Using HDMI for sound and audio

Rartemass
Rartemass used Ask the Experts™
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I'm thinking of upgrading my TV to HDMI.
I've got a HTPC with 7.1 speaker system.
Currently I'm using DVI for the output from the PC.

I'm a little confused as to using the HDMI connections. Audio and video are on the same cable.
Does that mean the TV is used for audio?
Would I need a new component for the HTPC?
I was also wanting to hook up a playstation3. The video would go to the TV but the audio would need to go to the PC. With one cable how do I split the video and audio?

What am I missing here?
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I have a similar setup. I have a PC with HDMI and DVI output on my video Card. I bought an HDMI to HDMI cable and connect it to my TV HDMI input. Both sound and video go through the cable. I also have an Xbox 360 with HDMI. I plug that into my TV's Second HDMI input. Not many TV's have 2. Many have only 1, but some also have a VGA or DVI input and pc audio cable input.

So if you only have one HDMI on your TV, you'll need a VGA (db15) PC input or a DVI input, and an audio in 1/8th inch miniplug (like a microphone jack). In this case you would connect one device to HDMI and the other (likely the PC) to the VGA or DVI video and microphone jack. For the audio, you use a male-to-male 1/8" stereo audio cable.
The PC having a nice 7.1 audio system is good, but you won't be able to play your PS3 audio through it. The TV becomes your audio output. Many TV's have digital or analog audio output to your stereo system.
The PC may be able to play audio (from say, a DVD) via the TV and your 7.1 at the same time. I don't know. It depends on your HTPC

Author

Commented:
I currently have the Xbox 360 video connected to TV via component video, with audio going to the sound card of the PC.
As I have the good audio system I would want the PS3 to work the same way, only with HDMI video. It seems very restrictive of the HDMI format to force you to use the TV audio for sound, as I don't know of any TVs with an inbuilt Dolby 7.1 audio decoder.

Do I need to get a TV with HDMI output for the audio to get to the PC?
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Check out this link. It might be possible to keep the audio routed to the computer and the TV's HDMI for video only. Looks like you need an Xbox 360 HDMI cable (or something similar).
http://support.xbox.com/support/en/us/xbox360/hardware/accessories/av/hdmicable.aspx
On top of the page, in drop down, Choose a Topic.
Rartemass,
I could have sowrn i answered this, this morning.  However i may have inadvertantly closed the window without sending.  So here goes.
When connecting audio/video equipment the rule of thumb is signal-in/signal-out.  Always follow the signal and you'll never go wrong.  In your case it would appear that the bottleneck in your audio/video connections is the input into the PC.  Since it is the source and feed for everything (correct me if im wrong in that).  Now let's see how we can make it work with what you have.  Have you considered an AV/Switcher installed before the PC.  That would allow you to have multiple HDMI devices plugged in front of the PC, with the ability to choose which device you want to use.  In the diagram below, The TV ouput would be your PC.  Once the signal, from your preferred device enters the PC, then your PC HDMI out would go to the TV. Does this sound like it could work?  Here's a link or two for an HDMI Switch.
http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%205port.htm
 http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10110
 

HDMI-switch-app-5port.jpg

Author

Commented:
Thanks, that is just what I was after.

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