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Why no FLAC support on recent Blu-Ray devices?
post Jan 13 2012, 16:11
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I've been watching recent releases of Blu-Ray players and most of them just ignore lossless formats like FLAC, WavPack and so on.
They ship with MP3 and some are shipping with AAC support, but FLAC is a dream...

Any logic reason besides contractual ties with proprietary formats?
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post Jan 16 2012, 15:34
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I think there was a time when the chips used in DAP's (or "mp3 players") did a large portion of the decoding. I remember back in the day the company that made the chips inside of the 3G (or 4G) iPod worked with WMA but Apple locked that out through the iPod's firmware. Things have definitely changed in the last 5-6 years. Hardware acceleration is often used for video playback (where the decoding is off-loaded to a dedicated chip) but audio decoding is often handled via software. For example, take the iPad 2. The A5 processor is a SoC developed by Samsung and Apple. The iPad can natively playback only mpeg-4, mpeg-4 AVC, mp3, AIFF, audible, ALAC, PCM WAV, and AAC audio and video content through iOS. However, I can fire up the VLC app and playback content that isn't natively compatible with iOS. How is that possible is the SoC does all of the work? Software. The same holds true for Android devices these days. My Droid X plays everything audio through software decoding. The days of dedicated hardware for audio decoding are limited. I believe audio receivers used to do this for Dolby TruHD and DTS HD MA but now I think that is all capable through software as well.

As for FLAC with Blu-ray players... It really isn't a priority since the format isn't widely known. John Q Public isn't going to turn down a Blu-ray player simply because it doesn't support FLAC playback. The extent of knowledge when it comes to devices like this is t[/quote]hat the common consumer knows how to turn it on, put the disc in, close the tray, and start playing the movie. They aren't really going to care about audio file format compatibility or if the player support some "obscure" format (I say obscure since it really is compared to the two most common formats either knowingly or unknowingly used by people). I do know that Oppo makes a Blu-ray player that works with FLAC files. It pretty much works with everything out there and even offers USB2.0 and eSATA ports for hooking up external media. The only drawback is that the player costs $500.

There are other alternatives as well. Many modern Blu-ray players with built-in wi-fi capabilities are compatible with DNLA/UPnP streaming. With the right software, you can have it transcode to something the Blu-ray player works with on-the-fly. I used to do that with my PS3. The software would transcode all of my ALAC files to 320kbps mp3 so my PS3 would play them back. I set the software up that way as it could have transcoded to PCM WAV as well (I just didn't care and 320kbps mp3 consumed far less bandwidth). I know LG and Sony have a few Blu-ray players capable of doing this. Even my $70 Insignia Blu-ray player works with streaming software.
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post Jan 16 2012, 15:45
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I'm not sure it's crystal that SoC = System on a Chip - a basic computer and all the peripherals needed to use it on one easy to integrate chip. A SoC is a generic general purpose computer, perhaps with a DSP which should be thought of as a math coprocessor which is good at the type of maths used in A/V codecs. It is ALL software. There are no "MPEG4 decoders", there are processors which are good at the math needed for MPEG4 and which may come bundled as a "black box" solution to the system builder, but inside that black box is software and what codecs the black box decodes is flexible.

I don't grok what you're saying about the iPad. What Apple decides to make a core function of the O/S vs what others offer in application software has nothing to do with this.

This post has been edited by Soap: Jan 16 2012, 15:48

Creature of habit.
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Posts in this topic
- krafty   Why no FLAC support on recent Blu-Ray devices?   Jan 13 2012, 16:11
- - polemon   Usually, they use decoder chips which are basicall...   Jan 13 2012, 16:27
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (polemon @ Jan 13 2012, 10:27) Usua...   Jan 13 2012, 17:34
|- - polemon   QUOTE (saratoga @ Jan 13 2012, 17:34) The...   Jan 15 2012, 03:58
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (polemon @ Jan 14 2012, 21:58) QUOT...   Jan 15 2012, 21:39
||- - knutinh   QUOTE (saratoga @ Jan 15 2012, 22:39) Not...   Jan 18 2012, 17:24
||- - saratoga   QUOTE (knutinh @ Jan 18 2012, 11:24) The ...   Jan 18 2012, 19:10
||- - knutinh   QUOTE (saratoga @ Jan 18 2012, 20:10) Not...   Jan 18 2012, 21:54
||- - saratoga   QUOTE (knutinh @ Jan 18 2012, 15:54) Havi...   Jan 18 2012, 22:21
|- - probedb   QUOTE (polemon @ Jan 15 2012, 02:58) kraf...   Jan 16 2012, 09:21
- - Brand   I'd say the most likely explanation is that th...   Jan 13 2012, 17:07
|- - JJZolx   QUOTE (Brand @ Jan 13 2012, 09:07) I...   Jan 15 2012, 21:05
|- - eahm   QUOTE (JJZolx @ Jan 15 2012, 13:05) QUOTE...   Oct 23 2012, 17:24
- - krafty   polemon, what you wrote makes sense. I also see th...   Jan 15 2012, 19:42
- - kornchild2002   I think there was a time when the chips used in DA...   Jan 16 2012, 15:34
|- - Soap   I'm not sure it's crystal that SoC = Syste...   Jan 16 2012, 15:45
- - kornchild2002   I was trying to show that the SoC the iPad uses do...   Jan 16 2012, 17:05
- - saratoga   QUOTE I remember back in the day the company that ...   Jan 16 2012, 17:55
- - kornchild2002   OK. I wasn't sure if those were hardware driv...   Jan 17 2012, 00:10
- - saratoga   No these devices generally do not have hardware as...   Jan 17 2012, 03:28
- - saratoga   Incidentally, the reason so many of these devices ...   Jan 17 2012, 03:41
|- - Brand   QUOTE (saratoga @ Jan 17 2012, 03:41) Inc...   Jan 17 2012, 12:06
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (Brand @ Jan 17 2012, 06:06) QUOTE ...   Jan 17 2012, 18:45
- - Vinyl   QUOTE (krafty @ Jan 13 2012, 16:11) I...   Oct 23 2012, 13:54
- - krafty   As of 2012 this has changed. All current Panasonic...   Oct 23 2012, 20:02

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