DVD connection question

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Michael_Sch, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Michael_Sch

    Michael_Sch Auditioning

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    I have a new Onkyo HT-R510 receiver (came with the Onkyo HTIB system) and a new Mitsubishi DD-8040 DVD player. I've got optical audio connected from the DVD player to the receiver.

    At the store where I purchased it, the salesman told me that despite using the optical audio connection, I should also hook up the 5.1 CH Audio out jacks to the receiver. But, when the delivery people came, they said that I should only hook up the optical audio, as the 5.1 CH Audio connections would be superfluous or maybe even override the optical connection.

    Can someone help with this? Is there some reason to hook up both connections? What is the purpose of the 5.1 CH output if I've got the digital optical connection?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    I have the DD-8040 as well and I have it connected with both the analog 5 channel RCAs and a digital coax. You can use 5 ch outputs for Dolby Digital and obviously DVD-A but not for DTS. For DVD viewing, I always use the digital output because I use DTS whenever possible. I have yet to purchase a DVD-A disc but I have it set up, nonetheless. The only reason you would need to hook up both connections is if you intend to use the DVD-A feature. If you only plan to use the DD-8040 for DVD viewing only, you need only connect it digitally. It won't "over ride" the digital connection because you set the inputs on the AV receiver. In most cases, I've found much better advice on the HTF than I have from salespeople.
     
  3. Michael_Sch

    Michael_Sch Auditioning

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    Mark -

    Slow down. I think this is part of my problem. While I generally understand what I just set up, I think my problem stems from an incomplete understanding of what this whole thing is capable of. The video components I figured out, but the audio is making my head hurt.

    What the heck is DVD-A? Is that another sound option? I'm having a bit of trouble understanding what sound options I need to use when listening to DVDs. DTS is the most "advanced" setting, right? I set my receiver (I think) to use it whenever it is available.

    The other thing that the sales guy told me is that the Mitsubishi 8040 plays Super Audio CDs (SACD) and that the 5.1 connections optimize that playback. Again, what is SACD? And what do I have that will use it?

    I bought the Mitsubishi on recommendations from this site because of the chip that runs the thing (the name escapes me now - you can see I'm no expert on this stuff! Ha!). Now I've got features I don't understand but am trying to optimize.

    Thanks again for the help!

    Michael
     
  4. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    Michael,
    Ok, I will try and slow it down for you. DVD-A is a multi channel audio format. It has nothing to do w/regular DVD video playback. If you do not plan to use this feature, I would suggest connecting only an optical or digital coaxial cable for your audio output. The salesperson was wrong about SACD, (another multichannel audio format competing w/DVD-A....think VHS vs. Beta) the DD-8040 is not capable of it.

    If all you are looking for is DVD video playback, connect the optical out to the Onkyo's optical in. That will take care of all your 5.1 Dolby Digital/DTS needs. Thats it, just one audio cable is needed.

    DTS isn't any more "advanced" than DD, its just a little different. There are numerous threads about the comparison in the HTF, just do a search. The chip you are referring to is the Faroudja DCDi deinterlacer. If you are taking advantage of the progressive scan capabilities of the DD-8040, then it will make a big difference w/video based DVDs (TV shows, DVD extras, concerts, music videos) and improperly flagged DVDs. If any of that sounds confusing, don't worry, we all have to start somewhere. I knew next to nothing about Home Theater before I joined HTF and I think I've come a long way. Read as much as you can and all of it will begin to make sense. I hoped this info helped and welcome to the HTF. If have any other questions, feel free to ask!
     
  5. Michael_Sch

    Michael_Sch Auditioning

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    Mark -

    Thanks again. I actually am going to use the DVD player as my main CD player as well. Will the optical audio cable work for that, or is that where the 5.1 channel inputs come into play?
     
  6. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    Yes, you can use the digital output for CD playback. Thats how I've been using mine. Depending on your AV receiver, you may have to change the surround format to 2 channel(the two fronts plus your sub) or Pro-Logic II music mode. I have a Harmon Kardon and it locks into 2 channel for regular CD playback using the digital output. The 5.1 outputs are really only useful for DVD-A discs. If you try to playback regular CDs using the 5.1 outputs, it doesn't sound very good. I tried it.
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    A digital connection should provide you with DD/DTS streams from DVDs, and PCM from CDs. The analog outputs *must* be used if you intend to listen to DVD-Audio discs, or you will not be getting the high-res audio. It does not seem like this is something you will pursue, and IMO, I don't think you'd notice a huge difference with an htib anyway.

    You should be fine with the optical connection for the time being unless you intend to explore DVD-A.
     

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