proper audio connection?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by BrianScott, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. BrianScott

    BrianScott Auditioning

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    I'm wanting to hear 5.1 sound on both DVD and also on HD TV broadcasts without having to switch any connnections each time. What's the right way to connect my components for audio?

    The salesman told me:
    Connnect HDMI from the DVD player to the TV.
    Connnect optical audio from the TV to the receiver.

    While this DOES give me 5.1 for watching TV, when I pop in a DVD with Dolby DIgital or DTS encoding, the receiver does not recognize those signals. Either my connection is wrong, or I don't know where to configure the TV to pass this signal through to the receiver.

    I wanted to use only the necessary cables to get results, and am wondering if the salesman advised me correctly.

    My components are;
    Panasonic TH-42PX50U HD Plasma
    Onkyo TX-SR503 Receiver
    Sony DVP-NS70H DVD Player

    Thanks!
    Brian
     
  2. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Try to connect either an optical or coax audio output from the DVD player to the receiver.
    That's the way I have my Panasonic DVD player set up (HDMI to TV, also).
    I have the 42PX25U Panasonic (1 generation earlier than yours), while it does have an audio output, I have never used it.
     
  3. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    I just checked the manual for your set, which has the same instructions as mine in this area.
    It says that the TV's speakers should be set to 'off' in the Audio menu. Did you try that yet ?
    Personally, I like the option of using the TV speakers and turning them off and on is too much of a bother for me.
    Another reason to use the optical output of the DVD player to feed the audio to the receiver.
     
  4. BrianScott

    BrianScott Auditioning

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    Lew,
    Thanks for the comments.

    I just tried turning off the TV speakers, but it didn't change anything. The Dolby Digital option still does not appear when that type of DVD is playing. And, by the way, the signal does show up when I connect optical from the player to the receiver, as you suggested. This is when I figured that something was not quite right. So maybe a second optical cable is the only answer.

    And at this point, I wonder if my HDMI cable is not so critical to use. Of course HDMI never carried both audio and video from the dvd player, in either of our setups, correct?

    In your opinion, would component (rgb) do a better job than the HDMI of delivering the best picture to the plasma? If component is just as good (or better as some say) and a less expensive, then it pretty much makes the HDMI connection pointless.

    Just trying to figure out if the HDMI was really an unnecessary purchase.

    Thanks again,
    Brian
     
  5. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Not sure what you mean by this. You already have all the cables you will need to make the DVD and plasma work'
    1 - Use the HDMI from the DVD player to the plasma to get the video and audio to the plasma.
    2- Use the 1 fiber optic cable to get the audio from the DVD player to the Onkyo receiver.
    Want to watch a DVD and listen to the plasma speakers ? The HDMI has you covered.
    Want to Watch a DVD and listen to the audio thru the receiver, then the optical cable is taking the audio to the receiver. Just remember to mute the speakers on the plasma.
     
  6. BrianScott

    BrianScott Auditioning

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    Thanks, you've got me covered. I now have the 2 optical cables in place. What I meant by the HDMI comment is that the HDMI cable is not providing audio when we watch DVDs (assuming we'd prefer to turn on the receiver and hear the movie through the surround speakers, not the TV speakers).

    But yes, the digital-to-digital transfer using HDMI is worth using it for the video quality alone.

    I think, though, that my salesman was misinformed when he thought that 1 HDMI and 1 optical audio would give me what I needed.
     
  7. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Where do you have the 2nd optical cable ? I only count 1 optical (to the receiver) and 1 HDMI (to the plasma) [​IMG]
     
  8. BrianScott

    BrianScott Auditioning

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    My 2nd optical goes out from the Plasma's optical jack and into one of the receivers optical jacks. This is the connection which I was told would suffice for getting the sound from the dvd player to the receiver (passing the signal through the plasma), but this didn't work. I would lose the Dolby Digital (and EX) signals when the audio passed through the plasma.

    Does thiss make sense? Is it normal that this occurs?
     
  9. BrianScott

    BrianScott Auditioning

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    Lew,
    I meant to also mention..
    This second optical connnection (the one from the tv to the receiver) has always given me the 5.1 signal that I want for watching HD tv broadcasts.
     
  10. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    OK, got it.
    What kind of device do you use for TV? Cable box, satellite box, ... ?
    I'm guessing that you are using component video and an audio cable of some sort to get the signal up to the plasma.
    I have a D*TV receiver and send the audio to my receiver using an optical cable from the D*TV box to my receiver.
    Guess it's the same difference either way. You send the audio to the plasma then to the receiver from the plasma. I send the audio to the plasma and the receiver from the satellite box.
    You know, I'm starting to wonder if the fact that the audio for your DVD player comes in thru the HDMI is the reason that the plasma does not propagate it to the receiver ?
     
  11. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Let us all read from the manual (page 14):

    On other words, fuggedaboutit! Looks like what were have here is good old fashioned legal gibberish that says the HDMI data won't propagate thru the plasma TV, just in case you tried to record or copy the digital data.
     
  12. BrianScott

    BrianScott Auditioning

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    Regarding "What kind of device do you use for TV?"..
    I only have a Comcast cable card which plugs in to the TV. No external box or cables - only the Optical from the TV to the receiver.. This gets me 5.1 on those applicable stations. What do you think?

    Also, since you have the same TV, I might like to change the subject at some point and get your thoughts on screen burn-in on (our) plasmas. Any thoughts? I'll elaborate more soon..

    Thanks Lew,

    Brian
     

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