AVR Decoding Light & PS3

I have a Sony STR-DA4400ES AVR connected to a PlayStation 3 via HDMI. Whenever I play a Blu-ray movie on the PS3, none of the audio codec lights come on. But when I watch programs from my cable box or watch DVDs from a different DVD player, the corresponding light does illuminate. Any idea what the problem is?

Mark Barios

Here's the response from a Sony engineer:

The STR-DA4400ES has a parameter called Sound Field Select in the Sur Settings menu. Make sure this parameter is set to AFD Auto for the input to which the PS3 is connected. If that doesn't work, check the PS3's audio output, which should be set to output bitstream.

That last sentence assumes you're using the newer "Slim" PS3, which can output native bitstreams. However, you don't say whether you're using that model or the original PS3, which cannot output native bitstreams—it converts them to PCM internally. If you're using the older model, the various bitstream indicators will not light up; instead, the L-PCM indicator should light up.

If you have an A/V question, please send it to askhometheater@gmail.com.

chrisheinonen's picture

Additionally, if Mark has an original model PS3 and is looking for a light like the Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA to turn on, the PS3 internally decodes the formats to PCM for output, which won't cause those lights to trigger. The new, slim versions can do bitstream output, but I believe they can also internally decode as well. The sound quality will be exactly the same if it is PCM as opposed to bitstreamed, you just will not see the lights turn on.

goodfellas27's picture

Sony came out with the PS3 slim which allows you to bit-stream to your receiver; allowing for the AVR to decode the signal and not the PS3. In-turn, you'll see the DTS-HD -or- Dolby logo and not PCM in your AVR; however, only the new PS3 model can do this and not the old "fat" PS3.

Many would say that it sounds the same between the two model, but I like the AVR to decode it for me since I know it'll probably have a better sound processor.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
I totally forgot that the original PS3 does not send native bitstreams. I'll add that to my reply. Thanks!
K.Reid's picture

Mark/Scott - I have the Sony STR-DA5300ES connected to my newer slim PS3. When setting the PS3 to bitstream, I have experienced interruptions in the sound stream when watching movies. A movie will continue to play but the sound drops. Sometimes, I had to stop the movie and restart the chapter.

Ultimately, the sound drop outs were becoming annoying so I changed to LPCM. I've had no trouble since. I cannot hear any audible difference between the two.

At first, I thought the sound drop outs were due to my directional HDMI cables, but I verified that they were connected properly. Also, be sure to have the correct bit/sampling rate outputs selected in the PS3 (e.g. 16bit/44.1khz; 24 bit/96khz; etc)

mike1's picture

this is reason why i do not have my ps3 hook up to my avr, instead i have stand alone blu ray player to my avr.

TheJoBoo's picture

The PS3 is a fantastic piece of convergence. Of course, convergence is harmful to performance. A second, and minor, note is that when the time comes to update your AVR, go for a unit with a better power supply and amp section, like Anthem or Pioneer Elite. Unlike the differences between Elite and Pioneer, there distinction between Sony and ES is simply the price tag and dressed up bells and whistles. Where, oh where, are industry standards for identifying and qualifying the power supplies in AVRs and TVs? Can we imagine buying a car without knowing what kind of engine we are getting?

AVtheaterguy's picture


I'm not a SONY fanboy, but you forgot the TOP #1 reason why anyone should purchase an ES product...


I'm not taking anything away from what you said, just adding that there is definitely ONE huge difference between the ES line and the Sony standard models.

AVtheaterguy's picture

If you're PS3 is not hooked up to the surround system, Do you not play Video Games in surround sound then, or do you just not use the PS3 for Blu-Ray playback?

Just Curious.