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Old 14-11-2013, 23:49
meltcity
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I recently got an amp and speakers for my Panasonic TV. To keep things simple I connected a single HDMI cable between the amp (HDMI MONITOR) and the HDMI2 ARC on the TV. All other devices were connected directly to the TV.

The good: with HDMI Control enabled on the amp and Viera Link enabled on the TV the amp switches on and off automatically along with the TV, and I can adjust the volume using the TV remote. I don't have to use the amp remote at all. Surround sound broadcasts from the TV's built in Freeview tuner are sent as DD5.1 to the amp.

The bad: the TV won't pass through surround sound from external sources to the amp! It always comes out as stereo, even when the source is bog-standard DD5.1. The only solution is to all external devices to the amp.

I was wondering if Is this an inherent limitation of the HDMI ARC specifiation, or merely the fault of the TV?
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Old 15-11-2013, 09:42
chrisjr
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Most likely the TV. If it can fire Dolby Digital surround at the amp from it's built in tuner then there is no logical reason why it couldn't pass DD on from external sources. So it can't be ARC that is preventing it, it has to be the design of the telly or some set-up issue.

Is there any compelling reason why you can't connect everything to the amp? That would be the bog standard way of doing it. Not sure if the Viera link would let you switch inputs on the amp as well as do volume.

Mind you I got so pi55ed off with HDMI control on my set-up that I turned it off! It basically tried and failed dismally to be too clever and only got in the way of me doing what I wanted to do rather than what it thought was the right thing to do.

It helps though that the remote on my amp is multi function. So I can use that to control the telly and the amp at the same time rather than keep swapping remotes all the time.
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Old 15-11-2013, 10:31
Deacon1972
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I recently got an amp and speakers for my Panasonic TV. To keep things simple I connected a single HDMI cable between the amp (HDMI MONITOR) and the HDMI2 ARC on the TV. All other devices were connected directly to the TV.

The good: with HDMI Control enabled on the amp and Viera Link enabled on the TV the amp switches on and off automatically along with the TV, and I can adjust the volume using the TV remote. I don't have to use the amp remote at all. Surround sound broadcasts from the TV's built in Freeview tuner are sent as DD5.1 to the amp.

The bad: the TV won't pass through surround sound from external sources to the amp! It always comes out as stereo, even when the source is bog-standard DD5.1. The only solution is to all external devices to the amp.

I was wondering if Is this an inherent limitation of the HDMI ARC specifiation, or merely the fault of the TV?
I'm assuming the tuner is Freeview HD, otherwise audio passed will not be DD5.1 only stereo.

I don't know any TV that passes multichannel audio to it's HDMI output from external devices, only from it's onboard tuners, that's not to say there aren't any - if there are I'd like to know how the TV deals with advance formats like HD audio if a bluray player was connected.
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Old 15-11-2013, 17:54
skinj
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Agree with the above, for using many inputs it's easier to run the items to the amp then monitor to the TV. If you generally only watch the inbuilt Freeview tuner then ARC is great.
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Old 15-11-2013, 18:04
Doghouse Riley
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With my Viera TV I just use the RCA plugs to connect my tuner/amp to my PVR.
I can mute the TV sound and just have the tuner/amp's speakers working.
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Old 15-11-2013, 23:55
meltcity
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Originally Posted by Deacon1972
I don't know any TV that passes multichannel audio to it's HDMI output from external devices, only from it's onboard tuners, that's not to say there aren't any - if there are I'd like to know how the TV deals with advance formats like HD audio if a bluray player was connected.
Ideally the TV shouldn't do anything with external audio when an AV receiver is connected - just pass it through without decoding. Who knows, maybe some day someone will think of actually implementing this feature.

Originally Posted by skinj
Agree with the above, for using many inputs it's easier to run the items to the amp then monitor to the TV. If you generally only watch the inbuilt Freeview tuner then ARC is great.
I can still use the ARC to control the volume and automatically power on/off when using external devices, so it's not all bad, just a hassle to have to manually switch to the required input.
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Old 16-11-2013, 14:51
bobcar
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I can still use the ARC to control the volume and automatically power on/off when using external devices, so it's not all bad, just a hassle to have to manually switch to the required input.
Why do you have to manually switch to the required input? I have my HDMI inputs going into my soundbar and that controlled by CEC from the TV. Yes I have to use the remote codes for my soundbar to switch HDMI inputs (on the soundbar) to watch a different source but that's no different to switching them on the TV.
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Old 16-11-2013, 15:08
chrisjr
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I can still use the ARC to control the volume and automatically power on/off when using external devices, so it's not all bad, just a hassle to have to manually switch to the required input.
[pedant mode = on] You are not using ARC to control the amp. ARC or Audio Return Channel merely carries audio back down the HDMI lead from TV to amp. It plays no part at all in controlling either device at each end of the lead.

It is CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) that is responsible for the remote control of the amp from the TV. [pedant mode = off]



And if you enable CEC on the other devices they should switch the amp to the appropriate input as well when they turn on. Though I'm not sure if everything supports it, Sky boxes I believe don't.

It was CEC that very nearly drove me mad with my kit.

With it enabled I tried to play an audio CD in my Blu-Ray player. The player saw the disk loading so it sent a command to the amp to switch to the BD input. It also decided that even though it was an Audio disk I must want the telly on as well. So it told the telly to turn on.

But I don't want the TV on to listen to a CD. So I turn the TV off. That then sends a command back via the amp to turn the Blu-Ray off, because of course I can't possibly want to use the player without the telly being on can I??

Turn the player back on and repeat the above until you get fed up and either chuck the whole lot out of the window or turn CEC off and make the damn things do what I want rather than what they think I want.
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Old 16-11-2013, 15:48
bobcar
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Turn the player back on and repeat the above until you get fed up and either chuck the whole lot out of the window or turn CEC off and make the damn things do what I want rather than what they think I want.
I just use CEC for the link between the TV and the AMP (TV turns amp on/off and controls volume) and control the rest independently, it's not too much hassle to turn individual items on and off. If I want to listen to music then the TV (and CEC) stays off and I just turn the amp/soundbar source on independently - it's all from the universal remote so no aggro.
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