Blu-Ray and DVD-Audio disc setup information:
For best results (and your enjoyment) please read this page carefully (or download it as a PDF file for later reference) as it contains some important information on how to get the best from your discs.
Blu-Ray Player setup and optimization
All Blu-Ray players are capable of outputting high resolution lossless 5.1 surround sound but are often not set up properly to do so. This is because although manufacturers generally set up the factory defaults in such a way as to guarantee the player will output a picture no matter what it is connected to, this default setting will rarely be optimal precisely because it is set to work on all systems. Whilst this guide will definitely help, we highly recommend purchasing a proper calibration disc such as the Spears and Munsil "HD Benchmark" This disc has everything you need to properly set up and calibrate your system up to 7.1 surround, it is very easy to use and you will both see as well as hear the difference when you have finished.
If using an older style digital connection (CoAxial or TOSlink / Lightpipe) for your audio output, 5.1 surround sound is only available in DTS core audio or Dolby Digital (ac3) format. This is a restriction in the Blu-Ray specifications and such connections are therefore not recommended. To obtain the best sound quality either the player's analogue outputs should be used or else the players HDMI interface in one of the methods below:
- Analogue connection. This is the recommended setup for use with high-spec Universal players, such as the Oppo BDP-105. Simply connect the multichannel analogue outputs from your player directly to the multichannel analogue inputs of your amplifier. This ensures the purest possible audio path as all decoding is done in the player and output directly to the amplifier.
- Dual HDMI connection. If the analogue method is not possible, this is the next-best option. Connect HDMI 1 output to your HDTV and HDMI 2 output to your AV Amplifier, making sure to set the "Dual HDMI Output" option in "Setup Menu" to "Split AV" (this is all accessed in the Player "setup" option on it's remote)
- Single HDMI Connection - to get high resolution sound in this configuration requires an AV Amplifier with HDMI inputs and the AV amplifier can do the decoding - assuming it is correctly set up for high resolution audio and High Definition video at the same time.
RECOMMENDED PLAYER FIRMWARE SETTINGS
- DVD-Audio mode = set to "DVD-Audio" if available
- SACD Mode = set to "Multichannel" if available
- Autoplay and Auto Resume - set to taste, but autoplay disc is recommended. Auto Resume may annoy if primarily a music player
- Dual HDMI Output = set to "Split A/V" if available. Use HDMI 1 output for Display and HDMI 2 for Digital Audio Out
- TV Aspect Ratio = set to 16:9 Wide/Auto. This will pillarbox 4:3 footage instead of stretching it to fit
- TV System = set to "Multi-System" if your TV supports this - it must be capable of both PAL and NTSC for this to work. (most new ones are)
- DVD 24p Conversion = set to "off" as not all DVD are capable of this process, and motion errors may result on incompatible players
- HDMI Audio = set to either "AUTO" or "LPCM" - using "bitstream" passes everything to the amplifier, which may not be capable of the job.
We would recommend setting to "LPCM" and decoding all audio in the player but unless you have a high-spec AV Amplifier that can accept 5.1 audio in 24/96 PCM or DTS-HD MA or Dolby True HD and any and all variants, it is better to let the player decode what it can.
NB - If you use HDMI to connect audio to an HDMI AV receiver or Audio Processor, it is important that you choose 720p or higher HDMI Output resolution when playing high resolution audio content (DVD-Audio, SACD, Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio). According to the HDMI specification, the bandwidth available for audio is proportional to the total bandwidth used by video. At 480p/576p resolution, the HDMI specification can only support 2 channels of audio with high sample rate (up to 192kHz) or 8 channels of audio with standard sample rate (up to 48kHz).
If you play high resolution audio content at the 480p/576p resolution, you may get reduced audio resolution, incomplete audio channels, or even no audio/video output at all. Choosing a higher output resolution such as 720p or above allows enough bandwidth for all high sample rate audio channels
- CoAxial or Optical connections = these are legacy connections only and you do not need them to be there at all. Do NOT use
- Dolby DRC/Night-time modes = set to OFF or None
- Speaker Setup = set this according to your loudspeakers:
- Assuming you have full-range speakers, or else go to at least 60Hz (ideally lower) and all 5 are the same make and model, set this to "Large"
and then set up for your listening position remembering sound travels at roughly 1 foor per millisecond.
The general idea is to set up your speakers so the sound arrives from all of them at the same time where you are sitting and the odds are high you will have test tones in either your player or your amplifier. If you do not then you can get them from abluesky.com/support/blue-sky-calibration-test-files along with usage instructions. See also abluesky.com/category/support/setup-and-tech-info/ for more very useful info
To access Lossless 5.1 PCM surround sound, recommended settings are:
Analogue Multichannel outputs on your player connected to the multichannel analogue inputs of your amplifier (if available) or, via HDMI cable when set to "PCM/Auto" instead of the default "bitstream" in the settings>audio setup section of the player's menu (accessible via the remote control). Video output to at least 720p if using audio over HDMI. Set up the speaker and bass management correctly for your system - this is important and often overlooked.
Please ensure your amplifier is also correctly set up to receive lossless high resolution audio.
Playback on games consoles may be affected adversely if the machine had been modified with pirated or non manufacturer-approved firmware.
This disc is authored for headless (or screenless) operation. i.e. it will play automatically, just as a CD would or, as outlined below, with preferences chosen directly from the remote control, both options without the need for reference to onscreen menus if this is required. Please note that if CD style play is preferred, the disc will play without further user input only after it has loaded the menu options. Automatic play will commence once this process has been completed.
For user-selected play options: After disc loads, Press either ENTER (for immediate playback of DTS-HD MA 5.1 stream) or use the coloured buttons as follows:
- RED = DTS-HD MA 5.1 playback
- GREEN = LPCM 5.1 playback
- YELLOW = LPCM Stereo playback
The menu remote numbered buttons will control track selection during playback as well - press the numbered buttons to change track and the coloured buttons to change stream (where available).
This page is also freely available to download for future reference as a PDF file.
The information on this web page is for information only, and whilst all due care has been taken to ensure accuracy all information is for use at the owners risk and in no way does Opus Productions Ltd or any of it's clients accept any liability whatsoever for any damage caused by it's use.
Now we have got the nasty legals out of the way, a little more by way of a "thank you" for caring enough about high quality audio to have made it this far - we gotcha now, and you will thank us for it one day.
Should you run across any inconsistencies, contradictions or downright inaccuracies (which ought to be extremely rare) please let us know using info (at) opusproductions (dot) com and we shall correct it. We'd also like to hear about anything we may have left off, or things that can be improved - after all, the point of this guide is to get better quality sound from your equipment (the default settings are designed to get everyone started so they can tweak according to their add-on components) so please let us know any tricks or setup tweaks you may have found as well and we can add them here.