This would be cool, but perhaps not likely due to the possible number of customers with the necessary setup. The market that could use this feature would be Slingbox 500 users who use HDMI and are streaming to locations with surround-sound capable receiving devices and surround sound speakers set up.
I think it's a larger market than that - it would be very useful for people (like me!) who are splitting their set top box source with an HDMI splitter, feeding one to a 5.1 enabled home cinema (non streamed) and the other to the streamer. Currently in order to properly receive *any* audio on streamed 5.1 sources it is necessary to down-dial the output of the set-top box to PCM stereo (at least, that is the reality for me on my setup).
Ok, so you're asking for the Slingbox 500 to accept 5.1 audio via HDMI, but not stream 5.1 audio to a remote location. Your chain is more or less:
TV receiver -HDMI-> Slingbox 500 -HDMI-> TV
That enlarges the market--I know if I had a 500 + HDMI I'd be unhappy if I couldn't use 5.1 sound at the source television receiver (e.g. cable/satellite box). However I'd imagine that Sling Inc. is going to suggest you use component to feed the 500 and HDMI to feed your TV--if that's even possible with your television receiver.
Correct. The chain is:
Settop Box HDMI -> HDMI Splitter
Splitter Output 1 HDMI -> AV AMP -> TV
Splitter Output 2 HDMI -> Slingbox -> Laptop or whatever
Not bothered about 5.1 on the remote laptop, am bothered about 5.1 output @ home
Behaviour is that Output 2 works OK when AV AMP is switched off (5.1 sources down-dialled appropriately)
But Output 2 is MUTE when AV AMP is switched on (seemingly because slingbox input is now 5.1 digital)
HDCP issues are resolved by the splitter
And, crucually, the settop box doesn't have a component output.