Originally Posted by twistymcgee
My receiver must have an HDMI switch that doesn't support the spec that 3D requires (1.3 vs 1.4 perhaps?).
Yes - HDMI 1.4 is required to fully support the Blu-Ray 3D features
The supported sound codecs from the PS3 under the optical connection seems less than what is supported by HDMI.
Yes - Lossless audio (Dolby HD and DTS-MA) can only be carried via HDMI cable or through multichannel analog outputs (which, to my knowledge, the PS3 does not have). A digital optical (or coaxial) connection will only carry the lossy DD or DTS soundtracks. Often they are encoded at higher bitrates than the DVD counterpart, but they are a far cry from lossless.
My TV has an optical out that doesn't seem to support a lot of the audio signals. For example, if I connected the PS3 to the TV via HDMI and then the TV back to the receiver via optical, I hear some sound, but no voices at all (seems like some channels are not getting passed back to the receiver via the optical cable).
Yes - for virtually ALL televisions on the market, any audio from external sources (regardless of how they are connected to your tv) will be downmixed to analog stereo (2.0) before being output. Only programming tuned with the TVs internal tuner would be preserved as digital multichannel audio.
Also, I was told in a store that there is no difference at all between sound via HDMI and sound via optical. Can anyone confirm that?
The dude in the store is just plain wrong (unless he misspoke and said HDMI when he meant "digital coaxial" - digital coax and optical will be identical). Most of the "help" at retail stores don't know jack about anything. They are also the folks that will push you to get the expensive HDMI cable because you have a 120Hz or 240Hz display. Do yourself a favor and DON'T listen to them.
The two most straightforward solutions to your problem would be to either upgrade your receiver to one that fully supports HDMI 1.4, or to get a 3D Blu-Ray player that has two HDMI outputs - you could use one as a direct connection to the TV and the second to transmit lossless audio to your receiver. I think this is one of the main reasons they started releasing 3DBR players with the dual outputs.
There's always the chance that you can get an HDMI splitter (1.4 compatible) that you could use to split the single output from the PS3 in the same manner, but I'm not sure how well they work.