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Correct Setup?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Aubie, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Aubie

    Aubie Auditioning

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    I am looking at getting a blue ray player very soon. My question is about how to hook up the audio with what I currently have. I already have a surround sound system and wanted to know if I should use optical cable directly to the sound system input or hook hdmi into the tv and run the digital audio into sound system from the tv? Oh, by the way, the only digital audio out from my tv will not fit into the digital optical input in the sound system. Do they make an adapter?
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Michael,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Hooking the audio from your TV doesn't sound right.

    I am guessing you have an older receiver without
    HDMI inputs.

    What you need to do is run the optical out from the
    Blu-ray player to the receiver and use the HDMI
    connection from the BD player to the display.

    Keep the display volume off and use the receiver
    to decode your audio.
     
  3. Aubie

    Aubie Auditioning

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    The "reciever" I guess isn't technically a reciever. It is a dvd player that is also a surround sound system with one analog input and one digital optical input for sound from other sources.
     
  4. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Run the hdmi from the BluRay player to the tv for video and a digital cable to the receiver for sound. You will probably have to turn off the hdmi audio output from the BluRay player in the setup menu. No need to run audio from the tv to the receiver...or surround system...whatever you might call it. (Home-Theater-In-A-Box, actually )
     
  5. Aubie

    Aubie Auditioning

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    That is what I thought, but I've never dealt with digital optical sound cables before and wasn't sure if I would loose quality by bypassing the hdmi port. Thanks for the clear-up.
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    "Bits is bits" as the saying goes, so no, you're not going to lose quality sending bits of digital information via optical vs. coax or HDMI or anything else. As long as the connection is physically OK you're going to get exactly the same quality.

    There are basically three kinds of "home theater in a box" (HTiB) systems:

    1) Type one consists of a lower-end but otherwise standard AV receiver with a basic set of standard speakers and (usually) a passive subwoofer. Pricier versions may include an active sub. This kind of HTiB usually offers more input and output options, and allows you to replace individual components if they break, or upgrade part independently if you choose to do so.

    2) The second is amp or receiver and speaker package that uses proprietary connections and electrical characteristics. The parts of such a system cannot be interchanged with standard components and if you decide to upgrade (or something breaks) you generally have to junk the whole thing. Some of these systems have a control module to which other components connect, but put the amp in the subwoofer enclosure. The speakers actually connect to the sub, and then a single (proprietary) cable connects the sub to the control unit.

    3) The third type is the "all-in-one" style that you have, where the DVD player and the amp/receiver are integrated in one enclosure. These units tend to have the most limited options for connecting external components and for repairs or upgrades. Some compound the inherent limitations of their design by incorporating some of the proprietary elements noted in # 2 above. But, as long as you don't need more than the abilities they offer, they can be an excellent value and a good way to get into the hobby.

    That said, I generally urge HT newcomers to spend a little more early on and at least get a type one HTiB as their first system, because it is the nature of this hobby that you will want to add something or upgrade something at some point, and it is usually cheaper - in the long run - to buy something with a bit of spare capacity today than to buy "just enough" - and then have to replace it outright when the time comes to expand. But YMMV.

    BTW, no one actually said so in some many words, but you not only shouldn't try to get digital surround sound from the digital output on your TV, you can't. Every TV I know of that has a digital output only uses it to send audio from its internal tuner (the one an over-the-air antenna connects to) to an external sound system. Some TVs don't send sound from any other connected source through the digital output. Others do, but they downconvert it all to two-channel PCM and will not send 5.1 or 7.1 digital surround this way. I have heard that there is supposed to be some make or model of TV somewhere that does this, but I can't recall anyone actually posting a link to such an animal. If they exists they are exceedingly rare, and in 99.9% of cases the digital audio output on a TV is not going to be a viable way of passing 5.1 or 7.1 audio from a DVD, Blu-Ray player or other external source.

    (You know, Ron, we could almost use a sticky thread in the Basics, Audio/Video Sources and Displays sections that explains this, because it might be the single most frequently-answered question I see on the Forum these days. I think gene c can back me up on this one. Maybe the title could be "No, the TV Digital Output Won't Do What You Think." )

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Joe,

    I think that is a great idea.

    Let me go one step further.

    We now have Wikis on this forum. Why not Gene or
    yourself create an informational Wiki on this subject
    that can easily be referred to.

    Can't think of two better people qualified to write it.
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Actually, that's not quite true unless the BD only comes w/ either a standard Dolby Digital track or standard DTS track (or standard PCM track that's
     
  9. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Yes, thank you Man. I was thinking of the general principle of qualative differences in the media and forgot all about the differences in the implementation of audio formats. Good catch.

    Ron, I did convert a slightly shorter post from another thread on the subject of TV digital audio outputs into a Wiki. Let me know what you think.

    Regards,

    Joe
     

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