Duh! I think I just realized that even if this will work, it will loose an value of the high definition audio CODECS, becasue in converting it to optical, the TV will downsample it...right?
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thanks all (and sorry for the doubled thread -- there's a repeat of this one a bit earlier. must have accidentally submitted it twice).
yes, what I wasn't thinking about was the two channel limit and the question of what the TV will do (it does have an optical digital out that passes through the digital signal, but my guess is it won't pass digital from HDMI at all.