A simple set up question from a newbie... need help/suggestions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin Silence, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. Kevin Silence

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    First off, I discovered this site in the last few days. I am very impressed with how it is set up and run (1st class). I have learned a lot already by reading posts and responses on the different forum.

    I don't know how to set this new system up to do what I want. I am looking for an easy-to-use set up that allows me to record DVDs on my VCR (so my son can watch Shrek in his room on VCR). I also want to make sure that I get the fullest use out of my new Kenwood HTB - 504, which has Dolby Pro-Logic II.

    Here is what I have and what I am getting:

    1) 27" Samsung (10-yr old +/-) - has 2 RCA hookups, 1 S-Video, and 1 cable hook up.

    2) I have basic cable with no box, just a cable coming in the wall.

    3) JVC Stereo VCR - has 1) RCA hookup (left right audios and video), Cable antenna in and out, nothing else.

    3) Just purchased Samsung N501 DVD player - has 1 RCA hook-up, 1 S-Video, 1 set of component out, and 1) Digital Audio out (optical and coaxial)

    4) Have ordered Kenwood HTB-504 - should receive in two days. This has plenty of connections, including RCA hookups, a several S-Videos, component, etc... certainly more than enough to take care of my set up.

    Finally, one other separate question. I currently have two Kenwood tower speakers (10", 4", 2"). Could I use these as my front L/R speakers, and use the smaller front speakers coming with my HTB-504 as my back speakers?

    I appreciate any help or advise. I'm now trying to get my supply list for Radio Shack together (speaker wire, S-Video cables, etc.)

    Thanks.

    Kevin
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Kevin, let me be the first to welcome you to HTF. You have picked a great hobby to get into.

    Let me start by saying this. The DVD format has built-in copy protection (macrovision) to prevent the copying of DVD's onto VHS. The studios and manufacturer's had this feature built into the format to protect their movies from being copied. While I am sure that you have an innocent requirement to watch the DVD movies on the VHS machine, the copying of such material is frowned upon here. Much of this has to do with the fact that this is a very visible forum in the eyes of the movie studios.

    To answer your second question, yes!! You can indeed use the smaller speakers for your surrounds as you mentioned.

    Once again, welcome. You will find that there is a great wealth of knowledge here. Enjoy!
     
  3. Kevin Silence

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    Thanks, Neil.

    I thought I could use the towers as my front speakers.

    Sorry, I didn't think about the copyright protection/infringement. My apology. But, I do still want to be able to record regular TV on my VCR.

    Please help me out with how you would wire it up. I just want to make sure I make the best connections I can to take advantage of what the HTB-504 can do, such as S-Video cables when I can use them. I know the hookups on the VCR and the basic cable present some limits.

    Thanks.

    Kevin
     
  4. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    OK let's break it down....

    1- Take the cable from the wall and hook to "cable in" on vcr then take a length of cable and connect from "cable out" of vcr to the TV. Also, get an audio/video cable and connect from the VCR to the TV. (L+R+video) This will allow you to record from TV to VCR.

    2- Connect an s-video cable from DVD player to the TV. Note that some TV's are either s-video or composite but not both. Not sue about your model. If not, then the s-video cable from the DVD takes priority over the composite from the VCR (via to a/v cable)

    3- Connect either digital optical or digital coaxial to your receiver's input in the DVD section/area of hookups. This feeds the audio bitstream from the DVD player to the receiver.

    NOTE: You could also hook the s-video from the DVD to the receiver, then from the receiver to the TV and have on-screen menus available then. Just an option.
     
  5. Kevin Silence

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    Ok, questions to your breakdown.

    1) I currently have cable to VCR, then cable from VCR to TV. I can already record TV like this. Question: Does the suggested Audio/video cable hookup (from TV to VCR) simply enhance a better quality picture/sound?

    3) What is the difference between Digital Optical and Coaxial? I think the Optical is fiber optic? and is the better choice. If so, I will do this.

    NOTE: I think I will hook up the S-Video from DVD to Receiver, then S-Video to TV for the on-screen menus.

    New question: I have read where some people plug their VCR up to the Receiver and then back to the TV. The HTB-504 has Dolby ProLogic II, which I believe can modify this sound quality and make it like surround sound. If this is the case, would you run cable to VCR then cable to TV, then A/V cable from VCR to Receiver then A/V cable back to TV?

    I've looked at some diagrams on this forum, that I could not keep up with, waaayyy over my head. I really appreciate your help.

    On a personal note, I have been to your site. I really liked your site lay-out, especially your still picture shots from different movies and a brief bio on each. You and I have similar tastes in movies. It's interesting to see so many animated/CGI movies. Most of my VCR tapes are animated/CGI movies for my four-year old (Do you have children?). Do most animated/CGI come with superior sound/visual quality, like Shrek... simply wondering why so mnay animated/CGI movies are thought of so highly. I bought my first DVD last night, along with my DVD player purchase. It was Shrek, BTW. Now that I have a DVD player, I am going to start building my collection of DVDs, but not just for the four-year old.

    I can tell this is going to be a great site... very professional attitude, no slander, very helpful, nice courteous user rules. I currently go to a college sports fan web site that has gotten out of hand, where I few bad apples makes it unenjoyable for the rest of the fans. Your website has a good foundation of rules set up to purge these type of posts. I look forward to growing in this website. One day, I may even go to your more complicated (expert) forums, and actually understand what they are talking about.

    Thanks
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Answers to your questions to my answers to your questions [​IMG]
    1- YES. Regular cable combined audio and video in a single cable (lower quality). A/V cables seperate the audio and video (L+R+video) but video is still composite but better audio and video quality than regular cable. Of course after that the video quality steps up as you go to s-video, then component, RGB etc,
    3- Digital optical and digital coaxial do the same thing. I run both in my system. Both perform well above their needed specs foor this simple task of passing the audio bitstream. As to which is better, this is a topic that has been discussed at length on many occasions in this, and other forums. As far as weaknesses, optical is a little less stringent (more fragile) and the connection is not as solid as a heavy duty coax connection but if you are not back there touching it all the time it is not an issue anyway. Optical can use long runs but the longests cable I have seen in typical stores is 6ft. It can be expensive. Coax can suffer from rf interfearance but well shielded cables negate this weakness. Bottom line is either will do the job.
    - You answered your own question. Yes, I would run a/v cables from VCR to receiver then back to TV. That way, you could kick back and watch a movie on the VCR via your TV's speakers (cable hookup) or, have the receiver and external speakers provide the sound (a/v cables).
    There are a long list of great movies on DVD to check out. There are even some threads discussing that topic as we speak. I like animation on DVD. Toy Story (ultimate toy box), Titan AE, Tarzan and many others have an amazing depth of quality. Glad you like my site. I love movies for sure as do many others here.
    I look forward to seeing your posts around the various parts of the forum. Check them out.
     
  7. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I have a similar setup...different equipment brands, but same equipment, if you know what I mean.
    Here's how I set it up.
    • DVD player:
    • S-Video to TV's S-Video (A/V 1)
    • Analog audio to TV's analog audio (A/V 1) (I did this so when the kids are watching a movie it just plays through the TV speakers and I don't worry about the receiver. It's made things easier on my wife...not too electronics-savvy.)
    • Digital coax to receiver's digital coax in (this is for me, when I use the receiver for audio). Many people don't find much of a difference between optical and coax digital. I tried it both ways but went with coax because the cable was cheaper.
      VCR:
    • Cable in from wall
    • Cable out to TV
    • A/V out to TV (A/V 2) This is so when the kids watch tapes I switch to A/V 2 instead of channel 3 to watch the VCR. That's pretty much the only reason. Not a very good reason I guess. But it's more logical to change to A/V 2 instead of channel 3 to watch tapes.
      TV:
    • Audio out to receiver. This lets me listen to both tapes and television programming in surround (if recorded and broadcast in surround) with my receiver.
      Playstation:
    • A/V out to TV (A/V 3)
    I don't have the video from the receiver going to the TV because my receiver doesn't do on-screen menus. If it did then I'd run the DVD's S-video through the receiver. I do have S-video switching on my receiver should the day come that I need it (digital satalite or cable).
     
  8. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Hi Kevin: Welcome to the HTF. Sounds like almost all of your questions have been answered, except one. Since we are not allowed to talk about that here on HTF, if you get back to me with your email address, I'll be glad to help you with your DVD/VHS dilemna. I've got two young kids and neither one of them can afford a DVD player either. [​IMG] My email address is govtdog@msn.com . Alternatively, you could click on my Gear Icon above and just check out my gear for the answer to your question.
    Welcome to the hobby! If you have any other questions or need help, or just want to shoot the breeze, the HTF is a great place to do so.
     
  9. Jason Wolters

    Jason Wolters Stunt Coordinator

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    John,
    I would just buy another DVD player before I would spend $100+ on that deal. [​IMG]
     
  10. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Jason: I thought that too, at first. Then after trying to return a couple of badly scratched PS2 discs for new ones and having to do the same thing for a Bug's Life disc, I just found it cheaper in the long run to spend the $100 and give them VHS tapes instead. Those only cost me $2 each at most.
     

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