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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 131

post #1951 of 2741

"Very similarly, your room correction system apparently has its own similar limitations and requirements on input, namely either (a) discrete multi-channel LPCM on its HDMI input, or (b) 2-channel analog (but not multi-channel analog) its 2-channel RCA inputs. Your room correction unit unfortunately only has 2-channel RCA analog inputs, not 8-channel RCA analog inputs as the Realiser does for normal use. It would seem they designed it intended for use with a BluRay player as digital multi-channel audio source, or alternatively a conventional CD player or other simple analog 2-channel stereo player as an analog audio source. You wouldn't even be able to use your room correction system with a cable company STB/DVR as a multi-channel DD5.1 source device for HDTV."

 

Very few AV receivers( if any ) will allow DSP of any kind to be applied to multi-channel analog inputs, so this is a nearly universal problem, not a peculiarity.


Edited by xjr15 - 9/1/12 at 8:43pm
post #1952 of 2741

"Very similarly, your room correction system apparently has its own similar limitations and requirements on input, namely either (a) discrete multi-channel LPCM on its HDMI input, or (b) 2-channel analog (but not multi-channel analog) its 2-channel RCA inputs. Your room correction unit unfortunately only has 2-channel RCA analog inputs, not 8-channel RCA analog inputs as the Realiser does for normal use. It would seem they designed it intended for use with a BluRay player as digital multi-channel audio source, or alternatively a conventional CD player or other simple analog 2-channel stereo player as an analog audio source. You wouldn't even be able to use your room correction system with a cable company STB/DVR as a multi-channel DD5.1 source device for HDTV."

 

The problem is not with the use USE of the Smyth( and the inputs/outputs available while USING the Smyth ). The problem is with the SET UP of the Smyth. The Smyth only outputs its multi-channel TEST SIGNALS, which are used to capture the characteristics of the system the Smyth is to emulate, as analog multichannel outputs. This means that when the Smyth is configured( personalised or setup or whatever you want to call it ), any DSP that the user of the receiver normally uses simply cannot be captured in the Smyth emulation. This follows from the fact that the test signals used by the Smyth for personalisation are output  as analog only, meaning that the test signal can only be input to the receiver at its multi-channel analog inputs. From this fact it follows( for almost all receivers ) that any DSP that the listener normally uses cannot be applied during Smyth personalization and hence cannot be captured by the Smyth emulation. Applying the receiver's  DSP in USE( after the Smyth setup  is completed ) when the Smyth emulation is applied, and when the input signal to the receiver is a multi-channel digital input, may or may not work as intended, and may instead interfere with the Smyth emulation. In USE, the DSP, if it were to be applied  at all, would have to be be pre-applied to the input to the Smyth, before the Smyth applies its own emulation DSP.   

 

There may be a very few receivers that do an analog-to-digital conversion on their multichannel analog inputs( thereby allowing DSP to be applied to those inputs before ampilfication and routing to the speakers ), but the vast majority do not.


Edited by xjr15 - 8/30/12 at 2:56pm
post #1953 of 2741

"You wouldn't even be able to use your room correction system with a cable company STB/DVR as a multi-channel DD5.1 source device for HDTV."

 

No. You are confusing use with setup. The Dolby Digital 5.1 from a cable box or DVR would be digital inputs to the receiver and Room EQ and other DSP could be applied.

post #1954 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by xjr15 View Post

"Very similarly, your room correction system apparently has its own similar limitations and requirements on input, namely either (a) discrete multi-channel LPCM on its HDMI input, or (b) 2-channel analog (but not multi-channel analog) its 2-channel RCA inputs. Your room correction unit unfortunately only has 2-channel RCA analog inputs, not 8-channel RCA analog inputs as the Realiser does for normal use. It would seem they designed it intended for use with a BluRay player as digital multi-channel audio source, or alternatively a conventional CD player or other simple analog 2-channel stereo player as an analog audio source. You wouldn't even be able to use your room correction system with a cable company STB/DVR as a multi-channel DD5.1 source device for HDTV."

 

The problem is not with the use USE of the Smyth( and the inputs/outputs available while USING the Smyth ). The problem is with the SET UP of the Smyth. The Smyth only outputs its multi-channel TEST SIGNALS, which are used to capture the characteristics of the system the Smyth is to emulate, as analog multichannel outputs. This means that when the Smyth is configured( personalised or setup or whatever you want to call it ), any DSP that the user of the receiver normally uses simply cannot be captured in the Smyth emulation. This follows from the fact that the test signals used by the Smyth for personalisation are output only as analog only, meaning that the test signal can only be input to the receiver at its multi-channel analog inputs. From this fact it follows( for almost all receivers ) that any DSP that the listener normally uses cannot be applied during Smyth personalization and hence cannot be captured by the Smyth emulation. Applying the receiver's  DSP in USE( after the Smyth setup  is completed ) when the Smyth emulation is applied, and when the input signal to the receiver is a multi-channel digital input, may or may not work as intended, and may instead interfere with the Smyth emulation. In USE, the DSP, if it were to be applied  at all, would have to be be pre-applied to the input to the Smyth, before the Smyth applies its own emulation DSP.   

 

There may be a very few receivers that do an analog-to-digital conversion on their multichannel analog inputs( thereby allowing DSP to be applied to those inputs before ampilfication and routing to the speakers ), but the vast majority do not.


Yes, this is the problem we had with a 7.1 system which used Audyssey when we tried to do a PRIR of the system. There was no way to feed the pre-pro with a digital test signal from the Realiser. I had another system that also only had digital inputs. Lorr was there too and this is what he said about the PRIR session:

 

 

Quote:
The multichannel inputs do not go through Audyssey, according to page 46 of the Marantz manual.  Therefore it will not be possible to incorporate the EQ into the measurement.  (Actually, there is a laborious and and time-consuming way to do it, assembling a measurement two channels at a time IF there is a two-channel analogue input that goes through Audyssey, but that is beyond the scope of this session and would certainly be impractical for demos. -Lorr

I did  not have a chance to ask him about the process, but it sounds like you use a two channel analog input and somehow route the test signal to two of the speakers at a time. I am not sure on any given processor if it's possible to take a 2 channel input and tell the prepro to output that signal to the Ls or Rs speakers instead of the L and R channel.

 

The only other way I can think of doing it is to rewire the L and R channel speaker output to each pair of surround speakers, but that would defeat the EQ settings.

 

I will ask Lorr if he can outline the "laborious and time-consuming" process.


Edited by darinf - 8/19/12 at 9:37pm
post #1955 of 2741

Any of you guys not using HPEQ's and just sticking with your headphones sound? I enjoyed the HPEQ on my old STAX but vastly prefer my Denon's without EQ.

post #1956 of 2741
Thread Starter 

Ok. Just acquired a dual HDMI-out Yamaha RX-V867, to go along with my newly acquired Realiser (HDMI) and Stax SRM-007/SR-009.  I moved my old RX-V863 upstairs, to go along with my old #0001 Realiser (analog) and old Stax SRM-T1S/Omega-1 where I plan to use it with my PC (if I can ever figure out how to get multi-channel digital audio out from the PC to the 863, either via optical or HDMI).

 

Anyway, tried to get everything working today with the new 867 and Realiser.  And it didn't work.

 

The problem seems to be in an apparent design change Yamaha must have made between the 863 and 867, which seems to force 2-channel stereo out of both HDMI OUT jacks on the 867, even when the source device is feeding multi-channel to the 867 via HDMI input.  According to the small but significant difference in the description of this HDMI setting in both user manuals along with empirical results using both 863 and 867 to feed HDMI audio to the new Realiser, it appears that Yamaha now thinks the only downstream HDMI device which will be connected to the two HDMI OUT jacks are TV's, which of course do not accept multi-channel but only accept 2-channel stereo.

 

The 863 manual refers to "HDMI device", where the 867 manual refers to "TV".

 

Anyway, it doesn't work.  I've got a ticket open at Yamaha tech support and hope to get a call back from 2nd-level support on Monday.  But unless there is some secret setting or workaround I couldn't find, it would appear that the 867 is NOT an acceptable AVR for feeding multi-channel digital audio to the Realiser via HDMI (even though the Oppo player is feeding multi-channel LPCM to the 867).  It appears that "HDMI pass-through" setting was facilitated on the 863 with its HDMI output, but the identical/equivalent setting on the 867 is not "HDMI pass-through" at all but simply a delivery method for 2-channel stereo via HDMI to the presumed connected PAIR OF TV's to the two HDMI OUT jacks!!!

 

In contrast, using the 863 to feed multi-channel digital to the Realiser truly is "HDMI pass-through", and the multi-channel LPCM coming from the Oppo is passed right on through to the one HDMI OUT to feed the Realiser... well this works perfectly.

 

 

So for the moment, I'm running with the 863 instead of the 867.  I've got the one HDMI OUT of the 863 running to the Realiser, and I've reconfigured things to feed component video out from the 863 to my HDTV (of course this also required feeding component video rather than HDMI from the source devices to the 863, since it does not convert HDMI to component video but rather requires component video in if you want component video out).

 

Also adding to the mayhem and annoyance, the HDMI OUT on the Realiser does not seem to work (at least not with two HDTV's I tried it with).  That's really why I was forced to go with component video out of the 863 to the HDTV, when I had thought I could just go HDMI from 863 to Realiser HDMI INPUT and then HDMI from Realiser HDMI OUTPUT to HDTV.  According to Lorr, this certainly is supposed to work and does work at the Smyth office.  But it did not work in my house, using the HDMI Realiser and either of the two HDTV's I tried it with.

 

HDMI handshakes.  GRRRRR!!!

 

 

If Yamaha does not have an answer for me on Monday, the 867 will simply be returned.  Perhaps they will give me a "repair offer", or an upgrade option, if one of their higher-end AVR's does not have this issue but truly has "HDMI pass-through" liuke the 863 did.

 

So, can I get some input on what brand/model of dual-HDMI-OUT AVR's other people are using successfully to feed HDTV and HDMI Realiser?  I can't use the single HDMI-OUT 863, and need to have a dual HDMI-OUT alternative.

 

Suggestions please??

post #1957 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

Ok. Just acquired a dual HDMI-out Yamaha RX-V867, to go along with my newly acquired Realiser (HDMI) and Stax SRM-007/SR-009.  I moved my old RX-V863 upstairs, to go along with my old #0001 Realiser (analog) and old Stax SRM-T1S/Omega-1 where I plan to use it with my PC (if I can ever figure out how to get multi-channel digital audio out from the PC to the 863, either via optical or HDMI).

 

Anyway, tried to get everything working today with the new 867 and Realiser.  And it didn't work.

 

The problem seems to be in an apparent design change Yamaha must have made between the 863 and 867, which seems to force 2-channel stereo out of both HDMI OUT jacks on the 867, even when the source device is feeding multi-channel to the 867 via HDMI input.  According to the small but significant difference in the description of this HDMI setting in both user manuals along with empirical results using both 863 and 867 to feed HDMI audio to the new Realiser, it appears that Yamaha now thinks the only downstream HDMI device which will be connected to the two HDMI OUT jacks are TV's, which of course do not accept multi-channel but only accept 2-channel stereo.

 

The 863 manual refers to "HDMI device", where the 867 manual refers to "TV".

 

Anyway, it doesn't work.  I've got a ticket open at Yamaha tech support and hope to get a call back from 2nd-level support on Monday.  But unless there is some secret setting or workaround I couldn't find, it would appear that the 867 is NOT an acceptable AVR for feeding multi-channel digital audio to the Realiser via HDMI (even though the Oppo player is feeding multi-channel LPCM to the 867).  It appears that "HDMI pass-through" setting was facilitated on the 863 with its HDMI output, but the identical/equivalent setting on the 867 is not "HDMI pass-through" at all but simply a delivery method for 2-channel stereo via HDMI to the presumed connected PAIR OF TV's to the two HDMI OUT jacks!!!

 

In contrast, using the 863 to feed multi-channel digital to the Realiser truly is "HDMI pass-through", and the multi-channel LPCM coming from the Oppo is passed right on through to the one HDMI OUT to feed the Realiser... well this works perfectly.

 

 

So for the moment, I'm running with the 863 instead of the 867.  I've got the one HDMI OUT of the 863 running to the Realiser, and I've reconfigured things to feed component video out from the 863 to my HDTV (of course this also required feeding component video rather than HDMI from the source devices to the 863, since it does not convert HDMI to component video but rather requires component video in if you want component video out).

 

Also adding to the mayhem and annoyance, the HDMI OUT on the Realiser does not seem to work (at least not with two HDTV's I tried it with).  That's really why I was forced to go with component video out of the 863 to the HDTV, when I had thought I could just go HDMI from 863 to Realiser HDMI INPUT and then HDMI from Realiser HDMI OUTPUT to HDTV.  According to Lorr, this certainly is supposed to work and does work at the Smyth office.  But it did not work in my house, using the HDMI Realiser and either of the two HDTV's I tried it with.

 

HDMI handshakes.  GRRRRR!!!

 

 

If Yamaha does not have an answer for me on Monday, the 867 will simply be returned.  Perhaps they will give me a "repair offer", or an upgrade option, if one of their higher-end AVR's does not have this issue but truly has "HDMI pass-through" liuke the 863 did.

 

So, can I get some input on what brand/model of dual-HDMI-OUT AVR's other people are using successfully to feed HDTV and HDMI Realiser?  I can't use the single HDMI-OUT 863, and need to have a dual HDMI-OUT alternative.

 

Suggestions please??


If you need dual HDMI out, you can always get a 4x2 HDMI switcher. That's what I did.

 

Here's the one I got:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5312&seq=1&format=2

 

Or if you need 3D, you can get this one:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=6415&seq=1&format=2

 

I know it's not ideal, but you can feed the output of your AVR to both the Realiser and the TV separately at the same time and don't even use the other 3 inputs on the switch. This way you could "convert" your 863 to dual output especially if it works with the Realiser.

 

That seems very strange that Yamaha would disable HDMI pass through.

post #1958 of 2741
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post


If you need dual HDMI out, you can always get a 4x2 HDMI switcher. That's what I did.

 

Here's the one I got:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5312&seq=1&format=2

 

Or if you need 3D, you can get this one:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=6415&seq=1&format=2

 

I know it's not ideal, but you can feed the output of your AVR to both the Realiser and the TV separately at the same time and don't even use the other 3 inputs on the switch. This way you could "convert" your 863 to dual output especially if it works with the Realiser.

 

That seems very strange that Yamaha would disable HDMI pass through.

 

This Matrix Switch seems like a great idea for an instant solution for the new HDMI Realiser setup, to conceptually convert my current one-HDMI-out 863 to a dual-HDMI-out, without having to change to a new receiver.  In fact, I really would prefer to keep the 863 where it is as it still has wonderful analog connectivity that I've gotten used to, including S-video.  With the 867, Yamaha eliminated S-video (retaining just composite video) to make room for 5 HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs on the rear, as well as one more HDMI input on the front.  They also eliminated lots of other analog A/V connectivity options in their push to move to digital, apparently believing analog TV's and VCR's are a thing of the past and don't need to be supported any longer.

 

But I still need something like a second AVR (like the 863 as-is) anyway, to support my original #001 analog Realiser in its new home in my house, since I need a decoder with analog preamp outputs to feed the equipment (coming from my PC) at that second location.

 

I've posted my experiences with the 867 on the AVS Forum (863 owner's thread) and it was suggested that I at least try a specific "HDMI reset" procedure, to potentially "un-stick" the 867 from believing the Realiser wants 2-channel stereo when in fact it wants multi-channel, which I'll do tomorrow.  I'm not optimistic it will change anything, but who knows?

 

I agree, it almost seems too mindless to be believed, that Yamaha would actually disable HDMI pass-through for any conceivably justifiable reason, much less one that was based on a theory that the only devices connected via the two HDMI OUT jacks would be two TV's and so why would you need anything more than 2-channel stereo?  But even that thought is incorrect, as some TV's can accept multi-channel input and in turn send the multi-channel digital audio output on out over their optical output, perhaps to a surround processor or soundbar.

 

Anyway, I will try the HDMI reset tomorrow.  And I will speak to Yamaha on Monday regarding my ticket, and see what they say.  Then I'll decide how to proceed.

post #1959 of 2741

"Actually, there is a laborious and and time-consuming way to do it, assembling a measurement two channels at a time IF there is a two-channel analogue input that goes through Audyssey, but that is beyond the scope of this session and would certainly be impractical for demos." -Lorr

 

I have corresponded with Lorr on this issue, but here he is incorrect. Using 2-channels at at time during personalisation would not work because the Trinnov or Audyssey processing/transform is different for each speaker. So if you tried doing 2-channels at a time, you would have to connect the surround speakers to the front L/R speaker terminals, which would incorrectly apply the Trinnov/Audyssey processing for the front L/R speakers to the surround speakers. So there is no way to include any DSP in the PRIR, unless the box that does the DSP does an A-to-D conversion on its analog inputs( no receivers to my knowledge do such an A-to-D conversion, not even the top-of-the-line $7,500 Denon ).

 

The DSP could still be applied during listening in the receiver as a preprocess to the Smyth virtualisation, but whether this would work is anybody's guess. I will try it with Trinnov( Sherwood R-972 ) when I get the Realiser and get it up and running in my system. A generalized pre-process like Dolby PL II surround would probably work with the Realiser, but room-specific DSP like Trinnov and Audyssey are problematic if applied as preprocess.

 

However, on August 20, Trinnov announced a new line of home theater processors(  called "Magnitude32" ) which would have analog I/O. Trinnov Magnitude32 units should be available from October 2012 but the MSRPs were not announced.


Edited by xjr15 - 8/26/12 at 4:02pm
post #1960 of 2741
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post


If you need dual HDMI out, you can always get a 4x2 HDMI switcher. That's what I did.

 

Here's the one I got:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5312&seq=1&format=2

 

 

Ordered one of these today.  In the short term it seems like a perfectly acceptable and inexpensive solution, and also allows me to keep using my "highly analog-friendly" single-HDMI-OUT 863 to feed both HDMI digital and preamp-out analog to an HDMI Realiser.

 

I will report what Yamaha says to me on Monday about this issue, and whether or not this "2-channel stereo problem" is unique to the 867 and has perhaps been corrected either with an unannounced 867 firmware upgrade and/or in the 871 or other newer models.

 

I'm still waiting for anybody else on this thread who IS using the HDMI Realiser successfully to state what presumably dual-HDMI-OUT AVR they are successfully using, as obviously the 867 is NOT one of these.

post #1961 of 2741
Thread Starter 

Ok. Solved all of my problems... thanks to your suggestion for that 4x2 HDMI matrix switch which will convert my single-HDMI-out 863 into a dual-HDMI-out device.  That's all I really needed in the first place, as the limit of three HDMI inputs on the 863 was not a problem for me.  And I really didn't want to give up S-video analog connectivity anyway (which I would have had to do, if I went to an 867).

 

So, downstairs is just as it was... but with a new HDMI Realiser replacing the old analog Realiser.  The HDMI Realiser is connected to the original 863 by both (a) HDMI (actually, through the 4x2 switch) for LPCM coming from my Oppo, and (b) also by preamp analog output for my DVR and DVHS VCR, neither of which can send decoded LPCM.

 

And, instead of using the new 867 downstairs where I'd planned to use it, I've now simply installed the new 867 upstairs (where I needed an AVR anyway, to support my original analog Realiser and original SRM-T1S/SR-Omega which I'd moved upstairs to create a second Realiser location), fed from my PC via HDMI audio (from the HDMI output of my ATI HD5770 video card, which also simultaneously delivers digital video to my HDMI-capable monitor).

 

I was unable to get multi-channel digital audio delivered from my PC to the 867 using the optical output from the Realtek ALC1200 on my motherboard, so I finally just gave up.  Instead, I changed one of my monitors from DVI-connected (to my dual-DVI plus HDMI ATI HD5770 video card) to HDMI connected, sending the HDMI cable through one of the 867's HDMI inputs.  One of the two HDMI-OUT jacks on the 867 is then connected to the HDMI input on that HDMI-capable monitor (a fantastic Eizo HD2441W, which of course "they don't make anymore").

 

In other words, one of my two monitors is still connected via DVI.  But the other monitor is now connected via HDMI-relay from PC through 867 and then to the monitor.  That HDMI connection from HD5770 to the 867 also delivers pure digital audio (of any type) to the 867 for conversion to analog (preamp output) and on to the analog Realiser, and then to my SRM-T1S/SR-Omega system.  There was a minor adjustment for that monitor, which previously was running at 1920x1200 and 60hz via DVI, but is now running at 1920x1080 50hz via HDMI.  Otherwise from a Windows Desktop perspective the change was essentially transparent.

 

 

It all works perfectly, and listening to sound via my new upstairs PC-based Realiser setup is an absolute treat!!!  It sounds fantastic (well, just like it always did downstairs). And the new HDMI Realiser downstairs sounds even better.

 

Note that I can still revert to my external speakers instead of headphones, if I want to, just by selecting "speakers" in "playback devices".  But I do have to leave the 867 always turned on, since the HDMI monitor is supported through it.

post #1962 of 2741

A question for you guys:  Is it true that resolution higher than 24 96 will not make for any improvements because the Realiser processes everything into 96?  If so, I am curious because it seems to me that I notice a difference at higher res.

 

Also, my Oppo 95 has a better DAC, but HDMI would limit output to 96 as well.  So I would think staying in analog would be superior.  All so complex!!

post #1963 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiritz View Post

A question for you guys:  Is it true that resolution higher than 24 96 will not make for any improvements because the Realiser processes everything into 96?  If so, I am curious because it seems to me that I notice a difference at higher res.

 

Also, my Oppo 95 has a better DAC, but HDMI would limit output to 96 as well.  So I would think staying in analog would be superior.  All so complex!!

 

Would need to look a bit earlier in this thread, but I recall the processing is done at 48kHz/24 bits (every input gets resampled / decimated). Probably one reason is that original intended use was movie soundtrack editing. Also, the PRIRs and other HPEQ do not likely need any more than 12 bits and 20kHz bandwidth to get resolved so it becomes a moot point (and a headache in terms of DSP processing power needs actually) to perform the filtering at any higher rate.

 

So, any difference you notice might be due to the better source material (a good high res mix typically also sounds wonderful when decimated to redbook format) or that decimated from 96 to 48kHz sounds cleaner than resampling from 44.1 to 48kHz...

post #1964 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

 

Would need to look a bit earlier in this thread, but I recall the processing is done at 48kHz/24 bits (every input gets resampled / decimated). Probably one reason is that original intended use was movie soundtrack editing. Also, the PRIRs and other HPEQ do not likely need any more than 12 bits and 20kHz bandwidth to get resolved so it becomes a moot point (and a headache in terms of DSP processing power needs actually) to perform the filtering at any higher rate.

 

So, any difference you notice might be due to the better source material (a good high res mix typically also sounds wonderful when decimated to redbook format) or that decimated from 96 to 48kHz sounds cleaner than resampling from 44.1 to 48kHz...

This brings up an interesting question.  How is it possible for, for example, that the reviewer at Absolute Sound hears no difference between the output of the Realiser and direct listening to the speakers in his super high end systems?  Or is he not listening to records or high resolution discs on these system?  Because if he is listening to audiophile LPs or DVDs recorded at high resolution and the Realiser is outputting at lower resolution, then one would expect a different listening experience.  It's very confusing to me.

post #1965 of 2741
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post


My laptop's video card does not support multi-channel output via HDMI. The only thing I can do is get it to output 2 channels via the HDMI out.

 

Ok. I thought I would summarize the results of my "project", as it might be helpful to others.

 

(1) The story begins with the recent purchase of my second Realiser, this time a current HDMI-enabled version.  I also purchased a dual-HDMI-OUT Yamaha RX-V867 AVR to replace my current single-HDMI-OUT RX-V863.

 

The plan was that one of the HDMI-OUT ports on the 867 would go to my HDTV and the other would go to the HDMI Realiser (for use with decoded LPCM delivered via HDMI from Oppo player through the 867 and on via HDMI to the HDMI Realiser).

 

The 867 would also connect via its discrete analog preamp outputs to the discrete analog inputs of the HDMI Realiser, for use with other non-BluRay sources in my setup.  These other devices are only capable of delivering still-encoded DD5.1 to the 867 over HDMI or optical/coax, so it would be in the 867 where decoding would occur and discrete channel analog output delivered from the preamp outputs of the 867 to the main analog inputs of the HDMI Realiser.

 

And my old analog Realiser would be re-purposed to a second watching/listening location in my house (at my HTPC). In theory, my current 863 AVR would also be moved to that second location, to support the old analog Realiser there just as it had been supporting it in its previous location next to my primary HDTV.  I would then be able to watch HDTV and/or DVD/BluRay movies on that HTPC while listening to sound through the Realiser and headphones.

 

 

(2) So now I have two Realisers: (a) analog-only, and (b) analog/HDMI.  This is part of my significant (and, shudder, very expensive!) hardware/equipment upgrade project over the past year which in addition to the recently acquired second Realiser and second AVR also included earlier acquisition of (a) external Audio-GD NFB9 DAC, (b) new Stax SRM-007tII amp, and (c) new Stax SR-009 headphones, not to mention two fairly expensive Stax headphone extension cords and two sets of fairly expensive XLR cables to feed my two Stax amps .  My previous Stax SRM-T1S/SR-Omega amp/headphone setup had been re-purposed upstairs, where I had a 2-channel audio-only listening setup with real quality audio equipment.

 

My plan was now to have two separate Realiser-enabled viewing/listening locations: (a) downstairs based on Sony 34XBR960 HDTV, with source equipment of Oppo BDP-83 for BluRay and HDMI audio to the HDMI Realiser, Linksys DMA2100 Windows Media Center extender for HDTV (from my HTPC), and JVC DT100U DVHS VCR, all for discrete analog audio to the HDMI Realiser, and (b) upstairs based on my dual-monitor BluRay-drive-equipped HTPC, which would also be the source equipment providing both HDTV as well as BluRay/DVD watching if I wanted to, for multi-channel audio through the analog Realiser.

 

The downstairs location would be supported by [theoretically] the RX-V867 dual-HDMI-OUT AVR, the HDMI Realiser connected by both HDMI and analog to the 867, and the SRM-007/SR-009.  The upstairs location would be supported by [theoretically] by the RX-V863 single-HDMI-OUT AVR, the analog Realiser connected only by analog to the 863, and the SRM-T1S/SR-Omega.

 

 

(3) My Oppo BDP-83 only has a single HDMI output.  And my XBR960 only has a single HDMI input.  The 863 has three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output.  The 867 has five HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs.

 

My HTPC has a dual-DVI/HDMI ATI HD5770 video card to support dual monitors (I have an Eizo S2433W DVI-only 24" LCD as my primary monitor #1, and an Eizo HD2441W DVI/HDMI 24" LCD as my extended monitor #2), with one of those two monitors fixed at DVI (1920x1200) but the other monitor supportable via either DVI (1920x1200) or HDMI (1920x1080).  The HDMI output can be used to deliver (a) digital video only over HDMI, say directly to an HDMI-capable TV or monitor, or (b) digital video and multi-channel digital audio simultaneously over HDMI, say to an HDMI-enabled AVR which then delivers HDMI digital video to an HDMI-capable TV or monitor while simultaneously handling the multi-channel sound requirements through multi-channel speakers, or via the Realiser and headphones.

 

Since only two of the three available connectors on the HD5770 can be used at one time, if you want to deliver digital audio over HDMI to an external AVR-based sound system then you also must use that same HDMI connection for digital video (i.e. the corresponding DVI connection is disabled), with HDMI output from the AVR then going to an HDMI-capable TV or monitor.  But all three connectors on the HD5770 can actually be "wired" (for potential use in different configurations), as long as only two of the three get used at any one time.

 

So for one HTPC operational setup option, I actually have the two DVI outputs from the HD5770 cable-connected to the two DVI inputs on my two monitors, which enables me to have the option of running both monitors in 1920x1200 60hz DVI mode (which I really prefer, for working).  For this configuration, my HD2441W is set for its input to come from DVI.  At this time I also set "playback devices" on my sound card to specify "speakers" as the default (which makes use of the Realtek ALC1200 sound chip on my motherboard to feed my standard Altec-Lansing 641 4.1 computer speaker system).  Windows Media Center displaying HDTV-in-a-window in DVI-mode on the HD2441W looks gorgeous, and the sound through analog Altec-Lansing speakers is perfectly fine (in fact it's excellent).

 

For the other HTPC operational setup option, when I want to listen to multi-channel sound on my HTPC via the Realiser (connected to the AVR), I have to send that digital multi-channel sound out via HDMI from the HD5770 to the AVR (where it gets decoded if necessary, and then delivered via discrete preamp output analog to the Realiser).  And that means at that time I also must be using that same HDMI output of the HD5770 for digital video (rather than DVI), to feed video through the AVR via HDMI and back to the HD2441W via HDMI, which for this configuration must have its input set to come from HDMI.  At this time I also set "playback devices" on my sound card to specify "ATI HDMI Audio" as the default, which now sends all digital audio (including multi-channel) from any source/program out from HD5770 over HDMI to the AVR.  Depending on the source program that HDMI-delivered digital sound can either be (a) sent still encoded, e.g. DD5.1 from HDTV and Windows Media Center, or (b) still encoded DD5.1 or decoded PCM from CyberLink PowerDVD9 when playing DVD/BluRay, etc.  Whatever audio format is sent to the AVR via HDMI, it will be handled correctly.  And the digital HDMI video is HDMI-relayed from the HD5770 to the AVR and then back to the HD2441W.

 

So for "normal" dual-monitor DVI mode with analog speakers, I have the HD2441W set to DVI input, and the AVR and Realiser are both turned off (thus disappearing the HDMI connections everywhere).  This absence of HDMI causes Windows and the HD5770 drivers to utilize the dual-DVI path from HD5770 to the dual monitors, and the "playback devices" for sound shows the HDMI Audio option as "disconnected, not ready".  Instead, "speakers" is selected as the default sound output.

 

And for "multi-channel Realiser" operation, I have the HD2441W set to HDMI input, and the AVR and Realiser are both turned on (thus appearing the HDMI connection from HD5770 to AVR, and also the HDMI connection from AVR to the HD2441W).  The presence of HDMI (and the disappearance of the DVI connection to the HD2441W) causes Windows and the HD5770 to disable that DVI connection and instead use HDMI for video to the HD2441W through the AVR.  It also causes "playback devices" for sound to now show the HDMI Audio option as "connected, ready" and selecting it as the default output will send all digital sound from PC to the AVR out over that HDMI connection from the HD5770 (with no sound sent to the analog speakers).

 

Note that there is a visible difference in video quality when running the HD2441W in DVI (1920x1200 60hz) mode vs. HDMI (1920x1080p 50hz) mode.  It actually works near-perfectly (other than the reduced desktop size, and a slight size reduction of the 1920x1080 display presentation within the physical LCD panel itself so that there are "black bars" on all four edges of the screen), but I much prefer DVI mode both in clarity and performance.  Note that both HDTV, videos, and playback of DVD/BluRay is possible in both DVI and HDMI modes, but it really does look better in DVI mode (which again, is slightly larger since it fills the entire LCD panel at native 1920x1200 resolution).

 

 

(4) As multi-faceted and "complex" as is the setup for the HTPC (but which as implemented does give me my desired flexibility of (a) normal all-DVI-video and analog speakers when I don't want to listen through the Realiser, or (b) HDMI/DVI-video and multi-channel sound via HDMI from HTPC to AVR to Realiser) there is even more of a challenge trying to connect and configure the downstairs setup.  This is due to the available number of HDMI inputs and outputs on the various devices, and also because the AVR is in the middle and being used used as an HDMI switcher.

 

The goal is to provide (a) digital video from Oppo over HDMI, (b) decoded LPCM digital audio from Oppo over HDMI, (c) digital video to XBR960 over HDMI, and (d) passed-through LPCM digital audio from AVR to HDMI Realiser over HDMI.  But the setup must also support (a) encoded multi-channel digital audio from the other non-Oppo source devices to the AVR, and (b) decoded analog preamp output from AVR to HDMI Realiser via analog inputs, as well as (c) digital video from the source devices over HDMI and (d) digital video to XBR960 over HDMI when these other source devices are selected as input.

 

But... in order to get HDMI audio "passed through" the AVR, from Oppo to the downstream HDMI Realiser, the "HDMI pass-through" option on the AVR must be set to ON (or "enabled", or whatever it's called on the particular AVR).  However, if with "HDMI pass-through" enabled the HDMI-connected HDTV is also seen by the Oppo (as it would be, if simultaneously connected to the second HDMI output on the dual-HDMI-OUT 867), then the Oppo will NOT deliver multi-channel digital audio out over HDMI since the "visible" HDTV can only accept 2-channel stereo.  So the digital HDMI audio from Oppo to AVR to Realiser is not multi-channel, but instead is only 2-channel stereo.  Obviously this a major show-stopper problem.

 

I tried both my XBR960 and also a second Samsung HDTV connected to the 867 via one HDMI output, but could never get anything but 2-channel stereo audio (from the Oppo, through the 867) sent to the Realiser out of the other second HDMI output.

 

Even more surprising, I disconnected the HDTV from the 867 and now saw that the Oppo WAS delivering multi-channel to the 867 (since the HDMI Realiser was handshaking that it could accept multi-channel), and yet the Realiser was still only receiving 2-channel stereo from the 867!!!  This was completely unexpected and inexplicable, and suggested a defective 867.  Why would it "strip off" the channels it was receiving other than L/R, and only pass on L/R??  How could this be??  Seemed impossible.

 

Anyway, I was NEVER able to get things to work properly with the 867... even without a TV connected via HDMI, when FOR ABSOLUTE SURE there was now only 2-channel stereo delivered from the Oppo because the "visible" HDTV (connected on the second HDMI output of the 867, with "HDMI pass-through" enabled on the 867) demanded that only 2-channel stereo be sent from the Oppo even though the also-connected Realiser could accept multi-channel.  And I never could figure out why only 2-channels were coming out of the 867 to the Realiser even when there was no TV connected (and I tried all kinds of HDMI resets, pulling cables, pulling power cords and restarting to re-initiate HDMI handshakes, etc.).  Yamaha says this should not happen, but it was happening.  They blamed some unknown "HDMI compatibilty" with the Realiser as the "culprit".

 

 

(5) Since the 867 was apparently UNUSABLE as the AVR in the downstairs setup as I'd originally intended, I decided to just try the 863 in the same setup.  Now the 863 only has a single HDMI output, but I thought I'd be able to use the HDMI Output of the Realiser to solve that problem (with the XBR960 connected to the Realiser's HDMI output, to deliver video).  Actually, I really didn't want to end up this way, because I often turn the Realiser off to enable "analog bypass" so as to listen to TV via speakers when I don't want to listen through headphones.  But... at least I wanted to see what would happen.

 

Well, remarkably, when the 863 was substituted for the 867 (no XBR960 connected to the Realiser yet, just as the XBR960 was temporarily disconnected from the 867 during problem sovling mode), and with the Realiser still connected via HDMI to the 863, sure enough the Oppo now delivered multi-channel LPCM via HDMI to the 863 which then "passed through" that same HDMI digital audio on out to the HDMI-connected Realiser.  Put back the 867, with everything else remaining the same, just to reconfirm that the original problem was STILL PRESENT... and exact same "problem" story as before: multi-channel delivered from Oppo to 867, but only 2-channel stereo delivered from 867 to Realiser.  Obviously, some kind of bug with the 867.

 

Ok, that means I only even have a "prayer" of making this work downstairs if I use the 863 downstairs.  So, that was a significant (but painless, as it turns out) change of original plan.  So in fact, I simply decided to use the 867 upstairs (where there was no problem at all, since there was no "HDMI pass-through" required since I was using an analog Realiser).  Upstairs, "HDMI pass-through" is set to OFF, the HDMI handshake between HTPC and 867 agrees that multi-channel audio is supported over HDMI, and that's it.  Analog output from 867 to the analog Realiser works perfectly, and the whole setup is problem-free (and dual-mode DVI/DVI/analog or DVI/HDMI/digital configurable as described earlier).

 

In other words, I need two AVR's for my two Realiser home.  If the 867 works "perfectly" upstairs, and the 863 works "perfectly" downstairs (except for needing a still to-be-determined two-HDMI-OUT solution of some kind, to support an HDMI HDTV as well as an HDMI Realiser), well so be it.  Use the 863 downstairs and the 867 upstairs, opposite to my original plan.  Actually, I prefer still having the 863 downstairs since it has superior analog connectivity (i.e. it still has S-video) to the 867, and I want that S-video ability (for my old analog A/V equipment) if I can have it.

 

 

(6) For some reason (yet to be explained by Lorr, although further experiments and research will go on... probably this week), the HDMI OUTPUT on my Realiser DID NOT WORK!  I was unable to get video delivered by HDMI through the Realiser.  Just black.

 

Lorr provided a second Realiser to try, and the same failure of HDMI OUTPUT to work occurred.  Nothing.  Just black.

 

We tried two different HDTV's: my XBR960 1080i, and also my 22" Samsung 1080p, and both failed to display anything.  Connecting both TV's to the AVR via HDMI, or even directly to the Oppo via HDMI, well they both display perfectly.  But when either TV is connected to the HDMI OUTPUT of the Realiser while using either 867 or 963 as the AVR, nothing.

 

So, even though I really didn't even want to use HDMI OUTPUT on the Realiser to feed video to my HDTV (again, because I often have the Realiser powered off to enable analog bypass for sound), I at least was willing to use this if it was the only way I could use the 863... since the 867 was unusable downstairs because of the 2-channel stereo problem.  But it wouldn't work. 

 

So temporarily, my solution was to connect the XBR960 to the 863 using component video rather than HDMI.  Then, I could use the one HDMI OUT of the 863 to feed HDMI audio to the HDMI Realiser.  And since the HDTV was not "visible" via HDMI to the Oppo (even though "HDMI pass-through" was enabled on the 863, in order to be able to feed HDMI audio to the Realiser), the Oppo would deliver multi-channel LPCM via HDMI to the 863 which would then pass through that multi-channel LPCM via HDMI to the Realiser.  This obviously was an undesirable but perhaps necessary compromise (at least temporarily), but the XBR960 does an excellent job of displaying component video so I could "live with it" (at least temporarily) if I couldn't find some other solution.

 

Still unresolved is why the Realiser's HDMI OUTPUT does not work in my setup.  Lorr is "on the case", hopefully with some resolution.  He's assured me that they tested this, that it works, and is even compatible with pass-through of 3D from its HDMI OUTPUT.  And yet, it didn't work for me with either 863 or 867, and didn't work for me with either XBR960 or Samsung HDTV.

 

 

(7) Enter the recommended Monoprice 4x2 Matrix Switch, as my "HDMI port multiplier" solution to my single HDMI-OUT 863, when I need two HDMI outputs (one for HDTV and the other for the Realiser).  This effectively adds a "dual simultaneous HDMI output" to my 863, matrixing the single output from the 863 into dual outputs from the switch.

 

And... it works perfectly, insofar as it was designed to "port multiply" one HDMI input to the two HDMI outputs for my situation!!!   And it allows me to revert back to HDMI to the XBR960, rather than the component video arrangement I'd used temporarily.

 

Except that now the HDTV is once again visible through the 863 and matrix switch (with the Realiser connected to the other output of the switch)!!!  And that means once again the HDMI audio handshake to the Oppo (through the 863) will once again see the "visible" HDTV which demands 2-channel stereo, and the Oppo will now once again deliver only 2-channel stereo to the 863 and on to the switch (and Realiser), because that's all the "visible" HDTV can see.

 

GRRRR!!!

 

However, I discovered one very interesting "fortuitous quirk", and I'm not sure which component is actually responsible for this serendipity.  But if I disconnect the HDTV from the switch (either by pulling HDMI cables, or just selecting a different output on the switch for that HDMI output) before everything is gets powered on and the overall network HDMI audio handshakes are initiated, when I then actually power everything on since the HDTV is now currently "invisible" and all other components queried can accept multi-channel, the Oppo agrees to deliver multi-channel audio out over HDMI to the 863.  And the 863 will indeed then pass through this multi-channel audio out to the HDMI switch and then to the Realiser, which truly does receive the multi-channel input via HDMI as hoped.

 

And now, miraculously, if I "hot connect" the HDTV to the switch (either by plugging back in the HDMI cable, or by just selecting the HDTV's output of the switch for that HDMI connection) the Oppo WILL CONTINUE TO DELIVER MULTI-CHANNEL AUDIO OVER HDMI TO THE 863!!  This is quite amazing, since the now-present and now-visible HDTV can NOT accept multi-channel audio and play it through its speakers (which doesn't bother me of course, since I'm not using the TV's speakers).  So you'd think that the sudden appearance of the HDTV would also suddenly cause the Oppo to change from multi-channel audio output over HDMI to 2-channel stero output over HDMI.  But it does NOT do that!

 

So, this indeed is a fortuitious blessing.  As long as I get things going without the HDTV connected, I can get multi-channel audio from the Oppo to the 863 via HDMI and then multi-channel pass-through out of the 863 to the switch via HDMI, and then multi-channel out of the switch to the Realiser via HDMI... all of this while ALSO getting digital video via HDMI from Oppo to 863 to switch to XBR960.

 

And as long as I keep the switch powered on (so as to avoid starting all over again at power-on with a brand new set of HDMI audio handshakes, which would require that I once again make my HDTV temporarily "invisible" in order to convince the Oppo that multi-channel audio over HDMI is acceptable), that setting from the Oppo remains in effect... even when it is powered off and then powered back on and the XBR960 is still HDMI-connected to the switch and "visible"!  I'm guessing that the switch remaining powered on is probably what is key to this "good luck", so that the whole set of HDMI audio handshakes doesn't get repeated.  Whatever the explanation, this at least lets me avoid the nuisance of disconnect/reconnect for the HDTV, although I could certainly repeat without complaint it if I absolutely had to.

 

But in actuality, I really would like to be able to power off the switch when not in use, if I could do so relatively conveniently (i.e. without too much inconvenience when I power it back on).  If only there were a "better way"...

 

 

(8) Ok, final tweak downstairs.  Don't know why this idea hadn't occurred to me earlier (but sometimes you just have to sleep on it).

 

Actually, the only time there's really an issue with HDMI audio is when I'm wanting to use HDMI audio from Oppo to Realiser (through 863 and the switch), which is the only possible source device capable of delivering decoded multi-channel LPCM to the Realiser.  All my other source devices are incapable of delivering anything other than still-encoded multi-channel digital audio to the 863, where it must be decoded and then sent out analog over its preamp outputs to the Realiser's main analog inputs.

 

So, for all of my non-Oppo source devices, I simply have to TURN OFF HDMI PASS-THROUGH ON THE 863!!!  Once HDMI pass-through is disabled on the 863 then it is the 863 itself which is the other end of the HDMI audio handshake to the HDMI audio/video source device (e.g. my Linksys DMA2100 media center extender).  And since the 863 CAN accept multi-channel audio via HDMI, the DMA2100 agrees to deliver multi-channel (still encoded DD5.1) audio to the 863 via HDMI.  There it is decoded and sent out over the analog preamp outputs of the 863 to the analog inputs of the Realiser.

 

It doesn't matter whether the XBR960 is actively connected and "visible" to the switch and 863... it is a video-only device now, since HDMI pass-through on the 863 is disabled.  So it does not influence the successful HDMI audio handshake that goes on between 863 and the DMA2100 which results in multi-channel audio being agreed to and delivered over HDMI from DMA2100 to 863.

 

Same story for my other non-Oppo source devices.  As long as I don't need the Oppo (and decoded multi-channel LPCM to feed the Realiser via HDMI), I can leave the 863 with HDMI pass-through disabled.  And HDMI video will go from source device to 863, out to the switch via HDMI, out to the XBR960 via HDMI, and there will be no multi-channel digital audio sent to the switch via HDMI (and therefore of course not delivered to the Realiser via HDMI).

 

But whenever I really DO want to use the Oppo, and listen through decoded multi-channel LPCM to the Realiser, I will have to then ENABLE the HDMI pass-through option on the 863.  And that will require me to go through that whole HDMI audio handshake trick I described earlier (temporarily removing the HDTV from HDMI "visibility") in order to convince the Oppo to deliver multi-channel audio over HDMI.  Then, "hot connect" the HDTV again (with no change from the Oppo's agreement to still deliver multi-channel audio over HDMI), and now I will be using that second HDMI output of the switch to the HDMI input of the Realiser, and I'm home.

 

 

I now, this was a long rant.

 

But I did want to share my experiences (both in objectives, problem solving, and resolution) to BOTH of my Realiser setups: one (downstairs) an HDMI-enabled situation with both BluRay (for decoded LPCM) and non-BluRay (for encoded multi-channel) as the source equipment to the 863, and the other (upstairs) an analog Realiser situation but fed from a Windows7-based  HTPC with an ATI HD5770 video card providing multi-channel HDMI-audio and HDMI-video output as the source device to the 867 AVR.

 

Hopefully, this will prove helpful to someone out there facing the same or similar conditions.


Edited by dsperber - 8/30/12 at 11:38am
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