Is it possible to split and HDMI signal from a Roku 3 to two devices and have one of them do 5.1? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,
I have a dilemma trying to do a simple task, but it seems that I'm a few years ahead of technology. Here's the situation:
I have a ROKU 3, a Samsung 530 TV (1080P) and an Onkyo TX-R705 AVR (also 1080P). The TV has 4 HDMI ports and the AVR has 3 HDMI ports (2=in and 1=out)
My problem is in sound. The TV sound is fine for old non-encoded TV shows and such, but is horrid for anything encoded (you hear dialog fine, but everything else is a washed out mess). I don't like the sound quality when using the AVR for non-encoded stuff, it sounds kind of muddy and it's definitely not the speakers.
What I am trying to do is run 2 HDMI cables from the ROKU 3 with one going to the TV (for watching non-encoded programs) and one going to the AVR for watching encoded stuff and concerts. One part of the problem is that my AVR does not do "Pass-thru". I read the manual looking for "Pass-thru" and it's not there. They do have something that sounds like "Pass-thru", but I tried it and got sound, but no picture. I found out later, that it was not "Pass-thru". (No surprise as the manual is poorly written).
In a chat with Monoprice they suggested a HDMI Switch. I got one and hooked it up and it worked great for about 2 minutes. I then noted that the ROKU was set at 720P, but the second I switched the ROKU 3 picture setting to 1080P, the HDMI Switch went out and would not function. Blown Switch. I sent it back to Monoprice RMA and tried another Switch of the same model. Worked for one minute and then inexplicably lost the signal and would not come back. Spoke with Monoprice again and they told me that a lot of the Switches appear to be defective.
In another Forum someone suggested what I need is a Splitter. Sounded logical to me, so I talked to Monoprice again and they said that a Splitter will not work and if it did I would only get 2.0 sound. That doesn't make sense to me if I'm feeding 5.1 sound from the source, then I should get 5.1 sound. Then I thought, "yes, but doing so makes it a mess because if I'm feeding 5.1 sound from the source, but watching a non-encoded program it's going to sound awful and possibly be unlistenable."
So I'm really confused at this point. I don't want to have to turn on my HT system every time I want to watch TV for everything. Is there a way or device that will let me watch 5.1 encoded movies from the ROKU 3 with 5.1 sound on my AVR and non-encoded programs through the TV sound for which they are more suited?
Thank you.
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 08:28 AM
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Not at anything approaching a reasonable price.

Your TV only supports two channel audio, so any HDMI connection that includes the TV will typically reduce the audio quality to 2.0 stereo.

I would hook it up to my A/V receiver, get a GOOD universal remote control, and use my A/V receiver for everything... Well, in fact, that's exactly what I did. It works well for everything I listen to and saves me some headaches dealing with exactly what you want to do.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 08:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by luvmusic View Post

Hello,
I have a dilemma trying to do a simple task, but it seems that I'm a few years ahead of technology. Here's the situation:
I have a ROKU 3, a Samsung 530 TV (1080P) and an Onkyo TX-R705 AVR (also 1080P). The TV has 4 HDMI ports and the AVR has 3 HDMI ports (2=in and 1=out)
My problem is in sound. The TV sound is fine for old non-encoded TV shows and such, but is horrid for anything encoded (you hear dialog fine, but everything else is a washed out mess). I don't like the sound quality when using the AVR for non-encoded stuff, it sounds kind of muddy and it's definitely not the speakers.
What I am trying to do is run 2 HDMI cables from the ROKU 3 with one going to the TV (for watching non-encoded programs) and one going to the AVR for watching encoded stuff and concerts. One part of the problem is that my AVR does not do "Pass-thru". I read the manual looking for "Pass-thru" and it's not there. They do have something that sounds like "Pass-thru", but I tried it and got sound, but no picture. I found out later, that it was not "Pass-thru". (No surprise as the manual is poorly written).
In a chat with Monoprice they suggested a HDMI Switch. I got one and hooked it up and it worked great for about 2 minutes. I then noted that the ROKU was set at 720P, but the second I switched the ROKU 3 picture setting to 1080P, the HDMI Switch went out and would not function. Blown Switch. I sent it back to Monoprice RMA and tried another Switch of the same model. Worked for one minute and then inexplicably lost the signal and would not come back. Spoke with Monoprice again and they told me that a lot of the Switches appear to be defective.
In another Forum someone suggested what I need is a Splitter. Sounded logical to me, so I talked to Monoprice again and they said that a Splitter will not work and if it did I would only get 2.0 sound. That doesn't make sense to me if I'm feeding 5.1 sound from the source, then I should get 5.1 sound. Then I thought, "yes, but doing so makes it a mess because if I'm feeding 5.1 sound from the source, but watching a non-encoded program it's going to sound awful and possibly be unlistenable."
So I'm really confused at this point. I don't want to have to turn on my HT system every time I want to watch TV for everything. Is there a way or device that will let me watch 5.1 encoded movies from the ROKU 3 with 5.1 sound on my AVR and non-encoded programs through the TV sound for which they are more suited?
Thank you.

OK, a lot to cover...

First HDMI uses something called an EDID packet. It basically is the destination (the sink) telling the source (not the other way around) what capabilities the sink has. So if you hook a Roku to a TV directly, the TV tells the Roku what type of audio and video signal it can handle. This way the TV should never get a signal type that is outside of its capabilities. Also remember that only one video and one audio stream can be on an HDMI connection at the same time. If you need two audio streams then HDMI can't do that.

When you hook up an HDMI distribution amp (splitter) , the splitter sends combines or chooses the two EDIDs and sends that onto the source. This is done with the lowest common denominator principal. Basically it chooses a signal that both sinks (or however many sinks you have) can use. So, if you hook a stereo TV with a 5.1-channel AVR, you get stereo (remember only one audio stream at a time and your TV can't handle 5.1-channel).

I'm trying to figure out what you mean by "encoded". Pretty much everything is encoded in some form today. However, your AVR should be able to generate a good stereo signal that is better than your TV. I suspect you have some type of processing being added. Try setting your AVR to stereo only. Also check your channel levels and distances. Incorrect distances can cause something similar to what you describe.

If you really feel a need to have separate paths you're going to spend more money on adapters than you spent on the Roku. I'd first try to figure out why your AVR doesn't sound right. Speakers in a modern TV should never sound better than an AVR.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

OK, a lot to cover...

First HDMI uses something called an EDID packet. It basically is the destination (the sink) telling the source (not the other way around) what capabilities the sink has. So if you hook a Roku to a TV directly, the TV tells the Roku what type of audio and video signal it can handle. This way the TV should never get a signal type that is outside of its capabilities. Also remember that only one video and one audio stream can be on an HDMI connection at the same time. If you need two audio streams then HDMI can't do that.

When you hook up an HDMI distribution amp (splitter) , the splitter sends combines or chooses the two EDIDs and sends that onto the source. This is done with the lowest common denominator principal. Basically it chooses a signal that both sinks (or however many sinks you have) can use. So, if you hook a stereo TV with a 5.1-channel AVR, you get stereo (remember only one audio stream at a time and your TV can't handle 5.1-channel).

I'm trying to figure out what you mean by "encoded". Pretty much everything is encoded in some form today. However, your AVR should be able to generate a good stereo signal that is better than your TV. I suspect you have some type of processing being added. Try setting your AVR to stereo only. Also check your channel levels and distances. Incorrect distances can cause something similar to what you describe.

If you really feel a need to have separate paths you're going to spend more money on adapters than you spent on the Roku. I'd first try to figure out why your AVR doesn't sound right. Speakers in a modern TV should never sound better than an AVR.

Thanks for the explanation. This does clear some mud up. It tells me I am indeed ahead of current technology in some way.
So this is why, even with a splitter or a switch I will only get Stereo and not 5.1 because I have a TV connected that "claims" to do surround, but only has one speaker, so we know that's BS on Samsung's part.
Now if I were to hook the Roku up to the AVR only and set the sound on the Roku to 5.1, would I get 5.1 sound on the receiver? (On the matching modes of course). If the answer is "yes" would that not screw up the sound for stuff that is not encoded with surround sound?
My speakers and AVR are set up properly. I think the room acoustics have a lot to do with it perhaps. It sounds great for music, but not TV to my ears.
By "encoded" I mean Movies encoded in Surround sound.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 02:00 PM
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A quick Google for 530 Series Samsung says your TV sports SRS TruSurround HD audio processing.

This allows your TV to accept up to 6.1 audio via HDMI and play it back via the TV Speakers to give you a ‘pseudo’ Surround effect.

SRS Labs is now a DTS co. - http://www.dts.com/consumers/sound-technology/television-audio/trusurround-hd.aspx

What control does the TV offer in terms of SRS Processing and what is it currently set at?

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post

A quick Google for 530 Series Samsung says your TV sports SRS TruSurround HD audio processing.

This allows your TV to accept up to 6.1 audio via HDMI and play it back via the TV Speakers to give you a ‘pseudo’ Surround effect.

SRS Labs is now a DTS co. - http://www.dts.com/consumers/sound-technology/television-audio/trusurround-hd.aspx

What control does the TV offer in terms of SRS Processing and what is it currently set at?

Joe

Yes, it does say that. However, on closer inspection it has one speaker. I think I've tried it, but didn't like the sound, too tinny. Currently I have it set on custom sound.
This brings up more confusion. If what you say is accurate then a Splitter should do the job?
There is another device on amazon that has some possibilities, I think. What do you guys think of this: http://www.amazon.com/ViewHD-Premium-Audio-Extractor-Converter/dp/B00AHS8LD8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1KIM7FV36E5AI&coliid=I3GAKU7ZNZHTHS
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 03:30 PM
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The TV specs mentions 2 x 10w – I’m guessing x2 Speakers behind a single grille!

A 1x2 HDMI Distribution Amp ought to allow you to set your Source to HD Video + 5.1 Audio and you then choose to use the TV speakers or set the TV volume to Zero and use the AVR.

http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20distribution%20amp_splitter%202%20port.html

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post #8 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post

The TV specs mentions 2 x 10w – I’m guessing x2 Speakers behind a single grille!

A 1x2 HDMI Distribution Amp ought to allow you to set your Source to HD Video + 5.1 Audio and you then choose to use the TV speakers or set the TV volume to Zero and use the AVR.

http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20distribution%20amp_splitter%202%20port.html

Joe

Unfortunately, this type of product is too expensive and also not available in or for North America anyway.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by luvmusic View Post

Yes, it does say that. However, on closer inspection it has one speaker. I think I've tried it, but didn't like the sound, too tinny. Currently I have it set on custom sound.
This brings up more confusion. If what you say is accurate then a Splitter should do the job?
There is another device on amazon that has some possibilities, I think. What do you guys think of this: http://www.amazon.com/ViewHD-Premium-Audio-Extractor-Converter/dp/B00AHS8LD8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1KIM7FV36E5AI&coliid=I3GAKU7ZNZHTHS

You're actually confusing two separate things. It doesn't matter how many speakers your TV has. It matters what the TV tells the source it can accept. So, just because the TV has one, two or fifty-five speakers doesn't mean it can or can't accept 5.1-channel sound. What matters are the processing chips inside the TV that tells the source what type of sound the TV can accept. What the TV does with that sound doesn't change what can be sent to it.

You're not really ahead of the technology curve. Many of us have solved this problem (myself included) but it takes converter boxes and a good knowledge of how to get source devices to do what you want. Those converter boxes aren't cheap, however. The Roku 3 makes it extra difficult in that it only has HDMI for outputting audio. Most of the time we at least have a digital audio S/PDIF connector to fall back on.

Anyway, try Joe's suggest which is to look at the menu on the TV and see if you can find a way to enable surround processing. That might give you an easy way to turn on surround to the AVR (by using the TV's surround options).

The adapter you referenced has a little switch to choose between 2-channel and surround processing. So you'll still have to change a switch to go between one or the other. However, I still think your cheapest and easiest solution would be to find out why your AVR isn't producing acceptable sound in all modes.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

You're actually confusing two separate things. It doesn't matter how many speakers your TV has. It matters what the TV tells the source it can accept. So, just because the TV has one, two or fifty-five speakers doesn't mean it can or can't accept 5.1-channel sound. What matters are the processing chips inside the TV that tells the source what type of sound the TV can accept. What the TV does with that sound doesn't change what can be sent to it.

You're not really ahead of the technology curve. Many of us have solved this problem (myself included) but it takes converter boxes and a good knowledge of how to get source devices to do what you want. Those converter boxes aren't cheap, however. The Roku 3 makes it extra difficult in that it only has HDMI for outputting audio. Most of the time we at least have a digital audio S/PDIF connector to fall back on.

Anyway, try Joe's suggest which is to look at the menu on the TV and see if you can find a way to enable surround processing. That might give you an easy way to turn on surround to the AVR (by using the TV's surround options).

The adapter you referenced has a little switch to choose between 2-channel and surround processing. So you'll still have to change a switch to go between one or the other. However, I still think your cheapest and easiest solution would be to find out why your AVR isn't producing acceptable sound in all modes.

Well, that's because I am confused.biggrin.gif
I'll try all this stuff this weekend or sooner if I get a chance. I think the AVR produces acceptable sound in all modes. I think I'm just bothered by having to watch say a podcast Tech show or MIT lecture in full blown Hi-Fi sound or worse yet surround sound, if that ends up being my only solution of just connecting the Roku 3 direct to the AVR and calling it a day.
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 09:12 PM
 
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Well, that's because I am confused.biggrin.gif
I'll try all this stuff this weekend or sooner if I get a chance. I think the AVR produces acceptable sound in all modes. I think I'm just bothered by having to watch say a podcast Tech show or MIT lecture in full blown Hi-Fi sound or worse yet surround sound, if that ends up being my only solution of just connecting the Roku 3 direct to the AVR and calling it a day.

Most AVRs have a Mono movie mode. That should just give you one speaker for lectures. You should always be able to override the auto-selection and select something like stereo (front two speakers plus subwoofer) for things you don't want in surround. If you choose Dolby Pro Logic (or the latest version Dolby Pro II), then the Dolby system will send all mono information to the center channel only. That might also work.

Good luck. Append again if you need more help.
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-11-2013, 12:10 AM
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Hello luvmusic

I’m pretty sure our Atlanta office ships to N America smile.gif

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PS As per previous messages and Andy’s last post I think this may be a settings problem.

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post #13 of 13 Old 06-11-2013, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello luvmusic

I’m pretty sure our Atlanta office ships to N America smile.gif

http://www.octavainc.com/contact.htm

Joe

PS As per previous messages and Andy’s last post I think this may be a settings problem.

Oh, I didn't realize that. However, that thing is far too expensive, so it is not an option. I'm going to play around again with what I have this weekend and write things down as I go so I can follow paths and if something works, I'll know what I did. If nothing works, I'll just restrict myself to non-surround encoded programming which is the majority of what I watch anyway. I'm not a big movie fan anyway. There are very very few movies I want to bother with. That just leaves the problem of concerts which will be hard to deal with should it come to that.
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