Connecting 2 Digital Speakers to 7.1 Home Theater? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-05-2013, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Patrick Collins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Nokomis, Fl. USA
Posts: 602
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked: 43
Short of having a full blown Meridian system, I would like to incorporate my 2 Meridian digital speakers, with 2 SP/dif coax inputs only, into my existing Home Theater. They will take up to a 24/96khz input. I currently use them for two channel hi res music in the HT. They sound so much better than my smaller NHT speakers that I would like to use them as the main left and right.

I'm replacing my Integra DTC 9.8 pre-pro with an Onkyo TX-NR929 in two days. It has no digital outs except 2 HDMIs. It has 9 amplified channels and 11 line level outs along with two sub outs. I have a Sunfire True Sub and a repairable second one. I doubt I will need my 7 channel Outlaw amp in there anymore.

I could add similar small speakers for a correct 7/9/11 .1 or .2 setup. But incorporating the Meridians is the issue. I've even been offered a matching Meridian center speaker which might complicate things even more.

I've seen a device from Monoprice with 4 HDMI inputs with 1 output each of HDMI, SP/dif coax, SP/dif optical and analog. They claim simultaneous audio output from each. If you feed it 5.1 you can switch the outputs between 5.1 and 2 channel. Beyond that info I'm not sure how it would work with signals like Dolby True HD, DTS MA, DTS Neo X or whatever. But it does have COAX out.

Including the voicing differences between the two brands of speakers I would like to try this out without assuming it won't work.

Would like to hear opinions on adding digital speakers to an otherwise analog surround system, then known ways to accomplish it.

Thanks in advance

PS The 929 HDMI outputs are identical.

Patrick
Patrick Collins is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-05-2013, 11:20 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
arnyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Posts: 14,387
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 763 Post(s)
Liked: 1178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Collins View Post

Short of having a full blown Meridian system, I would like to incorporate my 2 Meridian digital speakers, with 2 SP/dif coax inputs only, into my existing Home Theater. They will take up to a 24/96khz input. I currently use them for two channel hi res music in the HT. They sound so much better than my smaller NHT speakers that I would like to use them as the main left and right.

I'm replacing my Integra DTC 9.8 pre-pro with an Onkyo TX-NR929 in two days. It has no digital outs except 2 HDMIs. It has 9 amplified channels and 11 line level outs along with two sub outs. I have a Sunfire True Sub and a repairable second one. I doubt I will need my 7 channel Outlaw amp in there anymore.

I could add similar small speakers for a correct 7/9/11 .1 or .2 setup. But incorporating the Meridians is the issue. I've even been offered a matching Meridian center speaker which might complicate things even more.

I've seen a device from Monoprice with 4 HDMI inputs with 1 output each of HDMI, SP/dif coax, SP/dif optical and analog. They claim simultaneous audio output from each. If you feed it 5.1 you can switch the outputs between 5.1 and 2 channel. Beyond that info I'm not sure how it would work with signals like Dolby True HD, DTS MA, DTS Neo X or whatever. But it does have COAX out.

Including the voicing differences between the two brands of speakers I would like to try this out without assuming it won't work.

Would like to hear opinions on adding digital speakers to an otherwise analog surround system, then known ways to accomplish it.

Thanks in advance

PS The 929 HDMI outputs are identical.

As a general rule, AVR HDMI outputs don't have active digital audio output lines. If they existed they would serve to activate the speakers on the TV, which runs counter to the purpose of the AVR, which is to offload the job of reproducing audio from the TV. In general AVRs lack digital audio outputs.
arnyk is online now  
Old 09-05-2013, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Patrick Collins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Nokomis, Fl. USA
Posts: 602
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked: 43
Arnold, I've read some of your other well written responses, so I was a little surprised I couldn't make sense of this one. Not sure what you meant by "AVR HDMI outputs don't have active digital audio output lines". As a source the HDMI will have the full spectrum of video and all the channels of unamplified digital audio. As a sink the AVR is going to pass the full spectrum of video and convert and amplify the audio. Fine if you're using analog speakers with speaker level in. But add to the mix two speakers that require digital in by coax and you have my dilemma. I currently feed them music from my HTPC's ESI Juli@ sound card's coax out. Also while sending a signal by HDMI to my AVR from my Oppo BDP I can send the audio from the Oppo's coax to my Meridians. BUT with all my HDMI inputs to my AVR I can't send digital audio to the Meridians. I realize for copy protection they've eliminated the SP/dif outs from AVRs.

All that said, I've seen some devices that have HDMI in and have both HDMI and coax out. Just not sure what to expect from a device like this for multichannel sound formats. The fact the 929 has two HDMI outs has given me renewed interest in using the Meridians in the surround system.

Patrick
Patrick Collins is offline  
Old 09-05-2013, 02:00 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
arnyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Posts: 14,387
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 763 Post(s)
Liked: 1178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Collins View Post

Arnold, I've read some of your other well written responses, so I was a little surprised I couldn't make sense of this one. Not sure what you meant by "AVR HDMI outputs don't have active digital audio output lines". As a source the HDMI will have the full spectrum of video and all the channels of unamplified digital audio.

That is true of BD players, but AVRs are typically different. Some AVRs label their HDMI outputs "Monitor" which conveys the impression to me that they are for a video monitor as opposed to a full TV set with sound.

I've hooked several TV sets to the outputs of a number of HDMI-oriented AVRs and none of them ever passed any sound to the TV set. Just video.

Try it yourself and see (or not hear!) ;-)
arnyk is online now  
Old 09-05-2013, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Patrick Collins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Nokomis, Fl. USA
Posts: 602
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked: 43
AVRs have a setting for HDMI out for audio on/off to a TV. Switched on if you use your TV speakers. With the 929, main and zone 2 HDMI outs are full A/V. So I'm trying to find a way to add the Meridians to the surround configuration as Left and Right.

Patrick
Patrick Collins is offline  
Old 09-05-2013, 08:54 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
arnyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Posts: 14,387
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 763 Post(s)
Liked: 1178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Collins View Post

AVRs have a setting for HDMI out for audio on/off to a TV. Switched on if you use your TV speakers. With the 929, main and zone 2 HDMI outs are full A/V. So I'm trying to find a way to add the Meridians to the surround configuration as Left and Right.

Some do, some don't. In my case my Yamaha RXV 371 does not, but thanks to your prompting, I find that my Denon 1913 does. Again, thanks for the education.

Your idea of using a HDMI to Coax converter would work if such a thing existed, but if it existed t it would be a violation of HDMI rules for protection of digital content. I've been down this road before, and it has been a dead end for me.

The digital audio is embedded into the video on a HDMI link so extracting it is non trivial.

The remaining option would be to obtain an appropriate analog output and use an ADC to convert it to digital. This could be done for a nominal cost and with minimal to none audible sound quality loss.

I take it that the Meridian speakers have some way of extracting the left or the right channel from the inbound stereo data stream?
arnyk is online now  
Old 09-05-2013, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Patrick Collins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Nokomis, Fl. USA
Posts: 602
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked: 43
After my last reply I realized there are some AVRs that don't switch the HDMI audio.

My Meridians are connected by comms cables. I send SP/dif to the left and it sends the correct right and/or center audio.

Patrick
Patrick Collins is offline  
Old 09-06-2013, 10:07 AM
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 756
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 18
By far your best bet is to get a decent A/D converter at the analog output of your receiver and feed that digital signal to your M speakers.

I don't see a viable way for you to extract digital audio output from either the HDMI output of a source component, or, the digital or HDMI outputs of your receiver, and send it to your speakers via SPDIF. Even if you do find a way to get a digital signal you wouldn't have any way to keep volumes aligned between your M speakers and your other speakers. (If you had a Meridian 861 and a 621 you could pull it off, but that's not the boat you're rowing.)
Brucemck2 is offline  
Old 09-06-2013, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Patrick Collins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Nokomis, Fl. USA
Posts: 602
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked: 43
For two reasons, I wish I never bought them.

1. It's difficult to add just the two Meridians into an existing HT.

2. They sound so much better than what I already have.

I could relegate them to hi res two channel music only. But after a google search for " HDMI to SP/dif Coax switcher" I did find two devices at Monoprice that claim they do that very thing, send audio out of the coax while simultaneously passing the untouched A/V through the HDMI out. Of course their online info doesn't deal with the intricacies of trying to extract just the L/R signal from the coax out. I'm just not big on trying something out with the intent of probably just sending it back. I'm a little old school in that regard.

Mostly I was hoping to find someone that already dealt with this situation and had a viable solution.

Patrick
Patrick Collins is offline  
Old 09-06-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Patrick Collins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Nokomis, Fl. USA
Posts: 602
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked: 43
Hello, my name is Patrick. I'm a speakerholic. There I said it.

I needed to get that out of the way to preface the change of events.

While buying my first keyboard/workstation yesterday, I overheard a couple of sales people discussing what to do with a pair active JBL studio monitors. Hum. They made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
They just happen to be the same size as my NHTs. So with the TX-NR 929 due tomorrow these might be a better fit for extra channels including moving the NHTs around. Although they sounded great in the store, I don't know how the voicing will match up with the NHTs.

BTW, I don't know what everybody else's experience is in retail stores these days, but it seems as you walk through the front doors, they're throwing discounts at you.

Patrick
Patrick Collins is offline  
 
Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off