Need help with TV setup!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AviTevet, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. AviTevet

    AviTevet Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 11, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I just got new speakers and a new receiver for movies, music and TV. This was added to my parent's TV, VCR, and record player that they've had for years.
    The problem is that the volume on the receiver has to be turned way up (-15dB) to get normal listening levels to TV sound, even when the TV volume is way up. That wouldn't be a problem, except that -40dB is normal listening levels for a CD, and we have to crank it way up (+3dB) just to get normal sound from our turntable. So if we're watching TV and someone accidentally hits the button on the remote that switches the source to the tuner our ears get blasted. I want to know if there is a better way to hook this stuff up so that the receiver can be in the -40dB to -28dB range for TV and the record player. All the stuff and how it's connected is listed below.
    The requirements I had for using this system were:
    1. PIP must work
    2. The TV must play sound thru the speakers connected to the amp without requiring the VCR be on
    3. The receiver's OSD functions must work
    The components are:
    Sony TV
    - UHF/VHF input
    - Video 1: S-Video, composite video/audio input
    - Video 2: composite video/audio input + output
    - Speaker output (that spring-loaded kind of connector)
    - composite variable audio output
    Sony VCR
    - UHF/VHF input + output
    - composite video/audio input + output
    H/K 320 receiver
    - virtually everything
    50's record player
    - composite audio output
    Toshiba DVD player
    - digital + composite audio output
    - S-Video + composite + component video output
    (composite == RCA jack, right?)
    So the cable TV goes to the UHF/VHF input in the VCR, and then from the VCR UHF/VHF output to the TV UHF/VHF input. That satisfies 1 and the video portion of 2. Then the variable audio out goes from the TV to the HK, which satisfies the audio portion of 2. The VCR's composite outputs and the DVD's composite outputs are connected to the HK, and the DVD's digital output is connected to the HK. Then the HK's composite video output is connected to the TV's video 2. So that satisfies 3.
    One thing is that if we use the composite outputs of the VCR as sound and video input to the hk and TV, then the sound is much louder, but the VCR only goes up to channel 54 so my dad can't watch the Food Channel [​IMG].
    Oh yeah, one more thing is that we have an extra amp from the 60's lying around that we could use somewhere if necessary (and prudent [​IMG]) but it's not remote controlled so it's like a last resort.
    I'll give anyone a cookie who read this far [​IMG]
  2. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

    Sep 25, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Ill take that cookie!!

    Welcome Avi,

    First off the term composite refers to the video output not the audio. RCA may be more of the "norm".

    Next is your LP. Looking at the specs of your H/K, it doesnt appear to have a phono input. The output of a record player is much lower than an other analog audio signals and have to be amplified to be usable. When you hook them to a regular input, the volume will be low. Do a search for phono preamplifiers and that should help one of your problems.

    Are you listening to the CDs on your DVD? If so what outputs are you using (Analog or Digital) If you just use digital than leave the receiver set to DVD for both and forget about the analog cables.

    Are you using a cable box or the TV for tuning the cable? A box with a stereo output may help. I leave my VCR on all the time with a cable box wired before it. My VCR decodes the stereo signal and sends it to my receiver.

    Hope some of this helps,

  3. AviTevet

    AviTevet Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 11, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Hm... sucks about the phono preamp unless I can get one real cheap. This old amp we have here has a phono input, but it doesn't look like it has a pre-amp output. Maybe we'll just do without the turntable for now... we haven't really listened to anything in the collection in like 15 years. [​IMG]
    We listen to CDs on the DVD player thru the digital input. But it's an mp3 playing dvd/cd player so I think that the analog connection has to stay. One interesting thing about the h/k though is that it has an mp3 decoder on board. But the input stream has to be a certain format, and we can't use the surround DSP with it, but if we use the analog inputs from the DVD player then the receiver can do all the DSP it wants. Hmm... just more stuff to think about [​IMG].
    The cable is decoded by the TV. I think I might try the cable box thing. For now, I found channel adjustments in the amp [​IMG]. I just pumped up the volume from the TV a little in the channel adjustments and viola! the sound is louder even though the main volume is at -35dB or so.
    About the cookie... we can arrange it so the next time I'm in Dover I'll buy it for you! Or the next time you're in Portland, OR I'll buy it for you! Or I can send you a picture of a cookie [​IMG].
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Jan 18, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Also, besides adjusting level- a phono preamp adjusts bass response. Bass freq create wider grooves on the physical record platter- so they roll off some bass to prevent it from overshadowing the treble signal in the groove, and put that bass back in during the preamp stage.

    So, without a real phono preamp- a record player is essentially worthless. You will get nearly no signal, and all the signal you get will be thin and tinny.

    - V
  5. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

    Dec 26, 2001
    Likes Received:
    You don't say what model the Sony tv is? I had the same problem that you are having & it turned out that it was the variable audio outputs because the audio amp. inside the tv was only 5 watts (2 1/2 watts a channel)that's why I had to keep it cranked up. I was afraid the kids were going to blow my speakers so I went the route of using the vcr's FIXED AUDIO OUTPUTS until I got a new tv that had an audio amp. in it that was 10 watts (5 watts per channel) then the problem went away. I would check your tv's model number & then find out what the audio amp. is rated at for watts. Also take a look at your tv's menu because some Sony's can be set for either VARIABLE AUDIO OUT or FIXED AUDIO OUT. If you have a choice try using the FIXED AUDIO OUT but by doing this the only way to control the volume is to use the receiver's volume control. After I learned this I am always telling friends to check the AUDIO WATTS on the set that you are planning to buy & it seems that every year especially on entry level models they may have cut the price but they have also cut the power in the audio amps., Video amps. & power supply.
    Quick example.
    1997 GE 31 inch tv $599.99
    10 watt audio amp.
    400 lines of horizontal resolution.
    2002 Ge 31 inch tv $399.99
    2 watt audio amp. (1 watt per channel) [​IMG]
    260 lines of horizontal resolution. [​IMG]

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