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  1. ACW342
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Northern Ireland
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    Hi, i'm a newbie here and was a little nervous about asking a question that may seem to some to have a ridiculously simple answer. However, as I used to tell my students, "the only stupid question is the one that you didn't ask" so here goes. I have a LG 32LC46 TV receiving DTTV via a roof mounted antenna. Connected to the TV is an Apple TV on HDMI 1 and a Humax 2000T PVR on HDMI 2. Audio output is via optical audio only. The audio on the TV is rubbish so i have decided to go down the soundbar route.

    One problem of course is getting fiscal agreement from the household comptroller (aka wife). to this end I decided on a proof of concept approach so I bought a reasonably cheap optical digital to analog RCA converter. It works great and by plugging my trusty old Logitech S-20 2.1 system (normally connected to my Mac) into the converter I have convinced said comptroller that a soundbar is a great idea.

    Here's the rub though. I could only get audio out of the TV when DTTV was selected. No audio on HDMI 1 though I could get audio if i swapped the toslink from the TV to the Apple TV. Similarly nothing from the TV on HDMI 2. Strangely unlike the Apple TV, when I plugged the toslink directly into the Humax there was no audio at all. I did ensure that there was audio available from all three devices via the TV speakers when doing the testing.

    So here's the questions:

    1. Am I going about connecting things wrongly?
    2. Why can't the HDMI devices pass their audio through to the optical audio output (not much use using DTTV only as I lose out on HD from the Apple and the Humax)
    3. Is my TV possibly too old (about six years old)
    4. Will a modern sound bar have any technical method of sorting point 2 out?
    5. lots of other questions too numerous to list and which have me baffled trying to sort out something that should be quite straight forward.

    Thanks for reading and I look forward to your replies. I have a feeling that I am about to have an education on TV and audio technology.

    Regards
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  2. Many TVs will not pass the audio from HDCP protected HDMI sources to their digital audio output port. If they do, it's often reduced to stereo.
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  3. ACW342
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Northern Ireland
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    Jagabo. Many thanks for such a speedy reply. Having read up on HDCP (I had never heard of it before, my audio education continues) I have to ask then, how do people with a similar device set up as mine get all the output from their devices into a single audio system such as a sound bar without having multiple non HDMI connections? Do they have to sacrifice HDMI quality by having Scart or RCA type A/V connectors?
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  4. My solution to the problem was to open up the TV, disconnect the internal speakers, and run wires out to some external speakers. It's still only stereo but the sound quality is much better.

    I think most people run all their devices into an A/V receiver, then the output of the receiver to the TV. The drawback with that is you have to run the receiver all the time. And, of course, it costs a lot more.
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  5. ACW342
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Northern Ireland
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    Jagabo - Sounds utterly abysmal when people want to hear quality sound from their devices but are prevented from doing so by the manufacturers. In the UK copying copyrighted material is against the law and, IMHO, it is the law that should be used to prevent illegal copying, not the device manufacturers. i feel some snotagrams coming on and an email to my MP. I wonder what the sale persons will say to me tomorrow when I go to buy a sound bar/2.1 speaker system and ask the same questions I asked on this forum today. If you are UK based you will know who the fictional character Victor Meldrew is. Compared to me he is a rank amateur.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by ACW342 View Post
    Jagabo. Many thanks for such a speedy reply. Having read up on HDCP (I had never heard of it before, my audio education continues) I have to ask then, how do people with a similar device set up as mine get all the output from their devices into a single audio system such as a sound bar without having multiple non HDMI connections? Do they have to sacrifice HDMI quality by having Scart or RCA type A/V connectors?
    Most people use an A/V receiver to connect their speakers with their consumer electronics (TV, DVD player, media player, PVR) that provide multi-channel output over HDMI or SPDIF. The A/V receiver acts as a switch for both HDMI audio and video. Unfortunately your household comptroller may not approve.



    I see someone else beat me again, so never mind.
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  7. ACW342
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Northern Ireland
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    Usually_quiet, from what Jagabo says I think the household comptroller would go through the roof. Thanks for the info though.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Happy New Year to you.

    You should be looking for a Soundbar that has HDMI inputs to connect your PVR, BD player etc. to it, and an HDMI output to send the picture from your PVR, BD player etc. from the soundbar to your TV.

    Then the only other audio you'll need, would be your DTV audio from your TV to the soundbar, which your optical link gives you.
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  9. Your comptroller will also love the additional complexity of switching all the devices to the right inputs when she wants to watch something. And figuring out which volume control to use.
    Last edited by jagabo; 1st Jan 2014 at 11:16.
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  10. ACW342
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Northern Ireland
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    Aarrgghhh Don't Don't It's almost impossible at the moment as i am trying to teach the comptroller how to control two devices from one remote!! (I have to get some filler tomorrow to fill the dent in the wall- they're very strong some of these remotes you know)
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  11. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
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    If (as KBee suggested) you can find a soundbar with S/PDIF in, 2 HDMI in, and one HDMI out (to supply video to the TV), that meets your budgetary restrictions that could be a good compromise, although some only decode Dolby Digital, not DTS.

    Nothing I know of can make operating multiple devices via remote control truly painless, although for some people a good universal remote does help.
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  12. ACW342
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Northern Ireland
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    Usually/KBee, thanks for that. I will search the net and have a look around the usual electronic shops and see whats out there - Xfactor has a lot to answer for!!
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  13. Just to be sure, go through your TV's menus and make sure there's no setting that's disabling the optical output. Maybe disabling the built in speakers will enable the digital output. My TV always outputs digital audio from HDMI sources but it's reduced to stereo.
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  14. ACW342
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Northern Ireland
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    jagabo, will do tomorrow. Comptroller watching recording of D Abbey
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  15. There's one other possiblity: try a HDCP stripper. Maybe with a non-HDCP protected source the TV will output to the optical port.
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  16. ACW342
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Northern Ireland
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    Jagabo, Please define, i hope this isn't somebody the comptroller would disapprove of?
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  17. Originally Posted by ACW342 View Post
    Jagabo, Please define, i hope this isn't somebody the comptroller would disapprove of?
    These devices are advertized as HDMI splitters but some of them also strip HDCP:
    http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/334145-HDCP-strippers

    You can get a 1x2 splitter for about $25:
    http://www.amazon.com/CVID-BG-520-splitter-switcher-XBOX360/dp/B0089DSLMY/

    It would just sit between your HDMI source and TV. It's passive in the sense that there's nothing for you to control. I don't know if it will help with your audio issue though.
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  18. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2014
    Location: Hereford
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    I have been in the same position as the OP but with a Panasonic GT50 - the solution I found in a Denon DHT-T100 soundbase speaker which connects to the optical output of the GT50, and all HDMI sources connect to the GT50 also. Whatever source is being selected on the TV is automatically played by the Denon speaker. Could not be happier with the sound and ease of connection. Hope this helps.
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