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How best to connect a TV to a Motorola DVR/Cable box (DCH3416) with one HDMI port?


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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   CrabbyGuy

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Posted May 01 2011 - 07:55 AM

I'm just wiring up a home theater.  I want the TV (Sony KDL-46EX710) to be able to play with its sound either (1) coming out of the receiver (Sony DA3500ES) and speakers or (2) the TV speakers for news and such, preferably with the receiver turned off.


The cable box has one digital video output (HDMI).  What is the best way to wire this?  HDMI splitters seem not to work well or reliably.  Is the quality of the video signal loss using some analog video from the cable box tolerable?


Thanks!


(Your patience, please.  I'm a newbie.)



#2 of 5 OFFLINE   CB750

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Posted May 02 2011 - 06:44 AM

Welcome Adrian


This may not be the answer you want to hear but why on earth would you want to listen to anything using the crappy speakers that come with today's flat screens.   They will only make you a Crabby Guy.


In today's AV world the receiver serves as the hub of your system where all of your connections are made, and the downside of this is the receiver is part of the system.   You are going to want to connect your cable box to your receiver with an HDMI cable and connect the receiver to your TV with a HDMI cable.  Under this arrangement your TV becomes nothing more than a Monitor, and the audio from you cable box is passed to the receiver.    The reason it is difficult to deviate from this the fact that you Sony TV will down grade its audio signal to two channel stereo when it is connected with a cable box.

The only way to achieve what you want is to connect the cable box to the TV with HDMI, and connect your cable box with an optical or digital out to your receiver.  This will force you to manually switch off your TV speakers when you want to use your receiver.



#3 of 5 OFFLINE   CrabbyGuy

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Posted May 02 2011 - 09:43 AM

Bill,


I appreciate the response.


What seem silly questions often involves wives, by my experience.  This is no exception.  I have a decent 7.1 speaker system with a good subwoofer.  Our bedroom is immediately above the living room, where the home theater is located.  (I did not design this townhouse; I just live in it!)  My wife often heads up to the bedroom to turn in before I'm done listening to news.  Crappy speakers don't carry as much as decent speakers and save me from putting on headphones for the news.


Is it possible (1) to connect the TV to the receiver and the receiver to the cable box with HDMI, which I think will preserve both digital audio and video with the receiver on and (2) connect the cable box to the TV with (A) component video and (B) digital coax audio, turning off the receiver in this case?  Degrading the quality of the picture a bit wouldn't matter for the news and the TV only does two-channel audio, I think.  Or am I hopelessly confused?



#4 of 5 OFFLINE   CB750

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Posted May 02 2011 - 05:01 PM

Given your wife problems perhaps a better and easier solution might be a good set of head phones for your late night viewing.   You also might want to check out a wireless product called TV ears.   They are made for folks with a hearing loss but they would also work for you.  This way you would be able to watch TV at whatever volume you wish and not bother your wife.


I think your solution would allow you to listen to your TV with out the receiver being on but you would have to switch the input sources in your TV and perhaps the output sources with your cable box every time you make the switch.   Keep it simple go with the headphones or TV ears.



#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Martino

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Posted May 10 2011 - 03:49 AM


Quote:

Is it possible (1) to connect the TV to the receiver and the receiver to the cable box with HDMI, which I think will preserve both digital audio and video with the receiver on and (2) connect the cable box to the TV with (A) component video and (B) digital coax audio, turning off the receiver in this case?  Degrading the quality of the picture a bit wouldn't matter for the news and the TV only does two-channel audio, I think.  Or am I hopelessly confused?
Anything is possible - but most of the TV outs will down convert the signal to a stereo signal - so you will lose your surround sound going to your receiver.  I would try the following:


1) Connect the cable box to the receiver via HDMI, and then from the receiver to the TV via HDMI - this will be your movie mode and will preserve the sound and video quality.


2) For late-night mode - run audio and video component cables from your cable box directly to your TV (with stereo RCA cables for sound) - bypassing your receiver all together.  These will be on a different input on the TV, and you can get video and sound for your late-night viewing.

     There is one thing you need to be aware of when you do this - you will want to turn your TV speakers all the way down when using the #1 connection, or else you will get a strange echo effect as the lower quality TV speakers will be added to your system.  I had a similar setup for a video game, and forgot to tell the wife about it.  I got a call at work saying something is wrong with the sound when she tried to watch a movie.  After I got home, I realized that the kids had been playing the video game and did not turn down the TV speakers after they were done.

     You also might want to invest in a universal remote.  I have a harmony 1, and it allows me to program the various modes - so the volume button will work for the receiver in mode1, and the TV in mode 2...