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Wiring Help.....


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#1 of 24 OFFLINE   pixelpusher

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Posted January 23 2012 - 03:55 AM

New to setting this kind of stuff up but here goes my question.... Do HDMI signals get pass through TV's to the optical audio output? I have an older receiver that doesnt have HDMI but it DOES have optical in.....if I have all my other devices (blu ray player, apple tv, xbox) connected to my TV via HDMI, and I connected my TV to my receiver via optial audio would the surround sound signals coming from the HDMI pass through the TV to the receiver?

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted January 23 2012 - 04:36 AM

Do HDMI signals get pass through TV's to the optical audio output?

In short - most of the time, no. The optical will usually pass audio, but even when it does most of the time it downgrades to stereo. The exception is audio from the TV's own tuner; so if you have an antenna or direct cable connection (where the TV decodes the cable channel), then it will pass that audio as surround. There have been reports of the rare TV that passes all audio as surround, so it can't hurt to try it and see. What most people do is connect the peripherals to the TV using HDMI or component, and then make another audion connection to the receiver using optical or digical coax. (Or they use it as the perfect excuse to upgrade.)

#3 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted January 30 2012 - 03:25 AM

I just bought a Panasonic TC-P55GT31 and I find the same thing. It's even documented in the manual that it does the downgrade to stereo, (which I didn't read in the store and it's put in as a footnote!) Does anyone know why this is? Receivers with HDMI do a perfectly fine job of passing the video on to the TV, is it unreasonable to expect that a TV with 4 HDMI inputs will do the same for the audio? I know it is technically possibly because I had my PS3 plugged straight into a Sanyo's HDMI and the PS3 audio out the HDMI came back to my receiver from the TV's digital out as DD5.1 That was a $700 TV. I'm bummed that my 5 years newer $2000 Panasonic doesn't do this (and am on the verge of returning it to the store as incompatible with my system).

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Martino

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Posted January 30 2012 - 04:14 AM

Does anyone know why this is? Receivers with HDMI do a perfectly fine job of passing the video on to the TV, is it unreasonable to expect that a TV with 4 HDMI inputs will do the same for the audio?

Just a guess on this one - but they are trying to keep the cost down on the TVs. Most TVs only have 2 speakers, and they have to perform the down conversion to get the sound to their speakers. They then take this signal and route it to the out ports... If you have a receiver that has HDMI connections, then you should be using the receiver as the hub of your system, and using your TV as a monitor. This will greatly improve the sound and you will not have any issues with the output coming from the TV. Most of the TV speakers in today's TVs seem to be an afterthought to the slim designs and just sound bad.

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted January 30 2012 - 04:57 AM

I'm not using the TV's speakers at all. The audio is all through an aging JVC RX-884V receiver. It has 2 optical inputs; one is connected to the PS3 and one is connected to the TV. But that should be one optional way to hookup, it should not HAVE to be that way. Except lame audio circuit design in the TV makes it so. Isn't the whole point of HDMI to put the audio and video together in one nice convenient package? They've even adding Ethernet to the mix. It's missing the point if the TV DOESN'T pass the whole audio stream. The TV does put DD5.1 out the digital audio output from it's internal tuner. It's trivial to switch the audio, a lot easier than it is for a receiver to switch the video (if nothing else, just because the bandwidth for video is higher). There's got to be more to it than just cost savings. I'm an Electrical Engineer, been designing systems of one sort or another for over 30 years now. I'm not all that familiar with the specific inner workings of the TV, but thinking about it, it seems it would be a little cheaper to pass the audio straight through than to decode it, convert it, then re-encode it to stereo. It's probably a wash since they do have to decode for the internal speakers to work. Maybe not. Certainly, the digital audio out is not tied to the TV's internal amp/speaker system because then it would only put out stereo from the tuner, and it doesn't, it does DD5.1. I DO have the audio going from my PS3 to the receiver, bypassing the TV's audio, but that is not what I want to do. I want to be able to just switch the TV input, like I have for the past 5 years with my Sanyo, and have it properly switch both the audio and video. And not have to use a macro on my remote to control it. It's a convenience issue, totally my own personal subjective preference and if if I find a TV manufacturer that does what I call right, I will buy their product. I am still in the return period for this TV and I probably will return it soon and go back to my Sanyo in the meantime. Maybe it's a conspiracy to get people to spend more on new receivers :).

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted January 30 2012 - 05:13 AM

I'm not using the TV's speakers at all. The audio is all through an aging JVC RX-884V receiver. It has 2 optical inputs; one is connected to the PS3 and one is connected to the TV. But that should be one optional way to hookup, it should not HAVE to be that way. Except lame audio circuit design in the TV makes it so. Isn't the whole point of HDMI to put the audio and video together in one nice convenient package? They've even adding Ethernet to the mix. It's missing the point if the TV DOESN'T pass the whole audio stream. The TV does put DD5.1 out the digital audio output from it's internal tuner. It's trivial to switch the audio, a lot easier than it is for a receiver to switch the video (if nothing else, just because the bandwidth for video is higher). There's got to be more to it than just cost savings. I'm an Electrical Engineer, been designing systems of one sort or another for over 30 years now. I'm not all that familiar with the specific inner workings of the TV, but thinking about it, it seems it would be a little cheaper to pass the audio straight through than to decode it, convert it, then re-encode it to stereo. It's probably a wash since they do have to decode for the internal speakers to work. Maybe not. Certainly, the digital audio out is not tied to the TV's internal amp/speaker system because then it would only put out stereo from the tuner, and it doesn't, it does DD5.1. I DO have the audio going from my PS3 to the receiver, bypassing the TV's audio, but that is not what I want to do. I want to be able to just switch the TV input, like I have for the past 5 years with my Sanyo, and have it properly switch both the audio and video. And not have to use a macro on my remote to control it. It's a convenience issue, totally my own personal subjective preference and if if I find a TV manufacturer that does what I call right, I will buy their product. I am still in the return period for this TV and I probably will return it soon and go back to my Sanyo in the meantime. Maybe it's a conspiracy to get people to spend more on new receivers :).

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted January 30 2012 - 05:13 AM

I'm not using the TV's speakers at all. The audio is all through an aging JVC RX-884V receiver. It has 2 optical inputs; one is connected to the PS3 and one is connected to the TV. But that should be one optional way to hookup, it should not HAVE to be that way. Except lame audio circuit design in the TV makes it so. Isn't the whole point of HDMI to put the audio and video together in one nice convenient package? They've even adding Ethernet to the mix. It's missing the point if the TV DOESN'T pass the whole audio stream. The TV does put DD5.1 out the digital audio output from it's internal tuner. It's trivial to switch the audio, a lot easier than it is for a receiver to switch the video (if nothing else, just because the bandwidth for video is higher). There's got to be more to it than just cost savings. I'm an Electrical Engineer, been designing systems of one sort or another for over 30 years now. I'm not all that familiar with the specific inner workings of the TV, but thinking about it, it seems it would be a little cheaper to pass the audio straight through than to decode it, convert it, then re-encode it to stereo. It's probably a wash since they do have to decode for the internal speakers to work. Maybe not. Certainly, the digital audio out is not tied to the TV's internal amp/speaker system because then it would only put out stereo from the tuner, and it doesn't, it does DD5.1. I DO have the audio going from my PS3 to the receiver, bypassing the TV's audio, but that is not what I want to do. I want to be able to just switch the TV input, like I have for the past 5 years with my Sanyo, and have it properly switch both the audio and video. And not have to use a macro on my remote to control it. It's a convenience issue, totally my own personal subjective preference and if if I find a TV manufacturer that does what I call right, I will buy their product. I am still in the return period for this TV and I probably will return it soon and go back to my Sanyo in the meantime. Maybe it's a conspiracy to get people to spend more on new receivers :).

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted January 30 2012 - 05:14 AM

I'm not using the TV's speakers at all. The audio is all through an aging JVC RX-884V receiver. It has 2 optical inputs; one is connected to the PS3 and one is connected to the TV. But that should be one optional way to hookup, it should not HAVE to be that way. Except lame audio circuit design in the TV makes it so. Isn't the whole point of HDMI to put the audio and video together in one nice convenient package? They've even adding Ethernet to the mix. It's missing the point if the TV DOESN'T pass the whole audio stream. The TV does put DD5.1 out the digital audio output from it's internal tuner. It's trivial to switch the audio, a lot easier than it is for a receiver to switch the video (if nothing else, just because the bandwidth for video is higher). There's got to be more to it than just cost savings. I'm an Electrical Engineer, been designing systems of one sort or another for over 30 years now. I'm not all that familiar with the specific inner workings of the TV, but thinking about it, it seems it would be a little cheaper to pass the audio straight through than to decode it, convert it, then re-encode it to stereo. It's probably a wash since they do have to decode for the internal speakers to work. Maybe not. Certainly, the digital audio out is not tied to the TV's internal amp/speaker system because then it would only put out stereo from the tuner, and it doesn't, it does DD5.1. I DO have the audio going from my PS3 to the receiver, bypassing the TV's audio, but that is not what I want to do. I want to be able to just switch the TV input, like I have for the past 5 years with my Sanyo, and have it properly switch both the audio and video. And not have to use a macro on my remote to control it. It's a convenience issue, totally my own personal subjective preference and if if I find a TV manufacturer that does what I call right, I will buy their product. I am still in the return period for this TV and I probably will return it soon and go back to my Sanyo in the meantime. Maybe it's a conspiracy to get people to spend more on new receivers :).

#9 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted January 30 2012 - 05:14 AM

I'm not using the TV's speakers at all. The audio is all through an aging JVC RX-884V receiver. It has 2 optical inputs; one is connected to the PS3 and one is connected to the TV. But that should be one optional way to hookup, it should not HAVE to be that way. Except lame audio circuit design in the TV makes it so. Isn't the whole point of HDMI to put the audio and video together in one nice convenient package? They've even adding Ethernet to the mix. It's missing the point if the TV DOESN'T pass the whole audio stream. The TV does put DD5.1 out the digital audio output from it's internal tuner. It's trivial to switch the audio, a lot easier than it is for a receiver to switch the video (if nothing else, just because the bandwidth for video is higher). There's got to be more to it than just cost savings. I'm an Electrical Engineer, been designing systems of one sort or another for over 30 years now. I'm not all that familiar with the specific inner workings of the TV, but thinking about it, it seems it would be a little cheaper to pass the audio straight through than to decode it, convert it, then re-encode it to stereo. It's probably a wash since they do have to decode for the internal speakers to work. Maybe not. Certainly, the digital audio out is not tied to the TV's internal amp/speaker system because then it would only put out stereo from the tuner, and it doesn't, it does DD5.1. I DO have the audio going from my PS3 to the receiver, bypassing the TV's audio, but that is not what I want to do. I want to be able to just switch the TV input, like I have for the past 5 years with my Sanyo, and have it properly switch both the audio and video. And not have to use a macro on my remote to control it. It's a convenience issue, totally my own personal subjective preference and if if I find a TV manufacturer that does what I call right, I will buy their product. I am still in the return period for this TV and I probably will return it soon and go back to my Sanyo in the meantime. Maybe it's a conspiracy to get people to spend more on new receivers :).

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted January 30 2012 - 05:15 AM

Why did it do that?? Grrrrrrr!

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted January 30 2012 - 11:50 AM

That advice, or something close to it, is probably the thing to do. Do Denons have ATSC tuners, too? I haven't looked at receivers in a long time. If not, I've still got the switching problem (inconvenience). Is the picture the same? ST30 vs GT30? Is the difference really just the feature set? Part of my problem, why it hasn't gone back yet, is this thing has such a beautiful picture (BBC Planet Earth BluRay is amazing to say the least). I love the picture. I don't really want to let go of it.

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted January 31 2012 - 03:22 AM

I have high speed HDMI cables; it's doing 3D at 1080P from the PS3 just fine. Yes, the picture is awesome and I got a super deal on it at Best Buy. I do not use satellite or cable. Over-the-air, Blu-Rays/DVDs, games (several in 3D) and streaming are it. We use the internal tuner for the vast majority of content. So a new receiver won't solve the convenience problem, I will always have to switch the TV from internal tuner to HDMI and simultaneously switch the receiver's optical inputs between the TV out and the PS3 out. The only way I can think of to get control away from the TV is to use an external ATSC tuner. The TV does have a weird quirk and I don't know if it's a bug, feature or a defective set that is really driving me nuts: if I watch anything using the TVs internal VIERA apps, like netflix, amazon or youtube, then exit the app and go back to the internal tuner, the audio output is stereo only. I have confirmed this with two different receivers, my main JVC and an Onkyo from my bedroom. Both do DD5.1. If I then use the TV's built in mp3 player to start playing an mp3 from a USB stick, then exit that back to the internal tuner, the output is DD5.1 again (it may be that I go into any VIERA connect app, DLNA server, media player, etc. - maybe don't have to actually play - but I just noticed this last night and haven't extensively tested it). I've been talking/emailing Panasonic's tech support over this for a week and a half with no resolution. They always want to blame the receiver, hence the second unit is setup to "prove" it's the TV every time I start a dialog with a new tech support person. If this were resolved, I'd probably settle down and live with it. Supposedly, they were escalating the issue to a level 2 tech, but a level 2 tech has never gotten back to me. Can anybody with a GT30 confirm whether their set does this, too? I can't test it in best buy because they don't have the proper setup to their floor unit (antennae and Ethernet required, and of course, best buy can't/won't set it up for me). Maybe I should just be happy with what I've got, but I know I never will be. It's the quirkiest setup I have ever had.

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted January 31 2012 - 06:43 AM

In your case what you need is a TV and receiver that supports the audio return channel (ARC). I'm fairly certain that it passed up the surround signal. And I agree, it makes no sense that the manufacturers don't support surround through the optical port.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted February 01 2012 - 01:02 AM

Still have to switch both TV and receiver. And lose 35 watts/ch. I don't see how that makes things better - just using the HDMI cable instead of a fiber optic cable. Am I missing something?

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Martino

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Posted February 01 2012 - 03:13 AM

just using the HDMI cable instead of a fiber optic cable. Am I missing something?

I have an older receiver that doesnt have HDMI but it DOES have optical in

You are missing the ability to play the new loose-less codec only available from blue-ray via HDMI with your older receiver. The new codes will not be transmitted over optical cable, just HDMI. Here are all of the options available if you use hdmi from your player to your receiver first, and then go to the TV: Linear PCM (LPCM) - up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio. (mandatory) Dolby Digital (DD) - format used for DVDs, 5.1-channel surround sound. (mandatory) Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) - extension of Dolby Digital, 7.1-channel surround sound. (optional) Dolby TrueHD - lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio. (optional) DTS Digital Surround - format used for DVDs, 5.1-channel surround sound. (mandatory) DTS-HD High Resolution Audio - extension of DTS, 7.1-channel surround sound. (optional) DTS-HD Master Audio - lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio. (optional)

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted February 01 2012 - 04:48 AM

Still have to switch both TV and receiver. And lose 35 watts/ch.

I'm not sure we're on the same page. If you were to use an ARC cable the receiver would only have to sample one HDMI input (from the TV to the receiver), so no receiver switching. The audio signal would be passed through your TV (as you desired) to the receiver where it's amplified. I don't see a power loss.

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted February 01 2012 - 11:21 PM

I'm sorry if I seem to be fighting; I come across argumentative sometimes when I don't really mean to. That certainly won't get me anywhere. Just trying to understand the whats and whys and hows. I don't see how it's possible to get away from switching if the tuner is in the TV and the playstation input to the TV is HDMI. TV video has to be switched between the TV's Internal tuner to HDMI and I don't understand how an external unit, the receiver, is going to do that. As for loss of power, I guess I wasn't clear. It's just that the Denon is less powerful than my JVC. (So pick a different model, eh?) As for getting a new receiver to do lossless codecs, I did not get that before, the difference between the HDMI vs optical inputs to the receiver. So a new receiver would give me a bit better sound on sources that support it, but I'd still have the same switching "problem". I quote it because it is really just an inconvenience.

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted February 03 2012 - 05:18 AM

I'm sorry, I still don't understand how that solves switching the TV from it's internal tuner to an HDMI input while simultaneously switching the receiver from TV out to PS3. Bottom line I think is if the TV won't do the switching right, I just have to live with switching both - not a terrible thing; programmable remote makes it pretty straightforward using macros; it was nicer with the Sanyo TV that did the both the video and audio switching correctly. Just got off the phone with Panasonic level 2 tech support (for the problem stated above where the tuner stops outputting DD5.1 after using one of the VIERA connect apps) and he admitted their audio is rather limited and thinks they are working to make it better in the future. Take that with a grain of salt.

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted February 03 2012 - 12:36 PM

Okay, been following this thread and I'm confused. Why do you need the internal tuner at the same time as using the PS3? The ONLY time you use the internal tuner is when you are watching TV with and antenna or cable hooked directly to the TV (no cable box). To follow up on the power loss (or perceived power loss), I would really doubt any JVC receiver will out perform even an entry level Denon. There is much more to it. The JVC is putting out x watts at what impedance? For example, 100 watts at 4ohms is about 50 watts at 8ohms. The JVC may be reporting at 4 or even less. The Denon is reporting at 8 ohms. Secondly, to hear any perceptible difference you would have to cut the power by half. So even if the JVC really does put out 35 watts per channel more, you will not hear a difference.

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   rwuest

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Posted February 04 2012 - 02:58 AM

David, That's the key to my whole dissatisfaction with this setup: I have no cable box, we watch TV over the air using the TV's internal tuner for the vast majority of our viewing. I am located line-of-site to the broadcast antennae on Cheyenne Mountain, I can literally see the transmit antennae from my back porch, so I get great reception with a $10 set of plain old rabbit ears from Radio Shack. Of the three source types: broadcast, satellite or cable, broadcast has the best picture because it has the most available bandwidth per channel and the least compression. Selection is obviously more limited than with cable, but we get enough to be happy with it. OTA and lot's of CDs, mp3s, DVDs and Blu-Rays, ripped and stored on a manymany-terabyte server and everything is instantly available. Plus Vudu, Netflix and Amazon streaming services. You may find this interesting (totally unrelated to anything else here): When the weather up on Cheyenne Mountain gets real bad, moisture absorbs some of the broadcast energy, the signal strength drops and sometimes I'll get dropouts because of it. So I went to the FCC website, got the transmit frequencies of all of the local stations, put that into a spreadsheet and calculated a table of lengths to match the antennae for each station. So when it happens, I'll use a tape measure to adjust the lengths of the antennae elements and voila!, channel comes in good and strong. My mother-in-law was totally baffled by that one time she was here :). My front speakers are 6 ohms, a mismatch for either a 4 ohm (Denon?) or an 8 ohm (JVC's "rating" from my manual) source, so neither source can truly deliver it's rated power. I don't really know that just because a manufacturer gives a rating at a particular load impedance it implies that that is the source impedance, but it certainly would be the way to present the specs in their best light, i.e., the most efficient power transfer. One would have to do some measurements with a fixed signal source and an o'scope into a set of purely resistive loads to determine what Zout really is, but I digress. I probably will go to a new receiver at some point in the future, but not just yet, not 'til I have to. DD5.1 is good enough for now and I have other projects demanding pieces of my limited financial resources. The JVC is 10+ years old (pre HDMI - it switches composite video :) and I've already had to repair it's power supply once (I bought the service manual and fixed it myself instead of taking it to a shop)- it may not have much life left. It's still my opinion that the TV not switching the audio correctly is totally screwed up and Panasonic should be ashamed.