Regular HDMI audio into PWD (using I2S)?

Hi all,

There are many audio sources that come with video. In my case I have an Apple TV and an IPTV Set top box. Both have an HDMI output and optical outputs. Obviously I can feed that optical output into my Perfect Wave DAC which works fine. Except that the PWD has only one optical input and I feel that the sound quality could be better. So I was wondering: would it be possible to take regular HDMI, decode the audio (convert to stereo) and feed it into the Perfect Wave DAC using the i2s interface? Does anyone know if such a device exists? Or possible a DIY solution? Also I am curious how you feed your HDMI sound into the DAC.

Thanks for your two cents in advance,


HDMI to i2s? Can’t say that I have run across such a beast but that doesn’t mean that it’s not out there. You would probably have better luck with finding a device to convert to the other digital outputs. The output of the set top boxes should be good via optical but keep in mind that the sound of those devices may not be as good to start with as whatever source you use to listen to music on the DS DAC.

not positive it would work but this might be worth a try:

Thanks for your replies. Most people use their DACs only for high quality sources and don’t care about audio that comes from video sources?


Good question. Much audio for video is mastered with a rise in the treble and will typically sound harsh (IMO) beside that produced strictly for listening. It is not always done this way, though. If the source is lower quality the DS DAC will not polish it.

Well…I am not looking for magic to make a bad source sound better. Rather I am looking for a way to optimize the chain when watching TV or movies. Actually I think I spend more hours listening to the DAC with a video source than a high end audio source. And honestly…If I watch a movie the DAC’s detail does add something to the experience. Sometimes I use a my surround systems rear channels to enhance the experience (and use the DAC for the fronts). Which got me thinking…the surround system is fed by hdmi. The DAC by an optical cable…would’t it be nice if the DAC can be fed by HDMI as well.


The HDMI out of a video component shares nothing in common with the I2S input on the DirectStream, other than the physical type of cable. I doubt there is a product that will convert one to the other.

The optical output should sound just as good, as long as you have set the video source to output the highest resolution PCM audio available for a given movie, etc.

A possible work around is an optical to coaxial converter. This would allow you to connect the optical from one video component directly to the DS, and the other via the converter to coaxial RCA.

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I agree with Elk that it is unlikely that a device will separate out the audio from a DVR or DVD/Blu-ray machine and make it compatible with the PS Audio I2S via HDMI protocols.

My DVR is one of the new ones that Time Warner rents and outputs a 24 bit 48 khz signal via optical (no coaxial output) which is better than my previous DVR (16 bit 48 khz). It sounds pretty darned good, especially the high end in comparison to earlier DVRs, when you select the least futzed with/processed “audio range” (Normal). I find that using a very good glass optical cable matters with the DS.

Note that with Blu-ray/DVD players copywrite programs limit the audio quality that comes out of the player’s digital outputs; mine are limited to 16 bit 48 khz into the DS. That said when the DS converts this to DSD and outputs it there is excellent sound—I had to buy an extremely good Blu-ray player to get competitive sound out of that machine’s analog outputs (Denon DVD-A1UDCI).

I understand that a breed of new players comes out with two HDMI outputs: one for video, the other for audio. It would be nice if we could play the audio stream with our PS DACs, but I understand it’s more difficult than it looks.

It would indeed be nice.

Unfortunately, they split video and audio signals are the same as when sent out a single output; they are just split. laugh

Want to know a secret? We’ve already built just such a player. music-078_gifdevil_gif

You’ll have to wait until next year - but your entire SACD library just got as lot more useful…

You got my attention … so is this something that could, shall we say, replace an Oppo with a Vanity board? I’m thinking more and more of getting an Oppo, but if there is something PS Audio is working on I can wait (I think). And when is “next year”, first quarter, second quarter …?

Paul McGowan said We've already built just such a player.

I like it!

Do you use a decoding chip from AKM?

Does it support HATS

It’s Oppo based - we’ve been working closely with them - more than that I cannot say. It’ll be complete and in a PerfectWave Chassis. I don’t yet have a date.


Are you incorporating an Oppo video part, or is the product transporting an audio source only?

Audio only - and multi-channel through I2S at that.

Very interesting! An audio-only Oppo is what I’m looking for. I hoped I could connect Oppo’s new transport BDT 101CI to my Nuwave DSD’s HDMI I2S input, but I’ve been told that it’s not possible. Will your new player be in the same price league with the PWT?

Thanks, Stefano

Around that, yes, maybe a touch more - hard to say right now.

To my information there exists no DAC’s or audio processors that can utilize multichannel SACD over I2s.

I guess this means that you also have such a product in your NPD pipeline? 101_gif

The alternative would be to use 3off Directstreams and duplicate the streams.