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Help with getting the cable box into my receiver


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 Seth_B

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Posted February 25 2004 - 07:01 AM

Ok guys, here is my problem.

I am trying use S-Video for everything in my system, but my digital cable box only has a composite video out. Before I would run everything using composite video, DVD, Cable, X box, playstation, etc. Well I tried upgrading to s-video for a better picture on my DVDs. It worked great for that application, but I get no picture with on my cable, only sound. I assume that running composite video into the receiver and running s-video out to the TV is where my problems are starting.

None of my equipment supports component video either, so I am not sure what to do here. Any advice? If you need some more info, I will be happy to provide. Thanks.

#2 of 11 Stephen Tu

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Posted February 25 2004 - 07:53 AM

First, make sure you have the "composite video" (single RCA connector for video, usually coded yellow), and "component video" (3 RCA cables for video, Y/Pb/Pr, usually coded G/B/R) terminology straightened out.

Unless your receiver has video conversion circuitry, which tends to be found in only newer more expensive models, you have to run a video output from the receiver to a separate input on the TV for each video type you run into the receiver. E.g. S-video to input 1, composite video to input 2, component video to input 3. If you only have a single source of a particular type you can also just connect its video straight to the TV.

For switching you'd have to switch both the source on the receiver and the input on the TV. A good universal remote with macros is useful for this.

#3 of 11 Seth_B

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Posted February 25 2004 - 08:15 AM

Thanks for the tip on my terminology. I edited my original.

My receiver is not all that new nor very expensive, so I doubt that it has any means of conversion.

Well, that is kind of what I figured, but was hoping that I could change all my sources at the receiver without messing with the TV. It looks like I may have to buy a good remote, as you stated. Any suggestions there? This is uncharted territory for me. I have four remotes I am using now, Cable, DVD, CD, and Receiver. If I have to switch TV input sources, that would change to five. Ideally, I would like something programmable so that I could change the TV input source at the same time I change receiver output source. I am not sure something like that even exists.

Second question here for you guys ..... Is DTS sound able to transmit through composite cables? That is what I am using now, but I can go to digital coax or optical on my DVD if it will make a huge difference.

A little background, I just received my Sound and Vision Audio tune up DVD and it really threw me for a loop. Everything was wrong.

#4 of 11 BobAZ

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Posted February 25 2004 - 08:52 AM

Quote:
Is DTS sound able to transmit through composite cables? That is what I am using now

I'm going to guess these are the white/red audio out cables from your DVD player. A DTS bitstream is not transmitted through those cables. The DVD player is essentially downmixing a 5.1 soundtrack to 2.0 Left/Right only mix. You still get all the sound just in 2 channels.

Quote:
I can go to digital coax or optical on my DVD if it will make a huge difference.

If your rcvr has a digital audio input, coax or optical, you definitely want to use it. Especially if you have a 5.0 or 5.1 spkr setup
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#5 of 11 Stephen Tu

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Posted February 25 2004 - 10:23 AM

Quote:
Ideally, I would like something programmable so that I could change the TV input source at the same time I change receiver output source. I am not sure something like that even exists

Of course they exist ... what's your budget? I'm partial to the Home Theater Master MX-x00 series, 2nd choice Harmony 659. There are reviews of many suitable candidates over at www.remotecentral.com , also search this forum for "universal remote" and you will get plenty of useful discussion.

For DTS as Bob said you should use a digital audio connection. The analog audio only carries two channels normally. (With the exception of some DVD players which have built-in decoder, and 5.1 ch output to go into a corresponding 5.1 input on your receiver, but even then a digital connection would be a lot fewer wires, and often give you better bass management options.) BTW, it's not referred to as "composite" connections; that only refers to the video. "Stereo analog audio" would be a reasonable term.

#6 of 11 Seth_B

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Posted February 26 2004 - 06:03 AM

Thank for the terminology correction again, Stephen. I bought a digital coaxial cable last night and recalibrated my entire system. Wow. That makes a HUGE difference. Best $35 I have ever spent. Thanks for the heads up, guys.

About the remote, I checked the link you provided, but some of them are pretty expensive. I would rather not spend $200 or more on a remote. Is there something that is under $100 that can do the same sort of thing?

#7 of 11 Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 26 2004 - 06:48 AM

Seth,

Try the one-for-all/Radio Shack programmable learning models. They have their own section at remotecentral.com.

See here: Remote Central oneforall

And here: OFA/Radio Shack remote tips and tweaks

They are less than $50 and have extensive programming capabilities if you follow the hints on remotecentral. They are not intuitive however and lack any fancy interface

#8 of 11 Stephen Tu

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Posted February 26 2004 - 07:46 AM

Quote:
I bought a digital coaxial cable last night and recalibrated my entire system. Wow. That makes a HUGE difference. Best $35 I have ever spent.

You could have achieved exactly the same improvement using a cheap $3-5 standard RCA composite video cable as your digital cable, rather than that overpriced $35 "digital coaxial cable" which is just the same thing in fancy packaging. I suggest taking it back; you can better use that $30 for your remote budget ...

The MX-500 is available for $100 + shipping from several sites. The OFA/RS remotes Jeff mentions are a good value if you want to save money. The main thing you lose with the latter is custom LCD labeling of your keys; you have to remember on which key you put special functions. Makes it a bit harder for other people to use the remote as well, at least for stuff beyond the basic functions.

#9 of 11 Seth_B

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Posted February 26 2004 - 10:24 AM

I think I might have got my terminology wrong, yet again. I got a digital audio coax cable to get DTS and 5.1. Just one cable running from my DVD player to my receiver. I haven't messed with the video yet because the next upgrade would be the s-video. I am already using a composite RCA type cable right now. To do the s-video upgrade, I need the remote first.

Aside, let me tell you, DVDs sound so much different than they did before, it is simply unbelievable. Many thanks for all the advice!

Questions for Jeff and Stephen: Will those remotes be able to change more than one item at the same time? Meaning, would I be switch from the TV input and the Receiver output with one button? I need to make this as simple as possible for the HT challenged SO that resides with me. Posted Image

#10 of 11 Stephen Tu

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Posted February 26 2004 - 11:39 AM

Quote:
I think I might have got my terminology wrong, yet again. I got a digital audio coax cable to get DTS and 5.1. Just one cable running from my DVD player to my receiver.

No, you were fine this time. I was just suggesting that you use a cheap composite video cable as your digital audio coax cable (works perfectly; there is no difference in the cable itself, just the labeling on the package), so that you have an extra $30 to put toward the remote. $35 is way too much for that kind of cable.

Quote:
Questions for Jeff and Stephen: Will those remotes be able to change more than one item at the same time? Meaning, would I be switch from the TV input and the Receiver output with one button? I need to make this as simple as possible for the HT challenged SO that resides with me
Yes, you can do one button switching. With the OFA/RS remotes you might have to do some JP1 hacking to get it working well, info at the site Jeff mentioned. With the MX500 it might be tricky depending on your TV model, whether your TV remote has buttons to jump straight to a particular input, or only has an "input cycle" command. You might want to get the "discrete codes" to jump straight to an input into a cheap OFA remote, and use that to teach the MX500 (if you are getting the latter for the labeling to make it easier for your SO).

#11 of 11 Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 26 2004 - 12:01 PM

In addition to what Stephen said, you can do macros to switch the receiver and TV modes at the sames time, this is what I do. Contrary to the packaging, any key can be learned and any key can be a macro. You can also use discrete codes (see the tips site) to help change the modes (i.e. if it requires multiple key presses, there may be a discreet to switch with one key press).


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