Question about HDMI audio extractors and ARC

fyonn

Active Member
Hello,

I'm trying to understand if the products on the market meet a need or not.

The situation is that my dad has an LG C9 tv and is looking at getting a sound bar with ARC/CEC (something like the beosound stage or similar) so that it will switch on and off with the TV, be volume controlled and basically work like magic. The challenge is that he currently has a pair of sennheiser RS wireless headphones which plug into his TV's optical output. Looking at the audio options on the TV, he can choose either optical output OR HDMI ARC output. not both.

So I was wondering about the use of a HDMI audio extractor but I feel it's a very complex topic so I wanted to get people's views.

What I want is to have the TV connected to the soundbar (with ARC and CEC) and have the hdmi audio extractor in the middle. that HDMI audio extractor would take a copy of the audio feed and output it to optical whilst allowing the ARC and CEC connection to the sound bar to still work. i.e. it should be invisible to that process and the headphones and soundbar should work simultaneously and in sync. Would that work?

Also, can the TV output surround sound to the soundbar and the HDMI audio extractor downmix it to stereo, or does it force the whole chain into stereo?

Many thanks
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'can the TV output surround sound to the soundbar and the HDMI audio extractor downmix it to stereo, or does it force the whole chain into stereo?' - unless you are willing to spend big money on a very high cost extractor/processor which can down convert 5.1 to 2.0 you will need to limit the TV Output to 2.0 if trying to send a signal to both devices simultaneously.

There are some Extractor devices which can be programmed to change the EDID being sent to the TV/Source when you are toggling to the Soundbar or Headphones though that is going to add more complexity and cost to the system.

'he can choose either optical output OR HDMI ARC output' - is often the most practical solution if you want simplicity and don't require the Headphones and Soundbar to be active simultaneously.

'basically work like magic' - that can be a stretch with CEC.

Joe
 

fyonn

Active Member
'can the TV output surround sound to the soundbar and the HDMI audio extractor downmix it to stereo, or does it force the whole chain into stereo?' - unless you are willing to spend big money on a very high cost extractor/processor which can down convert 5.1 to 2.0 you will need to limit the TV Output to 2.0 if trying to send a signal to both devices simultaneously.

I suspected that it would be the whole chain, thanks.

Would these devices pull out the arc audio feed while letting arc and cec continue though?

'he can choose either optical output OR HDMI ARC output' - is often the most practical solution if you want simplicity and don't require the Headphones and Soundbar to be active simultaneously.

No, both sound bar and headphones need to be active simultaneously. Two viewers with different requirements.

'basically work like magic' - that can be a stretch with CEC.

Joe

Oh, I agree, having had issues with CEC on both naim and lyngdorf. However using the beosound stage as an example, that’s been designed with the LG c9 panel specifically as they use that screen themselves. That said, I will be recommending he take a home demo to confirm.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
CEC - can be a real mixed bag so hopefully your choice of TV and Soundbar will play nice.

ARC - cannot be daisy chained as ARC through a Switch. What you can do is use a Switch with HDMI, Optical or Analogue audio out and ARC extraction which can intercept and output the ARC audio to an HDMI Optical or Analogue Input on your Amp/Soundbar.

CEC - does by default daisy chain through a Switch etc (unless you choose to use a Switch which can disable it!).

Connectivity - I've put together a few systems over the past while with a combination of wireless hearing aids and a Soundbar/Amp and splitting the TV Optical Out has been the most reliable solution (and relatively lost cost). Many TV's will offer Variable Audio Out via Optical so the TV can control the Master volume being sent to the Headphone/Hearing aid base-station plus the Soundbar.

in-sync - keeping the Soundbar and Headphones in-sync can be a challenge!

Joe

PS I suspect we will see a lot more of this type of Tech from the big Soundbar manufacturers over the next few years - Noveto
 
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fyonn

Active Member
CEC - can be a real mixed bag so hopefully your choice of TV and Soundbar will play nice.

Yup, so a home demo will be vital :)

ARC - cannot be daisy chained as ARC through a Switch. What you can do is use a Switch with HDMI, Optical or Analogue audio out and ARC extraction which can intercept and output the ARC audio to an HDMI Optical or Analogue Input on your Amp/Soundbar.

I don’t like the “or” there. Is there any way to do optical AND HDMI audio?

CEC - does by default daisy chain through a Switch etc (unless you choose to use a Switch which can disable it!).

Nope, I want the magic of CEC, if it works…

Connectivity - I've put together a few systems over the past while with a combination of wireless hearing aids and a Soundbar/Amp and splitting the TV Optical Out has been the most reliable solution (and relatively lost cost). Many TV's will offer Variable Audio Out via Optical so the TV can control the Master volume being sent to the Headphone/Hearing aid base-station plus the Soundbar.

Here’s the thing. My dad is currently has some active speakers (kef ls50w’s) that are currently connected via optical (via a splitter). Although they are great speakers, and better than any soundbar, they rarely end up being used because they need to be turned on and controlled seperately. The idea of moving to the soundbar is that although it won’t be as good as the kef’s, it’ll be better because it’ll be used. This soundbar plan only works if the soundbar is controlled by CEC and ARC and comes on and volume controls with the TV remote.

in-sync - keeping the Soundbar and Headphones in-sync can be a challenge!

The kef’s and sennheiser rf wireless headphones do stay in sync so I have hopes.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Is there any way to do optical AND HDMI audio?’ - simple enough but both would be outputting the same signal 2.0 or 5.1.

they rarely end up being used because they need to be turned on and controlled seperately’ - it sounds like you need a programmable Universal remote or control App rather than change audio devices.

Joe
 

fyonn

Active Member
Is there any way to do optical AND HDMI audio?’ - simple enough but both would be outputting the same signal 2.0 or 5.1.

So you're indicating that I could get this solution to work? do you have a recommended device?

you said earlier:
unless you are willing to spend big money on a very high cost extractor/processor which can down convert 5.1 to 2.0

what's the price difference? it would be nice to have the surround signal going to the sound bar for the centre channel.

they rarely end up being used because they need to be turned on and controlled seperately’ - it sounds like you need a programmable Universal remote or control App rather than change audio devices.

tried that with a logitech harmony. for one reason or another it's not really settled as an always used solution and if you can get ARC/CEC working then it's often not required.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
what's the price difference?’ - without spending time seeing who has what available and current pricing assume something north of £750 for a device which can pass 5.1 plus simultaneously down-convert to 2.0.

Joe
 

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