Originally Posted by Kelson
I guess I don't particularly see any advantage to that setup -- I don't see that I have any less flexibility with mine. An optical cable is a lot thinner than a 5-connector component/audio cable bundle and I like staying all-digital -- I have no analog connections except for the Wii. I have no problem watching the TiVo through the HDMI direct to the HDTV while separately setting the AVR to any source input I wanted. We've done that on occasion for football games where we mute the network sound and tune the local game broadcast over the radio -- the synch is a little off but the announcer chatter is "better".
Originally Posted by aaronwt
By using an optical cable you can only use legacy audio codecs. The codecs that were used back in the 90's. To use the DD+, which is a modern codec you need to use HDMI. Although Netflix is the only app that I'm aware of on the S4 boxes that ouput DD+.
And as I mentioned before, if your components handle HDMI passthorugh, then you can still have the receiver off and use the TV speakers.
Personally I used optical from 1994 and 2005. But in 2005 I started using HDMI with my devices.. Much easier to have one cable for audio and video than having multiple cables. Now I use HDMI for everything. And it will be even better once more devices start using Ethernet over HDMI which will eliminate another cable needed to a device.
+1. I will always use HDMI when possible.
With HDMI through-connections, my Denon AVR-3311 will pass the a/v signal from my TiVo Premiere XL4 to my Sony KDL-46XBR5, even when the AVR is off.
I almost never use the TV's speakers, but I will occasionally want to check on a video source while listening to a music source. In that case I only have to select the alternate input on the TV.
And, not incidentally, my set-up allows me to see the AVR's GUI on the TV while still retaining the redundant TiVo connectivity. Plus, since the KDL-46XBR5 has variable-sized "Picture & Picture" I have the ability to put up the AVR's GUI side-by-side with another video source--whether the TiVo or the TV's internal tuner (all my other external sources are connected via the AVR).