What's the best way to hook up this set up?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by couch000, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. couch000

    couch000 Auditioning

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    I have a new Panasonic 42" 1080p TV with HDMI outputs.
    I also have a Samsung Blu-ray player BD-P1400.
    I'll be connecting these to an HD Cable box and an older Onkyo Receiver with two digital coax inputs and an optical input.

    I was going to connect the TV and Blu-ray player to the cable box via HDMI and then connect the receiver to the cable box via optical and connect the receiver to the samsung via digital coax.

    I've just heard of lossless audio so is there a better way to connect these components for better audio? Should I connect the Samsung to the cable box for the audio and then the Samsung to my receiver? Is the Samsung able to decode this audio or something when it's sent to my receiver?

    Sorry for being such a noob but it's been a long time since I've researched this stuff. If anyone could explain this to me in plain english that would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Couch
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    1) In order for anyone to offer any really useful advice, we need the make and model number of all the components involved, including the TV and the HD cable box.

    2) You seem a little fuzzy on the direction that signals take - that is, the difference between inputs and outputs. (E.g., "...then connect the receiver to the cable box via optical and connect the receiver to the samsung via digital coax.") This is confusing to read because generally speaking one follows the signal flow in describing the connections. I would write that I was connecting the cable box to the receiver, for example, rather than the receiver to the cable box, because the audio signal goes from the cable box to the receiver. It just makes everything clearer, both in describing this stuff to others and in figuring out the connections ourselves. We're not just hooking up two devices so that they can talk to one another. We're creating a path for a signal to flow through and we need to keep the direction and type of signal in mind when we're doing so. On the same point, chances are your TV has multiple HDMI inputs, not multiple outputs.

    You want to get a video signal from your Blu Ray player and your cable box to the TV. You also want to get a digital audio signal from the Blu Ray and the cable box to the receiver for surround sound. Since the receiver doesn't have HDMI, you can't run everything to it and then run an HDMI cable to the TV and use the receiver as a switch, but that's not a big deal. Here's all you need to do:

    Run an HDMI cable from the Blu Ray player to the TV.

    Run an HDMI cable from the cable box to the TV.

    Now you have digital picture and sound from both video sources going to the TV and you also have audio available if you want to watch TV without turning the receiver on for full-blown surround sound.

    Finally connect opitical or coax cable for digital audio from each source to the receiver.

    Some TVs have a digital audio output of their own, that lets them pass the digital audio coming from an HDMI source to an external processer/amplifier like a receiver. Without the model number I can't say if your TV is one of them. (Check your manual) But if it is, that's your other sound option - HDMI inputs to TV, one digital audio output to the receiver and now your TV switches audio and video sources at the same time.

    There is no reason on Earth to connect the Blu Ray player to the cable box. (In fact, this probably isn't even possible. Most cable boxes don't have inputs other than the one for the cable signal itself.)

    Hope this helps,

    Joe
     
  3. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    To add to what Joseph said:
    Since your receiver doesn't have HDMI inputs, to hear the new lossless HD audio formats, you're going to need the 5.1 analog outputs on the Blu ray player, and the 5.1 analog inputs on the receiver. If no 5.1 analog outputs and/or inputs, you won't be able to listen to the lossless audio. You'll only get regular DD and DTS, over digital coax or optical cables.
    Good luck!
     
  4. couch000

    couch000 Auditioning

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    Hey Joe. First of all thanks for writing such an indepth explaination and you are definitely right, I am "very" fuzzy when it comes to this stuff so thanks for clearing some of it up for me. Now I understand you guys like to go in the direction of the signal and not just want to know "how everything's hooked up".

    It's kinda hard sometimes when you've been away from things like this for so long sometimes you are so ignorant you don't even know the right questions to ask so I appreciate you guys hangin' in there with me.

    It was fairly late when I wrote this last night and didn't mean connect the blu ray player to the cable box, DOH! I know you are supposed to connect it to the TV. I hope that's the right terminology. [​IMG]

    Here's a complete list of my components:
    Panasonic 42" Plasma HDTV (TH-42PZ77U)
    Inputs and outputs
    Component video inputs 2
    S-video inputs 3
    Composite inputs 3
    RF inputs 1
    DVI (Digital Video Interface) 0
    HDMI inputs 2

    Samsung Blu-ray Disc Player Model #: SAM BDP1400
    Inputs and outputs
    Composite video outputs 1
    Digital audio (TOSLINK) outputs 1
    Number of S-video outputs 1
    Component video output 1
    Digital coaxial outputs 1
    DVI (Digital Video Interface) 0
    HDMI outputs 1

    Onkyo TX-DS484
    Specs:
    Input Sensitivity and Impedance
    PHONO: 2.5 mV, 50 kohms
    LINE (CD, TAPE, DVD,
    VIDEO 1, 2): 200 mV, 50 kohms
    MULTICHANNEL INPUT
    (FRONT L/R, SURROUND
    L/R, CENTER): 200 mV, 50 kohms
    (SUBWOOFER): 36 mV, 50 kohms
    DIGITAL 2 (COAXIAL): 0.5 Vp-p, 75 ohms
    VIDEO IN
    (DVD, VIDEO 1, 2): 1 Vp-p, 75 ohms
    Output Level and Impedance
    Rec out (TAPE, VIDEO 2): 200 mV, 2.2 kohms
    Pre out (SUBWOOFER): 1 V, 2.2 kohms
    VIDEO OUT
    (VIDEO 2, MONITOR): 1 Vp-p, 75 ohms


    Hope this helps. Doesn't look like the TV has a digital audio output (at least I don't think it does by the specs on CC). So I would do like you said originally and:

    "Run an HDMI cable from the Blu Ray player to the TV.

    Run an HDMI cable from the cable box to the TV.

    Now you have digital picture and sound from both video sources going to the TV and you also have audio available if you want to watch TV without turning the receiver on for full-blown surround sound.

    Finally connect opitical or coax cable for digital audio from each source to the receiver".

    I'm pretty sure that's what I planned on doing originally and I am going to assume this is still going to be the best option given my equipment?

    Again, thanks for such an indepth explaination and I apologize for being such a noob. [​IMG] I just hate spending a bunch of money on this stuff only to have it hooked up wrong. LOL

    Take care,
    Couch
     
  5. couch000

    couch000 Auditioning

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    I get lost when you say 5.1 analog outputs for lossless audio. The Samsung has a digital audio output (TOSLINK) is this what you are talking about or does the Samsung not have the 5.1 analog outputs based on the specs above?

    Again, sorry if these are dumb questions.
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    One of my teachers was fond of saying that the only dumb question is the one you don't ask. [​IMG]

    The TOSLINK is the optical digital audio output on the Samsung. The other digital audio output uses a coax cable. The lossless audio formats require analog, no digital, outputs. According to the specs, your Samsung doesn't have 'em. If it did, you'd have six or eight additional RCA jacks on the back of your player: one each for the front left, front right, center, rear right, (rear center for a 7.1 system) and rear left speakers, plus the Low Frequency Effects (LFE/subwoofer) output.

    Since you don't have these outputs, it is a moot point, and the "lossy" advanced digital codecs on the hi-def formats still sound damned good from what I've read, and noticably better than their SD-DVD counterparts. (I can't take part in this debate because I still sitting out the hi-def DVD format war. I'm enjoying my HDTVs - which are all 720p or 768p - with HD cable and upconverted SD-DVD and I can't afford to upgrade my DD/DTS 5.1 receiver [​IMG])

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  7. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I looked through the bdp-1400 manual.

    And on page 27, I found this:

    [​IMG]

    Those are the 5.1 analogue outputs.
     
  8. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Yeah, what Joseph said......

    When you can, you might want to upgrade to a newer Onkyo receiver, so you can enjoy the lossless audio, over the HDMI connection. The cheapest one of them, is the TX-SR605. I've heard of it selling online, for around $400. Might have to search around, to find it that cheap though.



    EDIT:
    Jeremy's post was up, when I submitted this post..........
    Your player does have the 5.1 outputs, and your receiver does have the 5.1 inputs, so, connect them together, and you should get the lossless audio. You will have to use the "Multi-Channel" mode, on the receiver, instead of DVD mode.
    I think most people are using two cheap sets of component cables, to make the 5.1 connections.
    Good luck!
     
  9. couch000

    couch000 Auditioning

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    Thanks again guys. I really do appreciate all the great information and hangin' in there with me.

    I'm going to start putting all this together in the next few days and will follow the instructions above and with a little luck everything will sound great.
     

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