Surround Sound/Television Question

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by SWilliams, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. SWilliams

    SWilliams Auditioning

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    I have a lower-end surround sound system. I get great sound from DVDs and CDs, as I have both a CD player and a DVD player hooked up to it. However, when playing surround sound TV programming, I hear a slight hiss in the background - which is annoying - and do not notice the effect as much. Is this normal? If not, I'd be happy to provide any other info needed to fix it. Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    It is usually a good idea when listening to a TV through a separate sound system, to turn off the TVs internal speakers. A lot of TVs allow you to do this in their setup menus. Check to see if this is possible with yours. That may be the fix to the problem.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    I recently diagnosed a similar problem for a friend.

    He was using his audio feed through coax or something like that.

    Use your audio feeds from source / RCA stereo plugs.
    IE: VCR / Tuner, directly from the cable box, ect..ect..
     
  4. SWilliams

    SWilliams Auditioning

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    I did try turning the TV speakers off. I'm not sure that fixed it though.

    RE the RCA plug suggestion. This will not affect my DVD player hookup, will it? I followed the manual which said audio plugs from DVD to Surround and then TV to Surround.
     
  5. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    Perhaps you're just hearing background hiss as a result of the better fidelity?
     
  6. SWilliams

    SWilliams Auditioning

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    Why would better fidelity create a hiss? (And pardon me for being on the ignorant side.)
     
  7. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Ok, after reading your post a little more thouroughly I have a couple of questions.

    1. What kind of surround system is it (make, model, total output in watts, inputs, etc.)

    2. Does the unit provide ProLogic signal processing?

    I ask these questions because you are probably and hearing only stereo signals through the unit, you are not going to get any type of "surround" out of the unit if it doesn't utilize Dolby ProLogic. If this only happens while watching the TV the hiss may be some kind of interference somewhere in the connection between the TV and the surround unit. Turn off the surround unit and listen to the TV from it's built in speakers and get your ear close up and see if you can hear a hiss, if you can, then it is the hiss being amplified by the surround system. If not, then there is definately some type of resistance or interference coming from the TV to the surround system's amplifier.
     
  8. SWilliams

    SWilliams Auditioning

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    I will do my best to answer your question. It is a Durabrand Model HP-3915, AC 120V 60Hz, Power Consumption 90 Watts, Total output power 100 Watts (I did say it was a lower end unit.) There is an online manual at lennox.com, under home theater, and then HP3915. I tried to post a link, but because I'm a newbie, it will not allow it.

    I used the hook up instructions on .pdf file page 14. I do not find any mention of ProLogic, so I cannot answer that question. I do know that it mentions Dolby 5.1 and 5.2. Also, I only notice the hiss when using a Surround Sound TV program - such as Law & Order - and they do not sound very Surround Sound-ish to me, for lack of a better term. I will re-listen and report my findings.

    Thanks for your continued help!
     
  9. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Well, I looked it up on Wal-Mart's website and it does't mention anything about ProLogic so I would assume that you are getting 5.1 decoding only through the DVD player. There is an AUX hookup for another peripheral such as a CD player, VCR or TV, but these are just the plain L/R connections in which case the best sound that is going to come out of those connections is stereo. I know that sometimes when a show has a banner at the start that says in "surround where available" doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting a surround signal either over the air through an antenna or even through a set top cable box. If the show is broadcast in stereo, some are, then a surround system with Dolby ProLogic II will take the stereo signal and convert it through internal processing into surround sound. Since your Durabrand unit doesn't appear to have ProLogic of any kind, you are basically just getting the stereo through the analog AUX hookup. The hiss you are getting is probably caused by the TV sound being amplified through this connection.[​IMG]
     
  10. SWilliams

    SWilliams Auditioning

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    Thanks for taking the time to look it up. I had suspected that was the case. I guess you 'get what you pay for', but having said that, I did not want to invest in an expensive unit first go-around. I mean, wouldn't we all like to have a Bose? Oh well, it has GREAT sound for a cheap unit when playing DVDs or CDs. In fact, it sounds better than my neighbor's more expensive unit. I will just have to pass on the TV programs. Though it does give them great bass tones. Can't beat that for $50.
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    No, most here would want almost anything but a BOSE system... But your correct, most of us have pretty robust systems.
     
  12. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Actually, no, but we’ll save that for another day. Or you can peruse this site when you get some spare time.

    As far as your hiss problem with TV shows, from what you’ve written it appears that you’re using the TV’s audio output jacks to your HT system. The problem with that is the audio sections of many TVs are low-fi, and that’s why you’re getting the noise. I suggest picking up a stereo VCR and using it as your TV tuner. They typically have much better audio sections than TVs. That should take care of the problem. It doesn’t have to be an expensive VCR; it doesn’t even have to have a working tape transport. If you want to do it on the cheap, you can probably get one at a pawn shop for $50 or less.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  13. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    I usually stay away from criticizing any member's equipment. I figure the person posting the question has a good reason for buying what he/she did. You'll find most here on these boards are very critical of Bose stuff, and with good reason. But, be aware that even Bose stuff has its limitations even at their prices. The limitations of Home Theaters in a Box (HTiBs)in general are their expandability to add other components to the system. Bose is no exception to that rule. Most here on the boards recommend buying separate components for their versatility. BTW - "You get what you pay for." sometimes doesn't really apply because there are examples of lower end equipment that can be very good. My Dad has a HTiB that he bought for his mobile home, an Onkyo system, that sounds fantastic and it cost him less than 150 bucks. Heck, most here would argue that with Bose, you don't get what you pay for. Oh, and Wayne is absolutely right, A VCR could be the answer to your hiss problem.[​IMG]
     
  14. SWilliams

    SWilliams Auditioning

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    I guess I stuck my foot in my mouth with that comment. Sorry guys! My main point was I would have liked a 3 grand system as opposed to $50, but $50 is what I can afford right now. As to your comment regarding good lower-end systems. I am happy with this one. It has super sound with DVDs. I figure at $50 I did not pay for ProLogic, therefore I did not lose any money.

    Regarding the VCR comment. I do have a VCR, but it is not hooked up to the Surround. I wanted to hook up the TV worse and my Surround Systm only has 3 jacks for external equipment. One is used for the DVD player and the other for a CD deck. How would I need to switch my wires to hook up the TV through the VCR? Keep in mind I have a cable box to contend with. And be gentle with instructions, as I am new at this.
     
  15. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    If you disconnect the TV from the surround system, that will give you a place to connect the VCR.

    The first thing is that the VCR needs an input signal from the wall. Right now you have that cable going to the TV. You could send that cable to the VCR first, then the TV. The TV will stay on Channel 3 or 4, receiving the picture from the VCR. The VCR’s audio connections (the red and white jacks) will go to the surround sound system where the TV was plugged in.

    That should do it.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  16. SWilliams

    SWilliams Auditioning

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    I am familiar with this system as a relative just bought one. I think my Durabrand has much better sound personally.
     
  17. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Wayne, I didn't see any reference to ProLogic in the specs on this unit. I think it's DD 5.1 only, no DTS either. I concurr, It is absolutely amazing how well these budget units are beginning to sound.[​IMG]
     
  18. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Actually, I'm not even sure that this unit is capable of Dolby Digital.

    The "Quick Setup Diagram" instructs the user to connect the the L/R analogue output jacks on the DVD player to corresponding jacks on the HP3915.

    Some electronics are just cheap.
     
  19. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    You know it may be that this unit does indeed use ProLogic II to get the "surround" effect because the specs do not specify Dolby Digital and in fact it doesn't even spec a digital input connection. It does however specify that 5.1 surround sound is supported so maybe they are getting the "surround" from PLII processing of a stereo signal.
     
  20. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Maybe they use Dobly.
     

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