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Help with receiver set-up


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 02 2010 - 02:33 AM

Hi I am new on this site. Recently purchased a set of klipsch quintets and a new pioneer receiver - Pioneer vsx 920K. I am trying to hook up the receiver - My question is.... Is there a way to have the option of bypassing the receiver to just listen to tv audio through the tv speakers? I would like the option to listen to tv through my tv speakers, or through the quintets at other times. Here is the link to my receiver's manual..


http://www.store.pioneerelectronics.com/StaticFiles/Manuals/Home/VSX-920_OperatingInstructions0518.pdf


Please help.


Also, the operating manual (see page 23) shows an hdmi cable running from the receiver to the tv. It also shows an optical cable running from the optical out on the tv to the optical in on the tv and says "this connection is required in order to listen to the sound of the TV over the receiver" What does this mean? Thanks, Joe



#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 02 2010 - 03:17 AM

Joe:


Welcome to the forum.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/popcorn.gif


Yes, you can by-pass the receiver by making an additional audio and video connection from any component (cable box, DVD player, etc.) directly to the TV.  That way you can watch TV without having the receiver turned on.  But because the receiver is off, it can no longer be used to pass the video signal through.  That's why you need to make two connections from each device you want to use this way - one to the TV, one to the receiver - and then switch inputs on the TV.

This will typically mean using a lesser connection type like component for the video signal and analog for the audio, since not many devices have multiple HDMI outputs, but they should be OK.  Except for full 1080p Blu Ray discs there isn't going to be  heckuva big difference in video quality between HDMI and component and the TV speakers only do analog stereo anyway.  A lot of people who just want an option to "watch TV" without the full HT running connect just the cable box/DVR both ways, then connect everything else through the receiver.  (Because how often do you want to watch a DVD or Blu Ray movie with the TV speakers?)



...an optical cable running from the optical out on the tv to the optical in on the tv...



I looked at page 23 in the manual and don't find the diagram or text you describe.   I assume you mean "from the optical out on the TV to the optical in on the receiver", since the connection in your post - TV out to TV in - would literally do nothing.  The optical output is there on the TV to send audio from its own internal tuners - for the over-the-air antenna and a digital cable input that doesn't use a cable box or card - to the receiver.  This output will only send multichannel audio from those two sources to the receiver.  If you hook-up your DVD player to an HDMI input on the TV, it won't be able send Dolby Digital 5.1 to the receiver via the optical output.  (On some TVs it won't send any audio at all.  On others it will send 2-channel audio regardless of the external source.)


Hope this helps.  Let me know if I wasn't clear on anything.  This stuff can be confusing and those of us who have been messing around with it for years sometimes get so familiar with things that we leave out steps when explaining it to others.


Regards,


Joe




#3 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 02 2010 - 03:36 AM

Thanks so much for the help. So i would run the cable box to the receiver via hdmi and then run the cable box to the tv directly for the second option.  What type of connection on the 2nd connection (directly to the tv) will give me the best picture and sound?



#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 02 2010 - 04:41 AM


 So i would run the cable box to the receiver via hdmi and then run the cable box to the tv directly for the second option.  



Yes, exactly.

 What type of connection on the 2nd connection (directly to the tv) will give me the best picture and sound?


Component video and analog stereo (red and white connectors) should be the best.  If your cable box happens to have two HDMI outputs (I'm not sure any do) then you should use HDMI for the best quality.  But component video is still HD (unlike composite or s-video) and will look just fine on your TV.  Don't overpay for cables!  Go to Bluejeans Cable (an  HTF sponsor) or Monoprice for good deals on quality cables.

Regards,


Joe



#5 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 02 2010 - 05:50 AM

If I should be using the analog stereo connectors, what is the optical audio for?



#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 02 2010 - 07:00 AM


Originally Posted by joey88 

If I should be using the analog stereo connectors, what is the optical audio for?



From the cable box?  That would be used to connect to an AV receiver that did not have HDMI (where you'd be doing component out to the receiver for video.)  In this case it is going to be an unused connection,  because I assume your TV does not have an optical audio input. If you give me the make and model number of your TV (and your cable box, for that matter) I can give you specific options.  But all of this equipment has "extra" connectors that will be used in some circumstances and not in others to give consumers maximum flexibility and make it all as compatible as possible.  It isn't like you have to use all the connectors they give you.


Regards,


Joe



#7 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 02 2010 - 08:58 AM



Someone gave me this suggestion:  


"I think you mean optical out from the tv to optical in on the receiver. The sound is passed through the hdmi cable into the tv and back out through the optical cable to the receiver.  Here's an easy way. Run an HDMI cable from the cable box to the tv. Then run an optical cable from the cable box to the receiver. The HDMI cable will give you audio for the tv and the optical cable will give you audio for the receiver."


But wouldnt the optical cable not give as good sound through the receiver?



#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 02 2010 - 09:07 AM


But wouldnt the optical cable not give as good sound through the receiver?


Exactly.  As I mentioned earlier, the optical out from the TV will either not send any audio at all from your connected components, or it will downconvert the audio to 2-channel instead of 5.1 or 7.1 discrete.  There are a few newer Vizio models that will pass full digital audio through the optical output, but those are the only HDTVs that do so at this time.

That cable will carry full 5.1 Dolby Digital if you're watching local HD stations over the air with an antenna, or if you have the cable from the wall plugged directly into the QAM digital cable jack on the back of the TV, because those connection use the TV's internal tuners.  But it will not do so for devices connected via HDMI.


Regards,


Joe



#9 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 02 2010 - 09:11 AM

Ok, SO I am better off going with the HDMI from the cable box to the receiver and HDMI out to TV.  (This will enable sound through the surround sound speakers)


THen run component cables directly from the cable box to the Tv, as well as analog audio cables. (Enables sound through the tv speakers).


How much of a drop-off in picture will i notice while watching cable now that i am using component cables instead of hdmi?



#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 02 2010 - 02:26 PM


How much of a drop-off in picture will i notice while watching cable now that i am using component cables instead of hdmi?


Probably none at all. Component cables are perfectly capable of transmitting HD video up to 1080i - which is the maximum broadcast and cable TV can handle.  If you give the remote to someone else and have them toggle between the two inputs, I doubt you'll be able to tell which is which.  I've done exactly that on my system (I have a 720p TV) and could never see a difference between HDMI and cable with regular DVDs on my Sony upconverting DVD player.


Regards,


Joe



#11 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 03 2010 - 01:31 AM

I need to pick up some component cables tonight.  Are they all the same? Or are there different speeds/quality?  I would like to order online, but want to work on this set-up tonight so will probably just go to Radio Shack or Best Buy.  Any recommendations?


#12 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 03 2010 - 01:41 AM

Also, I found this thread in some other website online yesterday...It describes 2 separate methods for this set-up.  If I understand you correctly, the 2nd option is better...



I have a question about hooking up STB's. Your advice is to connect HDMI to the TV directly and run digital audio from the STB to the receiver. If I understand correctly that would require choosing the input on the TV with the HDMI to see the picture and selecting the correct receiver output to hear the sound. Then if you wanted to watch Blu-Ray I assume you would change the input on the TV to the one the receiver is connected to and selecting the Blu-Ray output on the receiver to view the show
What's wrong with this, HDMI from the STB, and Blu-Ray to the receiver, and then HDMI from the receiver to the TV for watching home theater, and component video and analog audio from the STB to the TV for simple direct STB to TV viewing. This would allow one input on the TV for all material played through the receiver which is IMHO a more simple and less confusing (to people other than the HT's owner) set-up.
 


#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 03 2010 - 01:45 AM


 I need to pick up some component cables tonight.  Are they all the same? Or are there different speeds/quality?


There can be some differences in build quality and materials, which can effect how well the connectors stay in place, and how well they conduct the signal (gold-plated connductors are better than other metals and are more corrosion resistant) but basically you're looking at a bundle of copper strands rated to carry a 75 ohm signal.  At a certain point, wire is wire.  And no, there isn't any "speed" difference, no matter what the marketing guys at certain companies would like you to believe.


I would pick Best Buy over Radio Shack, because you'll get a better price.  I think RS stays afloat by being the place that's near-by for last minute purchases, and the one place where you can get obscure parts and batteries.  But I'd go to Walmart or Target before either of them and buy the cheapest set of cables you can get, for now.

Regards,


Joe


#14 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 03 2010 - 02:01 AM

I have the Klipsch quintet III speakers.  Any suggestions on hooking up the speakers? What are banana plugs, and should I use them?



#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted June 03 2010 - 02:39 AM


 Any suggestions on hooking up the speakers? What are banana plugs, and should I use them?


Unless you're making a long run or going through walls, you can use standard zip cord.  Even if you use "speaker wire" you don't need anything thicker than 16g. (In fact even 18g works fine; but it'll cause a ruckuss if I say that out loud.)   Some people go for 12 or 14, but that's just being extra careful.


Banana plug allow you to just plug the speaker cable in without wrapping the wire around a post and tightening the thumb screw.  They're mostly for convenience, say if you are moving your set-up a lot (experimenting with placement maybe).  Another reason for plugs someone gave me was to makes sure there were no loose wire strands hanging out that could short; but I've never had a problem with that, if you even moderately careful you'll be okay.



#16 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 03 2010 - 03:04 AM

Any type of banana plugs easier to use than others?



#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 03 2010 - 12:59 PM



Any type of banana plugs easier to use than others?


It is more a matter of personal preference than anything else.  I'm not crazy about the screw termination type only because I don't want to need to spend time looking for a tiny screw-driver anytime I need to mess with them.  I'm talking about these:


Posted Image


I prefer the type where you don't need tools - just push the wire up through the hole in the base, then screw the top on and you're done:


Posted Image


I would avoid the kind where the black and white connectors are clipped together in pairs.  Not all receivers or speakers space their banana plug connections the same distance apart and they can just be awkward to work with in tight spaces.


Posted Image


(I would doubly avoid this particular example, as it is also screw-terminated.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif)


Regards,


Joe



#18 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 04 2010 - 02:06 AM

Joe, Which type are these?


http://www.jr.com/ar...oductTabSimilar


I saw these at J&R music and I agree, I don't want to use tools.



#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 04 2010 - 02:53 AM

Those are screw-terminated, as shown by the round hole on the side of each where you stick the screwdriver to tighten the screws.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/cool.gif


Regards,


Joe



#20 of 29 OFFLINE   joey88

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Posted June 04 2010 - 06:09 AM

Is this speaker wire good enough? Or should I be going thicker?


http://www.radioshac...showFullReviews