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Home Theater wiring assistance (1 Viewer)

kmkratky

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Kurt Kratky
I've just revamped my home theater system with all HDMI components. I've got a blu-ray player, a 5-disc changer, cable box all hooked into my Sony AV receiver via HDMI. And, I've got one HDMI cable going between my TV and the AV receiver.

One point of confusion - the user manual for the Sony AV receiver shows a picture where all the components are connected to the AV receiver via HDMI. In the same picture it also shows an optical cable going between the TV and the AV receiver. Why is the optical cable needed here? I was assuming this cable was needed so that I could use my TV's speakers for normal TV watching, w/o the need of always using the theater speakers. But, to achieve that, I thought I could just run the optical cable between the TV and the cable box.

Where am I confused?
 

sptrout

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Steve
The optical cable between the TV and the AVR is used to provide audio, including 5.1 digital audio, from the TV to the AVR if you use OTA (antenna connected to TV). This is a standard setup for those of us that use OTA and other video inputs such as DirecTV, cable, etc.
 

kmkratky

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Kurt Kratky
So, if I don't use OTA, then the HDMI connections between all the components and the AVR is all that is needed?
 

sptrout

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True, but I would recommend that you consider OTA unless it is not possible in your situation. OTA typically will provide the best picture (not including Blu-ray) and if nothing else, provides a backup in case your cable fails.
 

aS man

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Matt
Steve i'm confused.

I was reading this post for some help.

I have a cable box with HDMI a DVD player with HDMI and an XBOX with HDMI.

I plan on buying a receiver with 4 HDMI in and 1 out, 2 optical in and 1 out.

My TV has 2 HDMI slots and 1 optical. DVD and XBOX both have optical,not sure about cable box but most likely.

How do I wire this setup to get the best sound and video? I would still like to be able to watch TV through the TV speakers with receiver off .

Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Matt
 

sptrout

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First let me say that there is no right or wrong way to interconnect a HT system. A lot of it comes down to personal preferences and how you plan to use your system on a daily basis. That said, based on your list of equipment the only device that I believe that you would want the option of either using your TV speakers only, or your AVR, is the cable box. (BTW - - I am not sure about your XBOX since I am not into gaming.)

Therefore, I believe that I would connect all devices that will use the AVR's audio only to the AVR via HDMI. Then connect the output of the AVR to one of the two HDMI inputs on your TV.

For the cable box, I would connect it to the second HDMI input of your TV and connect its optical output to the AVR's optical input. This would allow you to watch TV with only its internal speakers, or through your main AVR audio system.

As I mentioned previously, consider adding OTA to your system. It makes for an excellent backup if (when) your cable fails.

One catch that got me was that the "black level" of one of my devices (Samsung P1400 Blu-ray Player) is considerably different than all my other HDMI devices. The end result of this problem is that it cannot share the same HDMI input into my TV with any other device (it must be on a dedicated HDMI input). Therefore, in my case, the P1400 is the only device that is connected to my AVR because I want to be able to decode all the new HD audio formats in the AVR.
 

aS man

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Does your Onkyo decode all the HD audio formats? Also is your Samsung BR upgradeable? Have you ever had the need to upgrade?

Also wanted to say thanks for taking the time for answering my posts and the info.
 

sptrout

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Yes, my 805 decodes all HD audio formats. As for the P1400, no it is really not upgradeable (1.0 to 1.1 to 2.0), but there have been several firmware upgrades that I have taken the past 14 months. The firmware upgrades have been mainly for fixes, however Samsung never say exactly what a firmware release is suppose to fix. The one exception was about a year ago when a firmware release added DTS-HD MA bitstreaming capability and they did mention that in the release notes.
 

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