Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA on PS3

Recently I purchased a new home theatre set up, complete with a receiver that is capable of all the latest and greatest HD audio formats. As I already had a PS3 and Bluray had won its war of attrition against HD-DVD I figured it was also time to start a Bluray disc movie library.

So I ran out and picked up Spiderman 3. Wow, Bluray is real cool, and not just because the PS3 OSD tells me that its playing at 30mbit. Unfortunately I have one of the older generation “fake 20 p” HD TVs, so I don’t get the full 1080p awesomeness that this Bluray disc taunts me with as I peruse the back cover.

However.

I figure I can more than make up for my perceived visual impotence with my new sound penis extension. And my self worth was re-established once I hooked up the digital optical out from my PS3 into my new Yamaha amp. Partially. Yeah it was fantastic sound. And yeah, the neighbours three doors down were impressed. But it wasn’t as 100% totally unreal as my poor cochleas had hoped. My amp was saying “Dolby Digital 5.1″ as was the OSD from the PS3 on the TV – DD 5.1?? That’s old school man… I’d started to feel like I was back in the 90′s.

So how do you get the little light on the player to say Dolby TrueHD or DTS-MA? This had now gone further than the simple pursuit of the best sound possible – audio purist style. No, this was now about getting that bloody light on my amp to give it up and tell my how HD my audio was!! Pffth, who cares about the high quality audio, I want the friggen icon!

Step 1. Confirm the PS3 can do these awesome new formats that I have never seen/heard of but really really want for some reason. Yes it does, its plastered all over the box… excellent sign.

Step 2. Reseach my predicament. First stop, Yamaha manual. Turns out, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA and other lossless codecs with bitrates higher than the entire Internet 10 years ago don’t work over optical. You need HDMI 1.3a or better. Lucky the PS3 has said HDMI ability. Problem: I only have one HDMI cable, going from PS3 to TV. So I hook up ebay and grab another… now I have HDMI coming out every orifice of my body. Excellent. BTW they charge about $70 or more for HDMI cable in local stores (Australia) – I got mine for $20 delivered from HK and it took under a week – yaay, operation big success.

Step 3. Why the hell isn’t it working still?????? Dammit, I had to pull my amp out *AGAIN* to fit this damn cable, and each time I do a random speaker becomes disconnected and various other really annoying stuff happens.Dammit, dammit dammit. Still DD 5.1. WTF? I’m so meant to be in TrueHD heaven right now (not that I knew what TrueHD even sounded like at this stage).

Step 4. Forums. Sony forums. Anyone who has ever read a Sony PS3 forum knows that this is pure hell. My first experience was when I really *needed* to get DLNA working after patch something.something. The first question is usually good, but all bets are off after that – it quickly degenerates into words like “Fanboi” and “PS3/Xbox/Atari 2600 sucks” and various other crap that I seriously don’t want to deal with in my seemingly endless pursuit of TrueHD! It’s kind of like ASP.NET forms where they have questions like “How to make ASPnets sites of the web. Please answer” or “Want to make gamez, what do i need to dlz”.

Anyway, I digress. Long story short PS3 does have TrueHD and other HD audio format abilities, its just that it cannot output them in a raw format (bitstream). So what you have to do is go into the Bluray settings in the PS3 settings menu, and select PCM. PCM is a base digital format which is lossless and all the other good stuff you simply must have these days if you are ever to have sex again (or for you audiophiles out there, for the first time). The PS3 internally transcodes the TrueHD etc to PCM. Once this setting is enabled, the OSD on the TV says TrueHD!! Yaay.

But dammit, no little light on my amp! All I get is PCM, seriously I feel like its in Windows 95 WAV format… I quickly shrivled. Hey its cold out.

As it turns out you cannot make the PS3 output the HD audio signal for decoding in your precious new amp. It must do it internally. Ah, crap… they (white coats) assure me that the PCM conversion is also lossless – big whoop. I want my bloody light. I’m over it. This sucks, and I’m severely disappointed – it would have been easier so enable the light using a soldering iron. I’m gonna watch some Spidey using crap PCM.

I sit down with a coke and some popcorn in my disgustingly small living room with my equally disgustingly overpowered home theatre system. Man I’m pissed, maybe a little too much so. As the thoughts of my little TrueHD light’s impotence slowly leave my tired mind, the sand man starts doing some really cool stuff and i soon realise -

OMG – WOW it sounds good…

F@&^ the light.

Edit: I think PS3 doesn’t support DTS-MA? Whenever I put my Bluray movie into DTS-MA mode, it shows up as DTS 1.5 mbit in the PS3 OSD?

147 Responses to Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA on PS3

  1. robert says:

    you don’t need dolby trueHD when you have blu ray. pcm is the same thing. its all in the coding. only hd dvd players needed trueHD because of compression concerns (like there wasn’t enough space on an HD DVD disk). read up on it a little more and you’ll see what i’m talking about. i don’t feel like explaining it.

  2. jakkaj says:

    You are correct – from my article:

    Long story short PS3 does have TrueHD and other HD audio format abilities, its just that it cannot output them in a raw format (bitstream). So what you have to do is go into the Bluray settings in the PS3 settings menu, and select PCM.

  3. Merryxq says:

    thats it, brother

  4. Jakenz says:

    Brilliant… love your write up… I can see one certainly needs a sense of humour to navigate through all the format/configuration cr*p without losing it!

    @ Robert: I’m not convinced it’s quite as straightforward as you make out re PCM v True HD etc. See for e.g. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=10271234

  5. Robert says:

    I just wrote here to say DTS-HD MA is coming to Sony PLAYSTATION 3 on the 15th April :-)! Source? Sony themselves.

    “I have more good news to report today – the system software update will also add DTS-HD Master Audio output for Blu-ray videos, which means the high-definition visuals of Blu-ray will now be matched with the highest quality audio for the ultimate movie-watching experience on PS3.

    DTS-HD Master Audio is literally bit-for-bit identical to the studio master recording and makes movie soundtracks and sound effects truly come to life. The technology delivers audio at the incredibly high rate of 24.5 mega-bits per second (Mbps) on Blu-ray disc, which is significantly higher than standard DVDs. DTS-HD Master Audio also offers 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency/24 bit depths, so you’ll be totally immersed in the sound. The firmware update will add DTS-HD High Resolution Audio as well, which is a similar output technology that requires less disc space. You can read more about both codecs here.

    A lot of you, particularly the home theatre enthusiasts and audiophiles out there, have been asking us for this capability, and we can’t wait until you have an opportunity to pop in a compatible Blu-ray video to test it out for yourself.”

    http://blog.us.playstation.com/2008/04/10/firmware-v230-details-and-store-walkthrough/

  6. CptGreedle says:

    THe PS3 internally decodes TrueHD to PCM. Bit for bit it is the same, identical. It will sound the same.
    Starting on April 15th, the latest upgrade to the PS3 will allow it to do the same with DTS-HD MA. It will internally decode DTS-HD MA and stream it to the receiver via PCM, again bit for bit the same.
    So the sound is all there, just the codec is different.
    Be sure to upgrade your PS3 on the 15th!

  7. jakkaj says:

    Fantastic news!

  8. [...] previous post detailed my trials and tribulations about Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA (https://jakkaj.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/dolby-truehd-and-dts-hd-ma-on-ps3/)… looks like the latest PS3 update (2.30) has added DTS-MA decoding to the PS3 OS. Or 2.20, I [...]

  9. jakkaj says:

    Raa, how do I delete my own ping back :)

  10. Alouda says:

    I had one of the best laughs, reading Jordan’s trials and tribulations about Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA. I’ve updated my PS3 with the latest 2.30 firmware and I still can’t get my Onkyo 605 amp to show the DTS-HD light while playing a Blu Ray disc with DTS-HD audio. I’m so pissed off and I wonder Jakkay if you have had any luck with those lights! I’m not sure if I’m listenning to true DTS-HD?!!! Like you, I won’t be convinced until I see the DTS-HD lit up on my amp

  11. jakkaj says:

    Hi Alouda,

    You won’t see the light on your amp unfortunately as the PS3 outputs the raw PCM stream (so although it is DTS audio coming out, it’s already been decoded for the amp). You can however confirm that the PS3 is processing in DTS HD-MA by pressing the select button and looking in the top right hand corner of your TV (during playback).

    Cheers.

  12. Fraser says:

    Forgive my simpleness, but is what you are saying is set my p3 to PCM, let it do all the work and I’ll get the best sound output by the blu-ray disc (after I have chosen the highest quality audio track), even though my RX (Yamaha RX-V1800) wont show it.

  13. jakkaj says:

    Hi Fraser,

    You are correct – the PS3 does all the work for your amp. It takes the DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD audio data and converts it into a “PCM” stream – see here for more info on PCM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCM.

    Other Blueray players may not decode the DTS-HD MA or TrueHD internally, they will output it as a raw bitstream, which will then cause your amp to decode it internally, and show the little light which indicates that this format is being played.

    The end result is that you get exactly the same audio auality and features (7.1, sound quality etc) when the PS3 does the decoding, but you do not get the light on your amp :)

    The good news here is for those who have amps that support PCM but not DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD… with the PS3 decoding the format internally they too can enjoy the new formats!

    • Luis says:

      The thing is that i don’t receive anithyng from the ps3.Eaven when setting to PCM or Bitstream the dolby true-hd and dts-hd sound apears has dolby digitas or dts on my yamaha rx-v1800 dts-hd nor dolby true-hd ligths apears on my receiver and thst wont be a problem if just reproduce the sound like it shoud be but i know those formats are 7.1 and my receiver shows only 5 speakers working.Then i go to the ps3 manual and find out that all 7.1 sound will be decode has 5.1 so it will accept the dts-hd and dolby true-hd but will downgrade them to dts and dolby digital.By the way i don’t know about the 40 or 80 ps3 gig but that happens in the 60 (first generation ps3) the one i have.Is there a solution?

  14. Fraser says:

    My god you must be my side of the world I’ve never had such a fast reply.
    Anyway thanks for that I was so confused. I only got my RX a week ago and like you I was try to get all the lights to show up. I just tested out what you said in your previos post and I’m now listening to Queen Live in Montreal in all it’s glory.

    Thanks again for your assistence

  15. jakkaj says:

    My pleasure – enjoy!

  16. Szarky says:

    Wow, I’ve just spent the last 2-3 days researching what kind of receiver to get and I find this amazing little article and comment section with so much information. I would really appreciate anyones opinion as I am also like most of you in need for the LATEST, GREATEST. I’ve found a good deal on ebay for a Onkyo SR605 and I’m wondering is this receiver “overkill”. What made me want this receiver was that it had HDMI 1.3 which my PS3 also has. But now I find out it doesn’t output it as a raw bitstream. So, am I smart to “future proof” my system with the SR605? I have Pioneer 4360 plasma(hdmi 1.1, max. res. 1080i) and HD cable box(2-1/2 years old so probably hdmi 1.1) and 60GB PS3 (hdmi 1.3). It’ll honestly be quite hard for anyone to change my mind since I can get it for such a good deal but I would still love to hear some input.

  17. Szarky says:

    Taken from a review on the SR605 at cnet.com: “While the video performance of the TX-SR605 was disappointing, in our experience subpar video processing by AV receivers is common.” This has me very worried. Should I just scrap the idea of a HDMI receiver all together and run my HDMI cables directly to the TV and audio to the receiver with optical cable. My biggest concern is losing quality of video which is unacceptable to me. What to do, what to do…

  18. jakkaj says:

    Hi Szarky,

    Firstly, as the quote suggests they tend to say this about most AV receivers. Have a look at one running in your local retailer and see for yourself (that’s always the best way).

    Second (and this is very important) – you cannot run the HD formats over optical – they only work over HDMI and other newer connections like (DisplayPort ??). Optical is good up to 5.1 DTS and Dolby Digital.

  19. jakkaj says:

    Oh, and with regards to your great price – although I’ve not seen the Onkyo SR605 in action, Onkyo is a good brand (for mid range) and they look great on the shelf in the store! If the price is right I don’t see how you can go wrong. That said, as in my previous comment, have a look at a HD movie playing on a decent TV in the store to set your worries aside before you purchase… from experience there is nothing worse than a regretful purchase!

  20. Szarky says:

    Thanks jakkaj.

    After more research I’ve convinced myself not to buy from ebay as I found on Onkyo’s website your warranty is only valid if you buy from a authorized retailer. It went on to say that specifically non authorized web site sellers will void your warranty. It turns out the Onkyo 606 is at a store near by and is selling for a decent price. However, the Pioneer 1180 is coming out this summer so I think I’ll wait and see what the reviews are for that.

  21. jakkaj says:

    Sweet, thanks for the info RE Onkyo warranty policy. Chuck us a comment when you lay your hands on a new Pioneer review!

  22. Dylan says:

    If it’s sending out the signal via PCM, would a slightly older receiver that doesn’t natively support Dolby TrueHD actually produce this type of sound output? Or does this mean to experience TrueHD or the DTS equiv. that one would need to replace their receiver with a model that has these features?

  23. Jordan says:

    Hi Dylan,

    I am by no means a professional in this area so another reader may be able to correct me, but I beleive that the answer is yes – if an older receiver supports PCM (and obviously 7.1 etc for the full shebang) then you should get the higher bitrate quality. You can still get a great improvement from a 5.1 set up however – that’s what I do (I don’t have anywhere near enough room for *any* more crap in my living room:)).

  24. Brian says:

    If you want your Onkyo to output TrueHD or DtsHD go into the PS3 Blu-Ray Disc audio output menu and select PCM instead of bitstream and then you will see that magic ” HD ” pop up in your display.. in essence you are allowing PS3 to losslessly expand the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack into pure multi-channel PCM for decoding by your receiver. I to ran into this with my Onkyo 805.. hope this helps.

  25. Dylan says:

    Jordan, and all…

    I gave this a try today and managed to get it working exactly the way I expected it should. Even though my Denon AVR-3806 doesn’t specifically support DTS HD-MA, it’s showing “multi channel in” and AL24 as well… the PS3 status is showing DTS MA-HD 5.1 (I’m testing it on Eregon- I don’t own many BD’s yet).

    Anyway, the PS3 definitely decodes these high quality audio options before sending them through to your receiver, so if you can set it up properly, you can enjoy the sound even if your receiver doesn’t specifically.

    It definitely sounds nice. Hard to discern any difference between this and the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 without actually comparing the two back to back, but I’m happy with the setup.

    Now all I need to do is buy another HDMI cable as I stole the one for my HD box to test this ;)

    • Dan says:

      Hi Dyaln

      I have an Onkyo 876, i believe it supports all the HD sound formats. I have tried playing Blue Ray Movies and getting the HD sound, i am using a PS3 as my player. For some reason it doesnt come up with DTS HD-MA on my front screen on the reciever. How can i find out if it is actually out putting a HD sound. I noticed youv’ve stated that the magic HD-MA pops up on the display? what display is that.

  26. Jordan says:

    Fantastic Dylan… thanks for confirming our suspicions!

  27. Chams says:

    Hi All,

    I am new to High Definition too. Recently I bought a Pioneer VSX LX70 receiver. And trust me I paid a decent price for it. I have an 80 GB PS3 hooked up to the new receiver via HDMI. My PS3 is updated with firmware 2.35 version. And my PS3 is set to Linear PCM.

    Question 1
    When I play a Blu Ray Movie (Day After Tomorrow) which has DTS HD MA, my receiver shows PCM. But when I change my PS3 to Bitstream and plays the same movie my receiver shows DTS. So which one is better?

    Question 2
    When I played “Shoot’Em Up” Blu Ray Movie, which has 7.1 Audio. My receiver shows PCM.

    Question 3
    Have I made a mistake by buying a high end receiver?

    Desperately looking for some help and feedback!

    Cheers
    Chams

  28. Jordan says:

    Hi Chams,

    I’ve seen the LSX70 around, you’ve made a great choice I think.

    Regarding your question – PCM mode on your stereo is fine, the real indicator is when watching a movie on the PS3, press the Select button and look for the audio output type in the top right. This tells you what the PS3 is outputting. Setting to bitstream means the output is limited to DTS (Normal) or Dolby Digital 5.1.

    This is a limitation of the PS3, but all said and done the output sounds identical – just the PS3 decodes it and outputs as PCM, rather than outputting it directly to your receiver to do the heavy lifting.

    So fear not, your purchase was a good one (a great one!) so go enjoy it!!

    Jordan.

    (formerly jakkaj)

  29. Chams says:

    Hi Jordan,

    Many thanks for your swift and prompt response. I feel much relived now :)

    I have one more clarification…. now I know even though my receiver plays DTS HD MA it indicates PCM. I can live with that as I don’t lose any quality. The issue is when PCM is displayed the Surround Back Speakers are not indicating on my receiver. But it still output sounds though. I have done all the connections properly and my surround back speakers are set to ‘ON’ position.

    Is this normal because I am using a PS3? Or am I missing anything here?

    Cheers,
    Chams

  30. Jordan says:

    Hi Chams,

    I’m not qualified to say why that is happening sorry, I haven’t used an LX70 before… I guess main point is that they *are* working :). I’ll check my receiver over the weekend to see weather my SB speakers are lit up.

    Jordan.

  31. Chams says:

    Jordan,

    Thanks. I pressed ‘selcet’ when i was playing a blu ray movie – ‘Day after tomorrow’ and on my plasma it shows DTS HD MA 5.1.

    By the way i thought DTS HD MA is 7.1 always? May be I misunderstood.

    But when I played ‘Shoot’Em up’ it shoes DTS MA 7.1 :)

    Regards,
    Chams

  32. Jordan says:

    You could probbably check this out on Wikipedia, but I beleive DTS-HD MA supports any amount of channels *up to* 7.1 – just because its DTS-HD MA doesn’t automatically ensure 7.1 audio.

  33. Chams says:

    Hi Jordan,

    Did you managed to check whether SB speaker indicaters lit up during playback on PS3 under PCM?

    I was dissapointed with Shoot’Em Up sounds. It indicates 7.1 audio, but i don’t think that’s the case. In fact it was mentioned in few reviews too.

    By the way can you or any reader can reccomend a few Blu Ray’s with excellent 7.1 sounds, if not the best?

    Cheers,
    Chams.

  34. Jordan says:

    Hi Chams,

    I’m sorry I’ve not had a chance to check this yet, hopefully I will later on in the week!

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

  35. Alex Angel says:

    I have an Onkyo 805 and anew PS3 with FW 2.35. I had a Blu Ray that had Tru HD but couldn’t get the light either on the receiver.
    Some mentioned that they did by switching to PCM. Is this true?

  36. Jordan says:

    Hi Alex,

    Enabling PCM on the PS3 means that your PS3 converts the TrueHD or DTS-HD MA into a raw format before sending to your amp. This means that the end result is the same (awesome sound from your speakers) but alas no indicative light on your amplifier. This is because the PS3 is handling the decoding, and your amp is just playing it as it sees it (PCM).

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

  37. Alex Angel says:

    Thanks Jordan. So It seems with the new FW update it defaults to PCM.

  38. Chams says:

    Jordan,

    Over the weekend I bought the new Rambo Blu Ray, and it has 7.1 audio and guess what it worked perfectly and the SB lights also did work. The issue was with the earlier Blu Ray (Shoot’Em Up). Even though it states 7.1 it does not output 7.1. Problem with the BD.

    I have a new question. Recently I bought a HDMI DVD player. But I was dissapointed with the sounds on this using a HDMI cable to my receiver. Should i use Optical for audio or HDMI?

    Alex – your SB light will work only for 7.1 Blu Ray movie (try Rambo 4) played on PS3.

    Cheers,
    Chams

  39. Jordan says:

    Hi Chams,

    I’m pretty sure that optical/coax digital doesn’t have the bandwidth to support the newer HD audio formats, so HDMI is your only option!

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

  40. Nate says:

    Jordan,

    I think Chams was talking about an upconvert. He seems to already have a BD Player. I don’t know why he’d have bought an upconvert player, since the PS3 and other Blu-Ray Players upconvert.

    But to clarify in any respect, HDMI is the best for a Blu-Ray player in terms of audio. Just a plain ol’uUpconvert, you may be fine using HDMI for video and optical for audio.

  41. Chams says:

    Hi Jordan, Alex,

    For Blu Ray I am using my PS3. So no issue with that. My question is….. i bought a new DVD player with HDMI out to watch my DVD’s because my PS3 supports only Region 3 dvd’s.

    The question is….. I felt the audio quality is poor when I connected the DVD player to the receiver using an HDMI cable.

    Does it make sense to connect the receiver and DVD using HDMI? Because there are no DVD’s with the new audio formats (HD MA & True HD) or 7.1 channel?

    My expectation is to improve the audio quality between the DVD player and the receiver. And not the PS3 & receiver.

    Regards,
    Chams

  42. Chams says:

    Oops Sorry,

    I wanted to address my earlier post to Jordan and Nate.

    Cheers,
    Chams

  43. Jordan says:

    Hey Chams,

    Although I’ve never tried it, I can’t imagine that HDMI would have a lower Dolby Digital / DTS quality than the older digital media. That said, given you are “only” playing DVD’s, then it won’t hurt – so if it doesn’t sound as good to you with HDMI, then go for classic digital!

    Cheers,

    Jordan

  44. Raven says:

    Hey Jordan,

    First, great thread. Havnt had a great laugh in days.

    The question:
    I ve got a Onkyo 606 receiver with a ps 3 and a 7.1 kef speaker set.

    I looked at a few of my bd’s and saw that they supported dts hd 5.1. So i was watching a movie and set my receiver on multichannel. The sound was perfect !!! But only 5 of my 7 speakers were working. So i set my receiver on neo dts and all the speakers worked but i noticed that the sound was not as good as before. Is this because the bd only supports 5.1 dts hd ?? How can i get the same quality sound as the 5.1 but than through 7.1 ?? What is the best setting on my receiver 2 watch bd (multichannel, neo dts or another ??)
    What is the best setting on the bd self (uncompressed or dts or dd or another one )
    And my last question: What are the best settings for the ps3 (sound and video) for watching bd ?

    Thanks m8 !!

  45. Jordan says:

    Hi Raven!

    First – I can’t tell you too much about your Onkyo receiver as I’ve not played with one, but I’m happy to point you in the right direction.

    I’m guessing that the reason you only had 5.1 channels in the normal mode was that it was replicating the sound source exactly as it came from the receiver. I’m unfamiliar with the “Neo” mode, but I’m guessing it’s doing some kind of sound processing and “faking” the other channels. The only way to get real 7.1 audio is through HDMI from a Bluray disc with a 7.1 audio track.

    Most standalone Bluray players will have the ability to output the DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD in “bitstream”… this is the best option IMHO – *however*… with PS3 this is not the best option as it cannot output HD formats in bitstream – it must be in PCM. Herein lies your answer, HDMI PCM is the best setting for HD audio from the PS3.

    As I always suggest, have a play around with the settings and find something that suits you. If you are like me for a start it will be hard to get over the fact that your receiver isn’t showing the HD light (DTS-HA MA or Dolby TrueHD)… but after a few minutes of an awesome HD BD movie then you quickly get over it, and get into the flick!

  46. Raven says:

    Hey Jordan

    Thnx for the quick reply. Awesome dude !!!

    So the best settings for the ps3 is hdmi pcm. And if the blu ray supports 7.1 i can use the normal settings of the receiver to get the rear speakers 2 work. A little disappointing is that most of the bd’s doesnt support 7.1.
    However the quality im getting from 5.1 dts hd is great.

    A possible advice would be to get a bd player that supports bitstream ?? But still the bd has to support dts hd 7.1 right ?

    Thnx !!

  47. Jordan says:

    Hey Raven,

    Sorry, I cannot recommend anything – I havn’t even used a stand-alone player yet! Terrible I know… when you find something be sure to come back and comment!

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

  48. blocboy says:

    You guys seem to know what your talking about :) Can you help me with this?…
    Got my Sony STR-DA5300es couple of weeks ago, and overall am really happy, but there is one thing that bugs me:
    It doesn’t seem possible to use HDMI for a video feed whilst simultaneously using alternative digital imput (ie. optical) to relay the audio signal from the source producing the video. Not a problem with my PS3 – it uses HDMI for both video & audio – including the lossless codecs of course! But the morons over at sky and microsoft have thrown a spanner in the works: whilst both perpetrators use HDMI for video and 2ch audio (Sky HD & Xbox360elite) they can only output DD5.1 via Optical. Not the end of the world in Sky HD case, as the 5300es has SAT/CATV component video in paired with Optical audio connection – and as the Sky HD only has a maximum picture quality of 1080i the loss is negligible.
    But with the 360elite being 1080p capable, to maximise signal qualities I have to connect via HDMI from 360 to TV for video, and optical from 360 to 5300es?!? Obviously not ideal! Or is there another way?
    Can anyone see a better way of connecting everything?
    Many thanks for any imput!
    Regards, blocboy.

  49. Jordan says:

    Hey blocboy,

    I’m sorry I cannot offer any specific assistance other than this: I know of no way to split and join HDMI and Digital Optical signals between sending from source and reception at receiver… my only real advice is to keep on truckin’ until you find a solution that fits. I mean who doesn’t love mucking around with all that cool gear anyway!

    Jordan.

  50. Jordan says:

    Just a quick note, if you are in Australia Zazz has a four port HDMI switch available today only for $38.70 + $5.90 shipping.

    http://www.zazz.com.au/index.php.

    Enjoy!

    Jordan.

  51. Chams says:

    Hi Jordan,

    I am planning on loading linux to my PS3. Any idea which version of linux I should opt for?

    Or should I not consider loading linux?

    Cheers,
    Chams

  52. Jordan says:

    Hi Chams,

    I haven’t looked into it for a while – last time I looked the options where pretty slim – the only offering from Yellow Dog: http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/products/ydl/.

    There could be others now so have a bit of a Google.

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

  53. Nic says:

    Hi Jordan

    Just bought a Yamaha RX-V663 this weekend and hooked it up to my PS3.
    Best way to feed blu ray audio is through hdmi/pcm..yes?
    When i feed a dvd with a dolby digital ex soundtrack it doest,nt light up as dx or when i feed a true hd that doesnt either,what am i doing wrong

    Regards

    Nic

  54. Jordan says:

    Hey Nic,

    You are doing nothing wrong… when in PCM mode it will not indicate the actual format that the PS3 is playing, it will only say “PCM” (depending on receiver model).

    Rest assured it’s still outputting the correct format, just the PS3 is decoding it internally and outputting PCM – so your amp only sees PCM. The end result is the identical sound!

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

  55. Nic says:

    Thanks Jordan for the quick reply.In regards to the Dolby Digital EX issue.How do i get the extra back channels to my speakers when in PCM.
    And why cant the PS3 output raw bitstream to the amp

    Cheers Jordan
    Nic

  56. Jordan says:

    Hi Nic,

    Sorry for the slow reply this time :)

    Basically they should work! If the disc you are playing has the channels then in PCM mode the PS3 should be outputting all the channels and your system should be working.

    Have you tried the sound test option on your amplifier?

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

  57. Dave says:

    Hi Nic,

    Your Yamaha 663 has all the lossless Bluray decoders built in, hence you should be able to do either methods, PCM(PS3 decodes) or Bitstream(Yamaha decodes).
    Unless off course the PS3 insists on doing the decoding by default…?

    Dave

  58. Jesse says:

    hey guys,

    Great thread!

    Forgive my ignorance here.

    I am running an aquos lcd right now. It is fullhd 1080p, hdmi 1.3, bla bla bla. I am out to buy a ps3 tomorrow morning more so for the film capabilities than the gaming. I’ve read the entire thread, and it seems everyone is running, essentially a whole setup. I haven’t gotten a reciever as I have just been running a 5.1 setup for my dvds to my hdtv. It’s a few years old…shame I know…don’t give me a hard time about it…ha. My question is: if the PS3 does the work for the receiver, what kind of sound quality will I get if I bypass the receiver entirely? Considering now, that I am going to expand my H.E. setup, (all thanks to me buying my girlfriend the same tv I have for her birthday and an upconvert dvd player, realizing that her picture is better than mine..) I will get a receiver, etc. shortly. But…if i may repeat myself…What kind of sound quality will I get if I just run my PS3 via HDMI to my LCD? obviously far less capability but will my tv benefit from the PS3 trueHD format at all?

    Cheers

    Jesse

  59. Jordan says:

    Hi Jesse,

    The best you are going to get is what ever your little TV speakers can give… lets just say that you will be missing A LOT not matter how good the signal going in is :)

    That said – your TV speakers will have never sounded so good :) hehe

    Save every penny and hook yourself up a full system – it’s soooooo worth it :)

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

    Wow, lots of :) in that post :)

  60. Jesse says:

    Hey Jordan,

    ha..that was kind of the response I was expecting and feared..ha. Thanks a ton for the reply. My problem is I have the money to get a system I just can’t yet justify it. I’m a film geek but I also have a street bike and women are expensive too..ha..my vices. I guess tomorrow when I go pick up the PS3 I will take a look at some receivers and speakers.

    Sorry, so I don’t need to traipse back through all the posts…As long as I select a receiver with PCM capability then I’m solid right? and it should say that it has that ability?

    Jesse

    and yes…many, many smiley faces..ha :)

  61. Jordan says:

    Hey Jesse,

    I was exactly the same when I purchased my system. Should I, shouldn’t I? Well I just did it, even though I feared “regretful purchase” syndrome. I’ve never once regretted it.

    Perhaps my neighbours may regret it a little.

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

  62. dave says:

    hay jesse i have read your input and think i can help in a way??

    go and have a look at the kef 3005 they do sound great for what they are and have a look for a onkyo 605 or 606.
    the 605 will be a lot cheaper or the new denon witch i think is about £450.
    now i have the 605 and playstation 3 and i have bowers & wilkins and it shakes my room and i love it lol.
    the kefs are about 900 i think but if you have a look on ebay they go for around 500 not much more and the 606 is 400 and the 605 250.
    hope this helps in any way

  63. dusty says:

    hey i guess im a semi noob at some of this stuff, but does pcm require a certain type of cord (hdmi,optical,analog,ect.) id really appreciate the help since im hoping to update to an hdtv and i would love to enjoy the full sound quality of blu-ray. by the way i currently have a 5.1 surround sound system i sure its not as good as 7.1 but will it still sound awesome with dolby trueHD?

  64. doza says:

    Hey Jordan,
    Yesterday (or better today) I was until 3 am trying to figure out and understanding this problem of don’t see on my receiver (Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K) the famous Dolby TrueHD words on its display when I was playing “I am Legend” or “Resident Evil Trilogy” on my PS3 (MGS4 Bundle).
    So if I understood well, the PS3 transform the output audio to PCM as standard and the receiver “receives” the PCM signal but truly is Dolby True HD from the PS3.
    The curious thing is that I changed on BD setup on PS3 menu to bitstream and right there the receiver shown Dolby Digital on display.
    Other thing that I saw is the games (Resistance, MGS4, PES2008, etc.) automatically shown Dolby Digital on receiver display on both configurations bitstream and PCM but when I played regular dvds I didn’t see Dolby Digital or DTS on receiver display too.
    So, as your recomendations,
    - Cheking deep on audio system setup from PS3 I saw that only was enabled Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM 5.1 48 and 96 Khz. I changed this enabling Dolby Digital, DTS and all PCM configuration (5.1, 7.1, etc.). Is this correct configuration for hear the truly Dolby TrueHD or DTS MA transformed to PCM coming from PS3?

  65. doza says:

    Jordan,
    I forgot, don’t remember well my PS3 firmware version but I saw that right now is available 2.4 version. Installing this, will the problem of don’t see Dolby THD or DTS MA dissapear? Please give me your comments.

  66. Jordan says:

    Hey Doza,

    I believe that if you set your PS3 to bitstream it will down-mix to Dolby Digital or DTS, explaining why you got the “other” lights.

    Last I checked (I’ve not watched a HD movie in a little while) the only way to get the best sound is to use PCM and give up the TrueHD/DTS-HD MA lights :)

    Jordan.

  67. DC says:

    Hey – this is an excellent and very informative discussion – and thanks to all have contributed thusfar. Imagine my frustration then at being close (but no real cigar) in unlocking Dolby TrueHD on my PS3. Have the latest firmware. Have discs with TrueHD available. Have done the BD/DVD settings – HDMI to PCM etc. – but when pressing ‘select’ to view output on playback, I see that whilst it says Dolby TrueHD, it’s at 48kHz (!), and indeed shows up on my (Onkyo 875) receiver as ‘STEREO’ 48kHz with a signal going in to both front speakers only. I’ve ‘manually’ selected the PS3 output to LinearPCM 7.1 @ 192 kHz so it all seems a bit of a mystery. Any thoughts anyone? Cheers.

  68. Jordan says:

    Hey DC.

    Wow there are some comments on this post now :)

    I really can’t help you with anything specific – but have you played around in the menus _on_ the disc – as in the on screen stuff from the movie itself. Sometimes they default to a lower quality format…

    Other than that – check that it’s not accidentally coming out optical or something (pull the optical cable if you have it).

    The only other thing is ensure you set a few supported formats in your audio settings – just setting to LinearPCM 7.1 @ 192 kHz may mean that if the disc only supports something a bit lower it may default to something far less (like 48 kHz stereo – what is this?? the eighties??) … I usually select them all and let it default to the best the disc can handle.

    Good Luck

    Jordan.

  69. Bob says:

    Jordan, If, i get a receiver that can produce 7.1 and has hdmi inputs/output, i will be able to enjoy the hd audio formats thru my ps3? This would save me alot of $$$ not having to purchase a true hd/dtshdma one. Or will i have to get one?

  70. DevlshOne says:

    May I just add (I did not see this mentioned anywhere) that users of Onkyo receivers should ensure that the ‘Listening Mode Preset’ for TrueHD and DTS-HD MA have the proper modes set. Unfortunately, by default, the receiver will default to the last valid mode – meaning that playing a DD5.1 movie in your PS3 and then switching to a TrueHD movie will leave the Onkyo in DD5.1 mode. At least that has been my experience and I have now fixed my ‘Listening Mode Preset’ modes so that each listening mode sets properly for the type of input.

    Regards

  71. Richard says:

    Hi all,
    especially hi Jordan… great work

    I also would like to add to what DC wrote. I have the same setup – PS3 ond Onkyo 875.
    When listening to a BD with TrueHD or MasterHD I get the PS3 info that I am running True HD or MasterHD – Thats good, but at 48Khz per channel?
    No matter what BD I put in I cannot get the sampling rate to highten to 192Khz. It actually sounds better if I switch to Bitstream and have my Amp run in DTS mode at 96Khz. That can’t be right.
    Do the BD actually have DTS HD in different sampling rates? I must admit that I am currently running my system on 5.0 speakers (Bose ME10 – no seperate Sub woofer) but that cannot be the reason, can it? O.K. the sound is really good, a lot better than with my ‘old’ Onkyo 575, but I cannot lose the impression that I am not even near what my system should be able to do. I have been looking all over the net and have found nothing to indicate this problem at all. Everyone just states that once they switch to PCM all is well. I disagree. I remember what a difference it made with my 575 when I switched from AC3 to DTS. That’s a real slap in the face. I was really looking forward to the 192Khz bash to the head experience. It’s just not there.

    True HD at 48Khz just doesn’t hold up to that impression.

    Before any questions arise:
    I have
    only the HDMI cable running from my PS3 to the Onkyo 875
    set the PS3 to PCM – everywhere!
    set the PS3 to 720P as I have a 720P projector
    set the PS3 to ALL formats except AAC
    set the Onkyo HDMI Audio out to off (This is important I have read)

    So please to all of you… what does it say EXACTLY when you hit select on the PS3?

    If anyone has the answer to my problem…

    Greeting
    Richard

  72. georgey says:

    okay i have ps3 connected to rx-v1900 amp via hdmi then amp connected to samsung 40inch full hd via hdmi, my amp only says PCM when playing blu ray movies, how do i get it to say DTS-HD or dolby digital true HD ? please can anyone help, i dont know what to do, and its driving me krazy! spent all this money and cant get it to show a label!

  73. Munky says:

    I just wanna thank everyone who has contributed to this post, thus saving me from further headaches. I’ve spent way too much time trying to get this stupid Dolby HD and DTS HD to light up on my amp. I felt like i had wasted my money or got a defective receiver or something after spending hours on the phone with sony representatives and no solutions were giving to me. It seems that you guys know much more than these dumb people that sony is paying to work for them. Thanx again.

  74. Jordan says:

    @ georgey -> You can’t get the light on your amp to show! Don’t worry though, the quality coming out of your PS3 is still the best! What ever your PS3 says when you press the select button (top right corner) is what your amp is playing – whether it knows it or not.

    @ Munky -> LOL & glad it’s helped!

  75. Colin says:

    A very late reply to blocboy regarding the Sony receiver problems, more for information than as advice to blocboy who no doubt found the solution by now!

    This is a well documented problem that Sony is aware of and has fixed in new players – I believe they will mend original machines with the fault. To recap, if you connected a Sky HD box to the Sony receiver via HDMI and also connected the audio via optical (the only way Sky HD can output 5.1), there was no sound.

    I’m just waiting for my Yamaha AX863SE receiver and Jamo A102 5.1 speakers and I’ll be joining you all in cursing the lack of TrueHD lights but bathing in the glow of lossless audio :)

    Colin

  76. Freaknando23 says:

    Hi everyone I use to a PS3 which I send via PCM and my denon receiver decoded as PCM and display Multi-Channel. When I play select it show that I was playing DTS-HD-MA. But like everyone else I spent all that money on the receiver and it didnt display DTS-HD-MA and if you bitstream it you would only get DTS( core). You will not see DTS-HD-MA with the PS3. Now I have a sony bdp-s350 and I set the audio to direct the Bluray player skip the decoding and Denon 3808ci decoded DTS-HD-MA and it display it I was really happy. I finally got it to say what I want it to say. Then for fun I changed it to mix(ps3-bistream) and it send it via PCM and since my bluray player does not decode DTS-HD-MA it decode DTS(core).

    Direct=PCM(ps3)
    Mix=bistream(ps3)

  77. Mike says:

    My compliments to the writer and all replies; the PS3 came out as the best Blu-Ray player (under EUR 400) in may reviews and I wanted to be sure that it had TrueHD and DTS-HD MA. Now I am sure that I will buy it. This week. :-)

  78. Jordan says:

    @Mike -> You won’t be disappointed… it’s the best package around once you add in ability to stream DIVX off your pc etc.

  79. MIKE N says:

    i have the dolby true hd light on my sony 350 on!! using the bd the dark knight it came on…i spent hours reading all the posts from all of you which were very helpful thanks….after i hooked up my yamaha v663 i didnt have the 5 speakers showing either..many people said they wouldnt but its not true…the whole key is the settings on the bd player… make sure under the audio settings you have the hdmi selection checked off in the 2 different fields (1 you check auto the other you check hdmi) make sure you have it set to direct NOT mix….basically follow the instructions in the manual on the other choices it tells you what to use if u are setting up a a/v receiver…the sound is absolutely incredible my house shook and my son ran away screaming!!!!!!!!

  80. Jordan says:

    :)

    As they say your audio system ain’t nothin less it can scare little kids!

  81. MIKE N says:

    i have seen so many posts with people trying to get all the lights to light up on their yamaha v663..the only light you want on is true hd when playing a bd disc””the whole key is when the disc starts to play you hit the audio on the remote..you will have 3 choices 2 channel,dolby digital,or true hd as you hit the audio button..just choose hd!!!!

  82. MIKE N says:

    one last post only because i saw sooooo many people with this problem on all the websites….the yamaha v663 is not doing any of the work its all on the blu ray player….do not switch to pcm like so many people say too…i think that most people dont realize they can control the setting on the actual blue ray disc once the movie starts by hitting the audio button multiple times…i am not familiar with ps3 but sony 350 with yamaha v663 is unreal in true hd…again that is the ONLY light you want on when playing bd.and the speaker lights will light up also

  83. Jordan says:

    Hey Mike,

    The issue with the PS3 is that it cannot output raw Dolby HD etc… it can only decode it internally and spit it out as PCM – so unfortunately your approach wont work (unless they change the firmware to enable this feature one day).

    Cheers,

    Jordan.

  84. MIKE N says:

    oh ok i understand….by no means am i an audio guru i was just hoping some of the things i found out might help someone else down the line…. it can get frustrating.. it took me a few days before i discovered the sound i was looking for

    thanks

  85. Jordan says:

    All good mate, the more we know the better!

  86. nerdkill says:

    I think Jordan is the most patient person I’ve ever seen…pretty fun to keep coming back and reading over and over again. Here’s what I don’t get about the whole deal.

    If it’s the same thing just sending it out over PCM then why doesn’t every bluray player do it that way? There has to be a difference. To be honest I don’t notice much of a difference switching back and fourth from regular to high def sound through my ps3 and I have everything set right. Is it a hardware issue that doesn’t allow it to be sent as raw data, or is it possible that an update in the future can fix the issue? It seems like it would be easier to send it out raw then to do the decoding internally.

    This entire deal is so frustrating, all I want is this light to come on so I know it’s working correctly and I just feel that there is some b.s. from Sony going on. They offer no information and when try and call them about it they have no idea what they’re talking about. I had one rep tell me that you can’t use a receiver with the ps3, another tell me that they didn’t know because their brother hooked theirs up, one tell me that you had to run an optical cable, one even tell me that it doesn’t support high def sound, all so incredibly wrong. Then of course a supervisor tells me that there’s a problem with my equipment and not the ps3. I’m pretty much at the point now where I want to just go buy a stand alone so that I know I’m getting what I’m supposed to.

    Anyways, back to my original question. Why wouldn’t all bluray players output the audio the same if it’s…the same.

    One other question. Does it also decode regular dolby 5.1 or am I supposed to switch back to bitrate when I’m watching a regular movie or playing a game. Thanks!

  87. Jordan says:

    Hey Nerdkill,

    I believe the reason the other Bluray players don’t do this is because they can’t – most players send the audio as a pure audio stream as they cannot decode Dolby HD etc internally unlike the PS3 (decoding is a pretty complex task)… It’s a pretty cool feature the PS3 has going on here – you can listen to Dolby HD etc on a sound system that doesn’t support it – as long as it supports PCM and HDMI you are sweet.

    But… As to why the PS3 cannot be forced to output Dolby HD as bitstream??? You’d have to ask Sony that!

    Jordan.

  88. gRuNg3b0y says:

    Hi to all,

    I’m very new in all of the BD/HD audio etc. And thinking of getting my own set up, so far I’m thinking of getting the Onkyo TX-SR606 (which I believe supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio) and matching it with Bose Acoustimass 10 Series IV, and of course PS3 as my Blu-Ray player. I was wondering if I’m going to have the same problem (or might have the same problem) like the other folks here when it comes of setting up the audio options (PCM, bitstream, etc) A help would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks,

    PS: I read some post saying, “set-up the ps3 through PCM etc” and what I see in my PS3 is Linear PCM, is that the same thing? Like a said in the beginning, I’m still a newbie with all this stuff =P

  89. Jordan says:

    @gRuNg3b0y you must have been a good boy if Santa brings all that kit!

    Yep – Linear PCM is PCM :)

    You will have the same issues as everyone else here, but as long as it says TrueHD etc when you press select (when playing a BD movie) then you can be assured you are getting the very best out of your new toy :)

    Jordan.

  90. nerdkill says:

    i would believe that to be true if it could do both and they had a lot of information about it, but they seem to give such limited information. I wonder how many people are watching blu ray in bitstream and thinking they’re getting high def audio.

    anyways enough bitching. so I was wondering if when watching regular movies i should switch to bitstream, or if i can just leave it. and if it does decode 5.1 and also send it out in bitstream then it proves that it is a limited system. why would they allow both options for one and not the other?

    one last thing, is there any opinions on true uncompressed vs dolby hd and dts hd that is supposedly the same? Even my wife that thinks stereo speakers from my t.v. sound the same as a hd surround sound could hear the difference from uncompressed vs fake uncompressed. are we the only one? i say get rid of the special features, or add a disc and give me uncompressed.

  91. gRuNg3b0y says:

    Oh I see thanks Jordan. Another thing though, the PS3 I own is the 40gB (came with a spiderman 3 BD) I looked at my box and it has Dolby TrueHD but it doesnt say DTS HD MA. I read somewhere about the update for PS3 (forgot what version) that it will decode DTS HD MA. Right now the latest update I have is I believe ver. 2.53 does the DTS HD MA decoding included with that update?

    And I also read about that lip sync between audio/video when watching (don’t want that to happen) and to solve it you might need an HDMI v1.3? I looked around the electronic stores (bestbuy, circuit city, radioshack) and didn’t see any that says HDMI v1.3 but the HDMI that I’m using for my PS3 and LCD TV is Monster Cable Ultra Series 1000 and trust me it’s one of the most expensive HDMI cable I’ve ever seen. if I’m not mistaken the back info says that it goes up to 10Gbps and resolution from 1080p to 1440p? Is this the HDMI v1.3 that their talking about?

    Thanks

  92. nerdkill says:

    just wanted to post an update. i got so frustrated with feeling my audio just wasn’t as good as it should have been. so i sucked it up and bought a samsung bd-p2550, i figured if it sounded the same I would just return it and i would finally be happy. I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but it’s night and day. be sure that i had all the settings correct and i listened with an open mind. my sound system sound so good now it’s ridiculous. and oh yeah my lights come on now. having my lights come on made me supper happy too. I also noticed something when i was looking at the box. one of their highlights is that it bit-streams audio. why would they brag about bit streaming audio and the ps3 says nothing about it. there’s only one reason, it’s a second rate way to send the audio. i really can’t get over how good it sounds….going to get back to watching movies on hd video and audio now. oh yeah and it also streams pandora and netflix to me.

    p.s. I know it’s sick, but I’m in love with my lights. I feel like I put so much time into convincing myself i didn’t need them that I think I deserve them now.

  93. nerdkill says:

    one additional thing I just noticed. my new player also internally decodes true hd and with a firmware update is going to decode dts hd. i actually just did an update, so it may already be doing it internally. doing some more research it turns out the chip in the ps3 is unable to bitstream hd audio. bitstream wins

  94. Brian says:

    First of all I would like to thank Jordan and everyone else that has replied in this forum as it help me understand and configure the settings. I have the Samsung LN46A750 HD LCD with PS3 60gig. Now I’m trying to find the right receiver that does all the latest HD audio formats. I was wondering about picture quality loss through receiver. I’m affraid of losing the full 1080p/24, 120hz look. Also can anyone explain HDMI pass-through and repeater? Does anyone recommend a good receiver? Thanks

  95. A says:

    Yes!! Get the Pioneer VSX-1018TXV. I have that running my PS3 and my NHT sound system and it just doesn’t get any better. That reciever is the best bang for your buck and it has all the new HD sound formats. Can’t go wrong

  96. nerdkill says:

    Sony STR-DG820, but if you’re using ps3 to watch blu rays then you don’t need anything that does any of the hd decoding. just buy a regular receiver. the only thing that you’re spending the extra money for is the ability to decode dts hd and dolby true hd. the ps3 already does the decoding for you.

  97. Jordan says:

    Not that I’ve been in the market for a while, but I assume it’s harder to find decent equipment that *doesn’t* play the HD formats than *does*. So, even if the PS3 does decode the HD formats for you (and it does so well) – still stick with a nice new model receiver!

    I love my Yamaha RX-V3800 – not only for the awesome HD Blueray stuff, but damn does it do some awesome stuff with MP3 (crappy input, awesome output) and also good ol’ fashioned DVD.

    Not to mention DIVX though the PS3 – don’t forget that your amp can really make crappy downloads sound great, so definitely buy the best you can afford!

    The peeps at your next kegger will thank you when you whip out your awesome 80′s mix (your neighbours will not!)

  98. neehalu says:

    Im having the same trouble… I have a DENON 3808 and PS3… When Im playing a bluray (trueHD + PCM) It appears all good in PS3 (DOLBY TRUEHD), but in receiver there is a thing:

    It doest appear as RECEIVING a 5.1 sound (of course trueHD also dont). It shows only PCM 2.0 (LEFT + RIGHT). The quality is kinda good.. But Im not sure im experiencing TRUEHD.

    Anyway, Id like to my RECEIVER do all the audio “PROCESS”, I believe more in DENON than SONY in this aspect…
    :)

  99. Jordan says:

    I wouldn’t be too worried about if Denon or Sony can do better TrueHD… It’s all licenced anyway – so as far as pure digital decoding goes nobody is better than the other guy. Most the quality comes from the hardware components that play the sounds – and the PS3 doesn’t need to worry about this.

    It does seem a little strange that your system is coming up as two channel though… Keep playing around with the settings at both ends.

  100. neehalu says:

    I tested several configurations on the Denon receiver… Still receiving 2.0, but on PS3 shows DOLBY TRUEHD. could it be the HDMI cable?

  101. David says:

    I wish I had read this 8 hours ago. I have been very upset my “little DTS HD light” would not come on my Pioneer elite 01. Thanks to all for this info. But I do need advice on hook up. I have my PS3 connected (via HDMI) to my Pioneer A/V input and output to my hd tv 1080i. Is it better to hook up the PS3 via HDMI directly to the HD TV and run a digital cable from the PS3 to the A/V receiver?? Please help. Thanks
    David

  102. Jordan says:

    Definitely keep the HDMI all the way… you cannot get the highest quality from the “normal” digital cable…

    When running HDMI you get no video quality loss by hopping through your amp as it’s all digital – thus lossless.

  103. David says:

    thanks Jordan, why do others connect their HDMI direct to their TV bypassing the A/V receiver?. Ok now I’ll look for the OSD on my PS3/TV to see if the DTS TrueHD comes up. Not sure how to pull up th OSD but I’ll tinker

  104. Jordan says:

    @David -> Because they obviously don’t realise you get less audio quality if you bypass your amp with HDMI! Far less quality infact!

  105. joe says:

    Jordan,
    I like others posting above have a Denon 1909 hooked up (via HDMI) w/ a PS3. I am playing a BD Disc and selecting Dolby True HD in the disc menu and have the PS3 set to PCM. Under PCM my receiver is only producing 2.0 stereo sound. If I switch to Bitstream on the PS3, the receiver sounds noticeably better and is at the least playing 5.1 sound. I called Denon as the DTHD light is not on, and they told me that PS3′s can’t produce sound in DTHD (which I think is not accurate). From everthing I have read, this seems unusual. It seems like the only place I have noticed this is with people who have the PS3-Denon Combo. Do you have any suggestions as to what could be causing this?

  106. joe says:

    I figured it out. You have to go to the sounds settings on the PS3 and enable the PCM 5.1 and/or 7.1 settings manually under the HDMI option…. This should address the problem Neehalu was having as well.

  107. Blue Ox 22 says:

    wow what a butt load of information…thank you all for the discussion…i have a 52″ Sony Bravia, PS3 and Onkyo 606…the main ingredients for the ultimate sound system i suppose…but like other bloggers on here…i am a newbie…i will be using all hdmi cables…so if i am clear…

    1. PS3 to Receiver
    2. Reciever to TV
    3. PS3 Settings (Change to Linear PCM, set to 1080p, set all formats except AAC)
    4. Reciever will not show True HD or DTS HD but PS3 will when playing a BD after pressing SELECT

    Am i missing anything?

  108. Jordan says:

    @Blue Ox 22 -> awesome you are on the right track for some serious awesome :)

  109. Blue Ox 22 says:

    thnx brotha!…i did the connections and changing settings on the ps3 and 606…wowzer!!!…

  110. s3ssions says:

    in the first post, i know im a year late but i have the same problem. in the book it says that when dealing with pcm/multi ch in, your only getting multi in+ plII/m/c/, and multi chan in 7.1…….now when you want true hd ,hd+ex,hd ex PLIIX(c)(m) IT WILL SAY DOLBY TRUE HD. (that is for all DENONS)

  111. Keddie says:

    Home Theater Mag’s Take on the issue. You may not see the light but it should be the same!

    http://blog.hometheatermag.com/askhometheater/ps3_blu-ray_mom/

  112. JNel says:

    Hi all of this info is amazing! One quick question though…

    I have the Ps3 and 1080P tv and I’m thinking about getting the Sony STR-DG920 which does 7.1

    The speakers I’m looking at are the Aperion Intimus 4T Hybrid SD which are 5.1 unless you buy 2 additional speakers.

    So my question, will I get the TrueHD sound from the 5.1 speakers? If I were to buy 2 additional speakers would the set-up/settings be any different? What is the best route to take with these options?

    Thanks,
    JNel

  113. Jordan says:

    Hey JNel,

    TrueHD is far more than just extra speakers… the quality of the sound is far higher than Dolby Digital which is more important in my mind (than more speakers). The set up isn’t any different other than you set your amp you have more or less speakers.

    If it were me, i’d buy 5 great speakers rather than 7 average speakers given a choice (i have 5 Klipsch speakers and TrueHD sounds wicked…). But… 7 Kilpsch speakers would ROCK!

    Depending on your budget, you can most definitely start with 5 and go for 7 later :)

    BTW, the subby isn’t optional… that is a must have component from the start!!

    Just my two cents anyway.

  114. Kevin says:

    Hollo all, this is my first time ever posting on a site as I am at whit’s end trying to solve a problem which relates to this topic.

    I have an 80gb PS3, connected to an Onkyo 606 amp – video via component and audio via optical. The amp is then connected via component to the TV which supports 1080 but isint HD.

    the issue I have is when im on the PS3 menue the image is clear, everything looks amazing, the display on my amp shows “PCM”, however, when i got to play guitar hero and i select the program, the amp clicks and the display changes to the red Dolby sign, the resolution of the program and the graphics are greatly reduced (they become almost blurry.

    Does any wone know why this happens and how can it be fixed? i tried changing a heap of seetings both audio and video related but cant work out why when the pcm light changes (which is relative to audio) the image quality changes??

    • nobody says:

      probably because you are trying to force an audio codec with too much bandwidth for optical to handle

  115. veikkis says:

    I have PS3 and Onkyo TX-RS607. When Video output selected to be 1080p , PS3 menu can`t be seen through AV but Blu-ray and games are visible? when set Video to 1080i , all are visible. Why 1080p settings doesn`t allow PS3 menu be visible?

  116. The Dude says:

    I just got a new sound receiver and I’ve got the necessary HDMI cables on their way to me in the mail. When I get them I know I need to set the PS3 to decode and output in Linear PCM. My final question is that since my new sound system is Denon 5.1, should I do an auto set up or do the manual and go down the list checking off which audio formats it can use? If the latter, should I check everything and just let my sound system down-convert 7.1 signals to 5.1? Or should I not check those? I know this question is a bit vague, but I don’t have my manuals or equipment in front of me at the moment.

  117. scott says:

    i just wanted to thank everyone and especially Jordan for all of this extremely helpful information. I was fooling for nearly two hours last night trying to get that damn light on. Now I can’t wait to get home and actually know what I’m doing. Jordan perhaps you missed your calling and should be writing “instructions you can understand” for all these receiver and home audio companies!

  118. Thanks for the input on the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA on PS3.

  119. Darius says:

    As all of these post are from over a year ago I hope someone will be able to help me as I have been all over the net trying to find what ever help I can. I have a PS3 slim which I know converts the sound on it’s on so I won’t see any of the lights on my reciever, but why is it when I play games DTS pops right up on my reciever but when I put in a movie not only can I not see it but not all of my speakers work only the front 2? I have been in the audio settings messing around and whenever I try 5.1 48 MHZ all my speaker lights on my reciever will light up but I get no sound.

  120. Bryan says:

    That’s funny. I am having the same problem too.

    Onkyo TX-NR807 running hdmi

    ps3 settings are on pcm and im only getting 2.1 sound out of my blu-rays. Really weird.

    • Darius says:

      Sorry to hear your having the same problem as me, but I am happy to know im not the only one seeing as how we have different recivers I was thinking the problem might have been that I need firmware update. I really think it has to do with the 48 khz setting in the ps3 audio output settings

  121. Darius says:

    I have noticed that im my sound menue of my ps3 that 5.1 and 7.1 48 khz checked as an output that works I get no sound, and that with doing automatic so I have to go in and uncheck them manualy. When I do this though only 2 speakers work.

  122. Bryan says:

    Huh…crazy. I have managed to fix some problems with the 2.1 sound. Here is my new problem. I can successfully bitstream DTS MA but NOT DDTrue and I have no idea why. Even when I switch over to PCM the PS3 only reads dolby digital. Any guesses? My receiver is capable.

  123. Darius says:

    Nice how did you fix the problem? I have read some post that suggest using an optical cable as well as a HDMI I don’t see how that would fix the problem but at this point im willing to try anything. I have another question for you. Does your reciever display what format is being ran? some of the post I have read said that there recievers do?

  124. Luis says:

    I have a ps3 60 GB first generation, and a yamaha RXV-1800 and a seating of 7 speakers.It doesn’t matters what kind of setting i use in the ps3 (bitstream or pcm) dolby or dts-hd ligths on the recever did’t show and that won’t be a problem if sound where good but i know those formats are 7.1 and only 5 speakers where working.I go to the ps3 manual and discover that ps3 accept those format but will decode them and downgrade them to dolby digital or dts, that’s why using bitstream or pcm only 5 speakers work (those formats are 5.1) but i star thinking “when i go to sound setting and use auto settiong with HDMI,it clearly shows 7.1 and diferent hz frequens so it accept the frequens of 7.1 DTS-HD and DOLBY TRUE-HD,why dosn’t out put them?” i remember i read some where that the first generation ps3 had some kind of problem with hdmi and it ocured to me to use the manual setting in sound setting and eliminate all 5.1 option,leaving two 2.1 options that can’t be unselected and leaving all 7.1 options,then program it to use pcm instead of bitstream,the result? My yamaha displays pcm on the screan no dolby true-hd or dts-hd…but all 7 speakers icons were activated.They were not reproducing the same audio like if listening the same on every speaker but sorround sound,dialog in center and efects in the rest of them.So i belive the ps3 was reproducing Dolby True-HD sound.

  125. Pete says:

    I just bought a Denon AVR 590 to compliment my PS3 and HDTV. I have everything hooked up properly using HDMI cables both in and out of the receiver but I cannot get the DOLBY TRUE HD icon to light up when playing back a BluRay disc. Is it true that the PS3 decodes the audio itself so the receiver does not have to do the work? Are there any known updates to allow the audio to stream in its raw format and have the receiver I spent so much money on do the work itself?

  126. Miguel says:

    Great Story…I went through the EXACT SAME thinking patterns and steps. Im just like you, i really NEED the DTS HD or DTrueHD to light up. So its already 2010 and I had the Optical first with a Harman Kardon 330 (No HDMI- a 2005 reciever), and it would just do DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1. So i had a seperate Blu-ray player the first Samsung BDP-1000, and would connect the 5.1 multi-channel analog connectors for whenever a movie had PCM 5.1 (which is as great as DTS-MA and True HD). The finally one day was messing w settings & changed my setting from bitstream to PCM on the optical and the TV displayed DTS-MA(and of course DolbyTrueHD) but only 1.5mps, but it sounded great!!! But my reciever displayed the DTS NEO Movie 5.1 but only cause it was converting the PCM sound, and my reciever didnt support DTS-MA anyways…So then i was convinced to buy a new HarmanKardon-354 with HDMI 1080p 1.3a support and hooled it all up and still no DTS-MA display!!!? What gives? So i figuered out like you guys did that the PS3 changed the DTS-MA to PCM and sent to reciever as the same great sound but reciever doesnt know it was originally DTS-MA and thinks it is PCM Multichannel and will never display the pretty icon!
    But, an update…the new style 2009 PS3 has a decoder to display the new DTS-MA Icon via HDMI PCM, and currently the latest update for the old style PS3 still will NOT do this. The only way to make it happen is if SOny comes out with an latest firmware update just to correct this issue. But if asked and asked and i say the sound is the same…

  127. While surfing Bing I found your site…very good! I enjoy reading about this kind of material. I’ll definitely bookmark your site for additional reading

  128. Scott Locker says:

    I just got my PS3 today and found your post. I had been trying for months to get my laptop to work with True-HD and DTS-MA. I gave up and got the PS3 for now. I’m getting an OPPO BDP-83 Blu-ray later on. Thanks for your post, it helped so much. Thanks for taking the time…Like you and so many others I want my light. I don’t care how good it sounds, it’s not real until there is a light that makes it so. It sounds amazing btw

  129. steele99 says:

    To everyone who has contributed to this post – Fantastic info guys. Been messing about for 2 hours with avatar on bluray running on mk1 ps3 trying to get my little dts hd mastr light to come on on my onkyo amp. Think i will relax now! Will set to ps3 to PCM , looks like mk1 ps3 will only convert the audio signal and not bitstream dts hd despite latest update. wonder why the ps3 slim can do it? Thanks again to all.

  130. Mike says:

    This article is timeless! 2 years and still going strong.. Cheers to everybody for the info, especially Jordan.. finally got DTS-HD MA to come out of my PS3 HDMI as Multichan PCM (I was using optical for the longest time thinking it was better?)… highest bitrate I got tho was 5.5 Mbps, 48KHz 5.1Ch.. I have a Onkyo TX-SR607 amp running kef speakers, I read on wiki that DTS-HD MA can go as high as 24.5 Mbps.. is it just cause the PS3 is not capable of this?

    Also can anybody confirm they get the HD lights with the new PS3 slim? Sure would love to see those lights finally ;) I would assume that any receiver would have more horsepower than the PS3, but I’m kinda n00b in this area

    Thanks again everyone

  131. steele99 says:

    Yeah – highest bitrate i got was 5.5mbps 48khz 5.1ch. i think thats just the level the bluray disc was coded at, not a limitation of the ps3 or the onkyo amp, tried a few other blu rays and they all seem to be the same……

  132. Jordan R says:

    I have Seen the TrueHD light up on my Onkyo HT-s3300 receiver! I played the dark knight and selected TrueHD on the bluray audio menu. I also set my PS3 Slim to bitstream.

    Was just watching Rock N Rolla, but couldn’t get it to work that way so I’m not too sure what is going on

  133. scott says:

    Playstation 3 old style will not, I repeat will not send True Dolby HD or DTS-HD through Linear PCM. It is downgraded to standard Dolby Digital and DTS. that is why all 5 speakers work but does not light on receiver. Bit rate in Bitstream is up to 24 mps while linear PCM is no more than 1.5 mps. True Dolby HD/ DTS-HD need the full 24 mps.

  134. Ben says:

    I laughed so hard reading that article because I just spent a whole afternoon fighting with the same thing.

    I finally got my Denon AVR-391 receiver to display the TrueHD, DTS-HD icons by changing the audio settings in the ps3 (which is under a year old and fully updated) from pcm to bitstream.

    Hopefully others will have an easier time.

  135. sam says:

    I have the FAT PS3 – so whatever I do now my Onkyo 608 will not show the DD TRUE HD in its display? thanks

  136. Wonderful website. A lot of helpful info here. I’m sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you in your sweat!

  137. Miguel says:

    So guys, im asking as of 2012 the old fat PS3 (with latest update of course) will still not display DTS-MA or DDTrueHD on your reciever?
    This with either Optical (bitstream or PCM) or HDMI (bitstream or PCM)?

    I have a friend with PS3 slim and under audio options he has DDTrueHD to Check and DTS MA HD in the settings. The old PS3 Fat only has PCM at various levels of kHz.

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  142. Klipsch rf83 says:

    Connect your ps3with a digital optical cable to your receiver, your hdmi to your tv, now once you play the actual movie hit the triangle button, than go to audio options, there you will scroll all the way to Audio, click on it. You will have three options bitstrem(mix), bitstream, and PCM, your best use is bitstream (mix) as soonest you make the change you will see and feel the volume increases the clarity of the movie, and just to be sure look up the right top corner while you doing this, you will see what format is playing as well as the mgb speed, if you are playing dts hd you
    Will see it, even though your receiver does not show it on the sod screen it don’t matter the sound is dts hd as well as dolbytrue hd

    • Miguel says:

      im not sure this will work Klipsh. I guess i believe you if youve seen it first hand, but are you sure your getting better then 1.5 mbps??? I ve done this too with an optical, and then put it of the DTS HD sound and it gets louder, but not necessarily clearer. Its just downmixing the super high DTS HD bitrate of ~4-5mbps to 1.5 and STILL says HD.. After all this i still just put it back to HDMI and Multichannel PCM and satisfied for now that i dont see the DTS HD.

      The only way now is if you have a PS3 slim, cause in the audio settings at the main menu you can see DTS HD and Dobly true HD to check…..

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