New htib question

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by slym, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. slym

    slym Auditioning

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    We just purchased our very first htib system and HD TV setup. It's pretty much an entry level system. I have some questions on what kind of sound were getting out of this. Since I'm brand new at all this stuff, I'm wondering if this thing is working as it should.
    What we have:
    HTIB - Panasonic BTT195
    TV - Panasonic VIERA TC-L47ET5
    Connected with HDMI (ARC) from TV to the BTT195 blue-ray player. Speakers run out from this player.
    Satellite into the TV with coax (don't have HD satellite yet).
    On the player Surround settings - there are 4 options for the TV (2ch source). We get different response with the speakers:
    Multi-channel out: decent volume out of all speakers, except absolutely no sound out of the middle front speaker.
    Super Surround: middle front speaker works, but the two rear surround speakers are so low that you have to literally put them up to your ear to hear anything from them.
    Dolby Pro Logic II Movie - same as super surround.
    Dolby Pro Logic II Music - same as super surround.
    I know it's a lower end system, but since I haven't ever owned one of these before, I want to make sure there's not anything wrong with the system, or the way we have it set up. We struggled to get sound out of it at all, but then tried the HDMI 2 port instead of the HDMI 1 port on the TV, and it started to work. When playing a DVD, we get sound out of all speakers.
    Is this they way is SHOULD be?
    Should we also connect a toslink cable from the satellite to the player? Would that help or just be a waste of money for the cable?
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Hi, Sue, welcome to HTF!
    Since you are getting sound from DVD, we know that the speakers work. There is probably not much surround information coming from TV broadcasts, hence little sound from the rear speakers.
    If you do decide to get a toslink cable, Amazon sells them for $5.49.
     
  3. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Personally, I like to connect everything to the main unit (or receiver) and then sent the video to the display. But you have ARC so in theory it should work the way you have things set up. Going from the SAT box to the tv with a coax cable isn't the best way to do it but again, it should work. If you have any composite (yellow), s-video or preferrably component (red, green, blue) cables laying around and your SAT box has these connections then you might want to try them. The red and white audio cables might be better as well. If you don't have HD Satellite then an optical cable really won't add anything. But get HD when you can afford it. it really is worth it for both video and audio.
    According to the manual Multi Channel Out allows the use of the Surround speakers with two channel stereo sources but it makes no mention of the Center speaker. Maybe that's why there is no sound output from the Center speaker. Super Surround also uses the Center speaker but I'd use Dolby Prologic instead.
    Dolby ProLogic also takes a two channel stereo source and tries to convert it to 5.1/7.1 as best as it can. The surrounds (like Steve mentioned) are more for effect and really aren't as active as many people wish they were (sporting events seem to make the best use of the surround speakers).
    There are a couple of settings that might be of interest to you. Whisper Mode Surround and Center Focus. See pg. 30.
    Go into the setup menu and adjust the volume of each individual speaker until you are satisfied with the sound output. You should also set the Delay (distance) See pg 36-37 of the manual.
     
  4. slym

    slym Auditioning

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    Wow thank you both for the quick response! Plain English explanations of sound systems, like what you both posted, are hard to come by. :)
    Steve, that's what I was wondering - if it was the source (TV broadcast) that was limiting what sound came out. It's all new to me - previously had just a plain tv.
    Gene, we're definitely planning on getting HD satellite now. Hadn't planned on it before, but we've heard that it's well worth it.
    This receiver only has one HDMI port. So a HD satellite box would have to be connected to the TV using one of the other HDMI ports, right? And when we do, would an optical cable actually improve the sound capabilities? And which components would you connect that to (TV, sat box, receiver)? Yes, REALLY new at all this. LOL
    I've played with the Whisper Mode and the Center Focus and that didn't change anything as far as the speaker output. It did make a subtle difference in the overall sound though.
    But, trying to change the individual speakers - I've done that, and nothing happens. After changing some settings there, going out to listen, then returning to setup, the settings are back to 0 db. Shouldn't they "stick"?
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The only issue I can see(and maybe ARC cures this???)
    Is the TV itself(like 95% of them out there) only outputs 5.1 from its own tuner(as in the OTA). Everything else, apps included, are 2.0....
    Then it is up to your stereo system to make the best use of 2.0 it can.
    In your TVs owners manual it will tell you(it has to...FCC mandate) what exits the Toslink(or digital coax) or via ARC.
    Also, but since we don't know where you live, your coax "off the wall" should include some HD OTA already. I've yet to run across a new HDTV connected to cable right off the wall that didn't snag some OTA. They'll have "weird numbers", but they'll be there.
    My uncle in Bloomington Indiana has "basic cable" and a new-ish LG LCD. It found channels in 3 of its 4 sets...
    1. Basic cable
    2. HD cable(didn't find any here)
    3. OTA SD (found 11 stations)
    4. OTA HD (found 15 stations, 7 of them had extension channels)
     
  6. slym

    slym Auditioning

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    Looking through the manual for the TV, the most I can find is this:
    Connection Terminals:
    Digital Audio Out - PCM / Dolby Digital, Fiber Optic
    HDMI IN 1/2/3/4 - TYPE A Connector (supports “HDAVI Control 5” function)
    I don't see anything about the type of audio for the ARC HDMI connection, except that the 2nd port supports ARC, and that's the port we're using.
    In the manual for the HTiB:
    Digital Audio Input - PCM, Dolby Digital, DTS
    Nothing in the specs about the HDMI terminal, except that it supports ARC.
    And there's a whole new learning curve for me - I had to google what you meant by OTA. Never heard of all that before. I'm still reading up about that. :) We're using satellite, not cable, so is that still applicable?
    Thanks!
    Sue
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    OTA (Over The Air) is the old-fashioned antenna connection (roof top or Rabbit ears) and can be used along with any other tv service including satellite and cable. It's a great way to get local channels in HD for free.
    The way you have things connected you should get true Dolby Digital (5.1) from dvd's/bluray's and OTA HD stations (when the broad cast is in 5.1, some are stereo) and stereo (PCM) when the station is broadcast in stereo such as your non-HD satellite stations. With the stereo stations you can get simulated suroound sound by using Dolby ProLogic (preferred) or Super Surround Sound.
    It way tell you in the htib's display what signal it's receiving, either 5.1 or stereo. But there's no picture of the display in the manual so I couldn't say for sure.,
    But don't forget to set the speaker volume and distances.
     
  8. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    In your TV's owners manual, around the same page where it shows you actually how to connect the tos-link or dig coax, it will say(IT HAS TO) somewhere exactly what exits for sound.
    On our Panny 42" plasma, 42" Hitachi plasma, the 22" Samsung combination computer monitor and our 48" Mitsubishi...
    All of the them ONLY output 2.0 from HDMI or the other inputs. The only 5.1 that leaves any of them is the internal OTA.
    Check ALL the notes in the margins as well. It is there.
    Edit:
    Read page 128 of your owners manual...
    The three asterisks in the box, specifically the second one.
     
  9. slym

    slym Auditioning

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    Gene, I finally figured out that I was exiting out of the speaker screen without clicking on the "complete" button after changing the settings. Now the speaker volume changes are sticking and I'm hearing those speakers better. Also, learning what you guys have said - that different channels broadcast different sounds helps me understand -- a lot! I'll have to check out the OTA stuff.
    Sam, thanks for finding that in the manual. I've read through that but obviously didn't know what I was reading. :)
    I called and ordered the upgrade to HD satellite and will be getting the 922 receiver which is supposed to be pretty cool, from what I've read.
    Thank you everyone for the crash course in home theater audio. For the newbie, you think ok, buy one of these, set it up and voila! Not that easy, I'm learning, but you guys helped a lot. This is one of those "the more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know" things.
     
  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    If you get HD cable then you can forget about this OTA (antenna) stuff. Local HD channels will be included with the cable package.
    Here's a couple of sites I usually link to for those who might want to learn a little bit more about this stuff.
    Crutchfield.com http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Learn/default.aspx
    AperionAudio.com http://www.aperionaudio.com/catalog/Aperion-University,2.aspx
     
  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Depending on where you live, you might still want to check out the OTA anyway, with an ACTUAL antenna(start off with a Yagi* or plain rabbit ear) and not the cable lead.
    http://antennaweb.org/
    Your local ABC/CBS/FOX etc will all have extra channels. Where we are, we are 70 miles from Chicago and a bit over 100 miles from where the "antenna farm" is in Indianapolis. On a clear day I can watch the Colts on Sunday instead of the godawful Bears. Of course, we've got a $200 antenna mounted 65 feet in the air.
    *Yagi can be made for less than $5. A "well made one" will set you back $10. There are plans all over the internet to make one.
     
  12. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    "Where we are, we are 70 miles from Chicago"
    I have some friends (retired) who are in Palestine (SE ILL). Not in the middle of nowhere but on the other side of nowhere. But they have cable! And one blinking stoplight.
     
  13. slym

    slym Auditioning

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    We we are kind of in the middle of nowhere - in rural Iowa. The town has NO stoplights. :D No cable and limited DSL if you live too far from town. Heck, when we moved here in 92, the house we rented still had a party line. I didn't know that party lines still existed then, but there it was. That area has been updated since then, but still...
    So our only option is satellite. But we do get the local channels with our programming so I guess I won't worry about the OTA stuff right now. Maybe later, but we don't have an antenna on the house, just the rabbit ears thing that we haven't hooked up to the new TV yet.
    Anyway, thanks again, and I'm off to do reading and learning. Thanks for the links Gene.
     
  14. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    We only have satellite as well...
    Directv and Wild Blue. Although we do have Sprint traveling internet.
    I put up the antenna last year cause I wanted to see what one could do. I had a connection in an electronics distributor that had an older model ChannelMaster that wasn't in the catalog anymore. Sold it to me for $35. When I got home I kept looking on Ebay for one. Finally one showed up for $225. Turns out the model I was essentially given is the last of the "good" ChannelMasters. It has been through 75mph wind and will still turn on the rotor without any sway.
    I've even picked up Milwaukee local with it.
     

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