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  1. Post
    #1

    Multi Zone amp: how do they work (onkyo tx-nr555) + AV setup advice?

    Hmm... i think i need help.

    I have a pretty strange/different Home Theater setup/requirement (maybe?). I have a 4k TV, Amp, 5.1 speakers, headphones and a harmony remote control system. As for media, lets say i just use a Nvidia Shield and plex/kodi apps (i have other input sources too, through hdmi). I want to be able to play videos from shield, output video to the TV, and audio coming out of the speakers (easy enough right?). I also want to be able to switch the output from speakers to headphones easily (ideally using a remote), while the video continue to display on the TV. Obviously 4k/hdr videos and dtsx/atmos audio support would be ideal (given the right speaker config).

    I recently purchased an onkyo txnr555, because it supported atmos, and had 2 audio zones. I assumed that i would be able to have my speakers on one zone and headphones on the other and switch them back and forth as needed, but seems like ive misunderstood how these zones work.

    So, basically in my amp, (after much research) it says zone 2 is analog only, which means the audio input from hdmi (shield) cannot be played back through zone 2.

    So my question is, do you guys have any suggestions as to how i can get my desired outcome? basically being able to switch between a atmos audio output and a stereo headphone output with a switch of a button of sorts. Does anyone have a similar setup, or am i asking too much?

  2. Post
    #2
    Couple of things ive tried:

    1. with my old Amp, i had my shield plugged into the TV directly, and TVs optical out (or ARC) into the amp, then amp to the speakers. ive also used an optical splitter to split the signal, and send that to my headphone amp. which means, audio comes through both the amp and the headphones, and i can simply turn the headphones off by the headphone amp, and turn speakers off by the mute button on the main amp. that worked well, but optical/arc does not support high bandwidth audio signals like atmos.

    2. with the onkyo, i made audio pass through to the tv, and headphones connected to the TV. so similar to 1, audio comes out of both speakers and headphones, and i can use amp mute to turn off the speakers. but the annoying thing is, when i enable the option to pass the audio to the TV, it only plays stereo audio from the amp speakers... sigh...

    ...im out of ideas now.

  3. Post
    #3
    hdmi audio extractor, is probably the easiest way.

  4. Post
    #4
    your speaker setup (5.1) doesn't support atmos anyway. so option #1 isn't that bad.

    if you plug the headphone cable directly into the amp does it automatically disable the speakers and switch output to headphones? if so you could just splice a remote relay into the headphone cable.

    HDMI audio extractor also a good idea, but i'm not sure if it can let HD audio passthrough and then extract the 2.0 from the substream or not. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32277224081.html

  5. Post
    #5
    kiwijunglist wrote:
    your speaker setup (5.1) doesn't support atmos anyway. so option #1 isn't that bad.

    if you plug the headphone cable directly into the amp does it automatically disable the speakers and switch output to headphones? if so you could just splice a remote relay into the headphone cable.

    HDMI audio extractor also a good idea, but i'm not sure if it can let HD audio passthrough and then extract the 2.0 from the substream or not. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32277224081.html
    Thanks for the responses.

    The hdmi splitter would be a pain B cause I would need to have a splitter for every input source, and i would also need to make sure all the splitters support 4k and hdr.

    Im very interested in knowing more about this mentioned headphone splicing remote relay thing is. Yes, moment I plug in the headphones, speed akers currently disable . Are you basically suggesting that I open up the amp, and hijack the headphone port from the inside?

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

  6. Post
    #6
    If you plug in a headphone cable without a headphone on the other end does it disable the audio, or does it only disable the audio if you have a device on the end of the cord? If the later then a relay spliced into the cable would work.

    I'm not suggesting to open up the amp, I'm suggesting to make a 3.5mm headphone cable with a relay in the middle of the cable.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3295...3-c150e1533079

    AVR -> Plug -> relay -> plug -> headphone

  7. Post
    #7
    kiwijunglist wrote:
    If you plug in a headphone cable without a headphone on the other end does it disable the audio, or does it only disable the audio if you have a device on the end of the cord? If the later then a relay spliced into the cable would work.

    I'm not suggesting to open up the amp, I'm suggesting to make a 3.5mm headphone cable with a relay in the middle of the cable.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3295...3-c150e1533079

    AVR -> Plug -> relay -> plug -> headphone
    I'll test this tonight and get back to you. I believe on all the amps I've owned, the act of plugging a headphone jack in is what disables the speakers not that there being a headphone at the end of the jack. I have couple of headphone jack simple port converters, I'll test it out tonight and post here.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

  8. Post
    #8
    The current Onkyo I have has absolutely terrible digital and HDMI interfacing. Depending on the source It can sound awesome, then switch to some other media and it's constant need to change between linear or compressed streams. Granted it's about 8 years old.

  9. Post
    #9
    Can anyone suggest a HDMI splitter that can,

    XBOX1-> 4K/HDR TV-> HDMI reciever but not 4K (So not a HDCP2.2? receiver)

    So I'm suggesting a, 1in HDMI, 2out which supports 4K on one channel and 7.1ch decoded linear from XBOX on the other.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry for the hijak... I clearly need a new amp.

  10. Post
    #10
    snaffta wrote:
    Can anyone suggest a HDMI splitter that can,

    XBOX1-> 4K/HDR TV-> HDMI reciever but not 4K (So not a HDCP2.2? receiver)

    So I'm suggesting a, 1in HDMI, 2out which supports 4K on one channel and 7.1ch decoded linear from XBOX on the other.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry for the hijak... I clearly need a new amp.
    I think that requires 2 devices - a HDMI splitter and a HDMI scaler.

  11. Post
    #11
    kiwijunglist wrote:
    If you plug in a headphone cable without a headphone on the other end does it disable the audio, or does it only disable the audio if you have a device on the end of the cord? If the later then a relay spliced into the cable would work.

    I'm not suggesting to open up the amp, I'm suggesting to make a 3.5mm headphone cable with a relay in the middle of the cable.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3295...3-c150e1533079

    AVR -> Plug -> relay -> plug -> headphone
    Sorry for the delay, but i can confirm that the act of plugging anything onto the headphone port of the amp is what turns off the speakers. must have some sort of a switch inside the port. and thats how i remember my last yamaha amp was as well. i tested with a simple headphone jack port converter (one that converts a big port to a small standard one), without any headphone plugged in.