Contour Digital Output Options - Which is Best?
The Contour settings menus let you set digital output format. The options available are (this is what the manual says):
Pulse Code Modulated (PCM): This is the default format of digital output
Dolby Digital (Labeled AC-3 in the actual menu on my box): If you have a unit that can receive and decode Dolby Digital output, use this option.
For my setup, the Coutour HMDI output goes first to a Onkyo Receiver, and then on to my Sony TV via HDMI. I have HDMI pass-through on the receiver turned on, so that the video and audio signal goes to the TV whether or not the receiver is on.
I have the Contour now set to output AC-3 audio, and the receiver handles it fine. (It also handles the PCM input fine.)
My question: is the PCM option "Linear PCM"? LPCM is an uncompressed signal which theoretically provides improved quality. I know some TVs can only handle the two-channel standard PCM, but that is not the case for my receiver or TV.
Why does the manual recommend the AC-3 option? I have been told that the LPCM provides the best audio signal. (I honestly can't hear any difference between the two formats from the Contour. I care more about "quality" when playing BlueRay disks.)