Need Help with Setup!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Pat Costello, May 1, 2002.

  1. Pat Costello

    Pat Costello Auditioning

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    [​IMG] I just purchased my first home theater system. The setup instructions are very minimal & hard to follow. I would appreciate any help forum members may offer. Please forgive my ignorance!
    Here's what I've got:
    Sony STR-K740P Receiver with Optical, Coax, and composite inputs.
    Sony DVP-S360 DVD player with Component Video, S Video, Optical, and Coax Outputs.
    A really cheap RCA VCR that does not have stereo output (yeah, I know - it needs to go!)
    A Toshiba 27A40 36" TV with RCA and S Video inputs.
    (I know this is not a top of the line system - but it was a big investment for me...)
    Can anyone give me a step-by-step description of how to hook these up? For instance - from the DVD Player - what should I connect to the Receiver? the Optical Out? Should I connect the S Video to the TV??
    Any help is greatly appreciated![​IMG]
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    DVD - Optical or Coax to the rec (Coax only requires a yellow video cable) and S-vid to the TV.

    If the TV can do the video switching, send the VCR there, too. I dunno about that audio. I never use the VCR anymore myself.

    Some TV's ignore the composite inputs if the s-vid is being used. My old Mitsu does that...annoying.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. Pat Costello

    Pat Costello Auditioning

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    Thank you Colin!
    Appreciate the help. I think one of the problems I'm having is that the TV does not see the composite video when the S video is connected. That explains some things...
    So, you're suggesting that I allow the TV to switch video sources rather than the Receiver... I'll give that a try.
    Any recommendations if it turns out that S video takes over the TV & it won't see the VCR? Short of unplugging S video every time we want to use it?
    (the only thing we really use the thing for is my 5 year olds collection of disney...)
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Pat, that would be a definite bummer if your TV can't choose between the inputs (or a great excuse for another upgrade!). There may be a solution, however. There are converters for composite to S-vid, I believe. (in fact, I think there's another thread current here on HTF that asks about such).

    With such a converter you could adapt your VCR's output to S-vid, run it to your receiver (along with the DVD output), and then S-vid from the receiver to your TV.

    You could do some quick searches to get ideas for inexpensive sources of basic cabling. Some standard recommendations include Acoustic Research Pro series cables (can be found locally, or online at accessories4less.com) and Radio Shack gold series cables. I generally prefer Acoustic Research Pro cables myself, but I can't say it's because they sound different (they don't to my ears)--just prefer the construction.

    For audio connections, run either digital optical or digital coaxial (I'd do whichever is easier/cheaper) from your DVD player to your receiver. Run normal audio interconnects (RCA's) from your VCR to your receiver. You shouldn't need to run any audio cabling to your TV.

    BTW, are you using cable, satellite, etc.? Do you plan to hook that up to your receiver as well?

    The JVC 7800/7900 S-VHS VCR's are a pretty good buy and provide outstanding picture and sound quality, if you're looking to replace your VCR at some point.
     
  5. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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  6. Pat Costello

    Pat Costello Auditioning

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    Thanks Mike!

    While you were writing your message, I was tinkering with my system.

    It's working now. Here's where I'm at:

    S Vid from DVD to TV.

    Optical from DVD to Receiver.

    VCR directly to TV.

    TV audio out to Receiver to get at least stereo sound from VCR & TV.

    I am able to select vid inputs on TV. S Vid is automatically Video 1, so I ran the VCR to TV on Video 2.

    Seems to be working well. the downside is that I now have to keep track of sources on both the TV for Video, and the Receiver for audio. Won't be a problem for me, but my wife on the other hand...

    Thanks for the recommendation on the VCR. We'll see what happens... over time we may decide to stick with DVD's.

    You asked about cable or satellite. I'm using cable. Currently it is connected directly to the TV via the cable wiring...

    Can I connect it to the Receiver? Is this a good reason to switch to digital cable?? What do you know?
     
  7. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Pat,
    Glad it's all working for you. [​IMG] This stuff can be a bit complicated at first, can't it? Have you seen the back of some of the current fancier receiver/processors? Scares the pants off of some people, all the connection points. [​IMG]
    A couple thoughts for you.
    One, you could use a Pronto remote or similar to handle all the appropriate switching when selecting a source (heck, just put in icons labelled VCR, TV, DVD on the screen and then configure them to pass all the IR codes). Makes it much easier for less remote-oriented family members. [​IMG] Do a search here on HTF for "Pronto" for more info (and other options).
    Two, you could probably run your cable into a VCR, let the VCR change channels, and take video from the VCR to your TV and audio from the VCR to receiver. With a good VCR this works fine (worked great with my JVC 9800). Perhaps your "really cheap" VCR would degrade the signal a bit though. Just wanted to mention this type of hookup as a possibility.
    Three, digital cable may or may not improve things. There's at least one other thread here at HTF, probably multiple, discussing the pro's and con's of digital cable--it'd be good to look at them first before jumping in, so that your expectations are in line. I'm using digital cable myself and loving it, but not all cable systems are providing set-top boxes with S-vid and digital audio outputs. Alternately, if you just wanted a set-top box, maybe a regular old cable set-top box would suffice? Do these have audio out jacks?
    With a device like the Pronto, it doesn't matter that much which remote chooses sources or changes channels--you'd just use the pronto for all of that. So perhaps, in terms of simplifying operation, a Pronto (or other macro-capable remote) would be preferable to digital cable, etc.
     
  8. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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  9. Pat Costello

    Pat Costello Auditioning

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    Mike - thanks a ton!

    I'll check out the remote & digital cable issues... I can see that having S video & quality audio would make cable viewing even better. I've got AT&T broadband - I'll check it out...

    Appreciate all your help!
     

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