Originally Posted by dpippel
The point I was trying to make was that if you route video sources through an A/V receiver and are sending the output to the display via one cable, the result is the same regardless of the input source. It's not an HDMI thing.
I responded too quickly and managed to confuse things. Maybe this will clarify the additional point.
If the hdmi cable carries both audio and video it creates a dilemma. You might want the hdmi to go to the tv to do the separate calibrations, but you might also want an audio format sent to the receiver that your source can only send over the hdmi cable. I think a splitter would work here, but they're an expense, and you might end up needing to use several remotes to get things done.
This is one way things get complicated when you're trying to put a system together or upgrade some part of it. I can't figure out a good upgrade path to take, so I initially just bought an outdated 5.1 system hoping to gain a bit of hands-on experience and get an idea whether it was worth bothering with. It did point out some issues. The main thing I got out of that exercise is that I just don't trust the a/v receivers to give audiophile sound, and it's expensive and complicated to work around it. Two separate systems, including two sets of speakers solves the problem neatly, and is kind of impractical, but the more I go through the exercise, the more I'm leaning that way. There are alternatives, and it's possible to hook up a stereo system as the front speakers of a surrond system, but it adds complications. In my case, I couldn't calibrate the outputs on the av receiver to balance the output volume for the fronts and rears. Might try it again.