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Home Theater Issue

XaviarXaviar Registered User regular
Okay guys, I've been redoing my home theater, and the way I had it set up before, my ps3 ran optical out to my surround sound, so I had surround on that and on my dvds (reciever has a built in dvd player).

Got a new TV.
Sony Bravia kdl-46ex400
It has an optical audio out, and several HDMI ins.

The plan was to run everything HDMI to the TV, let it act as a reciever of sorts, and optical out it back to the surround sound. I was hoping with this setup I could get 5.1 out of the ps3, 360, and computer as well (via HDMI)

However with this setup, it seems that the audio coming back out of the TV (via optical) is not 5.1.
Hooked my computer up with HDMI to run a speaker check, and it says there are only 2 channels available.

What am I doing wrong? Is this setup workable? Or am I going to have to fall back on my old setup and only get 5.1 out the playstation, and leave the pc and 360 just run stereo through the tv?

Surround sound is a samsung ht-x50 by the way. Any thoughts?

[edit]

Little bit of extra info:
I am getting sound to the surround sound, from all input sources, so the TV is working as a receiver, but the surround sound only seems to be getting stereo, and it drops into the dolby "fake surround sound" options, instead of the mode it goes into when it gets an actual 5.1 signal..

Xaviar on

Posts

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Your TV is being fed the information for surround sound, but your TV doesn't know how to process surround sound, so it turns it into stereo (which it understands). Then, using an optical out, you are sending the now stereo signal to your receiver. Your receiver is taking the stereo signal its being fed and matrixing it into surround sound, which is how you've told it to treat stereo signals (or signals from that input).
    The only problem is your equipment isn't acting how you want it to, but it is working how its supposed to.

    If your receiver doesn't have enough inputs for everything (hint: buy a new receiver, you need more inputs and well made receivers that do a good job don't come with built in DVD players) you could probably buy an HDMI switcher and do what you want.
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/search.asp?keyword=hdmi+switch&x=0&y=0

    edit:
    surroundsound.jpg
    This is the back of your receiver? Okay. No video inputs. Yea. I'd make your next purchase a new receiver. Onkyo has great budget units.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • mkissinmkissin Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Many TVs won't ever output 5.1 surround from the HDMI inputs to the optical audio output. They downmix to 2 channel instead. I know my Samsung does this, even though it is capable to outputting 5.1 via the optical (as the inbuilt tuner will output 5.1 over optical). I suspect it's as a copy protection thing, since the optical pathway can't be encrypted like the HDMI can.

    Thus, your only real option is to get a better receiver, as Improvolone suggested.

    mkissin on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    And I am highly suggesting it.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • XaviarXaviar Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    SIGH
    I guess I'll look into it. Was hoping to put some more money into my computer next, but to be honest, my receiver is a .. silly goose, and I've had it in the back of my head to get a new one for a while..

    Xaviar on
  • InkSplatInkSplat 100%ed Bad Rats. Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    One additional thing--you'll probably need a new subwoofer as well if your current one connects via speaker wire. That is the case with a lot of HTiBs, and something real receivers generally don't support.

    InkSplat on
    Origin for Dragon Age: Inquisition Shenanigans: Inksplat776
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    And any speakers that came with that receiver are probably crap too...

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Your TV is being fed the information for surround sound, but your TV doesn't know how to process surround sound, so it turns it into stereo (which it understands). Then, using an optical out, you are sending the now stereo signal to your receiver. Your receiver is taking the stereo signal its being fed and matrixing it into surround sound, which is how you've told it to treat stereo signals (or signals from that input).

    Minor nitpick, but I'm pretty sure that often it isn't the TV downmixing the signal, it's the sending device. When the player and the TV handshake over the HDMI, the TV will tell it how many channels it's capable of; the player will then set the output to that number of channels (in this case, two). It's for this reason that some possible workarounds (like an HDMI switcher that peels off the HDMI audio to an optical port) won't always work, because that audio will still be in stereo before it ever hits the TV.

    I've learned a little more about this messing with an HTPC, because I've actually got to "see" a little more of the player side.

    Easiest fix, if he's not looking to buy a new receiver and speakers (at least maybe a sub), is just to get an optical switcher. Most won't have a remote, so you'd have to deal with walking up and manually changing the input, but that's a $10 fix instead of a $300+ fix.

    EDIT: See the note on this HDMI switcher. Basically, the TV is telling the DVD player (or whatever) to only send stereo. Which is a pain in the ass. While it's a bit of a ghetto fix, this TOSLINK switch plus four optical cables will run you right around $10 plus shipping. Fixed.

    And I don't think it's as much a copy protection issue as it is a ease-of-use issue. I mean, it makes sense for this to be a standard feature, why send more channels to a device than it can handle? The fact that HDCP is required for uncompressed Dolby/DTS is a copy protection issue, but not doing simple AC3 passthrough has its roots in usability, not control.

    mcdermott on
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