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Cable Routing for Best 4K Picture (1 Viewer)

Doug MacGregor

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I'm not sure where to post this thread.

I am about to take delivery of a new Samsung 4K TV (QN43Q60BA). I already have an LG UBK80 4K disc player and my HT receiver is a Denon AVR-590.

I also bought an 8K Certified HDMI cable ().

To get the best picture, what is the best path for the cable(s)?

I must mention that all my HDMI connections go thru a ZettaGuard HDMI switch before going to the TV ()
 

Lord Dalek

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Blu-ray -> Denon -> TV (namely the ARC Input).

Picture quality shouldn't degrade and its not advisable to daisy chain external devices from the TV back to a receiver. Those inputs are there for a reason.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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First, looks like your switcher can't support HDCP protected 4K video, so you won't get better than regular 1080p using that for typical, commercially produced video. IF you don't do any other upgrades, you'll need to connect all 4K playback devices directly to the new 4K TV to get 4K playback -- and then, find the best way to route audio (back) to your Denon AVR, which apparently doesn't support ARC (for HDMI audio back from the TV)... probably using optical from the TV to keep it simpler w/ just 1 cable/connection... although you could also run that directly from whichever playback device, but using optical, instead of HDMI for audio, means you'll only be able to get lossy surround audio formats, not lossless (though stereo or mono audio can still be lossless).

Second, your new, entry(?) level 4K TV is only 43". Unless you sit extremely close to it, you probably won't effectively see better than 1080p level resolution anyway (due to the limits of our eyes)... though you should probably still benefit from whatever HDR capability it provides, but as an entry(?) level 4K TV, not sure how much that is. So... you'd be trading off on (what may for you be very slightly) degraded audio (plus the setup/config changes) for whatever HDR gains (and probably no meaningful/visible gain in resolution) in this new TV, if you don't upgrade anything else.

Given your setup, unless you have speakers (and a subwoofer) that each pair cost more than that TV or AVR, I'm not sure there's much to gain in spending to upgrade anything (to regain lossless audio). But if you do have very nice speakers (and subwoofer to match), then I'd suggest it may be time to consider upgrading the AVR (and still ditching that switcher). IF upgrading the AVR won't fit your budget, maybe consider upgrading the 4K disc player to one w/ dual HDMI output, so you can at least send its lossless audio direct to the old AVR that way -- I noticed your current player only has 1 HDMI out. But this latter option only addresses the issue for 1 playback device.

_Man_
 

Doug MacGregor

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You misunderstood me.
I am not daisy chaining inputs to my receiver.
Currently the signal goes from my 4K player into my receiver and then out to the HDMI switch and then to the TV. The switch is there because 2 of the 3 HDMI inputs on the 10 year old Samsung HDTV aren't working and I have a DVD player, security system and Sat TV sources.
I should have been more explicit.
For best 4K picture quality should I use an 8K certified cable from the 4K player to the receiver and then another 8K certified cable from the receiver to the new TV?
 

ManW_TheUncool

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For best 4K picture quality should I use an 8K certified cable from the 4K player to the receiver and then another 8K certified cable from the receiver to the new TV?

I didn't mention it earlier, but your Denon AVR also can't support 4K video, so this won't do.

Just connect everything 4K straight to the TV (as I mentioned above). You can still use your switcher for other 2K-or-less video devices (or something that doesn't need support for HDCP protected 4K), if you really want/need, but I'd just ditch it to keep things simpler if the TV has enough HDMI inputs for your needs.

_Man_
 

uncledougie

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HDMI 2.1 cables can be found reasonably priced these days, so it would seem to future proof your set up to just go ahead and get the upgraded cables for all HDMI connections no matter how they’re configured.
 

Doug MacGregor

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First, looks like your switcher can't support HDCP protected 4K video, so you won't get better than regular 1080p using that for typical, commercially produced video. IF you don't do any other upgrades, you'll need to connect all 4K playback devices directly to the new 4K TV to get 4K playback -- and then, find the best way to route audio (back) to your Denon AVR, which apparently doesn't support ARC (for HDMI audio back from the TV)... probably using optical from the TV to keep it simpler w/ just 1 cable/connection... although you could also run that directly from whichever playback device, but using optical, instead of HDMI for audio, means you'll only be able to get lossy surround audio formats, not lossless (though stereo or mono audio can still be lossless).

Second, your new, entry(?) level 4K TV is only 43". Unless you sit extremely close to it, you probably won't effectively see better than 1080p level resolution anyway (due to the limits of our eyes)... though you should probably still benefit from whatever HDR capability it provides, but as an entry(?) level 4K TV, not sure how much that is. So... you'd be trading off on (what may for you be very slightly) degraded audio (plus the setup/config changes) for whatever HDR gains (and probably no meaningful/visible gain in resolution) in this new TV, if you don't upgrade anything else.

Given your setup, unless you have speakers (and a subwoofer) that each pair cost more than that TV or AVR, I'm not sure there's much to gain in spending to upgrade anything (to regain lossless audio). But if you do have very nice speakers (and subwoofer to match), then I'd suggest it may be time to consider upgrading the AVR (and still ditching that switcher). IF upgrading the AVR won't fit your budget, maybe consider upgrading the 4K disc player to one w/ dual HDMI output, so you can at least send its lossless audio direct to the old AVR that way -- I noticed your current player only has 1 HDMI out. But this latter option only addresses the issue for 1 playback device.

_Man_

Thanks for all that.

That TV is all I can afford.

Upgrading the AVR is not in the cards.

The 4K player is only 6 months old so I won't be replacing that.

So if I read you right, I should go straight from the player to the TV with my 8K certified cable, bypassing the switch?

By the way, I need the HDMI switch because 2 of the 3 HDMI inputs on the 10 year old TV don't work anymore.

It makes no sense to upgrade the TV, only to lose DTS-MA. So the AVR-590 is too old to route 4K signals to the TV?

OR

Could I use a powered HDMI Splitter with one signal going to the AVR and the other to the TV?
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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You could try a fully compatible 4K/HDR/HDCP2.2 HDMI splitter(s) just for your 4K playback device(s) or switch to using a HDMI matrixed splitter that outputs 2 parallel HDMI, and I've actually tried the latter before w/ this Cable Matters 4K 60Hz HDMI Matrix Switch 4 in 2 Out, but it seemed a tad flaky (and slow switching) and caused very noticeable color banding issues in 4K/HDR video for my setup (mainly in the lighter near white or blue region, eg. off-white indoor walls, various shades of blue skys) -- and I've tried 2 different units of these.

IF you try such, definitely make sure it's working properly for you asap and return it if not.

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Since you can easily return them if they don't work as well as needed (and there's even extended return period right now), just give them a good, reasonably long try for yourself to make sure.

They're not some very big name brands, and this field ain't exactly full of very solid, reliable products, so they can probably (too easily) claim whatever about supporting 4K/HDR/HDCP2.2 -- and really, you probably want/need at least full 4K/60Hz/DV/HDR10+/Atmos support w/ HDCP 2.2, which generally means at least 18Gbps bitrate as well. I previously chose Cable Matters because they seem one of the bigger/better-known names in this field (and I've had good experience w/ their cables), but both units I tried still fell short.

There's also the issue of how powerful the HDMI output is for something like this, if you need an HDMI cable run that approaches or slightly exceeds max spec for 4K over HDMI. Apparently, not all HDMI output devices are created equal in that regard (and yes, that might've been partly the cause of problems for my setup when I tried the Cable Matters units... and I just ended up upgrading my prepro sooner rather than later).

Also, some of these might provide (better) support for EDID setting and/or caching (or simply better remote support) that helps w/ faster and/or more reliable HDMI synching/switching -- one more thing we might take for granted until we try something like such switchers/splitters.

_Man_
 

Doug MacGregor

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I understand what you are saying.

Manufacturers can promise the moon but whether or not it works in practice is another thing.

I don't think I need HDR10+ at this point, although it would be nice, but getting it at the 43" size is probably not happening at the price point I can afford. I would love something like the LG C2 OLED but it's twice what I can afford.


As far as the splitter is concerned I guess I could go with the StarTech one...


I've bought StarTech before and have been happy with it.

Thanks for your help on this. You helped me navigate the weeds.

Cheers

Doug
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Curious that you keep considering 1-to-4 splitters, not likely significantly cheaper 1-to-2 ones.

You only need to "split" the 4K playback device's output into 2, not more. And you'd want that for each 4K playback device you might have (or eventually acquire).

Since you also need to use a switcher anyway, ideally, you'd probably want a matrixed switcher (w/ built-in splitting) like the one I tried (though that one didn't work well enough for me), especially if you're willing to spend that much...

RE: HDR10+, if it can handle DV, I should think it can also handle HDR10+.

_Man_
 

Doug MacGregor

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You are right of course.

As soon as I posted my last entry I ordered the 2-port one.
I only mentioned the 4-port one for its capabilities (my mistake).



Understood about the HDR10+.

I don't need the matrixed splitter since I only have one source (the 4K player).

Once I actually get the TV I'll update the thread.

Thanks again.
 
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Doug MacGregor

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Just received the unit. It's quite small but quite hefty. The EDID switch has to be set to "Display" to route DTS HD MA.
 

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Man-W is right about that receiver. I have the same issue with my Denon AVRX-3000. So much for buying ahead for future upgrades.
My Sony UBP-x700 4k player has two HDMI outputs. One for Audio and Video and one With just audio. Since I only have Arc, the TV won’t pass along the dolby Lossless audio. So to get the best of both video and audio, I have the Sony AV output going to the TV and the audio only going to the Receiver. Not sure if your LG has 2 hdmi outs.
 

Doug MacGregor

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Man-W is right about that receiver. I have the same issue with my Denon AVRX-3000. So much for buying ahead for future upgrades.
My Sony UBP-x700 4k player has two HDMI outputs. One for Audio and Video and one With just audio. Since I only have Arc, the TV won’t pass along the dolby Lossless audio. So to get the best of both video and audio, I have the Sony AV output going to the TV and the audio only going to the Receiver. Not sure if your LG has 2 hdmi outs.
Unfortunately the UBK80 I have only has one HDMI output and one optical digital audio output. The optical is useless for DTS HD-MA.
The splitter works great, although the blue LEDs are a little bright.
 

Doug MacGregor

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I hooked up my new Samsung QN43Q60B 4K TV yesterday and put it through its paces with The Martian 4K and LOTR 4K.
WOW!
The picture is amazing.
The splitter is working perfectly.
I never knew true HD had such depth.
The best I could do with my old TV was 1080i and 720p.
The TV upscales regular DVDs very well.
Very happy with this purchase.
 

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