I don't know if I have been the only one missing digital audio switching with my Russound setup since I added the VM1 video matrix switch. (3 CAV6.6 for 18 zones, 8 zone VM1). HDTV without the option for surround sound is just half the fun
I figured that I share my beautifully working setup that solved a couple longstanding shortfalls. Hope this might help you...
I figured that the unused video switcher for composite video in the CAV units would be perfect for using (coax) Digital Audio in more than just one way, provided that it worked.
1. Surround sound being delivered anywhere in the house (also using Cat5 baluns)
2. Distributing fixed line level audio instead of the annoying variable one that Russounds limits us with.
And it works perfectly!
Using the zone outputs for external AVR's/amps. I use analog audio for music and non-surround sound and the video out for digital audio out.
Since I have 2 surround sound setups (home theater, master bedroom), this has been the long awaited missing piece.
I convert the optical audio via very reasonable monoprice toslink to coax converters and feed them into the composite video input of each zone.
The next step now to convert my DVD library to mp4 as the Apple TV delivers surprisingly nice picture quality and the rental HD movie quality is far superior to cable or satellite. It's the closest thing to distributed blue ray!
Since Apple TV take 2 is out, we can finally have 5.1 AC3 as well. Handbrake is just coming up (already out via command line) and visual hub already seems to have it available.
This has to be the best value in media servers, period!