“Audiophiles Will Find The Addition of HDMI Transformative” Sound & Vision July 2014
If you’re a serious audiophile, its possible you missed adoption of Blu-ray Hi-Res Audio. First, its digital and you have an all analog system. Second, you are suspicious of the decoding/processing imposed by one of the two “lossless” compression codecs known as Dolby TruHD and DTS MasterHD. If these are cheap enough to include in a $299 AVR, how good can they be?
Whether decoding / post processing is done in the player or in a AVR/Pre-Pro, it turns out that its not really necessary to have these decoders to hear the uncompressed original LPCM 24/96-192K multi-channel soundtrack. What is necessary is the HDCP-protected HDMI v1.3 (or higher) connection, providing the data rate necessary for the transfer from the Blu-ray disc into your system, combined with a 24/192K 8 channel DAC.
When the original master recording is finished by the studio, its an uncompressed and unprocessed LPCM 24/96-192K 7.1 channel program. To save space on the Blu-ray for other video content, the soundtrack is compressed (encoded) by Dolby TruHD or DTS MasterHD lossless compression. When the compressed soundtrack is played back, it is automatically converted by the player to its original uncompressed LPCM form, the same unprocessed and uncompressed state it was in before it was put on the disc. Why?
LPCM is the universal language of Hi-Res digital sources for transfer to the downstream component. The LPCM version is too large to put on the disc, that’s why Dolby and DTS won approval as optional soundtracks for Blu-ray, their latest compression methods are able to be fully restored in post-processing, that’s why they are called “lossless”. With me so far?
The Essence™ Evolve© de-embeds the original uncompressed, unprocessed LPCM 24/96-192K 7.1 channel soundtrack from the Bitstream for conversion to analog without decoding by Dolby TruHD or DTS MasterHD. The LPCM version is the best version of the soundtrack, the original master recording in its raw form for playback on high performance systems.
For $249.95, you can add the ultimate digital surround capability of the
Evolve© to your otherwise excellent analog system.You don’t need a new preamp, you just need the HDMI v1.3 connectivity, LPCM de-embedding, and a great 8 channel DAC.