Can anyone tell me if the audio side of HDMI carries the same capabilities that digital optical does? I see on the low to medium quality receivers that they carry multiple HDMI connections but only one digital optical connection. Ideally I'd need two (TV and Bluray) But if HDMI carries the same digital 5.1 sound that digital optical does then that limitation doesn't matter. Thanks and I hope this makes sense.
HDMI can carry the same digital audio signals that optical/toslink can, and quite a few more that optical can't handle. In all but the most extreme of cases, the two will be sonically identical when carrying the same signal (say, ac3/Dolby digital on the common DVD).