I have a Sony kds 60a3000 TV, a PS3, and a Onkyo receiver(no HDMI in or out) and a DTV High Def DVR. My question is would it be better to run HDMI from the PS3 and the DVR to the TV, and then optical out of the TV to the receiver, or Run HDMI from the PS3 and DVR to the TV for video only, while running optical out of the PS3 and DVR for audio only to the receiver. The basis for my question is am I losing any sound quality by running through an additional device(the TV) before going to the reciever, or with this particular set up does it not matter.
My initial answer is that you’re probably not losing sound quality by running through the TV. Of course any time you add a device to a chain there is a chance that some signal degradation may occur. HDMI provides a fairly robust signal to work with and because there’s no conversion from digital to analog I would say you’re fine. You could always try hooking up the other way you suggested and give a good listen and then decide for yourself which appeals to you more. After all, it’s your system and you have to be happy with the way it sounds. If I remember correctly from [I]Principles of Digital Audio[/I], that the LEDs used in most optical connections can contribute to timing errors in the bitstream because of their rise/fall time. I would have to look this up to verify. Hope this helps.
99% of all TVs do not pass 5.1 audio out from HDMI inputs. What you get is 2-ch PCM or DD2.0. Only broadcast channels 5.1 will be passed out through optical from most TVs.
So, always connect your receiver direct to the source.