Originally Posted by FragTek
Is one way better than the other (in terms of picture quality / input latency)? Obviously not having all of the HDMI cables coming up to the TV is a plus if you have them all plugged in to your receiver but if there is a technical reason why it's better to have them run to the TV instead, then I am ALL EARS!
Routing all your sources through the A/V receiver is best to get the best audio signal from them all, but by sending all those sources to the TV over a single HDMI cable can present picture settings issues on your video sources since they all have to share whatever settings you have on the TVs single HDMI input that you're using. For instance, my Tivo HD and TWC Cisco DVR have similar enough signals that they can share the same picture mode and settings and look equally good, but those settings don't look good at all on my Blu-Ray so for that i need to use completely different picture settings.
I recently upgraded my surround sound receiver (replaced an old Onkyo TX-SR605 w/2 HDMI inputs with a new TX-SR333 w/6 HDMI inputs). Previously i had my Tivo HD and Cable DVR connections going directly to 2 of my Panny Plasma TV's 3 HDMI inputs and sending stereo from the TV's optical output to the 605 receiver and letting the receiver decode the stereo signal, but my Blu-Ray player's HDMI was routed through the receiver to get the good surround sound audio then from the receiver to the TV's 3rd HDMI input with it's own separate picture mode and settings to suit the Blu-Ray player on that input.
But now i'm experimenting with routing all my sources through the new 333 receiver and using it as a switcher, then sending all sources to the TV with one HDMI cable and sure enough, Blu-Ray looks bad with my Tivo/DVR picture settings on that one HDMI input so i've tried three methods to get around this:
(A) Run everything through my receiver then when i switch from Tivo/TWC DVR to Blu-Ray mode i change the TV's picture mode from Custom to Cinema where i have BD-specific picture settings, but i prefer to use a Custom mode for BD and not Cinema so this didn't work out too well for me. It may work better on non-Panasonic TVs though if they have suitable picture modes for each source, especially if that TV's remote has a dedicated Picture Mode button to quickly change to a different mode (Panasonic remotes have no such button). Dunno if Samsung has such a button or not.
(B) Everything still routed through my receiver with one HDMI cable going to the TV, but behind the TV i tried a 1x2 HDMI Splitter, sending one lead to the TV's HDMI-2 with Tivo/DVR Custom mode settings and sending the 2nd lead to HDMI-1 where i have optimal (but different) Custom mode Blu-Ray settings. So when i'm watching Tivo or TWC DVR i use the TV's HDMI-2 input, but when i switch to Blu-Ray i use the TV's HDMI-1 input. This works well.
(C) Another thing i tried on my Blu-Ray player (which only has an HDMI output and does not have an optical output) is to connect HDMI directly to the TV's HDMI-1 input with BD-specific Custom mode picture settings (completely bypassing the receiver) but using an HDMI-to-Optical audio extractor in-line to send digital audio to the receiver's optical audio input. This works well also.
It was a little challenging to create the macros on my URC R40 learning remote to handle all this switching but once done it all works seemlessly. I'm still experimenting and so far methods B & C both yield excellent results.