How do I get cable TV in surround mode?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve Spain, Dec 31, 2002.

  1. Steve Spain

    Steve Spain Auditioning

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    Hey guys, sorry for what's probably a stupid question. But I hooked up my new Kenwood VR-6060 reciever and Infinity HTS-20 speakers a week or two ago and am a little confused on this. I have evrything else working perfectly, DVD's sound amazing, the FM tuner is working through all the speakers like I want, but while watching regular old cable tv, all I have is the front speakers. And even that I think is nothing more than the center channel really. I flipped through every mode on the reciever, and the only way I could get anything out of the rear speakers was to go into SCII Mono mode. Not exactly what I was hoping for. If a movie like Jurassic Park III is on HBO, shouldn't that be in surround with this setup? I did notice one thing late last night that I haven't had a chance to play with yet. Every Input on the reciever(Video 2, DVD, Tuner, etc...) says AUTO when I switch to it, except Video 1, which ofcourse is what I'm using for TV. Not sure if I messed that up somehow while playing around, but could that be the problem?
     
  2. Aaron Whitaker

    Aaron Whitaker Stunt Coordinator

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    Dolby Pro Logic 2 is what I use for regular TV and cable. It works great for me especially sports where the crowd comes in the rears and laugh tracks on tv shows where the laughing comes in the rears.
     
  3. Patrick TX

    Patrick TX Stunt Coordinator

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    Does your cable box have an active digital audio out, optical or coax? If so, run it. I use pro logic for most TV as well.
     
  4. Bernie Lomax

    Bernie Lomax Agent

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    I think most cable boxes have only one output, and that is the antenna type coax cable. I have a dish network reciever and that doesnt have a digital audio output either.

    Pro Logic should decode it as stated above.
     
  5. Steve Spain

    Steve Spain Auditioning

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    I don't think there is any audio out on the cable box at all. I'll play around with the PLII settings today when I get home. I sure hope it's something stupid I missed.

    Thanks guys
     
  6. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve, when I had cable, I had to run my cable through my hifi vcr, then use coax to go from the vcr to the tv, and use rca cables to send the stereo signal from the vcr to the receiver. You might want to give that a shot.
     
  7. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Wouldn't the coax from the vcr to the tv provide stereo, and thus Prologic II?

    I have a plain old antenna with a coax and The Simpsons, among other things, has three channel front sound, with the rears being less distinct.
     
  8. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve:
    Need more info to properly answer your question.

    How have you connected the TV sound to your receiver? Does your TV have stereo jacks out? Does your VCR have stereo jacks out? Do you have a cable set top box? What connections out does it have?
     
  9. Steve Spain

    Steve Spain Auditioning

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    OK, just spent about 2 hours playing with connections and here's what I learned and what I still need to know.
    First off, my setup...
    Sony KP53V90 (or something like that) Big screen TV
    Kenwood VR-6060 Reciever
    Older JVC VCR
    Jerrold cable box.
    Right now I have the cable line split at the wall. 1 side goes into the cable box, then out to the TV. I have the RCA audio out going into Video 2 on the Kenwood. Apparently this setup works fine and creates the surround sound I was looking for. But the second side of the cable splitter goes into the VCR, which then goes into the TV to give me PIP. That sound is nothing more than the center channel, which is what I had before. I tried running from the audio out of the VCR into the reciever, but it makes no difference. This is where I'm having my problems. Is there a way to get surround from the VCR? Is my VCR just too old? I am looking at getting a TiVo soon. If I go from the cable box, into the TiVo, then into the TV, will that still be in surround? I'd like to have either a VCR or a Tivo in there somwhere so I can record premium channels. Any ideas?
    Oh, the VCR only has rca input/outputs.
    Need more (or less) info [​IMG]
    Thanks for all the help guys, I do appreciate this.
     
  10. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    I don't want to sound dumb around here but is your vcr a stereo vcr? If not & it's monaural that could answer the surround sound problem on the vcr.
     
  11. Bill Bradstreet

    Bill Bradstreet Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't answer the whole question as I don't bother with PIP. I have a digital cable box, which might be a bit different than your setup too.

    So, I have RCA cables going from the cable box to my pre/pro. I have an coax cable going from the cable box to my pre/pro. I have an s-video going from my cable box to my pre/pro. I have component video going from my cable box to my HDTV.

    So, when watching analog cable channels, I use the pre/pro to do my video/audio switching. I get DPLii sound this way. When I watch digital cable 1080i channels, I flip to the component video & optical audio cables to get high quality video & dolby digital sound.

    When you say you only get the center channel sound, I get confused. Do you have any problems getting surround sound when watching a VHS tape?

    I apologize if I missed something. It has been a long day.
     
  12. Steve Spain

    Steve Spain Auditioning

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    Hmm, you know. I just looked again, and I never even thought about it, but I wonder if the VCR is not a stereo unit. All it says it dual output, but the audio jacks are white only, no red anywhere. That could be a pretty simple solution to all of this. [​IMG] VHS tapes play the same way that the tv sounds when going through the VCR, so it has to be the problem. Maybe I'll just pick up a Tivo. Hmm, do Tivo's have a tuner in them? Right now I am using the VCR as the second tuner for PIP. Will I be able to do that with a Tivo? Is there something better than Tivo coming out soon? Either way, I think the VCR is the problem. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. Sometime's you get so wrapped up in stuff, you miss the easy answer.
     
  13. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  14. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve:

    Your big screen Sony should have audio out jacks at the back. Try connecting these to a set of stereo in jacks on the receiver.

    Wayne
     
  15. jeff_str

    jeff_str Auditioning

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  16. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    "Just about all VCR's ONLY output mono through the coax, whether they are stereo/HiFi or not."

    I have my coax from an outside antenna connected directly to my TV, then my TVs left and rights are connected to my receiver. Is there a better way to make this connection?
     
  17. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    That's pretty much the best way (unless you need some elaborate setup because you have five VCRs or something); as long as those outputs are "fixed-level" and not variable. Changing the volume on the TV should not change the volume coming through the receiver's speakers.

    //Ken
     
  18. mike_frontier

    mike_frontier Supporting Actor

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    Yea when i watch cable I just go into the video mode selection on my receiver (amp) and then go to ProLogicII and there is my surround sound.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Ken, but I'm confused about one part of your response:

    "Changing the volume on the TV should not change the volume coming through the receiver's speakers."

    But it does. By running the coax through the TV, and the TVs left and right outs to my reciever, I am setting up the TV as the master controler, if you will, of the volume level. So if I turn up the volume on the TV, the sound from the speakers hooked up to my receiver will get louder.
    Why is this bad?
    I generally try to leave the TV volume at the same level and just increase system volume if I want it louder.
     
  20. Steve Spain

    Steve Spain Auditioning

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    When I first setup my system, I had it the same way cause I didn't know that it could be turned off. It was driving me nuts cause I had to first increase the TV volume, then match that reciever to it. It was horrible. Luckily after about 2 hours I started playing with the TV setup and found the option for the speaker. Changed it from Variable to Fixed and all my was better. [​IMG] On my Sony setting it to Fixed mutes the TV speaker and removes any control from it. Now all voume is changed by the reciever like it should be. Plus you don't want that unmatched TV speaker getting in the way of everything else. Set it to Fixed and enjoy.[​IMG]
     

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