Need advice on receivers capable of HDMI audio processing - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-24-2010, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a relative newcomer to the world of home theater, so please excuse my ignorance. I have spent weeks researching the AVS forums before posting this and have so far not found a clear, concise answer to the dilemma I'm in so I figured I would see if any of you more knowledgeable folks can help me out.

First I'll post my gear:
TV: LG 50PK550
Receiver: Onkyo HT-RC260
Blu-Ray: LG BD550
Cable: Motorola HD DVR via Time Warner
Media Streaming: Popcorn Hour A-110
Center Speaker: Polk CS1 Series II
Front Speakers: Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II
(No rear speakers yet)
Sub: Polk PSW505
Game Systems: XBox360, Wii

I bought the HT-RC260 a few days ago because I thought that 6 HDMI ins and 1 out would be the solution to my variety of HDMI devices, not to mention the great price of the unit. Then I discovered the RC260 does not process HDMI audio and simply passes it on to the TV. As far as I can tell, my LG does not send surround sound through the optical out, so I am left with all my sources coming back to the RC260 in 2 channel stereo PCM. Yes there are two optical ins on the RC260 but that only covers 2 of my 6 devices. I want to have all 6 devices capable of outputting all the surround sound and audio formats that they support via HDMI through my receiver.

I am planning on sending back the HT-RC260 but wanted to check in this forum first if I am missing anything, or if I am right in that my combination of devices will not work the way I intended. I also wanted to ask: what is the cheapest receiver that supports 6 HDMI inputs AND provides HDMI processing on those inputs? I have searched all over Newegg, Amazon etc and cannot find much info regarding HDMI Audio Processing vs. HDMI Audio Passthrough. It's so cryptic on these product pages, and my searching on AVS Forums has so far been fruitless in terms of a modern, current list of receivers capable of this.

Any help/suggestions/criticisms/flame wars welcome!
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-24-2010, 04:07 PM
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Quote:


I bought the HT-RC260 a few days ago because I thought that 6 HDMI ins and 1 out would be the solution to my variety of HDMI devices, not to mention the great price of the unit. Then I discovered the RC260 does not process HDMI audio and simply passes it on to the TV.

What? Where are you getting your info? The RC-260 definitely processes HDMI audio! It even has TrueHD and DTS-MA decoding from Blu Ray. All the new 2010 Onkyo receivers do.

Afro GT
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-24-2010, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

What? Where are you getting your info? The RC-260 definitely processes HDMI audio! It even has TrueHD and DTS-MA decoding from Blu Ray. All the new 2010 Onkyo receivers do.

I must be doing something wrong, because my XBox360 is not playing back in surround, my Popcorn Hour is not playing back in surround, my cable DVR is not playing back in surround... etc etc. I'm just getting 2 channel stereo. It seems like the internal HDMI switching on the RC-260 is sending the audio to the TV, where it is translated from multi-channel format to stereo PCM.

After posting an initially happy & positive review on Newegg about this device (because at first test, it did seem pretty awesome), I went back to the product page and read a more recent review which seems to echo the issue I'm having:

Quote:


Cons: hdmi passthrough. i cannot understate how important this is. hdmi passthrough is a killer for most people. if you can pay a little more to avoid hdmi passthrough, do so! what hdmi passthrough means is that you can plug in your hdmi devices to the receiver and then send a single hdmi cable to the TV. however, you cannot send hdmi audio from your HDMI device and output it on the Onkyo receiver. the receiver can only pass it on to the TV. in other words, to have surround sound audio, you need to have another optical cable running to the Onkyo from your HDMI device. and the highest quality you can get over optical is DTS or Dolby Digital. None of the highest quality audio formats can go over optical because of lack of bandwidth. even if you connect your HDMI device directly to the TV and then run an optical cable to your receiver, that's an even worse scenario because 90% of TV's will only send HDMI audio to a receiver via PCM which is basically digital stereo.
Other Thoughts: when choosing a receiver, you want to avoid hdmi passthrough if your budget allows it. you want a receiver that can take a single hdmi cable which can carry both audio and video signals and decode the audio on the receiver itself. not pass it through to the TV. hdmi has plenty of bandwidth to handle all the latest audio formats. it really is better to pay a little more because you only have 1 cable to worry about and you can handle all the latest cool audio formats with higher fidelity than you get with the old DTS and Dolby Digital formats.

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post #4 of 13 Old 08-24-2010, 04:27 PM
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You guys really need to spend more time reading your manual.

page 65
Quote:


The AV receiver’s HDMI interface is based on the following:
Audio Return Channel, 3D, x.v.Color, Deep Color, Lip Sync, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution
Audio, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DSD and Multichannel PCM

Supported Audio Formats
• 2-channel linear PCM (32–192 kHz, 16/20/24 bit)
• Multichannel linear PCM (up to 7.1 ch, 32–192 kHz, 16/20/24 bit)
• Bitstream (DSD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD
Master Audio)
Your Blu-ray Disc/DVD player must also support HDMI output of the above audio formats.

Try turning off the Audio Return.

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post #5 of 13 Old 08-24-2010, 04:31 PM
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Yeah, pretty much every Onkyo receiver after 2007's TX-SR605 or above 2008's 507 decodes HR audio from DTS and Dolby Digital.

- Barry
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-24-2010, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Like I mentioned, I am an amateur at A/V - networking is my strong suit! I use "RTFM" almost daily at work and don't take my own advice when it comes to my own gear. I'll see if that fixes things, thanks.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-24-2010, 04:37 PM
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Page 44 of the manual...

Quote:


HDMI
■Audio TV Out
Off:
HDMI audio is not output.
On:
HDMI audio is output.
This preference determines whether audio received at the
HDMI IN is output by the HDMI OUT. You may want to
turn this preference on if your TV is connected to the
HDMI OUT and you want to listen to the audio from a
component that’s connected to an HDMI IN, through your
TV’s speakers. Normally, this should be set to “Off”.

Quote:


Note
• If “On” is selected and the audio can be output from the TV, the
AV receiver will output no sound through its speakers. In this
case, “TV Sp On” appears on the display.
• When “TV Control” is set to “On” (➔ 45), this setting is fixed
to “Auto”.
• With some TVs and input signals, no sound may be output even
when this setting is set to “On”.
• When the “Audio TV Out” setting is set to “On”, or “TV Control”
is set to “On” (➔ 45) and you’re listening through your
TV’s speakers (➔ 15), if you turn up the AV receiver’s volume
control, the sound will be output by the AV receiver’s front left
and right speakers. To stop the AV receiver’s speakers producing
sound, change the settings, change your TV’s settings, or turn
down the AV receiver’s volume.


Afro GT
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-24-2010, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Afro GT. I am in the process of moving into a new house so my box with manual and accessories is back in my other house. Should have read that extensively before posting. As soon as I get home I am going to make the switch and see what happens.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-24-2010, 06:59 PM
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You can download a user's manual for your AVR here.

When all else fails - RTFM!

♫♫♫ Two Channel Rules! ♫♫♫

GO SEAHAWKS!!!
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-25-2010, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steagl3 View Post

Like I mentioned, I am an amateur at A/V - networking is my strong suit! I use "RTFM" almost daily at work and don't take my own advice when it comes to my own gear. I'll see if that fixes things, thanks.

No problem. That's what these boards are for.

- Barry
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-17-2013, 07:06 PM
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I know that this thread is old, but using this receiver, can I input HDMI (audio and video) to the receiver. Then output video to a projector with HDMI, and output audio to surround speakers through speaker wires?

Thanks for any help!
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-17-2013, 09:42 PM
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Of course you can. That's the purpose of a AV Receiver. That would be a normal setup.

Substitute the projector for a HDTV and that how most people use it.

Afro GT
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-18-2013, 05:35 AM
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Okay, great.. thank you. My current receiver is an old onkyo and I need an additional optical cable to transfer sound to the receiver. If I input the sound from HDMI, it forces the sound to go out HDMI.

Thanks for your help!
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