Re: Is DTS Master Cinema worth the investment
Be careful when assuming that a player with analog outputs will satisfy you, especially if you have a high-end rig with decent digital front in like a lexicon processor etc. (only lacking HDMI).
We tried the Panny BD50 at my friend's house for just that reason... and ran the 5.1 analog in to the Lexicon. The sound quality was "ok" but dissapointing compared to even just using *stereo* downmix over optical (still lossless). The d/a conversion in the player clearly wasn't up to the level of his DVD-Audio Pioneer player.
I know that Panny has a new player coming out to improve analog output. But bear in mind that most consumer players aren't designed with analog output stages that will satisfy golden ears... but naturally if you can keep the signal all digital these matters are moot.
I'd recommend pressuring the maker of your decoder to offer an HDMI upgrade path. That will solve all problems, though it will cost more.
p.s. Across The Universe has a great lossless track and is recorded incredibly well.
The new Baraka BD also has exceptional music in 5.1 lossless. Those are great demo discs to compare when you're evaluating a player with analog output.