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Can you run good 4.1 audio via HDMI 1.3?

crobo

Prominent Member
Can anyone with an 805, 875, 905 etc help me on this? When running high-def audio through HDMI 1.3 is it possible to set the system to have no centre channel and run the centre channel vocals etc to the fronts instead? I am running two front speakers with no centre speaker at all and wanted to confirm this before I buy anything with HDMI 1.3. And what is the audio like - anyone tried this?

I know that it is easy to do this with normal Dolby through coax but wanted to check whether the same applies to Dolby TrueHD etc run through HDMI 1.3. Any advice appreciated.
Thanks
 

angelislington

Established Member
Can anyone with an 805, 875, 905 etc help me on this? When running high-def audio through HDMI 1.3 is it possible to set the system to have no centre channel and run the centre channel vocals etc to the fronts instead? I am running two front speakers with no centre speaker at all and wanted to confirm this before I buy anything with HDMI 1.3. And what is the audio like - anyone tried this?

I know that it is easy to do this with normal Dolby through coax but wanted to check whether the same applies to Dolby TrueHD etc run through HDMI 1.3. Any advice appreciated.
Thanks

Yes, you can do that. If you set the amp up to have no centre channel it will apply those settings regardless of the input type.
 

crobo

Prominent Member
Thanks for that. And it does this properly? I ask because when doing this with analogue 5.1 outputs you can ask the blu-ray / HD DVD player to do this (ie set centre speaker to 'none') but the sound is terrible - the players clearly don't send the centre channel info to the fronts. I just wanted to check that HDMI receivers do a decent job with HDMI audio - I imagine they do but it's nice when someone confirms it!

Thanks again
 

jwlawler

Established Member
Thanks for that. And it does this properly? I ask because when doing this with analogue 5.1 outputs you can ask the blu-ray / HD DVD player to do this (ie set centre speaker to 'none') but the sound is terrible - the players clearly don't send the centre channel info to the fronts. I just wanted to check that HDMI receivers do a decent job with HDMI audio - I imagine they do but it's nice when someone confirms it!

Thanks again

I ran my 605 with no centre for a long time. If the centre was not detected when you last ran Audyssey (the set-up program) then it remembers that there is no centre and redistributes the sound to the left and right. There is no delay. I did not do anything in the players.

It can sound good if your front speakers are good and well positioned. I have nice floor standing Tannoy R3s just either side of the panel and their speakers are about mid way up the screen. Stereo imaging was good and characters did sound like they were coming from where you saw them.

I got a centre recently mainly to shut up all the people who said to me: "The centre is the most important speaker" or "you won't get any dialogue if you don't have a centre". Some things do sound a bit better with the centre but I am not sure that everything does and I think that some things actually sound poorer.

What I have considered, but not yet tried, is temporarily removing the centre without running Audyssey. If I just removed it then I expect that I would get no dialogue but the plan is to pop into speaker configuration and tell the 605 that the centre is not there. I expect that this would work.

Similarly my rear surrounds come and go (they are not permanent, I borrow them from another room occasionally). The next time that I do it, I plan to note the speaker settings that Audyssey uses so that in future, I don't need to run Audyssey (it takes about 10 minutes).
 

crobo

Prominent Member
Thanks for that - sounds reassuring. With standard Dolby my system sounds better with no centre speaker but I think this is because the new speakers are very good at imaging and vocals do sound as though they come from the centre. They are pretty good speakers and it would cost an awful lot to get the matching centre, and even then I'm not convinced that the sound would be better. I'm happy with the sound as it is but I did have to sacrifice 5.1 analogue connections and I can't help wondering how TrueHD will sound with this set.
Cheers
 

jwlawler

Established Member
Thanks for that - sounds reassuring. With standard Dolby my system sounds better with no centre speaker but I think this is because the new speakers are very good at imaging and vocals do sound as though they come from the centre. They are pretty good speakers and it would cost an awful lot to get the matching centre, and even then I'm not convinced that the sound would be better. I'm happy with the sound as it is but I did have to sacrifice 5.1 analogue connections and I can't help wondering how TrueHD will sound with this set.
Cheers

The main downside to no centre seems to be people telling you that you are mad. If you can tolerate that, I would suggest staying as you are.

Matching was a problem for me as well. My Tannoy R3s are not longer available and I don't think that they were ever part of a 5.1 set. I bought a Tannoy centre. It is a reasonable but not perfect match. Sometimes, I feel that the sound is too obviously coming from the centre speaker and it was better without when it was rarely obvious that the sound was actually coming from the left and right speakers. In a way, the left and right could be better since they should be able to project the image into the screen (if well positioned) but the centre is always going to be underneath. Possibly, I need a second centre above the panel so that the apparent location of the sound is really in the centre of the panel. I don't think that my wife would approve that.

I need a new source to get TrueHD so I cannot comment on that yet.
 

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