This is VERY Important Information concerning the Capabilities of the WDTV Live Hub Media Player.
I am here to inform everyone truthfully and honestly before they make a purchase so they know of the limitations I have faced with no resolve in sight. Therefore I have made a detailed post to save frustrations.
WDTV Live Hub 1tb unit
Samsung LCD TV
Harman Kardon AVR
Issue: I was told this is a limitation of the device.
For those of you who DO NOT have HDMI inputs on your AVRs, and your TV cannot Pass DTS/DD through its Optical Port when connected to an HDMI/HDCP Device, this will be a BIG Problem.
When WDTV Live Hub is set to STEREO (Connected via HDMI) its Optical Port will not Pass the DTS or DD stream to your AVR. I was told this is a limitation of the device and not a bug or a missing feature.
Possible reasons why this is so is due to HDCP and the big mess HDMI is.
Your only solution would be to purchase an HDTV with a built in USB Media Player that will do DTS and DD out through its optical Port or another device. The LCD TVs limit the type of Media you can play so you will need to follow strict Guidelines to get a functional result.
Also, Note that the WDTV is NOT the only device with this limitation. This limitation is apparent in many other Competitor’s devices as well as operating systems such as Windows 7 where only 1 Default Device can be selected to output Audio. For those who misunderstand this concept. You can output Multiple Streams via Different Applications, but not 1 stream via One Application to Multiple Outputs ie Analog and Digital at the same time.
Realtek offers a solution for those who do not have HDMI Enabled video cards but can pass audio from motherboard SPDIF to the Video Card’s SPDIF Input. This eliminates the need to constantly switch Default Audio Devices.
This is not WDs fault. This is entirely HDMIs HDCP protocol that is preventing honest users from getting the functionality which used to be Default with DVD players of days past.
In Conclusion: You cannot Pass Optical DTS/DD when your WDTV is connected Directly to the TV with HDMI.
This is a setup most people will opt for simply because Not all Programming needs the AVR to be on. Sometimes we want to watch Stereo content online, and sometimes MultiChannel Content. The only way to achieve this is to Constantly switch between Stereo and Passthrough Via Optical Only depending on the source content.
This is by far the most annoying “feature” but it is not WDs fault. It is a limitation imposed on certain hardware manufacturers. The TV with its media player is able to do this because it is not using HDMI, it is using USB, and therefore it does not need HDCP compliancy in order for it to pass its DTS/DD stream to the AVR, while also having stereo output through its own speakers.
Not Everyone has HDMI on their AVR
Not Everyone wants to have their AVR on blasting MultiChannel audio when its just a TV show that is encoded in Stereo.
If you are looking for this functionality, Contact me and I will help you set it up, but it will not be with a WDTV device.
Thanks for reading my post. You have been informed. The WDTV is a wonderful media player, though with a few quirks, and if you can live with this limitation, great. Unfortunately I cannot live with it, and I am returning my unit.