4k video to TV and HD audio to receiver?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by lightsout, May 1, 2018.

  1. lightsout

    lightsout [H]Lite

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    Anyone out there upgrade to 4k but still have an AVR that doesn't support it?

    I'm trying to find a way to get 4k to the TV and HD audio to the AVR.

    Spdif and HDMI arc I believe only do DD/DTS.
     
  2. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    I'm assuming you mean "AVR that doesn't support it" to refer to 4K support, but your receiver still has HDMI input for say 1080p video and audio.

    In that case, you would be correct that S/PDIF or coax digital audio won't do the lossless audio codecs like TrueHD or whatever the DTS equivalent is. If you've got a 7.1 setup, you'll obviously miss out.

    If you've got 5.1 or less speakers, then honestly running the output at regular DTS or DD 5.1 is pretty fine, and you can achieve that over S/PDIF or coax digital output using the onboard soundcard or an add-on like the Sound Blaster Z. This is what I do, my AVR is very old and doesn't even have HDMI at all, so I use the SB Z to encode all audio as DTS and pass it through this way.

    If you need the 7.1, then things get a bit complicated. Because it's not just the video resolution that's increased, it's the actual HDMI spec. So your 4K UHD player/PC is going to be spitting out HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2 encoded stuff, but your AVR device is likely only HDMI 1.3 or 1.4 with.. whatever lower version of HDCP existed then, I can't remember. You could buy something like a splitter and plug the 4K player's output into two places, but you're likely going to run into problems where the AVR can't make sense of the HDMI 2.0 connection.

    There are all sorts of HDMI audio extractor devices, but almost all of these only pull out the 5.1 audio streams and present them via SPDIF or other format; they can't extract the 7.1 streams. There is one of them on Amazon that claims to be able to do this and present LPCM audio via 4x analog 3.5mm audio outputs, but it's got really shit reviews so I'm not sure I'd trust it.

    In the end, you've only really got one hope; that your TV has some kind of audio passthrough output via a secondary HDMI connection or something, and even then I'm not sure it'll work. Either that or just living with 5.1 audio. Living with 5.1 audio is probably what most people would do, because really, a shitty soundbar would be an improvement in audio for ~90% of home TV setups, and 5.1 DD or DTS still sounds great.
     
  3. lightsout

    lightsout [H]Lite

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    Sorry you are right I should have been more clear, my AVR has HDMI inputs that support HD Audio and 1080p.

    I was hoping there was an easy solution, not really looking to spend money to solve this issue. I only use 5.1 although the receiver supports 7.1, but I do notice that some audio tracks from movies are HD Audio but only 5.1.

    Right now I use spdif from the tv to the receiver, it passes along the DD and DTS> I'll probably just leave it alone, thank you.
     
  4. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    Ah, k. Yes then you should just continue how you are, and presumably continue to receive great audio. The newest 'HD' codecs like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD themselves are losslessly compressed, and theoretically higher quality than their lossy compression 5.1 predecessors Dolby Digital/Plus and DTS, but that difference would be incredibly difficult to detect, especially in common home theater listening environments. In my opinion, it's definitely not worth any money to upgrade to the lossless codecs unless you're also graduating to 7.1 channels.
     
  5. lightsout

    lightsout [H]Lite

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    Thanks man. I have 7.1 ability but it's just not practical in the living room to have all those speakers.

    I'll just leave it alone.
     
  6. Nenu

    Nenu Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    There is a simple solution with a minor inconvenience.
    "Extend" your 4K display to the 1080p AVR, you can use a different resolution to the main display.
    This will make the AVRs HDMI sound interface available in playback devices to give you full quality.
    The inconvenience is that your mouse will disappear onto the AVR display sometimes.

    When I had this issue I moved the extended display to the top left corner so the mouse only ever disappears if it goes off the top left of the screen.
    It didnt happen often but when I couldnt locate the mouse I would drag down+right.
    It was easily the best way to handle the problem.
     
  7. lightsout

    lightsout [H]Lite

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    Interesting, I assume I would need to have two hdmi ports on the pc? Or potentially a DVI to HDMI adapter. Or maybe mix onboard and the gpu?
     
  8. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    If your video card supports HDMI 2.0 for 4K @ 60 Hz, which you'd want for general HTPC use, then it almost certainly has multiple video outputs; probably a HDMI 2.0 paired with a DisplayPort output or two. Converting from DP to a 1080p HDMI output is just an inexpensive adapter.
     
  9. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    Just one word of potential caution regarding this. If you are planning on displaying 4K video content from Netflix via your HTPC, it will complain about the presence of a non-HDCP 2.2 connected display (the AVR connection). If you don't run 4K netflix via the HTPC, then this isn't an issue.
     
  10. Nenu

    Nenu Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    SinisterDei covered it well.

    You can get a DP to HDMI 1.4 adapter very cheaply these days.
    Get one with good reviews as there are some dodgy ones.

    Be VERY careful if choosing a HDMI 2.0 adapter as many can only cope with 30Hz 4:2:0 colour (as used for TV and Blu Ray but not PC) and are in fact really HDMI 1.4 adapters.
    Be sure it says the words 4K and 60Hz together, and the reviews show it works.
    Because HDMI 1.4 can do 1080p 60Hz and 4K but not both (unless you have an nvidia card and dont mind 4:2:0 colour on your PC).