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2 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 41372 14-Sep-2009 22:58
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First I hope I'm in the right topic area....

Been lurking around the posts lately but yet to find the information i need.

Although I've built and played with many PC's over time this will be my first HTPC build, of which i intend on using the Zotac ION-ITX-A-U MB. Other components will include USB TV tuner, Blueray and case all of which remain undecided. I will most likely be running windows 7 unless advised otherwise.

The Ion MB includes a signal HDMI 1.3a output which will connect to my Samsung LCD (LA46A650) which also has HDMI 1.3a inputs. The MB also has optical & Coax S/PDIF outs.

Now if i want to achieve surround sound sourced from the HTPC is it possible to pass through the TV and out to the receiver via S/PDIF?

so  HTPC----HDMI 1.3---->TV----S/PDIF---->Receiver

I assume an amp set up in the middle (with HDMI in/outputs) will allow passthrough to the TV and allow other components to be added but I blew my buget with the purchase of the TV, wish to keep wiring to a minimum and don't really want to have all these componets switched on 24/7. I did find a Pioneer VSX 518 at a decent price $299 at Harvey's but it does't include HDMI but does have S/PDIF hence my thought pattern.

However This is not set in stone and maybe one of you bright sparks can convince my to take an alternative direction but there are some interesting notes i picked up browsing through the forums.

*what is the possiblility of stutting or sound displacement?
*Vista allows only audio out through one port only?
*Am I too tight and should really spent the extra $$ and purchase a better A/V receiver

So can it be done, not that i'm comitted to the idea, just going through my options.


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  # 255784 15-Sep-2009 06:41
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This won't work.

Samsung TV's (and from my understanding most flat panels TV's on the market now) won't pass through 5.1 audio from the TV's SPDIF connector from any external inputs such as HDMI. All you will get is 2 channel stereo.

You'll have to go from the PC to the amp and then to the TV.

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Master Geek
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  # 255788 15-Sep-2009 07:17
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I've heard the same from Phillips TVs (not sold here anymore) but they only do 2 channel pass through. Go for a slightly more upsec amp, HDMI switching is very handy and is on some pretty well priced amps now.

Interested to hear how the Ion board works out.


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Master Geek

  # 255865 15-Sep-2009 13:54
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A better AV reciever is always a nice thing, allows you more options, better sound etc etc
but another option is to just go htpc hdmi out to tv, and spdif directly from the mobo to av reciever.
I'm unsure about this vista only allowing one audio output issue, hopefully windows 7 has rectified this, so far i've only got my windows 7 pc hooked up to one set of speakers.

Desktop: i7 920, GTX 275, asus P6T, antec 1200, 6gb ram, 1tb spinpoint f1, 1tb spinpoint f3, Logitech Z2300, Zero DAC, Shure SRH440
Laptop: Toshiba satellite, T5300, Go 7300
Home Theatre: 32" loewe CRT, Harmon kardon amp, dvd player, image 418 speakers, rega planar 25 turntable :)

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  # 255879 15-Sep-2009 14:49
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It's been my experience that going source to tv automatically only sends 2 channel to TV via hdmi when they handshake. If the source is only sending 2 channel to the TV then the TV itself only sends 2 channel on to a receiver via hdmi.

HDMI changed thing a little.  If you want surround sound, you need to go to the receiver first, and then on to the TV. You used to be able to chose either just the TV speakers (for say late at night etc) OR the receiver for your sound. This was possible because they were coming out of different outputs simultaneously, ie analogue rca for stereo audio to tv and digital coax/optical to receiver. This sort of setup is not easily possible via hdmi connection anymore.

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Master Geek

  # 255929 15-Sep-2009 18:23
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Simple alternative is if Vista/7 doesn't allow multi sound out then use DVI -> HDMI cable to the Sammy and SPDIF from the PC to your amp.
As above, most TVs I've heard of don't allow 5.1 pass-through (my Sony's don't do it either).

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Wannabe Geek

  # 255979 15-Sep-2009 23:11
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Thanks for the info guys. I couldn't find a statement on the net confirming it. My thought pattern was if HDMI 1.3 could stream digital Video & Audio over one medium the signal could pass through the TV optical S/PDIF out while maintaining it's digital state where the amp can decode the audio.

That said a decent receiver would be the next logical step to sit between the HTPC and TV. I did mention the cheap Pioneer VSX 518 and have video out to TV and audio to the receiver like some of you have suggested, but I see the point for something a little more "futureproof".

The inexpensive Onkyo TX-SR605 seems feature packed with HDMI 1.3 to boot (2/1), while certainly no high end model it still managers to compete well compared to other more expensive models (reading reviews on the net). Any other alternatives out there?

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  # 256079 16-Sep-2009 12:13
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Jaxson: HDMI changed thing a little.  If you want surround sound, you need to go to the receiver first, and then on to the TV. You used to be able to chose either just the TV speakers (for say late at night etc) OR the receiver for your sound. This was possible because they were coming out of different outputs simultaneously, ie analogue rca for stereo audio to tv and digital coax/optical to receiver. This sort of setup is not easily possible via hdmi connection anymore.

Really?  My Denon receiver has a TV/AMP setting that either passes the audio through to the TV or processes it in the receiver.  Is this not common, my receiver is not high-end?  I have everything hooked up via HDMI.


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  # 256091 16-Sep-2009 12:37
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On my Onkyo if you enable the option to send audio on to the TV, the receiver outputs only 2 channel itself. I don't think I have an option to send the audio on to the TV and not output from the receiver at all. I also think (but haven't tested this) that I probably need to have the receiver turned on to get the signal to the TV. Other receivers may/will be different.

I'm basically just saying that via hdmi you really do need to go source --> receiver --> TV, and not the other way around.

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Wannabe Geek

  # 256301 16-Sep-2009 22:08
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Looks like everyone is right. Until someone brings out a PDP or LCD that has optical or coax in/out for sound dont even think about it. I have been trying ways to avoid upgrading my amp for years but gave in in the end. Ended up with a good Yamaha (non-hdmi pass) but it does everything else. I found the only way to have it all is to trreat your tv as a monitor only. Run the second SCART output on most normal sky decoders to the tv (therefore avioding the need for the amp when you dont want to keep the neighbours up!). All my frustrations would be solved by upgrading the amp to a HDMI compatable one, but that is serious $$$ if I want the same power (currently have Yami RX-V757). You can still run picture from comp to the tv & SPDIF to the amp (like I do - great for all those dvd images stored in my comp)

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