My 18 month old blu-ray player suddenly stopped going the other night and the device I was given to replace it whilst the shop sent mine away to be looked at only had an HDMI outlet which meant I couldn't make use of it because my HT setup has HDMI going to the projector and component to the amplifier. I was told that most blu-ray players made now have only an HDMI output, presumably most people, unlike me, use a fancy HT amplifier. When I started looking at new blu-ray players I found that some had an optical (digital) audio output but even that wont go into my great but now oldish (1980's) Cyrus amp. So my question is: has anyone else had this problem and is the solution (assuming I have to get a new blu-ray player) to use an HDMI splitter and then an optical to digital converter for the audio, and how good is this setup? I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions.
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It would be better to get a newer receiver that has 4 hdmi in and 1 hdmi out,they are about $150.I think,therefore i am a hamster.
Thanks for the suggestion Johns0. I know that I can race out and buy a home theatre receiver and solve the problem that way but I don't want surround sound - good stereo is good enough for me. What I am asking is, is there anyone else who has successfully combined a digital audio output with an analogue amplifier (receiver)?
There is only few product on market like this for example http://nadelectronics.com/products/hifi-amplifiers/C-390DD-Direct-Digital-Powered-DAC-Amplifier or http://lyngdorf.com/products/amplifiers/tdai-2170/product
And you'd need a converter like this:
I can confirm the first converter works, but can't vouch for the second one. Note that in addition to optical out, both have a stereo mini jack out. Just get a mini jack to RCA splitter and you'd be in business. I have this setup for the purpose of capturing with my HD-PVR (component and optical inputs only) from my Roku. And BTW, my receiver does not have HDMI, though it does have optical input, which is what I use.
Still, I think it would probably be best if you just get a new receiver with HDMI. The cost would be about the same or a little more, and you'd get surround audio as well instead of just stereo.
[EDIT] I just looked up optical to analog converter and found this:
There are cheaper ones too. I suppose that would work going from the Blu-Ray player to your Cyrus amp, assuming the player has optical out.
Last edited by fritzi93; 4th Mar 2014 at 09:30.Pull! Bang! Darn!
Thank you pandy and fritzi 93 for your replies. As much as I would like a NAD or a Lyngdorf I just can't afford it right now. It is pleasing to know that at least the splitter/converter option does work but as you say fritzi93 it would probably be as cheap to look for another receiver. The other option I have is to keep using the Cambridge Audio dvd player for dvd's and to get another possibly used blu-ray player with a component outlet. BD's don't appear to have taken over the world yet so I still have some time before I will have to change. So, thanks again and thanks for not giving me a hard time for my mistake in thinking that what I wanted was optical to digital.
Cheapest option is something like this:
The above would get audio from Blu-Ray player to amp. And assuming you have to buy a new player, the lowest tier players can be had now for pretty cheap (check that the one you buy has optical out). Would that be good enough for the time being?Pull! Bang! Darn!
Yes, if you can have working device that provide S/PDIF then any DAC will be OK for LPCM audio - issue is with compressed audio sent over HDMI and i'm affraid that there is no simpler solution than just cheapest AV receiver with HDMI input - most of them can provide digital audio output and can be configured to be transparent - to be in direct trough mode but also to perform downmixing.
Thanks fritzi93, that sounds like a really good solution for me. I'm interested in how my Luddite tendencies have prevented me from ever exploring optical cables and what they can do. That seems to be the current solution for people like me who want to use old gear. Makes sense now that it is pointed out to me.
Pandy, I knew that when I came on this forum I would probably have to upgrade my technical language so I hope you wont mind if I ask you how I can configure a receiver to "be transparent - to be in direct trough mode but also to perform downmixing"?
I have another question I would like to ask: My Cambridge Audio dvd player is an all-region player (all region players are not allowed to be sold in NZ - CA must have slipped under the radar when I bought it 9 years ago) and the Panasonic Blu-ray players here in NZ can be converted to all-region for free due to an arrangement with the shop. They are the only brand that does that I think. But as I have found to my cost this doesn't include making them all-sector players. Is there any way to do this? The guys in the hi-fi shop say there isn't but I thought I would ask anyway.
By Downmixng i mean convert more than 2 channels (like 5.1 etc) to 2.0 (Stereo) - as usually more than 2.0 audio is a compressed audio then you need decoder (and usually decoder perform also downmixing).
S/PDIF as interface have few limitation, most of S/PDIF interfaces (optical/coax) will not support anything over PCM with 48kHz sample rate, 2 channels and up to 24 bits i.e. approx up to 2.2Mbps where HDMI audio can be even 16Mbps or more this is why even with such converter not all audio on HDMI will give you audible sound.
Many nowadays available home cinema amplifiers have special mode (named variously as usually this trademark) that switch OFF all not necessary audio processing - this mode is audiophile mode as usually only volume regulation is supported so overall signal path is very simple and straightforward - exactly like in audiophile equipment.
Thanks for all that Pandy. My Cyrus One amplifier, I guess, qualifies as an audiophile amp because it doesn't have tone controls - just volume regulation. I have always assumed, possibly wrongly, that amps such as this and the system that I use for cds and vinyl, only have volume regulation because their design brief is to reproduce the sound given to it with as little distortion as possible which puts the onus of sound fidelity on the producers of the incoming audio. It is interesting that home theater amps are now going down this path. Frankly I have never been too impressed with surround sound in any of the variations, - I much prefer creating a 'sound stage' in front of me using a good (audiophile) amp and decent speakers which is why I have wanted to keep using the Cyrus.
and many similar most important and be extremely cautious - it must support HDCP - ask explicitly salesman about HDCP support.