cheap HDMI audio decoder, does such a product exist? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I've currently got a an older Marantz Surround sound receiver, it's 6.1 and supports DTS ES and DD EX.

There's nothing wrong with the receiver, I'm quite fond of it, and I don't have more than 2 or 3 discs that support more than 5.1 (I haven't gone blu-ray yet).

A lot of my new equipment supports HDMI (oppo dvd player, 360, PS3, and HTPC).

What I'm looking for is a cheap ($150-$200 ish) device that will accept an HDMI input and decode 5.1 or 6.1 into discrete analog outputs that I can then feed into my receiver to hold me over for another year or so until I take the plunge and buy a new receiver. It doesn't need to handle HDMI 1.3 or any of the new HD audio formats since none of my source material supports that now anyway.

I recall devices like this popping up in the days when Dolby Digital was new. but after searching Google and these forums I can't seem to find a product that does this. Does such a device even exist, or am I just not running the right searches?
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post #2 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 10:08 AM
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Yeah... it is sad that there is none.
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post #3 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 10:13 AM
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If you aren't interested in advanced audio formats, you will gain NOTHING by decoding HDMI instead of just using coaxial/optical digital audio like you are now. So I fail to understand your interest?

BTW, you already HAVE gone Blu-ray...your PS3 plays BD discs you know.
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post #4 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I haven't actually purchased a PS3 yet but I plan on doing so soon.

The reason I want to use HDMI over tosslink/optical is mostly for organizational purposes.

my receiver only has 3 optical inputs as it is and despite the fact that I also have a 4x1 component/optical switch box I have a total of 8 devices that can utilize digital audio. Being able to utilize HDMI for audio, even if not HD audio would allow me to connect everything properly.

Also this would make the transition to the full HDMI compatible receiver easier as well since I would simply be removing the old receiver/decoder and replacing it with the new receiver without having to re-wire my home theater.

honestly with the number of devices I own, the convenience of a single cable solution would be worth having such a device, even if the audio would not be improved at all (though being able to deliver 5.1 without the shortcomings of optical is nice as well).

I also do not have a HDMI switch yet (thankfully my PJ has multiple HDMI/DVI inputs) but I haven't see anything that does HDMI and optical in the same unit which I suppose would be a reasonable alternative.
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post #5 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 01:37 PM
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I want a device like this too...unfortunately I haven't found one. Just taking 5.1 LPCM and outputing 5.1 line-level analog would be perfect. If it weren't for the fact that the audio is wrapped up in HDMI it would be a fairly easy project.

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post #6 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydillyo View Post

I want a device like this too...unfortunately I haven't found one. Just taking 5.1 LPCM and outputing 5.1 line-level analog would be perfect. If it weren't for the fact that the audio is wrapped up in HDMI it would be a fairly easy project.

Y'mean, like this?
http://www.gefen.com/gefentv/gtvprod...p?prod_id=5277

Kal Rubinson

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post #7 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Y'mean, like this?
http://www.gefen.com/gefentv/gtvprod...p?prod_id=5277

That would be perfect if it were cheaper. At $400 you could get a low end receiver with a whole lot more functionality.

drop the amplification, the LCD, and the spdif inputs and charge me $200-$250 and I'd bite.
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post #8 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 05:44 PM
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I'm in somewhat the same boat as you, but IMO, you are looking at things the wrong way. The way you are going, you are going to end up with a complicated mess of additional switchers and devices and lots of cables...

Spending the money on a new receiver with the proper type and number of inputs would make your system so much cleaner and easier to use. And you would get to hear the new advanced audio.
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post #9 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynberg View Post

I'm in somewhat the same boat as you, but IMO, you are looking at things the wrong way. The way you are going, you are going to end up with a complicated mess of additional switchers and devices and lots of cables...

Spending the money on a new receiver with the proper type and number of inputs would make your system so much cleaner and easier to use. And you would get to hear the new advanced audio.

QFT. Do this.
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post #10 of 27 Old 03-04-2008, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedsymphony View Post

That would be perfect if it were cheaper. At $400 you could get a low end receiver with a whole lot more functionality.

drop the amplification, the LCD, and the spdif inputs and charge me $200-$250 and I'd bite.

i also wish they'd make a less expensive version of the gefen box as u describe.
but the one mentioned may street for around $300 (?). seems i read it somewhere (?) but no link/proof.
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post #11 of 27 Old 03-07-2008, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Y'mean, like this?
http://www.gefen.com/gefentv/gtvprod...p?prod_id=5277

Finally! Yes, all I need is something like this that can decode multichannels LPCM to multichannels analog outputs. PS3 doesn't output the new CODECs in their bitstream formats anyway. I will leave the decoding of the new CODECs to the players. I can keep using my Elite 59TXi forever!

Yes, it would be nice if they have a cheaper version with no built-in power amp.
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post #12 of 27 Old 03-07-2008, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Y'mean, like this?
http://www.gefen.com/gefentv/gtvprod...p?prod_id=5277

$400 for that?

Why not just get on the pre-order list for the Yamaha 663, that's at $400 at JR.
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post #13 of 27 Old 05-04-2008, 03:15 AM
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I'd love a simple decoder box. My Yamaha RX-V1500 does everything I want except this. Seems like a waste to get rid of it.

On top of that, I'm living outside of North America, so I need a 220V receiver. When I return to Canada, I'll need 110. Seems like it's not worth getting another temporary receiver for HD audio in the short term. For $200-300, that would be different.

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post #14 of 27 Old 06-27-2008, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynberg View Post

If you aren't interested in advanced audio formats, you will gain NOTHING by decoding HDMI instead of just using coaxial/optical digital audio like you are now. So I fail to understand your interest?

He gains plenty, I'm looking for such a beast myself. The PS3 outputs lossless 7.1PCM audio in many cases (many blu-ray discs, as well as games support lossless multi-channel output). With HDMI to discrete channel conversion, I'd be able to enjoy 6.1 (on my system) PCM lossless audio whereas I'm presently limited to the 2 channel lossless audio supported by TOSLink.

I E-mailed Yamaha about whether they're making such a product and got back a lame response from someone who told me I should buy such a device since my receiver has 6 channel discrete inputs. Thanks.

Michael T. Babcock
http://mikebabcock.ca/ht
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-28-2009, 06:46 AM
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Have anyone given one of these a try?

http://www.lektropacks.com/view_prod...85&sub1=&show=

http://www.tmfsolutions.co.uk/Octava_HDMIto71.htm

They sound like something that some of us are asking for...
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-28-2009, 08:08 AM
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It would be interesting if somebody came up with just the decoder box with HDMI inputs & 7.1 analog outputs for a resonable price that not only decodes HD codecs but also applies BM/TA/levels. This will be quite useful to owners of legacy equipment.

Vinod
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-28-2009, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadESL63 View Post

Have anyone given one of these a try?

http://www.lektropacks.com/view_prod...85&sub1=&show=

http://www.tmfsolutions.co.uk/Octava_HDMIto71.htm

They sound like something that some of us are asking for...

Several Meridian users have had these modified for successful use with their processors. They appear to work well although the outputs will not drive long interconnects.

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post #18 of 27 Old 01-28-2009, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodk View Post

It would be interesting if somebody came up with just the decoder box with HDMI inputs & 7.1 analog outputs for a resonable price that not only decodes HD codecs but also applies BM/TA/levels. This will be quite useful to owners of legacy equipment.

I doubt if one will see that as a real product. Ideally, one could find a used Outlaw ICBM for this or get a player with analog outs (and use the inbuilt BM/setup options).

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post #19 of 27 Old 01-28-2009, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Several Meridian users have had these modified for successful use with their processors. They appear to work well although the outputs will not drive long interconnects.

The Lectro or the Octava?

Might order the Octava one... I think my Elite VSX-59TXi can do A to D conversion to analog multichannels input and apply bass management, etc. so it should be fine.
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post #20 of 27 Old 01-28-2009, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadESL63 View Post

The Lectro or the Octava?

The Octava.

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post #21 of 27 Old 01-28-2009, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

The Octava.

I've never read any thread on the Meridian gears so I must have missed it... what kind of modification is done on the Octava for the Meridian processor? Multiple digital outputs for multichannels audio?
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post #22 of 27 Old 05-31-2009, 03:11 AM
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Not sure if anyone is still interested but I found this:http://www.ambery.com/2hddodtsdihd.html
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post #23 of 27 Old 05-31-2009, 10:03 AM
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The Ambery box appears to be the same piece of hardware as the Lectro. It's reasonably priced, though.
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-07-2010, 09:17 PM
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This post is old but i found it when googleing for hdmi decoder

just for your information you can setup PS3 to output vidio on hdmi 1080p an audio to his standard rca

With this solution i have succesfully use my yamaha receiver that only have rca audio with 5.1 surround
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post #25 of 27 Old 02-25-2010, 07:08 PM
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All those boxes are the same item (made in China) and there can be found also oneBay easily.
There are "decoding" only uncompressed LPCM, nothing more - so there are useless for HD audio.
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post #26 of 27 Old 02-25-2010, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacketik View Post

This post is old but i found it when googleing for hdmi decoder

just for your information you can setup PS3 to output vidio on hdmi 1080p an audio to his standard rca

With this solution i have succesfully use my yamaha receiver that only have rca audio with 5.1 surround

Unless something changed in the last year, I'm pretty sure a PS3 can only output Stereo audio through RCA outputs. 5.1 requires optical or HDMI audio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

All those boxes are the same item (made in China) and there can be found also oneBay easily.
There are "decoding" only uncompressed LPCM, nothing more - so there are useless for HD audio.

I won't vouch for the quality of those units, but being restricted to LPCM definitely doesn't make them useless for HD audio. That's what a player with built-in decoding (like the PS3 and virtually all newer Blu-Ray players) is for. Plus, you get secondary audio when you decode to LPCM in the player, which you can't get from bitstreaming. Also, despite somewhat popular belief, there is no sound quality difference between LPCM and bitstreaming.
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post #27 of 27 Old 02-25-2010, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzhokhar View Post

Unless something changed in the last year, I'm pretty sure a PS3 can only output Stereo audio through RCA outputs. 5.1 requires optical or HDMI audio.

You are correct... no system can send 5.1 audio over a pair of analog RCA jacks. His receiver is doing Pro-logic or similar processing on the stereo signal to get sound from the other speakers, but it's not discrete channels.
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