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Best sound connections for older receiver?

I've recently purchased a Sony Bravia 40" LCD HDTV 1080p with 3 HDMI input and one optical audio output. I've connected my cable box to the TV via its HDMI connection. Right now, that's my only device with HDMI output. In the coming months, I plan to purchase a Sony upconverting DVD player DVP-NC800H/B (replacing my older DVD player; I want to still have a five disc unit "dedicated" to playing my old DVDs and CDs) and a PS3. That will take care of the other two HDMI inputs to the TV.

My real issue is in regards to the best audio connections. My Sony receiver is only a few years old, but has no HDMI inputs and only one optical audio input. Right now, I'm currently connecting my DVD player's optical to the one input in the receiver. (The other devices use RCA connections.) However, I'd love to have the optical audio from the cable box -- not to mention eventually hooking up the optical audio output from the PS3 -- to the receiver as well. Doing that with only one input in the receiver is the problem.

So here's the questions:
1) Can I use my TV as a pass-through? Since HDMI is both audio and digital, if I input all three devices by HDMI to my TV, then output the audio signal from the TV's optical to the receiver -- will I be able to listen to all three devices in digital clarity?
2) If so, will I lose any of the decoding for DD 5.1, DTS, etc. -- or for that matter, lose any audio quality?
3) Another option I have for audio is connecting via digital coax. I do have digital coax audio outputs on my current DVD player and cable box; my receiver has one input. How does digital coax compare to optical?

Obviously the easiest solution would be to buy a new receiver, but I won't have the budget for that for a while.

Thanks for any help!

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In reply to: Best sound connections for older receiver?

Buy a new or different receiver.

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In reply to: . I stated in my post, getting a new receiver is the obvious answer, but not one I have the budget for quite yet. Working on video components first.

Anyone else with answers to my posted questions?

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In reply to: Best sound connections for older receiver?

1. 99% chance of no. Nearly all tv's ever made strip surround encoded material down to 2-ch it seems when using the SPDIF out.

2. see above. give it a try. but you know what, Ive always found that TV surround is ultra limited anyways. Its very sparse, very poor or what I mean is lacking in information, detail, and dynamic range. When I think of TV surround, I think of random drunk man yelling at an umpire during baseball. (I don't have TV anymore as a source, 100% bluray and hd-dvd).

3. the same. coax and optical are both considered SPDIF. Just fyi, all those RCA looking cords are the same 75 ohm cords, but OTOH, dig coax does require more bandwidth than the absolutely identical looking rca, component, composite, etc cables. Don't buy monster per se, but whatever.. im sure the run is very short, and if its the TV for TV broadcasts, you already know how i feel there.


the meat man

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In reply to: NewBlu

Thanks for the info. Your reply on #1 was what I was worried about; instead of the TV being used as a lossless pass-through, it will degrade the output. In other words, the only way I can get 100% of the sound quality (and allow full decoding) is to connect my component(s) DIRECTLY to my receiver.

And good to know that digital coax vs. optical is basically a draw. I decided to try having the cable connected to my receiver via the digital coax, and the DVD via the optical. I'm happy with the sound; should have done this a long time ago. This will work until I get a BluRay, and at that point, I'll probably go cable/RCA, DVD/coax, BR/optical.

And eventually....get a new receiver!

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You are welcome

In reply to: Thanks!

I agree that Bluray first, then receiver. Well, the new receiver will have the new hi-def stuff, but you can't take advantage w/o the bluray! (but the present Onkyo 805 deals are really silly steals right now...) Devil


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coaxial digital output is always better than toslink

In reply to: Best sound connections for older receiver?

Toslink digital out is actually the worst of all the digital outputs, it is bandwith limited. The only issue with coaxial is there is a big difference sound difference in the sound quality of the coaxial digital cables. First off you need a very high bandwith cable ether one specifiacally designed as a digital cable or alot of time video cables will work as coaxial digital cables (most analog cables will not transmit at a high enough bandwith) but video cables are very high bandwith cables as is needed for video. With a reasonalby decent system you will be able to hear the difference in the sound of the digital cables, find one you like. Unfortunitely the ps3 is only toslink (typical Sony) or the hdmi which in your case have to be run to the tv. Try them you'll be surprised how much better coax digital is to toslink. good luck

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