Usa 5.1 Audio through optical - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-04-2013, 03:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a surround sound set and a TV. The surround sound only takes optical audio in, and I have three sources that only have one hdmi output. I havent bought a TV yet, so maybe there is a special tv that will work? or I should use a receiver? how can I get all this stuff connected with 5.1 audio working?
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-04-2013, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prnoct90 View Post

I have a surround sound set and a TV. The surround sound only takes optical audio in, and I have three sources that only have one hdmi output. I havent bought a TV yet, so maybe there is a special tv that will work? or I should use a receiver? how can I get all this stuff connected with 5.1 audio working?


Its time for a new AVR. Run the HDMI cables from your source's to the AVR and then to the TV. There is something called audio return channel that most new TV and AVR's have today that caries the audio back to the AVR for the off air tuners audio to the AVR . I use an optical for that anyway because I use an 3D spiltter in the chain and it's the same 5.1 signal anyway. The BD payers have whats called lossless audio and that's only cared over HDMI and the AVR's decode it. Take a look at accessories4less.com it will back the switch over less painful. As for TV's there a just about all the same as for as inputs/outputs go and using them for a switcher for the HDMI you will not get the 5.1 from the TV's audio other then from the off air tuner in it. Also there are what are called smart TV's that can do streaming video from the internet with that audio cared to the AVR with ether the ACR or the optical.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-04-2013, 09:16 AM
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Basically what Phil17108 said:

TV: inernal ATSC tuner -> optical out -> optical in of AVR for 5.1. That will work for all network programming that broadcasts in 5.1 and some Smart apps if they can decode 5.1. Not all tv's Smart apps can though. That's one of the reasons I'm not a big fan of Smart tv's. If you have cable and not OTA tv, you can connect the cable coax to the Cable/Ant input of the tv and use the internal ATSC tuner for your stations. There are other ways to connect as well but that's the easiest. Optical can only carry 5.1, it can not handle HD audio (lossless audio, DTS-MA, Dolby TrueHD, etc).

ARC (Audio Return Channel) is ok but it can be difficult at times. It's basically designed to eliminate the use of an optical cable but as pointed out above, it will not carry HD audio. I never use it.

A basic setup would be:

All devices (blu-ray playter, Roku, AppleTV, etc) connected via High Speed HDMI to the AVR's inputs. A single High Speed HMDI cable out from the AVR to the HDMI input of the tv. Optical out from the tv to the AVR input. Leave the tv's speakers off. You'll have to pick your source each time (device) unless you have a universal remote (such as a Harmony) that can automatically switch inputs (sources). So basically all audio, regardless of source, will be played thru the AVR and only video will be sent to your display device (tv). If the AVR can decode HD audio, then any blu-ray which has HD auido will be decoded and played. Any tv programming, because it is coming from the internal ATSC tuner, will play 5.1 if broadcast. Xboxes, PS3s, etc may require a slightly different setup but the basic idea is the same.

If you can avoid it, I'd stay away from using switches. There's nothing wrong with it but it's one more thing in the a/v chain that is best left out if you can setup without it.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-04-2013, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, but the audio equipment only has a optical in, so is the an avr that has optical out?
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-04-2013, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prnoct90 View Post

Ok, but the audio equipment only has a optical in, so is the an avr that has optical out?

Some AVR's do, mine doesn't, but that's ok for us. Usually, you use the optical out from the tv to the optical In of the AVR for 5.1 sound when using the tv's internal ATSC tuner. The AVR will detect the type of signal coming in (either from an HDMI source like a blu-ray player, a digital cable box, or a tv, and play the correct format depending on how you have the AVR (receiver) setup.
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