Surround from Regular Cable??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan Hotch, Feb 25, 2002.

  1. Dan Hotch

    Dan Hotch Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    On many TV shows they have a little spot on in the beginning "Presented in Surround". Do you get worthwile surround from a regular (RF) cable signal?

    I have a receiver with PLII but my VCR is old and only has mono out (otherwise it preforms as needed). Would it be worth spending $70 to get a "Hi Fi" VCR with stereo RCA outputs so that I can send at least a stereo signal to the receiver?

    If so, which brands of VCRs are the best? I just want something cheap, but reliable and fairly well built. I don't need an S-VHS or anything like that as I rarely record anything.

    $70 would be well worth it to get to see Alias in surround every Sunday night!

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    By all means, a Hi-Fi VCR is the entry level of HT if you're not doing anything else. There are many quality stereo VCR's on the market now for sub $100.

    Sony, JVC, Toshiba to name a few are all good and reasonably dependable.
     
  3. Dan Hotch

    Dan Hotch Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Paul,
    In case I was unclear, I already have a DVD player that I use for all movie watching. With the addition of the DVD player the current VCR has been called to duty only when -Heaven Forbid- we can't get home in time to see Judging Amy, Thrid Watch or ER. [​IMG]
    The only reason that I would get a new VCR would be so that I could pull the stereo/surround sound from the cable broadcasts... ...plus any small advantage that it would have over my current VCR when I get to watch one of my wife's movies with her. (Like Beaches!![​IMG] )
    Now would it still be worth it?
    I realize that some people spend way more than $70 for a cable, but I am treading on Thin Ice with regards to another thing being put in the entertainment center. (Plus, I am working on the convertible for this summer so I must tread softly...)
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Dan,
     
  5. Andrew_Cramlet

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I hate to sound like a rookie but I am one so I'll go ahead.

    I have regular old cable that feeds directly into my TV. From my TV I output L/R sound to my receiver (the receiver does not have a co-ax in). Yet, I don't think I'm receiving the broadcast in surround sound...just stereo.

    Would not the cable have to be digital to carry surround sound? Regular cable is not digital (I think that's what Dan has too). But you say he can have stereo sound if he uses a HiFi VCR? I'm lost.

    "Presented in Surround" does not mean use ProLogic(II) does it? If so, that is kind of lame. That would mean every stereo signal would be "Presented in Surround." Why even bother declaring it...and that would be false advertising. It should read "Presented in Stereo" right???
     
  6. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2001
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Selden
    Andrew,

    Surround sound is indeed encoded into the stereo audio signal, and you can use ProLogic to decode it.

    When it's available.

    One problem is that many local TV stations and cable channels still don't have the capability of broadcasting stereo sound. Those that do will have surround sound only if the original programming was created that way. Many programs don't have surround-sound encoded in the stereo audio: they were recorded in the studio with just two microphones, if that. Many programs are only monaural.

    In contrast, most advertisements are recorded in surround sound. It can be quite disconcerting to be watching a program with the sound only coming from the front center speaker and then suddenly have loud noises coming from behind when the advertisements start.
     
  7. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As an alternative to buying a new VCR just to get stereo jacks to connect to your receiver, check your TV. It may have RCA audio/video out jacks which you could connect to your receiver. You will still get pro-logic capability this way if it is being broadcast by your cable supplier.
     
  8. Jeffrey R

    Jeffrey R Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree with the other posts that you should definitely take the necessary steps to get Surround Sound. Particularly if you have DPLII, regular cable really comes to life when a Surround Sound movie or show is on. On my system, to get the Surround Sound from cable, I connect my TV's audio out jacks (analog) directly to a set of my receiver's audio in (analog), and that's it. DPLII does the rest. Now, as discussed earlier, I do find it frustrating sometimes that some TV shows have very little or no surround activity, and then a car commercial comes on and I feel like I'm watching The Fast and the Furious with all of the surround activity. But, definitely spend $100 and get a HiFi VCR or connect the TV straight to the receiver.
     
  9. Dan Hotch

    Dan Hotch Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No can do. The TV only has an RF jack and one set of RCA inputs.
    Another option that I have thought about was getting an RF De-modulator to split the RF signal. I have seen many RF modulators at different stores, but I have yet to see a place that carries RF De-modulators. Anyway I assume that a decient de-modulator would cost at least $40 or $50. In which case it would be better to just upgrade the VCR.
    If anyone knows different please correct me. Does anyone know the actual price of a good RF De-modulator? Do they make them anymore? Where can they be purchased? (It is like a government contract, I have to show due diligence in trying to find the lowest cost alternative before funding can be granted. [​IMG] )
    Thanks,
     
  10. Andrew_Cramlet

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Once again, I apologize for cluttering up this thread, but I would like to see if I got this right.

    DPL - converts stereo sound (2 channel) into 4.1 (center, front left/right, rear, sub)

    "Presented in Surround Sound" - DPL friendly stereo sound

    Is that right?? Is there a difference between stereo sound and "Presented in Surround Sound?"
     
  11. Andrew_Cramlet

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    sorry - double post
     
  12. Dan Hotch

    Dan Hotch Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Andrew,
    Forgive me as this info may not be 100% correct but...
    DPL: Left, Center, Right, plus a limited bandwidth rear channel. No LFE/sub?? I don't know if DPL does anything to a stereo signal.
    DPLII Left, Center, Right, plus full bandwidth rear right and rear left. With sub. DPLII makes regular DPL sound better (I think, but I never had a DPL system so I can't say from experience.) DPLII will also take a 2 channel stereo signal and work some black magic on it to get an OK 5.1 surround mix.
    Anything that says "Dolby Surround" or "Dolby 2.0" is DPL??
    TV shows that say "Presented in Surround" are also DPL I think.
    If I remember correctly their are a couple of articles on the different formats with good explanations of each at www.dolby.com
    Regards,
     
  13. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2001
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Selden
    Dan,

    The term "demodulator" usually means that the unit just handles one fixed TV channel. They're readily available from companies that sell to the home a/v distribution market.

    In order to be able to watch different channels, you need a tuner: a device that can produce audio and video from any of several channels. A way to get one inexpensively is to visit a local TV repair shop and get a broken cable-ready HI-FI VCR. It's usually the mechanical parts that fail, not the tuner. Replacing the recording head, for example, usually costs more than a new VCR because of the labor and expensive test equipment involved.
     

Share This Page