questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reciever

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questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reciever

Postposted on Thu May 30, 2013 1:53 pm

Sorry about the title, I was limited in how descriptive I could be.

Ok, so when it comes to audio I'm a pretty big n00b as a) I'm not an audiophile in any way shape or form and b) I've just always been content with plugging my computer speakers into my computer and going from there.

However, my most recent set-up has caused me to start paying a bit more attention.

I have (all right beside each other) a:
- media computer hooked up via DVI to my computer with my 5.1 computer speakers (this is where we watch all movies/tv shows)*
- gaming maching that I use headphones for (and hooked up to the tv via hdmi cable)*
- tv with intergrated speakers to pick up OTA signals (pretty much just hockey games).

* I use a kvm to share the monitor/keyboard/mouse between these two computers.

The current system works, but if I want to watch a hockey game, I have to listen to the bad intergrated speakers and if I want to game on the tv, I have to unplug my 5.1's from the media machine and plug them into the gaming machine (huge hassle).

so I was thinking recently about fixing this problem. I know a good reciever would solve this, which I found here

It has 4 hdmi inputs.

Now for my question (and here's where the n00b part comes out).
1) From my gaming machine, I have a 7970 with integrated audio (and an hdmi out). If I just plug the hdmi cable into the vid card, does the sound just automatically go through my vid card and into the hdmi cable?

2) For my media machine, I am using a Asus Xonar DX (or is it DS? Can't remember, but it's a cheap PCIe I bought for $30) because the integrated sound went all wonky on me. If I plug an hdmi cable into the onboard port on the back of my media machine, will the sound continue to get processed by the Xonar? I've disabled the on-board in the bios.

3) The HD antenna I'm using I believe uses a standard co-ax connection. so I'd have to connect it to the tv. In which case, would I run an hdmi cable from the tv to the receiver (so it can output the sound) and then output back to the tv?

I can find out more specifics if needed once I get home from work.
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Re: a few questions about hdmi cables from sources to a reci

Postposted on Thu May 30, 2013 2:02 pm

1. Probably not, unless there are no other audio devices connected (nothing plugged into the outputs of your integrated audio). If it isn't, all you really have to do is find where you select your default audio device and change it to your video card (you did not specify an operating system).

2. It will bypass your sound card completely AND your wonky integrated audio. Some "fancy" sound cards will have an HDMI out, but few people have them.

3. It's pretty unlikely your TV is capable of HDMI output. Most TVs will have an SDPIF connection for digital audio output, and a few will have analog outputs - those will be your best bet.
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Thu May 30, 2013 2:12 pm

Thanks TwistedKestrel.

1) Windows 7 64bit Home. That sounds like it would easy enough. Select video card and the gaming machine is taken care of.

2) How does outputing audio to the hdmi cable "bypass" the intergrated sound/sound card completely? Doesn't something have to process the sound? Little fuzzy on that.

3) I doubt mine does, it's a "low-middle" of the road tv. But if I can use the SDPIF connection, good enough for me.
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Thu May 30, 2013 2:18 pm

HDMI audio is a PCM digital signal, and when used with a videocard, the videocard hardware manages the audio stream. There's nothing for your soundcard to do in that scenario, because the decoding will be handled by the receiver.

- If your videocard supports HDMI via an HDMI output jack, then audio and video should be available at the receiver, and the videocard will manage both.

- If for some odd reason you WANTED the soundcard to manage audio anyway, you could use SPDIF or analog to send it to the receiver, but that's only necessary if the soundcard supports a decoding feature that the receiver does not support.

- If your videocard supports HDMI via a DVI port and requires a DVI=>HDMI converter dongle, then video should be available, but the audio stream may be disabled due to HDCP restrictions, and you will need to obtain your audio stream from the soundcard.

The way my home theater is set up is this:

N64 => HDMI converter => Receiver HDMI input
BRD Player => Receiver HDMI input
HTPC video => DVI-to-HDMI dongle => Receiver HDMI input
HTPC audio => Xonar DG optical out => Receiver optical in

Receiver manages all audio, and since there are four source "shortcut" buttons on the receiver, one is mapped to "BLURAY," one is mapped to "GAME," and one is mapped to "PC" with the split A/V inputs automatically being selected. The optical SPDIF limits the audio stream to 2-channel only, but that's not an issue for me, one of the Dolby or Neo decoding modes usually makes a good attempt with movies (some TV shows, not so much).

HDMI out is then a video-only output and goes to the 1080P HDTV, which happens to never be used for tuning and is therefore just a display monitor, although if need be I could either enable the HDMI audio return function, or use an SPDIF connection back to the receiver.

Blu-Ray over HDMI is as easy as falling off a bike, because the BRD player automatically tells the receiver what decode mode to use. Just select the BRD player as the source and then fire up the disc.
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Thu May 30, 2013 2:36 pm

Thanks ludi,

My media computer (ASUS E350 M1-I DELUXE with integrated Radeon HD 6310 graphics) has an HDMI out as well, so it looks like my media machine is taken care of. Thanks for your further explanation of HDMI (videocard hardware manages the audio stream).

Connect my tv via SPDIF to the receiver and it sounds like I'm good to go. Now to just find a decent set of speakers...but I think I have a friend selling his...
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Fri May 31, 2013 12:31 am

Thanks guys.

I found a used Yamaha RX-V371 that I'll be checking out this Saturday. From the reviews I've read, it looks to be a pretty decent unit for the budget/entry level. And my friend is selling his old speakers to me super cheap, so I'm all set there (I'll probably upgrade the speakers next year...)
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Fri May 31, 2013 12:11 pm

Sargent Duck wrote:Thanks guys.

I found a used Yamaha RX-V371 that I'll be checking out this Saturday. From the reviews I've read, it looks to be a pretty decent unit for the budget/entry level. And my friend is selling his old speakers to me super cheap, so I'm all set there (I'll probably upgrade the speakers next year...)

Although discontinued, that's actually a pretty good receiver and should support most of the same features available in the current Yamaha line.

Are you planning to use a powered subwoofer?
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Fri May 31, 2013 1:37 pm

ludi wrote:Although discontinued, that's actually a pretty good receiver and should support most of the same features available in the current Yamaha line.

Are you planning to use a powered subwoofer?


Not sure. I'll probably just go online and find what I can used on kijij in my local area. I do live in a townhouse, so I do have to be mindful of my neighbors.

I've always taken the approach that when getting into something I don't know anything about, buy the basics and then as my knowledge increases, I can make better (and more informed) buying decisions.
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Fri May 31, 2013 3:27 pm

Ah. Well, just a note that you may or may not know about (it took me a while to figure out on my own Yamaha RX-series unit): assuming similar configuration screens, there are no per-channel crossover settings for subwoofer use. To enable subwoofer output, you have to set the subwoofer to "enable" and then change on or more of your speakers from "large" to "small". The subwoofer output will then be enabled for any speakers set to "small" and you can choose a global subwoofer crossover point for all channels which are set to "small".

Two things that can help when living in shared units: First, don't use carpet spikes, and do place all speaker drivers on rubber feet or foam isolation pads (there are quite a few DIY options for speaker isolation pads floating around on the 'net). A lot of energy content from speakers can be transmitted from the cabinet into the floor, otherwise. Second, if you have a basement with concrete floor and walls, consider placing the theater there rather than in the main level -- concrete and masonry are much better at sound isolation than wood-frame. (But, if the basement is unfinished then you'll need to add quite a bit of textiles to cut down the echoes.)
Last edited by ludi on Fri May 31, 2013 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Fri May 31, 2013 3:30 pm

1. and 2. can be answered by stating that the sound device on your Radeon and Asus Zonar are two completely separate audio devices.

1. It depends on which audio device (Radeon or Zonar) is set up as the "default" device under "Playback Devices" in Windows 7 OR if using media players, you can generally set the playback audio device separately in those, irrespective of what the default device is in Windows. I have a Radeon with HDMI out to a receiver and, it often switches to the Radeon automatically when I turn on the receiver and Windows detects the new HDMI connection.

2. Pretend the Radio and Zonar are two separate sound cards (audio devices).

3. Your TV will definitely not have HDMI out. The problem with using S/PDIF (TOSLINK or Coax digital out) from your TV is that most TVs will only output stereo, and not Dolby Digital/DTS. Your best best is to buy a tuner card if surround sound from OTA HD is really important to you. Something like this.
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:50 pm

ludi wrote:Ah. Well, just a note that you may or may not know about (it took me a while to figure out on my own Yamaha RX-series unit): assuming similar configuration screens, there are no per-channel crossover settings for subwoofer use. To enable subwoofer output, you have to set the subwoofer to "enable" and then change on or more of your speakers from "large" to "small". The subwoofer output will then be enabled for any speakers set to "small" and you can choose a global subwoofer crossover point for all channels which are set to "small".


That proved to be very helpful. I had enabled the sub and then set all my speakers to "small" but no sound. Turns out I also had to set the crossover frequency. I think it was set to 40 and then I set it to 100. Then it worked.

This was a really fun project and I'm reaping the rewards of 3.1 goodness.
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Re: questions about hdmi cables from multi sources to a reci

Postposted on Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:38 am

cynan wrote:3. Your TV will definitely not have HDMI out. The problem with using S/PDIF (TOSLINK or Coax digital out) from your TV is that most TVs will only output stereo, and not Dolby Digital/DTS. Your best best is to buy a tuner card if surround sound from OTA HD is really important to you. Something like this.

Not exactly correct. On my 2007 (or 08?) Panasonic TV the OTA function will pass through DD-encoded audio signal via its optical output. Whether it is 2.0, 2.1, or 5.1 is up to the broadcast source (like they may have 5.1 in movies but not for the nightly news). I would check the TV manual to confirm first before spending more money on stuff.
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