I recently bought a Yamaha HTR-3066 AV receiver and Samsung PN64F5500AFXZA TV. AFAIK
, they are both 2013 models. I am happy with the setup, except that I am not able to figure out how to use an analog device for playback at the same time I am listening to digital audio.
The source for virtually all of our viewing is a HTPC running Windows 7 64 bit. The analog device, a ReSound Unite TV Streamer, which connects with RCA plugs, sends wireless stereo sound to my hearing aids. The goal is to have digital 2.1 or 5.1 from the receiver to speakers for several people viewing together while I am hearing the same source through my hearing aids via the analog device. This worked with my previous setup because the TV (also a Samsung) had analog outputs on the back. The Streamer has independent volume control so it is not critical that I otherwise be able to control its volume.
Here is what I’ve tried:
(1) There are red and white RCA analog audio outs on the rear of the receiver, but I learned from reading some forums that this receiver is not capable of outputting digital and analog simultaneously, which I confirmed by trying. Massive Bummer.
(2) Plugging the analog device into the receiver’s headphone jack with an adaptor is not a solution because that automatically mutes the receiver’s other outputs.
(3) The video card on my HTPC has analog outputs and several digital outputs, but I am running Windows 7, which only lets me output one at a time. That is, if I select HDMI out (to the receiver), I cannot simultaneously output via digital optical (toslink) or analog to the analog device. (It is not a RealTek card, which I’ve read can be made to output digital and analog simultaneously.)
(4) I downloaded and trialed an application called Virtual Audio Cable. It worked, and I was able to simultaneously output from two of the HTPC’s outputs, simultaneously getting digital sound through the receiver while simultaneously getting sound to my hearing aids via the analog device, but the sound was very degraded. (I looked at some trouble shooting information for Virtual Audio Cable and the advice was about limiting the burden on the processor, stopping other applications, etc. I decided I needed a harware solution, not a software one.)
(5) The TV has no analog outputs, but it does have a digital optical (toslink) output. I purchased a DAC (digital to analog converter) with toslink input and RCA outputs from Monoprice (Item DCA01). To make the TV send a signal via toslink, I had to go into the TV's settings for speakers and select “External Speaker”, which is one of three selection choices: “External Speaker”, “TV Speaker” and “Receiver”. When I select “External Speaker”, the toslink sends a signal, via the DAC, to my analog device, but the receiver stops sending a signal to the speakers connected to the receiver. Foiled again.
I know that I can upgrade the receiver to one that will simultaneously output digital and analog signals, but was hoping to find a cheaper solution, especially since this receiver more than meets my needs in other respects.
Also, I would like to keep the HDMI cabling as it is – that is, HDMI from the HTPC to the receiver and HDMI from the receiver to the TV – because that is necessary to enable me to take advantage of ARC (audio return channel) functionality, although this gear is still new and I have not figured out what the ARC feature will actually do for me or how valuable that is.
Any suggestions would be enormously appreciated. Thanks in advance.