Need Help With HTS Setup

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Jay*M, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. Jay*M

    Jay*M Auditioning

    Feb 23, 2006
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    I am a Home Theater newbie and am trying to set up my entire system. Here's what I have:

    Sony KP57WS500 57" rear projection HDTV
    Sony DVP-NC655P 5 disc DVD player
    Denon 1906 AV receiver
    Polk Audio RM20 home theater speaker package
    TiVo Series 2 DVR
    Scientific Atlanta 3100 HD cable box (from Time Warner)
    Monter Power Center HTS 3500

    I tried running my cable first through the Monster Power Center, to the HD cable box, to the TiVo and then to the TV. I have noticed that the TiVo video signal is not as clear as it was before I unhooked everything to install my new receiver and speakers. Any suggestions? Do I need to run my video components through the receiver or is it okay to send them directly to the TV?

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

  2. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

    Dec 2, 2004
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    Real Name:
    Running them through the receiver makes switching easier. The video and audio are switched together. If that is not an issue, run them direct to the TV.
  3. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

    Oct 22, 2005
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    It's actually desirable to to go directly to the TV if you can. However, I think your situation may be a little more complicated that you might have thought about--and TiVo is the problem. Your setup is pretty similar to mine by the way. Basically the trouble is that you've only got one cable box and it has to be in the path for any of the digital channel and premium channels to get to TiVo and/or the TV. To record anything TiVo has to control that box BUT TiVo can't do anything with or even pass the HD programming to the TV so that's a problem if it's controlling the cable box. There are several possible hook-ups with none of them being ideal without an HD capable TiVo.

    Okay first a basic -- need to get TiVo fed a signal to record and an output path to the TV. Input to TiVo can either be from the cable box or you can split the cable from the wall and go to TiVo directly.

    If you feed TiVo from the STB then you can record any standard def channel but TiVo needs to control the box. In this case, from the cable box to TiVo you should use SVideo if possible or composite video cable for the video side. Use standard RCA audio cables for the audio connection from cable box to TiVo. I assume you've got TiVo set up to control the cable box with the IR blaster? Output from TiVo should feed the TV via SVideo (or composite) and feed the receiver via standard RCA connectors. If we stop there it works but you're losing out on the HD stuff off the cable since TiVo can't record it or even pass it so, while that handles standard def TV and playback from TiVo, you need another path to get HD signals to the TV and receiver. One way to do that is run another connection from the cable box to the TV -- component video would be the logical choice since I don't think that set top box has another choice for HD. You'll also need another audio run from the set top box to the TV (digital coax or another RCA pair). That works but the trouble with this is that if TiVo has to control the STB to change channels but if you watch to watch HD programming then you have to control it. That conflict can get very messy.

    Okay, let's go back to the other option to get a signal to TiVo -- feed it the cable directly by passing the STB entirely. The output from TiVo is the same, video to the TV and audio to the receiver. The good news is that all the channel changing conflict goes away--you're using the tuner in TiVo and the STB tuner so you can watch from the STB while TiVo records. BUT TiVo is only going to be able to access the non-premium, analog channels (usually 2-99) for recording.

    Not happy with either? Get a second cable box (doesn't need to be HD capable) and let TiVo "own" that one. That way you're back to being able to watch TV while TiVo records and easy access to the HD stuff TiVo can't handle.

    (Technically, there's yet another way if you TV has the HD tuner built in. You split the cable coming out of the wall and run it to the STB&TiVo combo and to the TV. The trouble with this one is that the HD capabilities of the STB are lost if they pass through TiVo, so I wouldn't go that route.)

    I hope I didn't hopelessly confuse things but it took me awhile to figure things out when I went this route.

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