HDMI Passthrough with toslink out? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-20-2010, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm wondering if there's a device out there that can passthrough HDMI and output the audio via toslink.

I'm getting a set of headphones for late night gaming and movie watching and I've grown tired of always playing with the volume to make sure I don't wake anyone up. My receiver doesn't offer optical outputs, and running toslink cables to every device (4 of them) would be messy and a pain to deal with.

The 4 devices I want to get optical toslink sound out of are connected to my 4-port HDMI switch. I'd ideally like to takt the HDMI out from the switch, and put that into some sort of HDMI passthrough device that offers toslink out.

That would allow me to keep all my devices connected using only HDMI cables, and then with 1 adapter I could take the sound from those devices and use it over toslink to my headset instead of using the receiver for sound.

The problem is, I can't seem to find a device that does that. I've found a few HDMI 4-port switchers that also have toslink out, but I'm worried about running another switch right after a switch I already have. I had issues in the past getting switches to work with all my components, and now that it's working (and has been for years), I really don't want to introduce potential new problems.

I'd really just like to strip the audio out of my HDMI cable going to my receiver and convert that to toslink. Is there anything out there that can do that?

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post #2 of 23 Old 01-21-2010, 09:33 AM
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The closest solution I can think of is Gefen's EXT-HDMI-2-DVIAUD. You will probably need a DVI to HDMI cable for your output video in addition to the toslink cable for your output audio.
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-21-2010, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

I saw that... but it doesn't pass-through HDMI... it just converts it to DVI and toslink. It's close to what I need... I just need that DVI port to be an HDMI port . That... and Gefen stuff is waaaaaaaaaaay over priced. I don't think there's anything out there that does what I need, so I'm just going to have to do a messier approach getting a toslink switch and running more cables through my A/V cabinet.

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post #4 of 23 Old 01-21-2010, 09:56 AM
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Perhaps this or this would work.

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post #5 of 23 Old 01-21-2010, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Those look like exactly what I need. Only bummer is the $200 price. Seems overkill for what I need (as it's made for people that don't have HDMI receivers or receivers that accept HD audio formats). But... it does passthrough audio and video over HDMI, and gives me a toslink out for my headphones.

I'll have to search for some more reviews on those... but thank you for posting that.

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post #6 of 23 Old 01-21-2010, 11:16 AM
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The boxes are expensive because, in HDMI, the audio is interleaved with the video, so it requires some complex, high speed processing to extract the audio.

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post #7 of 23 Old 01-21-2010, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutschow View Post

The boxes are expensive because, in HDMI, the audio is interleaved with the video, so it requires some complex, high speed processing to extract the audio.

My only real concern with using this method is any added lag (for gaming).

Right now, it goes:

Gaming console -> HDMI switch -> Receiver -> TV

If I get one of the HDMI de-embeders, it would go:

Gaming console -> HDMI switch -> HDMI de-embeder -> Receiver -> TV

It's another step that may add more lag. I cant find many reviews on the products you listed... and in the few I found I of course couldn't find anything about lag.

I found an un-marked version of that going for around $120... so that's easier to swallow. I guess I just need to decide if it's worth using one of the things you linked to, or using toslink directly out of my devices and running a seperate switch to switch between each of them.

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post #8 of 23 Old 01-21-2010, 12:07 PM
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The amount of lag added by any HDMI audio decoder should be negligible. And the circuit certainly won't add any noticeable video lag from input to output.

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post #9 of 23 Old 01-21-2010, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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That's good to know. I think I'll get this then:

http://www.ambery.com/2hddodtsdihd.html

Looks to be exactly the same as the one you posted, except it's un-branded and 30% or so less. That should get me exactly what I'm looking for.

Thank you for finding what I needed. I looked for a few hours online but couldn't find anything like this.

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post #10 of 23 Old 01-22-2010, 12:23 AM
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I've been looking for the same thing also. This is the closest so far:

http://cgi.ebay.com/HDMI-4x1-HIFI-Sw...item3ca97735cb
It's a four port switch also. If you get one, let use know how it works!
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post #11 of 23 Old 01-22-2010, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll update this thread once I get my device (hopefully it will get here today so I can play around with everything this weekend). I'm hoping audio and video is unaffected going HDMI to HDMI. And I'm hoping that HD audio is changed to Dolby Digital 5.1 via toslink so I can get the most out of my headphones.

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post #12 of 23 Old 01-27-2010, 02:27 PM
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I really do not want to disappoint you but from own experience those Ambery or same looking devices do not do the job, do not output stripped audio through SPDIF. I have tried several of them. Finally I have a success with the Atlona AT-HD570 device which works very well extracting hi resolution audio from the HDMI. There are a few treads about them:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...eceiver&page=3

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...=ambery&page=3
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-27-2010, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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So far it seems to be working well. It also doesn't add any lag to either audio or video (which is nice).

One problem I do have with it though is when DTS-HD or Dolby True-HD is going through HDMI from my HTPC. The sound passes through the HDMI de-embedder without issues, but no sound comes out of the toslink connection. To get around that, I need to manually change the sound settings in Total Media Theater (blu-ray player software for PC's) from HDMI Pass-Through to HDMI Dolby Digital. The audio is no longer HD, but my headset can only handle DD anyways.

Does the Atlona device down convert HD audio to DD 5.1 out via toslink?

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post #14 of 23 Old 01-27-2010, 09:22 PM
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I am glad it works for you.
Atlona does not have HD audio decoders. The only way to get HD audio from Atlona is if your source equipment (HTPC in your case) decodes it internally and sends it as LPCM. In this case you will be able to get all channels through the 7.1 analog outputs. As an example is PS3.
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post #15 of 23 Old 01-27-2010, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea... it's a bummer it can't decode HD audio and downconvert it to Dolby Digital over toslink. But I guess that's not really what these things are made for. They are really just to give people the new HD audio formats over analog to their receiver (since their receiver can't accept HDMI due to it's age).

But still, it's a neat little device to get most audio formats (besides HD audio), out of HDMI and onto toslink.

I did write Atlona and asked if my unmarked unit was the same as theirs. They said it's made by one of two companies in Tawain I think... but that the chip in the one I bought wasn't the same as the one in theirs. But it appears to be working ok so far. Keeping my fingers crossed .

Did you have any issues with the one I purchased?

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post #16 of 23 Old 01-28-2010, 09:05 AM
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I am using Atlona only for extracting hi rez audio from HDMI as PCM 24/(96, 88, 176, 192 kbps) coming from SACD/DVD-A player and pass it through SPDIF. I am not using this for any kind of video HT and not using analog outputs.
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post #17 of 23 Old 01-28-2010, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarlp View Post

I'm wondering if there's a device out there that can passthrough HDMI and output the audio via toslink.

I'm getting a set of headphones for late night gaming and movie watching and I've grown tired of always playing with the volume to make sure I don't wake anyone up. My receiver doesn't offer optical outputs, and running toslink cables to every device (4 of them) would be messy and a pain to deal with.

The 4 devices I want to get optical toslink sound out of are connected to my 4-port HDMI switch. I'd ideally like to takt the HDMI out from the switch, and put that into some sort of HDMI passthrough device that offers toslink out.

That would allow me to keep all my devices connected using only HDMI cables, and then with 1 adapter I could take the sound from those devices and use it over toslink to my headset instead of using the receiver for sound.

The problem is, I can't seem to find a device that does that. I've found a few HDMI 4-port switchers that also have toslink out, but I'm worried about running another switch right after a switch I already have. I had issues in the past getting switches to work with all my components, and now that it's working (and has been for years), I really don't want to introduce potential new problems.

I'd really just like to strip the audio out of my HDMI cable going to my receiver and convert that to toslink. Is there anything out there that can do that?

Check out the link below to monoprice.com. They sell great high quality switches, cables and etc for audio/video for insane prices. What you are looking for is probably this product link. http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...#specification
I bought the Monoprice 4x2 True Matrix HDMi switch/controller #5312 and a Toslink cable to go from my HDTV output into my AVR. And it worked spectacularly right out of the box. And the Monoprice 10' Toslink cable was of the very highest quality (better than Monster Cable to my eyes) and a fraction of Monster's cost!
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post #18 of 23 Old 01-28-2010, 02:43 PM
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I am afraid that none of the devices below $100 would be able to decode HD audio or down sample and output trough SPDIF or analog outputs.
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post #19 of 23 Old 02-18-2010, 05:18 PM
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buy an LG 46 or 55LH90. I was amazed that it would pass thru dolby digital from the blu ray via HDMI thru the toslink out, an unexpected bonus to a really nice looking set for the money.

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post #20 of 23 Old 02-26-2010, 02:42 PM
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Hello bordo32,
How about the octava unit 4 x 1 HDMI Switch with Optical Toslink Routing

??
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post #21 of 23 Old 03-01-2010, 03:56 PM
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I did not have a chance to try the Octava unit 4 x 1 HDMI Switch.

Some time ago, when I was looking for those switches I sent an email to Octava sales/support. I was not be able to get an answer from them if their device would do the job.
I would recommend to contact with them and ask a straight question, can this devise do what you are expecting.
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post #22 of 23 Old 03-02-2010, 01:39 AM
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Hello all

Octava Inc. do have a fair few products that will decode LPCM and Bitstream up to 5.1 (DD/DTS) though nothing that can decode the Lossless HD audio found on a BD - its something they are working on.

The HDS4A is not suitable in this case as the HDMI, Optical and Coaxial signals are on separate path ways - no cross conversion.

Octava products that may be of interest are as follows:

1x1
http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%201x1%...Converter.html

5x1
http://octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%205x1%20Audio.html

1x2
http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20dist...02%20port.html

5x2
http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20swit...2_toslink.html

4x2 (with analogue 7.1)
http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20swit..._7_1audio.html

4x2 Matrix
http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20matr...x2%20port.html

3x4
http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20swit...itter_3x4.html

Regards

Joe

If I've helped 'Like' me on Facebook - www.facebook.com/Octavainc

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post #23 of 23 Old 11-29-2010, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weaselfest View Post

buy an LG 46 or 55LH90. I was amazed that it would pass thru dolby digital from the blu ray via HDMI thru the toslink out, an unexpected bonus to a really nice looking set for the money.

Can anyone else confirm this?
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