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Optical or HDMI Sound?

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Old 12-23-2006, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default Optical or HDMI Sound?

Ok, is there a differance in quality between the two? I currently have the Onkyo 790 system hooked up ot my PS3, I am using the optical audio output(fiber optic)....if I were to get a new receiver, one with an HDMI in and out, would this be an improvement in sound quality.....are there any differences at all???

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Old 12-24-2006, 02:11 PM   #2
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Should be none. The biggest advantage of HDMI is providing digital video AND digital audio on the same cable, mostly if you plan to use the speakers in your display for audio.
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Old 12-24-2006, 04:55 PM   #3
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As daleb said, you won't see any improvement in quality, but you'll end up using only one cable instead of two.
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Old 12-25-2006, 10:21 AM   #4
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It is my understanding that currently the HDMI standard passes only stereo sound. So an optical connection rather than using the HDMI for sound should provide better sound. I would try both and see which works best for you.
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Old 12-25-2006, 11:36 AM   #5
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clearday this is my understanding also, you are suppose to use both hdmi and optical, for the reason stated above if you have a reciever that supports hdmi inputs. This reasoning was the main reason why i didnt purchase a reciever with hdmi inputs. My Tv set has 2 hdmi's and my reciever has 2 opticals. The Hdmi does not give you the true 5.1 like an optical or dig coax.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clearday
It is my understanding that currently the HDMI standard passes only stereo sound. So an optical connection rather than using the HDMI for sound should provide better sound. I would try both and see which works best for you.
That is incorrect. Here's a quote from HDMI.org:

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMI.org
From the start, HDMI was defined to carry 8-channels of 192kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio, which exceeds all current consumer media formats. In addition, HDMI can carry any currently available flavor of compressed audio format such as Dolby (including Dolby Digital EX 7.1, Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, Dolby TrueHD) or DTS (including DTS-ES 6.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio).
If you connect your STB or DVD player to your receiver via HDMI, you will get 5.1/6.1/7.1 audio. If you connect it to your TV, then output to your receiver via optical audio cable, you will only get stereo (for most sets, YMMV).
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Old 12-26-2006, 09:49 AM   #7
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Kegobeer, What you reference is theoritically correct, HDMI is supposed to do all the types of sound passthrough, but in practice, there is no device currectly able to achieve the stated goal. For many reasons, HDMI 1.1, which is all we have at this time, gets restricted to 2.0 sound due to a bunch of different factors.

The proof is in the use. Try to check your receiver when using HDMI and it should show what type of sound it is getting. Please post back as if I am wrong, I would like to know for future reference.

Last edited by clearday; 12-26-2006 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:00 AM   #8
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i thought the 1.3 will be doing all the other stuff like dolby true hd and dts-hd. if you are getting 5.1 or 6.1 through current hdmi recievers (hooked up via hdmi only) its a simulated 5.1 or 6.1. Not a true discrete configuration like via an optical or digital coax. This is one of the biggest reasons why the upgraded 1.3 is coming into affect, the 1.3 can do a true discrete config for the new codecs (tru hd, dts-hd) that are coming out on newer recievers, players, and most importantly discs. My main reasoning in not purchasing an hdmi reciever at this time.
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:41 AM   #9
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hdmi will give u more bandwidth needed for DD+ and Dolby TruHD
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Old 12-26-2006, 03:43 PM   #10
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Actually, there are a few components that use HDMI audio correctly. For example, the Oppo DV-7970HD sends multi-channel or SPDIF audio via HDMI. The Onkyo TX-SR604 can decode DD and DTS HDMI audio.

The 1.1 specification can handle all current audio flavors (5.1, 6.1 and 7.1). 1.3 will add support for the lossless digital surround audio formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

The limitation isn't with the specification, it's with the hardware you purchase.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:25 AM   #11
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Kegobeer is correct. I am currently piped from my H20 to a Denon 4306 receiver via HDMI and get all digital formats 5.1 6.1 7.1 with the exception of THD and DTS-HD. which will be suported via 1.3. I have been using an optical for the longest time and cannot tell the difference in quality using B&W loudspeakers.
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:51 PM   #12
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You guys just solved a problem that has been bugging me. I wasted $35 on an HDMI cable thinking I could hook my new dvd player to a 42" Samsung DLP and output 5.1 DD to my receiver. Been scratching my head trying to figure out why it wasn't working. I thought maybe it was the cable or dvd player because the Samsung would output 5.1 DD from an HD OTA signal just fine(OTA HD is the best picture I have ever seen). Guess I just bought into the HDMI hype.
One more thing, I bought the Sony DVP-NS75H upconvert dvd player to replace a Sony DVP-S5300 which is at least 5 years old. I almost think the older sony has a better picture with component cables and is not even progressive scan.

Last edited by PCcharger; 01-07-2007 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:03 AM   #13
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http://www./avs-vb/showthread.php?t=738511


Very informative explanation.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer
That is incorrect. Here's a quote from HDMI.org:



If you connect your STB or DVD player to your receiver via HDMI, you will get 5.1/6.1/7.1 audio. If you connect it to your TV, then output to your receiver via optical audio cable, you will only get stereo (for most sets, YMMV).
EXACTLY! That is why many TVs have an optical AUDIO OUT port so you can send the 5.1 (or other multichannel output) to a digital sound system. Sending multichannel to a TV that has only two speakers can oly provide "simulated" surround sound -- there is no fault with the HDMI system; it sends ALL the audio, it is just that most TVs can not really do anything with it-- except pass it back to an actual sound system . . .
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick-F
EXACTLY! That is why many TVs have an optical AUDIO OUT port so you can send the 5.1 (or other multichannel output) to a digital sound system. Sending multichannel to a TV that has only two speakers can oly provide "simulated" surround sound -- there is no fault with the HDMI system; it sends ALL the audio, it is just that most TVs can not really do anything with it-- except pass it back to an actual sound system . . .
Not in my case. Right now I'm watching the BCS championship game via OTA on my Samsung HLS4266W. My receiver is showing a 5.1 signal coming from the optical output on the TV. The problem is when I hook my dvd player to the TV using HDMI, the TV only puts out 2 channel stereo from the optical output.
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