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Optical out from HDMI source?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello all. New guy here, so please forgive me if this is either a dumb question or has been answered elsewhere previously. FWIW, I did some google searching as well as a search of this forum without much luck. Also, I apologize that this post is a huge confusing mess.

As a bit of back story, I was given a set of Tritton Ax Pro headphones as a gift, and would like to incorporate them into my gaming/home theater set up. These things seem pretty cool, and headphones are crucial since I have thin walls, BUT they only accept optical in.

I need a new HT receiver anyway, but I've had a tough time finding a newer one with HDMI switching AND optical out. I've got multiple HDMI sources that I need to be able to hook up (PS3/X360/HTPC), but even if I find a receiver with optical out, will it be able to put out the audio from those HDMI sources via the optical out? I've heard conflicting things about this.

Alternatively, I thought about hooking all the HDMI sources up to the receiver, running the HDMI out from that into the TV, and hooking the headphones up to the optical out from the TV. Would that set up run into the same potential issue? As a side note, I'm not sure if the HDMI out to TV on most receivers is video only or something like that.

Again, sorry if this post is confusing. Obviously I'm a bit of an idiot when it comes to stuff like this. Thanks in advance for any help. :-)
post #2 of 11
An AVR isn't going to be able to down convert HDMI audio to optical, rather you would have to either connect the phones directly to the source or use an HDMI switch with optical audio output like the one below from Monoprice.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
jdsmoothie, thank you for the quick reply. so assuming i added a switch like the one you posted, would it be able to simultaneously output a/v through HDMI as well as optical audio? If so, I could see running the HDMI out from the AVR into the switch, and then the HDMI out from the switch to the TV. Does that sound feasible? I do still want to run speakers, and I'd like to let the AVR do all the switching, but if it just means running the HDMI through one more intermediary to the tv, that wouldn't be bad.
post #4 of 11
My old Marantz 8001 (before it died 35 days out of warranty)could do this for PCM if it was LESS than 65 khz.
The 8002 could probably do it too.
The DVDO Edge might do it also.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshD422 View Post

jdsmoothie, thank you for the quick reply. so assuming i added a switch like the one you posted, would it be able to simultaneously output a/v through HDMI as well as optical audio? If so, I could see running the HDMI out from the AVR into the switch, and then the HDMI out from the switch to the TV. Does that sound feasible? I do still want to run speakers, and I'd like to let the AVR do all the switching, but if it just means running the HDMI through one more intermediary to the tv, that wouldn't be bad.

I only know what Monoprice has printed on the webpage. I would think you would want the switch between the game box and the AVR, otherwise you would have to switch audio to the TV everytime you wanted to use the switch if connected between the AVR and the TV.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

I only know what Monoprice has printed on the webpage. I would think you would want the switch between the game box and the AVR, otherwise you would have to switch audio to the TV everytime you wanted to use the switch if connected between the AVR and the TV.

Well, I would like to be able to use the headphones for all the audio sources. Ie. at any given time choose between the HT speakers or the headphones, and leave the tv speakers out of the equation completely (because they suck lol). Though running all HDMI sources into the the receiver and then hooking the switch up to the HDMI out of the AR does still bring me to the same question: do ARs only put video out through their HDMI out because it's assumed that will run to a tv?
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by locomo View Post

My old Marantz 8001 (before it died 35 days out of warranty)could do this for PCM if it was LESS than 65 khz.
The 8002 could probably do it too.
The DVDO Edge might do it also.

If indeed I'd be limited to PCM, then I'm out of luck anyway. The headphones need Dolby Digital in. (Sigh) Looks like the switch is going to be the only realistic way to go.

EDIT: Thank you for steering me in the direction of the DVDO edge. It looks like this plus 5 bucks for a TOSlink splitter would do the trick perfectly. All the HDMI into the Edge, HDMI out to the TV, and split optical into both the headphones and the AR (meaning I don't need a new one with HDMI), and I can just turn the phones or the AR off as needed.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

An AVR isn't going to be able to down convert HDMI audio to optical, rather you would have to either connect the phones directly to the source or use an HDMI switch with optical audio output like the one below from Monoprice.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I was thinking more about this, but is it always necessarily a down convert? I only ask because before the receiver was part of the equation, I used to have X360 and PS3 both plugged into the TV via HDMI, and then the headphones connected to the optical out of the tv. Everything worked fine with that set up. I never really thought about why it worked, but I guess I would have just assumed the tv was passing Dolby Digital through. Is this not the case?
post #9 of 11
More likely than the TV down converting would be that the TV only accepts two channel PCM over HDMI.

It should be easy enough to check. From the XMB of your PlayStation 3 select Settings -> Sound Settings -> Audio Output Settings -> HDMI -> Automatic and it'll show you a list of the audio formats your TV says it supports.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshD422 View Post

I was thinking more about this, but is it always necessarily a down convert? I only ask because before the receiver was part of the equation, I used to have X360 and PS3 both plugged into the TV via HDMI, and then the headphones connected to the optical out of the tv. Everything worked fine with that set up. I never really thought about why it worked, but I guess I would have just assumed the tv was passing Dolby Digital through. Is this not the case?

Very few TVs are able to pass DD 5.1 via the optical out port. As ross notes, more likely the TV was only receiving PCM 2.0 which it then passed via the optical output.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
You guys are absolutely right, and I appreciate you taking the time to weigh in. I find all of this stuff extremely interesting. I just wish I wasn't such a noob. :-)
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