HDMI and OPTICAL out question! HELP! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-06-2011, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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First question is I own a Panasonic Viera TC-P46C2 and it has 2 inputs for HMDI and 1 output for Optical Out, does anyone know if I will be able to get 5.1 from the Optical out? I have an Xbox going into the one and my computer going into the other HDMI inputs. If I run an optical from the optical output to my receiver will I get 5.1 from everything? If not how can I do it so I get 5.1? Running the optical from my Xbox straight to the receiver? Also I've heard that HDMI sound is better? There are no HDMI outs on the tv [as well as no HDMI inputs on my reciever] and if i use the HDMI for video into the TV, i cant use another HDMI cable from the xbox to a receiver for sound since theres only one HDMI out on the xbox.....i've been researching but im kinda confused. How can I set up my things that go into the HDMI inputs on my TV to get 5.1 sound with them all? I'm willing to buy a new receiver, but not a new TV lol
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-06-2011, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
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*NOTE*

When I hooked my Optical cable from TV to Receiver and ran my PS3 putting the setting on HDMI as audio out, I did not get the DTS/Dolby Digital logo to come up on my receiver [which leads me to believe that it has downgraded the audio to 2.0], however when i remove the Optical from the tv and put it into the ps3 so the ps3 is running directly to the optical on the receiver and set sound output to Optical, the DTS logo shows up [which leads me to believe thats the only way i can get the 5.1] and since my TV does not have HDMI outputs, is my only option here to get a 3X1 Optical Audio Toslink Bi-Directional Manual Switch in order to get true 5.1 out of my devices hooked into the HDMI inputs on the TV?.....have i answered my own question here LOL
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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can someone plz help, confirm? Will i get 5.1 from optical out to receiver?
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 12:40 PM
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Chances are your TV will not take an HDMI 5.1 and output the 5.1 to your receiver. It will output 5.1 on HD channels but it can't pass through DD.

For xbox, there is absolutely no difference in quality between HDMI and optical cable. Xbox is only capable of 5.1 Dolby Digital. The reason you hear HDMI is better is because it is capable of handling 7.1 channels lossless audio. This includes Dolby TrueHD, DTS-MA, and 8 Channel PCM. Dolby Digital is compressed audio. For your situation, run HDMI to TV and use optical cable to your receiver.

Also, unless your receiver is capable of HDMI input, you are not able to get 7.1 sound out of your PS3. Optical straight to the receiver is the best option you have.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 02:02 PM
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I think the optical out isnt really a pass thru for all incoming signals it is to output digital audio from OTA digital channel reception. As noted HDMI doesnt 'sound better" for your application it is simply capable of more duty for 7.1 audio and new HD audio formats but for PS3 is a mute point.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwiktune View Post

First question is I own a Panasonic Viera TC-P46C2 and it has 2 inputs for HMDI and 1 output for Optical Out, does anyone know if I will be able to get 5.1 from the Optical out? I have an Xbox going into the one and my computer going into the other HDMI inputs. If I run an optical from the optical output to my receiver will I get 5.1 from everything? If not how can I do it so I get 5.1? Running the optical from my Xbox straight to the receiver? Also I've heard that HDMI sound is better? There are no HDMI outs on the tv [as well as no HDMI inputs on my reciever] and if i use the HDMI for video into the TV, i cant use another HDMI cable from the xbox to a receiver for sound since theres only one HDMI out on the xbox.....i've been researching but im kinda confused. How can I set up my things that go into the HDMI inputs on my TV to get 5.1 sound with them all? I'm willing to buy a new receiver, but not a new TV lol

Usually if you connect the optical output from the TV to a reciever it will only be 5.1 (Dolby Digital) if the source is DD itself (a lot of HD channels are DD) AND the source of the signal is your TV. If you want the sound from another source (PS3, Xbox) to rout through your TV it will only be in stereo (that's how my Samsung works so check the TV manual for the optical out connection).

TV's don't generally have an HDMI out connection, they are mostly an input device. The exception is the new HDMI 1.4 connections which have an Audio return channel (ARC) built into them, but the reviever must also be 1.4 capable. I'm pretty sure the ARC function only works when the TV is the source.

To get 5.1 from the Xbox you need to run the optical into the reciever and then setup the receiver for that input. The sound will be no different than if you used HDMI unless the Xbox is using the new "Blu Ray" type codecs - DTS master audio or Dolby true HD - the optical connection can't support these and it will revert back to normal DD and DTS.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveD61 View Post

TV's don't generally have an HDMI out connection, they are mostly an input device. The exception is the new HDMI 1.4 connections which have an Audio return channel (ARC) built into them, but the receiver must also be 1.4 capable. I'm pretty sure the ARC function only works when the TV is the source.

No. The Audio Return Channel (ARC) is functionally equivalent to running an optical SPDIF cable between the TV and the AVR.


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post #8 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 02:18 PM
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qwiktune - your test with the PS3 pretty much established what you need to know. Your TV's output is limited to stereo when the source is an HDMI input from an external device. Even if the TV passed DD 5.1, which some do, I am not aware of any sets that pass DTS. Since most Blu-rays have DTS tracks, using the TV as an audio switcher is not a good idea if you want discrete 5.1 audio.

Your best bet is to run digital audio direct to the receiver. It sounds like your receiver doesn't have enough optical inputs. If it has any digital coax inputs, you can get an optical-coax converter. Or, get a switch.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fxspec06 View Post

Also, unless your receiver is capable of HDMI input, you are not able to get 7.1 sound out of your PS3. Optical straight to the receiver is the best option you have.

What if I got a reciever that had HDMI input (i assume itd be one that supported 7.1) how would I set up for 7.1 if theres only 1 HDMI out on the Xbox how would I go from the Xbox to the TV [HDMI input for video] and to the receiver for HDMI input for auto? Would I have to get some kind of 1 to 2 HDMI splitter?

Also BIslander, i figured that was my best bet and yes it only has 1 Optical input. Should I check out getting a new reciever that supports more Optical Inputs or is there no loss in sound quality by just using a 1x3 Switch?

THANKS!! I appreciate the responses, just trying to understand this a little better to get optimum sound
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwiktune View Post

What if I got a reciever that had HDMI input (i assume itd be one that supported 7.1) how would I set up for 7.1 if theres only 1 HDMI out on the Xbox how would I go from the Xbox to the TV [HDMI input for video] and to the receiver for HDMI input for auto? Would I have to get some kind of 1 to 2 HDMI splitter?

Also BIslander, i figured that was my best bet and yes it only has 1 Optical input. Should I check out getting a new reciever that supports more Optical Inputs or is there no loss in sound quality by just using a 1x3 Switch?

THANKS!! I appreciate the responses, just trying to understand this a little better to get optimum sound

Nope, it's much much easier than that.

If you get an HDMI capable receiver, all you need is one cable for each device (ps3, xbox, pc), plus one cable for the TV. That's it.

Plug each device directly into the HDMI inputs on the receiver, and then plug the output on the receiver into the TV.

The receiver does the switching. You only need to configure the input settings on the receiver, and it does the output for you.
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxspec06 View Post

Nope, it's much much easier than that.

If you get an HDMI capable receiver, all you need is one cable for each device (ps3, xbox, pc), plus one cable for the TV. That's it.

Plug each device directly into the HDMI inputs on the receiver, and then plug the output on the receiver into the TV.

The receiver does the switching. You only need to configure the input settings on the receiver, and it does the output for you.


And that works for the Sound and Video both? Like the video will transfer with the sound through and out the receiver into the TV?
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by qwiktune View Post

And that works for the Sound and Video both? Like the video will transfer with the sound through and out the receiver into the TV?

Yes. HDMI carries video and audio signals. The receiver doesn't touch the video signal and simply forwards it to the TV. It also passes the audio through to your TV as well, so if you want you can play audio through your TV speakers. Obviously the receiver reads the audio signals and plays them back on your speakers.

Some receivers have HDCP handshake issues.. but I have not had any problems with this. In case you're wondering what HDCP is... read the wiki.
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwiktune View Post

Also BIslander, i figured that was my best bet and yes it only has 1 Optical input. Should I check out getting a new reciever that supports more Optical Inputs or is there no loss in sound quality by just using a 1x3 Switch?

THANKS!! I appreciate the responses, just trying to understand this a little better to get optimum sound

There's no loss in quality using a switch. But, a receiver with HDMI inputs is definitely a better way to go.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

There's no loss in quality using a switch. But, a receiver with HDMI inputs is definitely a better way to go.

Any chance either of you could direct me to some nice, "affordable", one youd recommend to start? Right now i'm rocking a Panasonic SA-HE70, so i could prob use an upgrade but i dont have TOOO much to spend lol
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 05:20 PM
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I've been using Onkyo for four years. Maybe someone else can post a different brand he can look at, but here are some Onkyo's:

SR508, 7.1 65w/ch 3d capable starting at $229
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882120164

HT-RC260, 7.2 100w/ch 3d capable upscaling analog content starting at $329
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882120153

SR608, 7.2 100w/ch 3d capable audessy dsx thx select 2 certified starting at $389
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882120166

I have the HT-RC160, got it a couple years ago when it first came out. I love the sound Onkyo receivers have. You might not like it, everyone has their tastes. Denon's also a good option too. I'd try to stick with Denon or Onkyo.
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