Got a 4K TV. Do I need to replace everything else now?

Pepper

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So I decided to get an LG 65UH8500 as an upgrade from the 55LW5300. The UH8500 series seems to be the most affordable set that still has passive 3D capability along with all the 4K goodness. I have a Hopper3 which will output in 4K when content allows, and will get a 4K BD player when they are less expensive.

I have a Sony surround receiver with HDMI support, and a Monoprice HDMI splitter to send the signal to the other rooms, with one port to the local TV. All of that is from around four or five years ago. Do I need to replace it all in order to pass 4K from the Hopper to the TV?
 

lparsons21

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The splitter won't pass 4K properly, it lacks current HDCP support. Everything in the chain must support the current HDCP level. I'm not aware of any HDMI splitters that do yet.

The easiest way to get 4K from the Hopper 3 if you don't have an AV Receiver that supports the latest HDCP is to run the HDMI straight to the TV. Then run an optical cable from the Hopper 3 to the AV Receiver. Since the Hopper 3 only outputs DD5.1 sound, optical is more than good enough.



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jayn_j

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I eventually upgraded my receiver, but until I did, I ended up using the TV as the switcher. Feed the hopper directly into one of the TV inputs. Feed audio, either analog or TOSlink into the receiver. It complicates the switching, but you will get an acceptable, if not ideal setup.

An alternative is to use the audio return channel capability of the TV. Connect the Hopper to an unused HDMI input and then the HDMI that supports ARC back to the Sony receiver. The switching is complicated, but I have a harmony remote which made it manageable.
 

lparsons21

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I've got a Harmony Elite that I used before I upgraded to a new AV receiver. Worked fine just a bit of a PITA to get everything just right. Actually had the H3 and Amazon Fire box connected to the TV and used optical back from the TV to the AV receiver for the Fire. But used optical straight from the H3 to the AV receiver so I could get DD5.1 from Netflix.



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king3pj

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This is one of the main reasons I haven't bought a 4K TV even though the prices have come down to a level that I would feel comfortable buying one. In addition to the cost of the TV I would need to replace my Onkyo AVR that supports 3D passthrough and does 4K upscaling but won't do 4K passthrough. This AVR still works and sounds great and I don't want to replace it yet. I would also want an Xbox One S to replace my original Xbox One for the UHD blu-ray and HDR gaming support. Again, my original Xbox One works great too.

If it was just a matter of replacing my TV I probably would have already done it. I'm just not thrilled with the idea of replacing everything else in my entertainment center as well.
 

jayn_j

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Well, my setup was pushing 10 years old. 2008 receiver, 2010 TV. So, it wasn't so painful to upgrade the whole thing. I'm now 67 and I expect this will be my last upgrade on this system.

Lloyd, one thing to consider with the optical connection from the TV is that most TVs only output the 2 front channels over that interface. If you want full surround, you need to find a different solution.
 

lparsons21

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You don't need to replace the AVR. Just ensure that any 4K TV you get has all its HDMI inputs supporting 4K fully. My Sharp does and most mid-level and above 4K TVs do too. Some of the real cheap ones don't though.

Just take HDMI from 4K sources to the AVR and use either optical or ARC to get sound back to AVR. It works fine. The downside is you need something like a Harmony to do the controlling as it gets confusing fast with just the individual box's remotes.

I had a Harman Kardon AVR3600 that I did that with. Then decided I was ready for an upgrade on my AVR and got an Onkyo NR-757 and haven't regretted the expense.


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king3pj

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An alternative is to use the audio return channel capability of the TV. Connect the Hopper to an unused HDMI input and then the HDMI that supports ARC back to the Sony receiver. The switching is complicated, but I have a harmony remote which made it manageable.

I guess this would be an option as long as I got a TV that is capable of passing Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA HD audio back to the receiver through ARC. I would still buy an Xbox One S to replace my original Xbox One for UHD Blu-ray, streaming 4K Netflix, and Amazon prime, and playing games with HDR support.

I would hook only the Xbox One S directly to the TV and use ARC to get the lossless audio to my Onkyo. I would continue hooking the rest of my devices like my Tivo Roamio to the Onkyo and letting it do the switching since they don't support 4K or HDR anyways.

I completely forgot about ARC. It's definitely something to think about.
 

king3pj

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I don't think ARC supports any of the higher end surround formats. Plain DD 5.1 is it.

If that is the case I am back to needing to replace my AVR. Either that or I would need to buy an expensive standalone UHD blu-ray player that has two HDMI outputs like the Oppo 203.
 

lparsons21

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Hmmm.... You could buy a Samsung UHD player, it also has the 2 HDMI outputs and I think the Panasonic one does too. Both hugely cheaper than the Oppo from what I've been told.

But ARC and optical won't do more than DD5.1, so if you want the more advanced codecs you'd need to figure out the best approach.


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lparsons21

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Oops, wrong 4K UHD players.

Bestbuy has the Samsung on sale for $199 and a Phillips on sale for $229. Both have 2 HDMI outputs, one to the TV one to the AVR for sound. Pretty darned cheap!


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harshness

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You don't need to replace the AVR.
I doubt this is a widely applicable statement. If the AVR doesn't support HDCP 2.0a, it may be hobbled into doing stereo and probably won't pass UHD if the AVR is inline. ARC is a feature that showed up a couple of years ago with the introduction of HDMI 1.4 so anything prior to that won't support ARC.

Most TVs don't output surround for other than OTA and streaming programming handled directly by the TV. Some don't handle surround at all for internal streaming and pass only stereo through their TOSLINK output.

The reason that the UHD Blu-ray players have two HDMI outputs is that they needed HDMI 1.x for AVRs that weren't built in the last year.

How the TV in question works is pretty much a mystery until someone gives some hands-on performance information. The sales literature and manuals often don't speak to this kind of shortcoming and what didn't come as a feature may, in some cases, be added as part of a firmware upgrade. HDCP qualification does put some limits on how much they can do to route around content protection.
 

lparsons21

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SOME tvs only output PCM on their optical/digital audio outputs, but most of the larger and newer sets output DD5.1. And in many of them, they also will output DD5.1 from other sources. Of course if you pick the bargain sets you might run into the shortcomings you describe.

As to what/how the particular TV works, just get the owners manual. They are generally available online for free. For this particular set the manual is available at LG's site.



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jayn_j

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I bought the $199 Samsung. You can get away with the ARC solution if you outp
SOME tvs only output PCM on their optical/digital audio outputs, but most of the larger and newer sets output DD5.1. And in many of them, they also will output DD5.1 from other sources. Of course if you pick the bargain sets you might run into the shortcomings you describe.

As to what/how the particular TV works, just get the owners manual. They are generally available online for free. For this particular set the manual is available at LG's site

Hmmm, my fancy Samsung top of the line TV did not output DD5.1 on the TOSLINK. Hardly a cheaper set.
 

lparsons21

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How old is that Samsung? It was very common, not so long ago, to not do DD5.1 on many sets. That has pretty much changed. I hadn't looked at what Samsung does or doesn't do as I don't buy things labelled Samsung. Not because they don't have some really good stuff, but because they are the single worst company I've ever dealt with if an issue comes up. Much worse than Sony and that's saying something!! :)

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Pepper

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Tampa8

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Hmmm, my fancy Samsung top of the line TV did not output DD5.1 on the TOSLINK. Hardly a cheaper set.

Likely it did, but you may have needed to make a not so obvious change. For instance if Dolby was grayed out as a choice when using toslink there is an easy fix for that. I get 5.1 from any sources connected via HDMI through the toslink out and have on sets for several years now. But sometimes you need to do research to get it working. My last LG needed me to go into the advanced menu and make one change.
 
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lparsons21

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