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PC to TV with HDMI ok - getting sound from digital coax on TV??

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September 6, 2010 10:00:36 AM

Hello all I hope I'm asking the right question in the right place - if not please feel free to redirect me appropriately.

Basically here is my situation. My LCD TV does not have an optical audio connector, but it has two HDMI ports, digital coax and the usual array of composite/component plugs. It is my used as my computer LCD, plugged in via HDMI. I also have an XBOX 360 plugged in via component.

Right now I'm using the TV speakers (horrid) and next week I plan on purchasing a set of Logitech Z-5500 speakers. If you're not sure what these are capable of they have optical audio, digital coax and analog connectors. My PC does not support 5.1 sound as it is a converted HP workstation (designed for hard work not playing games etc) so I am unable to plug the Z-5500 speakers directly into the PC. I plan on using optical audio to connect the speakers to the Xbox, so that takes care of that avenue - but my question is:

While I understand the audio is having no trouble getting from the PC to the TV over HDMI, if I attach the speakers to the TV over digital coax will that simply take control of the sound output away from the TV speakers or will they not recognise that audio is coming across HDMI and only produce sound when I'm watching TV channels?

Sorry it's a bit of a noob question - you wouldn't believe I'm actually a computer technician, I just really struggle with anything once you plug a TV onto it!

Cheers,

Anthony
September 6, 2010 10:31:02 AM

1) TVs have a audio toggle for external sound

2) Most TVs do not output surround sound through their optical outport port

3) HDMI's uncompressed audio will not lead to surround sound through the optical output even if your TV is capable bitstreaming Dolby Digital/DTS

4) The Z-5500s suck.
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September 6, 2010 10:43:28 AM

I knew it was a gamble asking for advice on an online forum due to the usual back of fanboys and opionionated idiots that frequent them.

1) If that's the case I can't see any such toggle for external sound

2) I never said anything about running the speakers through the TV's optical output

3) This is irrelevant

4) Actually they don't - I'm yet to meet anyone who doesn't class them as the best 5.1 speakers available for your PC, and many consider them a serious contender to many entry level HTiB's on the market. I've listened to them in many different environments and I am very convinced.

Thanks for going out of the way to not answer my question at all astrallite - you're a tribute to the forum culture.
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September 7, 2010 1:10:44 AM

No problem. Next time, before you ask for help, I would work on your sentence structure next time before criticizing someone who is trying to answer your question.

If I was going to ask for help I would have at least bothered to make a basic attempt to describe how intend to wire the system before making smart alec remarks. I'm not sure who hired you to be a computer technician. The fact that you can't figure out something as basic as toggling external audio--something that's been in TVs since the 80s--explains a lot to me. In fact there's someone here in the Home Audio section that had the same question and managed to figure it out himself very quickly.
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September 7, 2010 1:03:43 PM

To answer your question:

The coax output on your TV should be capable of routing all incomming audio from your PC to the attached speakers (you probably need to set some menu option to allow this). Whether you can pass through Dolby/DTS audio signals depends on your TV make and model (As a general rule, Dolby is far more supported then DTS). Uncompressed surround signals will NOT be passed through as surround due to Coax/Optical bandwith limitations.

Your best bet is to pass everything through as a Dolby Digital signal if you want surround, and pass it through to your Z-5500's (asusming your TV is capable of passing a Dolby signal)
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