(Had this drafted months ago, but thought it would be pointless. Recently though, my sound bar / AVR somehow reset all its settings and I had to figure out how the wiring goes again. After sorting everything out, I thought I should make a record just in case I forget again :P)
#Start of First Draft
Recently acquired a new TV to replace the 9 year old Sammie. Full HD and 3D goodness, finally!
With every new purchase however, there would be some work involved. All those cables on the existing devices will need to be rerouted or removed. And you need to figure out the limitations with the various equipment to try to get the most out of them without having to spend even more money upgrading them.
So TV arrived the same day of purchase (thanks Sony!), and first thing to do was to move the HDMI inputs from the switch onto the TV. We wouldn’t want to lose any resolution or colour along the way. Also had to buy a digital optical cable to route audio from the TV to the AVR (just a sound bar).
Tested the gaming consoles, and Astro, and so far so good. But wait, we’re not getting complete audio from the HTPC. One whole night of troubleshooting revealed that I couldn’t passthrough DTS audio to the TV, because the TV can only send out Dolby Digital through its optical output. The workaround for this was to get another digital optical cable so that I can connect my HDMI switch (which supports ARC) directly to the AVR. The HTPC then connects to the switch as an input, and the output goes to the TV. The TV will then send back the audio signal to the switch via ARC, and this gets routed over to the AVR via optical cable. Sounds convoluted doesn’t it? Surprisingly, the TV supports DTS via ARC, but not via optical. On the other hand, it might just be the audio feed directly from the HTPC to the AVR. I had spent another night trying to figure this part out, cuz it wouldn’t work for some reason.
#End of First Draft
So here we are in 2015 to continue this post. ARC is the feature that’s working here because the only input connections that the AVR are getting are digital optical ones.
Another use for the switcher is to route the legacy devices to the TV via HDMI. This part gets kind of interesting. The DVD player and PS2 do not have HDMI outputs, so they were originally connected to the AVR via RCA or Coaxial inputs. Now that the AVR no longer outputs HDMI to the TV, I connected it to the HDMI Switch instead. So whenever I need to use the DVD player or the PS2, which I rarely do, I just had to switch inputs on the Switch.
Then, somewhere along the way, we decided to try making the HTPC into a karaoke player. For karaoke, we need to use a separate karaoke amp and speakers instead of the AVR. We originally used this karaoke audio system separately using a laptop connected via a stereo jack, and ran Karafun on the laptop for song queuing and Windows Search for the library. Now that we wanted to connect to it via the NUC, which only supports HDMI or DisplayPort, we needed to somehow convert the HDMI audio to RCA. So we had to buy a HDMI splitter that had RCA output for this.
The problem with this HDMI-to-RCA splitter is that its HDMI output would sometimes turn off for some reason. Maybe it’s a limitation of the device itself, so I went out and bought another HDMI splitter so that the original HDMI output can be split off cleanly before heading to the HDMI-to-RCA splitter. In the end, we have 2 HDMI devices between the HTPC and the AVR/karaoke amp.
Everything’s all dandy now, except that XBMC can’t seem to handle the karaoke queueing very well. But that’s a different post for a different day.