Confrimation about HDMI sound capabilitys

Cow Puncher

Novice Member
Hi all,

I'm looking to purchase a Sony AV receiver along with an LG DVD recorder with HDMI. I just need someone to confirm whether the AV reciever will be able to sort out surround sound from the HDMI cable going from the LG to the Sony or will i need an optical cable for this.

Think i'm right in thinking that it should but i'm not quite sure and if i bought the wrong kit i'd be slightly annoyed.

Thanks in advance.

Smaz.
 

rEVILospud

Novice Member
You need to specify the model of the receiver you are looking at.

In general, most HDMI capabilities are limited to a simple switch, meaning it will only pass-through the video and audio and not actually decode the audio. In this case you would need a separate audio connection (optical, co-axial etc.).
 

Cow Puncher

Novice Member
Thanks for the reply.

The Amp is the Sony STRK880 from Richers and the recorder is an LG DR198the from the same place.

Smaz.
 

rEVILospud

Novice Member
I'm not particularly familiar with these products, but I think it would be pretty safe to say that they will not do what you would like.

It is very likely the the HDMI connectivity on the Amp is literally just a switch, so the Amp will do nothing with the signal at all and the sound will not come out of your speakers without a separate audio connection.
I also think that the DVD recorder is not likely to output 5.1 DD etc. over HDMI; more likely to be stereo - but thats me just guessing.

If you don't have any other HDMI sources, then putting the video through the Amp is really quite pointless. You might as well connect the DVD recorder straight to your display via HDMI, with an Optical or Co-axial connection going into the Amp for audio. So don't just get that Amp because it has HDMI, especially as you won't be needing it.
 

Cow Puncher

Novice Member
Again thanks for your reply but I will be using this for Sky HD also so that is the other HDMI source. Plus i will be feeding sound from my 360, dvd recorder and Sky HD so i think i'll be needing something with at least 3 optical inputs.

I think that you are correct and that it will not do what i need so another AV receiver is being looked into.

Thanks for your time,


Smaz.
 

rEVILospud

Novice Member
I think you will be looking at more like £500 for a receiver with these capabilities.

There's no reason why you can't use this Amp with SkyHD connected via HDMI and optical and the DVD recorder connected via HDMI and optical/co-axial.
The only thing you'll be gaining from the audio decoding from HDMI is possible future-proofing. SkyHD and a standard DVD recorder will only ever give you Dolby Digital (and DTS from some DVDs) which an optical/co-axial connection will easily handle well.
On the receiver, you should be able to assign the digital audio inputs to the HDMI inputs anyway.
 
i think im in the same confusion as you.here it goes anway

i have th50px60 plasma (HD READY)
DMR EX85 DVD RECORDER (WITH HDMI CONNECTION)
NTL PACE BOX

and now i need a AV RECIEVER AND SOME SPEAKERS.i dont know whether to get a basic denon 1907 package with no HDMI, or splash out £400 on the ONKYO TX-SR604E which has 2 HDMI outputs and 1 input.

what i need to know is should i bother with HDMI.Will i even be able to connect to all up.

The thing im worried about is the fact that i dont want to compromise my picture quality from my plasma,by everything be connected to the amp.Is it possible to get everything connected and have the best possible sound and best possible picture or does one have to suffer.
I fi can have this, what is the best way to connect everything and what top of the range cables should i use.

thanks
 

rEVILospud

Novice Member
Most budget HDMI enabled receivers do not process any information from the HDMI inputs and simply act as a switch. In fact some don't even carry stereo through the HDMI let alone Dolby Digital etc.

Bearing this in mind, just consider them to be an Amp/receiver with a built in HDMI switch. If you need an HDMI switch (i.e. you have more than one HDMI source) then it might be worth considering one; if not, you're just paying more money for something you don't need.

The exception to this are receivers such as the Sony STR-DA3200ES (and others), which support LPCM over HDMI, which will be useful in the future with HD-DVD and BluRay players which can output up to 7.1 in LPCM format over HDMI. It also allows conversion from Composite, S-Video and Component sources to the HDMI output, which means one digital cable to your display.
 
does the sony STA DA 1200ES not offer that future proofing.i mean does it have that lpcm.whats the hdmi switching like in the 12000ES.is the 3200ES alot better than the 1200ES,or is it just a matter of higher sound power.

thanks
 

rEVILospud

Novice Member
does the sony STA DA 1200ES not offer that future proofing.i mean does it have that lpcm.whats the hdmi switching like in the 12000ES.is the 3200ES alot better than the 1200ES,or is it just a matter of higher sound power.

thanks
The 1200 has only an HDMI switch which doesn't even support audio.
The 3200 supports LPCM so is more future-proof in that regard, as long as the HD-DVD / Blu Ray Player supports LPCM over HDMI too. As Mandysandhu says, make sure it has an 8-channel analogue input for now (which I believe both of these have) to get the best out of the new sound formats. It also supports upconverting from all inputs to HDMI, which is another handy feature.
I believe the prices at the moment are around £500 for the 3200.
 

Dann'sTheMan

Novice Member
does the sony STA DA 1200ES not offer that future proofing.i mean does it have that lpcm.whats the hdmi switching like in the 12000ES.is the 3200ES alot better than the 1200ES,or is it just a matter of higher sound power.

thanks
I chose the 3200ES over the 1200ES because it was more "future proof". MannySandhu is right to be cautious, but I believe the 3200ES is a reasonable gamble.

The key difference is that the 3200ES supports LPCM over HDMI. The reason why this is significant is that Dolby Labs assert that this will be the most likely way that next gen HD video players (BD and HD-DVD) will output their highest quality audio. Unlike current systems where the AV Amp/Receiver is relied upon to do all of the decoding, Dolby assert that next gen HD players will share the load and do the decoding, leaving the amps to do bass management and EQ. Dolby may be wrong, and AV amps/receivers may do both the decoding and the bass management/EQ (as they do with legacy formats); however in the future it shouldn't be difficult to find a good BD or HD-DVD player that has the on-board decoding and outputs LPCM over HDMI.

The 1200ES can still benefit from the multi-channel analogue connection method - although it obviously has to compromise with an additional D->A and A->D step, and things may get a little tricky if you want to connect more than one HD source to the amp via analogue. Or it can make a bigger compromise and make use of the compressed (640kbps) Dolby Digital connection method (optical/co-ax).

I received my 3200ES last week and am loving it. If the future turns out very differently, I'll still have had fun out of my system. For more about these issues, you may also be interested in reading this thread:http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=417296

Big smiles,

Andy.
 

Smurkenstein

Novice Member
It is pointless trying to future-proof yourself in regards to HDMI audio....

Like i said before, the only benefit to having an amp/receiver that decodes audio from the HDMI input is that you don't have to purchase a separate coaxial or optical wire for the audio.

If you really want to future proof yourself, it is more important to ensure that whichever amp/receiver you purchase has an analogue 7.1 connection on the rear. Therefore if future decoders have the potential to output a separate 6th and 7th channel, at least you won't be stuck in the past with 6.1.
I think the key benefit of HDMI switching (just my perspective), is if you dont want multiple video inputs going into to your telly, eg, your telly is on the wall and you have ducting problems or the sources are in a cupboard/different part of the room. Then you can have the amp controlling all.

Another kink (I cant check coz google is down for some reason, perhaps Dan will correct me if I'm off here)...I'd be surprised if HDMI amps you are considering have HDMI 1.3, and/or are able to decode Dolby True which is the next bees knees (uncompressed, lossles multichannel - 1.3 has a much hogher bandwidth to allow this). This is not a biggy, futurewise, because future sources (eg HD disk players) will mostly come with mulitchannel out to pass on these signals to your amp.

So future proofing is a headache - I live for the here and now (I can't afford to future-proof). I have a 1200ES, btw (it was £400). If I was buying today, I'd probably grab a 3200.
 

Dann'sTheMan

Novice Member
I think the key benefit of HDMI switching (just my perspective), is if you dont want multiple video inputs going into to your telly, eg, your telly is on the wall and you have ducting problems or the sources are in a cupboard/different part of the room. Then you can have the amp controlling all.

Another kink (I cant check coz google is down for some reason, perhaps Dan will correct me if I'm off here)...I'd be surprised if HDMI amps you are considering have HDMI 1.3, and/or are able to decode Dolby True which is the next bees knees (uncompressed, lossles multichannel - 1.3 has a much hogher bandwidth to allow this). This is not a biggy, futurewise, because future sources (eg HD disk players) will mostly come with mulitchannel out to pass on these signals to your amp.

So future proofing is a headache - I live for the here and now (I can't afford to future-proof). I have a 1200ES, btw (it was £400). If I was buying today, I'd probably grab a 3200.
Hi Smurkenstein,

Just for clarity, these amps are not v1.3 compliant - rather they support HDMI v1.2a. As you may know HDMI v1.3 introduces much higher available bandwidth - primarily to allow the support of much greater video colour depths (30, 36 and even 48-bit colour).

On the audio side, it also allows the carrying of encoded HD audio i.e. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. However ALL HDMI versions support the carrying of decoded HD audio i.e. LPCM.

This is what makes the 3200ES more "future proof" than the 1200ES, as it supports this LPCM format - 8 channels of uncompressed 24-bit 96kHz audio, and keeps the chain all digital, as it's transmitted over HDMI. The "bees-knees" as you so aptly put it. :thumbsup:

You're quite right however that it's not such a biggy for the 1200ES, as it can accept this uncompressed audio via the multichannel in. The compromise that it makes is that the audio will have to be converted to analogue by the player, and then reconverted from analogue back to digital by the receiver. Also, the 1200ES only has one set of multichannel in analogue inputs (unsurprisingly as they take up a lot of real estate!), so if you ever want to connect a second source of uncompressed audio, you'll have some further hoops to jump through. :)

Obviously trying to future-proof anything is fraught with pitfalls, as it's based on speculation and assumptions - all of which have a habit of biting you on your butt. When spending non-trivial amounts of money, it's important to be as informed as possible, but it's even more important that you simply enjoy your purchase. Life's too short to spend your time waiting on tomorrow... :cool:

Big smiles,

Andy.
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
You do NOT need anything more than HDMI 1.1 if you are interested in decoding for HD DVD. This format is designed to decode in the players and output multichannel PCM. Current dedicated BD players are also taking this route as well at the moment with built in decoding (again 1.1 is all that is needed if the dedicated BD player decodes the audio).
 
so i think i might just go for the 1200,thanks for clearing that up for us. Is the panasonic ex85 a good HD disc player, i know it plays them, but does it do it well. Will it decode the better sound format,im not sure what its called.
so i will have a ex85,ps3 and 1200, will they all connect together nicely through a hdmi connection, or will i not have enough room on the amp.What kind of sound quality will i expect to recieve with these sources, as there all hdmi compatible. does my ex85 decode?
with my equipment now,if i decided to go with the 3200 instead of the 1200, what ways would it benefit me.Is it just less wires with the 3200 and that lpcm.

THANKS
 

Dann'sTheMan

Novice Member
You do NOT need anything more than HDMI 1.1 if you are interested in decoding for HD DVD. This format is designed to decode in the players and output multichannel PCM. Current dedicated BD players are also taking this route as well at the moment with built in decoding (again 1.1 is all that is needed if the dedicated BD player decodes the audio).
Nic Rhodes is right. However you do have to be careful - just because a product is at HDMI v1.1 or above, it doesn't necessarily mean it does anything with the data it receives. A crude metaphor would be: my ears can hear Chinese, but that doesn't mean my brain will process it so that it is meaningful for me.

The 1200ES is a pertinent example - it is v1.2a HDMI compliant, however it doesn't process any audio over HDMI. All it does is switch HDMI video, so you have to make a separate non-HDMI audio connection to the receiver (e.g. using SPDIF).

If you want audio processing from HDMI (as the Original Poster asked), you need the 3200ES rather than the 1200ES. Hope that helps, :)

Big smiles,

Andy.
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
Yes it is a good point by Andy. I just assumed everyone would check that their receiver receivers audio!! In fact many just switch video so is well worth checking beforehand.
 
[QUOTE:If you really want to future proof yourself, it is more important to ensure that whichever amp/receiver you purchase has an analogue 7.1 connection on the rear. Therefore if future decoders have the potential to output a separate 6th and 7th channel, at least you won't be stuck in the past with 6.1.[/QUOTE]

does the 1200es have this, iv just been comparing them together on the comparison chart on sony website, a few things stuck out to me
what is mega cd control, i noticed only the 5200es can upscale, and not the others, does anyone know if my ex85 can upscale normal sound and picture quality from a normal dvd to say better quality when it gets transferred to the reciever.

thanks
 

rEVILospud

Novice Member
does the 1200es have this, iv just been comparing them together on the comparison chart on sony website, a few things stuck out to me
what is mega cd control, i noticed only the 5200es can upscale, and not the others, does anyone know if my ex85 can upscale normal sound and picture quality from a normal dvd to say better quality when it gets transferred to the reciever.

thanks
Yes the 1200, 3200 and 5200 all have 8-channel (7.1) analogue inputs.
The 3200 goes one step further with LPCM over HDMI, which is kinda the digital version of the 8-channel input.
These features are only going to be used by future equipment you may buy, such as HD-DVD, Blu Ray, PS3 etc. In the case of the PS3 I don't believe it will have 8-channel analogue audio outputs, so you would need the 3200 or higher to make the most of the new sound formats, assuming it outputs LPCM.
I don't know anything about the ex85 you have, all I know is that the 1200 will not accept any audio over HDMI and neither the 1200 nor the 3200 will upscale the ex85's output resolution.

From the equipment you have at the moment, the 1200 would suffice. Infact you don't really need an HDMI enabled receiver at all. If you are seriously considering buying a standalone HD-DVD or BluRay player, or even a PS3, it would be better to look at the 3200 as a minimum.
 
the ex85 can play hd dvd's and i will be defo getting the ps3, but im just going to get the 1200ES, and connect the audio with another cable,thats more or less the diference between the 1200 and 3200 isnt it, and that lpcm thing,which isnt really important to me at the moment
 

rEVILospud

Novice Member
Your ex85 cannot play HD-DVDs, it upscales normal DVDs, which is completely different.
The LPCM over HDMI is the main difference between them, along with upconverting analogue video to digital HDMI.

You may as well get the 1200 and connect the ex85 and PS3 via HDMI and optical. The only thing you will lose is new sound formats from the PS3 such as Dolby TruHD etc. and also the HDMI connection to your TV will only carry video, not audio.
 

sk8

Novice Member
Absolutely
 

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