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New LG OLED 4K 3D TV
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DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Quoting dee1959jay:
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Great to hear you like the Oppo so much!

One remark. You were mentioning DACs. You will not know what the Oppo's DACs do until you connect the Oppo to your Onkyo using analog cinch cables. DAC means Digital-Analog Converter. As long as you keep sending a digital signal to your Onkyo (HDMI, coax or optical), you're not listening to the Oppo's DACs, but the Onkyo's!

The only thing I can imagine that could explain the sound improvement you're hearing is that you have the Oppo set to output PCM instead of bitstream (Dolby, DTS etc.), and the Oppo somehow does a better job of converting the latter to PCM than what you used before, but this is a conversion within the digital domain and the DAC does not come into play to do it. And then still the difference should be fairly minimal.  Check what you have set the Oppo to with regard to audio output through its digital outputs.

To test the quality of the Oppo DACs, you need to connect it to the Onkyo using analog cinch cables. If you also connect it to the Onkyo using the Oppo's second HDMI output (preferably) or coax or optical (less bandwidth than HDMI, therefore no hi-res sound) and set the Oppo to output bitstream, you can compare the Oppo's DACs to the Onkyo's by switching inputs on the Onkyo. And the comparison is fair only if you use good-quality analog cinch cables. In analog land the quality of cables does make a difference!

Whew! Actually, I understand what you are saying, but I don't think I have the patience to it all! Only thing I can say about the "phantom improvement" is that, as I said before, I was totally not even thinking about audio at the time. But I perceived a difference that grabbed my attention. Perhaps my ears were just having a good day - who knows ... 

Oh wait ... unless you are doing pass-thru, don't you need to convert all inputs to analog in order to do amplification and other signal processing inside the unit, before then outputting the results into various other digital / analog variants. Wouldn't there be corresponding A-D converters to the DACs? Or am I suffering from midnight mind muddles ...
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DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar Contributordee1959jay
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As long as you're happy with the sound you're hearing - that's all that matters!

To be honest, I don't think there will be much difference between the two DACs. Your Onkyo is a highly capable machine, and I'm sure it will do a fine job converting all those digital signals to analog sound.

The only recommendation I would have is not to use coax or optical connections to output sound from the Oppo to the Onkyo, but to use the dedicated HDMI out (HDMI-2, sound only) on the Oppo. If you use coax or optical, you won't have high-resolution sound (DTS HD-MA etc.) due to the limited bandwidth of those connections. Instead you'll be stuck with the sound quality of DVD, while blu-ray did offer a significant improvement in sound as well as image over the DVD format. And that is a major difference!

Don't worry about converting anything back from analog to digital. There's no point. The actual sound you're hearing is analog, our ears are analog beasts.
Just use the HDMI audio out on the Oppo, connect it to the Onkyo and let the Onkyo do its thing. Sit back, relax and enjoy!   
 Last edited: by dee1959jay
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Ahhh ... nothing like a little clarity of thought to start off the day!! 
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Putting the cap on my initial surge into 4K UHD. I've installed and messed around with the Epson 5040UBE. It's one of those 4K Enhancement type of projectors that uses 2 layers if 2K overlaid pixels offset a tad. The good true 4K projectors are just way out of my price range.

Anyway, I'm happy with the Epson. It definitely tops my previous Epson 5020UBE in all parameters. And it has a remote controlled lens for focus, zoom and shift. The wireless works well, although the transmitter has one less HDMI port. My Sony changers and XBox look awesome upscaled directly to the projector. And since the transmitter has a direct 4K HDMI output as well, it serves to also play those devices to my TV - and it all looks amazing.

Superlatives get boring after a while, so suffice it to say that running native 4K UHD content (such as downloaded sample videos or a 4K UHD disc) directly from the Oppo is just hard to believe. The NASA stuff is literally jaw dropping (it is 4k 60 fps, and my wi-fi stutters, so I will be adding a wired internet to the Oppo soon).

So now that my budget is tapped out for awhile, I will spend time tidying up loose ends such as adding the audio cables from the Oppo to my Onkyo and adding a 4K UHD enabled switch/splitter in front of the Oppo input (or maybe behind it ..) to handle a couple of true 4K media devices (such as the Amazon 4K Fire TV box). Basically I need a way to drive both my TV and projector from the Oppo. I'm auditioning splitters now. The first two didn't work out, so I've upped the ante and bought a somewhat more expensive (4 in, 2 out) matrix switch.

Once I get this stuff paid off (or mostly), I'll start considering an upgrade to my receiver, or maybe get the Xbox S - that might be a year or more away, but who knows what the industry will do to mess up my plans by then. 

Oh, and last but not least: a shout out once again and THANKS to all who helped me think things through. I'm sure I got more bang for the buck, having good advice and suggestions. 
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
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Ground loop! 

- Using multi-channel output from the Oppo to my Onkyo creates a ground loop. The Onkyo has a grounding post, but the Oppo does not, so I had to loosen a cabinet screw for my testing. It worked - hum was not eliminated, but volume has to maximum to detect it. Now I will make a neater cable, but I don't like the fact that I have to do it. BTW I tried two different sets of audio cables. Until I get the neat ground strap made, I will use the HDMI Audio out, which works well - it just ties up one of my Onkyo's HDMI ports.

- Any thoughts? Could one of the boxes have a defective multi-channel board?

- I think they make RCA cables with a ground strap. Maybe I will try that also, but I'm surprised I would need it for line-level connections.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
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That's a surprise indeed!. But then again, I don't know how "(un)clean" power supply in the US is. You might try unplugging any cables running from the Onkyo to the Oppo and only leave the cinch cables from the Oppo to the Onkyo in place - see if that changes anything.

But would it be worth the hassle to sort this out? Will analog cables out of the Oppo sound better than the Oppo's audio HDMI out? I wonder. Your Onkyo has a capable DAC, too.

And I'm not sure why you would feel the need to upgrade your Onkyo at some point. It seems to be a fine machine, THX® Ultra2 Plus™ Certified and all. Or do you need Dolby Atmos?
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There's no reason to use the multi-channel out unless you are using individual amps or an old receiver without HDMI.
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Answers to your perfectly reasonable questions:

- My personality is such that I can't be happy with electronics that is either defective, improperly configured or poorly maintained. So if I find something that doesn't work, I am itching to fix it, even if I don't plan to use it. Especially when the equipment costs as much as I paid for it.

- The HDMI works fine, but it does waste an HDMI input port that I might need for a video device.

The other more substantive reason is that I can consolidate the audio connection to several media sources into a single input slot (say the TAPE input): Projector wireless transmitter audio via COAX, LG TV audio out via SPFIF, Oppo audio out via Mult-ichannel. Then I relabel the Onkyo "Tape" as "Media Audio" and basically leave the Onkyo set there for most all my viewing. I just have to use the Audio button on the Onkyo remote to switch to multi-channel when using the Oppo. So when using either my TV or my projector, almost all my sources will play through the same labelled port on the Onkyo.

I think I'll post a diagram one of these days. It might be interesting to get comments on it, and I expect somebody else will be motivated to share theirs as well. More fun fodder for discussion.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
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Having a heck of a time diving my TV and projector simultaneously. The 4x2 matrix switch I got is so well made, and delivers such a clean image, I would love to be able to use it. But the Oppo will just not cooperate unless she is the only device switched on. I have to turn off the TV and reboot the Oppo, and sometimes even power cycle the switch. I would blame the switch, but my other device - the new Amazon 4K Fire TV works - plays on both TV and projector simultaneously thru the matrix switch. It had to happen - finally, a sad negative spot on the Oppo. 

Anybody using a 1 in, 2 out HDMI splitter on the Oppo???
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For some odd reason, the order in which you switch on your various machines can make a difference there. You might want to experiment a bit.
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Quoting dee1959jay:
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For some odd reason, the order in which you switch on your various machines can make a difference there. You might want to experiment a bit.
Good idea. I have a couple of 1 x 2 HDMI spliter / switch on order. If one of them works, I'll use that on the output and use the matrix switch on the Oppo input instead. BTW I noticed that the model 205 "audiophile" does have a grounding screw. Poor marketing choice not to include it on the 203.
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Yeah, some users of Harmony Logitech remotes have had to implement a pause for one of their machines before starting up to resolve HDMI handshake issues and the like. Perhaps that could work here as well.

Didn't know about the grounding screw on the new 205. I reckon it must be there for a purpose. Don't think it is on my (admittedly European) 105.
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Apparently Oppo has released new beta firmware which enables Dolby Vision on the player. While waiting for the first Dolby Vision UHD discs you can try Dolby Vision test files and see what they look like.
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Quoting dee1959jay:
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Apparently Oppo has released new beta firmware which enables Dolby Vision on the player. While waiting for the first Dolby Vision UHD discs you can try Dolby Vision test files and see what they look like.

Cool. Will do. Right now, I am still messing about with a variety of HDMI switchers. I did find a reasonably priced 2 way HDMI spliter that seems to be doing the job nicely. Stable simultaneous display of the Oppo output on both my projector and HDTV (both 4K UHD). Oh, and I did attach a very robust ground strap between the Oppo and the Onkyo, so the multi-channel output is working fine. This means I donlt have to plug the audio HDMI output into the Onkyo, which I think was causing handshake issues when the Onkyo outout was selected as input to the Oppo - even though no video was attached to the audio HDMI port, I think there was a handshake feedback loop!
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
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Excellent! Sounds like you're making good progress with all remaining issues! 
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar Contributordee1959jay
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Dolby Vision is now available on the Oppo through official firmware.
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