How to Convert HDMI to Digital Audio


An HDMI output does not require separate cables for sending high-definition video and high-resolution audio from a Blu-ray player, or an HDTV. But if the computer monitor or HDTV doesn’t have an HDMI input, or has already dedicated its HDMI inputs to other devices, they are stymied from being able to accept high-definition audio from the source device. In this case, you must separate the audio from the video, and play it through an audio amplifier. Use an HDMI-to-digital-audio converter for this.

Things You'll Need

  • HDMI-to-digital-audio converter
  • Audio amplifier
  • HDMI cable
  • Optical digital audio cable
  • Put an HDMI-to-digital-audio converter next to the audio amplifier. Possible converter boxes can be Gefen's HDMI to DVI audio, StarTech's HDMI to DVI-D video converter with audio, or Markertek's HDMI to DVI converter. Attach the power supply to the HDMI-to-digital-audio converter and the power plug into an AC socket.

  • Connect one end of the HDMI cable to the source device (Blu-ray player or HDTV). Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI "Input" on the HDMI-to-digital-audio converter. Be sure that the HDMI cable is securely pushed into the HDMI connectors of both the source device, and the HDMI-to-digital-audio converter.

  • Connect an optical digital audio cable to the "Optical-out" digital audio connector on the HDMI-to-digital-audio converter. Connect the other end of the optical digital audio cable to the “CD” optical-in digital audio connector, located on the back of the audio amplifier.

  • Turn on the HDMI-to-digital-audio converter device. Check that the LED power light is illuminated to indicate that the converter is receiving enough power to operate.

  • Turn on your Blu-ray player, insert and play a high-definition video with high-resolution audio through the attached HDMI cable.

  • Turn on the amplifier. Press the “CD” button on the remote control. Use the remote to adjust the volume of the digital audio you are now hearing through the speakers. What you're hearing has been converted from the HDMI cable by the HDMI-to-digital-audio converter.

Tips & Warnings

  • The HDMI-to-digital-audio converter is typically the size of a paperback book and can be found at electronic stores and computer specialty shops.
  • Keep the optical digital audio cable from being twisted or bent, as this can interfere with the digital signal it is transmitting.
  • If the HDMI-to-digital-audio converter is not receiving enough power, it will appear to operate, but will not be converting the HDMI into digital audio in real-time as it needs to.

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