HDMI Q&A - The One Connector World > HDMI switch with optical out?
cosmos5861's Avatar cosmos5861 09:15 AM 01-05-2014
I got an Martin Logan Vision Soundbar for Xmas. But it does not have HDMI input. I found out that my panasonic will not get Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 from an external source such as a blu ray player via optical out. I guess I need a HDMI switch with optical out ? IS this the best setup? Can someone recommend a good HDMI switch with optical out?

Here are my components:

Panasonic TC-P65ZT60
Direct TV HR24 receive
Mac Mini HDMI
Xbox One
PS 4
Martin Logan Soundbar

Also all my panel is mounted on wall and all my equipment is next to my couch.

alk3997's Avatar alk3997 01:13 PM 01-06-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmos5861 View Post

I got an Martin Logan Vision Soundbar for Xmas. But it does not have HDMI input. I found out that my panasonic will not get Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 from an external source such as a blu ray player via optical out. I guess I need a HDMI switch with optical out ? IS this the best setup? Can someone recommend a good HDMI switch with optical out?

Here are my components:

Panasonic TC-P65ZT60
Direct TV HR24 receive
Mac Mini HDMI
Xbox One
PS 4
Martin Logan Soundbar

Also all my panel is mounted on wall and all my equipment is next to my couch.

Actually your best solution would be to add an A/V receiver. The next best solution would be to get a switcher just for the digital audio output and send that to the soundbar. Your next best solution would be to add a matrix switch that has a multichannel digital audio output and modifies the EDID so that the source will send multichannel audio.

The problem you'll have is that if you hook the TV directly to any source component, that source component will sense that the TV is stereo and only send a stereo output, no matter what else you hook up. This is handled through the EDID packets that are sent from the sink (the destination device) to the source. So, anything you add must modify that EDID to indicate it should send multichannel output. Of course, then your TV won't recognize the multichannel audio but that is probably OK since you'll use the soundbar instead.

This is an example (you really should read through the customer comments before purchasing, though)
http://monoprice.com/Product/?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=2#description

Why did you get a soundbar that wasn't compatible with your system?
cosmos5861's Avatar cosmos5861 02:44 PM 01-06-2014
thank you but would an A/V receiver be a waste since I have a soundbar?
I was thinking this might work?

http://octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%204x1%20ARC%20port_pro.html
alk3997's Avatar alk3997 02:56 PM 01-06-2014
Yes, that would work. You'll have to decide if $249 make sense to use a soundbar.

Do you have a universal remote so you can easily switch inputs or are you planning to use multiple remotes?
Joeb0120 12:56 AM 01-10-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post
Yes, that would work. You'll have to decide if $249 make sense to use a soundbar.

Do you have a universal remote so you can easily switch inputs or are you planning to use multiple remotes?
Alk3997,

I would love it if you could help me out as I am in a similar situation and I'm not sure if I fully understand one of your previous posts here.

I actually purchased the mono price HDMI switch with the optical output that you suggested here. I cannot for the life of me figure out why I am not able to get anything to output any sound to my AV receiver. My set up looks something like this I have a PS3 and a PlayStation 4 hooked into the HDMI switch with the HDMI output going to my TV. I bought the switch because my AV receiver works perfectly fine and I love it but it only has an optical input and no HDMI inputs. So I have the optical input going from the HDMI switch to my AV receiver. The only audio I am able to get out of my AV receiver when hooked into my HDMI switch is Dolby Digital 5.1. It will not play anything else to save my life. I know my PlayStation isn't the issue and I know my AV receiver is not the issue because when these were hooked directly into my AV receiver they worked just fine and played every type of audio except 7.1 obviously because it's only a 5.1 system.

It seems like in the post above you started to explain this issue to the other person on this thread but stopped short because he has a sound bar. Can you please explain to me why this issue is happening and what I can do to fix it. Do I need new cables? Do I just have a setting wrong? I've tried this both on bitstream and linear PCM and bitstream I get no sound and when in PCM I only get three channels with no dialogue. I would really appreciate your help thanks so much.
- Joeb0120
Joe Fernand's Avatar Joe Fernand 07:13 AM 01-10-2015
' The only audio I am able to get out of my AV receiver when hooked into my HDMI switch is Dolby Digital 5.1' - you would put a DD5.1 signal into the AVR (which then plays it Out via the attached Loudspeakers and Sub).


The Optical Input o the AVR will at best support 2.0 and 5.1 (DD/DTS).


Which AVR do you have?


Joe
Joeb0120 11:19 AM 01-10-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post
' The only audio I am able to get out of my AV receiver when hooked into my HDMI switch is Dolby Digital 5.1' - you would put a DD5.1 signal into the AVR (which then plays it Out via the attached Loudspeakers and Sub).


The Optical Input o the AVR will at best support 2.0 and 5.1 (DD/DTS).


Which AVR do you have?


Joe

It's a Sony STR K790. So it is somewhat older and I understand what you're saying. It's only gonna play DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1 and nothing over that. My problem is it's literally only playing old DVDs with nothing but a DD 5.1 track. It won't play any DTS tracks of any kind Dolby true HD and it won't downscale any DTS 7.1 tracks to play on my 5.1 system. Between the PlayStation and my AV receiver all of this was taken care of before the HDMI switch was brought into the mix. None of this was ever a problem. Although I know it might be a setting, this is why am saying it's not my receiver it's not my PlayStation's it's something going on with the HDMI switch I just can't figure out what.
sigma8 04:38 PM 01-12-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeb0120 View Post
It's a Sony STR K790. So it is somewhat older and I understand what you're saying. It's only gonna play DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1 and nothing over that. My problem is it's literally only playing old DVDs with nothing but a DD 5.1 track. It won't play any DTS tracks of any kind Dolby true HD and it won't downscale any DTS 7.1 tracks to play on my 5.1 system. Between the PlayStation and my AV receiver all of this was taken care of before the HDMI switch was brought into the mix. None of this was ever a problem. Although I know it might be a setting, this is why am saying it's not my receiver it's not my PlayStation's it's something going on with the HDMI switch I just can't figure out what.
Probably you've done this, but have you gone into the audio settings on your Playstations and told it you're using the HDMI for audio and selected all the valid audio modes? Also, make sure "multi-channel output" is OFF (on the PS3; not sure if PS4 has that).
Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 05:52 PM 01-12-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post
Yes, that would work. You'll have to decide if $249 make sense to use a soundbar.

Do you have a universal remote so you can easily switch inputs or are you planning to use multiple remotes?
Welcome back! Long time no video
Joeb0120 06:39 PM 01-12-2015
Sigma thanks for the suggestion. I did previously do all of that and I wasn't sure about the multi channel but I had it off just in case anyways. Do you guys think it could be the cables I'm using or the fact that the TV the switches output is hooked up to only outputs PCM stereo and its somehow reading that?
I'm open to any suggestions at this point. I don't want to have to return this because I honestly don't know another device that I could use to get everything to work.
Joe Fernand's Avatar Joe Fernand 01:47 PM 01-13-2015
Otto - watch those date stamps


Joe
Joe Fernand's Avatar Joe Fernand 01:52 PM 01-13-2015
JoeB0120 - I don't know what the switch you are using is doing re EDID, it could be the Sources are seeing 'HD video + 2.0 audio only' and that's is all you will ever get out of the Optical port on the Switch - is there a setting on the Switch for '5.1'?


We include EDID management plus Optical Inputs on our HD41-ARC because as you have found out it is not always straightforward with HDMI audio.


http://octavainc.com/HDMI%20swit...0port_pro.html


Joe
sigma8 02:48 PM 01-14-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeb0120 View Post
Sigma thanks for the suggestion. I did previously do all of that and I wasn't sure about the multi channel but I had it off just in case anyways. Do you guys think it could be the cables I'm using or the fact that the TV the switches output is hooked up to only outputs PCM stereo and its somehow reading that?
I'm open to any suggestions at this point. I don't want to have to return this because I honestly don't know another device that I could use to get everything to work.
The multi-channel is easy to understand, but a little complex to explain: In the audio-setup you are required to pick a single output for your audio (HDMI, Optical, or analog), which you then configure. When multi-channel output is off, only your configured channel will output audio, and the others will be "silent".

When you turn multi-channel output "on", your configure audio output will play audio as you've configured it, but all other outputs will also play 2-channel audio. I suggested turning it off, because it can add ambiguity as to which channel you've configured to work. You might absentmindedly configure optical audio for 5.1, and then plug in your HDMI and hear audio and think you've got everything working, but that HDMI is only playing 2-channel audio.

On the flip side, you can try configuring the PS3 to output audio via optical. And then don't use optical, but only plug in your HDMI. Then turn multichannel output to "on". It should, by rule of PS3 law, output stereo audio through your HDMI. It won't be ideal, but it might give you a situation where it will at least play 2-channel audio in all situations.

I think that the fact the TV only handles PCM output might very well be traveling up the HDMI cable back to the switch and maybe the PS3, but the fact that the PS3 requires explicit audio configuration should render that fact moot. Have you tried using the coax or stereo (mini plug) outputs on the switch to see if they yield any different results? I'd be particularly interested in learning if the stereo plug works, because the switch is probably converting that into analog stereo audio by itself, so that should at least play audio no matter what the signal is (so long as its one of the common ones that the switch supports).

I'd definitely swap out cables if you can. Just to reiterate, and also to isolate to the PS3 (which I have experience with): you have the PS3 hooked up to the switch via HDMI, and then you have the switch hooked up to the TV with HDMI and also to your receiver with optical...right? You don't have any additional cables going into your TV from the switch beyond that single HDMI, do you? Likewise, you don't have any cables going from your TV straight to your receiver?

Is it possible that you have some analog cables going from the TV to the receiver, and that your receiver is prioritizing those signals over the digital ones coming from the switch? Try disconnecting any cables going to or from your TV other than the single HDMI cable from the switch (and the power cable!)
Joeb0120 09:35 PM 01-14-2015
First off I just want to thank all of you guys for all your suggestions and your help. It's my first time on a forum like this and it was great having the support of everyone and their opinions to help me resolve this.

The good news is...I just FINALLY figured it out! At least for the PS3...


I had to go in to the PS3 audio setting and literally turn off everything except what would be on as if it was hooked up straight into the receiver through an optical cord. I literally turned everything off on all the different selections except for DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 and it works like it used to! At least on PS3. I realized after reading another forum post that A toslink optical cord can't output anything but those two options otherwise it defaults to linear PCM two channel stereo. Since the Hdmi switch can do everything I had to interpret it for my receiver but I didn't realize that was literally all that optical could do and I had Dts master audio and Dolby true HD checked under settings which is why I got no sound in bitstream and only 2 ch in PCM.

I still have to figure out the PS4. I'll keep you posted on that and I might have a question or two on that since the PS4 does not give me as much advanced options as the PS3.

So with that said I felt kinda like an idiot when I figured out it was that simple. Any specific suggestions that you know of on the PS4 side of things now that we know what the issue is? Thanks again everyone!!!
ssj81 01:50 PM 02-17-2015
Joeb0120, I'm joining in on your crusade. I pretty much have the same annoying problem that you do.

My equipment:
TV = LG 60" 60LB7100
Sound System = Philips HTS3565D
HDMI Switch = 4X1 HDMI® Switcher w/ Toslink & Digital Coaxial Port (Rev.2) w/ 3D support from Monoprice (product #5557 )
PS4...
PS3...
Xbox 360...
Wii...

To reiterate the problem:
1. The sound system has 1000W of good sound, but no HDMI inputs. Only digital coax in.
2. This is why I got the HDMI switch.
3. Two major issues persist:
a) Sometimes when I change the channel while watching TV, the screen will go completely black (no picture) but you can still hear audio. I have to hit the 5.1 button to refresh the audio channel and that brings the picture back.
b) When using my Playstation 4 some games and all Blue-ray movies only work with 2-channel audio.


All audio and video is carried to the switch, which then outputs video to the TV and audio to the sound system.

Any ideas?
Joeb0120 10:29 AM 02-18-2015
SSJ81,

Sorry to hear that you're having these issues. I hate to say it but it sounds like it might have to do with your HDMI cable HDMI switch or your TV. I'm not experiencing any of those problems with the PlayStation 4 or my TV when it comes to games. The thing with the PlayStation is that you have to go into the settings and make sure that it's outputting 5.1. It is a box that you have to check under the sound settings and under HDMI audio output. No matter what I do I still cannot get Blu-ray movies to work on the PS 4 because the PlayStation does not give the option to individually select the audio outputs that my surroundsound system can read which is simply DolbyDigital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. But my PlayStation four has no problem with games since those are the only two channels of audio that even current video games use. i'm not a big fan of most support outlets from websites but I have to say that the Mono price tech-support through email and online chat was actually very helpful and they were actually somewhat knowledgeable to helpme figure out my issue. And if it is an issue with your HDMI switch they help you to switch it out as well. Good luck and let us know what you find out.

PS with all those systems hooked up to one HDMI switch I hope y!u get it working you sound like a true gamer more power to you.
Joe Fernand's Avatar Joe Fernand 04:02 PM 02-19-2015
ssj81


'I have to hit the 5.1 button' - is the button on the TV or Soundbar remote? Is the problem linked to you switching between a 2.0 and a 5.1 broadcast?


'When using my Playstation 4' - what do you have set in the PS4 HDMI audio Output settings?


Joeb0120


'No matter what I do I still cannot get Blu-ray movies to work on the PS 4 because the PlayStation does not give the option to individually select the audio outputs that my surroundsound system can read which is simply DolbyDigital 5.1 and DTS 5.1' - give our HD41-ARC a go, we don't see this problem!


Joe
















Trogdor1083 07:48 AM 04-17-2015
Hey everyone,

I've got the same setup as most other are describing in this thread - PS3/PS4 (plus Tivo and Cable box) hooked up to a 4x1 HDMI switch with optical out to a sound bar and HDMI output to an older Sony Bravia KDL-40v5100.

I am lucky enough to be getting DD output to the sound bar from all inputs and the sound is working great, but I am getting occasional flickering on screen. Is this due to the quality of the HDMI cable I am using? I've been using a few cables I've had for a long time (about 6 years) that are 28 AWG as well as the HDMI cable that came with my PS4. I just tested some Amazon Basics HDMI 1.4 cables thinking that I needed fresh cables that are HDMI 1.4 but these seemed to perform the worst (not surprised but thought I'd give it a shot).

I have an Etekcity HDMI switch that I got off of Amazon that is identical to the Monoprice one listed above in alk3997's post. I can't insert a link to it because I haven't reach the post minimum yet but if you got to Amazon and search "Etekcity 4 Port HDMI Switcher Selector with Audio, IR wireless remote, AC power Adapter, Supports 3D 1080P, Toslink, Coaxial, 3.5mm AUX Stereo" it will come up at the top.

Has anyone else run into this issue and is there a solution? I'm wondering if it's the quality of the HDMI switch, too.

Thanks in advance.

Steve
Joe Fernand's Avatar Joe Fernand 04:35 AM 04-20-2015
'thinking that I needed fresh cables that are HDMI 1.4 ' - HDMI.org don't use Version numbers to identify cables (or hardware), instead cables are either Standard or High Speed. Cables listed as '1.anything' are simply mislabelled/badly marketed.
http://hdmi.org/consumer/buying_guide.aspx


'older Sony Bravia KDL-40v5100.' - the HDMI Receiver chip in 'older' TV's can often be a little erratic with new(er) Sources, you will see that most current TV's are now either online or can be connected to the internet to allow for simple Firmware updates to keep them compatible with ever more complex source devices.


' I'm wondering if it's the quality of the HDMI switch, too' - it definitely can be a factor, again note our 4x1 Switch is USB enabled as there are times when certain combinations of Source/Display gear requires us to customise the Switch software to help out with a glitch or two, http://octavainc.com/HDMI%20swit...0port_pro.html


Joe
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