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Connecting a Sony Sony HTCT500 3.1 speaker system to Sony KDL-40S5100 and cable box


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#1 of 12 Guest__*

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Posted October 22 2009 - 06:27 AM

This should be easy, but I am a novice with newere a/v connections.

I have the sony 40S5100 and for my birthday was surprised last night with the  HTCT 500 soundbar etc.  What is the best way to connect them and to my cable box.  Also, what about older DVD and VCRs.

So far, I connected the subwoofer to the soundbar with the provided HDMI cable, and I connected the TV to the subwoofer with the skinny little a/v cable with the tiny square connectors. (Neversaw one of them before).  

Should I leave my cable box connected to the TV or is there a way to connect directly to the HTCT?  Right now changing the cable station changes the sound input to the soundbar etc. But I can't use the HTCT remote to control the tv or cable input.  (BTW: The first time I connected, last night, it happpened my favorite symphony was being broadcast, and I was blown away with the clarity.)

And I doubt that my old DVD/VCR has any of the newer outputs or inputs. How do I connect that for optimum results,or do I leave it connected to the TV ?

I know the HTCT manual has many diagrams, but I can't quite make sense of them for my set up.

Any simple suggestions will be appreciated.

#2 of 12 Jason Charlton

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Posted October 22 2009 - 09:29 AM

Hi Leonard, welcome to the forum.

I wasn't at all familiar with the HTCT until I did a little google searching.  It sounds like a pretty neat device! From what I gather, you can probably treat it much like you would an A/V Receiver.  It has built-in decoders for surround sound, and it also handles video switching (including converting analog signals to HDMI).

- Hook the cable box up to the HTCT via HDMI cable (this should cover both video and audio).
- Hook the DVD to the HTCT via component video cable (there should be two component ins on the HTCT) and digital coaxial (RCA) or digital optical cable for the audio (make sure the video input and audio input for this device match - you may have to check the manual to see if audio inputs are assignable to specific video inputs).
- Hook the VCR to the HTCT via composite video cable (basic yellow RCA connector - there should be one on the HTCT) and stereo analog audio (Red/White RCA).

Once all your sources are hooked up to the HTCT, you should be able to simply run a single HDMI cable from the HTCT to the TV.  When you switch inputs on the HTCT, the audio and video will both switch together and what you see on the TV will match what you hear.

The digial coaxial audio for the DVD should give you full 5.1 audio.  The VCR will be limited to stereo (which can utilize Pro-Logic to simulate surround sound).  Video quality should be pretty good for the DVD player, but don't expect much from a VCR on a large screen TV.  It will look soft and crummy compared to HD, but nothing can be done about that.

If you need some cables to get all of this hooked up, consider monoprice.com.  You can get excellent quality component and HDMI cables at a fraction of the price you see at Best Buy and even Radio Shack.

Good luck - hope this helps!

Jason

Edit: I see in looking at Sony's site that the video connections are all located on the subwoofer module.  Sorry if I confused you with the descriptions above.

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Posted October 22 2009 - 09:59 AM

Thanks,

I think I understand.. Radio Shack has rediculous prices on cable.  The 3ft HDMI was $35 and  6ft was $49...

But if I don't want to wait...... 

I'll see what I can get done tonight.

Thanks again.

Len

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Posted October 22 2009 - 01:11 PM

Well, I see that my  cable box does not have an HDMI output.  Comcast is providing new boxes for other rooms in the house within a few days. I could probably substitute one of the new boxes, which will probably have HDMI.

So, in the meantime, should I continue as I am, running from the cable box to the tv with the standard cable coax, and then running the thin a/v output from the tv to the subwoofer.  The one HDMI cable that came with the system is needed between the subwoofer and the speaker bar. 

I am going to return the expensive HDMI cables to Radio Shack and order some on line when  I figure out how many I need.  I have one from the sub to the speaker bar. I need another from the sub to the TV, then another from the cable box to the sub (whenever I get a new cable box. Does that sound right?

My DVD and VCR are in a single unit, but I don't remember how many outputs and inputs it has. I suppose, I can run that through the TV for the time being as well until I get an HDMI connection from the sub.

I probably have the other cables around here or do I need more than one of those digital optical cables?  (Are they the skinny ones with the square connectors?)

Thanks, 

Len







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Posted October 22 2009 - 01:20 PM

Hmmm.. the new cable boxes only have regular cable out. No HDMI.. so that is what has to go into the HCTC Subwoofer... and there is no imput for that on the subwoofer.



Len

#6 of 12 Jason Charlton

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Posted October 23 2009 - 01:39 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Grossman 

Well, I see that my  cable box does not have an HDMI output.  Comcast is providing new boxes for other rooms in the house within a few days. I could probably substitute one of the new boxes, which will probably have HDMI.
 
It sounds like you currently don't have High-Definition service - any of the HD boxes nowadays should have HDMI connections.  You can use regular composite video out from the cable box to the HTCT.  Since it's standard definition, you don't need to worry about passing any 5.1 audio, so red/white RCA cables will do for getting sound from the cable box to the HTCT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Grossman 

So, in the meantime, should I continue as I am, running from the cable box to the tv with the standard cable coax, and then running the thin a/v output from the tv to the subwoofer. 
You can do this, but the problem you'll run into is that the "digital audio out" on the TV will only pass 2.0 stereo audio from any sources other than its own built-in tuner.  So you won't be passing any surround-encoded audio to the HTCT.  This is a very common misconception.  For now, since you're dealing with standard-definition material, how you route the audio from the cable box to the HTCT is irrelevant, it will only be stereo.  However, I think for consistency's sake, it's better to route everything through the HTCT rather than the TV so you only have to change inputs on one device (the HTCT).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Grossman 

My DVD and VCR are in a single unit, but I don't remember how many outputs and inputs it has. I suppose, I can run that through the TV for the time being as well until I get an HDMI connection from the sub.

I probably have the other cables around here or do I need more than one of those digital optical cables?  (Are they the skinny ones with the square connectors?)
 
I've not dealt with combo units directly, but you may need to verify that both DVD and VCR output can be carried via the component connection, or if each needs its own video connection.

For this case, you definitely want to pass the audio from the DVD player directly to the HTCT in order to preserve the 5.1 surround sound.  There are two types of digital audio connection - coaxial (which uses a standard RCA connector) and optical (that's the skinny cable with the funky square connector).  There's no difference in sound quality between the two - it's a purely digital connection, so the signal either gets there or it doesn't.  I tend to prefer the regular coaxial cables because they're cheaper, and (at least in the early days of optical cables) a little more durable.  Those optical connections can be a little flimsy in some equipment.

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#7 of 12 Jason Charlton

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Posted October 23 2009 - 01:42 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Grossman 

Hmmm.. the new cable boxes only have regular cable out. No HDMI.. so that is what has to go into the HCTC Subwoofer... and there is no imput for that on the subwoofer.
 
Are you saying that the only output on the cable box is a screw-on f-type connector?  That seems awfully strange - I would think that in the least, there would be a composite video output (yellow RCA).  The HTCT supposedly has one composite video input (along with 2 component, and 3 HDMI).

If you do only have a screw-on type connector, then you will HAVE to run the cable directly to the TV.  If there's a digital audio out from the cable box, you could run that to the HTCT rather than through the TV (it will save you a cable), but you'll need to switch inputs on both the HTCT and the TV when you want to watch TV vs. DVD.

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Posted October 23 2009 - 08:42 AM

The cable box appears to have only the screw on F type connector. No separate audio out,  So I left the cable connected to the tv and used the digital audio cable from the tv to the HTCT.

Comcast has an HD cable box for an additional $10 a month which has HDMI and I will probably swap that out if I can ever figure out how to get to them when they are open. But in the meantime, this system is a vast improvement over my 1974 Yamaha receiver and ancient JBL speakers.

(That Yamaha was a wonder in its day.  I could easily switch audio from my Beta Hifi to my VHS, record from the FM radio to each etc etc.. But those days are long gone.)

I think I will probably update the DVD and VCR. New ones don't cost much more than Radio Shack charges for the HDMI cable alone. I returned the cables I bought yesterday and propbably order from Monoprice.


#9 of 12 Andrew M

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Posted October 23 2009 - 08:56 AM

I got rid of my 6.1 surround system (speakers & A/V receiver) and replaced it with this sound bar and sub woofer. I have a Toshiba HD DVD player, a Panasonic Blu-ray DVD player and five other assorted DVD players/recorders connected thru an 8-HDMI switcher. All the HDMI cables are from Monoprice. I needed to clear my living room of clutter to better "stage" the condo for sale. Very happy with what this unit can do, considering the obvious limitations.

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Posted October 26 2009 - 07:19 AM

Well, My wonderful wife picked up the HMDI cable box from Comcast and an extra HDMI cable  So now we have an HDMI signal from the box to the HTCT and HDMI to the TV.  The problem now is to synch all three so that I can use one controller.  That was the idea in getting the Sony HTCT to go with the Sony TV. Things seem to keep shifting.


The sound and picture are wonderful compared to my old setup.


And then I'll figure out how to hook up the dvd player the best way since it doesn't have HDMI.


Len

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Posted October 30 2009 - 07:37 AM

So... next question:  Now that I have HDMI from the Cable box to the HT-CT and HDMI from there to the television, How to best handle the older DVD for best audio and video upgrading? (This HT is supposed to be able to upgrade video.)

I can go directly to tv or HT (or maybe even cable box)

Should I use COAX (what does that look like?)
Composite (red blue green, right?)
AV (Yellow, red, white?)

And should I use the optical audio cable with any of these?

Len


#12 of 12 Jason Charlton

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Posted October 30 2009 - 09:25 AM

Component video will give you the best image out from the DVD player (component uses three RCA connectors for the video feed - Red/Green/Blue).  While you CAN connect the video out from the DVD directly to the TV, that bypasses a nice "convenience" factor that the HTCT provides - namely that it will auto-convert your analog component signal to digital and output that via the already existing HDMI connection to the TV.

The benefit to this is that when you switch audio inputs on the HTCT, it will automatically switch the video input to match.  This means only 1 button click to change from one source to another.  If you connect the component video directly to the TV (leaving the audio connection to the HTCT), then you'll need to switch inputs on BOTH the HTCT and the TV when you go from watching TV to DVDs.

Component video cables should cover the VIDEO from the DVD.  For the audio, you'll need to use one of the digital connections (coaxial or optical) and route that from the DVD to the HTCT.  You can't use the analog audio connections (red/white RCA) from the DVD because it can't carry the 5.1 signal - only stereo.

Oh, and just for reference, the yellow RCA connector for video is the Composite video connection.  That's the lowest quality video connection, and something that you'll really only use for older equipment like VCRs or possibly hooking up a camcorder or old video game console.


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