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5.1 pass thru TVs????

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am interested in getting a new 70" TV and I wanted to know if any of them can pass 5.1?? I would like to get a tv which I can connect all devices via HDMI to TV and send all audio from TV to sub via optical out...and get 5.1. Is this possible?
post #2 of 13
You want to run a sub off the tv? How would the other 5 channels come into play? Generally optical can pass lossy 5.1, but through hdmi usually 2.0 except for OTA content from the tv.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Not just a sub but a sound bar. I have a soundbar now but would like to get a 5.1 soundbar when they become available. This next month I plan to get a vizio or sharp 70'' and I want to make sure I get a TV that can do what I want.

I have never had a receiver and always run everything (ps3/xbox/dvr) through the TV. Now I have an optical out going directly to the sub which is connected to the sound bar.

When I get the soundbar 5.1 system, I want to be sure I can run everything the same way and get 5.1 sound...but have seen some info stating that NO will pass 5.1 sound. This doesn't seem right to me...and I wanted to get some other opinions.
post #4 of 13
There are some TVs that will, or at least users have reported they will, but you're better off asking in the TV/display forums here, as those users will probably know the specific models.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundwhat View Post

I am interested in getting a new 70" TV and I wanted to know if any of them can pass 5.1?? I would like to get a tv which I can connect all devices via HDMI to TV and send all audio from TV to sub via optical out...and get 5.1. Is this possible?

I'm not sure that you are asking the question that is really in your mind.

TV's seem to break down into two categories:

(1) TVs that only pass 2-channel stereo

(2) TVs that pass 2 channel stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround.

There is media out there with a ton of different surround formats on them - some lossless, some not, that AFAIK no TV can touch. The intention is that they be decoded via an AVR, computer, or stand alone player.

For example, look at this page from Dolby about devices that handle Dolby TruHD:

http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/technology/home-theater/dolby-truehd-details.html

No TVs at all!
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundwhat View Post

Not just a sub but a sound bar. I have a soundbar now but would like to get a 5.1 soundbar when they become available. This next month I plan to get a vizio or sharp 70'' and I want to make sure I get a TV that can do what I want.

I have never had a receiver and always run everything (ps3/xbox/dvr) through the TV. Now I have an optical out going directly to the sub which is connected to the sound bar.

When I get the soundbar 5.1 system, I want to be sure I can run everything the same way and get 5.1 sound...but have seen some info stating that NO will pass 5.1 sound. This doesn't seem right to me...and I wanted to get some other opinions.

generally the deal is that if a TV is receiving over-the-air broadcasts with multichannel DD, it can pass that multichannel DD to a connected device digitally. But if you connect other devices directly to the TV, the TV expects to be playing the sound. The TV is stereo, not 5.1. Since it doesn't have 5.1 speakers, it doesn't want and can't deal with a 5.1 input, generally, (except embedded in OTA broadcasts). when you connect to the TV via HDMI, the first thing that happens is the source and TV have a little conversation about the TV's capabiliies. The TV says "I'm stereo," so the HDMI device sets itself to send stereo, and the TV never sees a multichannel signal that it can pass on to a soundbar or receiver. If it were otherwise, playing the sound back through the TV would yield zero dialog, since that's all mixed in the center channel, which the TV ain't got.

Universally, what folks do is go to the receiver (soundbar) first, then output video to the TV either via HDMI or otherwise. The only time you NEED to use sound from the TV is if you're receiving OTA broadcasts.
post #7 of 13
As a general rule, sound acquired by the TV can be passed as DD 5.1 over the set's digital output. That includes off air antennas, direct cable feeds without a set top box, and Smart TV apps such as Netflix. Audio from devices attached using HDMI will be output in stereo.

Some TVs will pass DD 5.1 from external devices. You need to check the specs of the TVs you are considering. Very few will pass DTS.

When it comes to playing clips from drives and such, you'll need to check the specs of the TVs to see what audio formats they support.

TVs are not designed to be AV hubs or audio processors. That's the job of a receiver.
post #8 of 13
I just checked and my TV meets your requirements, but not your needs.

Sony KD34XBR970 (HD CRT)
HDMI audio in: two channel linear PMC (makes sense; TV only has 2 speakers)
Digital Audio Output (coaxial): PCM/Dolby Digital (This TV predates BR's lossless audio.)

So, yes, TVs can pass 5.1 from an HDMI input.This one's not optical, but cables are cheap. The first problem is finding one with this feature, but I expect things like this from a 70"... The second is finding a use for it.

I know of no subwoofer amps that can take a digital signal input. As noted, you're missing the components (AVR/Pre/Pro) that actually use a 5.1 audio signal, and create an analog 0.1 LFE channel for the sub. You need an AVR.... and the AVR will do all the HDMI switching for you so only 1 cable to the TV.

HAve fun,
Frank

Damn, left the thread open 4 hours before responding...
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundwhat View Post

I am interested in getting a new 70" TV and I wanted to know if any of them can pass 5.1?? I would like to get a tv which I can connect all devices via HDMI to TV and send all audio from TV to sub via optical out...and get 5.1. Is this possible?


I have a Sony 55" LED TV 2011 model year, and it will pass DD 5.1 via optical when fed DD 5.1 via the HDMI connections into the TV. My Bluray player feeds the TV via HDMI so I can get an upscaled 1080P 24 picture for DVD content.

I do feed a non-HDMI AVR with the TV's optical audio output, and the AVR feeds the 5.1 subwoofer signal to the subwoofer.

DTS will not play or pass through the TV, so I also connect the Bluray player to the AVR via coax.

Most TV sets will not pass though DD 5.1 except for off air signals (AKA use TV tuner), so you have to investigate each and every TV that you want to buy. I know of no TV's that will pass DTS.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
OK. So basically I have to get a receiver?
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
...and just so I understand correctly...

I can connect each and every device to the receiver via HDMI and have one HDMI out from the receiver to the TV? Is this correct?

This will give me 5.1 sound for all devices.
post #12 of 13
^^ Yes. Connect all devices to the AVR and a single HDMI to the TV. You'll get 5.1 from all sources that send it.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundwhat View Post

OK. So basically I have to get a receiver?

Yes, then you can not only have hdmi connectivity but also use real speakers and position them properly (soundbars can't do this); your 70" tv deserves good audio. You can even have 7.1 if you want (as most avr's now can handle that, but doesn't mean you have to use it, you can still do 5.1 with a 7.1 receiver).
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