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I was lucky enough to get a PS4 console this Christmas. While I’m more of a PC gamer these days, it’s certainly a neat little box to have and I have to say I’m absolutely loving Bloodborne, even if the game would have looked prettier on PC. Compared to the PS3, Sony have changed a few things on their new console and sadly not all for the better. One disappointment is how audio is handled on the new console. Remember how, on PS3, you could manually choose which audio formats were supported by your system? Seems Sony decided that was too complicated and instead the PS4 reads all this information from the extended display identification data (EDID) that your system supplies. If you’re not familiar with EDIDs, the idea is that when you connect a TV, home theatre receiver or other hardware, it can send its EDID to other connected equipment, which can then configure itself automatically, that’s the theory anyway.
Of course, for those of us with more complex setups, the whole EDID system often falls down as EDID information is not passed correctly by things like HDMI switches or splitters. No problem on PS3, of course, since we have a manual override. On PS4, we’re out of luck. All is not lost however, if your PS4 refuses to output LPCM 5.1 or 7.1 audio despite your receiver being quite capable of such things, you simply need to add a Dr HDMI unit to your console. We reviewed the Dr HDMI unit back in 2013 and found it worked great for solving the same sort of problem on Windows PCs. We’re happy to report it can do the same for the PlayStation 4 too. One caveat, on the PC we didn’t need to use an external power supply, but this appears to be necessary when using the device with the PS4.
If you’re an installer, either professional or just the type of person regularly called upon to troubleshoot peoples home theatre setups, it’s not a bad idea to keep one of these handy little devices in your toolbox, as they can solve no end of niggling issues with HDMI devices.