Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hi Rez on Oppo BDP-95

I'm very happy I can get 96kHz digital from the SPDIF output of my Oppo BDP-95 playing commercial DVD-Audio discs, like Hotel California and Rumours.  But is it the full 24 bits?  I was thinking I might do some kind of test to figure it out.  Not easy to do for various reasons, especially in the case the output might have 24 bit dither even if not 24 bit information.

Anyway, famous audio reviewer John Gatski has already done the tests.  Not only does the Oppo put out 96kHz, but it's also 24 bit, from the SPDIF output.  He used ATI ASDAC which has bit depth indicator to confirm.  The Oppo BDP-105 does not do this, it dumbs down the SPDIF output to 16/48 like most DVD-Audio players.  So what's with the BDP-95?  I think possibly the DVD-Audio consortium wasn't answering their phone when the BDP-95 was being designed.  But afterwards the RIAA got to them and told them never to do that again.  However even on BDP-105 you can get the full resolution stream from HDMI as well (which doesn't seem to be working in my system, possibly because I have programmed my matrix switch to only allow 2ch audio).

Now even if he used a bit rate meter, it wouldn't prove that the BDP-95 wasn't just dithering to 24 bits. However, if that were true, why didn't Oppo do that in the BDP-105?

So the best information that I have is that I'm getting the highest resolution my system can handle, 24/96, from the SPDIF output on my BDP-95 when I'm playing DVD-Audio.  The best of everything!

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