Basic cable > receiver > television: possible?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Adam Bluhm, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    My parents want to get a new tv and my mother wants me to get her a new audio system. To summarize, I'm planning on getting a basic Onkyo receiver and a set of JBL speakers (the all-in-one 5.1 setup). The speakers will be small (cosmetically for my mother), so the Onkyo should do the job fine.

    I don't want to steer my mother wrong.

    Basically what's happening is my parents have basic cable setup. We were leaning toward a Panasonic 42" Plasma EDTV (that could change). I want to know if I can route the cable into the receiver, then the receiver video to the tv and view all the channels like normal, while getting full audio through the receiver/speaker setup.

    I've never done this before and I got thinking about it tonight. If I route the cable to the receiver and composite video from the receiver to the tv, can I still view the channels on the tv like normal or would I need some sort of an external box? I guess I'm wondering if I'm still able to just turn on the tv, turn on the receiver and channel surf. I don't feel like that's possible, due to me needing to be on one of the video settings.

    I guess the other option is to utilize some sort of audio-out from the tv (cable to tv, tv audio-out to receiver).

    The only other component mixed in here is a new Panasonic DVD recorder/player that I got for them for Christmas. I'd just run optical audio and component cables to the receiver.

    If I'm not clear enough let me know. I don't feel like I'm explaining this well. Thanks for any help!



    Whoops. Almost forgot. I've never done any research on cable cards. If we did get this Panny EDTV, do we need a cable card? I see there's a spot for one. Like I said earlier, they'll be watching cable (nothing digital or whatnot).
     
  2. Brian Osborne

    Brian Osborne Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd recommend you shop around some more, IMO, you can do better for the money. Don't just buy a plasma because it's 3" thick. For less than $2K you could get a very nice 50" true HDTV in a DLP or LCD (I rec the DLP), or for $3K you could even get a new 1080P in that size.
    While the cable card is a cool feature, I'd leave it to the cable box, You loose a lot of functions when you use the card. I'd run everything, audio and video from all your sources to the receiver and let it do the switching. and if your lucky your model will convert all signals to Component and you can just leave your TV on Input1 all the time. If not, depending on the input signal, you could run an S-Video cable to the TV as well and only have to switch when watching non Component inputs.
     
  3. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Adam -- If you go through the receiver then for each [i/]type[/i] of cable you connect to it you need to run one of cable of that type back from the receiver to the TV (e.g., HDMI, component, RCA video). But the primary reason people do that is when they have more inputs of a given type than the TV can handle and you don't have that situation. You still can do it, but it isn't needed and it may (or may not) degrade the picture quality and it will mean about extra cables will be needed.

    Simpler in the long run is to just connect each source (cable and DVD) to the TV for video and each source to the AVR for audio. Now if I understand correctly, you don't have a cable set-to-box involved, so just run the cable directly to the TV and the TV becomes the other audio source and its audio out (red/white RCA jack connectors) goes to an input on the AVR.

    The AVR can be turned on and left on. Watching TV just means turning the TV on. To change to the DVD select the DVD input on both the AVR and the receiver.

    When you go through the setup on the TV don't forget to turn the speakers on the TV off (it will set it to something like fixed line-level output).

    As far as the selection of the TV goes, that's a separate issue and I'd recommend that you post any questions you might have about that in the video devices forum here.
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    What no one came right out and stated, your AV receiver does not have a TV tuner built into it. You either run the cable into the TV and use an audio output to get the sound to the receiver or you use some type of external tuner.

    If your new TV has a built in QAM tuner, then you should get your local digital channels without any extra equipment. Most are sent unencrypted. To get the encrypted channels, you will need a cablecard or cable box.

    Finally, don't expect a great picture with the new TV. Most signals aren't optimized for a large screen. You will not only be enlarging the screen, you will probably be stretching most of the 4x3 analog channels. You sure don't want to watch 4x3 with a pillar box on a plasma. You are just asking for burn-in then.

    -Robert
     
  5. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, guys. I guess we have a few more things to think about.

    I was leaning toward the Panny due to it's reviews of displaying basic programming. It received better marks than other HDTV's.
     
  6. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Careful -- an EDTV is not an HDTV.
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well, the ED Plasma isn't really a bad choice. But you should really put some homework into all the modern display technologies before deciding.

    As stated, your AVR (Audio Visual Reciever) doesn't have a TV tuner in it.


    The video inputs are made to come from source devices. Most people use an Old Stereo HiFi VCR for a standard cable then it becomes your source that can be switched through the AVR.
     
  8. John Titan

    John Titan Stunt Coordinator

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    My only advice is to keep it as simple as possible for your mother's sake. I don't know how tech savy she is but when I add a component to my system that requires switching with the tv, receiver, and the source (dvd,vcr etc.) I have to show my wife how to do it no less that about a hundred times! It drives her crazy, then she drives me crazy. So I went out and purchased a sony lcd touchscreen remote with macros figuring that would help(It didn't).

    Take a better look at the DLP and LCD tv's though, most of them have a pretty good set of speakers in them that will give you pretty loud sound (about 15- 30 watts per speaker). Most of them have tuners in them as well.
     
  9. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Second Unit

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    Whatever you buy, make sure it is HDCP compliant.

    This protocol will be mandatory soon and will be required on a lot of digital content for copyright protection.

    Do not trust the salesman. Make sure you see it in writing.

    A display with HDMI would also be suggested strongly.
     

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