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Dr. Faustus
Feb 18, 2001

Grimey Drawer

I've run into a problem and I'm hoping an expert here can help me solve it.

I have a new Xbox One X (ok, haha, that's not "the problem" exactly) and I'm trying to take advantage of the full feature-set: 4K UHD HDR 3D BluRay, and 4K UHD HDR gaming (where supported) in Dolby True-HD (7.1) (where supported.)

The *issue* (I think) is my Onkyo TX-NR 656 Home Theater A/V system.

No matter what HDMI input I use on the Onkyo, the XBox says most of the 4K features (specifically the different framerates and, the big problem, HDR10 color for gaming) are *not* supported.
I have plugged the "High Speed" HDMI cable directly into my Sony XBR-55X900C TV and the XBox is perfectly happy with the video. All 4K UHD HDR10 modes supported and yay. But now I have no audio connection to my Home Theater. I have a small collection of 4K UHD BluRays and quite a bit more 1080p BluRays that output 7.1 (Dolby True-HD?) Surround Sound and I have the speaker setup to use it.

So here's the rub:

I can connect the Xbox One X to my Onkyo using a TOS-Link optical digital audio cable. This is a compromise, but it's not a bad one. Games output in 5.1 like they should, Dolby DTS (6.1) works as well. What's missing is the 7.1 Dolby True-HD and in the future, possible ATMOS but I'm not expecting that support on the console nor am I expecting to install more speakers in my apartment.

The solution I am trying to avoid is ditching the Onkyo TX-NR656 for something with better video pass-through (full HDCP 2.2 support, 4K UHD HDR 3D etc.) for something proven to work with my Sony TV at these optimum settings.

Now, if there's something buried in a menu somewhere on the Onkyo that I could enable to make this video pass-through properly to make the XBox happy then I'd be done already, but I have not found that in the setup.

My first thought was to split the HDMI output from the console. A normal, rational expectation in (almost) 2018, or so I thought. I bought one and tried it.
Result: the splitter I bought TNP HDMI Splitter 4K 1 in 2 out - Supports 4K 60Hz, HDR, HDCP 2.2, Ultra HD UHD 4Kx2K @ 60Hz / 30Hz, Full HD 1080P, 3D, High-Speed HDMI Video Audio 1x2 Distribution Split Box arrived today and I dutifully hooked up the input from the console to the two outputs: The Sony TV and the Onkyo receiver.

I suppose you can guess the results:
The XBox is not satisfied. It now thinks that it can't support most 4K/HDR modes because it's also connected to the Onkyo, which doesn't like those features for some reason (e.g. it was cheap) even thought the TV has all that covered. The Xbox also won't let me output HDMI 7.1 Un-compressed as the TV is... an LED TV with TV speakers. So the Xbox say that's not supported either. I'm back to square one: Video out from the console to the TV, Dolby DTS out from the Optical Audio output of the Xbox to the Onkyo.

Like I said, it's not the worst compromise in the world, but I'd much rather buy a "gadget" that can downscale or whatever it needs to do while splitting the HDMI output from the console to make the Xbox happy to send full 4K UHD HDR10 games and all those video modes (50k, 60k, 24k, HDR, etc.) to the TV while also sending all the supported HDMI audio modes (Dolby 7.1 uncompressed) happily to the Onkyo so I can have the full experience when I watch my 4K BluRays.

I thought about buying a stand-alone 4K BluRay player but realized if I have to pass it through the Onkyo to the TV, it may still fail to support, say, HDR color. Or 4k UHD in different framerates (if that's a thing.)

So that's the problem as I see it and here is my basic question:

Is there a magic gadget that will split the HDMI output from my console to both the TV and the Onkyo and make the console happy to send one kind of audio (that's not supported by the TV) to the receiver while also sending another format of video (that's apparently not supported by the receiver) to the TV, thus making them both work with HDMI 4k UHD HDR10 gaming as well as 4k UHD HDR (sometimes 3D) video while also allowing HDMI 7.1 uncompressed audio? This would make the most of the setup I have.

If the answer is, "Such a gadget does not exist" or "I found the gadget you need but it's almost as expensive as this 7.1/Atmos Home Theater receiver so just get that," then at least I will know what I need to do to proceed.

Please do not dunk on me for buying cheap Onkyo equipment or an XBox One X, even though I'm certain the temptation is very high. I try to squeeze the most performance out of a buck that I can and my TV-watching solution is fine (for now). It's just my 4K BluRay/Gaming situation that's frustrating. Also, I hope I provided enough information for any experts in this area to give me solid advice. If not, let me know what I forgot to include in this question.

Before you ask: These are the steps I have taken: I have updated the TV the latest firmware from 10/30/2017. The receiver is downloading a firmware update (also from 10/30/2017) now but I don't expect it will change the behavior of the video pass-through of HDR10, etc (all the stuff I lost when connecting to the TV through the Onkyo). The update appears to add Chromecast and Dolby-S support, and "bug-fixes." My hopes are not high that it will suddenly pass the video output from the Xbox to the TV correctly.
Also, all devices are connected with *sigh* "High speed-rated" HDMI cables.

I'm sincerely hoping there's an HDMI splitter out there that will fool the XBox into sending the best video and best audio, even though the TV and Home Theater receiver appear to be different to the XBox.


Dr. Faustus
Feb 18, 2001

Grimey Drawer

qirex posted:

I believe that this does what you're asking.
O! So this little guy splits out the video and audio to separate HDMI cables. Ingenious, and I think you're right: if it works as advertised the Xbox should have no idea I'm up to shenanigans.

Maybe just a pricey, but it sure beats shopping for and buying a new Home Theater receiver. It's worth a shot.

Thank you, kind poster.

Novo posted:

I had a similar problem recently and I ended up connecting the PS4 Pro directly to the TV and sending the audio from there to the Onkyo receiver using the HDMI audio return channel.

So basically my TV is my HDMI switch now and the receiver is just a dumb decoder box that gets passed the audio for whatever I'm watching on the TV. I actually like this better than my previous configuration when my TV did not support ARC.
I've never tried to use the ARC but I need to see how my TV implements it. I know it has it. It would be cheaper, but still watch TV using DirecTV and I don't want to start using the 4 TV inputs until I go 4K from DTV (which at this rate might never happen.) I'll try this before I spend any money, though. Thanks!

Dr. Faustus fucked around with this message at 00:10 on Nov 21, 2017

Dr. Faustus
Feb 18, 2001

Grimey Drawer

I e-mailed them all the details and got a response in about 12 hours. The guy assured me that the AVRKey is going to suit my needs. It arrives tomorrow (although I may not be home to take delivery, stand by) and I'll report back with the results ASAP. Thanksgiving may throw things off by a bit (I have to work) but I am hopeful.

Eventually I'm going to flat-out need to upgrade my Home Theater receiver but I'd like to put that off until there's so much 4K content out there I can justify the expense (and also... how to future-proof?)

Thanks for all the input. I'll be back with a verdict eventually. It's going to be a very busy week.

Dr. Faustus
Feb 18, 2001

Grimey Drawer

Now I know why people hate DHL. I was supposed to have this in hand Wednesday, but they sent it to the wrong facility. Then, the driver made a delivery attempt on Friday while I was at work and despite the leasing office being open and despite what DHL customer service told me, the courier made no attempt to deliver it there, where I could have scooped it up on my way to work today.
They don't deliver on weekends, so next delivery attempt is Monday. I'm off Monday so oI should be here to take delivery of it then and I'll come back with news of how it works (or doesn't.)

Sorry for the dumb bump, just wanted to update in case anyone was thinking about trying this device.

Dr. Faustus
Feb 18, 2001

Grimey Drawer

Okee-Dokee. Last bump by me. If anyone has anyone questions after this post I'll be happy to try to answer them.

Eight days after I was supposed to get my AVRKey I had to leave for work an hour early to drive to a lovely part of town to get it myself from DHL because they are loving useless. But I have installed the AVRKey and I can report on the results:

So far, it's doing exactly what I wanted it to do.

Video: My Xbox X now sees my TV and sees every single feature of the Xbox (4K UHD/HDR10, and all the video playback framerates) showing green check-marks in every video output category. I'm currently set on 4k/60Hz/10-bit. I only have one 4K game: Forza Motorsport 7. I've tested it and checked the resolution on the TV itself: 3840x2160 4K. Looks fantastic.
I put in a 4K BluRay and it also looks perfect. So, the video side is covered (and though this Sony doesn't have the best black levels, it's still pretty darn sharp.)

Audio: My XBox X now allows me to set HDMI audio output to 7.1 uncompressed and I've disabled the optical output. Checking on the Onkyo, it reports it's receiving 1080p/60Hz video (although it isn't actually displaying any picture at the output, I have to switch inputs on the TV to see the XBox video). It happily reports when I set it to either DIRECT or DOLBY SURROUND (I'm using the latter) "Dolby/PCM MCH 7.1."
Both Fm7 and the 4K BluRay I tested sounded excellent, and the surround is great (I recently ran the auto-calibration setup with the included microphone to reset all the speaker levels for where I sit in the room).

So I felt like moving some HDMI cables and reassigning some HDMI inputs on the receiver but it wasn't really necessary, just a little house-keeping and cable-selection. Everything is playing together nicely and I'm really glad it didn't turn out to be a disappointment out of the box.

In conclusion:
PROs - It does what I needed it to do, and would be useful in other settings as well because it supports pretty much every video and audio you can name. Setup was easy, and I'm pleased you can disable the big glowing logo on the top if you're not interested in another blue-green light source emanating from somewhere (in this case, behind my TV.)

CON- The price. $150+ is a lot to pay for a gadget when it can only support one device at a time and it represents a significant chunk of the investment in just upgrading your Home Theater receiver. And you can only use DHL shipping, hisss.

TO BE DETERMINED: How well is it built? How long will it last under the usage it will see in my setup? That remains to be seen. I'll be satisfied if it lasts until the day comes that I'm really ready to upgrade the receiver. I don't really see that as a necessity until I have more devices that want to output 4K to my TV; and since the XBox can stream a lot of stuff and play 4K BluRay, I can't imagine when that might be.

Thanks very much, qirex, you nailed it.

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