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Better to have HDMI switch in reciever or external switch?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am starting to rethink which reciever I was going to get. There are a few good deals on recievers now (Arcam in particular) that do not have any HDMI in/out, but do have the 7.1 audio in.

If/when I get a newer generation HD or bluy Ray DVD player, or some other source that sends out 7.1 signal and an HDMI signal, will there be any issues if the 7.1 sound signal gets sent to a reciever and the HDMI video signal gets sent to an external HDMI switch (then to my TV)?

I guess I'm worried about will there be a delay from what I hear from the speakers as opposed to what is being shown on the screen (like by a few tenths of seconds, enough to be noticable)?

As well, will there be any quality of video signal loss if I go through a switch? (I have a Panasonic 50 inch plasma by the way, with only one HDMI input)

thanks
post #2 of 10
Well, I have not tried it yet but that is what I am doing, kinda. The HDMI video is gonna be handled by a Gefen matrix switcher and the audio by a whole house 12 channel (non-theater) and an AV receiver (Theater) for the sound.

I can't see why there would be significant delay, but perhaps I am wrong.

See my other post on which HT receiver folks suggest.
post #3 of 10
The positive side to in-receiver switching is the ability to have the receiver do audio decoding / processing. For HDMI sources this is the only way to get lossless protected audio out through your receiver. Not all receivers support this but it will be standard soon enough.

The downside is not having enough ports - most support 2 in / 1 out. You can buy fairly inexpensive (~$80) 5 in / 1 out switches now, so in combination with a receiver that has not just HDMI switching but HDMI audio processing, this may be a good route to go.
post #4 of 10
Quote:


The positive side to in-receiver switching is the ability to have the receiver do audio decoding / proessing. For HDMI sources this is the only way to get lossless protected audio out through your receiver. Not all receivers support this but it will be standard soon enough.

Please define do you mean by "protected audio"
post #5 of 10
By protected audio I mean HD format audio from the new discs (BD and HD-DVD) and soon from satellite and cable that can't be passed over optical or coax, such as multi-channel PCM (also called 'uncompressed'), DTS HD MA, or Dolby TrueHD, along with a couple of other new formats.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Won't the new HD/Blu Ray DVD players use the 7.1 audio out from the DVD player itself (i.e. using the 8 RCA jacks), to the reciever?

I was told by a salesman (rightly or wrongly) that to get the lossless sound, True HD, or whatever audio format, it must use the 7.1 and not the HDMI.

Is that correct?
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by philmalik View Post

Won't the new HD/Blu Ray DVD players use the 7.1 audio out from the DVD player itself (i.e. using the 8 RCA jacks), to the reciever?

I was told by a salesman (rightly or wrongly) that to get the lossless sound, True HD, or whatever audio format, it must use the 7.1 and not the HDMI.

That's essentially true today as there are few (or perhaps none) receivers that can decode the new audio. That won't be true in the future though.

The analog 7.1 will work fine, presuming you only have 1 hi-res source you need to hook up. But say you end up getting an HD-DVD player, and a BluRay player and maybe even want Hi-Res audio (SACD/DVD-A) - now you have 3 sets of analog 5.1 (or 7.1) connections to make and likely only one 7.1 input on your receiever. So you may end up having to purchase an analog switcher too if this scenario is at all possible.

My pre-pro happens to offer two 5.1 inputs which I've got filled and am tempted (aren't we all) to add another 5.1 source at some point, but I have nowhere to bring it into my system w/o adding yet another switcher (I do have an HDMI switch).

Obviously YMMV depending on how you envision expanding your system, but built in HDMI with the new hi-res audio decoders would be optimal I'd think, it just depends on if it's worth waiting for in your case...

FWIW, I've seen no evidence that the HDMI switch is causing any video delay in my system.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMavs View Post

The analog 7.1 will work fine, presuming you only have 1 hi-res source you need to hook up. But say you end up getting an HD-DVD player, and a BluRay player and maybe even want Hi-Res audio (SACD/DVD-A) - now you have 3 sets of analog 5.1 (or 7.1) connections to make and likely only one 7.1 input on your receiever. So you may end up having to purchase an analog switcher too if this scenario is at all possible.

I ordered one of these to deal with the problems being discussed in this thread. I have not received it yet, however.

http://www.zektor.com/mas71/index.html

I currently have 2 hi-res audio sources (Denon DVD-3910 which plays DVD-audio and SACDs, and a Samsung Blu-Ray BD-P1200.) Both have 5.1 analog audio outs. I was looking for a solution to extend the life of my receiver (Pioneer VSX-49TX) which has no HDMI switching and has only one 7.1 analog input. Hopefully this switch will do what I'm looking for - and it should be future-proof in the sense that it is a 7.1 switch, as opposed to the more prevalent 5.1 audio switches that are out there.
post #9 of 10
To not have HDMI? It would not be an option for me. I tried all the switchers and such, I had zero success with them, both for audio and multi-channel analog audio.

Just think about the future even though you may not need HDMI on yoru AVR right now. I have one DVI-HDCP input on my display, I have 3 sources currently using that via their HDMI output, I could hook another up right now, so that is 4 HDMI sources I could already be using if I so choose with 3 already in use.
post #10 of 10
Lot of misinformation here. Many receivers such as the Denon 2307 and 2807, H/K 247, etc. can pass uncompressed audio over HDMI, totally losslessly. Obviously if you use analog there is some loss from the D/A and then A/D conversions, plus the cable and connectors.

For the new formats that receivers cannot or do not decode, it doesn't matter since the players are required to uncompress the losslessly encoded audio to PCM and pass PCM to the receiver. Essentially, unlike DVD, the receivers don't need to decode these new formats, they just need to be able to accept PCM. The only exception currently is DTS HD MA, which most players do not decode and neither do receivers, which is why it is not the only audio track on a disc. The PS3 will get support for DTS HD MA in the fall, from what I've read.
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