Thursday, January 06, 2011

Audio-Visual Arrangements

Right before Christmas I purchased a Playstation 3.  Partly it was to play games, but the primary motivation for this purchase was two-fold:  it provided a Blu-ray disc player, and it came with a Netflix app that allowed me to stream shows and movies from Netflix right to my TV.  I am proud to say that the Netflix app works exactly as advertised and is a joy to use.  It is fast and looks great.  The Blu-ray function also works great, and the player seems to play DVDs just fine with no degredation in visual quality.

I have experienced a degredation in audio quality, however.  Admittedly, this isn't really due to the audio components within the Playstation 3 unit itself, but due to limitations on cable jacks.  My previous setup, which I had used since November 2004, included a DVD player that was connected to the TV through an S-video cable and to my stereo receiver with a digital coaxial audio cable.  Thus, the audio was fed directly to the receiver such that no sound was passed to the TV at all.  My PS3 is connected to the TV using one of those five-prong HD cables whose name I can't be bothered ot look up, and I then have a stereo audio cable running from the TV to the stereo receiver.  Thus, I don't have to use my receiver for sound in games or movies or TV shows watched through the PS3, though I can when I want to.  There is a noticeable difference, though, between the standard stereo cable and the digital coaxial cable.  Enough so that I am wondering if I should setup my DVD player again just so I can watch DVDs with improved sound quality.  If the PS3 had a dedicated audio out port that allowed the use of a digital coax cable that would solve my problem, but alas, it does not.

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