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Optical cable better than HDMI ?


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Old 05-11-2013, 16:52
peter4076
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Before I go and spend quite a bit of money on a sound bar cannot (for the sake of a happy marriage) go the multiple speaker sub woofer route.
All my kit is quite difficult to get at, so some advice would be grateful.
Would a toslink optical cable from my SkyHD box straight to my LED Smart TV (maybe remove the existing HDMI cable) help to improve the quality of sound coming from my LG 3D LED Smart TV ? As always your thoughts most appreciated.
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Old 05-11-2013, 16:59
Nigel Goodwin
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Before I go and spend quite a bit of money on a sound bar cannot (for the sake of a happy marriage) go the multiple speaker sub woofer route.
All my kit is quite difficult to get at, so some advice would be grateful.
Would a toslink optical cable from my SkyHD box straight to my LED Smart TV (maybe remove the existing HDMI cable) help to improve the quality of sound coming from my LG 3D LED Smart TV ? As always your thoughts most appreciated.
No - it wouldn't even work.

The TV optical is an output (like the Sky one), you would need an input.

But regardless of the connection, the limitation is the crap tiny speakers in the TV - the connections makes no difference.
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Old 05-11-2013, 17:07
peter4076
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I agree, speakers on TV must be at the rear giving sound to the wall & not me. I must admit quality of picture via HDMI is stunning and the 3D, but alas sound was better via the old scart cable, and I don't want to go back down that route.
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Old 05-11-2013, 19:08
chrisjr
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Before I go and spend quite a bit of money on a sound bar cannot (for the sake of a happy marriage) go the multiple speaker sub woofer route.
All my kit is quite difficult to get at, so some advice would be grateful.
Would a toslink optical cable from my SkyHD box straight to my LED Smart TV (maybe remove the existing HDMI cable) help to improve the quality of sound coming from my LG 3D LED Smart TV ? As always your thoughts most appreciated.
Even if the TV had an optical input rather than output it wouldn't make one jot of difference to anything.

If you set the Sky box HDMI and optical outs to the same format then exactly the same digital audio data gets chucked out of both. So they would sound exactly the same. Unless you are one of those strange types who believe that digital ones are more "oneish" and digital zeros more "zeroish" because they are transported in pulses of light rather than electricity (or vice versa, difficult to keep up with the lunatic fringe of the Audiophile world)

And out of interest how were you planning to watch Sky with the HDMI lead disconnected?
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Old 05-11-2013, 19:15
chrisjr
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I agree, speakers on TV must be at the rear giving sound to the wall & not me. I must admit quality of picture via HDMI is stunning and the 3D, but alas sound was better via the old scart cable, and I don't want to go back down that route.
I'm wondering how sound could be better via SCART. Unless the TV has a really crap digial to analogue converter compared to the Sky box?

The only other possibility is the Sky box is chucking Dolby Digital surround at the telly and the telly is making a mess decoding and down-mixing to stereo assuming it is even capable of doing so). Though that should only apply to the HD channels with surround sound audio tracks. Otherwise the audio tracks are stereo.
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Old 05-11-2013, 19:16
Nigel Goodwin
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I'm wondering how sound could be better via SCART.
Presumably by 'better' he meant louder?.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:04
Glawster2002
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The HDMI cable carries both the sound and video from the Sky box to the TV, so removing it won't achieve anything.

If you are going for a soundbar I would get one with an optical input and connect the optical output from the Sky box directly to it.

We have a full AV set up and we very rarely use the TV sound as it is so poor.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:15
gomezz
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Only use the TV sound for a quick news channel check in the morning without bother to fire up the AV system.

But I seem to recall HDMI audio from Blu-ray players offering higher bit-rates and quality than over TOS?
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:25
chrisjr
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Only use the TV sound for a quick news channel check in the morning without bother to fire up the AV system.

But I seem to recall HDMI audio from Blu-ray players offering higher bit-rates and quality than over TOS?
HDMI can certainly carry far more audio data than SPDIF (as carried via optical or coaxial digital connections). But that would only really apply to Blu-Ray players. Broadcast audio doesn't get anywhere near the limits of HDMI and is still within the limits of SPDIF if surround sound is carried as raw Dolby Digital encoded format.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:30
grahamlthompson
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Only use the TV sound for a quick news channel check in the morning without bother to fire up the AV system.

But I seem to recall HDMI audio from Blu-ray players offering higher bit-rates and quality than over TOS?

The highest quality usable over a s/pdif connection is DTS surround. Blu-ray has the capability for High Definition very high quality lossless sound with more than 6 channels. Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio which require a hdmi connection to a an amplifier with suitable decoders. All pretty pointless if you are using a TV for the sound, you might as well stick to lpcm stereo (converted from ac3 or MP2) delivered either by hdmi or s/pdif.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:33
gomezz
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My venerable old Denon amp only supports DTS and ony has TOS and no HDMI input and I am not in any rush to upgrade.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:34
Nigel Goodwin
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My venerable old Denon amp only support DTS and ony has TOS and no HDMI input and I am not in any rush to upgrade.
As it'd make sod all difference, why bother
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:36
gomezz
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To feed my new gadgetitis.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:39
Nigel Goodwin
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To feed my new gadgetitis.
There's always that! - but you HAVE to resist!!
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:42
gomezz
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You are supposed to be a salesman!
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:29
peter4076
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Thanks for all your input, Bluray dvd's played via the HDMI are crystal clear, and volume control nowhere near the end of it's sphere of travel. TV channels generally good especially UK television programs, but most of my viewing is via my SkyHD box, and sometimes the quality of audio is very poor once again it seems to be American imports, other than go the Amp & speakers route, looking for a good alternative, will try anything out, ideally would like to borrow a soundbar for a week to see if their is a marked improvement, but spending 2-3 hundred pounds, and finding out that the difference is minimal is off putting to say the least. Once again thanks for your thoughts on this matter.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:42
chrisjr
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Any half way decent soundbar (something like the Yamaha range for example) will be better than the crap TV speakers. Some of the Yamaha range do a fairly decent surround effect by having speakers that bounce the sound off the walls and other trickery to make it sound like noises are coming from behind you.

Also notice that a few manufacturers are doing "sound bases" or "sound plinths". A combination of TV stand and sound bar. For example this

http://www.richersounds.com/product/...00/deno-dht100

An option that might be worth looking at.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:46
Nigel Goodwin
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You are supposed to be a salesman!
No, I'm a service engineer!
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:49
Nigel Goodwin
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Any half way decent soundbar (something like the Yamaha range for example) will be better than the crap TV speakers.
It doesn't even need to be 'half way decent'

The speakers in modern TV's are so crap you probably couldn't find a sound bar anywhere near as poor.

But rather than the OP trying to borrow a sound bar, why not try plugging a pair of PC speakers (which he might well have a pair of?) in the headphone socket, and see how they sound?.
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Old 06-11-2013, 13:09
chrisjr
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It doesn't even need to be 'half way decent'

The speakers in modern TV's are so crap you probably couldn't find a sound bar anywhere near as poor.
Oh I wouldn't say that, I've heard some pretty crap sounding kit in the likes of Currys and Tesco.
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Old 06-11-2013, 13:17
peter4076
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Have just found a spare set of Logitec LS11 stereo speakers, when I have the house to myself ( between midnight - 6am) will try them out, if they are an improvement will treat myself to a soundbar.
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Old 06-11-2013, 13:55
gomezz
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No, I'm a service engineer!
Anytime you are talking to a (potential) customer you are a salesman no matter what your job title is. Or perhaps you remember I am a Sony refusenik?
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Old 06-11-2013, 14:21
Nigel Goodwin
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Anytime you are talking to a (potential) customer you are a salesman no matter what your job title is.
I say it like it is!, I wouldn't try and encourage someone to buy something they didn't need
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Old 06-11-2013, 14:42
gomezz
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But I would not mind doing my bit for the economic recovery by spending a few thou to replace my current AV system and hi-fi system with something that is good for everything. Less of a cabling nightmare too.
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