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Discussion in 'Home Theater Audio' started by 1953, Jun 20, 2011.
Since various audio cables are used with DTV HD-DVR's a poll may be helpful.
It is true that HDMI 1.3a can support audio formats that other cables can't but most people don't have the audio systems to support 7.1 lossless sound. Personally I use HDMI audio on 1 TV and optical audio cables on the other 2. The two with optical have surround sound systems and the HDMI audio TV has no such sound system. I am very impressed with what optical can still do and am not yet too worried about fully migrating to HDMI for audio just yet.
For DVR's, there's really no difference.
I use them all and honestly, I can't tell the difference. I know HDMI has the capability for higher quality (lossless) audio but I just can't hear the difference.
That seems to be the case with my 922. The 622 I had prior to the 922 did have some audio drop outs on HDMI that the optical did not. I vaguely recall several others had the problem back then. My 922 is currently HDMI only to my A/V with nary a problem.
My Denon 987 had HDMI audio drop out with two 20-700's. With our brand new 24-500 we had multiple instances of total audio loss in the first two weeks. That is why I connected the HDMI directly to the HDTV and ran opital audio to the Denon AVR 987.
Assuming that you're using a digital audio format that all are capable of, then HDMI, optical, and coaxial will be idential; these interfaces just pass on numbers. The "quality" comes from the quality of the DAC (digital to analog converter) in the equipment you're using, and high-quality DACs are cheap and plentiful these days. No matter how the numbers reach the DAC, if the numbers are the same, the sound will be the same.
As several others have mentioned, HDMI supports higher-bitrate and even lossless multichannel audio formats that coaxial and optical do not, so if your source has those formats available, than HDMI has a real advantage over coaxial and optical.
For a DVR or any device not capable of HD audio streams there simply is no difference. I use all 3 types of digital audio connections. I use HDMI primarily however as its just less wire to manage.
There is s definite improvement on the HD audio streams to my ear however YMMV
Don "it's all still a bit too complex for the average consumer" Bolton
Forgot to mention that I use HDMI on my Blu-Ray & HD-DVD for each formats superior audio. Even though I use an optical on my HD-DVR an digital coaxial would deliver equal quality.
No telling what the future holds for us.