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HDMI Out to TV then Audio out from TV via optical - NO DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1???

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by tangfj, May 14, 2013.

  1. NoVa

    NoVa Member

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    Feb 26, 2006
    NoVa

    Me too:

    Tivo >>> HDMI >>>TV
    and
    TiVo >>> Optical >>> AVR

    Reason is for when I don't feel like using the AVR all the time.
    By product is to get Dolby 5.1 when i need it 'on demand' & not introduce another layer in between the TiVo & AVR if I didn't need too (TV in this case).
     
  2. Bigg

    Bigg On the fence to being a cord-cutter.

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    Why would you want crappy sound when you have an AVR right there?
     
  3. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra Cable only TCF Club

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    Interesting question. It is a preference some do like. Even when I watch TV with its tuner I send the audio to my AVR via optical to get the 5.1 or at least DD2.0 that I can DSP to death. I don't use ARC or any CEC, but that's due to a mix of equipment that are not all compatible. Some purists want 2 channel stereo if that is how the content is supplied. Even with that content you can add a Hahler effect speaker to capture some ambience. Being old, I don't use a center speaker, so I can understand not everyone "hears" alike.
     
  4. Bigg

    Bigg On the fence to being a cord-cutter.

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    Using some other sort of audio setup and crappy TV speakers are two different things.

    Also, TV relies heavily on the center channel. In my setup, it does the majority of the work of all 7 channels.
     
  5. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra Cable only TCF Club

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    Very true. On both counts. I never use the TV speakers. On my 7.2 AVR I have a small viewing space so the center channel on a TV 5.1 program would usually have a +3db dialog lift. I tried a center channel speaker once, but it was like having a mono system. We're all different so we have different listening preferences. I was able to take the power from the side surround speakers and use it to drive the front and rear speakers. I love the sound, especially on SACD, so I'm happy.
     
  6. swerver

    swerver Member

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    May 18, 2012
    I used to think that way too. My first flat screen tv didn't even have speakers. Over time I've grown to sometimes watch tv without the avr on. Yes the avr is right there as you say. Just in some cases I don't need it on, or even want it on. For instance... when my kids are watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates, they don't know the difference so may as well leave it off. Watching news, don't really care. Kids are asleep, want to watch something but keep it quiet. You know how it is: if the avr is on, sometimes I need to crank it up loud to hear dialogue, and then something blows up and it's way too loud. I guess I could use some dynamic compressor feature, but my tv sound isn't that terrible, so it's just convenient.

    The other part is the simplicity of doing so. Wiring wasn't always as advanced as it is now, so it was more work to even create a situation where you could easily switch between avr sound and tv sound and keep a seamless experience from the remote. Now, using CEC features, I can turn the tv on, and if I want avr sound, I just turn it on and CEC magic allows my volume/mute buttons to still work, regardless of where the sound is coming from. All from my slide remote.

    I don't expect you to suddenly change your view - yet - but don't just assume that because you don't get it, that there are no reasons.

    tldr - Because I want to and because it's easy.
     
  7. Bigg

    Bigg On the fence to being a cord-cutter.

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    I read the whole thing, but thanks for the tldr anyways lol.

    In terms of the center channel, having it does in some cases make it seem like mono, because it is, but that's how it's supposed to be with talk shows, and they sound a lot more natural that way. Also, because of the center channel, you can hear dialog better, so you can back off on overall volume, and because the surround sound system puts out better sound, you can back way off on the volume and still have nice clear sound. TV speaker just make you crank it up way more to be able to understand the dialog.

    There is really no excuse in this day and age to be using crappy TV speakers. They're just awful. And even if you don't need the AVR for everything, why not use it? It's there anyways.
     
  8. Gavroche

    Gavroche Member

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    May 26, 2007
    State of...
    I don't always want to use the AVR either. Yes, it sounds much better, but it also generates heat in my small room and I don't always want the subwoofer shaking the house in the middle of the night. (Sure, I can turn that off at the AVR, but it's easier just to use the TV speakers.)

    So I also have mine set up with the Tivo connected to the TV with the HDMI cable but the optical cable going to the AVR.

    The problem with that is the TV processing introduces a lot of lag, so I've had to use almost a 1 second delay on the AVR to get the sound and picture in sync. I only had to mess with that once though!
     
  9. Bigg

    Bigg On the fence to being a cord-cutter.

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    What sort of absurd AVR do you have that heats up a room?!?

    Also, TV speakers are worse, since you have to turn them up a lot more to hear. A good AVR and speakers is less disruptive to other people in the house.
     
  10. TomClement

    TomClement New Member

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    May 5, 2005
    It turns out there's a simple explanation for losing the 5.1 signal (as I understand it). HDMI is not just a conduit for a signal from the source, it is used for a negotiation between the source and the target. So when you connect Tivo to the TV with HDMI, something like this conversation occurs:

    Tivo to TV:
    "Hey, I've got audio and video for you on this here HDMI cable. How would you like it served?"​

    TV to Tivo:
    "Cool! I have two speakers, by the way, so don't bother sending me any fancy ass 5 channel sound. I wouldn't have a clue what to do with it."​

    Tivo to TV:
    "Thanks for the heads up. Here's your video, along with your lame-ass stereo sound. Really, you should tell your owner to get a better speaker system."​

    So now, the TV only has a stereo sound signal. When you use optical out from the TV to go to your AVR, only two channels are sent. This is why people tend not to use the TV as the switch between AV sources and go to the AVR first. That way, the AVR intercepts the sound signal in its full glory before the TV has degraded it.

    Apparently, there might be few TVs out there that can negotiate for a 5.1 signal then process it into a stereo signal for its own speakers, but pass the full signal through to the AVR, but I couldn't find many details.
     
  11. telemark

    telemark New Member

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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  12. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    That article is old. We recently bought two new LG TVs and they have bit stream pass through.
     
  13. telemark

    telemark New Member

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    Sure. I meant more that support for the feature is spotty, especially depending on TV brand or model year.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  14. eddieb187

    eddieb187 Member

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    Jan 16, 2009
    Hudson...
    The problem is that most older TVs can output 5.1 audio via optical out from the TV itself only. This means from the internal Digital Tuner and Smart TV Apps that support it. Any external device you connect to the TV will output 2-Channel PCM via the Tv's optical out. Now many later model TVs have corrected this issue and will output 5.1 audio from any source that can support it. To avoid this limitation of many TV sets what I would suggest you do is....
    Connect ALL sources to your Surround Sound Receiver first and then use an HDMI cable to connect the Receiver to your TV. This way you will never have to deal with these audio issues. You can still connect your TV's optical out to your receiver as well. That way you can enjoy 5.1 audio with the internal digital tuner and smart tv apps.
     
  15. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    If the TV and receiver both support HDMI ARC then you don't even need that. The TV will be able to send audio back to the receiver using the same HDMI cable you use for playing video from external devices.
     

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