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no optical!

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by leiff, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. leiff

    leiff Member

    513
    1
    Aug 24, 2005
    my mini is due to arrive from TiVo today and I just realized it has no optical or coax dig audio out. My kuro plasma tv does have optical out but won't passthrough HDMI Audio via optical. Room is setup to use 5.1 Logitech z5500 sound system which has spdif but no HDMI input! So now I have to buy a HDMI switch with optical out to make this thing work? How much will this cost? I need to decide quick if I need to refuse my TiVo order and just run hdmi/optical cable to my second room and just wire both my tv's from the same xl4.
     
  2. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,960
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    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    I never understood why the Kuro TVs downmixed HDMI audio to 2-channel sound on the optical output. That's just silly. My cheap Philips TV keeps 5.1 intact on its SPDIF output.

    Anyway, you can buy an HDMI audio extractor for around $50 that will pull the 5.1 audio out of the HDMI signal and connect to your sound system.
     
  3. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,491
    175
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Running the optical from the XL4 wont work. The Mini isn't a mirror of what's playing on the XL4. It's it's own device that plays it's own copy of any program by streaming the digital data across the network and decoding it locally.

    If you can't get optical out of the TV then you have two options... Buy a converter that will break the audio and video out which will cost about $50. Or buy a 3.5mm cable for the A/V port on the Mini and just use stereo audio.

    Keep in mind that even if you buy the converter the audio will still likely only be stereo. The way HDMI works is the source device (the Mini) negotiates the audio format with the playback device (the TV). So unless your TV reports that it support 5.1 the Mini will only send stereo audio anyway. I tried a similar setup, with converter, on my secondary TV and learned this the hard way. Ended up just buying a new A/V receiver that supported HDMI instead. (found an Onkyo for $150)
     
  4. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
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    Jan 20, 2004
    What is the audio setup in that room? What is it you are passing audio out of your Pioneer to?

    If you have an AVR then you should just run HDMI out of the Mini into the AVR, and on to the TV.
     
  5. leiff

    leiff Member

    513
    1
    Aug 24, 2005
    my avr is in my main room with my xl4 and projector. My office has the kuro/ z5500. I guess I'll be refusing mini and just hardware both rooms together and use my xl4 to mirror by office room.
    the only way I can see keeping the mini would be to put my xl4 in office and mini in main room since xl4 has HDMI and optical. The problem with this then becomes will mini simultaneously output with component break away cables and HDMI? Because In my main room I have 2 tv's served with both HDMI and component out of xl4. I wonder if my component break away cable that came with my wd live will work with mini? Scratch that idea, my xl4 must be in main room to function as moca Ethernet bridge to my popbox. Am I correct xl4 can act as network bridge and mini cannot? Looks like I'll be returning mini.
     
  6. dexjaz

    dexjaz New Member

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    Sep 4, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    This isn't necessarily the best solution, but with my Logitech Revue Google TV device, I'm able to get optical PCM audio from an HDMI source. So if you had such a device, you could plug the HDMI out from the Tivo Mini to the HDMI in of the Google TV device, then plug the HDMI out from the GTV unit to your TV. You could then connect the optical out from the GTV to your receiver and you have 5 channel audio out.

    There are newer devices, but having to pay $99 or so just to get digital audio out seems to be a waste of money unless you find value in a GTV device. With my Logitech one, the video was still processed and didn't provide the same video quality as plugging it directly to the display.
     
  7. Philmatic

    Philmatic Member

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    Sep 17, 2003
    You can complain all you want, but it seems silly that you find Optical audio so important but couldn't be bothered to read the spec sheet on the website or on the box itself?
     
  8. leiff

    leiff Member

    513
    1
    Aug 24, 2005
    My intent with thread was simply to inform others out there of mini shortfall incase optical feature was important. Feature is important to me, and mistakenly or not, I had asumed like all past TiVo products, this would have spdif. Fortunately I realized my mistake before ups arrived so I was able to refuse shipment and avoid mini shipping return fees. I spent $35 at a local vendor for a 35 ft. Optical cable to mirror my xl4. "yes, I know I could have had the same cable from monoprice for $10". Thanks for the google device suggestion, unfortunantly my local A/V shop won't accept optical cable returns.
     
  9. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Oct 30, 2003
    Hartford-...
    Optical is basically dead. You can get an extrator, but HDMI everything is the way of the future. Most people with a Kuro would be using an HDMI AVR.
     
  10. Loach

    Loach New Member

    376
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    Jan 11, 2013
    Omaha, NE
    I'm glad my TV outputs optical audio. Otherwise I'd probably be replacing my aging Onkyo surround sound receiver that has no HDMI inputs - and in that case maybe I should have just bought another Premiere. I did have to buy a new cable though as I was using coax digital audio from my ancient rented Motorola STB.
     
  11. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,491
    175
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Agreed. I switched from a system that only had optical to an HDMI capable system a year or so ago and it cut the number of cables in the A/V rack in half. Then when I upgraded my TiVos to Premiere units and got rid of the matrix switch and distribution system I cut them down even more. My last step is going to be to get rid of my wife's old S2 unit, and the analog cables it uses. Then the only cables I'll be using are the HDMI and the Ethernet cables. (if that Ethernet over HDMI thing ever catches on I'll be down to just a hand full of HDMI cables :))
     
  12. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    I believe he reports that he has one of those little PC type speaker systems (Logitech) and that it can accept an optical input. I do agree though, seems kind of silly when you have that good of a TV to have a 3rd rate audio setup for it.
     
  13. leiff

    leiff Member

    513
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    Aug 24, 2005
    Logitech z5500 surround system actually and I'm quite happy with it since this is just my office room. My bigger speakers are in my projector/main room. I didn't really need a mini anyway- i don't need to be watching 2 different shows at the same time. I can always use tivo desktop app to transfer shows to my kuro plasma if I really want since my htpc is hooked up to my plasma. Mirroring both my rooms from my xl4 saves me the $300 cost of mini. It would have been nice to eliminate cable clutter by going moca/mini though.
     
  14. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

    5,426
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    Oct 30, 2003
    Hartford-...
    Just use stereo analog, or get an audio extractor if you're really set on keeping a non-HDMI speaker system.
     
  15. leiff

    leiff Member

    513
    1
    Aug 24, 2005
    i now have office room hooked up with 40 feet of optical/hdmi and ethernet. The mini would have eliminated need for all 3 cables but I wasn't going to settle for analog stereo and I wasn't willing to invest in more hardware
     

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