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I'm going to be helping my parents out with setting up their A/V gear, but have a question:

They have both an HDTV and an "audio bar" speaker. The TV has three HDMI inputs, while the speaker has only two optical inputs. am I able to route all of the audio through the TV (on the HDMI connections), and then use the TV's "Digital Audio Out" to connect to the speaker, effectively using the TV as an audio receiver?

The models in question:

Samsung HW-C450 (speaker)
Toshiba 52XV-645U (HDTV)
Samsung BD-P1500 (Blu-ray player)
Motorola DCT-6416 (DVR)
Apple TV (media streamer)
 

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This will probably work. However on many (most?) TVs, the digital out will only produce stereo, not surround sound (except for when you are using the TV's internal tuner). This is because when the TV handshakes with the source, it tells the source that it wants stereo.

Does an "audio bar" benefit from surround (DD/DTS) input?
 
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