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What is HDMI Pass Through?

What is HDMI Pass Through
Written by prodigitalweb

Most electronic consumers don’t know about all their device’s features. HDMI Pass Through is one of the features that you can spell as pass-thru. People mostly don’t understand what it is. But the idea behind this is very simple and helpful.

Therefore, it is beneficial for you if you know about it properly. Thus, you can make more informed decisions while buying your next audio system. But sometimes, you may want to watch the television but don’t want to activate your “couch-shaking” audio system. So, let’s dive into the article to learn about it.

What is HDMI Pass Through?

HDMI Pass Through is a feature that helps pass video and audio signals using a high-definition wire from a High Definition (HD) source to an HTS or Home Theater System. For example, you can use a Blu-ray player or an HD Set Top Box as a high-definition source. HTS uses its speakers to play the audio from its high-definition source and sends a similar video signal to a television through a second high-definition wire.

The HTS supporting the feature must have an HDMI OUT port to send the high-definition signal to a television. In addition, it should have at least an HDMI IN port to receive a signal from the peripheral device you have attached to it.

Pass-Through Advantages:

  • It can offer a simple single cable process through which you can send HD audio formats to surround sound from a high-definition source to an HTS. For high-definition audio formats, you can use Dolby True HD, DTS Master Audio, and 7.1. However, if you want, you can connect eight audio wires.
  • The feature allows you to send HD audio formats in digital form. Using the eight audio cable connection process, you can transmit analog signals only.
  • With the help of the feature, you can pass the digital, 1080p video signal from the Blu-ray player or Set Top Box to the television. You don’t need to change the signal. It allows you to be on the top of the line in video and audio formats.


  • It is not compatible with all devices. Ensure that the signal source, including a Blu-ray player or Set Top Box, supports the feature whenever you establish a connection.
  • The feature supports television and HTS connection only. Remember that it is incompatible with any Set-Top Box or TV Pass Through the link.
  • Whether your television does not come with any HDMI Out, you can configure the feature with the help of its Audio Return Channel port. If you want, you can use an Optical Cable attached to the TV’s Digital Audio Out port which is linked with HTS Digital Audio In port.
  • Remember that you must set the TV speakers to External.

How Does HDMI Pass Through Work?

You can transfer an audio or video signal with your HTS from a Blu-ray player to the television via a high-definition wire. Hence, you should know that it can work in two ways.

  • The first way is where video and audio signals are similarly transferred to the television.
  • The second way is that HTS plays audio and passes video signals to the TV.

The feature is helpful when transferring the signal from the source device, including a set-top box or Blu-ray player, to any audio receiver or a home theater system. Remember that the intermediary device must come with at least two high-definition ports.

A high-definition port must come with an IN port and OUT port. The IN port can catch signals from source devices like Blu-Ray Player. On the other hand, the OUT port helps to send unchanged signals to recipient devices like television. In addition, it can offer a one-cable solution to multiple users. Remember that you can not use the feature with all devices with various ports. Ensure that your manufacturer confirms your device is supporting the feature.

Why would you want the HDMI Pass Through feature?

The feature allows you to select if you want to process a signal. Receivers with 3D is a very recent example. Besides, the feature lets you see 3D movies from the Blu-ray Disc player on the 3D HDTV set. The reason is that the receiver transfers the 3D signal from the source player to the target TV via high-definition ports. You should not use older models as these don’t allow you to transfer the 3D constituent in the video data. Later, people want to use 3D without surround sound or 2D with surround sound.

Standby is another feature that can be available on a few receivers. Hence, there is no need to enable the receiver, the connected speakers, and the subwoofer. Instead, you only need to see the news with the plasma TV’s speakers. Besides, if someone sleeps in the next room, you can watch your favorite movie using the feature. Generally, if you are willing to bypass the receiver, you must use an additional set of wires. These attach directly to the LED or LCD TV from the cable box or DVR. But in this case, you need to use an extra set of ports on the TV. In addition, you have to use the remote to switch the TV’s inputs.

There are a few projectors featuring a default speaker. These can provide an audio-specific feature allowing you to use the speaker for music. In addition, it will enable you to talk via a microphone while the projector remains in standby mode.

Pass-Through Feature in Gadgets:

However, the feature is not only available to home theater components. A few USB hubs enable you to connect many USB devices. Therefore, you can use it for headphones, microphones, and speakers. These can provide some USB ports using which you can charge a cell phone or music player. It doesn’t matter if you have powered off the computer.

A few devices allow you to capture and digitize an analog signal. You can use the devices also as these support the feature. For example, it allows you to digitize a vinyl record or audio cassette when you listen to music. Place shifters like Slingbox enable you to pass through the program. It can intercept the analog video and stereo audio from the DVR for retransmission over the Internet or home network. Therefore, you can enjoy it on the connected television simultaneously.


The pass through term also means holes on cases, protectors, or external batteries you can use to connect to a USB cable or earphones. You can apply similar logic to home theater furniture and A/V racks with rear holes used for HDMI Pass-Through wires and cables.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does a Pass-Through device do?

You should use it with a PC to reprogram vehicle control modules via the OBD-II/CANbus port.

Do you need a 4K to pass through on the soundbar?

If you are using a 4K home theater setup, ensure that any of your audio components can transfer the 4K encrypted signal between the source and display. For example, you can use a receiver or soundbar as an audio component.

Can the HDMI Pass Through to the TV when the receiver is off?

If you turn off the receiver, you must connect the cable box with the TV. Then, it starts working as it is. But turning on the receiver allows the tv sound to go through the receiver. Ensure that you mute the television to prevent the tv speakers from turning on.

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