Is splitting HDMI out into HDMI video + RCA audio possible?
February 17, 2011 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Hi hive mind, hope you're well. Here's hoping one or more of you might be able to help me out with an A/V setup question. I've been (slowly) building a fairly decent setup piece-by-piece around an Optoma projector. Trouble is, I now have an issue splitting an HDMI combined A/V signal into HDMI video + RCA audio. A little help here, please!

It may sound like a bit of an absurd mix of ghetto with high-tech, but I'm sending video sources to my projector (which has no speaker of its own), and have been using a used set of (pretty good for the price) computer speakers, which has an 1/8" stereo jack as an input. While I save up for some 'real' speakers at some point, in the meantime I've run some long RCA cables (with an RCA-to-1/8" adapter to fit) to connect audio from whatever source I was using at the time (DVD player, computer, etc.) to these speakers. So, no receiver as yet.

I'm an amateur still photographer with a background in film, and I'd begun to shoot some video on my new Nikon D7000. I regularly use my projector setup to review and tweak my footage in-camera before doing more heavy lifting on my computer. That, and it's nice to quickly see how my shots take to a 10' screen.

The trouble is, I currently have no way to play back the audio from my camera while using high-quality HDMI video in this rather ramshackle setup. The camera has two video outputs: a mini-HDMI output, and a 1/8" proprietary output that splits into RCA video and audio (standard yellow, white, red). The HDMI output (going straight to the projector) carries both video and audio, but the projector has no built-in speakers of its own. For some odd reason, it appears that the RCA output can't be used simultaneously with the camera's HDMI output, so I can't simply hook up the audio outputs of the RCA cable to my computer speakers while directing HDMI video to the projector with both cables connected to the camera at the same time. Obviously, simply using the basic RCA cables for the video itself will be a huge downgrade in quality as compared to HDMI, so I'd like to avoid doing that. I have had my eye on a receiver (which will probably be my next biggish purchase) , but I got my hands on its manual and to my surprise, it's explicitly noted that the receiver will only output audio over speaker cables from HDMI sources, not over its RCA outputs. I don't know if this is an anomaly among receivers, or if it's some digital rights management/copy protection thing arranged by design courtesy of the HDMI specification content czars.

In any case: is it possible for me to (relatively) cheaply split the HDMI A/V signal into HDMI + RCA audio outputs, to then connect the former to my projector and the latter to my computer speakers while I save up for decent speakers using proper speaker wire? I'm no electrical engineer: I'm looking for some sort of ready-made splitter device. I've come across a device or two while internet-searching for which the specs appear pretty unclear if they'll do this, and I'd prefer to make sure I'm barking up the right tree before I make a purchase. Thanks!
posted by junebug to Technology (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The one you link to will work, but here's a cheaper one.
posted by tomierna at 6:53 PM on February 17, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, by the way!
posted by junebug at 4:55 PM on March 23, 2011

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