HDMI/Surround sound processor - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-18-2012, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm having a difficult time finding a "receiver" that satisfies my requirements. Basically I want something cheap(<$100) that will do surround sound processing(Dolby, DTS) with HDMI inputs and HDMI pass through. I have a nice audio setup with discrete amplifiers for my L/R front, custom wireless L/R rear, and subwoofer, obviously I could come up with something for the center. Basically, I do not need an amplified receiver, I want a plain surround sound processor with HDMI inputs that has rca outputs which i can connect to my amplifiers/wireless transmitters for the audio, and then pass through the HDMI video to my TV. I would think that removing the need for amplification would reduce the cost, but I cannot find a device that does so. Any recommendations? If not, maybe I should put my 2 EE degrees to good use and design something for the masses.
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-18-2012, 04:08 PM
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You want a HDMI receiver or preamp with HDMI for $100, really? Good luck with that.

Your two EE degrees should tell you that is not going to happen unless you find one used that someone is willing to dump for a very low price.
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I would think that removing the need for amplification would reduce the cost, but I cannot find a device that does so.

Preamps cost more than receivers because they are produced in much lower quantities and usually by high end audio companies.

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post #3 of 13 Old 12-18-2012, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Which is exactly what I've found, the "headless" processors are ridiculously expensive. Taking a digital signal, processing it, and converting it to line level should not cost that much. Maybe I'm looking into a market that is not that popular/needed. I just don't want to shell out $300 for a receiver that amplifies a signal that I need at line level, and then have to modify all my amplifiers and transmitters to accept high level.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-18-2012, 11:38 PM
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AV receivers with pre-outs are cheaper than AV preamps, but still a lot more than $100. You might find something used closer to that price though, pre-outs used to be available on less expensive models.

Since you're apparently technically inclined you could also try modifying a $300 (on sale for $200) receiver and bypassing its power amps.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-19-2012, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by GemaRastem View Post

Which is exactly what I've found, the "headless" processors are ridiculously expensive. Taking a digital signal, processing it, and converting it to line level should not cost that much. Maybe I'm looking into a market that is not that popular/needed. I just don't want to shell out $300 for a receiver that amplifies a signal that I need at line level, and then have to modify all my amplifiers and transmitters to accept high level.

Then don't do it. Amazon still seems to be pushing out RXV-371s for under $170.

If you are a practicing EE then you know all about economies of scale. The problem isn't the lack of a design, the problem is the lack of a mainstream market.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-19-2012, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Ross Ridge View Post

AV receivers with pre-outs are cheaper than AV preamps, but still a lot more than $100. You might find something used closer to that price though, pre-outs used to be available on less expensive models.

Since you're apparently technically inclined you could also try modifying a $300 (on sale for $200) receiver and bypassing its power amps.

You don't modify the AVR, you pick up some off-the-shelf gizmos for under $10 each per pair of channels. The carsound people use them all the time.
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-19-2012, 11:00 AM
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What off-the-shelf $10 gizmo is capable of decoding Dolby or DTS surround sound HDMI audio? The cheapest device I know of that can convert compressed HDMI surround sound audio in to any sort mulitchannel analogue audio output is an AV receiver. Unfortunately, the cheapest AV receivers only support speaker level multichannel analogue audio output.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-19-2012, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Ridge View Post

What off-the-shelf $10 gizmo is capable of decoding Dolby or DTS surround sound HDMI audio? The cheapest device I know of that can convert compressed HDMI surround sound audio in to any sort mulitchannel analogue audio output is an AV receiver. Unfortunately, the cheapest AV receivers only support speaker level multichannel analogue audio output.
They dont "decode" anyhing, they just take the speaker-level output and convert it to line-level so you can plug it into a power amp. I suspect it is not the ultimate in fidelity, but worth a try.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-20-2012, 12:16 AM
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Ah, if that what Arnold B. Krueger ment then GemaRastem seems to have already rejected that idea.
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-20-2012, 03:52 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dolby-Digital-DTS-AC3-Optical-to-Analog-Surround-Audio-Sound-Decoder-HD51-A-/261120858848?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ccc041ae0

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-Surround-Sound-Audio-Processor-LPCM-Dolby-DTS-Optical-SPDIF-Converter-/230693856366?pt=US_Audio_Cables_Adapters&hash=item35b66ce46e

Those are the 2 things I found, can't comment on the quality of course. Not sure what I'm gonna do yet.
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post #11 of 13 Old 12-20-2012, 12:02 PM
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The first device would require something to convert HDMI audio to SPDIF, and obviously would only work with SPDIF compatible formats, 2.0 PCM, Dolby Digital and DTS.

The second device can only convert PCM audio, up to 7.1, to analogue, but can also convert Dolby Digital to SPDIF for use with the first device. If you can convince all your sources to do their own decoding and output mulitchannel PCM then this device alone could be all you need to handle the job of converting HDMI audio to analogue.

If you need to be able decode compressed formats that aren't SPDIF compatible, like Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD, or Dobly Digital +, then niether of these devices will do the job. They also wouldn't be able to handle matrixed surround formats like Dolby ProLogic II or DTS Neo:6, but these formats are pretty much obsolete these days.

Using either decoders, or any similar device, you're still missing one important part of a surround sound processor: level and distance adjustments to compensate for how you've placed your speakers in the room. You're also going to need a volume control as well, and maybe an HDMI switch if you have more than two sources.

A used AV receiver with pre-outs would give you all this functionality and more, and could end up costing less.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-24-2013, 09:21 AM
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-28-2013, 01:23 AM
 
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Hello All,

I stumbled on this post quite naturally when I searched for "HDMI to surround processor" not on avsforum but on the mighty google and this thread was the third result... which is actually quite surprising...

I'm looking for exactly the same thing as the OP....

My setup is as below:
All my sources output in HDMI.
My LCR speakers and sub are Active. considering wireless/active for the surrounds

@GemaRastem - How did this A/V processor work out for you...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-Surround-Sound-Audio-Processor-LPCM-Dolby-DTS-Optical-SPDIF-Converter-/230693856366?pt=US_Audio_Cables_Adapters&hash=item35b66ce46e

Could you pl. get back to me on how you solved this problem and your present setup?

but I've just hit upon a solution...
my TV has several HDMI inputs and Optical Digital Out - so I could use the TV to do the "passing through of the video and input switching"... now the only device I need is a pure Audio processor that accepts Digital audio input, decode the audio and output 5.1 or 7.1 channels of balanced output (XLR) (and if possible volume control -btw: can the digital out of the TV cannot be Volume controlled by the TV?).

Can someone pl. recommend a simple Audio processor that does this?

Thanks everyone...
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