Ask a Pro
Can My Setup Decode Dolby TrueHD?
Consumer's Blu-ray player decodes Dolby TrueHD, but receiver doesn't. Will he get the audio he wants?
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January 22, 2010 by Robert Archer

Q. I have a Blu-ray player (Samsung BD-P2500) that decodes Dolby TrueHD. It is hooked through HDMI to my Denon 3806 Receiver, which doesn’t have that capability. But shouldn’t I be able to get Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio with that setup? - Pat, Libertyville, Illinois

A. No, not necessarily. Your Blu-ray player may be compatible with those formats, but you need a compatible receiver to decode those signals.

If your Blu-ray player has multichannel outputs, you can set it up to decode and output the signals via the multichannel analog outputs, sending them to the receiver’s multichannel inputs.

I have my Blu-ray player setup to decode and output via its multichannel outputs, and I run the RCA cables to my preamp’s multichannel inputs. My preamp doesn’t have Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio, but with the Blu-ray player set up to do the decoding, my preamp is running in a bypass mode.

You can do the same thing if your Blu-ray player has multichannel analog RCA outputs. Once you make the physical connections, go into the Blu-ray player’s menu and configure it for the multichannel analog outputs.

If your player doesn’t have multichannel outputs, the best you’ll get is the traditional Dolby Digital and DTS audio. The good news is that the prices of receivers and Blu-ray players are falling.

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Robert Archer - Senior Editor, CE Pro
Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.

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