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i'm still trying to solve the problem of replacing my htpc with one that doesn't have a sound card (just hdmi and usb). is there any avr that with 3-4 hdmi ouputs will allow me to switch any input to one hmdi out (the receiving device will NOT have sound) and at the same time select any of the inputs for a second output (either hdmi or digital audio) which i will send to my 5.1 speaker system. the sound i listen to will often not be from the same source as the video i am watching. i've looked as hdmi matrix products but they appear to not allow two different hdmi outputs. i have figured out one way to do it but it's a bit of a kluge. i want to be sure that i get multichannel sound from all the inputs and don't run afoul of hdcp. thanks.
 

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A multi-zone receiver?

Also, a lot of receivers will let you do that. For example, I can have my Denon X4000 on one input for the video (HTPC) then another input for sound (music). So if we wanted to have a party at the house with a ball game on the TV but music on to listen to, I can do that.

k. Watch TV while listening to a different audio source:You have a couple of different options here. One option is to connect the cable/sat box HDMI directly to the TV w/optical from the cable/sat box to the AVR. That way you can use the HDMI to the TV for video and then select whatever audio source you want on the AVR. Another option is using the "Video Select" feature and with the E300 and higher 2013 models or all 2014 models, any video source (to include HDMI) can be selected while listening to USB, Tuner, or network sources using the "Video Select" setting. On the models with a CD analog audio input (ie. E400, X2000/3000/4000 and S900W, X2100W, X3100W, X4100W) you can connect an external source to the CD analog or optical input (as long as there is no video assigned to CD) and listen to it while watching a separate HDMI video source. The X4000/X4100W also adds the Phono input which can be used with "Video Select" as well.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...-series-avr-model-owner-s-thread-faq.html#e11
 

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If you want to be able to listen to the audio from any source (including HDMI-connected sources) while viewing video from a different source, your best bet is to get a receiver with multi-zone, multi-source capabilities and use the Zone 2 HDMI Output to feed video to your display. You would then use Zone 1/Main Zone controls to select your audio source while using Zone 2 controls to select your video source. Most AVR manufacturers make receivers with this feature starting at around $600 MSRP. Below that price point, you are typically limited to only being able to independently switch which audio and video source you want for analog and optical/coaxial connected audio source devices and (in some cases) the AVR's built-in AM/FM tuner or streaming apps.
 

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Have the receiver switch the audio only, and connect all your HDMI sources directly to your TV, your TV has like 4 HDMI inputs right? ^)
To do this, he would need all of his source devices to have split audio and video outputs connected to his AVR/TV. Not all devices can output audio over optical/coaxial while outputting video over HDMI. Plus, for those devices that he can run optical/coaxial for audio while running HDMI for video, he would be limited to lossy Dolby/DTS or stereo PCM. For some that may not be an issue, but if you have multiple game consoles capable of lossless 5.1/7.1 output and a standalone Blu-Ray player/HTPC then you are compromising on sound quality/channels supported. Also, most mid-range AVR's only have 2 or 3 optical/coaxial inputs so you might run out of connections. You can get around both of these limitations by connecting a 1x2 HDMI splitter to the output of each of your source devices and then double up on HDMI cables, running one to the TV and the other to your AVR, but that will get expensive and could cause HDMI handshake issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for replies. fwiw i read the installation manual for the denon x4000 as an example and didn't see a digital audio output. the things suggested above re using two "zones" one for the audio would work if the avr has a digital sound output but if only hdmi output i'd still need to add an hdmi audio extractor and most of the features of the avr would be overkill.

i've looked at the descriptions of hdmi matrix's but they look problematic.

my current thought is: hdmi out of the pc -> hdmi cable -> hdmi audio extractor -> optical cable -> spdif switch -> optical cable -> speaker system. also the hdmi pass out from the audio extractor goes to the tv as do hdmi cables from xbox/tv tuner and dvd/bd player. tv audio out -> optical cable -> the same spdif switch. then changing the switch gives either audio from the pc or audio from whichever device is displaying video on the tv at the time. my concerns are re how good is an hdmi audio extractor re sound quality, will i get 5.1 channel sound from each of these sources, would there be an hdcp failure at the pc, or should i spring for an avr which adds far more complexity than i need or would use? if i spring for the avr i would want one with a digital audio out connection.
 

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thanks for replies. fwiw i read the installation manual for the denon x4000 as an example and didn't see a digital audio output. the things suggested above re using two "zones" one for the audio would work if the avr has a digital sound output but if only hdmi output i'd still need to add an hdmi audio extractor and most of the features of the avr would be overkill.

i've looked at the descriptions of hdmi matrix's but they look problematic.

my current thought is: hdmi out of the pc -> hdmi cable -> hdmi audio extractor -> optical cable -> spdif switch -> optical cable -> speaker system. also the hdmi pass out from the audio extractor goes to the tv as do hdmi cables from xbox/tv tuner and dvd/bd player. tv audio out -> optical cable -> the same spdif switch. then changing the switch gives either audio from the pc or audio from whichever device is displaying video on the tv at the time. my concerns are re how good is an hdmi audio extractor re sound quality, will i get 5.1 channel sound from each of these sources, would there be an hdcp failure at the pc, or should i spring for an avr which adds far more complexity than i need or would use? if i spring for the avr i would want one with a digital audio out connection.
If the receiver supports multi-zone, multi-source output then you don't need an HDMI audio extractor or a separate "digital audio out". The Zone 2 HDMI output passes both audio and video. This is why you connect the Zone 2 HDMI Out to your display and select the associated input on your display. The source selected for Zone 1 (a.k.a. the Main Zone) is what you will hear coming from the speakers attached to your AVR. The source selected for Zone 2 is what you will see on your display. You will also get the audio for the Zone 2 source coming from your display's built-in speakers, but you can mute that assuming you don't want to hear it.
 
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