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Question About Home Theater Setup with A/V Receiver Optional
3 replies to this topic
Posted May 09 2012 - 11:12 AM
I've scoured the net and the forums and I'm stuck. I've been out of the home theater scene for a while (since I bought mine) and I"m trying to get up to speed to make things work. I'll be buying some equipment for my parents and setting it up. When all is said and done, it will consist of an HDTV, Receiver, Blu-Ray and DirecTV box. The quandry I have is I want to be able to watch all input components either WITH or WITHOUT the receiver on. On the surface it's easy: put each item into their own input and use the TV's audio out. THe problem I'm running into is most of the televisions only have optical out, and that doesn't have the bandwidth for the higher bandwidth audio foramts and therefore it downsamples. I started researching Audio Return, but my understanding of that is that there also needs to be on an input coming from the receiver to the TV and that would mean I'd have to pass the audio through the receiver. I haven't been able to find this out, but will audio return typically work on a random television input marked for ARC and a compatible receiver, even if it's not used for actual video play back? This will only be an issue with BluRay since from what I can tell DirecTV wont encode more than Dolby 5.1 which works fine on optical, but tHe only other alterntavie I've been able to consider is to use and HDMI HDCP splitter to output to both the TV and the Receiver. I have no specific components chosen yet, but I'm looking for a better understanding of the ARC technology and what I'd be looking at for options. Thanks in advance!
Posted May 09 2012 - 02:26 PM
You want to run all the equipments audio and video signals into the receiver via hdmi and then the video to the display, also via hdmi. Sending audio from the display out to the receiver should not be necessary. Most new receivers, except maybe the real entry level ones, have what's called HDMI Standby Pass-Through which allows the audio and video signal to pass through the receiver and on to the tv without the receiver being powered on. I've never had this feature on any receiver I've owned so I'm not sure how it works but it's one of the most requested features on receivers these days. Click on this link to Pioneers website and scroll down to "Ready for tomorrow with the Latest HDMI® Technology". I think this might be what you're looking for. Other brands should have it as well but be sure to double-check their feature set. http://www.pioneerel...vers/VSX-1022-K Be sure to ask about the other components. A firm budget also helps us help you.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.
"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
Also have MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
Posted May 09 2012 - 04:50 PM
Thanks Gene! I'll start digging into that some more. I had that feature long ago in an old VCR and was always appreciative of it.. That sounds like nearly exactly what I'd want and never knew it existed for HDMI. Casually watching TV or something like that would be great to have the A/V signal pass right through. I'm pretty sure the max audio quality out of DirecTV HD is Dolby 5.1 and on the junky TV speakers I don't care if it down-samples to two-channel stereo, I just want to make sure I'll get some audio out of the TV when the AV receiver is off. One thing I haven't been able to find is if you can designate which AVR input is set as the pass through or if it will be set to one in particular. I'll keep reading now that I know the feature is out there. I'll probably just have to dig through some of the PDF manuals when I start shopping. Thanks a ton for the info! I wont turn down any other input anyone else has!
Posted May 10 2012 - 05:46 AM
Thanks! I was having difficulty conceptualizing where I would even use the ARC feature, but the Netflix example was helpful to think about inputs from the TV. I'll likely be steering away from a smart TV for them and will just get a basic one to use as a monitor. If they're going to use the extra features (Netflix/PrimeYouTube), we'll take advantage of that on the BluRay player. Not to mention I can keep things simple by having a "TV box" and a "movie box" when they invariably call and ask how to work something later. Thanks for an example AVR model as well. I was able to dig through the manual and find out some good stuff on it. Not to mention I now have to start thinking about HDMI control.
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