Cable Hook Ups

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Dan Mertz, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Dan Mertz

    Dan Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking for my first receiver to start my surround sound system but I have no idea how everything will connect once I get the equipment. I already have the TV, VCR and DVD player, but I need to know how many inputs & outputs to look for in a reciever.

    My TV has S-Video and Component Video Inputs.
    My DVD player has S-Video and Component Video Outputs, and digital audio outputs (optical and coaxial).
    My VCR is a few years old...I assume it just has basic connections.
    I also need to hook up the speakers when I get them, and a digital cable box.
    The only other thing I forsee myself adding in the future would be a TIVO, but I'm not sure if that would connect to the receiver.

    So, what kinds of inputs and outputs, and the minimum quantity of each, should I look for in a receiver?
     
  2. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Most of the receivers on the market today have more connection options than the average user will ever use. One of the things that you need to consider is whether or not you want to use your receiver for video swithing or not. That's going to determine the minimum number of connections you will need. As for the TIVO unit, yes you can connect it to a receiver, just like a VCR.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Dan,

    You’ll find that the receiver’s manual will have excellent drawings and diagrams for connections – same with the other equipment. That’s a good place to start. You can also get some good information on the basics at this thread.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Dan Mertz

    Dan Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info, but can you explain video switching?
     
  5. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    It's using your receiver to switch between video sources (VCR/DVD player/Tivo).
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Video Switching:

    It's easier to explain if you DONT have video switching.

    In this case - you run Video to the TV from each box and audio to the receiver from each box.

    Switching from one device to the other now takes 2 remotes: one for the video, one for the audio.

    A receiver with SVideo switching keeps the audio and video in sync so 1 remote and button-push switches both.

    Does this help?

    My suggestion: go to Radio Shack and buy their $20 "Composite to SVideo" converter. Put this on the output of your VCR.

    Now you can run SVideo cables from everything to your receiver. And 1 SVideo cable from the receiver to the Tv. This will make your system easy to use.
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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  8. Dan Mertz

    Dan Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob, can I do the same thing with a "composite to SVideo" converter if I am using component hook-ups or can this only be done if I am using S-Video hook ups?
     
  9. Adam_mmm

    Adam_mmm Agent

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    what provides the highest quality, component, composite, or svideo?
     
  10. seth_petry_john

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    Generally speaking, a component video connection will give you the best picture, followed closely by S-video and then composite. The differences have to do with how the video signal is output by the source unit, transmitted across one, two or three wires, and then received by the display unit.

    Regardless of what connection type you use, proper calibration is key to getting the most out of your home theater. Do yourself a big favor and buy a copy of the Digital Video Essentials DVD and use it to calibrate your TV. I got mine from Amazon for a good price but you can find it many places.

    With that said, I've seen reports that in some cases a composite video connection will give you a better connection than S-video, and I actually experienced this myself just last night. I just got a new DirecTV setup and the picture was really bad with S-video, but strangely better with composite. This is pre-calibration though so that might change.

    (Can anyone point me to threads that discuss this? I've looked but can not seem to find any, even though I know I've seen it discussed before)
     

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