Blue Ray Player only sending 2-channel PCM over HDMI

Jon Dart

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Hi:
I've searched various forums, and found similar problems, but no solution. I have an older Yamaha receiver (HTR-5640) with no HDMI inputs. My TV is an LG 50LS4000. My Blu Ray Player is an LG BP-620. I have an ASUS Chromebox modded with LibreELEC and Kodi. The Kodi box is connected via HDMI to the TV, and the TV Toslink digital audio out port is connected to the Yamaha receiver's Toslink In port. This works great; it produces wonderful surround in whatever variety my HD movies throw at it. However, the Blu Ray player is also connected to the TV via an HDMI connection, but the signal going to the Yamaha receiver via the same TV Toslink Out port is always PCM 2.1 (this is confirmed by both the receiver's display and by the info supplied by the Blu Ray player during playback). But when I connect the Blu Ray player's audio directly to the receiver via the Toslink cable, with the HDMI going to the TV, I get great DTS surround (the receiver only has one Toslink port). I've tried the Kodi box in all of the TV's HDMI ports, and no problem. I've tried the Blu Ray player in all of the TV HDMI ports, and get the same result - 2-channel audio. I've tried every combination of the Blu Ray player's audio settings (Bitstream, DTS re-sample, 48 KHz, 96KHz, 192KHz in every combination). I've tried using different HDMI cables, but no luck. First of all, I would like to know what is causing this, and second, what I can do about it. Of course, I can use a converter to convert the Blu Ray's digital audio stream to coax or 5.1 analog, which the receive can accept, but that's a pain. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

DaveF

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You need a receiver with HDMI.

Your Blu-ray connects to to your TV via HDMI. And your TV connects to your Receiver via TOSLink. Is that correct?

It's a safe bet that the TV down converts the audio to stereo that its sending out through the TOSLink.

If your receiver and TV are all HDMI, connect the sources into the Receiver and connect the receiver's monitor-out port to the TV.
 
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Scott Merryfield

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I would suggest connecting your Blu-ray player to your receiver via toslink optical or digital coaxial (whichever it has). It's much simpler to use your AV receiver as the central control point for audio (and usually video, but your AVR doesn't support the video you need) than using the display, as you are attempting to do, as that is what an a/v receiver is designed to do. Back feeding audio from source components through a TV to a receiver has a lot of limitations and idiosyncrasies, as you are discovering.
 

Jon Dart

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The TV isn't down converting, because the signal from the Kodi box to the TV via HDMI and back to the receiver via Toslink is full DTS. The receiver does not have HDMI inputs. This is what I don't understand, why the Blu Ray signal is down converted, but not the signal from the Kodi box. I'm trying to use the TV as a switching hub. I've tried disconnecting the Kodi box from the TV while using the Blu Ray player, but that doesn't work either. I've tried different cables as well. I can't connect the Blu Ray directly to the receiver, because the receiver only has one Toslink input, which is being used by the TV out. My only options, as I see them, are to try an external sound card with the Kodi box and connect it to the receiver via analog 7.1, which would free up the receiver Toslink input port to connect the Blu Ray player directly, or somehow convert the Toslink signal from the Blu Ray player to digital coax, which the receiver also accepts. Just wondering if there's any other way I haven't thought of.
 

DaveF

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I'm trying to use the TV as a switching hub.
It's generally easier and more robust to use the receiver as the switching hub. Receivers are specifically meant to route video to video outputs and audio to audio outputs. Displays as hubs, as you're experiencing, tend to be more problematic. (I think it might work better if you the "chain" is all HDMI...but I think most people use the AVR as the hub regardless.)
 

DaveF

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That said: connect the blu-ray directly to the Receiver to make sure the blu-ray isn't somehow outputting only stereo. Likewise, check the blu-ray settings to make sure you don't have it set to stereo output.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Blu-ray content is typically encrypted and there may be restrictions in that encoding about what signals can be passed through which chains and under what circumstances. Depending on what kind of content he's viewing on the Kodi, that material may not be tagged with that kind of encryption or restrictions.
 
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DaveF

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I was speculating that could be the case, but didn't know so didn't mention it. Good to hear it's a plausible reason.
 

DaveF

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You could try splitting the HDMI to send video to the tv and audio to the receiver directly from the blu-ray. Don't know if this works, have never done it myself.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2522
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=10251

Of course, it's 2017. Home theater is a techno-hobby: stand still and you get left behind. And surround sound AVRs have plummeted in price the past decade. It will cost you $200 to solve this problem cleanly.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/onkyo-7...heater-receiver-black/5017403.p?skuId=5017403
 

Jon Dart

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The problem involves DVDs as well. I get PCM stereo instead of Dolby Digital with DVDs. The content I'm viewing in Kodi is movies and TV shows that I've ripped from my personal library of blu rays and dvds using Handbrake. When I do the rip I set audio to "Auto Passthrough." I've tried every audio setting for both the blu ray player and the TV.

One option I've tried is that I bought an HDMI switch hub that has three HDM inputs and one HDMI output/1Toslink audio output. This solves the problem, but is not very elegant and is somewhat expensive. I love my Yamaha receiver; it has great features. I'm not at the point yet where I want to ditch it for something newer, so I may just stick with this solution.
 

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