TosLink cable for sound

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JuanMa, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    Hello, I've just purchased a 7.1 surround sound system and was told to connect my DVD player to the receiver using Optical Cable link for sound. I have video going to the Tv via Component cables.

    I am not able to get any sound. It was somewhat difficult to push the optical cable in to the DVD optical input. I am afraid I may have damaged the cable. Whenever I pull cable out, leaving one end still plugged, I do see a red beam of light on the one end. If I repeat this process with the other end, then I do not see a beam of light.(Broken?) Also, there were two "bubble" like protectors on the ends of cable, are these supposed to be taken out prior to hook up? Because they are not longer there.

    Please help, total newbie!!
     
  2. Brian Osborne

    Brian Osborne Stunt Coordinator

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    Sometimes the cable manufaturers will put a wax or plastic cap on the end of the optical cable. This may be the cause of your problem. Carefully push open the small door that covers your optical output and see if there is that plastic cap in there. If so, remove it with tweezers, just be carefull not to scratch anything on the inside. If all else fails, you may have a digital coax cable for digital sound. This will work just as well. This will be labeled digital audio input on the reciever and output on the DVD player. It will be an RCA hookup, and likely will be orange in color. Not every DVD player and Receiver will have this both types of inputs/outputs for digital audio.
    good luck, hope nothing is messed up...
     
  3. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, the only Digital Coax input the receiver has is already hooked up to my Cable box. Do I need to assign/tell the DVD player what input/output it needs to use for sound whenever using the DVD player?

    Also, I received something called a HTMI cable (something like that). Does this cable carry Video and sound?...Is it better than Component cables?...I have seem Optical cables go for $80.00 and Radio Shack brands for approx. $20.00. What is the difference?...Light is light right?
     
  4. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Make sure you enabled the optical audio outputs on your dvd player. There will be a menu in there to enable it for DTS and Dolby digital, plus you want to enable it to use bitstream (not pcm). My panasonic dvd player has 3 separate menu items to do this, and they weren't all where I expected them to be. Once you enable the optical audio, the player will most likely output audio both through the optical cable and the red/white rcas. The dvd player should retain those settings so you don't have to reset them each time you use it.
     
  5. Brian Osborne

    Brian Osborne Stunt Coordinator

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    HDMI is High Definition Multimedia Interface. This cable will carry video and sound in a digital format. If you have the ability to do this to your tv great! This will give you a purely digital signal to the TV. Using Component cable will give you a great HD picture, but it is converting that signal from digital to analog and then back to digital when it reaches the TV. The less converting the better, however it is argued that the difference is not noticable, I agree. Most HDTVs will have an optical audio output. You could try hooking up this way. HDMI from DVD to TV. Optical audio from TV to Receiver.

    Yes, Digital audio either works or it doesn't. There is no sort of. there is loss, but only very minimal, and at short distances, there is no discernable difference in performance.
     
  6. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    Thank you kindly for sharing your knowledge, I will try these options tonite. I'll keep you posted.

    Regards.
     
  7. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    Hello Brian, I am happy to inform that your suggestions worked. I get crisp sound now. Apparently I had to assign the proper audio setting on the DVD's menu screen.

    Hope you don't mind me asking another question, although I have solved the sound riddle, I do have an annoying situation. In order to watch any type of signal, whether from the DVD, Cable box or VHS, I have to manually choose the sound channel that corresponds to whatever video feed I am trying to watch.

    I would have thought that running cables through the A/V receiver would allow to choose a video feed and to also get its corresponding sound all at once. Would you happen to know whether this situation can be alleviated?--- Thanks
     
  8. Brian Osborne

    Brian Osborne Stunt Coordinator

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    Charlie gets the credit for the menu...
    but, if you go through your setup options on your Onkyo reciever you should be able to assign a particular audio and video input for each of V1, V2, DVD etc.
    I guess I'm at a loss on how this is not working, once set, you should never have to mess with it again. Switching to a different Video selection on your Amp should change both your audio and video inputs to the correct ones. Unless I'm misunderstanding the question.
     
  9. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    Oh, thanks Charlie...Brian, you are not misunderstanding the question. That is how I have it set up, but whenever switching I need to switch the sound manually as well.

    My connection goes as follows: from Cable Box to TV via component cable (video)-from Cable Box to Amp via optical cable (for sound).....DVD player goes to Amp with component cable for video and coax input cable for sound.

    Question, Tv has its own screen menu to choose video feed. eg: 0,Video 1, Video 2, etc. On the other hand, Amp has its own input selectors DVD, V1, V2, V3, etc. How do these two menus relate with one another? How do yo know that for example digital coax is V1, or optical DVD?

    I guess I do not see a clearer picture as to how the video and sound need to interact with each other. Your patience and understanding is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  10. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    If you used your receiver to do your video switching (running your video from dvd/cable to receiver, then to tv) you would be able to switch audio and video by just telling the receiver to do it. Does your receiver have this capability? Many do not switch HD signals, but it is becoming more common.

    Anyway, because you run the video straight to the tv, you have to tell the tv what video feed to use and the receiver what audio feed to use. Thus the need for two commands -- one to tv, one to receiver. Many, if not most, of us run our systems this way. The thinking is that you want as few devices as possible in the chain. Less potential for problems or signal degradation.

    The way most people make switching easier or "one button" is to buy a universal remote like those offered by Harmony, Home Theater Master or Pronto to control everything.
     
  11. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    OK, so most people use the same setup as I?... I did consider going the Universal remote option. Considering the situation, would I be able to keep everything "as is" and using a universal remote also be able to program switching accordingly?

    I am not sure whether my receiver (Onkyo 530) it comes with the 7.1 channel 780 system, is capable of doing the HD conversion you have mentioned. I chose to run the cabling as mentioned, as explained to me by the Circuit City sales person. When it comes to stereo hook ups, I am somewhat of a dummy!! He explained that running this way I would minimize the cost of buying several other component cables which are so expensive.

    I would have to play around with your suggested input combinations to see whether it works. Thanks.
     
  12. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Yes, it's a very typical connection scheme. As HT nuts, most of us don't mind running several remotes. I got the universal so that my wife, kids and babysitter could run it, but found I love the control. Before I had the Harmony, I tried using the "universal" features on the remotes that came with my receiver and satellite box. They controlled things, but I still had to keep the other remotes nearby to control some functions, and many times had to look at the remote (and away from the screen) to find the button I needed. Since I got the Harmony, every other remote is in a drawer and I only take them out on the odd occasion where I am recalibrating.

    The good universals allow you to create macros to do any customization you like, e.g. one touch switching for audio and video. The Harmony software is designed so that the remote does this without the user having to create the macros. Either way, you'll get what you need.
     
  13. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    This particular receiver has three component inputs (labeled "DVD", "VIDEO 1", and "VIDEO 2". and one component output. For digital inputs, it has three optical jacks ("OPT 1/2/3") and a coaxial jack ("COAX"). These digital inputs are assignable.


    So, if you want to use your receiver to switch component video (the jacks have a bandwidth of 50 MHz, so they should be good for hd), connect the Component out to your TV, connect your DVD to the Onkyo's DVD, your cable box to the Onkyo's Video 1, etc. Then set up your digital audio (COAX, OP1, etc) following the above instructions.

    The 530 does not up-sample though, so if you need to watch a S/Video or composite source, you'll need to use your TV's menu to switch the inputs accordingly.
     
  14. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    Thanks Jeremy, I think I am starting to see the picture. I will tweak the cable layout tonight when I get home from work to see what I get. One more thing, do I need any extra cables for the configuration you have mentioned?...I currently have two component cables, one optical and one coax. A few red/white and yellow analogs that I am not using. Thanks.
     
  15. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    You'll need one component cable
    [​IMG]
    for each source, plus one to connect the receiver to the TV.

    However, if you have a HDTV, and an upsampling DVD player, it's best to use a DVI
    [​IMG]
    or HDMI
    [​IMG]

    as most up-sampling DVD players will only send 720p or 1080i digitally. That's because it's easier to copy-protect a digital signal.

    Because the Onkyo 530 cannot route dvi or hdmi, you would have to use the TV's input menu to switch video, and your receiver, to switch audio,

    The yellow composite video connector can be used as a coaxial spdif cable. Don't try to use this kind of cable
    [​IMG]
    in lieu of a component video cable, as it will most likely not have sufficient bandwidth.
     
  16. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    Man I am very impressed by your graphic inserts!!...If you would not mind taking a second look at my cabling hardware and components on hand, I would be most apreciative. On second look this is what I own;
    -Onkyo 780 (530 Receiver)
    -SD-6980 DVD Player
    -Comcast DVR HD Motorola Cable box
    Cables:
    - ONE componet set
    - one HDMI cable that came with DVD player
    - one digital coax cable
    - one optical cable.

    I understand your comment about using HDMI to Tv, although that would deviate from the original purpose that is to control everything from the Receiver. Could I use the HDMI cable to connect say the Cable box with the receiver?- That would save me some mulah on having to buy another component cable.

    Thanks again!!
     
  17. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    BTW, my TV is a 60" Toshiba projection TV. not sure whether it has a HDMI input slot...
     
  18. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    This complicates things a bit. How many HDMI/DVI inputs do you have on your TV? Ideally you would connect both the DVR and DVD to your TV using DVI/HDMI cables.

    You're not going to be able to get an up-sampled HD signal from your DVD using component cables.You might be able to get an HD signal from your cable box using component cables.

    As for sound, it doesn't really matter which digital cable you use-- connect one component using coax, and the other with optical.

    However, if you want to use DVD-Audio or SACD, you'll have to connect the multichannel inputs together... Three patch cords should do, although you can spring for the multichannel cables
    [​IMG] if you think color coded jacks will make your life easier.

    Maybe a 4th pair of RCAs if you like listening with headphones... some dvd players have a "stereo mixdown" jack. On my Onkyo 502, plugging in headphones to listen to multichannel doesn't work that well, although Onkyo may have since fixed that problem.
     
  19. JuanMa

    JuanMa Auditioning

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    Now I am getting a little confused. You had mentioned: "You'll need one component cable for each source, plus one to connect the receiver to the TV"...One component from DVD to Receiver-one component from DVD to receiver?...Now you mention that: "You're not going to be able to get an up-sampled HD signal from your DVD using component cables"...So, what type of cabling do I use to go from DVD to receiver and from Cable Box to receiver?

    My tv has the following inputs/outputs:
    Toshiba 42H82
    2 x RF input (F connector) - Rear, 1 x RF output (F connector) - Rear, 1 x Center channel audio input (RCA phono) - Rear, 2 x Composite video/audio input (RCA phono x 3) - Rear, 2 x S-Video input (4 pin mini-DIN) - Rear, 2 x HD component input (RCA phono x 3) - Rear, 2 x Audio line-in (RCA phono x 2) - Rear, 1 x Composite video/audio output (RCA phono x 3) - Rear, 1 x Variable audio output (RCA phono x 2) - Rear, 1 x Composite video/audio input (RCA phono x 3), 1 x S-Video input (4 pin mini-DIN)

    What are my options?--Thanks.
     
  20. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Think of the receiver as a big switch, or connector, or splitter if it makes it easier. You connect all your source devices (dvd, cable box) to the receiver with component cables. Now, your devices are SENDING video TO the receiver. Then, you connect your dvd and cable box audio to the receiver with digital coax or optical audio. Now, your devices are SENDING audio TO the receiver.

    But the video still has to get to the tv. (Also, the audio if you ever want to listen to the tv with the HT receiver off.) So you connect the receiver to the tv with component cables. And you connect an audio output from the receiver to the tv.

    Now your video and sound goes from your devices --> to the receiver --> to the tv. And your receiver controls whether you are listening AND watching your dvd or cable box. So you get your one button control of the inputs and outputs. The reason this works is that your tv input will never have to change. It is only connected in one place -- Component 1 or Video 1 or whatever it is. The only thing that needs to be switched is your receiver, and you can tell it in the setup options to switch audio/video appropriately when you change source devices from dvd to cable.
     

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