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HDMI to Optical converter

 
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draganm




Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 8986
Location: Colorado


PostLink    Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2022 3:38 pm    Post subject: HDMI to Optical converter Reply with quote


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so my apple TV downstairs has optical audio out, yes it's old. Sadly, Apple TV ended their contract with HBO and HBO is no longer offered

I don't want to buy a new receiver, my old 50 pound Denon is still better than any of the consumer crap they make today.

Choices-
1)buy an older, used Roku with optical audio output, might be hard to find , not sure when the last one came out?

2) Buy a converter box off amazon, they're 20 bucks but really hit and miss on quality. approx. 10% of reviews are negative, which i guess isn't really that bad.

3)another option I haven't considered?

thanks for any advice

https://amzn.to/3KkyoBr
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kal
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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 17525
Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2022 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd take a change on a $20 audio extractor box. In fact, I did exactly that a couple of years ago. This one worked fine for me to extract audio from HDMI:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XW7HYBP?ie=UTF8&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=curtpalmecrtp-20&linkId=7b790aca8296c61dd682525737a2d4a3&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl

The one you linked to above may work too of course. This sort of stuff isn't rocket science.

Kal

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draganm




Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 8986
Location: Colorado


PostLink    Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2022 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks , what i find interesting is that they continue to sell so many of these things years and years after HDMI became the single wire ot solve all your problems. if you look at the reviews they are not very old. So many people are not rushing headlong into the " latest AV standard", at least for their Audio section.

I guess there's a limit to how man times you can sell the same people the same bridge Wink

what does bother me is the reviews are saying these things don't output true 5.1 channel but 2 channel

I have t oconfess i don't understand all of this
Quote:

- It does not transcode audio. If your source sends 5.1 LPCM, 2 channel LPCM is sent via optical. It doesn't re-encode to AC-3 or DTS, but I suppose that's reasonable for an inexpensive device. The source device must use bitstream output for surround sound.
- It does not pass all codecs through the HDMI output. If you have DTS-HD MA coming in, you'll only get DTS going out. I'm not sure what happens with TrueHD or E-AC-3. It's not an issue for me, because 5.1 LPCM seems to work fine.
- The HDMI output does not support more than 5.1 LPCM. If you've got a 7.1 or 9.1 system, it won't work.
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draganm




Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 8986
Location: Colorado


PostLink    Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2022 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

someone actually wrote an article on this, which is even more confusing, they list different boxes depending on which box your using to output HDMI signal

this is nuts

https://headphonesproreview.com/best-hdmi-audio-extractor/

for 20 bucks it looks like your buying a lot of potential problems. Why can't someone make a $40 option to do everything?
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kal
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TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2022 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

draganm wrote:
what does bother me is the reviews are saying these things don't output true 5.1 channel but 2 channel

Mine outputs true 5.1 as long as I feed it an AC-3/DTS bitstream.
You can google differences between Linear PCM and bitstream. Wink

You certainly can't do lossless like DTS-HD MA or DolbyHD TrueHD as toslink doesn't support that sort of bandwidth. Base 5.1 only.

Kal

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2022 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

draganm wrote:
for 20 bucks it looks like your buying a lot of potential problems. Why can't someone make a $40 option to do everything?

Because you can't. You can't use the lossless formats with optical. HDMI only.

Kal

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draganm




Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 8986
Location: Colorado


PostLink    Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2022 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks Kal, i do seem to recall that optical doesn't support the full 192khz/24 bit. I don't need it anyway, it's just a movie, not music. I don't need to hear someones PC generated sound effects in their fully glory Wink

I did find out that the last Roku to have SPDIF out was the Ultra 4640, should bought one when it was available, now they sell for more than new ones Sad

so it's either new Roku, i guess you have to turnoff the DTS output on the Roku?, + a converter
or used 4640 ,
probably the same overall cost

all this just to watch House of the Dragon , What a PITA
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2022 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can certainly do DTS. Just not lossless DTS.

Kal

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draganm




Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Colorado


PostLink    Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2022 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be nice if they even surveyed their customers before getting rid of features.

A new, old stock sealed in box 4640 with optical audio out is selling for more on e-bay than a brand new equivalent model from Roku

at least they support their legacy stuff for very long time with updates, but their website sucks, doesn't even have a search feature.
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2022 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

draganm wrote:
It would be nice if they even surveyed their customers before getting rid of features.

What makes you think they do not? They most certainly build what people want, and they most certainly would have dropped SPDIF/Toslink on their boxes because they found that *most* people didn't want them. So why include them?
Same goes with lots of other features in receivers, computers, you name it. There may be a minority of people who want them but these companies run the numbers to see if it's worth including or having a different model that does, and if it comes back not being worth it for them from a profit perspective, it's gone.

Quote:
A new, old stock sealed in box 4640 with optical audio out is selling for more on e-bay than a brand new equivalent model from Roku

Irrelevant. It's a single unit. Not like that means that they could sell these in volume for more money. They could make a version with all the extra outputs and sell for x2 the cost, but it probably wouldn't be worth it to them. See my point above.

Never mind that you can just buy a $20 extractor as you're doing. There's no point for the company to continue to support something that 0.1% of the population uses. 99.9% of people end up paying for something they don't need. Like including MC/MM phono inputs on receivers. That's silly too. The 0.1% of people who want that can buy a $20 MC/MM preamp to feed into their receiver. Anyone who's serious about that probably wants a good phono preamp anyway, so paying for the manufacturer to put a crappy one in the receiver is just wasting money for them, wasting money for most customers. The manufacturer's not going to put in a GOOD one since 0.1% of people want it.

Kal

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draganm




Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 8986
Location: Colorado


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2022 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wound up buying a used 4640, the last Roku with optical out, for $30. delivered. I think this is the best choice until these units start failing electrically or Roku stops supporting them with updates, which they seem to do a very good job of with many years of support.
At that point, it will need to be a new Roku + a China converter + whatever issues that can cause

kal wrote:
Like including MC/MM phono inputs on receivers. That's silly too. The 0.1% of people who want that can buy a $20 MC/MM preamp to feed into their receiver. Anyone who's serious about that probably wants a good phono preamp anyway, so paying for the manufacturer to put a crappy one in the receiver is just wasting money for them, wasting money for most customers. The manufacturer's not going to put in a GOOD one since 0.1% of people want it.

Kal
AFAIK most new receivers once again have a phono input now, sorry to disappoint Wink
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2022 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

draganm wrote:
AFAIK most new receivers once again have a phono input now, sorry to disappoint Wink

Seems that way! A quick/cursory look a BestBuy.com shows 55 receivers listed, 34 of which have phono inputs. Prices range from $150 to $4600. Vinyl's definitely making a comeback.

Kal

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draganm




Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Colorado


PostLink    Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2022 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
draganm wrote:
AFAIK most new receivers once again have a phono input now, sorry to disappoint Wink

Seems that way! A quick/cursory look a BestBuy.com shows 55 receivers listed, 34 of which have phono inputs. Prices range from $150 to $4600. Vinyl's definitely making a comeback.

Kal
yeah they sell records too, who would have ever though that

Last night i watched the new Roku, work perfectly. The unit i got look like it was used very little if at all. Really sweet solution for 30 bucks

Looks better than the old Apple TV , quite a bit better, even though I'm still down-scaling down to 720P using the roku output
a little sharper, better color saturation
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