I asked this on GameFAQs but no one has answered my other 2 questions there so I'd give this place a try. Here is the post I made
HDMI/Optical Audio setup question?
I just bought a 5.1 surround sound system but only 1 Optical in port on it, if I hook my PS3 up to the TV via HDMI then the TV to the sound system via Optical Audio will I still get 5.1 or will it be 2 channel Stereo or 2.1 up-scaled to 5.1?
Correction, Looks like my tv DOESN'T have an Optical like I previously thought, it does however have Digital in and out ports.
So the question(s) now is, should I just use the PS3's HDMI audio or use the PS3's Optical instead? also, I am currently configured to use the HDMI audio but the sound comes out the TV, as well as the Surround, should I just mute the TV, is this normal? If I connect my PS3 via HDMI to the TV then the TV to the tuner via the "Digital" (this time I mean Digital) will I still get 5.1 or up-scaled?
My Surround is set up to have 3 HDMI in, 1 HDMI out, 1 Digital shared with 1 Optical (2 different ports but 1 receiver channel (have to press Menu then right 2 times then select Coax or Optical, too many steps for me)) Currently I have the PS3 as stated above through the HDMI but the TV is on the Digital.
So, should I keep it the way it is, PS3 Via HDMI to SUR then to TV, and then TV via DIG to SUR (PS3 sound NOT going through the Digital)
hook the PS3 Directly to the TV via the HDMI then use the TV DIG to the SUR (PS3 sound IS going through the Digital)
hook the PS3 Directly to the TV via the HDMI then the PS3 OPT to the SUR (keeping the TV hooked up via Digital and just bear going through the menu)
Added just here to this site:
Is Optical really better than HDMI? I hear rumors that it is. Should I just not bother?
I just read a bunch of sites, all pointing TOOOOOO if you are using HDMI (apparently this is best cause of the 8 channels instead of 2 with the Optical) then Linear PCM is the best way to go cause the PS3 does all the converting before sending the signal to the Receiver for true 5.1/7.1. IF you are going the 2 Channel Optical then Bit(Direct) is best but certain sounds will be gone, the whole point of surround is that say you are in a game such as Call of Duty, and you get shot from behind and to the left, you will know what way to turn around the quickest instead of looking at the hit meter showing you where you got hit, basically giving you 3D sound.
Apparently the Linear setting is converted by the PS3 1st, but Bit is sent to be converted by the Receiver instead of the PS3 doing it, but either way it's converted to Linear after everything is all said and done, so it's up to your preference. I don't watch much movies on my PS3 so I dunno, All I know is my PS3 game Gran Turismo is reading "Dolby Digital 5.1 ch 48 kHz" right now, and it wont let me change it... I fixed the audio (used HDMI, Manual, then selected multiple items including Linear 5.1) through HDMI, it now reads on my game "Linear PCM 5.1 ch 48 kHz" I dunno, I'm on the fence about this one, I think the echo I'm getting is the true 3D sound now but it is kinda scary sounding with the default music on the Gran Turismo 5 game but it does sounds better... doesn't sound up-scaled.......
I look at it like this
Mono (1 speaker)
Stereo (2 speakers)
Digital/Optical (still 2 speakers but better quality than Stereo)
HDMI (from Mono Speaker up to 7 Speakers plus 1 Sub latter being 7.1 surround)
so I guess I got my answer, I also found out that by minimizing the audio on the TV that it did not affect the Surround. as my previous 5.1 did (for tv it was 2 channel up-scaled damn Logitech computer surround tv adaptor)
G'day mate! dont connect the optical cable from your tv to your receiver, instead just use hdmi as video and connect your optical cable from your ps3 straight to your receiver. this is because the converter in the tv wont be as efficient as just running the cable direct!
Ok, here's the main issue: While Digital (Optical or Coax) is capable of transmitting Dolby/DTS in 5.1, when you connect to a TV via HDMI then use the TV's optical out, you will almost certianly be limited to just 2.0. Most TV's lack the ability to output out 5.1 over their digital out port.
LPCM via HDMI is probably the best, since you avoid having to used compressed audio formats. The PS3 will handle the decoding natively.