Why not go from the video source (CATV box/DirecTV box/DVD) directly into the amp and bypass the TV's audio?
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Every CATV box I've ever seen has analog outputs. You would need something to switch them tho', I agree. Couple options for you...
Could get a cheap, but decent, DAC like the ART DI/O and run the coax digital output from the TV into that, and then into the amps. The problem is that if the source is feeding a multichannel digital audio signal (DTS, Dolby), you will get noisy garbage.
An alternative might be something like the Audio Authority 1154, sold by www.copperbox.com. I use one to switch the video into my TV. It has four sets of inputs, which include component video (RCA X 3), coax digital (RCA), toslink digital, analog audio (RCS x 2), and svideo. You could run the outputs from your sources into that and then, instead of routing audio via the TV, run the analog outs from the 1154 to your amps. If you don't have composite video, you could always just use one of the component RCAs to switch composite video on RCA.
Two problems with the 1154. You would need to control the volume from each of your sources rather than the TV remote. The other problem is that the digital connections don't do you any good, since the 1154 doesn't convert digital to analog.
In retrospect, a inexpensive DAC like the ART DI/O probably isn't an option. The digital output is going to be fixed, so you won't have any volume control (I think).
Do all of your sources have analog outputs on RCA? If so, the 1154 or a cheap remote controlled preamp may be your best bet. The 1154 will auto switch, so it will direct audio from the highest priority (you set priority) device that is on.
I'm guessing, however, that you might be able to pick up an inexpensive remote preamp here on A'gon for the $200 you would spend on an AA 1154. The big benefit there would be a single remote for all volume control--using the 1154 option you would have to control VCR volume with VCR remote, CATV volume with CATV remote, DVD volume with DVD remote, etc. In fact, you may not have remote volume for some sources...