HTiB setup help

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Colossal, May 12, 2013.

  1. Colossal

    Colossal Extra

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    Hello, I'm trying to get an optimal setup here for a living room, I'll be getting a 5.1 receiver/blu-ray system (Haven't decided on one yet, don't think it matters though), and I'm just wondering the best way to connect my devices (Xbox, Sky, etc) for them all to have 5.1 ... What is the best way to connect them so I can play Xbox, watch Sky and Blu-ray's, and get 5.1 surround sound? What is the best way?

    Would this work... connect the devices to the TV via HDMI, and then just connect the receiver to the TV via the TV's HDMI output - can I still get DD HD etc even though the sound is going through the TV from the devices and back to the receiver? Is there the same audio quality as if the devices were directly connected to the receiver? No degradation just because the audio is taken from the TV?

    Any help appreciated.
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Most* HDMI equipped craptastic(my pet name for all-in-one throw away HTiB) can only take 2.0 from HDMI.So, do exhaustive research until you find the one(if it exists) that takes DD/DTS off the HDMI.Otherwise, use the toslink for DD with a toslink switch(notice most* craptastic don't accept DTS over toslink).Now you know why I call them craptastic.*I'm not willing to say every/all instead of "most" since LG, Sony, Panasonic and Samsung might have slipped one in that has proper HDMI functioning. But find the most expensive from each...cause if the $500+ one won't, the super cheap ones won't either.
     
  3. Colossal

    Colossal Extra

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    I've never heard of this problem from HTiB systems, but I'll look into it... but I was mainly wondering if that setup would work assuming I have what you said... that being all devices linked to the receiver via HDMI, and just one single HDMI to the TV.... does the video from the devices still reach the TV? Even though the devices are not directly connected to the TV.
     
  4. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    You've never heard of these issues cause people buying them typically don't know nor care about audio quality(beyond "better than the TV") to begin with.

    Yes the video still makes it to the TV. There would be no point in the HDMI inputs otherwise.

    But this forum(and many others) is littered with "I have X HTiB and the sound isn't right".

    Typical response, once reading the owners manual for them, is...

    "That HTiB isn't capable of what you are trying to do. Return it for a real, AVR."
     
  5. Colossal

    Colossal Extra

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    I don't see how someone wouldn't notice only 2 channels working and not the rear speakers or the sub...

    Anyway... I'm looking for a system that decodes Dolby Digital HD, is that good enough?

    **EDIT**
    I've found a system I like, it's the ONKYO HT-S4505, it does indeed decode Dolby Digital HD and other lossless formats, here it is ---

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/HT-S4505-Channel-Receiver-Speaker-Package/dp/B007YMN306/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Tell me what you think.
     
  6. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Well, that isn't a throw away system.

    It even says "Home Cinema Receiver/Speaker Package".

    The future is, relatively speaking, bright if you buy that. You can decide to buy better speakers in the future...while keeping the AVR. Or, if you outgrow that AVR....and you still have the speakers...just buy a new AVR. 2 years from now when that sub dies, buy another one. This type of system also allows what we call "trickle down". The day you decide to buy better speakers...use these speakers and buy a different AVR and put a mini-theater in your bedroom. You can use any part of this system with darn near anything else you ever buy in the future (Not the same with the Samsung linked later).

    HTiB is not the same thing as "AVR/Speaker Package". You'll find lots of love for AVR/Speaker packages around here, cause they are an inexpensive way to dip your toes into home theater.

    This is what I thought you meant by HTiB...
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-HT-F5530-Blu-ray-Theatre-Speakers/dp/B00BQ80QLI/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1368392276&sr=1-2&keywords=samsung+5.1+blu+ray
    Those are what I call craptastic. When one thing breaks, you have to throw the entire thing in the garbage.
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Gonna help you out a tad, if you have a bit of "extra budget"...

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aviano-1-Mordaunt-Short-Black/dp/B003J1CE1U/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1368392856&sr=1-2&keywords=mordaunt
    Two pairs of those and the center is 270 pounds(not sure how to create the pound sign...so bear with me being a yank). If you want the Aviano 2 for the front channel, it adds 50.

    Subwoofer...
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cambridge-Audio-S80-Subwoofer-Black/dp/B00474CKOY/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1368392999&sr=1-2&keywords=subwoofer
    We don't get Cambridge here in the US. I bet that is no worse than the sub included with the Onkyo package you linked(not knocking the speakers in the Onkyo package...but "pre-package speakers" are never the greatest).

    370 pounds. Still have to get an AVR...

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Onkyo-TX-NR414B-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B007JEX16K/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1368393090&sr=1-1&keywords=onkyo+nr414
    Pretty much the equal to the AVR in the pre-package. 180 pounds more money...but way better performance...especially from the 5.0 portion of the system.

    And no, not the least expensive AVR, there is a Pioneer 527 for 10 less. If you do have this kind of budget...these Mordaunt are a speaker you'd be proud to own the next 25 years.
     
  8. Colossal

    Colossal Extra

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    I see, thanks for the advice/knowledge, I'm still learning you see ;)

    I decided it's probably best if I plug all my devices into the AVR, and just have one single HDMI going to the TV output... I just figured it's best if the devices are plugged directly into the AVR.

    Also, is it a good idea to hide the cables under the carpet for the rear speakers? Is there a good way to go about it? I don't want any wires showing if I can help it, or as few as possible.
     
  9. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Plugging all HDMI devices into the receiver with one hdmi cable going to the display is the proper way to do it.

    If you can slip the wires under the carpet so much the better. But make sure you can put the carpet back since they stretch it when installing it. Sometimes you can stuff them under baseboards if your room has them. You can also buy wire channels at your local hardware store and place them along the walls or baseboards to hide the wires. But they can be very expensive.

    http://www.amazon.com/Wiremold-CMK50-CordMate-Computer-Entertainment/dp/B0015EDVVU/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1368400142&sr=8-11&keywords=cable+organizer
     
  10. Colossal

    Colossal Extra

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    What about stepping on the wires that are under the carpet, isn't that a problem or no? Or do you run it around the edges of the room?
     
  11. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I'd run them around the room even if you can get them under the carpet. I doubt you would damage them by stepping on them but eventually you would be able to feel the wires under your feet.

    I was able to run them under the house. Just a little bit of info, if you ever run speaker wire under your house or in the walls you need a special type of wire called CL-2 or CL-3 to satisfy local fire codes. It isn't that much more expensive and it help deter the spread of fire. It has a slow-burn outer shell wrapped around the wire. Kind of like this...

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239&cs_id=1023902&p_id=2819&seq=1&format=2
     
  12. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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