it is. Worse still, I just finished trying out T2:Skynet Edition - whose DTS-HD MA 6.1 track I presume to be Discrete, given that there's no mention of "Matrix" on either the package or on Blu-ray.com - and the Marantz, which is supposed to be able to handle Discrete 6.1 HD audio, didn't. With the audio bitstreamed from the OPPO, all 7.1 icons light up, but the display showed 6.1 and there was no audio (except for a very slight hiss) from the rear surrounds until I added processing. (5.1 and 7.1 HD audio, though, work perfectly.)

So, ummm, I guess that's that. :) When I get a chance, I'll hook up the Sony BDP-S350 and see what happens. But that has nothing to do with this thread, so it's "over and out" for me.

supervij
2010-04-08, 10:51 PM
I'm using multichannel analog outs for all HD codecs, but since the player itself cannot decode the EX/ES, I guess I'm stuck as well. Curses! But thanks, eljay, for letting us know about this issue. Here's hoping Oppo will be able to fix it via firmware update!

Off topic, but I wonder why the BDs were released as 5.1 EX/ES instead of 6.1 or 7.1. Woulda made life for us (or at least, me and eljay) a lot easier!

cheers,
supervij

bolmsted
2010-04-09, 10:38 AM
Perhaps because that was the way the sound tracks were recorded. They don't have 7.1 discrete channels on the sound track and ES/EX is an extension to the 5.1 standard to add in more information to be played on the other channels.

cooper83
2010-04-09, 10:51 AM
Off topic, but I wonder why the BDs were released as 5.1 EX/ES instead of 6.1 or 7.1.

I guess I don't fully understand. They're listed as DTS-HD MA 6.1 (and play as such on my PS3). Is 5.1 EX/ES just another way of saying that the rear channel is matrixed? As opposed to 6.1 Discrete? Are the discs listed incorrectly?

Can the Oppo decode a DTS-ES Discrete channel?

eljay
2010-04-09, 11:24 AM
EX/ES is a way of saying 6.1. The LOTR package clearly states "Matrixed", while T2 doesn't, yet the OPPO cannot decode either. It can, however, decode DTS-ES Discrete/Matrix and DD EX.

(As far as DTS HD decoding is concerned, any device - like the OPPO - whose decoding capability is rated as DTS-HD Master Audio | Essential cannot decode the following: DTS | 96 /24, ES, ES Matrix, and Neo: 6 (http://www.dts.com/Corporate/Press_Room/Press_Releases/2008/11/DTS_launches_a_variation_of_DTS-HD_Master_Audio.aspx).)

cooper83
2010-04-09, 11:31 AM
Ahh, so the kicker is how it handles HD audio codecs, gotcha.

I'll have to test out my T2:Skynet when I get home, and read the LOTR packaging more carefully.

Tezster
2010-04-09, 11:40 AM
You guys are confusing me :p

My undestanding of DTS-HD Master Audio | Essential is that its lack of support for ES/ES Matrix/Neo:6 also applies to the lossy (DVD) DTS codecs i.e. not just the lossless DTS HD variety.

cfraser
2010-04-09, 11:55 AM
^ That's what Oppo said: no EX/ES matrixed period. Don't make me have to go and test this... :)

eljay
2010-04-09, 11:58 AM
I'm pretty certain that the "Essential" thing applies to HD audio decoding only, and that it can decode lossy ES/EX audio. Something to double-check tonight.

-- Edit --
Hmmm...I just noticed on pg. 23 of the owner's manual that there are two audio settings available in the initial "Quick Set-up" wizard: COMPATIBLE and ADVANCED. The manual states that ADVANCED... ... configures audio output to send the original main audio content to a connected receiver for decoding and reproducing.I wonder if I've got my player set to COMPATIBLE. Something else to check tonight... :)

cfraser
2010-04-09, 12:09 PM
^ "Advanced" just means bitstreamed, dumbed down. Compatible means compatible with "old stuff" (AVRs that don't decode HD audio etc.). I'll look up what the "Essential" thing truly means, like I said before it's a term almost no-one uses and thus knows what it means since you almost never see it. Until now.

Edit: what's on the DTS site is confusing, no wonder Tezster is confused. According to the DTS site, DTS-HD MA|Essential *does* decode ES for BDs, it just doesn't do it when it's on DVDs. Exactly what he said, but not what Oppo said (what Oppo said appears to be observable FACT with the BDP-83 though). WTF?? Oppo may have actually NOT fully implemented Essential then, why they don't use that term in their advertising/blurbs. EX is a Dolby thing anyway, so we won't see that mentioned on a DTS site obviously.