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Need advise with a very modest 5.1 system (1 Viewer)

Steve_Ch

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
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978
Hi folks, I am a long time member of the forum, but I've been pretty much in the "software (read: movies DVDs, ..)" side of things, so this is really the first time I venture into the hardware area..

I moved into this house over a couple years ago and it had been prewired (more about that later) with 4 in wall speakers, a TV area and a receiver/sat/dvd/vcr block area.

The TV and the receiver area is wired with standard coax (now connected to a dvd/vcr and Dishnet Sat box, RF, of course) and two pair of speaker cables (yet unused), and the inwalls are wired with 4 pairs to the receiver block.

To keep things real simple, I brought an Onkyo TX-SR304 (a 5.1), connected the 4 speakers to it and I have a center channel coming, which will be connected to one of the speaker pairs in the TV area and to the Onkyo.

Now, I have two questions:
1. Currently, audio is coming out of both my Onkyo and TV (as the connection is RF), can I use the existing coax to transport video only?

2. I am also looking for a little active sub, any recommendations? Can active subs these days be connected to the Onkyo using standard speaker pair (I think the Onkyo has some kind of RCA connection for the sub)?

Thanks, and any addiional recommendation and/or comments are welcome.
 

Robert_J

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2000
Messages
8,350
Location
Mississippi
Real Name
Robert
1. If you have a single RG-59 or RG-6 cable carrying your RF signal, it can be converted to a composite video cable by replacing the F connectors with RCA plugs or using an F to RCA adapter.
2a. You don't mention size constraints or a budget so I recommend the Elemental Designs A7-900. 1,300w amp powering a pair of 18" high excursion drivers.
2b. Yes they can. You just add RCA plugs on each end of the speaker wire. Will it work? Seldom. Speaker wire is not shielded so it will pick up any and all interference. Anything from a buzz to actual radio signals but that will vary based on dozens of factors.

-Robert
 

Steve_Ch

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
978
Hi Robert, thanks for the tips, exactly the kind of information that I am looking for. It sounds like my best bet is just to run a sub cable (rather not go through the wall, but in this case, it's probably worth it). The A7-900 is very nice, but over kill for what I have (the Onkyo 5.1 is a $95 bargain...). Thanks again.
 

campark43

Grip
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
16
Real Name
Campbell Park
Hey bud, I've run into many customers with this same problem. Here are your options.

If your tv volume controls the stereo volume, do not use this connection. remove these rca's as they are useless. Sound Quality will be very low and the tv will create an echo when used along with the stereo. Check and see if your tv has an optical audio output use this if it does. Should output a high quality signal even if your tv is on mute. Mine does(although I would never hook up my theatre this way, I'm just telling you that some tv's do have this output.)


get a digital tuner/cable box with digital audio ouptuts. I don't know your details. This should solve your problems. That way you can run video only to the tv, and digital audio to the receiver. With the digital changeover you should get one anyway if your watching ota. Even if your a cable subscriber, you will get more channels and higher picture quality.

Anyway hope that helps, things should be done right the first time. Distortion destroys equipment quickly.
 

Steve_Ch

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
978
Thanks Campell.

Right now, I have optical audio connecting the Sat box to the receiver and Coax audio from DVD/VCR box to receiver. works pretty good. The remaining thing is to get a couple of RF to RCA adapter to use the existing in wall RG as video only transport (rather than RF). In the current setup, I just mute the audio from RF (thru the TV) such that I do not get any echo.

Still looking for a cheapo active sub to give the system a little more kick...
 

campark43

Grip
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
16
Real Name
Campbell Park
Think I understand what your looking to do. So a couple of screw on rca plugs are all you need.
 

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