Connecting LED TV, Laptop and Set-Top-Box to Home Theater system

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by rajesh vasan, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. rajesh vasan

    rajesh vasan Auditioning

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    Hi All, Please help me find a solution for my problem. I have 3 items to be connected to each other. I have a Samsung LED TV, Sony Home theater (DAV DZ640K) and a HP DV4T laptop. I also have a HD Set-top box for watching HD channels. I have connected my Home theater and set-top box to TV thru HDMI. The home theater transmits both audio/video thru HDMI if I play a DVD. But If I watch a HD channel thru set-top box i am not able to hear the sound from Home theater. So I connected the RCA cable from Home theater to Set-top box. Now i am getting the sound from home theater but not sure if it is digital. Now if i connect laptop to TV thru HDMI i am able to hear only TV sound though my TV shows that it is receiving from Home theater. TV has below ports HDMI / DVI - 1 HDMI - 3 PC / DVI Audio In Component IN Digital Audio Out (Optical) Antenna In Home theater has below ports Audio In (Right / Left) - 1 Antenna (Coaxial) In - 1 Component Video - 1 Video OUT - 1 HDMI Port - 1 Set-top-box has below ports HDMI port - 1 Digital Media (Optical) - 1 Audio IN (Left / Right) - 1 Component IN - 1 What is the best solution to play 5.1 from both my STB and laptop or any other device i connect thru HDMI in future. Any help would be most appreciated Thanks in advance Rajesh
     
  2. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    It's pretty simple. You can't listen to anything other than the built-in DVD player in digital 5.1.


    Analog stereo audio connection (red/white RCA plugs) do not carry digital 5.1 audio. You need a digital audio INPUT (either coaxial or optical) on the home theater system to listen to any external source in digital 5.1. An HDMI input or two would be preferred.


    This is the biggest drawback to many all-in-one systems - especially systems with a built-in DVD player. They simply aren't designed to work with any other sources.


    Unfortunately, it is also extremely unlikely that you will be able to use the speakers should you choose to replace the main unit with something else. Check the manual of your home theater system. If the speaker impedance is less than 6 ohms, then the speakers cannot be reliably used with a replacement receiver unit.


    Your choice really boils down to no digital surround sound for your STB or replace the home theater system with one that has digital inputs.


    Sorry it's not better news.
     
  3. rajesh vasan

    rajesh vasan Auditioning

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    Thanks for your reply Jason.. The home theater has a single HDMI port that is connected to TV and a coaxial antenna for FM(not sure if this is useful)... Also if I connect a laptop to my TV thru HDMI will I get 5.1 sound since I have connected all the interfaces thru HDMI. Another dumb question... Is there an option of using an external sound card that supports 5.1? Thanks Rajesh
     
  4. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    The Sony Home Theater system does support Audio Return Channel via HDMI. I'm not 100% certain, but if your TV also supports Audio Return Channel, then it's possible that devices connected to your TV via HDMI will transmit digital audio in its native form back down to the Sony system.


    It may be the only workaround available to you.


    As for the laptop - again, in theory it may be possible, but I don't have any firsthand experience with laptops/computers and HDMI. It could get messy having to properly configure the laptop to output the correct audio format, make sure the TV is set to pass the data in the correct format, then have the Home Theater system set up to receive the audio and process it accordingly.


    Wish I could provide more info on the laptop side of things, but that's a bit beyond my comfort zone.
     

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