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stereo TV without VCR?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by GregHB, Jul 6, 2002.

  1. GregHB

    GregHB Auditioning

    Jun 2, 2002
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    I just completed my surroand sound system at my house and this is my first post on this forum. My question is: Is it possible to watch television in suroand sound, or at least throuh my loudspeakers without a VCR. If so, which connections do I make from the TV to the receiver?

    Thanks, greg
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt


    Aug 5, 1999
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    Corpus Christi, TX
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    You can if your TV is stereo. If it is it should have RCA audio jacks on the back. Just connect them to an input on the receiver and set the receiver to “Dolby Pro-Logic.” If the show is stereo you will have surround sound. If the show is mono, you will get only the front speaker.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    P.S. Welcome to the Forum!
  3. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

    May 27, 2002
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    Okay, so much here is going to depend upon information you did not quite give us. It would help if you described exactly how you are obtaining that "television" signal which you would like to be running through your new "surround sound" setup. Is it from:
    1.) Analog Cable TV (with no set top box)
    2.) Analog Cable TV, WITH a set top bx
    3.) Digital Cable TV, presumably with a set top box
    4.) An over the air antenna, either on your roof, or in an attic, or on top of your set?
    5.) Direct TV? What kind of "satellite box"?
    6.) The Dish? What kind of "satellite box"?
    7.) Other satellite system (big dishes)? What box?

    8.) And, most important, what type of television / monitor / display device are you watching on? It MAY have outputs which make all of this easier, it may not.

    The trick here, as I understand it, is that you want to get the audio portion of your normal television signal running into that A/V receiver (which I presume you have installed, if you have set up a surround sound system).

    One way, which I think you mentioned, is to run everything through a VCR, and then run RCA jacks (most probably) from the VCR audio outputs directly into audio inputs on the A/V receiver. That works, but as you have noticed, it means you have to have the VCR on all the time, and use the VCR's tuner, instead of the television's. Can be a bummer...

    On SOME televisions, there is actually a set of outputs which you can run FROM the TV, to a receiver, which then causes the TV to funnel its audio (no matter what source) directly into your receiver. Check and see if your TV has anything which resembles a "Loop Out" or "Monitor" or "Audio Out," or "AUXILIARY OUT," or something similar.

    Then, if you have a set-top box, for cable, or satellite, you should also look at the back, carefully. Is there a free set of "audio output' jacks? A second, unused auxiliary set of jacks, perhaps of the RCA type? This is another possibility.

    Will this get your true surround sound? Not usually. If you have an HDTV decoder, then yes... In this case you will be running a cable from that set top box directly into your AV receiver, and some stations are offering true, 5.1 digital sound. In most cases, with most users, though, not yet. It will often get you stereo, on those channels that offer it (or which your cable or satellite chooses to offer it). It may also allow you to use any features on your receiver which can "simulate" surround sound... Mine has a mode which is called "Smart TV," and another called "all channel." They are not truly 5.1 or 6.1 discrete surround. However, they try to take some sounds which are PROBABLY music, and direct them to the left and right sides. They try to determine what is dialog, and direct that to the center. They try to determine which sounds might be background ambience, and direct them to the rear surrounds. They are not all that effective, though.

    Still, the sound is almost always a quantum leap above what speakers are typically found in that television, and even a stereo separation (which many stations offer) is a large improvement. Thus, it is worth it to cable for this, if you can without buying new equipment. I first ran my signal through an audio receiver as early as 1982, and could never go back to those tiny 1 1/2" cheapo-cheapo speakers which so many televisions ship with. You spent money on some NICE speakers, so why not use them for as much of the listening as you can?

    If you are still unsure, let us know exactly what your equipment is, and also what your televsion source is, for "television." Then, I can be more specific 5o your case.


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