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Old 05-14-2013, 10:22 PM   #1
tangfj
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HDMI Out to TV then Audio out from TV via optical - NO DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1???

I'm hoping one of you guys can help me out here...

So I just got a new LG Google TV (GA7900) and per everything I've read the recommended setup to get the most out of the TV is to connect everything to the TV via HDMI and then output audio only via optical cable to a Dolby Digital capable receiver.

So along I went connecting my Apple TV 2 and then my TiVo Premiere XL4 to my TV and then when I started testing everything I noticed that the TiVo was always outputting sound in 2 channel stereo sound and not Dolby Digital 5.1 to my receiver. I know it's not the TV because when I play stuff from Netflix from my Apple TV 2 (connected in the same way) it outputs sound in Dolby Digital 5.1 to my receiver via the optical output from my TV.

Then to make sure I wasn't going insane, I tried connecting my TiVo directly to my receiver via HDMI and then I got Dolby Digital 5.1 sound back right away... I also tried connecting from TiVo directly to receiver via optical cable and also got 5.1 sound. Anyone know why I can't connect my TiVo to my TV and then output from my TV via optical cable to my receiver to receive Dolby Digital 5.1???

Any help or thoughts would be appreciated!

Last edited by tangfj : 05-14-2013 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tangfj View Post
I'm hoping one of you guys can help me out here...

So I just got a new LG Google TV (GA7900) and per everything I've read the recommended setup to get the most out of the TV is to connect everything to the TV via HDMI and then output audio only via optical cable to a Dolby Digital capable receiver.

So along I went connecting my Apple TV 2 and then my TiVo Premiere XL4 to my TV and then when I started testing everything I noticed that the TiVo was always outputting sound in 2 channel stereo sound and not Dolby Digital 5.1 to my receiver. I know it's not the TV because when I play stuff from Netflix from my Apple TV 2 (connected in the same way) it outputs sound in Dolby Digital 5.1 to my receiver via the optical output from my TV.

Then to make sure I wasn't going insane, I tried connecting my TiVo directly to my receiver via HDMI and then I got Dolby Digital 5.1 sound back right away... I also tried connecting from TiVo directly to receiver via optical cable and also got 5.1 sound. Anyone know why I can't connect my TiVo to my TV and then output from my TV via optical cable to my receiver to receive Dolby Digital 5.1???

Any help or thoughts would be appreciated!
The best way to hook up everything is to the AVR and then to the TV. Let the AVR do the decoding and switching.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by tangfj View Post
....So I just got a new LG Google TV (GA7900) and per everything I've read the recommended setup to get the most out of the TV is to connect everything to the TV via HDMI and then output audio only via optical cable to a Dolby Digital capable receiver....
That's EXACTLY how I have my Premiere XL4 setup with a Panny plasma and an Onkyo receiver....and it works just fine.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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That's EXACTLY how I have my Premiere XL4 setup with a Panny plasma and an Onkyo receiver....and it works just fine.
I have a new Sharp 80" inch and I hooked the HDMI for all my equipment directly to the TV and then used the TVs optical sound output to my Meridian 565 system and all worked great, a THX DVD reads THX on my Amp, the TiVo, when tuned to a 5.1 channel, also reads THX on the amp and sounds great.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:44 PM   #5
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I am also doing things the same way and get the 5.1. However every so often it switch to mono for some reason and I have to set it back to 5.1. Make sure the TV is set for pass thru for the sound with out doing anything to it.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, it may be the TV that I have doesn't support pass through or the HDMI handshake it having issues. I'll try running other cables or worst case scenario I'll just run everything through my receiver.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
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The TV probably can't handle 5.1. The correct way to do it is TiVo >>> AVR >>> TV -OR- TiVo >>> video processor >>> TV with another connection video processor >>> AVR. The latter is what I have.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lessd View Post
I have a new Sharp 80" inch and I hooked the HDMI for all my equipment directly to the TV and then used the TVs optical sound output to my Meridian 565 system and all worked great, a THX DVD reads THX on my Amp, the TiVo, when tuned to a 5.1 channel, also reads THX on the amp and sounds great.
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The TV probably can't handle 5.1. The correct way to do it is TiVo >>> AVR >>> TV -OR- TiVo >>> video processor >>> TV with another connection video processor >>> AVR. The latter is what I have.
Your method is logical and I also feed the TiVo (and everything else) to my AVR set to passthrough on Video. I know my Sony TV passes up to DD5.1 from any input to the optical output and I lived with that until I went from a very nice JVC receiver with no HDMI to a Yamaha RX-V867 with 6 HDMI inputs. Feeding the TV DTS-MA still comes out as DD5.1.

I wonder where the TiVo gets the THX content?
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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LG TVs don't pass Dolby Digital from HDMI to the optical out, a lot of other manufacturers don't either. As others have said, run all HDMI through the receiver and let it pull the audio off directly. I have 5 HDMI sources going into my Onkyo receiver and just one cable to the TV so its tidier as well.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:01 PM   #10
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Tony Chick, have you had any problems with the Onkyo and HDMI signals? Mine stopped sending anything above 480 to the TV.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:22 PM   #11
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I do the same thing as tonychick I run my hdmi cables from my tivo,roku,and blu ray player to my onkyo 809 av receiver then just 1 hdmi cable from my onkyo av receiver to HDMI input 1 on my samsung tv and i get a great picture and sound!
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:30 PM   #12
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Tony Chick, have you had any problems with the Onkyo and HDMI signals? Mine stopped sending anything above 480 to the TV.
No it works fine, and passes 3D. You can set the Onkyo to convert to a specific resolution or passthrough. I have mine set to upconvert everything to 1080p, maybe yours got set to 480 somehow?
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #13
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Tony, I was doing that for almost three years never had a problem and then all of a sudden things stopped working. It was a few months out of warrenty. So I ended up getting a cheap HDMI switch.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:12 PM   #14
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The best way to hook up everything is to the AVR and then to the TV. Let the AVR do the decoding and switching.
I can see switching done via the AVR or the TV. What if you have different video preferences for your different inputs - TiVo, Video Game, Blue-Ray player, etc? In that case, AVR would not be the best option, IMO. I have an older AVR that's not HDMI-capable, so that's clouding my viewpoint.

Right now, I have my XL4 connected via HDMI to the TV, and run the optical out to my AVR, and I get 5.1. I did have to enable Dolby audio out on the TV, because it was using PCM by default. I do get occasional audio dropout and sync issues this way (these are known issues on the TV), so maybe should just replace my AVR with a proper one
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #15
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Not all equipment is equal. For me, I let each device set its own outputs and use the AVR as a big switch. As was posted, fewer cables is much cleaner. There is no difference in audio between my older receiver and newer AVR. I have no experience with on-line streaming except Pandora, so I can't comment on how well the audio from Amazon or Netflix would sound from the Premiere. Many people get good results in that area from an XBox or PS3.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:31 PM   #16
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I have an old Denon AV receiver that has no HDMI input, but does have optical audio input. My ATV3 works fine going ATV3-> LG TV via HDMI-> via optical out (dolby digital is received) to Denon. My Tivo HD however, does not work (meaning 5.1 audio, it's all stereo) as the OP mentioned with the same workflow. So it's not just the TV, it's something with the handshake/combo of Tivo HD, LG (a data point above suggests it works fine with Sharp) and HDMI passthrough. It does work (work meaning 5.1 audio) straight to the Denon receiver from the Tivo HD via optical, so that's how I have it currently set up.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:46 PM   #17
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I had a screwy situation with a Mini. I had a TiVo Premiere and a Mini connected to the same TV. A Sharp 32”. Both via HDMI, then I had optical out from the TV going to an old AV receiver that only does optical. The Premiere worked fine but the Mini got no sound at all. However if I turned up the speakers in the TV itself I could hear the Mini through the TV so obviously it was getting something. I tried swapping the same cable from the Premiere to the Mini still didn't work. Same Tv, same input, same cable and the Premiere works and the Mini doesn't. Tried the same cable on an XBox 360 and it also worked.

This was just a temporary setup until I moved the Mini to it's final location, and it worked fine where it ended up, but it was a weird bug that seems to indicate some sort of handshake issue with the software or hardware.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:09 PM   #18
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It may be that all your TV HDMI inputs are not 5.1 capable, only the one you used for the Apple TV, try switching Tivo with Apple TV and see what it does...
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:21 PM   #19
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It may be that all your TV HDMI inputs are not 5.1 capable, only the one you used for the Apple TV, try switching Tivo with Apple TV and see what it does...
Good idea actually, but no dice. Same results.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:43 PM   #20
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I use optical directly from tivo to avr and hdmi from tivo to tv. The optical output from my samsung tv won't pass along 5.1 sound from an hdmi input.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:24 AM   #21
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I use optical directly from tivo to avr and hdmi from tivo to tv. The optical output from my samsung tv won't pass along 5.1 sound from an hdmi input.

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).
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:19 PM   #22
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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).
Why would you want crappy sound when you have an AVR right there?
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:54 PM   #23
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Why would you want crappy sound when you have an AVR right there?
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.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #24
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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.
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.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:32 AM   #25
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Smile

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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.
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.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:56 AM   #26
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Why would you want crappy sound when you have an AVR right there?
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.

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Old 07-11-2013, 08:38 PM   #27
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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.
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:12 PM   #28
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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.
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!
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:06 PM   #29
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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!
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.
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