Need advice setting up simplest wife-friendly configuration

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by blocktek, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. blocktek

    blocktek Auditioning

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    My gear:
    Panasonic TC-P42S30 42" Plasma
    TiVo Premiere
    Panasonic DMP-BDT110 Blu-Ray
    AppleTV
    Nintendo Wii
    Airport Express
    On order: Yamaha RX-V475 Receiver

    I'm replacing an ancient JBL JSR-400 A/V Receiver (keeping the 5.1 speakers).
    I had hoped to configure the new receiver in such a way that my wife wouldn't have to deal with it at all when switching video inputs, but would allow me to take advantage of 5.1 surround whenever possible. She couldn't care less about the audio.
    Currently, the TiVo, AppleTV, BluRay, and Wii are all directly connected to the TV via HDMI (and composite, for the Wii). Switching inputs is done via the "input" swich on the TiVo remote, controlling the TV. Audio is all analog, directly to the receiver.
    My original plan was to keep this same arrangement, and use the Optical Digital Audio output of the TV to the receiver, thereby following whatever signal is input. However, I've just read that although the TV will recieve a 5.1 signal via HDMI, that same signal is dumbed down to 2 channel stereo when it is output via the digital output (according to Panasonic, "The TV will only output a 5.1 signal from the optical output when the signal is coming from a digital over the air channel, a digital basic cable channel with no cable box, or when one of the Viera Connect applications is feeding the TV a 5.1 signal."
    So, now I'm looking at configuring in the recommended way, using HDMI to connect my components to the receiver, and HDMI back out to the TV. As I understand it, this means that the reciever will always have to be on, whether the external speakers are used or not, and that all input switching will have to be done from it's poorly designed remote. I'm fine with that, but adding another component drives my wife crazy.
    Am I missing something? I know that this TV has ARC on HDMI 2, but am unsure how this could help me, especially as I'm already tapped on inputs. (3 HDMI plus 1 Composite).
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The 475 has "HDMI passthrough in standby".

    It would help if you read your various owners manuals. Almost everything you own has a droid/apple app to run it.
     
  3. blocktek

    blocktek Auditioning

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    Thanks, shan1269. That makes sense. I just need to see if I can program my TiVo remote to control the input function also, then.

    I've spent a lot of time with all of the manuals. Although there are iPhone apps for the Panasonic TV and BluRay, they don't seem to work any longer with my models. I do have apps for the TiVo and AppleTV, though. I'm looking forward to using Yamaha's app.
     
  4. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Run everything(except the Wii video) in to the Yamaha. Let it perform your video switching. It even does video switching when it, itself, is in standby.

    There is absolutely no reason, at all, to run your devices to the TV, then TV into the Yamaha. No point.
     
  5. Type A

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    Welcome to the forum Louis. :)

    Yep its true, HDMI pass through on stand by means she wont have to use the speakers and the Yamaha will always be sending video and audio to the TV even if the AVR itself is in standby, very handy for dual display systems. Once you power on the AVR the speakers begin to work and the TV speakers are disabled automatically. Switching inputs can easily be accomplished by a simple learning remote and you dont have to use the crappy Yamaha remote, it will work out the same whether you switch at the TV or AVR so make it as easy as possible for her. I made a button-by-button guide for my wife, printed on a piece of paper. Eventually as she uses the system she gets more and more comfortable. She knows she can use either the projector and surround system or just power on the 65" plasma and use the TV speakers. I detest Harmony remotes and macros, just never found them reliable. Heres what I printed out for her using the Home Theater Master SL9000 remote:


    Audio=Yamaha, DVD =Oppo blu ray player, CD= Integra CD changer, Cable=Plasma, Aux=Projector, Sat=cable TV, TV=cable TV with surround sound. Basically M1-M4 on the bottom of the remote are programmed to change the input on the AVR whether its in standby or ON, the AVR doesnt care.

    The dashes are the button presses she presses to achieve the function and assumes the TV is already ON.
    Using the TV and TV speakers:

    TV:
    -Audio
    -M2
    -Sat


    DVD:
    -Press Eject on Oppo (tray opens)
    -Put disk in tray label side up
    -Press Eject on Oppo (tray closes)
    -Audio
    -M1
    -DVD for play, pause, menu ect...
    -Sat to adjust TV volume


    CD:
    -Audio
    -M4
    -CD
    -Power
    -CD for left/right disk select, enter, pause ect...
    -Sat to adjust TV volume

    NetFlix/Pandora
    -Cable
    -Menu brings up the TV screen with all the widgets

    Theres a separate instruction page for powering up the projector and surround sound complete with how to lower the screen and return it.


    Heres the CD inventory I printed for her that includes our current CD inventory. All this info appears onscreen as you leaf through the CDs but sometimes its easier to look at a print out for quick access to what you want to listen to...

    1. Beastie Boys-License to Ill
    2. Alabama-Record 1
    3. Alabama-Record 2
    4. Little Texas-Kick Ass
    5. Various-By Jenn
    6. Tim McGraw-Not A Moment Too Soon
    7. Halestorm-Halestorm
    8. Def Leppard-Pyromania
    9. Garth Brooks-In Pieces
    10. Garth Brooks-No Fences


    Ect all the way to 120 disks....

    Hope these examples help, she seemed to appreciate it being made as easy as possible.
     
  6. blocktek

    blocktek Auditioning

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    The TiVo remote has only 1 "input" button, for cycling through multiple sources. The Yamaha remote has 15 separate input buttons, with no obvious way to cycle through them. Right now, having only the TiVo and AppleTV remotes for everyday viewing works really well. I hate to add one more remote to serve just one function.
    Your printed guides amuse me, Type A. I tried the same thing when I got rid of the CD player in favor of iTunes/Airplay streaming. My wife still won't do it. She claims it just looks like a bunch of random words on a piece of paper. :)
     
  7. Type A

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    As far as I know the inputs using the Yamaha are discrete, meaning you cant cycle through them using the remote and you must hit the button for each individual input you want. You can turn the knob on the front of the AVR to cycle through the inputs but it only works with the AVR ON. Sorry my method didnt help, it was just a thought.

    BTW the Yamaha app only works for Yamaha components. So she only uses the Android app for networking features built into the AVR, primarily pandora or net radio. All other functions (cable TV blu ray or CD) she uses either the plasma or projector (and the remote) to navigate the component shes using at the time. The android app is very user friendly but limited if your system isnt all yamaha gear. If yamaha made a blu ray player and mega cd changer that rivaled my existing gear I would probably go all yamaha, I like their gear (and their app) that much.
     

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