Looking for cheap A/V processor with 3 or 4 HDMI inputs, pass through the video and output to 5.1ch or 7.1 ch XLR unamplified balanced output - AVS Forum
Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Looking for cheap A/V processor with 3 or 4 HDMI inputs, pass through the video and output to 5.1ch or 7.1 ch XLR unamplified balanced output
grnsr 02:34 AM 07-28-2013
Folks,

My setup is as below:
All my sources output in HDMI. LG-42"LED TV which accepts 4 HDMI inputs.
My LCR speakers and sub will be Active.
Need advice on how to setup the wireless/active for the surrounds (but that's for a different thread)

I'm looking for a basic A/V processor with a few HDMI inputs, 4k pass through and decode the audio and output 5.1 or 7.1 channels of balanced output (XLR) with volume control and input switching...

Can someone pl. recommend a cheap and simple A/V processor that does this in the $200 price range?

or can this be done as a DIY

Thanks again

BIslander's Avatar BIslander 04:00 AM 07-28-2013
Does your TV pass through DD 5.1 or DTS from HDMI inputs? Some sets will send DD 5.1, almost none do DTS. So, your set may only send stereo much, if not all, of the time. Also, most TVs do not have variable volume control of the digital output.
grnsr 05:01 AM 07-28-2013
I'm not sure how to find out if my TV passes DD5.1

My TV model is
http://www.lg.com/us/support-product/lg-42LV5500#

According to the below website:
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Everything-You-Need-to-Know-About-the-SPDIF-Connection/82/3
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/fullimage.php?image=37435

The connection method I'm proposing should be possible - now the only thing is to confirm if my TV passes 5.1ch audio to the Digital Out.
BIslander's Avatar BIslander 05:39 AM 07-28-2013
Those links do not address the relevant issue. Yes, your TV can send sound out the optical port. But, what type of audio is the question. Most sets are designed so that they will output DD 5.1 from sources they acquire themselves, such as off air antennas and Smart TV apps. But, they will only send stereo from external sources using HDMI connections. As noted in my previous post, while some sets will pass through DD 5.1, almost none do DTS. TVs are 2 channel devices and they will use the HDMI handshake to tell the attached devices to send stereo instead of encoded multichannel sound.

Unfortunately, the LG manual doesn't address this issue. I didn't even see a setting for the type of digital audio output. If you have access to a receiver, you can connect the TV to the AVR and see what type of audio gets sent. Otherwise you may have to call LG and hope to get a CS tech who understands the question.

But, bottom line, it is unlikely your TV will send multichannel audio from HDMI inputs. Most don't.
grnsr 06:02 AM 07-28-2013
@BIslander - Thanks for your response...


Found some info on searching:

"LG disables this feature from the factory, only allowing 2 channel audio output from the television.
The AC3 EDID was disabled due to lip-synchronization issues with some external systems. It may be that your particular system will operate properly, or might have an adjustment that can compensate; then again, it might not, and LG would have no way to determine whether this unit would operate as you hope or not.

The solution is to access the service menu and enable it. A television repair service can do it, or you can use a universal remote with the correct code to access it yourself."

My guess is is this may have to do with DRM - or just not having the decoders necessary to pass through to optical... and like you said it still may not support DTS.

Could you please confirm if any of this matters - if all my video files are on a hard-disk in mkv, avi, mp4, mpg, divx and are going to be played on my PC by VLC media player and output via HDMI...
does VLC mediaplayer output 5.1ch and if so what are all the decoders that the Audio processor need to have to fully give 5.1ch sound for ?

so my search continues.. for a cheap A/V processor that can take 3 or 4 HDMI inputs (pass-through the video and give un-amplified balanced 5.1 Channel XLR output)
BIslander's Avatar BIslander 06:09 AM 07-28-2013
That sounds like a description of an AV receiver or prepro.
ifor's Avatar ifor 06:13 AM 07-28-2013
I already mentioned to him about the Emotiva piece.

What more do you want?!!!!!

The least expensive unit that you want with all your needs is the Marantz AV7701, I believe.
grnsr 06:38 AM 07-28-2013
The problem is budget:

My original budget was US$2500 for a 5.1 ch passive setup + about US$500 towards the receiver

Now I'm going for a 3.1 ch active setup for US$2500 and the US$500 towards the receiver may have to be set aside for a future wireless/active speakers...

Keep in mind all of this has to be shipped to India - so adding the transportation duties and taxes - my total outlay just for the speakers would exceed US$7000.

therefore I'm cutting back on the most "dispensable and low shelf life" component - the A/V processor...

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

any other options?
pl. help
ifor's Avatar ifor 07:37 PM 07-28-2013
Then go for a 2.1 setup for now and get the other speakers later on. Do not skimp on the processor as it is a very important piece of gear and is central to all the components in the system.
grnsr 01:53 AM 07-29-2013
Yes I'm looking for a simple/sleek receiver but without all the clutter (legacy inputs/outputs...)
and at a low budget..

and I would like to know if this is something I can take on as a DIY and where to look for components...

In theory - I could take an obsolete receiver/processor (without HDMI inputs) - replace the video processing sections with a card/component that takes HDMI inputs, pass-through the video and give the audio to the decoders which will then output 5.1ch balanced analog audio to the XLR out...

I'm sure I'm missing something that makes the above difficult or impossible... who can clarify?
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