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New member with new TV, old A/V receiver (1 Viewer)

channel U

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Eli
Hi all! First post by a noob, bear with me!

Here is what's up. My gal and I splurged on a plasma TV(Panasonic Viera TH-50PZ800U). This is the first time I have spent more than $200 on a TV , and that one I had for well over ten years. She also inherited an older, and discontinued A/V receiver (sony str-de1015g) and some speakers from a friend of hers.

Now I have been reading enough about this stuff and learned enough to get the feeling that I have to spend another $500 or so to even make this a worthwhile system. I can't spend that kind of dough at the moment after the TV and engagement ring (should be here next week!!!), plus I have another, more sensible feeling that I'll probably be more than satisfied if I used what i have already.

So here are the questions I am unclear on. Is it possible to use HDMI connections from components (like a blu-ray) to my TV and still get the full benefit of surround sound through the older A/V receiver? The receiver does not have HDMI inputs or outputs, it is too old. I would also like to stay away from using the receiver's "command center" capabilities and just have it be used for running the sound through. It is a discontinued Sony model that apparently will not work with universal remote controls except for the very basics like power toggle. I do have the original remote and also found the manual online.

So, if it is possible to use continue to use my TV as the HDMI switch, will it still sound as good since the connection to the receiver will be RCA? (there are also optical and S-video inputs available on the receiver, but no digital inputs labeled "TV" or monitor)

I have 5 sony speakers that were given to us with the receiver.

My goal is not to have an awesome system at the moment. I love the TV, even though I have not viewed any HD content on it or even an upscaled DVD yet. My gal is going to get a PS3 in the next month or so, and I can't wait to take advantage of the blu-ray and upscaling. I have a harmony remote and would like to be able to use it as much as possible as a "control center". I really just want to have surround sound and be able to make use of my TVs capabilities when I get the new player.

What are my best options to keep it very simple, preferably with the equipment I have in hand? Keep in mind I am no audiophile or videophile, I'll be delighted if I can get sound out of all the speakers at once!

Thank you in advance for any direction you can give me.


Eli

What ever happened to good ol' channel "U" and the bunny ears?
 

JohnRice

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Just run your hdmi directly to the TV for video, then run a digital audio from the source (DVD player or whatever) to a corresponding input on the receiver, select that input when you watch that source, and turn the volume on the TV all the way down. You must use a digital audio connection from the source for full surround. Remember, the source isn't the TV, it is whatever is providing the signal that goes to the TV.
 

Devilish21ca

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David Sheedy
Nice choice on the TV (I have the 58" version of your TV). Your best bet is , probably to connect the Blu Ray player with an optical audio cable, to the reciever. You will still get good sound (at least a 5.1 mix) but not th BEST sound you can get from the Blu Ray. It should do fine until you decide on a 'better' reciever. Keep in mind that, depending on the Blu Ray player you have, the reciever you would eventually choose to buy has to probably be capable of decoding the audio signal coming from the Blu Ray to get the full sound available.
 

Robert_J

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I didn't check your TV model but there is a very good chance it has an ATSC tuner. Pair it with the correct antenna and you can pick up your local digital/HD stations. I can't help more than that unless you list your city in your profile or post your zip. The TV may have a QAM tuner as well. If so, then you may be able to connect it to your cable system and pick up unencrypted digital/HD signals. But that depends on your local cable provider.

-Robert
 

channel U

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Jun 20, 2008
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Eli
Thanks for the replies!

It is all making more sense now. I am going to get the cables I need and see if I can get this sucker hooked up.

I did check the harmony site--that is where I got the bad news about this receiver. After I downloaded the manual I kind of understood why it may be the case that it is not controllable by universal remotes. It uses the directional pad to have a pointer move around the on screen menu like a mouse would. I still haven't hooked it up, but I am hoping that once I set it up with the original remote I'll still be able to do some of the more simple commands from the harmony, and if not--well, I'll just have to have two remotes until I get a new receiver someday.

5.1 is all I am looking for at the moment.

As for my cable company, I live in San Bruno Ca. (94066). We actually have a municipal cable company here!:eek: If and when I do upgrade to HD cable, will I be able to get surround from it? There are no dedicated inputs for TV or Cable on the receiver.

Thanks for being so helpful! I'm glad I found this site.


Eli
 

Robert_J

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There never are. To get HD cable, you would use cable card(s) and the cable connected directly to the TV if your TV is so equipped. Otherwise you would need an HD cable box. I suggest getting a DVR model. You can also get a 3rd party box from a compay like TiVo. The HD models will work with both cable and an antenna to allow you view and record the most HD that you can. And don't rule out a provider switch. I'm enjoying about 90 HD channels via DirecTV right now.

-Robert
 

Zerock

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Steve
Hi Eli.

I have an older amp/decoder like yours, an Onkyo probably made 12 or so years ago. Almost all my speakers are just about as old, but still very good.

I had it hooked up in the 5:1 configuration with two subs (Powered by another older amp) and it sounded OK, but I could never get it "Quite right". My HT is a converted 2 car garage approx 20x25x8 feet, and after researching this website (and others) I used REW to place my subs, and with minimum cost it sounds substantially better.

Since I can't afford to spend $$$ on upgrades, last weekend I created a "fake" 7:1 system. I haven't checked it with REW yet but really sounds fantastic.

I did a connection diagram:
HOME_THEATER_SOUND_CONNECTIONS1 - HTF Gallery

It's the basic 5:1 configuration, plus:
*One channel of a Yamaha "Black" amplifier drives two subs
*The other channel of the Yamaha "Black" amplifier drives a surround center speaker
*I used the Pre-out on the Onkyo to feed another Yamaha amp which drives the two front surround speakers.
*I wanted the front surround speaks to be a bit different than the other surround so I put a dynamic expander in the pre-out, main in coupling of the amp.

I'm not good about describing things, is why I posted the diagram.

Please note that both Yamaha amplifiers are older equipment (But still strong) and CHEAP - just like this thrifter likes them. I think I picked up the expander at a pawn shop or somwhere for cheap, too.

No doubt my system isn't near what many folks here, being all outdated equipment but with the help of REW to correctly place the subs, it really, really sounds nice.

-Steve
 

Robert_J

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REW = Room EQ Wizard. A free program that runs on a PC and you use it along with a mic to measure your room's response. If you have a parametric EQ called a Behringer Feedback Destroyer, it will make the EQ changes in real time if you have the PC and BFD connected via a MIDI interface.

-Robert
 

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