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Amazon Firestick use with my Home Entertainment System (1 Viewer)

pox;and

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Dec 1, 2021
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Peter Oxland
Hi Folks ... I thought I’d share some details of what I’m trying to do, seeking your wisdom & guidance.

I do admit I'm pretty much a rookie with my home entertainment system and the experiences I'm sharing below continues to be a real learning experience for me!!

I have a home theatre consisting of the following equipment:
-a Benq PE 7700 projector hanging upside down from the ceiling.
-a Sherwood Newcastle R-863 receiver
-a Cambridge DVD player
-a PVR from my cable provider (I ended cable a few years ago so this isn’t being used but is still connected to my receiver)
-a ~100 inch screen on the wall,
-cables through the ceiling from the receiver, etc to the projector, and to all the speakers, and
-multiple speakers providing surround sound.

I recently got an Amazon Firestick (3rd generation) as I am quite keen in introducing access to the Internet for my home entertainment system (like many folks who have reached out to you for your guidance and support).

Here are some things I noticed:
-the Amazon Firestick requires an HDMI input port
-my Benq projector is the only working device among the ones I mentioned above with an HDMI input port (the cable box has an HDMI port but it is only HDMI output, plus since this cable box isn’t being used, is of no use to me)
-the Benq unit only has input ports, no output ports
-my Sherwood receiver does not have an HDMI input port

Here’s what I’ve done so far to try to get this Amazon Firestick to provide access to the Internet with my home entertainment system. Some of this didn’t work, one thing did.

Attempt #1 …

-acquired this device Amazon product
-I put it near my receiver, took the unused component cable (RGB) end plugged into my cable box and plugged it into the Pr Y Pb (RGB) output ports on the Easygadgets device … the other end of this cable is plugged into component input ports Pr Y Pb (RGB) on my receiver
-I took the audio cable end plugged into the cable box (2 cables, red & while ends) and plugged these into the audio output ports on the Easygadgets device
-I then plugged the Amazon Firestick (using the HDMI extension provided by Amazon) in the Easygadget’s HDMI input port

With the above, I figured I could use the Easygadgets device to split the HDMI into Component RGB and audio as input to my receiver, and the existing cable system through my receiver, through my ceiling attached to my Benq projector (current cables going to the RGB, SVideo and Video input ports).

With the above, when I chose on my Benq unit the input which is coming from the Amazon Firestick, the screen showed weird, as moving lines, sometimes showing a picture (all happening in about 2-3 seconds), then an error displayed saying this is ‘Not Supported’. I tried following your handshaking guidelines in this thread and the same error displayed.

Attempt #2 …

I plugged the Amazon Firestick into the Benq projector, not using the Easygadgets device at all. When I selected the HDMI source on my Benq projector, the Amazon Firestick displayed which was great.

The challenge I have now is that there is no sound going to my receiver for the surround system.

Attempt #3
-Using the Easygadgets device, I plugged one end of a VGA cable I have into its VGA output port and the other end of this cable into the 5 input ports (V H R B G) on the Benq projector.
-I plugged an audio cable from the Easygadget’s 2 audio (red, white) output ports and the other end in 2 input audio ports on my receiver.
-I plugged the Amazon Firestick into the Easygadget HDMI input port.

I tried to follow some handshaking guidelines I read on the Internet that are important to follow, and got the same error as in attempt #1 above.

Reflecting on all this …

The only tangible success I seem to have had so far (in addition to getting more familiar with trying things and I guess, testing my patience) is that I got the Amazon Firestick to display by connecting it directly to my Benq projector.

I think going forward, this is what I need to do.

Acquire an HDMI extractor device with the following:
-at least 1 x HDMI input
-HDMI output
-digital audio output (I think using a Toslink optical audio cable)

Then the Amazon Firestick connects to this device’s HDMI input port, a short HDMI cable from this device’s HDMI output port to the HDMI input port on my Benq project, and a digital Toslink cable from this device’s digital audio output port to a digital input port on my receiver (although my Sherwood receiver manual (albeit a pretty old manual) says "all the commercially available optical fiber cords cannot be used for this equipment").

I ‘think’ the above should work.

Other things I have noticed in terms of video formats supported (although I'm not sure I need to take any of this video format support into consideration):

Benq PE 7700 projector supports 480i, 480P, 576i, 576p, 1080i, 720p
Amazon Firestick (3rd generation) supports 1080p & 720p up to 60fps

I’m very keen in hearing thoughts on …

What do you think of what I’ve tried so far?

What do you think of my thoughts of what I need to now do?

Assuming you agree it should work, do you suggest a certain HDMI extractor device? (there seem to be so many similar ones - a wide range of prices - I really don’t know whether to acquire an inexpensive, mid or high priced unit)

Are there other things that I should be considering, that I haven’t mentioned, that I should be considering?

THANK YOU so much for any guidance you can provide to me!!

Regards ... Pete
 

Vern Dias

Second Unit
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Apr 27, 1999
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Theodore V Dias
You are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and it will most likely only end badly.

You could start with this:
Amazon product

for $299.00.

HDCP is a very very finicky beast. It is possible to cobble together a solution, but you will most likely see continuous issues.
For example, your Fire Stick may not be running the same code tomorrow that it is today. So, it may not work in the future if it's not feeding a valid standards compliant HDMI input.
Today's better audio standards will only work over HDMI, so you need to get a solution that is compliant with those standards, rather than trying to get by with an obsolete transport medium.

That projector is going to cause you grief with its obsolete video standards as well.....
 

pox;and

Auditioning
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Dec 1, 2021
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Peter Oxland
Thanks for your honest thoughts about what I'm trying to do, Vern.

I was hoping to avoid spending a lot of money buying new equipment, yet your suggestions are starting to make me realize maybe there is no reliable solution using my current equipment.

If any other folks have thoughts on this, please let me know.

Thanks again, Vern.

Regards, Pete
 

Todd Erwin

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Todd Erwin
As Vern suggested, it is probably time to upgrade to a newer receiver. To future-proof yourself, make sure it has HDCP 2.2 support at the very least. Unfortunately, home theater receivers are like cars right now - a very hot commodity. You may want to look at refurbished or used models, manufactured in the last 4 years at the most to ensure future compatibility should you upgrade your projector to 4K in the next few years.
 

pox;and

Auditioning
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Dec 1, 2021
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Peter Oxland
I appreciate your thoughts on this, Todd.

Since my use of my home entertainment system is not high (although could certainly grow once I get my streaming solution working), I had been hoping that I could have gobbled together a much less expensive solution (like using an HDMI audio extractor that I have read about on the Internet). Your and Vern's suggestion is giving me the distinct impression that going down the route of using such a device (HDMI audio extractor) is probably not very wise.

I appreciate both of your insights a great deal. Many thanks!!

Regards, Pete
 

Malcolm R

Senior HTF Member
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Feb 8, 2002
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Malcolm
Agree that an AVR upgrade is probably the best route. I also just got a Fire stick. Plugged it directly into my Yamaha AVR.

Do other non-stick boxes offer alternative connections? If so, you might exchange the stick for a different streaming box.
 

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