New 4K Blu Ray player from Cambridge

Interesting new product from Cambridge Audio

https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/products/cx/cxuhd

The new player seems to play everything from CD, to SACD, DVD-A, to DVD, standard Blu Ray to 4K Blu Ray and even supports HDR and Dolby Vision - it's actually based on the platform used by Oppo on the UDP UDP 203.... however the main difference is that the Cambridge player does not have any DACs - so in effect this is Blu Ray transport as to get any sound out of the unit, one will need to use the DAC from the AV amp/External DAC.

While this wont be a major disadvantage for anyone who has an AV amp and uses it for films, however it will mean that to listen to SACD and DVD-A disks the sound quality will be limited by the quality of the DAC in the AV amplifier....... unless that is Cambridge outputs SACD/DVD-A via it's coa/optical digital output...

But I think it's interesting that we appear to have the first Blu-Ray transport in the market....  

Original Post
count.d posted:

Interesting. It will be great when 4k films eventually become available.

Right, but even for CD, DVD and Blu-Ray discs, it is an interesting device for those who do not already have a player!

I very much like the fact that it comes with no analog outputs. Finally a device with a sleek, modular design. I am looking forward  detailed comparisons between the UDP-203 and the CXUHD. If the CXUHD turns out to be as good as the UDP-203, I will go for the Cambridge.

Eloise posted:

...

Curiously the Cambridge UHD "transport" is going to cost people more than the Oppo 203 does...

You mean in the UK? I understood that the Cambridge will cost 799 EUR and the Oppo sells for 849 EUR in Germany. Of course, the Oppo has analogue outputs, thus, in a sense, the Cambridge is still more expensive. Anyway, from the pictures the Cambridge looks better to me. If this is confirmed in real and the two systems are roughly equivalent w.r.t. video + audio quality and software, I'll go for the Cambridge.

Eloise posted:

Yes meant in the UK.  

Oppo 203 is £650 and the Cambridge CXUHD is £750.

Oh, that's weird! I guess the street prices will eventually converge if the two devices essentially offer comparable features and performance ...

Eloise posted:

You said "from the pictures the Cambridge looks better to me" did you mean its physical appearance?

Yes, from what I can see so far I slightly prefer the Cambridge front design but both look great, in fact. I will have to see the real devices to make my choice in the end. I was set to buy the Oppo this weekend but now I will wait until the Cambridge comes out. Hopefully there are no delays.

At this point my major concern is connecting the Oppo or the Cambridge to the same power strip that I use for my SN2, Naim DAC and for the PSU of the server/renderer. I am living in an old flat and my options w.r.t. power supply are very limited ...

The compare to the Oppo 203 will be very interesting indeed - I suppose that the lack of a DAC could potentially have a positive effect on sound quality - but then if one has to depend on DACs sitting inside a AV amp, there is risk that you may be actually adding greater potential for noise due to the huge transformer in these AV amps. Maybe the most optimal combination would be the Cambridge feeding into a AV processor (rather than a AV Amp) which then drives external power amps... 

But it does mean that in order to listen to SACD or DVD-A, the only option will be to use a AV amp/processor and not a stereo only setup... and in my experience this will me mean a lower quality of sound... 

nbpf posted:
Eloise posted:

Yes meant in the UK.  

Oppo 203 is £650 and the Cambridge CXUHD is £750.

Oh, that's weird! I guess the street prices will eventually converge if the two devices essentially offer comparable features and performance ...

My error.  The Cambridge is £700 (listed on Cambridge Audio website)

The user manual of the Oppo UDP-203 states that:

"Due to copyright restrictions, SACD audio cannot be sent through the coaxial or optical
digital audio output. To listen to SACDs, please use the HDMI or analog audio connections."

"Due to copyright restrictions and bandwidth limitations, full resolution audio from DVD-Audio
discs cannot be sent through the coaxial or optical digital audio output. To listen to DVD-Audio
in full resolution, please use the HDMI or analog audio connections."

Will the new Cambridge CXUHD be subject to the same limitations? Given that the Cambridge has no analog outputs, this would imply that in fact it does not fully support SACD and DVD-Audio formats!

It does, but only through its HDMI connection, which is not an issue if you've a high-quality home cinema processor, and I suppose Cambridge are aiming squarely at that market. The Oppo disc players have always had very good DACs in them, so it does seem a strange decision to market the Cambridge player in this configuration.  I'm really not convinced that leaving out the analogue and DAC gubbins is going to improve sound (and picture quality) to any significant degree. If it was cheaper...

tonym posted:

It does, but only through its HDMI connection, which is not an issue if you've a high-quality home cinema processor, and I suppose Cambridge are aiming squarely at that market. The Oppo disc players have always had very good DACs in them, so it does seem a strange decision to market the Cambridge player in this configuration.  I'm really not convinced that leaving out the analogue and DAC gubbins is going to improve sound (and picture quality) to any significant degree. If it was cheaper...

You are right, I have overseen the fact that both devices fully support  SACD and DVD-Audio via HDMI! I plan to connect the device to my Naim DAC via SPDIF, thus I was a bit irritated by the fact that SACD and DVD-Audio are not fully supported on that output. I do not really care as I have no SACD or DVD-Audio discs, just CDs and a few DVD and Blu-Ray discs. I agree the Oppo seems a more reasonable choice at this point. I think I'll go for it. Thanks, nbpf

tonym posted:

It does, but only through its HDMI connection, which is not an issue if you've a high-quality home cinema processor, and I suppose Cambridge are aiming squarely at that market ...

Just to exposemy ignorance a little bit more: what is a "igh-quality home cinema processor"? I was just thinking of connecting the Oppo/Cambride to my TV via HDMI and to the Naim DAC via SPDIF. Does this make sense? Thanks, nbpf

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

tonym posted:

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

Hmmm ... given that I do not want to add a home cinema receiver to my system, it seems that the only way to enjoy high resolution audio from blu-ray (and perhaps also video DVDs?) discs is to use the analog output of the Oppo or a HDMI de-embedder downstream its HDMI audio output. Is my conclusion correct? Thanks, nbpf 

nbpf posted:
audio1946 posted:

blueray dvds are dead in water

?

I do hope not as the current state of streaming of movies is woeful compared to a physical BluRay ... I'm still upset at my long-time LoveFilm service being no more after the end of October. :-(

Phil

Phew! I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms already!

(It looks like twice the price of LoveFilm though - but I would love to see how their membership has changed this last week!)

Of course maybe LoveFilm will be kind to all us long term subscribers (been with them for 15 years or so) and send us the contents of our outstanding "wants" lists to keep so they don't have to get rid of all those discs. ;-)

Phil

nbpf posted:
tonym posted:

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

Hmmm ... given that I do not want to add a home cinema receiver to my system, it seems that the only way to enjoy high resolution audio from blu-ray (and perhaps also video DVDs?) discs is to use the analog output of the Oppo or a HDMI de-embedder downstream its HDMI audio output. Is my conclusion correct? Thanks, nbpf 

More or less correct nbpf; the Oppo will not send  BluRay/SACD/DAD-A for output through its digital (optical & coaxial) connections; in the case of SACD it'll play the CD layer. However, IIRC if you use its streaming facility from a network source it will pass this through. Bear in mind though, the analogue outputs are not exactly shabby! If you want the best quality analogue outputs then you need to invest in the 205.

I do not really care whether blu-rays or dvds are dead or not. I have a (very) few discs and I am looking forward to buy a 203. I hope that its SPDIF output is good enough also for occasional CD listening. I was a bit irritated by the fact that the audio of blu-ray and dvd video discs gets downsampled to 24/48 on SPDIF outputs. But if downsampling is done well, I do not really care. Can anyone confirm or confute my understanding? Thanks, nbpf 

tonym posted:
nbpf posted:
tonym posted:

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

Hmmm ... given that I do not want to add a home cinema receiver to my system, it seems that the only way to enjoy high resolution audio from blu-ray (and perhaps also video DVDs?) discs is to use the analog output of the Oppo or a HDMI de-embedder downstream its HDMI audio output. Is my conclusion correct? Thanks, nbpf 

More or less correct nbpf; the Oppo will not send  BluRay/SACD/DAD-A for output through its digital (optical & coaxial) connections; in the case of SACD it'll play the CD layer. However, IIRC if you use its streaming facility from a network source it will pass this through. Bear in mind though, the analogue outputs are not exactly shabby! If you want the best quality analogue outputs then you need to invest in the 205.

Hmm ... does that mean that optical and coaxial are muted on Blu-Ray video replay or that they get at most 24/48 streams?

I will of course also try the analogue outputs of the 203 but my plan was, at first, to have it connected via Toslink or coaxial to the Naim DAC.

I hope this works for DVD and Blu-Ray. I do not care so much about SACD and DAD-A as I do not have any of them and do not intend buying such discs.

Richard Dane posted:

Phil, looks like Cinema Paradiso has come to the rescue.  I'll be switching over to them next month.

4 at a time - unlimited per month (lets see how they compare with LoveFilm for turnaroudn time / number of discs per month) - £29.98 (an odd value) ... ignore the 14 days free trial ... just subscribed this lunchtime...

Phil

nbpf posted:
tonym posted:
nbpf posted:
tonym posted:

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

Hmmm ... given that I do not want to add a home cinema receiver to my system, it seems that the only way to enjoy high resolution audio from blu-ray (and perhaps also video DVDs?) discs is to use the analog output of the Oppo or a HDMI de-embedder downstream its HDMI audio output. Is my conclusion correct? Thanks, nbpf 

More or less correct nbpf; the Oppo will not send  BluRay/SACD/DAD-A for output through its digital (optical & coaxial) connections; in the case of SACD it'll play the CD layer. However, IIRC if you use its streaming facility from a network source it will pass this through. Bear in mind though, the analogue outputs are not exactly shabby! If you want the best quality analogue outputs then you need to invest in the 205.

Hmm ... does that mean that optical and coaxial are muted on Blu-Ray video replay or that they get at most 24/48 streams?

I will of course also try the analogue outputs of the 203 but my plan was, at first, to have it connected via Toslink or coaxial to the Naim DAC.

I hope this works for DVD and Blu-Ray. I do not care so much about SACD and DAD-A as I do not have any of them and do not intend buying such discs.

I'm not quite sure about that. When I get time I'll have a look through the manual for you.

tonym posted:
nbpf posted:
tonym posted:
nbpf posted:
tonym posted:

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

Hmmm ... given that I do not want to add a home cinema receiver to my system, it seems that the only way to enjoy high resolution audio from blu-ray (and perhaps also video DVDs?) discs is to use the analog output of the Oppo or a HDMI de-embedder downstream its HDMI audio output. Is my conclusion correct? Thanks, nbpf 

More or less correct nbpf; the Oppo will not send  BluRay/SACD/DAD-A for output through its digital (optical & coaxial) connections; in the case of SACD it'll play the CD layer. However, IIRC if you use its streaming facility from a network source it will pass this through. Bear in mind though, the analogue outputs are not exactly shabby! If you want the best quality analogue outputs then you need to invest in the 205.

Hmm ... does that mean that optical and coaxial are muted on Blu-Ray video replay or that they get at most 24/48 streams?

I will of course also try the analogue outputs of the 203 but my plan was, at first, to have it connected via Toslink or coaxial to the Naim DAC.

I hope this works for DVD and Blu-Ray. I do not care so much about SACD and DAD-A as I do not have any of them and do not intend buying such discs.

I'm not quite sure about that. When I get time I'll have a look through the manual for you.

I have checked the manual, it says that:

Due to bandwidth limitations, high resolution audio formats such as Dolby Digital Plus,
Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio cannot be sent through
the coaxial or optical digital audio output. A reduced resolution version of the same audio
track will be output instead. To listen to high resolution audio formats in their best quality,
please use the HDMI connection if you have a receiver that handles HDMI audio (see page
12) or use the multi-channel analog outputs if you do not (see page 15).

but does not specify if such "reduced resolution" is 24/48, 16/44.1 or something else. I came across contradicting posts on different forums. Anyway, great devices the Oppos and the manuals are better than those of Cambridge Audio!

nbpf posted:

Hmm ... does that mean that optical and coaxial are muted on Blu-Ray video replay or that they get at most 24/48 streams?

I will of course also try the analogue outputs of the 203 but my plan was, at first, to have it connected via Toslink or coaxial to the Naim DAC.

I hope this works for DVD and Blu-Ray. I do not care so much about SACD and DAD-A as I do not have any of them and do not intend buying such discs.

You can trick the output for BluRay/DVD (though DVD is only 24/48 anyway) at a higher rate by running the HDMI output through a HDMI Audio De-embedder / Extractor.  Something like a Lindy HDMI 4K Audio Extractor De-Embedder P/N 38167 (not a specific recommendation as I've not used one myself) is what you need and states it supports unto 24/192 audio.  It won't output DSD thought.

Or to avoid all hassle, look at the Oppo 205 which has better analogue audio capabilities.

https://forums.naimaudio.com/to...mi-audio-de-embedder was a previous thread discussing similar.  In that thread I mentioned modifying a player with an Audiopraise Vanity board ... looks like they have similar available for the Oppo 203.

...and you get a proper, printed manual! The description's very confusing because the aforementioned formats are generally multichannel HD formats, only of interest if you're outputting to a processor. I guess it means that each of the 5.1/7.1 channels typical of these formats will be suitably reduced. You can downmix these to stereo, but it's not the best thing to do. Check in the manual how the Oppo handles HD LPCM stereo tracks. On BluRay Audio discs you can select HD stereo LPCM; this should be passed through without downsampling. 

Eloise posted:
nbpf posted:

Hmm ... does that mean that optical and coaxial are muted on Blu-Ray video replay or that they get at most 24/48 streams?

I will of course also try the analogue outputs of the 203 but my plan was, at first, to have it connected via Toslink or coaxial to the Naim DAC.

I hope this works for DVD and Blu-Ray. I do not care so much about SACD and DAD-A as I do not have any of them and do not intend buying such discs.

You can trick the output for BluRay/DVD (though DVD is only 24/48 anyway) at a higher rate by running the HDMI output through a HDMI Audio De-embedder / Extractor.

Or to avoid all hassle, look at the Oppo 205 which has better analogue audio capabilities.

Thanks Eloise! I am aware of the possibility of using an extractor downstream the HDMI output but I am afraid to open up another can of worms: one more box, which one to pick up, which PSU, etc. I would rather prefer just to connect via coax to the Naim DAC.

I was wandering whether the 203 downsamples BluRay discs to 24/48 or to something lower. The user guide just says that Blu-Ray high resolution formats are sent with "reduced resolution" to the optical/coaxial outputs. I guess 24/48 would be fine if the downsampling is done well.

I am sure the 205 has better analogue audio but it is much thicker and twice as expensive as the 203. I plan to use the player only occasionally and I do not like the idea of having to many redundancies in my system. Also, the 203 looks better to me. I would then rather go for the 203.

By the way, do you know whether the 203 is good as a CD player? Again, just for occasional listening. My basic system remains unchanged.

Eloise posted:
nbpf posted:

Hmm ... does that mean that optical and coaxial are muted on Blu-Ray video replay or that they get at most 24/48 streams?

I will of course also try the analogue outputs of the 203 but my plan was, at first, to have it connected via Toslink or coaxial to the Naim DAC.

I hope this works for DVD and Blu-Ray. I do not care so much about SACD and DAD-A as I do not have any of them and do not intend buying such discs.

...

https://forums.naimaudio.com/to...mi-audio-de-embedder was a previous thread discussing similar.  In that thread I mentioned modifying a player with an Audiopraise Vanity board ... looks like they have similar available for the Oppo 203.

Thanks, there appear to be quite a number of offers of Oppo modifications, among others from oppomod.com. As I wrote, I do not want to put too much energy into this project, the device is only going to be used occasionally.

Still the downsampling of blu-ray audio on spdif outputs is very annoying. If I have to spend 850 EUR only to get mediocre audio quality because of silly copyright constraints I'll just rip my very few DVDs and stream them directly to the TV without any player in between.

I'm not sure you're correct in assuming HD audio from a BluRay is downsampled if it's in stereo. Later today I shall run one of my stereo BluRay audio discs through mine & feed the Oppo's optical output into my DAC. That'll tell me the sampling rate being output.

tonym posted:

I'm not sure you're correct in assuming HD audio from a BluRay is downsampled if it's in stereo. Later today I shall run one of my stereo BluRay audio discs through mine & feed the Oppo's optical output into my DAC. That'll tell me the sampling rate being output.

That would be great, thanks! Best, nbpf

Well, that was a bit inconclusive. The Oppo's on the opposite side of the room to the DAC, & connected up to the Denon cinema receiver by hdmi. I managed to run an optical cable over, & put on a BluRay Audio disc (Sara K). Not sure if having hdmi & SPDIF connected at the same time effects things. Anyway, the dac says 48K, the disk being 24/96. But I get no sound...

I'm curious now. Think I'll contact Oppo directly, they're usually great at answering queries. Maybe post on AV Forums too. Watch this space!

Thanks Tony, I have just unpacked the 203 and checked that I get a signal on the TV via a 10m HDMI cable. Now listening to an old CD. Later I'll do some setup. From what I have read on the forums, the SPDIF output gets downsampled to 24/48 when spinning blu-rays. Other say 16/48, though. Best, nbpf

I don't think I was engaging my brain yesterday! Of course it downsamples, it's to stop you copying the HD music stream. Sorry to mislead...

Anyway NBPF, I'm sure you'll find the analogue outputs will sound more than fine. I use a bit of a circuitous route for stereo output when playing SACDs or DVD-As (or CDs) - analogue outs into the Denon processor, which passes through to my 552's AV input set to unitary gain; volume's adjusted on the Denon.

tonym posted:

I don't think I was engaging my brain yesterday! Of course it downsamples, it's to stop you copying the HD music stream. Sorry to mislead...

Anyway NBPF, I'm sure you'll find the analogue outputs will sound more than fine. I use a bit of a circuitous route for stereo output when playing SACDs or DVD-As (or CDs) - analogue outs into the Denon processor, which passes through to my 552's AV input set to unitary gain; volume's adjusted on the Denon.

Yes, the reasons for downsampling are clear, I was just wandering whether it is 16/48 or 24/48 on blu-ray video replay. The "Info" screen says 24/48. So far, I have only tested the SPDIF output (both Toslink and coaxial) to the Naim DAC.

I am still unsure whether the "SPDIF output" in the "Audio Format Options" menu should be set to "Bitstream" or to "LPCM": the manual suggests "Bitstream" but in this setting there seems not to work with DVDs.

Anyway, the 4K upscaling of blu-ray discs is stunning and the connection to the TV through the 10m Supra cable works perfectly. The manual is also very nice. I will buy some cinch cables and test the analog output of the 203 next week. Thanks again, nbpf

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×