Lost Apple TV Audio

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by volley13, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. volley13 macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2013
    #1
    Help! This might be a little long, but I don't want leave out anything that could be key.
    My setup has been the same for the last 3-4 years until recently. The initial setup was HDMI from Directv receiver to LED TV, optical cable from home theatre receiver to LED TV, and HDMI from ATV (2nd gen) to LED TV. No issues, ATV music library plays clean and clear, and photos flow through the TV with no problems whether playing from iMac desktop via wifi, iPhone, or Macbook.

    Due to family room reconfiguration, I had to change the setup a little bit in order to maintain all sound (tv and music) running through the home theatre. The change required running a digital optical cable from the home theatre receiver to the Directv receiver. All other connections remained the same. Since this change, the only thing I've played is live streaming a church sermon from my iPhone 6 to to the TV. Note: as with the previous setup, when I want to stream music/photos via ATV, I simply change the input on my TV to the HDMI input designated on the TV.

    For some reason this no longer works. While I still see all the ATV menu items, photos, and music library art, etc., when I play a song, there's no audio. I have no idea why I've lost audio. I have a 3rd gen ATV connected to my master bedroom tv, and that works fine. I took that one and swapped it with the home theatre ATV, and again, no audio. Very strange to me, so if you have any reason for this, please share...tks.
     
  2. chuyn macrumors 6502

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    Nov 13, 2015
    #2
    Is there still an optical cable from the tv to the home theatre?
     
  3. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #3
    Since you have a home theater receiver, the more typical setup would be to run things from components (Directv, :apple:TV, etc) into that receiver and then run a single cable (probably HDMI) from the receiver to the LED TV. In short, make the receiver the "hub" for everything and treat the TV like it's a "dumb" device at the end of the chain.

    Instead, this reads like you want the TV to be the "hub" as you appear to have many things trying to run through it and then out to the receiver.

    So my suggestion would be to rethink the "flow" of signals following a simple(r) concept of from device to receiver and then one cable from receiver to TV. If it's a modern receiver, this is probably:
    • HDMI cable out of Directv box and into receiver
    • HDMI cable out of :apple:TV and into receiver and then
    • one HDMI cable from receiver to the TV.
    Trying to run things through the TV and then to the receiver introduces all kinds of variables in how your TV processes inputs and outputs, how ARC/CEC works if you are using that, etc. In flipping it around so that your receiver is your "hub" you are basically asking the TV to just display video via a single HDMI input... and you are using a receiver like it is intended to be used (as "hub," instead of putting it at the end of a chain).
     
  4. volley13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2013
    #4
    Okay, I think I'll give that a try Hobesound. My receiver is old; it's a Pioneer home theatre from 2009, but it does have several HDMI outputs and digital optical outputs. This baffles me because the only thing that changed once the room was changed around, was adding an optical cable from the receiver to the Directv receiver to maintain sound through the home theatre system. Other than that, everything worked fine. I knew something was wrong when I changed the TV input from the tv to the apple input to listen to music, and I still had sound from the tv but could see my photos.
     
  5. volley13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Tried your suggestion Hobesound, and it didn't quite work. My receiver has 3 HDMI ports; one is tv/sat, one is HDMI out, and the other is DVD/LVD that can be assigned. I ran hdmi from the receiver tv/sat to the tv, the atv to the dvd/lvd cdmi port, and dtv to receiver. When I change to dvd on the receiver, I do see the apple menus, purchases, etc., but when I play a song, there's no audio through my stereo, only through the tv speakers. So it seems the issue is tied somehow to the receiver. The only way I can make it work is going back to my original setup, but remove the optical between the receiver and dtv receiver, and purchase/run a longer optical from the receiver to the tv. With the original setup, its the optical from the receiver to the tv that gave me the sound through my home theater.

    I welcome any additional suggestions.

    Thanks again....
     
  6. HobeSoundDarryl, Dec 7, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #6
    I am assuming that your receiver will play some audio to the speakers attached to it and thus it is not broken...

    When one makes their receiver the hub, they usually go into their TV audio settings and turns off their TV speakers. Why? Because their TV speakers are usually much lower quality than whatever speakers they have connected to their receiver. You are still hearing sound via TV speakers because you haven't done that.

    By not hearing :apple:TV music through the receiver (not TV) speakers, I suspect it's a simple setting change in the receiver, probably involving a menu and telling that menu that you want to use sound pushed into the receiver via that HDMI cable instead of (probably) optical (as I'm guessing the menu is set now). It sounds like you've probably got that menu set to working with optical input instead of HDMI because you've been using the receiver not as a "hub" but as a later link in the chain AFTER the TV.

    In short, this is not just "plug & play." There is very likely menu settings in your receiver to tell it to use "HDMI in" audio instead of "optical in" as, I think I read, you've been using it. Go back to the manual of your receiver and carefully read the hookup section. Pay special attention to the HDMI hookup options and there will probably be a "note" or box that references needing to set audio to HDMI in some (receiver) menu. I can replicate the issue of HDMI cable hookups not playing sound when my own receiver's sound input option is set to "optical" instead of "HDMI" so I suspect you have the same issue and it's a simple menu change to tell the receiver to use audio delivered via HDMI instead of optical.

    I disagree with "the only way this will work is through the TV" as your wiring setup is atypical and thus very suspect. If the receiver is not malfunctioning, it is meant to be the "hub" and the simple wiring I suggested should work as long as you have 2 HDMI ports "in" on that receiver (one for DirecTV and one for :apple:TV) and then one HDMI out to LED TV. After that, it's a matter of going into the audio settings of the LED TV and turning off the TV's speaker and going into the Receiver's menus and being sure it's audio input options are set to "HDMI."

    I doubt you need any optical cables in this setup at all- just menu settings adjustments and 3 HDMI cables.

    Also, I think I may read improper HDMI cabling with "I ran HDMI from TV/SAT to the TV" when later you reference that it has "HDMI OUT". I'm perceiving what you really mean is:
    • DirecTV into "TV/SAT" INPUT
    • :apple:TV in the assignable DVD/LVD INPUT
    • HDMI out (OUTPUT) to one HDMI input on the TV
    If you tried my suggestion and you still had 2 HDMI cables hooked to your TV, the wiring was not right. Think "flow" of signals:
    • Video & audio flows out of my DirecTV box via HDMI and into (one of) my receiver's HDMI (input) jacks
    • Video & audio flows out of my :apple:TV box via HDMI and into one of my receiver's HDMI (input) jacks
    • Video flows out of my receiver's HDMI OUT jack and into ONE HDMI jack on my TV.
    • Audio does not play on my TV (because I turned the TV speaker off) but is instead played on the speakers attached to my receiver (because I adjusted the settings to select HDMI instead of optical for audio).
    I hope that helps. If you hook it up like that, find the proper setting in the receiver menu to use HDMI and still hear no audio from either DirecTV or :apple:TV, rule out a faulty HDMI cable by trying a different one.

    Also, I can't remember if the 2nd generation :apple:TV had a menu for selecting it's outputs but you might want to take a peek in it's settings to see if there is any audio output menu selection set to optical instead of HDMI too. Since you see a picture, I'm thinking I remember that it will output audio to both ports, so probably nothing to change there (the probable sole change is to find the setting in the receiver menu that tells it to use "HDMI" on the DVD/LVD input instead of "optical" for audio.)

    Again, as long as the receiver is not broken, a receiver is meant to be the hub... not the TV as you've been wiring it. The ideal setup is going to use the receiver like it's meant to be used, with the TV just being used to display a picture from either source. There are only a few reasons to have more than one cable (one HDMI cable in your case) attached to the TV when one is using a receiver in their setup... none of which probably applies to your setup. So if you try my suggestion again but you still have multiple cables hooked to your TV, the wiring is still not right. At the finish line in this kind of setup the TV should have ONE HDMI cable plugged into it (pumping video to it's screen from "HDMI out" on the receiver). Unless you have something else going on, no optical cables should be necessary in your setup at all.
     
  7. chuyn macrumors 6502

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    Nov 13, 2015
    #7
    The problem you had was when you moved the optical from tv > receiver to dtv > receiver.

    Your old setup, your tv was taking the sound info from all of your components and outputting it to your receiver (home theatre)
    When you moved the optical cable to dtv > receiver, your receiver now is only getting sound info from the dtv.

    The current setup you described, hdmi from the tv to the tv/sat port on your receiver is incorrect. What that does is send sound info from your tv to your receiver (IF that port has ARC, another matter altogether that we won't worry about).

    The simplest is to try HobeSoundDarryl's description:
    Hdmi cable from dtv to tv/sat port on receiver
    Hdmi cabl from Apple TV to DVD/LD port on receiver
    Hdmi cable from TV to HDMI Out port on receiver

    Hooking it up like that means you will not have to change source on the tv anymore. Just on the receiver to see/hear what you want between the dtv and the Apple TV
     
  8. volley13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2013
    #8
    Thanks guys. It all makes sense, and I will go back and take another look, and check my receiver manual. One thing Darryl mentioned about having 2 HDMI ports "in". Probably because this is an older receiver, I have 1 HDMI out port, 1 HDMI port labeled TV/Sat In, and 1 HDMI port DVD/LVD. If I don't have 2 "in" ports, will your suggested setup still work?

    Thanks
     
  9. chuyn macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Your DVD/LVD port would be an "in". You should be fine for that. Every HDMI port on a receiver is an "in" unless it specifically says "HDMI out/monitor out".
     
  10. HobeSoundDarryl, Dec 7, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #10
    That's right. It sounds like you have 2 HDMI ports "in" and 1 HDMI port "out". It would be odd to have a receiver with 3 HDMI jacks and 2 of them are "out." Much of the point of HDMI jacks on receivers is to act as video (source) switchers between video playback devices- like your DirecTV and :apple:TV boxes- much like you were using multiple "in" ports on your TV to do the switching from DirecTV to/from :apple:TV.

    So I'm pretty confident you have 2 HDMI "in" jacks and 1 HDMI "out" jack. That's why your setup should be so simple in switching from trying to use your TV as your central "hub" to using your receiver as one.

    Since HDMI has gained a lot of steam since you purchased your receiver, newer ones- like mine- come with many HDMI "in" ports and 1 HDMI "out." A newer receiver might be your next AV purchase around the time that you decide to add some other video "source" box (like maybe a BD player, TIVO, Playstation/Xbox, MacMini or something similar). At some point, you might have 5 or 6 boxes like your current 2 flowing video into a future receiver with HDMI cables and then one HDMI cable "out" to your TV. That's how it's supposed to work with an AV receiver.
     
  11. volley13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2013
    #11
    I will review the setup based on your suggestions, check my receiver and ate manuals for any changes I may need to make, and give it a try. I'll keep you posted.
     
  12. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #12
    Key again is just thinking through the flow of video signals: from components into receiver and then one "pipe" to the TV.

    AND

    Going into your receiver settings and switching them to use HDMI connections instead of (what I guess) optical connections.

    Then, you switch around to what you want to watch with your receiver instead of the TV as you have been doing. The TV becomes a "dumb" device at the end of the chain solely meant to show whichever video you want to flow to it from your receiver.

    If all goes as expected, you don't need ANY cables other than 2 HDMI from components to receiver and 1 HDMI from receiver to TV.
     
  13. volley13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2013
    #13
    Just wanted to give you folks an update. I have the 3 HDMI cables connected as instructed. I had to laugh because it is so much easier changing the input from the receiver remote to ate. Unfortunately, I still do not have audio from my ate. Now, I'm going through my receiver manual to see what changes I need to make.
     
  14. HobeSoundDarryl, Dec 7, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #14
    Guesses:
    1. receiver setting for that jack needs to be set to use HDMI for audio instead of optical (or something else). My own receiver lets me choose which kind of audio input should be used for each connection. In other words, if I change the audio input on my receiver from hdmi to optical, I lose sound from my :apple:TV too (because it is connected via hdmi, not optical).
    2. Bad HDMI cable. Test by temporarily swapping the other hdmi cable
    3. Is there a setting in :apple:TV2 to use HDMI for audio out (I doubt it but can't remember)

    Strong belief it is #1

    If you want a quick confirmation about #1 and you do have audio working via your DirecTV hdmi connection, unplug it from your receiver and then plug it into the receiver hdmi jack "in" you are using for :apple:tv. I bet it will yield no sound too because (I'm best guessing) audio for that input is set to optical instead of HDMI.
     
  15. volley13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2013
    #15
    Well, no go with the setup for the atv. As for the receiver itself, the manual says if you're using digital audio cables, there's no need to go into the settings and switching them; digital is the default. I also realized that with the setup, I had audio from my tv through the home theater only because I didn't remove the optical cable going from the receiver to the dtv. When I removed it, I lost audio through my home theater; connected it back, and got audio back. I'm at a lost.
     
  16. HobeSoundDarryl, Dec 8, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #16
    volley, there almost certainly IS a setting to change in the receiver menus. "Digital is the default" probably means the receiver is set up to default to optical or coax digital. HDMI is also considered "digital." So, I'm guessing, "digital is the default" means that the receiver is set up to default to digital optical (for audio) instead of digital HDMI (for audio). Or more simply, the default settings are saying "use optical digital for audio" instead of "use HDMI for audio."

    "digital is default" doesn't mean it's "plug 'n play" such that if you hook up HDMI it will auto switch to using HDMI for audio. You have to tell receivers which jacks to use. They are designed this way (to be flexible with any setup situation). Your receiver probably also has some older analog connections too. If you have an older component- say a VCR- that has neither a digital optical or HDMI "out," you could play it's audio by making an old RCA analog connection to the receiver and telling the receiver to use the analog connections for that VCR component. Else, believing that "digital is default" requires only optical connections to work would rule out anything that you want to connect to your receiver that does NOT come with optical out... such as the newer :apple:TV4.

    So again, the answer is very likely in the manual. In spite of it saying "digital is default", there should be a reference to what is probably an on-screen menu where you assign through what kind of connection the audio associated with the video is to come (from). When you find this, I'm guessing it is going to be set to the "default" of optical audio or "toslink" for the SAT/TV and DVD/LVD receiver connections. You'll see that you can change that from "optical" or "toslink" to "HDMI" and then the receiver will "listen" for audio- and "hear" it- through the HDMI connection.

    I personally have a brand new 2016 receiver. It "defaults" to HDMI for connection (because it's 2016). However, if I go into the on-screen menus and switch the source of audio from "HDMI" to "optical" (because mine still has optical connection options too), my own :apple:TV and DirecTV boxes will "lose" audio. Why? Because I have no optical cable connecting those boxes to my receiver. They are connected via HDMI. And I have to "tell" the receiver to "listen" for audio on HDMI if the receiver settings are set to something other than using HDMI for sound. Else, no sound (too).

    Your receiver is older so it could make sense that even though it has a few HDMI ports, it may have shipped with the optical connections as default. Or perhaps whoever set it up when it was first installed connected with optical and made the changes in the receiver menu to use the optical connections instead of HDMI?

    But it's a simple as this: if you have video working through HDMI connections, the HDMI jacks are probably not failing/broken. In other words, they are receiving the flow of video from your DirecTV and :apple:TV boxes and then flowing that video through the other (one) HDMI ("out") to your TV for display. So now, you simply need to tell the receiver to "listen" to the audio that is embedded in that very same signal in those HDMI pipes. And that is almost certainly a receiver menu setup selection change to "hear" that audio that is in the same signal stream as that video over HDMI. Much of the point of HDMI is to merge a high quality video and audio digital stream into a single cable connection.

    If this is confusing, you might want to ask around your circle of contacts and find someone who is more accustomed to AV equipment setups. Or you could probably hire a Best Buy guy or similar to come and help you. Such a person is likely to come in, look at your cabling to be sure you have the HDMI cables connected to the correct jacks, then go into the receiver menus, locate the "use HDMI" (for audio) menu option, set that to use HDMI and this new setup using only HDMI cables will have both video and audio working with no dependency on optical cables at all. At the end, there's probably just HDMI cables connected to the receiver- no digital optical or coax cables at all.

    If you don't want to hire such a guy and can locate the receiver brand and model number manual online (assuming it is online) post a link to the manual and one of us can probably spot the part where you switch a menu setting from "non HDMI digital", "optical" or "toslink" to HDMI for audio. Here's a bunch of Pioneer receiver manuals if it might be one of these: https://www.manualslib.com/brand/pioneer/stereo-receiver.html Based on all you've shared, I am practically certain that there is a simple setting in a Pioneer on-screen menu to switch so that you are telling your receiver to "use HDMI" for audio. Find that and switch it to the HDMI option and audio should play.

    The remaining possibility is that your receiver is broken or defective but if it is passing video through HDMI cables to your TV. I'm doubting it will "choke" on audio via HDMI.
     
  17. HobeSoundDarryl, Dec 8, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #17
    One more thing: if you just can't figure it out from checking the manual and don't want to enlist the family/friend AV expert or pay someone from somewhere like BestBuy, the other option would be to simply cling to a variation of what you've been doing, but still cutting the TV out of all the cabling/switching.

    In this option you keep your digital cable connections (coax or optical) in play but make the connections at the Receiver instead of working through the TV. Here's what that setup might look like:
    • DirecTV box HDMI out to SAT/TV HDMI in (for DirecTV video)
    • DirecTV box digital optical or coax out to Receiver digital in (for DirecTV audio)
    • :apple:TV2 box HDMI out to DVD/LD HDMI in (for :apple:TV video)
    • :apple:TV2 box digital optical or coax out to Receiver digital in (for :apple:TV audio)
    and
    • Receiver HDMI "out" to TV HDMI jack "in" for displaying the video from either DirecTV or :apple:TV2 based on which you select on the Receiver.
    While somewhat redundant in that the HDMI connections should be able to deliver the audio to your receiver speakers, it sounds like you've got various parts working this way- by splitting audio from video and using non-HDMI audio "in" jacks already. So this is mostly switching from having the non-HDMI digital audio cables connected to the TV and instead connecting them directly to the components (DirecTV and :apple:TV boxes).

    This should work without having to figure out the HDMI settings within the receiver AND still leave the TV as just a video display link at the end of the content chain. Switching from DirecTV to :apple:TV2 would still be managed within the receiver and all sound from either should use your Receiver's speakers.

    Personally, I'd chase down the all-HDMI (only) hookup and proper settings but if you can't figure that out, it sounds like the above setup is closer to how you've historically had it, except for cutting the TV out of everything but (using one HDMI cable for) video display. And it's still an all-digital hookup, so sound quality should be great this way too. In very simple terms: you are piping video through the HDMI cables and audio through the 2 toslink optical or coax cables into your receiver... and video via HDMI over to the TV for display. Receiver is acting as central "hub" for everything even though 2 extra cables (the non-HDMI cables) are involved that likely aren't needed if the proper HDMI settings can be figured out.

    If you covet a "for now" solution, this might be the easier one for now, and then work on the pure HDMI connection option another day.
     
  18. volley13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Thanks Darryl. Right now, I'm going to spend a little more time researching my issue. I know there's a way to get into the screen to for cable assignment. I'll probably call Pioneer and see what they say. I do think its a cable assignment issue at this point. I'll post when I have info.

    Thanks!
     
  19. volley13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Well, I've gone full circle, and no go. I was able to get into the Assign menu and assign an HDMI cable for the DVD port that was being used for the ATV. I removed my optical, so I had the 3 HDMI setup, exited out of the Assign menu, and no sound via the home theater speakers whether watching TV or switching to the ATV.

    I connected the optical back, going from the optical port on the receiver to the optical port on the Directv receiver, and got my sound back through the home theater speakers, but for TV watching only. There was still no sound when switching to the ATV. Sooo,

    I decided to search on how to connect an ATV to a home theater, and one of the options is connect the HDMI cables the way they are now, except connect the ATV via HDMI to the TV. After that, connect the optical cable from the receiver to the optical port on the TV. This gave me sound back to the ATV.

    I'm going to leave the setup for now, and maybe shoot for a new updated receiver in the near future.

    Thanks...
     
  20. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #20
    Yes, given that, I think there is something wrong with your Receiver. It could be that it's just defective. It could be that it's age makes it's HDMI implementation have some conflict with newer tech. It could be that it needs to cold start reboot or reset. Etc. But a new one should overcome all that.

    2 big issues with using optical "out" on the TV are:
    • most TVs won't pump surround sound out of that jack. Instead, they send only stereo audio out of their optical jack, even if the TV is fed a 5.1 or 7.1 audio track. If you only have stereo speakers hooked up to the receiver, this is probably no big deal to you. But if you have 5.1 speakers or 7.1 speakers, you have probably never really realized full use of them while you've had your sound flow hooked up this way
    • you (likely) have to have the TV on even to enjoy music playback. In other words, if you put on your favorite :apple:TV playlist, can you turn off your TV and just listen? I'm guessing probably not. Pumping the sound through your receiver and not the TV makes that possible
    Question: since you have optical audio out of the TV and into an optical port on your receiver, what happens when you connect the optical cable directly to the optical out on the :apple:TV2? In short, what if you unplug the optical cable from your TV and plug that end of it into your :apple:TV2 optical jack? That would also bypass the TV but still preserve the optical cable dependency (for audio) in your setup now?

    One more thing: when I was trying to help a few days ago, I did a little research on older Pioneer receivers having trouble getting sound over HDMI connections. Along with knowing that you have to assign the system to use HDMI, there was a repeated reference to having to choose a binary option. The referenced setting was "Thru" or "Through" vs. "Amp". The first passes sound on to another device (like your TV in this case) instead of playing it through the speakers connected to the receiver. The "Amp" option does NOT pass it through and instead plays the sound on the speakers attached to the receiver. Perhaps your receiver is set to "Thru"?

    Lastly, there were also some references to needing to do a (receiver) processor reset to get sound via HDMI connections working. Do a search for "Pioneer Receivers HDMI no sound" and similar and read all about it. There are many references with many suggestions.
     

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