Sony UBP-x800 - DSD Question

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by dkmonroe, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Interesting. The Seagate hard drive that I just tried is formatted NTFS - as is the USB stick that's playing right now - both without a problem. There's no mention of either NTFS or FAT32 in the owner's manual (I did a text search of the pdf.) Sony's usually pretty good at pointing those things out in their manuals - if and as necessary.

    formu_la and dkmonroe like this.
  2. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot Thread Starter

    Hmm. It's been several months now since I experimented with it but I coulda sworn that I read it in the manual, but sure enough it isn't there. Perhaps someone here gave me that tip. In any case I found that when I hook up a USB drive that's NTFS, I can see the folder structure but not the files. When I use a FAT32 drive, I see everything and can play tracks. I actually took a USB stick that was NTFS and it wouldn't play, then I re-formatted it as FAT32 and copied the same files to it and it did play. Neither of my NTFS-formatted 1TB drives will play but I don't care enough to wipe and reformat them.
    formu_la likes this.
  3. Where are you? I have the European-Spanish bought version of the X-800 plays any kind of stereo or DSD, Wav or FLAC multichannel on a NTFS USB flash drive or hard disc, either conventional/mechanical or Solid State.
    formu_la likes this.
  4. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot Thread Starter

    I'm in the US. I see @jeffmackwood is in Canada, maybe it's a US-specific thing. I dug into my old posts and saw that my source for the FAT32 solution was from online research, not the manual. Frankly, after I'd done my NTFS v. FAT32 test and only FAT32 passed, I haven't tried to use the feature again. With my setup (computer connected directed to A/V receiver and integrated amp) I don't really need to use the feature.
  5. RoyH

    RoyH Active Member


    Red this post as I am about to buy this model, however question for @Apesbrain and yourself.

    Am I to assume that with this model I won’t be able to get a video and audio signal at the same time for say DVD-A and SACD making this virtually a CD player with no visual such as a menu screen on TV, apps, etc and not a 4K player as well?

    Also does this down convert the DSD to PCM signal or is it true DSD
    Kiko1974 likes this.
  6. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Senior Member

    San Francisco, CA
    You can definitely get video and audio at the same time, whether you just use the connection that carries both video and audio or whether you use dual HDMI cables.
    RoyH likes this.
  7. It can do both, it can output native DSD when its HDMI ouput is set to "Auto" and via handshake it detects a device (most likely an A/V receiver) that can play DSD, or you can set it to PCM and it will output 176.4/24 out of a SACD disc or from a DSD (64, 128, 256) audio file.
    RoyH likes this.
  8. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot Thread Starter

    I run HDMI 1 to my monitor for video, and HDMI 2 to my receiver for audio. HDMI 2 passes true DSD for SACD, HDMI 1 (apparently) does not. I get picture and audio at the same time. If you connect the player to your TV using a cable from HDMI 1 and to your sound system using HDMI 2, you'll get picture and the full range of sound options at the same time.

    If you just run HDMI 1 to your TV or receiver, then you'll get picture and sound but you have to set the DSD setting to PCM or you won't get any audio from SACD.
    RoyH likes this.
  9. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I bought the UBP-X800 last week.

    It seems to be having a hankshake problem with an Onkyo receiver and a Samsung TV.

    I've "fiddled" with it, pulling cables, and putting them back - and its worked exactly as I want - sometimes - but then I come back the next day and its no longer working.

    I'd like to send video out HDMI 1 directly to the TV, and audio out HDMI 2 directly to the Onkyo.

    But for some reason, sometimes it wants my video setting on the player, to be non-HD (480i or 480p) before I get sound on the OTHER cable.

    Details are on another thread I started.

    I really like this player, but I don't know who to blame, the player, the AV receiver, or the TV for the strange behavior. I've tried a lot of different options on everything but the TV... maybe that's where I should focus my efforts.

    Except I don't think there ARE many options on the TV.
  10. This is just a guess but you might want to switch out your HDMI cables. It's little things like that which can cause problems.
  11. All I can tell you is to do a full factory reset on EVERYTHING, T.V. set, receiver and the X-800. Mine works like a charm with one 5 meter Amazon Basics HDMI cable from HDMI 1 of the X-800 to HDMI 1 of my 4K 49" Samsung set, and another 75 cm. Amazon basics HDMI cable from HDMI 2 of the X-800 to one of the HDMI inputs of my Pioneer SC LX-76.
    Why don't you try this?: on System Settings go to HDMI Audio Output, set it to HDMI 2 instead of Auto, this will send Audio only to your receiver, handshake on HDMI 2 with your receiver will be limited to check if it can play Hi Res audio and DSD, that's it. Try it, it may solve your problem.
    Good luck with that.
  12. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot Thread Starter

    My UBO-X800 is set up almost exactly as your is, only difference is that my HDMI 1 goes to a switchbox for a computer monitor and not a TV set but I don't know if that's relevant.

    Perhaps try this: Run an HDMI cable from the Sony unit (HDMI 1) to the Onkyo, then run another HDMI from the Onkyo to the TV, and see what happens. Or alternatively from the Sony to the TV to the Onkyo. Only drawback to this arrangement is that HDMI 1 may not give you the ability to play back native DSD (it did not for me). But if that's not a huge concern this may work.

    If that doesn't work, it would probably be advisable to exchange the Sony unit and see if a different one doesn't have the problem.
  13. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I've tried that.

    Like I said, the wierd thing is I've gotten it to work, but when it does I'm like "ok... hold your breath, it's working now" and I enjoy the thing for a few hours - until I come back the next day and start the whole fight over again.

    From what I just read, I think the root source of the problem isn't the Onkyo receiver. It seems to be the TV somehow telling the Sony player to stop sending all audio (and the X800 doesn't
    say to itself "you know what, you don't get a vote, because the audio isn't going to you!")
    Kiko1974 and dkmonroe like this.
  14. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    Does anyone know what version of HDCP the Sony UBP-X800 supports ?

    I was just reading about HDCP 2.2 and it seems like it's determined to force people to upgrade everything.

    I would think that as long as I'm not trying to use 4K tv functions in the X800, it won't be panicked about that.

    I can't use 4K tv features because the TV is a pretty vanilla HDTV.

    But its the audio that's breaking, so I'm wondering if the Sony is sending a message to the TV and in the
    absence of a response, it just shuts down audio.

    I think I need to be ultra sure I have HDMI-2 in the X800 set to its hard coded option.

    All of this encrypted key stuff is a nightmare for someone who just wants to enjoy some tv programming or discs
    or audio that he has paid for and has NO INTENTION of recording.

    Can't they just make us sign an affidavit and agree to random home theater inspections ???
  15. I have a Samsung 4K HDR set too and I've never had such this problem, not a single HDMI handshake problem on the 11 months I've had my Sony X-800 matched with the aforementioned T.V. and a Pioneer A/V receiver.
    As other forum member said before it may be an issue with your HDMI cables, I'd try Blue Jeans cables or as I have Amazon Basics HDMI cables,they're dirty cheap, they really work, at least on my set up, and if they don't work or you don't like them you can always get a refund. Try changing HDMI cables, really, I also think the problem may be there.
  16. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX

    In my case, I think part of the problem might be the fact that my Onkyo receiver is trying to be in the middle and just be a "HDMI bypass" device.

    I don't remember the model number of my Samsung TV, but the Onkyo is a TX-SR605.

    Here's my theory of what is happening.

    The SONY X-800 sends a HDCP message to the Samsung TV with a message that is something like "Hey, I'm a Blu-Ray player that wants to send you a 1080P/1080i signal ? Is that OK? "

    Then the SAMSUNG says "Sure, go right ahead... but keep in mind that I don't have an ARC port, and all I can support is low-res audio"

    Then the SONY X-800 says to itself "Well, my owner wants to use hi-res audio on my other HDMI port, I need to ask that question using my other HDMI port"

    Then the SONY X-800 sends a HDCP message to the Onkyo receiver with a message that is something like "Hey, I'm a Blu-Ray player that wants to send a low-res video signal with
    a hi-res Audio signal? Is that OK ?"

    But then there is no reply, because the Onkyo is a "by-pass" device and it's expecting someone else to get involved with the extra handshake.

    So in the absence of a reply, the Sony X-800 sends no audio out the "audio only" HDMI port.
  17. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I took the X800 back to the store and exchanged it with another. I haven't tried the new one yet.
    Kiko1974 likes this.
  18. What player did you get?
  19. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I exchanged it for the same thing (Snny UDP-X800).

    I'm hoping it was just a flaky unit.

    I think I'm going to try to use it a little differently this time. I have been ignoring the
    coax digital output. I have an extra spot on my receiver that can accomodate it.

    If that output sends higher than 44.1 PCM, I think I have a workaround.

    I'm wondering when it sends nothing out the HDMI if it's because its sending something
    out the coax digital out.
    dkmonroe likes this.
  20. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    It comes down to the following questions:

    1.) What did I buy the X800 to do, specifically ?
    a.) Displace a Pioneer Blu-Ray player that was using analog component video, and analog multichannel audio
    b.) Gain some streaming services (Amazon, Prime, Hulu, Vudu,Iheart, etc)

    2.) What did I want, but not really need ?
    a.) the ability to send 4K tv (don't need, because don't have a 4 K tv, yet)
    b.) the ability to play sacd (I care about this, but my parents don't own an sacds)
    c.) the ability to play DVD-A (again, something I care about, but this is in my parents house)

    3.) Things I want to play with, but wasn't sure if it would meet my needs?
    a.) DNLA render from a music server

    4.) Things I discovered I really liked, that I wasn't aware of before I start playing with
    a.) upsampling the audio from streaming sources and/or compact discs

    If I keep the Pioneer Blu Ray player in the same rig, and if the Sony is willing to upsample when using the coax digital
    output, all I would probably be losing is sacd and DVD-A... which then might start working in the future if the
    TV or receiver is replaced. Since my parents don't own hi-res discs, suddenly having the ability to watch all of
    these movies on these streaming services, is a big win, with no real loss.

    When I get depressed is when I sit there and I play a compact disc or an audio streaming radio station and the Onkyo shows 88.2 Khz arriving on the
    HDMI . It sounds amazing and I'm happy, but but the TV display looks fuzzy, so I change it back to 1080i 1080p., 720p, etc and the TV looks
    sharp but then NO sound comes out. If I dial the PCM back to 44.1, I definitely think the sound goes from "wow, they are in the room" to
    "yeah, that sounds like a CD".

    I think the reason the upsampling seems to have more presence is it allows the DSP processing mode in the Onkyo to better do it's job.
    When it's 88.2, the singer sounds like he is in the center channel speaker. When it's 44.1, I hear the singer, but I lose this mental image
    of where everyone is placed in the sound stage. Instruments stop sounding like they are in a specific spot in the room.

    I wish there was a way to look at a cable and figure out if all of the pins are wired from one end to the other. I think the cable thing
    isn't so much the quality of the conductors inside the cable (and the distance) but are ALL (19?) of the pins wired inside that sheath.


    This whitepaper seems to suggest all of the pins are always there in all cables.

    Actually, I think this better explains what happens inside the cable from one end to

    Newer cables have the internal wires twisted, where older cables had straight thru
    wires (on specific pins). The apparent reason for doing this was the straight thru wires
    were just for low budget control signals... twisting the wires allows for a more robust
    transmission mechanism. This would explain why all cables are not created equal.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  21. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    Third time was a charm.

    I returned the X800 twice.

    The first replacement took things from bad to worse.

    The second replacement has been working as advertised.

    So far.
    dkmonroe likes this.
  22. The build quality on the 800 has been called into question.
    sunspot42 likes this.
  23. PTgraphics

    PTgraphics Senior Member

    Yea, that flimsy USB door won't last a year I think, especially if you use it a lot. So far mine is still hanging on. I use it to play some Hi Res and DSD files. Sound is great.
    I just got a 4K TV last week (Sony 900E) so I haven't played any video through it yet.
  24. tootull

    tootull ?

    HDMI 1 will pass true DSD to a receiver that can handle DSD. That's how I use the X800. I've never had to use HDMI 2.
    dkmonroe likes this.
  25. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I went and bought some sacds and dvd-audio disks yesterday to see what the player/reciever combo would do when I put either type of disc in the X800.
    I bought some cheap titles, not really caring about what was on them.

    1.) Alanis Morissette - Under Swept Rug (DVD-Audio, both "hi res multichannel" and "hi rest stereo)
    2.) Robert Earl Keen - A Bigger Piece of Sky (hybrid SACD, stereo only, disc was improperly labeled as also having DSD multichannel)
    3.) Wayne Horvitz - Sweeter Than The Day (hybrdid SACD, stereo and multichannel)
    4.) Yellowjackets - Altered State (hybrid SACD, stereo and multichannel)

    The X800 properly recognized both types of discs.

    I wasn't aware that the Keen disc improperly listed multichannel, but a quick internet search found comments from people who've been
    down that path before. I *probably* avoided this disc when it was released because I had read that way back when. The track sequence
    for the Keen title had been revised (as per line notes) because the artist claims he was never satisfied with the original sequence. There is
    also a "reprise" not specifically listed on the older CD (maybe its there, and just part of the last track?)

    I expected my Onkyo TX-SR605 to not (directly) decode a DSD bitstream. I used "PCM" and then tried "auto" (which thankfully didn't
    produce any sort of strange noise at my receiver). Both seemed to do the same thing, but I think both options resulted in PCM sent to
    my receiver.

    The first disc I played was the DVD-Audio.

    I had to set the video resolution to be 480p (or 480i) in the X800 screen setting for the Onkyo to get any sound on the HDMI output
    (HDMI-2 from the X800). The player said it was seeing 96/24 multichannel tracks, but the Onkyo said it was seeing 48 Khz PCM
    multichannel. The disc packaging didn't say what kind of "hi-res multichannel" tracks were on it. I suspect the X800 would not have
    said 96/24 if the tracks were 48/24, but I don't have a disc to test that. I think there is a Donald Fagan disc that has 48 khz multichannel
    but I have that back at my home in TX (and I'm experimenting in my parents house in Philadelphia). The stereo option on the DVD-Audio
    disc displayed as 94/24 on the Sony player and showed up at the Onkyo as "96 Khz PCM".

    When I put the sacd discs in the player, the first thing I noticed was Gracenote did not appear to work like it does for normal compact discs.
    But the player DID say that it recognized a "Super Audio CD" and it showed some setting I've never seen that said "1 bit" and a frequency
    number I didn't write down. After the initial surprise that the Keen disc didn't have a multichannel track, I was also surprised to discover
    that the Onkyo showed different PCM numbers for the multichannel options, versus the stereo option. The stereo option produced a
    higher PCM reading at the Onkyo (like 176.4 , I think) than the multichannel options (which read as "44.1 PCM" on the Onkyo).

    I was expecting the DSD tracks to show up as the highest numbers possible (i.e "192 Khz") for both multichannel and stereo, but I'm guessing
    that's not the way it works.

    I still want to go buy one more HDMI cable and see if that makes a difference. I'm getting tired of the Amazon cables showing up in
    packaging that looks like they could be sending me anything. I keep purchasing products that say they are "18 Gbps high speed cables"
    but in the absence of something obvious (like a specific color for the entire cable), it seems too easy for a vendor to take old (HDMI cable)
    stock and present it as new (HDMI cable) stock.

    I'm still puzzled by my need to have to turn the video screen setting to 480 to get sound coming out of the HDMI cable. It's annoying, but
    I know how to work around the problem.
    Last edited: May 27, 2018

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