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HDMI Passthrough or Switching in Receivers (Arcam & CA)


Active Member
Apologies if this has been asked before (my search skills were unable to find it).

I'm looking at upgrading my age old Sony amp with a musically able amp. I'm not bothered about upscaling at all, hence why I'm being lead to the Cambridge Audio 640R and Arvcam avr 280r.

However, does anyone know, since these are both HDMI pass through I believe, if they will downgrade an hdmi 1.3 input to 1.2 or 1.1 on output?

Realise 1.3 isnt all that useful at the moment, but I normally keep my equipment for quite some time (10 years) so want to try and tick a few boxes!

Any help appreciated.


Distinguished Member
HDMI versions aren't subject to conversion or downgrading. Rather the pieces of equipment negotiate with each other and agree on the least common denominator. If you connect up an HDMI 1.1 amplifier to a source that supports 1.3, the negotiation will result in agreement on 1.1, and the source will send appropriately. The negotiation applies because of HDCP, even though the amplifier is not extracting the sound. As such, Crusty's answer is technically correct (all information in the input is sent on), but probably rather misleading (the information will not be present in the input to start with).

Since HDMI 1.0 already has sufficient bandwidth to pass 1080p60 with 8 channels of uncompressed 192kHz audio, lack of support for 1.3 is of no consequence in an amplifier's switch; the picture quality is unaffected. This should be compared to amplifiers with scaling, where the internal processing does intervene on the HDMI chain.


Active Member
Thanks both for taking the time to respond. Makes a lot more sense now.

It looks as though both the Cambridge and Arcam dont offer audio through HDMI, so this could be a part non-event, though input lags on TV causing audio to be slightly out of sync.

Great explaination, thanks again.


Active Member
FYI, just got this back from Arcam;

"The AVR280 is not effectively any version, it will allow any version to
switch through along with any audio that is passed on the signal. The
280 will of course not process any of the information on the HDMI video
or audio. But you should have no problem providing you have separate
audio connections."

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