You should own an audio receiver with two HDMI outputs.
If you don’t, you should be considering upgrading.
Like everything else in Consumer Electronics, the price is dropping for great-quality audio receivers that can finally do what so many products have claimed before them – control all of your digital entertainment.
So, this leads to the question – “what’s the point of 2 HDMI outputs?” as another customer asked me last week.
We currently have two home theater designs we are working on that both use multi-zone multi-output receivers and we couldn’t be more excited about the controls both our customers are going to have.
One is going to be an awesome Elite Screen motorized acoustically transparent screen ,that will drop in front of a 5 inwall Klipsch speaker array and 60” LED. The new Pioneer Elite Class D3 receiver will control all of this. A Sony projector will round out the install.
The other is a custom-painted home theater screen, 5.1 tower and in-wall/on-wall mix with a Home Theater PC, also feeding the upstairs TV and speakers for picture and an in-wall amplifier for sound. The new Denon In-Command series will control this setup. An Epson projector will power the theater experience.
With both of these setups, the most important feature is the HDMI support of two zones – one with audio, one without. The secondary HDMI zone is designed with a projector room in mind. It won’t do a great job if you’re attempting to run audio and video to two televisions, as there is still analog processing needed to add audio to the secondary HDMI zone. You can cut your 5.1 system down by two speakers and add speakers at your second TV but then you are not getting the most out of your amp.
Our best advice so far is to look to a source device that allows dual audio output. The PS3 is a great candidate as it has independent settings for both outputs and some delay correction built-in. Plus its Bluetooth capabilities means it can be hidden away with other components.
So, with simple planning, you can have a one-receiver solution in your home that can handle just about anything you want or need. No more outdoor boom box or old receiver in the garage to power the outdoor speakers. No more speaker splitters. Less cable and satellite boxes. It’s worth looking into.