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Newb question: Slightly older Plasma with brand new Yamaha 7.1 receiver


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#1 of 13 Matthew23

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Posted May 17 2011 - 02:26 PM

Hi all,


I own a Panasonic TH-42PX60U 42-Inch Plasma HDTV from about 2006 http://www.amazon.co...SIN=B000F6SR0O.  It has two HDMI slots on back.


I just bought a Yamaha receiver (7.1 Yamaha-HTR-5063BL-Channel-Receiver)


I also bought some Yamaha speakers (Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker Package)

I plan to mount the speaks on the walls and ceiling in out new house which is pre-wired for audio.


I am not quite sure how to wire all of this up.  We plan to get cable through Comcast (our current box has an HDMI slot, I think it is one of their newest, modern boxes), a DVD player (no HDMI slot - only component cable hook up - don't use very much) and an Apple TV (2nd gen, newer model with HDMI).


My concern is getting surround sound with these components.  Given the age of the TV, it does not have HDMI 1.4 with audio return, I don't think).  I did by a couple HDMI cables off Amazon: BlueRigger High speed HDMI Cable 6.6 feet (2m) - Supports Ethernet, 3D and Audio Return (newest model).


Will I need to purchase an optical cable to get surround sound out of the TV?  How should I hook everything up?  I assume I use 1 HDMI from TV to Receiver out and then plug the components with HDMI into the 4 HDMI slots.  Since the cable box is fairly new, I am wondering if I can use the audio directly from that.  As for the Apple TV, it has an HDMI and optical slot.


What should I do?  What do I need to get to make the best surround sound experience?


Thanks in advance for any advice.


Matt



#2 of 13 Al.Anderson

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Posted May 17 2011 - 06:40 PM

You shouldn't have any problems at all, just hook all the peripherals (DVD, cable box, Apple TV) to the receiver, and then connect the receiver to the TV.  The only question is whether you'll just need an HDMI connection from the receiver to the TV, or whether you'll also need to connect a component cable.  If the receiver has analog-digital upgrade, you'll be good with just the HDMI.  (It's late and I'm too tired to check.)  You never *need* the audio return, it just saves a cable if, for some reason, you have to connect a device to the TV instead of the receiver.  (Connecting to the receiver is alway recommended.)



#3 of 13 Jason Charlton

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Posted May 18 2011 - 01:45 AM

Just to expand a bit on what Al said...  Once you start adding lots of sources to a system, the receiver, not the TV becomes the hub of your system.  Really, TVs are not designed to be the central component.  For example, they won't output digital audio from external sources.


Think in terms of signal flow.  Audio and video from each source to the A/V receiver.  From there, the receiver switches sources and routes the audio out to the speakers and the video out to the display.  The TV is nothing more than a monitor in this setup.


In practice, this sort of setup is much easier to configure and operate, it just requires a little shift in perspective.


Good luck!


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#4 of 13 Matthew23

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Posted May 18 2011 - 06:00 AM

That actually makes a lot of sence.  When I think "receiver" I think primarly audio (because the speakers get plugged in and traditionally, at least growing up, the receivers were mainly for audio.

Do you think I will need an digital optical cable to get surround sound from the TV or will be plugging each of the components into the receiver as mentioned above provide that?


I am not sure if I will need one for the ne Apple TV.  On the back, there is an HDMI connection as well as an optical cable slot.  I have tried to research if HDMI is enough or if I will need both.  Very excited to get this all hooked up but don't close until 6/15!!!



#5 of 13 Matthew23

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Posted May 18 2011 - 06:03 AM

BTW, here is a link to the specs of the receiver - I am unsure if it has analog-digital upgrade.  Can you take a look?


http://usa.yamaha.co...__u/?mode=model



#6 of 13 Al.Anderson

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Posted May 18 2011 - 07:38 AM



Quote:

Do you think I will need an digital optical cable to get surround sound from the TV or will be plugging each of the components into the receiver as mentioned above provide that?

You won't need a digital connection from your TV to the receiver unless you wind up running an over-the-air antenna directly to the TV (or you run out of ports on your receiver).



I am not sure if I will need one for the ne Apple TV.  On the back, there is an HDMI connection as well as an optical cable slot.


Your concern is warranted, there are some video devices that only send video over the HDMI even though it's capable of handling video and audio.  But I checked the Apple site and the Apple TV is not one of those, so you'll be good with just the HDMI.  (The optical is if you need to use the component connection.)




 .. am unsure if it has analog-digital upgrade


You're good.  They call it "HDMI upscaling".  And page-15 of the manual says it directly.



Very excited to get this all hooked up but don't close until 6/15!!!


Yeah, that's the worst part.  I predict you'll be in your closet hooking this up before 6/15 just to see how it all comes out!


(And Jason, thanks for the much better explanation; I was tired and was just on to put myself to sleep.)



#7 of 13 Matthew23

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Posted May 18 2011 - 07:59 AM

Ha, thank you so much!  I am so excited!!!  Do you recommend any universal remotes that won't break the bak?  i hhave an older model Logitech but it was a pain to manage.  Just want something simple.  Maybe the remote it comes with will be good???



#8 of 13 Matthew23

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Posted May 23 2011 - 09:14 AM

Ha, you were right.  This weekend, I set up the received and just a few speakers (center, left front and right frontt) along with the cable box (HDMI on back to receiver) and Apple TV (HDMI to receiver).  Worked really well.  I did not hook up the rear two as I did not have time.  One question - when listening to music throught the apple tv (all intergrated through itunes from my computer) as the audio source for music, will I get surround soound out of all speakers?  I assume I will.  Will I get surround sound for watching tv as well since it is hooked up from the HDMI on the cable box (one of Comcast's newer motorola models) to the receiver?


One last question - I have a really old DVD player with just the red, white and yellow hook ups on back (never really got into bluray since I've had an Apple TV) and primarily want to use the old (well, not so old but fairly budget) DVD player for a random CD or DVD.  If I hook up the DVD player directly to the receiver to the R/W/Y connections, will I get 5.1 surround sound?  Will the receiver perform magic and convert it??


Thanks in advance, once again!



#9 of 13 Jason Charlton

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Posted May 23 2011 - 09:55 AM

Music sources are native stereo.  You can set the receiver to simulate surround sound using Dolby ProLogic, or some other sound "mode" but generally music is best listened in stereo.  Also, with TV, if the shows are broadcast in 5.1 (HD stations) and you're connected using a digital audio cable, then you will get 5.1, but don't expect TOO much from broadcast TV - it won't usually be anywhere near as dynamic as a DVD or Blu-Ray.


Analog R/W/Y cables cannot carry a digital 5.1 audio signal.  So for your DVD player, you'd be limited to ProLogic simulated surround from a stereo source.


You need digital coaxial or optical cables (or HDMI) to carry a digital 5.1 audio signal.


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#10 of 13 Al.Anderson

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Posted May 23 2011 - 10:12 AM


 Ha, you were right.  This weekend, I set up the received and just a few speakers ...


Excellent!  You can consider yourself a full-fledged home nut now - welcome aboard!


As Jason said, that DVD will work fine for CDs, but it's not going to cut it for DVDs, or at least any DVD with a surround track.  Straight DVD players are so cheap now that you can pick up a good one for less than $50.  So if you don't want to go Bluray (I haven't yet) that's the way to go.



#11 of 13 Matthew23

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Posted May 24 2011 - 05:48 AM

Can you recommend any straight DVD with upconversion?  I am not buying iinto the blu-ray thing (I think its all going digital anyway)...let me know if anything comes to mind.



#12 of 13 Al.Anderson

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Posted May 24 2011 - 10:54 PM


 Can you recommend any straight DVD with upconversion? 



I haven't purchased one in a while, so I can't actually name one from personal experience.  But just going on Amazon and searching for upscaling DVD gives a number of highly rated choices less than $50.


Also, you probably don't need to get an upscaling player.  Many, if not most, receivers now upscale, and even when they don't, all digital TVs upscale.  They have to upscale because they are displaying a digital fixed pixel image.  So any signal they receive has to be scaled to fit the screen.  Given that in the best/worst case three components in the typical system performs upscaling, the question becomes who *should* be doing the upscaling, and can you turn each of them off so that you can choose the best upscaling algorithm.  (But few people ask those questions, and the ones that might have moved on to Bluray.)



#13 of 13 Matthew23

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Posted May 25 2011 - 09:02 AM

I will def look into that.  I am not jumping on to blu ray I don't think.  I barely buy DVDs ever and stream most from iTunes.






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