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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I needed to hook up a 4th digital audio device (and wanted more HDMI to the TV), and my old Pioneer receiver only has 3 digital input (2 toslink and 1 coax). My old Panasonic TV is also limited to 1 DVI-HDCP and 2 component. My current setup:


- TiVo HD with component to TV and toslink to receiver

- Xbox 360 with component to TV and toslink to receiver

- Vizio Blu-Ray player with HDMI to TV (HDMI-DVI cable) and coax to receiver


I bought the Monoprice HDX-401TA (PID 5557) 4x1 HDMI switcher with separate audio output (toslink, coax, and 3.5mm stereo), along with new Monoprice HDMI cables for the devices. The new setup has all three above devices with HDMI to the switch, HDMI from the switch to the TV (same HDMI-DVI cable), and toslink (also tried the coax) from the switch to the receiver (no audio cables from the devices to the receiver).


No matter what I do, I can't get DTS or DD5.1 audio now from any of the three devices. I have tried various combinations of settings, power-on order, and different cables, all with no change in behavior. I tried with no TV on the output of the HDMI switch, as well as with a different TV (a few month old Vizio 26" LCD).


Now, reading online, some have reported only being able to get formats out that are supported by the device on the HDMI switch output port (e.g. to get DTS through the switch, you must have a DTS-supporting TV or receiver connected to the switch HDMI output port). Is that correct? If so, what's the point of the audio outputs? I could just as well run the HDMI into my receiver if it supported HDMI.


If this is the case, it seems like blatant false advertising by Monoprice, since it describes my setup and touts this switch as a solution. I am highly disappointed in Monoprice if this is the case.
 

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I was thinking of picking up this switch as well. I guess the TV is handshaking with the other components and reporting that it can only handle stereo. Is there a way to fix this?
 

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Let us know if you ever find a resolution. I was also considering this switch. However, considering I could not find anything similar within $100 USD, I'm not sure how one can be disapointed. Kind of like being unhappy with a $0.50 shoeshine in the subway. Be glad that it does everything it does! If monoprice spent the time to engineer and test everything like the higher priced alternatives, this device would cost twice as much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My solution is probably going to be to return the switch and buy a new receiver (probably Pioneer VSX-919AH-K; it only has 3 HDMI instead of 4, but that's all I really need).


icellama: I'm disappointed because no matter how much or how little I paid, the switch does NOT work as advertised. Either through lack of understand of how their own product works, or intentional attempts to mislead, Monoprice's website says this switch can do what I need, but it appears it cannot. I'm disappointed because I though Monoprice was a little bit better company than that.
 

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Well how is it working for this guy?

Quote:
Rating: (10 out of 10) Reviewer: Ryan from Fenton, MO 12/30/2009 3:55:57 PM



Awesome

This device is awesome. My receiver can't decode audio coming over through HDMI, so I bought this. I've got all my devices (Xbox 360, PS3, another HD TV cable box) hooked up via HDMI to this switch, and a digital optical cable going from this switch to the receiver now. There is no delay, and all audio signals (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.) come through perfectly fine.


Absolutely perfect!

He has HDMI on his receiver but it doesn't decode audio. so he is using optical from the monoprice switch and gets all the audio formats he wants.
 

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First of all I would say "bad mouthing" Monoprice is unnecessary. I've always had good luck with them and I'm sure they'll return your money. The more I look into this problem the more I think it's not the switch's fault. Your TV is telling the source that it can't accept DTS or DD 5.1. Another TV or projector would work probably.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt /forum/post/18172719


Well how is it working for this guy?




He has HDMI on his receiver but it doesn't decode audio. so he is using optical from the monoprice switch and gets all the audio formats he wants.

From what I'm reading else where it has to go with the display device. I've having the same issue- no DD5.1 audio. I'm going to try unplugging the tv and see if it suddenly can send 5.1 audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't say what someone else sees, I can only say what I see. Part of my frustration with Monoprice is that I tried their tech-support chat, and after trying a few things, the tech said there were just some things that weren't compatible, and then proceeded to say there is a new model that might work better (which just feels like a bait&switch). I spent ~$50+shipping (and I'll bet they'll expect me to pay return shipping as well) for a device that apparently is not capable of working as advertised; how would you feel?


I tried this several ways, with different connections on the switch HDMI output:


- older TV with DVI only via HDMI-DVI cable

- 3 month old LCD via HDMI

- no connection at all on the HDMI output (suggested by Monoprice tech)

- tried toslink and then coax between HDMI switch and receiver


Each resulted in stereo sound at the receiver. Direct digital audio connections from Blu-Ray/TiVo/Xbox to receiver work, so I know the decoding is compatible. I can only conclude the switch is the problem.
 

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Talked to monoprice. If your display device doesn't support 5.1, you get no 5.1 out of the toslink of coax. I even tried disconnecting my TV and apparently it actually need something on the monitor out to report that it takes 5.1 audio.


They say its the nature of how hdmi switches work, not just theirs. However it makes the toslink and coax outputs useless to most of the people looking for a switch that has those outputs- people with older hardware. (How many TV's really support 5.1 audio anyways?)


In any case, I'm a little annoyed, I didn't notice this at first and now I'm past my return window. I always figured it was just a setting I needed to play with, and not a defective design.
 

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By support 5.1 do you mean "accepts and 5.1 signal and then converts it to stereo?" I don't know many TV's that actually output a 5.1 signal except thru the OTA/QAM tuner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
By "support", the TV has to advertise 5.1 in the HDMI handshake. Since most TVs don't process 5.1, they only advertise stereo in the HDMI handshake. That means that the sending devices (e.g. Blu-Ray player, TiVo, etc.) will only send a stereo audio signal, so this switch will only output a stereo audio signal.


My switch is on the way back to Monoprice (on my $$, since they ignored my request for them to pay return shipping due to their false advertising). I tried to order a new receiver (Pioneer VSX-919) from Electronic Express, and that order was cancelled; apparently that model is now out of stock everywhere. It is almost like there is a conspiracy against me upgrading my setup!
 

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The only time this switch will ever work as advertised is either


(1) You TV can accept DD or DTS 5.1 via HDMI and can send EDID info to your HDMI source device like that. Your chance to get such TV is about 0% because I only heard about one such TV that is promised to come in the future.


Or


(2) Your HDMI source device can overwrite TV's EDID handshake info and send out DD or DTS 5.1 regardless. I know PS3 allows you to do that and some cable HD box (SA8300HD running SARA software) can do that as well.



Otherwise, you will only gettting PCM 2.0 from the switch's digital out.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 /forum/post/18184717


The only time this switch will ever work as advertised is either


(1) You TV can accept DD or DTS 5.1 via HDMI and can send EDID info to your HDMI source device like that. Your chance to get such TV is about 0% because I only heard about one such TV that is promised to come in the future.


Or


(2) Your HDMI source device can overwrite TV's EDID handshake info and send out DD or DTS 5.1 regardless. I know PS3 allows you to do that and some cable HD box (SA8300HD running SARA software) can do that as well.



Otherwise, you will only gettting PCM 2.0 from the switch's digital out.

For what it's worth, my relatively old LG 37LC2D will pass through 5.1 audio untouched from the HDMI input to the SPDIF output. It worked great, even with my older Monoprice 4x1 switch. I used it that way with both TiVo S3 and PS3. (which properly detected support for DD 5.1)
 

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Exactly. There are TVs that will do this, although it's certainly not a common feature.


The last device in the HDMI audio chain (the TV, in this case) is in charge. It's a little silly to blame the switch for not passing audio formats that your TV specifically told the source device not to send out.
 

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Yeah, but I agree with OP that Monoprice shouldn't sell this product knowning it won't work as advertised in most cases.
 

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I have a Sharp LC-52D62U TV that I bought 3 years ago. I was seriously considering purchasing this box from Monoprice when it comes backin stock. However, after reading about not being able to pass through the 5.1 audio signal to my receiver if the TV doesn't process it has given me pause. However, I looked at the manual for my TV, since it does have an optical audio output (why have an optical output if it can't handle 5.1?) According to the manual,


"You can output digital audio to an AV amplifier or similar device whose digital audio input terminal is connected to the digital audio output terminal on the TV"


Apparently you need to change the setup of your digital audio output on the TV from "PCM" to "Dolby Digital" so that the "optical output terminal outputs audio signal in Dolby Digital form. It reproduces sound from surround program of digital"


From this information, does anyone know if it sounds like the monoprice switch will output 5.1 to my receiver if the TV is set to Dolby Digital output?


Thanks in advance.
 

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I realize that this thread is a little old, but I thought I would add a bit more info for anyone doing searches.


I did up a full review of the HDX-401TA on my website....
http://www.computerabuser.com/?p=590


I didn't have any problems sending bitstream 5.1 audio with the HDX-401TA and my old Sony KDL-46v3000.


Devices used:

Toshiba HD-A2 (doesn't do bitstreaming over HDMI, so not a good example)

Sony PS3 - 5.1 DD & DTS worked perfectly with DVD, Blu-Ray & Netflix

Motorola DCT-6416 III (Shaw Cable) - 5.1 DD works perfectly

HTPC (DVI-HDMI adaptor didn't pass audio, so not a good example)


I was worried about the possibility of it not passing 5.1 because of the TV after reading reviews on MonoPrice, but it wasn't a problem with my cable box.
 

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ok people, to be fair to MonoPrice, I have been looking at this switch since I first saw it coming out and it does clearly say that the output is dependent on the display device, here's the quote:


"* 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."


this is clearly stated in the item description and is why I haven't gotten it to try yet. Sorry it didn't work how you wanted, blame the studios
that set the HDMI rules, I think they are affraid of letting people strip off the multi channel and doing copyright infringment kind of stuff with it.


You can find devices that can do what you want but it would be cheaper to just get a new AV receiver that can handle HDMI input and sound decoding and if you need more inputs then use the MonoPrice switch as an input to your receiver.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwinders /forum/post/19380391


Sorry it didn't work how you wanted, blame the studios
that set the HDMI rules, I think they are affraid of letting people strip off the multi channel and doing copyright infringment kind of stuff with it.

Actually, it has nothing to do with studios or copyrights. The HDMI data stream can include one (1!) video signal and one (1!) audio signal. That's it. That's why if you connect (using an HDMI splitter) two TVs, one that's 1080p and another that can only accept 720p, both TVs will be limited to a 720p video signal. The HDMI source won't send a signal that any of the connected sink devices can't handle.


The same is true for audio. If you have a 7.1 receiver and a stereo TV both connected via some type of HDMI splitter, the source will only send stereo because the TV wouldn't know what to do with 7.1 audio. It's physically impossible for the same HDMI cable to carry 7.1 sound to one device while simultaneously carrying stereo to a different device. You're stuck with the lowest common denominator.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboRay /forum/post/19380955


Actually, it has nothing to do with studios or copyrights. The HDMI data stream can include one (1!) video signal and one (1!) audio signal. That's it. That's why if you connect (using an HDMI splitter) two TVs, one that's 1080p and another that can only accept 720p, both TVs will be limited to a 720p video signal. The HDMI source won't send a signal that any of the connected sink devices can't handle.


The same is true for audio. If you have a 7.1 receiver and a stereo TV both connected via some type of HDMI splitter, the source will only send stereo because the TV wouldn't know what to do with 7.1 audio. It's physically impossible for the same HDMI cable to carry 7.1 sound to one device while simultaneously carrying stereo to a different device. You're stuck with the lowest common denominator.

Thanks for correcting me. So, the switch is doing all it can do, and as anyone can see on their website, MonoPrice clearly states that basic same thing.
 
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