Connecting Legacy Amp (no HDMI) to laptop to get 5.1 audio question


Active Member
Currently running a Yamaha Z9 (no HDMI) with an old Dell Laptop that has a dock on it that has SPDIF Coax out this means I can connect to the Z9 and can play DD and DTS (music and movies) The poor laptop has seen better days so want to replace it.

My question is if I get a replacement laptop it won’t have SPDIF how will I be able to output SPDIF to my Z9 and still play DD and DTS in the digital domain?

I’ve seen USB adaptors


not sure if that will convert the signal so I can get DD and DTS.

Most new laptop have HDMI so the other option is to convert the HDMI signal to SPDIF Audio (can that be done?), but I’d like to keep the HDMI port free on the laptop to connect to my projector via HDMI.

Please has any got any suggestions as to which would be the best way to go about it?


Well-known Member
HDMI audio extractors do exist (HDMI in, HDMI out + optical out). Just check the HDMI video spec of them very carefully to ensure they meet your HDMI bandwidth and HDCP requirements as many of them are quite old spec HDMI (which may be fine for you).


Distinguished Member
What TV do you have and will the laptop be connected to it while in use with the AV receiver? Most modern TVs that include HDMI inputs also allow you to passthrough SD 5.1 audio such as Dolby Digital or DTS. You could do away with the need for an external audio extractor and simply use such a TV's digital audio output to convey the audio from the TV to your older AV receiver's S/PDIF input. This would not however be viable if using a PJ which would lack the ability to pass audio through as would be the case with a TV.
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