Cable Box question - what can I expect?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Wong, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Per my previous thread deciding between DSS and Time Warner Digital Cable, I've decided to "try" the Time Warner Digital Cable.
    I'm currently paying $41.89/mo. for a basic and "standard" cable package. This equates to approx. 40 channels. I haven't ever counted but I've always been pleased with this set-up. I got literature in the mail from Time Warner this past Saturday regarding new channels and pricing. Oddly enough, I can get my foot in the door with "digital" programming for just $45.78/mo. out the door. This includes all taxes and equipment. I also get quite a few more channels as well as the ability to get request Movies on Demand and Live Pay per view events.
    Here's my question (whew!) The install tech. is coming by tomorrow morning. I hate those "we'll be there anytime between 9 a.m. and 12 noon" appointments they always seem to make! GRR! [​IMG] But alas, that is case. Anyway, I did verify with a rep. this morning that their "box" does allow for S-Video hook -up.
    I'd kind of like a heads up, so to speak of what I can expect before this guy starts messing around with my own equipment.
    I currently own a Sony KV-36FV15, JVC S-VHS VCR, and Denon AVR-95 receiver. I have an s-video cable going from my TV to the monitor out of my receiver. I have audio cables going from my TV to the TV audio inputs of my receiver (this allows me to have the sound from cable TV programming coming out through my speakers). The coaxial cable from the wall goes into my VCR and then obviously, out to my TV.
    This may sound like a stupid question, but I'm baffled. I've never had a cable box before. Where in the hell am I supposed to put this thing? [​IMG] Everything thing has to be S-Video or nothing can be S-Video. So... how do I "piggyback" this extra piece of equipment into my set-up? Help...? [​IMG]
    Damn, I just thought about the fact that they're probably not gonna front the S-Video cable.
    Scott.
     
  2. Kevin_W

    Kevin_W Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    Put the cable box before the VCR. In addition to the Svideo, the cable box will have RG6 coaxial in and out just like the VCR. From the wall to the cable box to the vcr to the TV. Then you take the Composite audio and S-video cables from the cable box and route them to an available A/V input on your Denon. What this allows you to do is two things. You can just turn on the TV and watch cable that way (this via coax cable) or you can fire up the Denon and switch to the input the cable box is on and you will see your picture on the TV (obviously switch to whatever video output you use when using the Denon).

    [edit] I wrote cable box before the TV... I meant to say VCR.
     
  3. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kevin:

    I'm with you on the RG-6 connection. That's simple enough.

    As for the others, I have one set of the audio composite cables going from my TV to the audio inputs in my Denon in the "TV/DBS" input.

    Will there no longer need to be that set of audio cables going out of the TV?

    Will I just be able to place a set of audio cables and the S-Video cable going out of the cable box to that TV/DBS input of my Denon?

    I hope that doesn't sound too confusing?

    Scott.
     
  4. Kevin_W

    Kevin_W Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmm... So does your TV have a set of A/V outputs? Seems odd since you wouldn't really feed the Denon a video signal from a TV since its just going back to the TV. You're certain you run A/V outputs from the TV to the Denon? Maybe you mean from the VCR's composite outputs to the Denon and then the Denon is doing video switching for you? In other words you'll have multiple video devices coming into the denon and one cable going out to the TV.
     
  5. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    God, I'm so confused. [​IMG]
    Okay. I have a Sony WEGA (FV15) 36-inch model.
    The cable guy just came over. Here's how it's currently hooked up.
    The coax cable from my wall is going into my Monster power HTS5000 power center. It goes out my power center and into the cable box. Out of the cable box into the VCR. And then out of the VCR into the TV.
    My VCR is powered on and is currently set on channel 3. My Denon is switched to VCR1 where I have S-Video and audio composite cables going from my VCR. Needless to say, everything is working fine. Sound does come through all of my speakers provided the Denon and VCR are both on. I don't have a problem with this at all.
    Question: The box has an S-Video out/audio outs.
    I want to reap the best possible picture quality I possibly can. Where do I take the S-Video and audio outs from the cable box? To the back of my Denon?
    I have VCR1 being used for my VCR.
    I have VCR2 being used for my Ninteno Gamecube.
    The input on my Denon marked as "TV/DBS" was previously used for watching "regular" TV without any cable box.
    An S-Video cable went from my TV to the MONITOR OUT on my Denon. I had a set of audio cables going to the TV input on my Denon. I had no cable box before. I turned on the TV. I turned on my Denon. And voila. Sound out of all of my speakers. This is all irrelevant now due to this new cable box scenario.
    Help? How can I use the S-Video out of this cable box?
    Scott.
     
  6. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Whoa. One more thing. I just checked the back of the cable box again...

    There is a digital coax audio out!!! Can I use this as well???

    I appreciate any other additional input.

    Scott.
     
  7. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    0
    Audio out from the TV to the receiver is a valid option. The TV may have fixed audio outputs, which are useful to use especially when one has multiple sources feeding the TV. Otherwise, one would have to support either multiple sources feeding the receiver or use a source as an aggregator for other sources. The TV audio output is also useful if one still uses the TV's speakers at times, and can be used as such without powering up the receiver.

    I currently use this scheme to accommodate both a cable box and a VCR. I use a coax video splitter to feed both, and since the cable box and VCR are by the TV, I need only one pair of analog audio cables to run from the TV to my controller.

    There seem to be a few different possibilities for both video and audio configurations in Scott's setup. I'm not going to get into them, but instead will bring up a couple of points:

    - It is not a given that the S-Video output from the cable box will be better than other outputs provided. I would suggest that the S-Video out be compared to other outputs fed into both the TV and the S-VHS VCR. One important aspect about converting the video is the comb filtering being performed. It's possible that feeding composite video to the VCR or the TV may result in higher quality, largely due to the comb filtering provided in these vs the cable box. [The comb filtering would be performed in the cable box if the output is S-Video. The comb filtering would be performed in the VCR if the VCR is fed composite by the cable box and the VCR output is S-Video. The comb filtering would be performed in the TV if the TV is fed composite by the cable box (or the VCR).] Major question: What video outputs does the cable box provide in addition to S-Video?

    For all of the above (except typically a coax feed), you can have the receiver do the video switching for you.

    One point about the audio - I didn't see a mention about digital audio output. I assume that a cable box supporting digital service will have a digital audio output jack (in addition to an analog output pair). That should feed the receiver. I do not know if such cable boxes typically support the sound onto the digital output for all programming, though (i.e., for all 2 channel source matierial in addition to DD 5.1, which I would expect some programs to support). I assume the answer would be yes.

    Doug
     
  8. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. The cable box *does* have a digital coax audio out.

    2. Aside from S-Video, it also has a standard composite video out.

    3. So... with that said, can I just take the digital coax audio out from the cable box to my denon? And I assume I can also take the s-video out from my cable box into my Denon and let my receiver do the video switching? Will I then be able to turn off my VCR?

    4. The picture quality right now isn't too bad. It appears to be a bit grainy and some channels do look a bit better than others.

    I'm sorry for all of the stupid questions. I'm not sure why this seems so difficult for me to understand. :b I'm gonna run to best buy to purchase an s-video cable. I don't even have one lying around, I guess that's one reason for all the questions. I don't wanna buy the cable if it's superfluous. It just seems as though I'm not using any of the right video switching that I should be. I have coax cables doing all of the work.

    scott.
     
  9. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2001
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    I wud hold off buying S-Video fror the cablebox output, unless yopu are impelled to test.

    I just connected my AT&T converter box (no S-Video, no digital audio outputs) and will make a few comments.
    Doug has the best handle on this so far.

    1. I do not use the cablebox RF OUT to VCR IN. Rather, I use the cablebox Audio (R/W) and Video (composite in my case) to my JVC S-VHS VCR inputs because I find the VCR comb filter/tuner superior.

    2. VCR S-Video and audio cable to receiver as originally set up.

    3. I added a 75 ohm coax splitter at cable from the wall: One leg to (surge protector and) cablebox; Second leg direct to tv ANT or RF IN. The latter allows two options as noted above: (a) switch to appropriate tv video input mode and use tv speakers. (b) run tv Audio Out to rcvr's d-TV IN (either from a Fixed Audio Out or turn OFF tv spkr option).

    I figure the coax splitter will allow recording one pgm via cablebox and VCR whiule watchining another via split input, because I'm not sure I can do that thru the cable box/VCR and VCR's vcr/tv toggle on the remote; this needs testing.

    One other thing I found, I chose Chl 4 for my set ups (Chl 4 switch on VCR rear panel; tv manually set to Chl 4) and then I found I had to set the JVC VCR to the LINE 1 (or IN) position for the picture.

    I also find digital band audio produces SUPERB 2-chl stereo imaging, compared to previous cabletv stereo or Dolby Prologic processing. The 45 chls of "digital" or DMX music are nicely dynamic, too.
     
  10. Kevin_W

    Kevin_W Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,
    Lot's of good info in this thread. Our configs are quite similar in that I have a Denon that switches between a VCR, cable box, and an XBOX. I'll show you how I do it, and hopefully it'll get you started.
    Like you now, I have the RF feed from the wall to my monster 3500 to my cable box to my vcr and finally to my TV. This takes care of my occasional need of not wanting to turn on the Denon just to hear audio.
    For the Home Theater side of things, I run svideo for my cable box, vcr, and XBOX (well I run the xbox component now, but at one point it was s-video). I let the Denon handle all my switching needs. I simply run composite audio and s-video from the cable box to the TV/DBS input (you may not need to run those audio cables if you are going to use the digital coax out). I run composite audio and s-video from my VCR to the VCR1 input. I used to s-video from the XBOX to the VDP input(VCR2 in your case with the gamecube). One SVideo cable out from the Denon to the Sony's Video1 and viola, everything is set. This allows me to switch between any of those devices to get the audio via the Denon and video via the Sony. When I am not using the Denon, I simply switch to the TV input on the Sony (as opposed the Video1) and there is audio and video via the RF feed.
    Doug_B is absolutely correct in that S-Video doesn't always mean the best video and read his thoughts on that. You may find that using the composite video out on the cable box to the VCR then out Svideo from there might yield better results, but I would get everything set and settled into the Denon first, then trying the other configs from there.
    As far as the digital coax audio on the cable box goes, simply plug it into an available digital coax input on the Denon and then you have to go into the setup menu on the Denon assign the digital coax input you used to the TV/DBS input. Lucky you with that feature on your cable box. [​IMG]
    Hope this helps!
    Kevin
     
  11. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay. here we go.
    I took the S-Video cable from my VCR. I used the cable to go from my cable box to the input marked "TV/DBS" on my receiver. I ran a park of audio cables from the cable box to same audio input on my receiver.
    The picture quality is phenomenally better. There is a definite increase in picture quality!! The graininess I mentioned earlier is no longer apparent and some channels are crystal clear...
    I did attempt to run a single composite audio cable from the digital coax audio output on the cable box to a digital coax input on my receiver. It *does* work but with the programming I've got, it's only available with the digital music channels. All other programming is an analog audio signal.
    With that said, I'll simply purchase a new s-video cable to replace the one I snatched from my VCR to use for my cable box.
    I haven't even *attempted* to begin recording anything, as I am deathly afraid of the consequences. Be advised, I have a girlfriend who lives for TV on certain nights, too. Not being able to tape Buffy or Dawson's Creek or Angel while she's at work could mean hazardous consequences to my health. [​IMG]
    Does it sound like with the way I currently have this hooked up that this is the way to go??
    Scott.
     
  12. Kevin_W

    Kevin_W Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    Looks good! That setup is almost identical to the setup in my system. Clean and easy to manage. Have fun!

    Kevin
     
  13. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kevin, Bill, and Doug:
    Hey you guys. Thanks so much for all of the input. I really, really appreciate all of the help. I don't know why I was sitting here second guessing myself when all I had to do, like Kevin said, was just start plugging the cable box into my Denon receiver!
    I want to stress again that I honestly am quite surprised by the picture quality of certain channels with this Time Warner Digital Cable. I always thought it was a hoax! But man, MTV, VH1, Discovery, and ESPN are all phenomenal!! [​IMG] My bro has TWDC and I don't think his channels look nearly as good. *shrug*
    I'm gonna run over to Best buy and get that S-Video cable I took from my VCR. Be advised: I may have additional questions when it comes to recording. God help me. hahahaha... [​IMG]
    Scott.
     

Share This Page