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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased an LG 47LE5500 TV. This is not our main TV, so it is a very simple setup just TV, Blu-Ray player, 2-channel audio amplifier, and two speakers. There is no receiver. I want the audio to be two channel, stereo only - not 5.1.



There are two ways for me to connect the audio:


1. Connect the analog audio output of the Blu-Ray player (left and right RCA jacks) to the amplifier.


2. Connect the TV's audio output (an optical digital signal) to a D/A converter, and then connect the D/A output to the audio amplifier.


So I tried both. Perhaps it's my imagination, but #1 seems to sound a lot better than #2. Is something not configured right? Might it be because the TV is outputting 5.1, and not stereo??
 

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The optical could be outputing 5.1. What do you have the player set to output?



Does the TV have plain left and right rca outputs? That's another option, then connect the BR player with HDMI for best picture, and set the BR's audio output to 2 channel down mix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 /forum/post/19641934


The optical could be outputing 5.1. What do you have the player set to output?

I'm not sure. It's a Panny DMP-BD65. I'll have to check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 /forum/post/19641934


Does the TV have plain left and right rca outputs? That's another option, then connect the BR player with HDMI for best picture, and set the BR's audio output to 2 channel down mix.

Unfortunately the TV does not have analog (RCA) audio output jacks. Just Toslink optical.
 

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How are you gettingthe sound from the Blu Ray player to the TV in scenario 2?


What's your D/A converter.


You can't transmit PCM (regular CD digital sound) in 5.1 channels over Toslink. I don't know a ton about them, but I would expect a normal 2 channel audio D/A to output nothing but noise if it were fed a dolby or DTS encoded multichannel signal from the TV.


So there almost has to be some other explanation for the difference you hear. Different levels are a possibility. A pretty subtle volume difference will, in critical listening, sound not necessarily louder but more detailed, maybe with slightly fuller bass, a little more high frequency content . . .
 

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Your TV is almost certainly going to output only 2 channel on the optical output. In almost all cases, the optical output of a TV is downmixed to 2 channel, unless the on-board tuner is the source of the multichannel signal (DD via OTA). (People keep saying there are exceptions to this rule, but I haven't found out which TVs don't function this way.)


Given that, I suspect that the differences you hear are either loudness, as JHAz suggested, or the way the downmix is created. I thought that the downmix was a fairly straightforward process (as in, there are very specific prescribed ways the processing should be carried out, and it's not up to the engineer of a particular chip to decide what the best way might be), so it should be the same in both cases - but perhaps not. Or perhaps the source material for the downmix could be different. Maybe your BD player downmixes a lossless track for its own stereo output, but extracts the lossy core for (HDMI?) output, which your TV has to downmix again to stereo... no that doesn't make sense - the TV probably "requests" stereo output from the player if connected via HDMI.


I'm leaning towards loudness, honestly.
 

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Won't a Bluray player output stereo lossless over Optical?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklac /forum/post/19642818


Won't a Bluray player output stereo lossless over Optical?

I would assume they all can. Just need to tell them to do so in the setup menu. I think that's what has to be happening if the oP is playing back from BD player to a stereo DAC to the receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies.


As mentioned, my Blu-Ray player (Panny DMP-BD65) is connected to my TV (LG 47LE5500) using an HDMI cable. I do not want to use the crummy speakers in the TV; I want to use a separate amplifier and separate speakers.


So here is what I did:

Scenario 1: Analog audio output from Blu-Ray player (left and right RCA jacks) connected to amplifier input.

Scenario 2: Digital audio output from TV (optical Toslink) connected to Gefen D/A converter . Analog audio output from D/A converter player (left and right RCA jacks) connected to amplifier input.


So when the TV outputs audio onto the Toslink, it is 2-channel stereo only, and not the front left and right channels in a 5.1 setup? If so, then that's what I want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulFred /forum/post/19642666


Your TV is almost certainly going to output only 2 channel on the optical output. In almost all cases, the optical output of a TV is downmixed to 2 channel, unless the on-board tuner is the source of the multichannel signal (DD via OTA).

Well I just checked the manual of my TV. It says,

Quote:
If you want to enjoy digital broadcasting through 5.1-channel speakers, connect the OPTICAL DIGITAL AUDIO OUT terminal on the back of TV to a Home Theater (or amp).



So does this mean I need to decode and downmix the audio (from 5.1 to regular stereo) I receive from the TV's digital audio output? Crap. If so, what's the best way to do this? I really don't want to purchase a 5.1 receiver just to do this. As mentioned, I already have an amp. Does someone make a simple device that will do it?
 

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Wait a minute. You've already got a method that will definitely work: Scenario #1. Use it, and stop worrying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus /forum/post/19643643


Wait a minute. You've already got a method that will definitely work: Scenario #1. Use it, and stop worrying.

True... when I use my Blu-Ray player. But I also plan on using the TV with other HDMI sources (e.g. Dish network).


It sounds like I need to decode/downmix the 5.1 signal on the TV's digital audio output to regular 'ol stereo. As mentioned above, I really don't want or need a receiver in this application. Does someone make a device that will do this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, it looks like I bought the wrong D/A converter. This is what I bought; it's only designed to decode digital audio that is 2-channel stereo. I need to buy this unit , which (I believe) decodes and downmixes 5.1 to regular 2-channel stereo.
 

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What you're missing is the implication in the wording of the owner's manual. What it's telling you is that 5.1 sources are being transmitted out of the optical output on your TV only if the source is a 5.1 digital broadcast. This is confirming what I was suggesting. I'll grant you that it does it in a roundabout and potentially misleading way, but the fact of the matter is that in the case of the HDMI input from external source, the TV is sending out the very same signal it would be reproducing through its own 2 speakers: the signal it downmixed to stereo from whatever the BD player transmitted via HDMI.


This is the unfortunate reality of TVs - they do not function as full-featured audio switching devices, like an AVR would. That said, it sounds like it's giving you what you want, in general - stereo downmix from whatever HDMI input you feed it.


This leaves us back where we started - wondering why you liked the sound of the stereo output of the BD player routed directly to the amp. My speculations remain unchanged. I'd suggest that an analog switch (if that is readily available - something like this I think - though I've never used one) is more appropriate to managing your multiple audio sources than the TV and DAC you have. But whichever you're happy with is fine by me.
 

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I was recently in a very similar position. Had a tv that only had optical out and also watched Bluray. 2.1 setup. I was thinking of getting a decent DAC, something under $300. I already had a 2 channel Amp. In the end, I simplified it and just bought a multichannel AVR. I am very happy with that decision. I bought a Pioneer 1120. No need to worry about any connections anymore. It even has direct iPod control with the front USB port.


Now you certainly don't need to spend that much, but you can gain alot from a multichannel AVR. More "future proof", more connectivity, possibly some type of auto room correction (Audyssey, MCACC, etc...), HD audio capability, virtual surround for 2.X setup, possible iPod integration, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulFred /forum/post/19644081


What you're missing is the implication in the wording of the owner's manual. What it's telling you is that 5.1 sources are being transmitted out of the optical output on your TV only if the source is a 5.1 digital broadcast. This is confirming what I was suggesting. I'll grant you that it does it in a roundabout and potentially misleading way, but the fact of the matter is that in the case of the HDMI input from external source, the TV is sending out the very same signal it would be reproducing through its own 2 speakers: the signal it downmixed to stereo from whatever the BD player transmitted via HDMI.

Well, perhaps you're right. Dang, this is confusing.



Is there an audio test disk I can buy that produces 5.1 and stereo channels? I'd like to use it to confirm what's happening when I manipulate the audio settings of the Blu-ray and TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohioan /forum/post/19644922


Well, perhaps you're right. Dang, this is confusing.



Is there an audio test disk I can buy that produces 5.1 and stereo channels? I'd like to use it to confirm what's happening when I manipulate the audio settings of the Blu-ray and TV.

I have and use this disc , (Joe Kane's DVE on Blu-ray) which should do everything you need, but I have no idea what will happen to those signals when they run through the downmix and so on.
 

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On my Sony TV, I have optical audio out connected to my Onkyo receiver. There's a setting in the menus on my TV with an option: "Digital Audio Out: (DD / PCM)". PCM = 2ch stereo. You might wanna see if your TV has some sort of setting like this
 

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I am currently using an Onkyo 601 to run all of my home theater needs. It will play 2.0 for music or the tv. Depends on the setting of the Onkyo. I decided long ago however, as good as the Onkyo is, I did not enjoy music on it due to it's limitation of 80 wpc. I went with used equipment such as Proton, Carver, and a sony 300 disc mega changer for music. Very affordable and great sound. I use the Onkyo 601 for a 4 speaker setup with Infinity Alphas in the front and Klipsch bookshelf's on homemade stands in the rear for HT purposes. I also own a Marantz multi disc player for SACD and DVD. When I want to listen to SACD I use a speaker switch to get the full effect of the SACD by using the Polk Monitor 12's that I use for the 2 channel. Not the fanciest set up but by golly it sounds good. Might want to try dedicated 2.0 for music and multi channel for TV. and Blue. I am probably wrong but it's just a suggestion. Frankly, I love my old Onkyo, very versatile for its day but unfortunately no pre out capability and no way to increase power output. Power output is more than sufficient for Video use but for my taste I need a power amp with considerable oomph for music.
I have a 42" Sanyo TV LCD. It has no Toslink capability. Only HDMI and the digital cable connects. I am not trying to be a smart ### but I like to keep everything as simple as possible. Either I am watching TV. or I am listening to music. Personally, I wish I could afford a 250 wpc amp 6.1 and a pre pro to boot. I might afford the electronics but not the speakers LOL. It confounds me why in this day and age we all must suffer the connectivity dilemnas. Folks, this should not be confusing or rocket science. Remember when it was hard to set up a VCR. It seems as though technology for all it's good, has run amok once again.
I must own 20 different pre pro's pre amps, cassette players, cassette rcorders. cd players, amps, pre amps, cd recorders, tuners, and DACS. Frankly, the external dacs are a waste. Not trying to be a fool but, it does get silly. Been around the town too many times to keep getting into the BS. I like what I have heard from others. K.I.S.S. Either enjoy what you have or be prepared for a long and expensive journey to the ultimate.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs /forum/post/19680604


why not just plug the red and white stereo analogue cables to the back of the amp/Preamp?

Apparently there aren't any on the TV. Fairly common it seems these days.
 
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