Need help hooking Tivo unit up to home theater setup

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Tomlin, Aug 26, 2001.

  1. Mark Tomlin

    Mark Tomlin Agent

    May 21, 2001
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    I purchased a Sony SVR-2000 today and I am looking into incorporating it into my existing home theater setup. I have searched on this site, checked the Sony owners’ manual and called Sony customer service, and was unable to find a solution to my problem. I am trying to find the proper way to hook up my Tivo and still be able to enjoy the benefits of Dolby Digital playback through my satellite receiver. I realize the Sony Tivo unit does not have a digital output so I’m not sure if this is possible. My goal is to achieve the highest possible audio and video quality available by adding Tivo to my setup.
    My current setup is this:
    Denon AVR-3801 A/V receiver
    Sony A50 satellite receiver (with digital output)
    Sony DVP-360 DVD player (with digital output)
    Sony VCR (standard, not S-VHS)
    Sony SVR-2000 Digital Network Recorder (Tivo)
    My current connections for my system:
    DSS receiver to A/V receiver
    Audio- Digital out to Optical Input using TOS link (fiber optic) cable
    Video- Video out to TV/DBS using S-Video cable
    DVD to A/V receiver
    Audio- Optical out to Optical In using TOS link cable
    Video- S-Video out (1) to DVD In using S-Video cable
    A/V Receiver to TV
    Monitor out to Video In using S-Video cable
    My television basically acts as a monitor only and everything (satellite, DVD, CD player) but my VCR is routed through my Denon receiver. My VCR is currently not hooked up but I would eventually like to be able to transport and tape Tivo recordings to my VCR. As mentioned, the VCR is not S-VHS so I would not be able to run it through the A/V receiver without compromising video quality on my DBS and DVD viewing by having to use component cables.
    Does anyone have any ideas or recommendations for the best possible hookup configuration to add Tivo to my system without sacrificing audio and video quality? A friend suggested I might have to use component cables through out my system, thus nullifying the Dolby Digital capabilities of my Dolby Digital compatible satellite receiver and I would hate to do that. As stated, I am currently using TOS link cables for my audio connections. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

    Dec 15, 1998
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    Hmm, I don't know much about your equipment but I'll tell you how mines hooked up since its similar.
    I have Dish Network receiver that has two sets of outputs, one is composite, stereo, S-Video, and digital, the other just being composite and stereo. I've routed the second to the Tivo, and the S-Video and digital directly to the Cab/Sat hookup on my Yamaha. Then the Tivo hooks via composite to the D-TV input on the receiver. I also have a DVD, LD, VCR and PS2 all hooked up to the receiver so I had some composite sources already. Tthen both composite and S-Video are run from the receiver to the TV. Then if I want to watch something with DD or just in high quality in general I change to the Cab/Sat input on the Yammy, otherwise I just watch everything through the Tivo.
    No matter what, you can't get the TiVo to accept the digital signal, so if you got the connections you can do what I've done. Also the TiVo (Phillips for me) can convert the composite to S-Video. TiVo's going to degrade your signal anyways, so if you have limited outputs on the sat, hook the stereo and composite to the TiVo and the digital and S-Video to the receiver, assuming your recevier has the inputs.
  3. Mike Lang

    Mike Lang Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 5, 2000
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  4. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

    Apr 26, 1999
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    I think your best bet is to return the standalone Tivo model for a DirecTivo combination model. This is a combination DirecTV receiver/PVR; both Sony and Philips
    make models. Only these combo models will record DD, they also give the best picture quality/space consumed ratio since they are recording satellite data directly rather than reencoding an analog conversion. Also, in the next month or so they are supposed to get a free software update that allows simultaneous recording of two shows.
    The only reason not to do this, IMO, is if you have local channels that you need to record, available only through cable / antenna, not via satellite. Combo models record
    satellite only, nothing else. In this case you have to sacrifice DD when watching via the Tivo. (Can bypass it to watch live).
    [Edited last by Stephen Tu on August 28, 2001 at 06:35 PM]
  5. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

    Jan 10, 2000
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    Mark- I second what Stephen said above. Take your Tivo unit back and buy a DirecTivo instead. I don't have DirecTV, but I do have the Dish Network PVR, which I just purchased a week or so ago (partially due to responses on this forum). Not only will you get the digital audio, but you'll probably also have better video since your signal won't have to be converted from digital to analog back to digital again. So you'll get better audio and better video with a combo DirecTivo rather than a stand-alone Tivo unit along with your DirecTV receiver. I've only used my Dish PVR to record a couple of programs, but I am very impressed with the video quality compared to a standard VCR. Not having to mess with tapes is certainly a bonus as well.
    So return your standalone Tivo, buy a DirecTivo instead (you might even be able to get a good price from a DirecTV dealer), and enjoy the convenience of tapeless recording along with great audio and video quality.
    Steve K.

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