AVS Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently considering purchasing a HDMI switch for my home theatre, but I use Logitech Z5500s for my speakers, so I need a switch that has the capability to output digital audio as well, separate from the HDMI (i.e. via toslink or coax).


My current setup involves an older Sony LCD rear projection TV (supports up to 1080i, not 1080p), HD PVR, DVD player, and an Xbox 360. I currently use an Audio Authority 1154 component switch with digital audio, and it handles everything just fine, auto-switching when appropriate. Ideally, I'd like to keep the functionality exactly the same, just with a HDMI switch.


One of the reasons why I want to upgrade to HDMI is that I plan on buying a new TV within the next year or so, along with a PS3 for a Blu-Ray player. I want to maintain my current receiver-less setup, which means I need to keep using the Logitech Z5500s. The Z5500s will take digital audio via toslink or coax, but not HDMI, resulting in my need for an HDMI switch that will allow for separate digital audio out.


I've searched the internet and discovered some valid options:


Monoprice - monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=2


Octava - octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%20splitter_5x2_toslink.html


Gefen - gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=8177


I've read a bunch about all three, but still would like input from people with experience with any of these switches. I also have a couple questions:


1) The Monoprice unit states the following: The Optical / Coaxial Digital audio format is based on the HDMI Output. If any of the sync devices (HDTV / Projector), connected to the output can only support stereo audio - Then the Optical / Coaxial Digital output will be PCM stereo audio. What exactly does this mean? Does this mean I would not be able to get Dolby 5.1 sound to my Z5500s?


2) The Gefen unit only supports digital audio out via coax. Would I lose any quality or potential formats by not having my audio through toslink?


3) Are there any other potential options out there that I missed?


I think that's it for now. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,755 Posts
1) The Monoprice caveat means that if the TV you buy only supports stereo sound, then the digital audio output from the Monoprice unit will be the same. The reason is that HDMI communicates with the TV to see what sound format it can accept and then sets the source to output that format.


2) There is no difference in quality between digital coax audio and optical audio. The main advantage of optical is that there is no possibility of a ground loop between the two devices causing hum, since the toslink cable is non-conductive.


3) Do you know whether the Octava and Gefen units have the same problem with audio format as the Monoprice device? It's possible they may.


I believe they make HDMI switchers with a separate toslink I/O switch. You would just switch the toslink signal in parallel with the HDMI, similar to how you do it now with component. That should avoid the problem with audio formating (assuming that the HDMI audio format doesn't affect the toslink audio format output from your sources).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. From what I can tell, the Gefen and Octava units are both supposed to allow Dolby support through the digital audio out, regardless of what the TV can support. If someone thinks/knows differently, please let me know. I think this is probably one of the reasons for the big price difference vs. the Monoprice box. I'm really leaning towards the Octava now, as it provides 5 inputs, vs the Gefen only having 4.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top