DAC with Digital Passthrough and Analog Audio Solution?

Conceptual outline of how the solution I’m looking for needs to work.
I’ve now been researching and blogging about my search all over for a solution that will enable me to have my AppleTV served via HDMI to my main zone and split to an analog signal so that I can serve up zones 2 and 3 in case my main is occupied with a different source.  I’ve diagramed out what exactly I need to do. More and more people who run multi-zone environments will need to do exactly the same thing as analog output starts to fade away.
It seems that price-point wise, an HDMI solution works best so that I can split the HDMI signal from the AppleTV instead of the Toslink audio signal.

The only limitation that I had come across with both the regular DACs and the HDMI units is if the audio signal coming from the AppleTV was not stereo.  In that case, the units would not down mix to 2.0 or 2.1 but rather not decode the signal.

The Gefen HDMI in to HDMI out with analog may be the perfect solution in both features and price.

Well, I may have found the perfect solution to all the problems in the form of the Gefen HDMI In to HDMI Out with Audio Converter.

  1. The unit appears to have HDMI passthrough.
  2. The unit has toslink digital audio out.
  3. The unit has analog audio out.
  4. The unit will decode multi-channel audio formats (except lossless formats) into 7.1 analog out.
  5. It will down-mix multichannel bitstream  and multichannel LPCM sources to 2.1 analog!!
  6. The unit is under $250 (now that’s poor audiophile territory!).
I have a question over to my friends at www.solidsignal.com to confirm my reading of the specs and user manual.  Plus, they are selling the unit at a nice discount here.
This may be the solution that I’ve been looking for and if so, I’ll likely be ordering one and post my impressions about the product here.

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