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Old 29-03-2010, 00:31   #1
aliman5000
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'Current' surround systems

Hello All,

I bought a Sony surround system around five years ago and it has been, and continues to be, great for what I have needed. I bought this you must understand before they were labelled as 'home cinema systems' and came by default with either a DVD player or blu-ray player. It is therefore in essence a 5.1 speaker system with sub and amp.

The nice thing (or the most handy aspect) for me has been the two optical in ports is has, which has been able to run both my 360 (previously xbox 1) and blu-ray pleyer (previously DVD) brilliantly.

The issue I have is that I have just ordered multiroom with my digitial TV provider and the HD box I will receive has optical out as well as HDMI and thus I am lumbered with the problem of not enough ports...

Therefore I am *thinking* (but not yet sold) that a new system may be in order. Now bearing in mind you may label me n00bish, stupid, naive, whatever, but obviously having a system I am perfectly happy with I haven't kept up with the technology.

And so comes the reason for my thread/question, it would seem that surround systems these days have gone the way of HDMI for picture and sound, effectively eliminating the requirement for things like optical (although many still have them). Where I am getting a little confused is how it all works...?

The systems I have looked at online list a single HDMI port...now I am *assuming* perhaps massively, that all your pieces of home entertainment equipment plug IN to the surround amp/dvd/blu-ray/whatever it may be and you have a single HDMI OUT port which goes into your TV??

Based on my massive assumption I can only guess this is why most websites list all their surround systems as having one HDMI port which is actually the one OUT port.

If this is the case, how do I find out how many HDMI IN ports there are? If this is not the case, can someone please explain (nicely) how the present technology works?

If anyone fancies helping me further, I have three components I would like to run through the surround sound, all three have HDMI OUT and optical OUT, and my TV has three HDMI IN ports. I don't really want to spend anymore than Ł200 so suggestions (links) that fit that spec would be a bonus.

Thank you for your time.

Ali
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Old 29-03-2010, 10:24   #2
Wooglie
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You are correct that HDMI is the way forward. My current amp has four HDMI IN ports and one OUT that I connect to my TV. The amp sends the audio to the speakers (including all the new HD formats) and the video to the TV.
Sony don't seem to sell my model any more, but the STR-DH800 http://www.sony.co.uk/product/hcs-ho...iver/str-dh800 seems to be simliar and has 4 HDMI in and 1 OUT.
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Old 29-03-2010, 11:52   #3
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A Sky HD box cannot output DD surround sound via HDMI, only via optical or digital coaxial. So, whilst you may find that HDMI input only is useful for your Blu Ray player (and possibly for your 360, don't know what outputs that has) it will not really benefit you regarding Sky HD. In effect, if you want Dolby Digital surround sound from your HD box, you are still going to have to use optical - if your existing AV receiver doesn't support coaxial as well as optical input.

Unless you are bothered about being able to hear Blu Ray movies using Blu Ray audio formats, you could always stick with what you've already got and just use an optical switch. Connect all three pieces of kit to the switch (for audio) and to the TV via HDMI (for picture - and for audio if you don't want full surround sound), connect the switch to one of the optical inputs on your Sony receiver, and use the manual switch to choose whethe to send audio from Sky, from Blu Ray or from games console to the receiver.

You'll be able to get one of those for less than twenty quid - a hell of a lot cheaper than shelling out on a new receiver which at best will only give you (possibly) better sound on Blu Ray anyway, and won't help you at all regarding Sky HD.

Last edited by broadz; 29-03-2010 at 11:55.
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Old 29-03-2010, 11:56   #4
aliman5000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadz View Post
A Sky HD box cannot output DD surround sound via HDMI, only via optical or digital coaxial. So, whilst you may find that HDMI input only is useful for your Blu Ray player (and possibly for your 360, don't know what outputs that has) it will not really benefit you regarding Sky HD. In effect, if you want Dolby Digital surround sound from your HD box, you are still going to have to use optical - if your existing AV receiver doesn't support coaxial as well as optical input.

Unless you are bothered about being able to hear Blu Ray movies using Blu Ray audio formats, you could always stick with what you've already got and just use an optical switch. Connect all three pieces of kit to the switch, connect the switch to one of the optical inputs on your Sony receiver, and use the manual switch to choose whethe to send audio from Sky, from Blu Ray or from games console to the receiver.

You'll be able to get one of those for less than twenty quid - a hell of a lot cheaper than shelling out on a new receiver which at best will only give you (possibly) better sound on Blu Ray anyway, and won't help you at all regarding Sky HD.
You heard HD and assumed I was talking about Sky (It's not by the way)

But thank you, didn't even realise they did things like optical switches, think that is the route I will go
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