Help with what connections to make

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Rob White, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Fellas,

    I've got a subwoofer and a center channel arriving tomorrow and now I'll have 5.1 sound in my living room. I want to be ready with the correct wires, though.

    This involves:
    an Onkyo 502 receiver
    a Samsung LCD HDTV
    an Xbox 360 (which serves as my DVD player also)
    my HDTB cablebox (Motorola)

    I'm ok with how to hook up the speaker and subwoofer.

    Up until now, I've had the cablebox's and the Xbox 360's video and audio going to the tv (without passing through the receiver). I then have a RCA red&white cable running from tv out to the receiver to give me sound.

    I assume that this is not going to give me the best sound with my 5.1 system. So a few questions:

    1) Should I just buy a digital optical cord and run it from tv out to the receiver? Will that give me 5.1 sound? TV has digital optical out, but not in. Motorola HDTV box has optical out, but I can't run it to the tv, because the tv doesn't have optical in.

    2) So, should I just end up running the Xbox 360 and the Motorola HDTV cable box to the receiver? The receiver has "video switching," but I have no experience with video switching. I assume that I would need to run:
    •the HDTV video to the receiver
    •the HDTV audio optical (need to buy one) to the receiver
    •the Xbox 360's connections (3 for component video, but just red&white for audio) to the receiver {That brings up a whole different question: How can I get 5.1 digital sound out of the 360 with only the red/white cord?}
    •a component video cord (have to buy one) from the receiver to the tv

    So.... What's your suggestion? Anything else to think about?

    Follow up question: Why would my tv have a optical digital audio out, but not one for input?

    Thanks in advance for your help,
    Rob
     
  2. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Also, when it comes to cords, I don't want to spend tons of money. What would be my best bet for inexpensive component video and digital optial audio cords?

    I have Radio Shack, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. near me. I'd rather not have to order online because I'm anxious to hear/see things tomorrow rather than waiting.

    Can I save that much on cords through the internet?

    What should I do?
     
  3. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Just did a little more research and now I see a digital optical audio out that is tucked into the AV cord for my 360. So at least that much is cleared up.
     
  4. Matt Lagana

    Matt Lagana Extra

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    Component from 360 and cable box to tv...Fiber optic/digital coax from both to receiver. If U want to use the rec. video switching, component from both to it and comp. out to tv in...audio stays the same

    Matt
     
  5. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    So Matt,

    I could send audio optic to the receiver (from 360 and cable box) and still send video from 360 and cable box to the tv? Is there an advantage to sending using the video switching on the receiver or should I just keep sending them to the tv like I am?

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  6. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    You must send the digital audio out (optical or coax) from the source to the receiver in order to get true 5.1 channel surround sound. Which means the audio switching must be done on the receiver.

    As for the video, you can switch the video from the TV as you are currently doing, or you can use the receiver. If you use the receiver to switch the video, you would be switching both audio and video on the receiver. Many people do this because it's more convenient this way.
     
  7. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    The digital ouput from the TV is for over-the-air digital TV, which has sound via Dolby Digital just like DVD. Of course, just like DVD, it can be mono just as easily as 5.1.
    If you have two component inputs on your TV, there is no reason to use the video switching on your reciever, unless you like the remote control better or something. In any case, you should run digital audio connections from the cable box, the X-Box, and -- if you recieve over-the-air TV -- the television, to the reciever. There's no point in sending audio to the TV unless you really like the sound of those tinny speakers.
     
  8. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    The TX-SR502 has two component inputs. One is called DVD, the other, V1/V2/V3. There are three optical digital ins (OPT1, OPT2, OPT3), and a coaxial digital in.

    So, hook up the XBox's Component outs to DVD. Hook the optical out to OPT1. Press the DVD Input button. Then use the Digital Input button to activate OPT1.

    Turn off the receiver.
    Hook up the STB Component outs to V1/V2/V3. Hook the optical output to OPT2. Press V1. Use the Digital Input Button to activate OPT2.

    Turn off the receiver.
    Hook the Component out to a suitable input on your TV.

    You should probably tell your XBox and STB to output Dolby Digital/DTS (it's often called "bitstream"), instead of just PCM.
    If you ever use the TV's built in tuner, you can string a wire from the optical out to OPT3, and activate that (assigning it to e.g. "V2"), as well.

    i don't believe that the 502's remote supports macros. I ended up replacing it with a Harmony, anyway.
     
  9. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Fellas,

    I think that's pretty much what I was planning. I guess I don't really like the idea of needing to use one remote to switch the video signal and then another for the audio. On a typical evening, I'm switching a good bit. I also like to use PIP between my 360 and the over-the-air HD signal I can get with an antenna.

    Eventually, maybe I'll go for a Harmony. Can you set it up to handle PIP? With my Sony (in another room), it's much easier to control PIP (swap quickly, change which picture is producing audio, etc.).

    Thanks guys. I guess I'll start fiddlin' around.

    Rob
     
  10. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys,

    Almost everything went great.

    Got a great picture from both the cable box and the 360 using video switching on the receiver. Getting great sound, except for one thing.

    Here's the problem. I'm getting no sound from my center channel (on 360, tv, or cds).

    •I've never had a center speaker hooked up to the receiver before, so I guess it could be the receiver.
    •When I try the brand new center speaker in the right front spot, it works fine.
    •I've gone into the receiver set-up menu and set my center to large. I even tried "small."
    •I was in "Dobly Digital" with Xbox and nothing from the center.
    •I tried switching the wires going into "+" and "-" on the speaker, but still no sound.
    •Even when I use the receiver's menu to do speaker test tones, I still get nothing.
    •I can't actually see the back of the receiver when I put the center speaker wires back there, but I'm working from a picture in the manual that I downloaded off of the internet.

    I'm way too tired and fried from dealing with it..... Any thoughts. I'll read when I get up in the morning.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  11. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    You should get sound from your center speaker with the test tones generated from your receiver. Since you aren't, it could be....speaker wires not connected to reciever and/or back of speaker, you might also have a bad speaker, or perhaps you don't have your reciever SETUP for 5.1 sound/speakers. Recheck your setup to eleiminate those possibilities. BTW it could also be your source not having information/signal to send to the center channel.
     
  12. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Reginald,

    I forgot to write that I had tried the new center speaker at another location and it worked fine. So it's not the speaker.

    It was such a pain in the butt to hook the speaker wire into the back of the receiver (25 minutes while proping (sp?) up the other components with my forearm). I really hate to try it again. I don't know how I could have screwed that up. It's just two wires in two spots and they are in there tightly.

    My fear is that it's a receiver problem. I bought it last summer as an open box at Circuit City and I probably never tested the center hookup, because I didn't have a center channel at the time.

    Guess all that's left to do is try a different wire.

    If that doesn't work then I'm going to have to unplug all the crap and yank out the receiver to try when I can see everything.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     

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