Non-3D AV Receiver With 3D TV & 3D Blu-Ray Player

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Home Theater Receivers - 3D Blu-ray Disc Players and 3D TVs

Onkyo TX-SR875 THX Certified Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo TX-SR875 Non-3D Compatible Home Theater Receiver. Image provided by Onkyo

3D is an option that is available for your home theater and home entertainment experience, and, as a result, consumers are faced with upgrading their TVs and adding or upgrading to a 3D Blu-ray Disc player. However, what about that home theater receiver?

The good news if that in the audio area surround sound formats will not change (for the time being) with the introduction of 3D into a home theater setup.

However, depending on what home theater receiver you have determines how you might make the physical audio connections between a 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player and the home theater receiver.

In other words, if you really want to be fully 3D signal compliant across the entire connection chain of your home theater system, you need to have a receiver that is 3D compliant by having HDMI ver 1.4a or higher connections, especially if you rely on your home theater receiver for video pass-through switching or processing.

However, you can avoid this additional, potentially costly upgrade by planning ahead. Check out three ways you can still use a non-3D compliant home theater receiver with a 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray Disc player.

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Connecting a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Two HDMI Outs to a Non-3D HT Receiver

3D Blu-ray Disc Player Featuring Dual HDMI Outputs
3D Blu-ray Disc Player Featuring Dual HDMI Outputs. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is the first workaround that is available when adding a 3D Blu-ray Disc player to a home theater system that does not have a 3D-compliant home theater receiver.

Provided your home theater receiver has HDMI inputs and can access the audio signal that is embedded in the HDMI connection, if you purchase a 3D Blu-ray Disc player that has TWO HDMI OUTPUTS (shown in the above photo - click on photo for larger view), you can connect one HDMI output to the TV for the video and the second HDMI output to the non-3D compliant home theater receiver for the audio.

This will provide access to all available surround sound audio formats that are employed by the Blu-ray Disc and DVD formats, as well as all audio from CDs and other program content.

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Connecting a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with 5.1/7.1 Audio Outs to a Non-3D Receiver

3D Blu-ray Disc Player Featuring Multi-Channel Analog Audio Outputs
3D Blu-ray Disc Player Featuring Multi-Channel Analog Audio Outputs. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a second workaround that is available when adding a 3D Blu-ray Disc player to a home theater system that does not have a 3D-compliant home theater receiver.

If you purchase a 3D Blu-ray Disc player that has one HDMI output, plus a set of 5.1/7.1 channel analog outputs, you can connect the HDMI output of the Blu-ray Disc player directly to the TV for the video and connect the 5.1/7.1 channel analog outputs of the Blu-ray Disc player (shown in the above photo - click on photo for larger view) into the 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio inputs of the home theater receiver, provided your home theater receiver is equipped with this feature.

In this setup, the Blu-ray Disc player will do all the needed audio decoding of Dolby TrueHD and/or DTS-HD Master Audio Blu-ray soundtracks and pass those signals to the receiver as uncompressed PCM signals. The sound quality will be the same as if the decoding had been done by the receiver - you just won't see Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio displayed on the home theater receiver's front panel display - it will display PCM instead.

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Connecting a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player With Digital Audio Out to a Non-3D Receiver

3D Blu-ray Disc Player Featuring Digital Optical and Digital Coaxial Audio Outputs
3D Blu-ray Disc Player Featuring Digital Optical and Digital Coaxial Audio Outputs. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a third workaround that is available when adding a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player to a home theater system that does not have a 3D-compliant home theater receiver.

If you buy a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player that does not have either a second HDMI output or 5.1 /7.1 channel analog audio outputs - you can still connect the HDMI connection of the Blu-ray Disc player directly to the TV for the video, but you would have to connect the Blu-ray Disc player's digital optical or digital coaxial output (shown in the above photo - click on photo for larger view) to the Receiver for the audio.

However, using this connection, you will only be able to access standard Dolby Digital and DTS signals - not Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio.

Final Take

In the grand scheme of things, upgrading to a 3D compliant home theater receiver is not an required for 3D as you can send the video signal directly from the Blu-ray Disc Player to the TV and the audio from the player to the home theater receiver separately, but it does require an extra connection to your setup, as well a possible limitation on what surround sound formats you may access to, if you do not have a 3D compatible home theater receiver.