setup help and cables needed questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DavidQc, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. DavidQc

    DavidQc Stunt Coordinator

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    hey guys,
    could you help me with the set up of my first home theater?
    i don't mean to ask noobs questions... but i'd like to know what i need to buy...(cables) so i dont' have to run back to the store.

    these are the components that i need to link together.

    1. Pioneer VSX-D811S
    2. Sony DVD Changer DVP-NC655P
    3. Xbox with Advanced A/V Pack
    4. Sony VCR
    5. Onkyo SKSHT500 Speakers

    the help that i need is mostly with the receiver, dvd changer, and xbox.

    i'm just confused as to how many types of cables i need.
    and do i really need to use an S-video if i'm using components?

    what about optical and coaxial digital cables?

    any help listing what i need... attaching what to what... would be so very much appreciated.

    thanks in advance!
    -david
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi David.
    First, take a look at this thread where I posted a lot about How to lay out equipment. If you follow these guidelines, it will make it much easier.
    You have a MIX of video sources:
    VCR - Composite only
    DVD - SVideo & Component
    XBox - SVideo & Component
    This means you have lots of ways to hook things up.
    Here are 2 possible plans:
    Plan A: Buy the $20 "Composite to SVideo Adaptor" from Radio Shack so the VCR can appear to be a SVideo source. Run SVideo cables from all 3 devices into the Receiver, then one SVideo cable from the receiver to the TV. This is a simple, easy to use setup.
    Plan B:Run Composite video from the VCR straight to the TV. Run COMPONENT video cables from the XBox and the DVD player to the receiver, then one component cable to the TV from the receiver. (This is the way to go if you have a HDTV).
    Do you loose something by going to SVideo? Home Theater magazine took a 50" reference RPTV and came up with these numbers for the different types of connections:
    Composite- Baseline
    SVideo - 20% better than Composite
    Component - 25% better than Composite
    And a smaller TV showed LESS difference, a larger one showed MORE.
    NOTE: If you have a HDTV - use Plan B. You must use component video cables to take advantage of the progressive-scan feature of the XBox and DVD player. Yes, that receiver is capable of switching HD/Progressive video signals.
    Let me guess. Your next question is: "What Cables should I buy"?
    Many people like the Acoustic Research brand of cables from stores like Best Buy. They seem to work quite well for progressive video even if they are not HD rated.
    I believe Monster makes a special cable that takes the place of the High Def pack for the XBox. For $49 - I'd go for the special cable.
    For the DVD player to the receiver, and receiver to the TV - I'd go with some custom component cable sets if it were my system. www.bettercables.com sells some, and you can find other sites that sell "Canare" coax and RCA plugs.
    Good Luck.
     
  3. Dave_Mu

    Dave_Mu Extra

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    I have to say it again, Bob is the man!
     
  4. DavidQc

    DavidQc Stunt Coordinator

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    thank you very much for the information bob.
    you are quite helpful.

    i actually did run into your thread helping dave mu
    with his questions.

    regarding types/brands of cables... i've been
    reading alot of how Monster cables may not be worth its
    price. so i've decided to go with Acoustics Research cables at Best Buy.

    one question for me, in my quest to learn more about HT, is... is it pointless to connect BOTH S-Video and component cables???
    if i go with your plan A... then i don't need to worry about component cables?
    currently, i do not have a HDTV... so i'm not too concerned about high definition at this point.

    what about Coaxial and Optical Digital Cables?
    are those part of component cable setups?

    thanks again for the help.

    -david
     
  5. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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  6. DavidQc

    DavidQc Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG]
    ok guys, tell me what you think.
    here are the cables that i plan on purchasing at
    Best Buy tonight. the total with tax comes out to
    $199.18, ouch!
    1. Receiver to TV: S-video, $19.99
    2. DVD to Receiver: S-video, $19.99
    3. DVD to TV: Component video, $29.99
    4. DVD to Receiver: Coaxial Digital, $12.99
    5. Xbox to Receiver: Advanced A/V pack, $19.99
    6. Xbox cables for A/V pack: S-video, $19.99
    7. Xbox Cables for A/V pack: A/V left/right, $14.99
    8. Xbox Cables for A/V pack: Optical Digital, $19.99
    9. Monster Cable HI Surge Protector: 6 plugs, $29.99
    Total: $199.18 (tax included)
    the reason i need the xbox advanced a/v pack is to offer an optical digital connection. that would enable the dolby digital audio feature of the xbox.
    any other suggestions?
    whew... i hope i have this right.
    i plan to head to Best Buy after work tonight.
    what a headache.
    thanks for all the help again guys!
    -david
     
  7. DavidQc

    DavidQc Stunt Coordinator

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    one more question guys,

    Bob suggested connecting all sources with S-video into the receiver... and then one good set of Component Video from the DVD directly into the TV.

    now do i really need the S-video cable for the DVD to Receiver, when i'm connecting the DVD to TV directly with Components?

    to me that seems unnecessary, unless there is something i'm missing.

    other than that, a Coaxial Digital cable connects the DVD to the Receiver.

    can i omit the S-video, and just go with the Coaxial Digital and Component Video cables????
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  9. Jay Reddy

    Jay Reddy Auditioning

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    Bob McElfresh is right. And I'd go one step further...it seems to me that you've got your Xbox hooked up with an unnecessary set of A/V cables. If you have it hooked up with S-video and optical audio, why the "A/V left/right?"

    Furthermore, if you're hooking up your DVD player to the TV with component cables, why not do the same for your Xbox, INSTEAD of S-video?

    Just a thought.
     
  10. DavidQc

    DavidQc Stunt Coordinator

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    hey jay,
    thanks for the note.
    actually, let me update you guys.
    i am holding off on the advanced a/v pack
    for the xbox. i was just listing the a/v cables
    for the advanced pack because i thought it was
    necessary for the xbox.
    but for now, i will stick with the standard cables.
    and connect it directly to the tv.
    also... i cannot connect the dvd directly to the tv through components because.... my tv is not equipped with component video connections.
    sorry, i did not mention that i have a stone age panasonic 27" tv. we won't be upgrading the tv anytime soon.
    [​IMG]
    right now, i've only connected the receiver to the tv through s-video, and the same with the dvd player plus coaxial digital cable.
    i'm still looking for the composite to s-video adapter for the vcr.
    also, the rear of my digital cable box does not have an s-video connection! there's a hole for it, labeled 's-video' too, but it's just a hole and no actual connection!!!!!
    i will call comcast about that soon.
    aside from that... i'm just waiting until we can get a bigger, better equipped screen.
    thanks again guys.
    -david
     
  11. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    Personally, I would recommend using the Advanced A/V Pack to hook up your XBOX to your reciever, using the optical digital cable. I have the Advanced AV pack and hooked it to the receiver using the optical digital + hooked the basic video cable connection from the A/V pack direct to the TV.

    Many XBOX games offer Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Some of these soundtracks are simply okay, while others (Halo, Metal Of Honor: Frontline) boast soundtracks that really amaze me - I find its like playing these games for the first time. I have a 6.1 set-up and often enable EX decoding for these soundtracks, allowing all speakers to be going while playing "Halo" or something else. I was initially a little skeptical due to the cost (19.99 + a $24 optical cable - I had the regular video cable lying around), but I'm very pleased with the results, audio-wise.
     
  12. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    At least in my area, Comcast doesn't give you the digital box w/ the S-Vid connection unless you specifically ask for it. But then, they give it to you for free (although if you're not picking it up yourself, they'll probably charge you to come out...).

    Me
     
  13. DavidQc

    DavidQc Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim!
    that is so true.
    when i checked my digital cable box a coupe weeks ago,
    i was completely disappointed to find an s-video 'hole'...
    but no actual connection.

    i felt so cheated.
    now i must call them up to request it.

    i am not going to pay $60+ per month for digital
    cable, that does not provide an s-video connection.

    -david
     
  14. Dave Darrow

    Dave Darrow Auditioning

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    I called comcast a couple weeks ago and asked them for a box with s-video and they said they don't have many and they only give them (right now) to HDTV subscribers.
     

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