TVs & Home Theaters forum

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PCM or Bitstream?

by kenworbr / January 15, 2009 1:11 PM PST

I don't know the difference, and therefore don't know what to choose. Have Samsung DLP 50"; Cox DVR Cable; H/K Receiver; Panasonic BD-55 Blu-Ray; and Onkyo 5.1 surround system. Also, what if I have all of the above, but subtract the Onkyo for a 2.1 speaker system (2 large front speakers and a subwoofer)... does it make a difference what I choose- PCM or Bitstream?

Thank you

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(NT) I don't know the difference either but use the bitstream.
by ahtoi / January 15, 2009 5:29 PM PST
In reply to: PCM or Bitstream?
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PCM, for 5.1
by bearvp / January 15, 2009 10:38 PM PST
In reply to: PCM or Bitstream?

Your Panasonic BD55 will can decode the Blu-ray audio formats: TrueHD and DTS-MA and output them via PCM. Ideally, you would want to run a HDMI cable from your BD55 to your receiver (as long as your receiver accepts PCM via HDMI). Only do this if you are using a 5.1 system though, because usually when you run PCM to your receiver, it cannot be matrixed down to a 2.1 system.

If you go with the 2.1 system, I'd bitstream it and let your receiver matrix it to your 2.1 system. Maybe once you expand your better quality 2.1 system to a 5.1 system you can switch to PCM assuming your receiver does not decode the TrueHD/DTS-MA formats. If your receiver can decode those formats, then just do bitstream no matter what.

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