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# 137882 12-Dec-2013 08:44
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I've just purchased a new Panasonic Plasma TV (TH-P50ST60Z), and discovered last night that its optical out doesn't pass through Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS signals received via HDMI from other equipment. It also doesn't have RCA stereo outputs (otherwise that would be the easiest solution for me).

My AV receiver doesn't have any HDMI inputs or outputs, so I have all my other AV equipment connecting to the TV via HDMI, and am relying on the optical output to send the sound signal to the receiver. The receiver has one optical and one coaxial input, which can be utilised to receive Dolby Digital or DTS signals.

I have a PS3 that serves as my Blu Ray player, so I really want to preserve the full surround sound signal it outputs. It can output 5.1 signals via HDMI or optical out. I also have an Apple TV that has the same limitations, and a MySky HDI box which I haven't fully explored the outputs of, as 5.1 from that has not been a priority. With these last two devices I don't care if I'm stuck with the Pro Logic II fake surround sound that the AV receiver dishes up, but as the PS3 is our Blu Ray player I really want to preserve the full 5.1 surround sound as much as possible. 

Obviously upgrading the AV receiver would fix all this, but that won't be happening any time soon. So I've been looking at other options to allow me at the very least to get the 5.1 signal from the PS3 as well as preserve the output from the TV (which frustratingly can only be done via optical). As noted earlier, if the TV had offered RCA output this would be a non-issue, as I'd connect the PS3 via optical and use RCA for the telly.

From what I can tell, my options are either a Toslink switch like this one, or a Toslink to coaxial converter like this. I think the first option should work, but it would be a bit of a PITA having to manually switch every time we want full 5.1 audio. I have concerns about the second option, as it doesn't explicitly state that it would preserve the 5.1 signal, and other converters I've seen state they output 2.0 PCM, which would totally defeat the purpose.

Does anyone have any input (excuse the pun) or advice to offer here? I'm really looking to spend as little as possible to get this working, but I do want a solution that will work & not break in a few months time.

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  # 950763 12-Dec-2013 08:50
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I am in the same boat as you - MySky, which does DD5.1 on 1,2,3 (I don't have movies), Samsung TV and AppleTV into a receiver

I bought one of these: https://www.lindy.com.au/online/arrshop.exe?anonymous=true&cat=h9

It is all programmed into my Harmony remote and it works perfectly.

I actually use the coax digital instead of optical form the MySky to receiver, but the option is there to use optical.



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  # 950764 12-Dec-2013 08:52
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trig42: I am in the same boat as you - MySky, which does DD5.1 on 1,2,3 (I don't have movies), Samsung TV and AppleTV into a receiver

I bought one of these: https://www.lindy.com.au/online/arrshop.exe?anonymous=true&cat=h9

It is all programmed into my Harmony remote and it works perfectly.

I actually use the coax digital instead of optical form the MySky to receiver, but the option is there to use optical.


That took me straight to the home page. Do you have a product name or model number I could search?

Something with Harmony integration sounds promising (I have a 650), as it would be wife friendly. I suspect it may be out of budget though (trying to keep it under $50)



 
 
 
 




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  # 950765 12-Dec-2013 08:54
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dclegg:
trig42: I am in the same boat as you - MySky, which does DD5.1 on 1,2,3 (I don't have movies), Samsung TV and AppleTV into a receiver

I bought one of these: https://www.lindy.com.au/online/arrshop.exe?anonymous=true&cat=h9

It is all programmed into my Harmony remote and it works perfectly.

I actually use the coax digital instead of optical form the MySky to receiver, but the option is there to use optical.


That took me straight to the home page. Do you have a product name or model number I could search?

Something with Harmony integration sounds promising (I have a 650), as it would be wife friendly. I suspect it may be out of budget though (trying to keep it under $50)




Think I found it,  4 Way TosLink Digital Optical Audio Switch, $99. That looks great, but also a little pricey.

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  # 950766 12-Dec-2013 08:55
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Ah OK, worked for me, but it is part number 70416. I actually found mine on Trademe, and I've seen them slightly cheaper on eBay.

Won't be budget friendly, but is a lot cheaper than a new AVR,



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  # 950768 12-Dec-2013 08:56
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trig42: Ah OK, worked for me, but it is part number 70416. I actually found mine on Trademe, and I've seen them slightly cheaper on eBay.

Won't be budget friendly, but is a lot cheaper than a new AVR,


Yeah. Perhaps I need to approach the Minister of Finance after a few wines ;-)

But if that is working well for you, I may be OK with the manual switch that JayCar is selling. My concern with that is I've seen reliability issues of similar ones reported on Amazon. Although they did look a lot cheaper and less robust than this one.

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  # 950778 12-Dec-2013 09:07
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Manual will work fine, just so long as the minister of finance knows how to switch inputs between watching a Bluray, then watching something on the ATV or MySky.

In fact, if you make it hard and confusing, approval for the remote controlled one will be easier to obtain :p



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  # 950781 12-Dec-2013 09:09
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trig42: Manual will work fine, just so long as the minister of finance knows how to switch inputs between watching a Bluray, then watching something on the ATV or MySky.

In fact, if you make it hard and confusing, approval for the remote controlled one will be easier to obtain :p


With the manual approach, not knowing won't be too much of a barrier, I don't think. If she doesn't switch from the TV output, she'll simply be getting Pro Logic II sound. Although in saying that, if it was on the PS3 output she'll need to switch back to TV in order to get sound.

I would prefer an automated solution, but the manual one may be a good starting point. I'll see if I can find the automated one at a more competitive price, I think.

 
 
 
 


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  # 950827 12-Dec-2013 10:13
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I'd be checking the bag of accessories/tricks and manual..

Even my lesser ST50 come with a small 2-prong plug that has multiple output leads off it. Standard RGB + 2 audio

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/K2KYYYY00199

I run the same sort of setup, with a signle optical to the HT. I use HDMI from bluray to TV direct for video and secondary for audio, but sure I've been able to have it pass-through via optical or at the very least ARC aswell. It may need some setting tweakage to downmix (is it detecting your audio and outputting as bitstream or 96k instead which the tv wont know?)




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  # 950840 12-Dec-2013 10:23
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Oblivian: I'd be checking the bag of accessories/tricks and manual..

Even my lesser ST50 come with a small 2-prong plug that has multiple output leads off it. Standard RGB + 2 audio

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/K2KYYYY00199



Nope, nothing like that was with it. And the manual states that in order to preserve 5.1 audio, equipment should be connected directly to the AV receiver. I'd love to know why the optical out on the TV doesn't simply pass the signal through. 



I run the same sort of setup, with a signle optical to the HT. I use HDMI from bluray to TV direct for video and secondary for audio, but sure I've been able to have it pass-through via optical or at the very least ARC aswell. It may need some setting tweakage to downmix (is it detecting your audio and outputting as bitstream or 96k instead which the tv wont know?)



I don't know what format is being received at the TV, but I can tell the PS3 what formats to output. If I enable ARC on that HDMI port on the TV, will that give the optical port the opportunity to understand & output it with the 5.1 signal still intact? I tried all logical (to me anyway :-)) output settings on the PS3 last night, but didn't have any luck. 

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  # 950854 12-Dec-2013 10:56
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Queer.. and the ST60 is meant to be an improvement!
Have a tinker with the PS3 settings. I can recall seeing in a mates one a few options for how it handles the output format, be it raw or PCM/downmix etc.

What I didn't take into account was your receiver, if it has HDMI the theory is, run PS3 into HDMI2 of the tv, and then use ARC/HDMI1 to send the audio back through to the receiver (or is that backards.. I forget). But if you have no HDMI inputs or ARC on the receiver.. there goes that idea.

Quick guide for the ST60s does say if you enable Vieraconnect, and the device is HDAVI Control 2.0+ you can use the digital out to output multi surround.. And its referenced a few places about DVD hookup etc that if the signal is dolby digital you can use the optical output to do the same..



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  # 950872 12-Dec-2013 11:03
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Oblivian: Queer.. and the ST60 is meant to be an improvement!



I know! If it had only retained the RCA stereo outputs that its nearly 6 year old predecessor had (also a Panasonic Plasma, but entry level at the time), I'd be sweet. Or at least sweet enough for my needs :-)

Oblivian:
Have a tinker with the PS3 settings. I can recall seeing in a mates one a few options for how it handles the output format, be it raw or PCM/downmix etc.

What I didn't take into account was your receiver, if it has HDMI the theory is, run PS3 into HDMI2 of the tv, and then use ARC/HDMI1 to send the audio back through to the receiver. But if you have no HDMI inputs or ARC on the receiver.. there goes that idea.

Quick guide for the ST60s does say if you enable Vieraconnect, and the device is HDAVI Control 2.0+ you can use the digital out to output multi surround.. And its referenced a few places about DVD hookup etc that if the signal is dolby digital you can use the optical output to do the same..


Nope, no HDMI on the receiver, just one optical in and one coax in. And all the HDMI ports on the TV are spoken for (although I do have a HDMI switch that could've been brought into the mix). 

I'll investigate the Vieraconnect information further though.

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  # 950885 12-Dec-2013 11:32
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$399 for an entry level receiver that features 4 x HDMI inputs...
It's worth spending the money in my humble opinion. Just sell something to achieve it... maybe a kidney?



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  # 950889 12-Dec-2013 11:38
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Dunnersfella: $399 for an entry level receiver that features 4 x HDMI inputs...
It's worth spending the money in my humble opinion. Just sell something to achieve it... maybe a kidney?


That'll be a hard sell right now. I exceeded my $1000 TV upgrade budget by 50%, and I don't think the Minister of Finance fully appreciates the role our AV receiver plays in our home theatre setup. The receiver I have is around 6 years old. It still does an admirable job on the sound front, its just lacking in inputs. The best I can do on that front is hope it dies soon. :-D

Also, I initially told her I thought I'd get away with a $15 spend to overcome this problem (HDMI splitter in reverse + 2 cables, ruled out of contention very early on due to technical impossibilities). 

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  # 950963 12-Dec-2013 13:49
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Does anyone know if the MYSKY HDMI out will do DD5.1 i.e not going through optical?

I have the the MYSKY plugged into a Yamaha Z7 receiver at the moment via HDMI.

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  # 951188 12-Dec-2013 19:29
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Nope, it's optical or coax I believe.

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