Panasonic TC-P42S30 42" Plasma
Panasonic DMP-BDT110 Blu-Ray
On order: Yamaha RX-V475 Receiver
I'm replacing an ancient JBL JSR-400 A/V Receiver (keeping the 5.1 speakers).
I had hoped to configure the new receiver in such a way that my wife wouldn't have to deal with it at all when switching video inputs, but would allow me to take advantage of 5.1 surround whenever possible. She couldn't care less about the audio.
Currently, the TiVo, AppleTV, BluRay, and Wii are all directly connected to the TV via HDMI (and composite, for the Wii). Switching inputs is done via the "input" swich on the TiVo remote, controlling the TV. Audio is all analog, directly to the receiver.
My original plan was to keep this same arrangement, and use the Optical Digital Audio output of the TV to the receiver, thereby following whatever signal is input. However, I've just read that although the TV will recieve a 5.1 signal via HDMI, that same signal is dumbed down to 2 channel stereo when it is output via the digital output (according to Panasonic, "The TV will only output a 5.1 signal from the optical output when the signal is coming from a digital over the air channel, a digital basic cable channel with no cable box, or when one of the Viera Connect applications is feeding the TV a 5.1 signal."
So, now I'm looking at configuring in the recommended way, using HDMI to connect my components to the receiver, and HDMI back out to the TV. As I understand it, this means that the reciever will always have to be on, whether the external speakers are used or not, and that all input switching will have to be done from it's poorly designed remote. I'm fine with that, but adding another component drives my wife crazy.
Am I missing something? I know that this TV has ARC on HDMI 2, but am unsure how this could help me, especially as I'm already tapped on inputs. (3 HDMI plus 1 Composite).