The Site for Home Theater and Movie Reviews

Published: 2007-11-12 - 15:40:00
Home Theater : Ask The Expert

How to Connect PS3 to an HDTV with HDMI and a Receiver without HDMI

By Chris Boylan

Question:

Dear Expert,

I have an Onkyo receiver that does not have an HDMI input at all. I have a 26-inch HDTV with one HDMI input. I own a Sony PS3 (PlayStation 3) which has HDMI capability in sound and picture.

Well I have the HDMI cable going into the TV from the PS3 for picture, but of course I can't run the sound from the TV into the reciever because there is no HDMI input on it.

How else can I get HDMI sound into the reciever without an HDMI input or a DVI input? Does a component cable carry HDMI sound quality & picture quality?

-Jason



Answer:

Hello, Jason,

Component video doesn't handle sound but you do have a couple of options. Some TVs with HDMI inputs will output the sound from an HDMI input via the analog (RCA) stereo outputs. You could feed this into the Onkyo receiver for processing. But this isn't going to give you the best results because it's only two-channel audio.

You're better off using the HDMI connection for picture only (directly to the TV) and also connecting the fiberoptic digital output of the PS3 to your Onkyo receiver for decoding of the native DTS and Dolby bitstreams. This won't give you the full quality of the HDMI audio feed, because it's limited by the S/PDIF transmission format, but it will give you discrete surround sound, which you wouldn't get with a two-channel analog connection.

Really you should think about upgrading your receiver to one that supports HDMI audio and video, like the Onkyo TX-SR605. This will allow you to hook up the PS3 and an additional HDMI source to the receiver as well as a couple of component video, s-video or composite video sources, and the receiver will pass all of these to the TV over a single HDMI cable.

This way you could also handle the high quality multi-channel PCM soundtracks which are included on many Blu-ray Disc titles and can only be passed to a receiver via HDMI outputs. This will give you the best results for both video and audio performance, as well as simplicity of hook-up.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

-Chris

Keep those cards and letters coming! if you have a question for one of our home theater experts, shoot us an e-mail to "Ask The Expert." We'll select among these for future installments in this column. Due to the volume of requests we receive, we cannot reply to each question personally.

What do you think?

View all articles by Chris Boylan