Volume control problem with Scientific Atlanta HD and HK receiver cable box

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Scott Racer, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Scott Racer

    Scott Racer Auditioning

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    I run my cable box directly into my receiver (AVR 230) and recently switched the audio cables from RCAs to a fiberoptic cable. The receiver now recognizes the Dolby Digital signal and I have good sound. However, on most channels, I can no longer control the volume thru the cable box. I can only change the volume on the receiver. I went thru all the menus on the cable box and everything is set up properly. Since I went to the fiberoptic cable, the receiver now recognizes what kind of signal it is receiving and "sets" itself up automatically. Is this correct?

    Has anyone ever run into this before? Is there a way to fix it so I can control the volume thru the cable box? I have separate remotes for everything right now and I don't care for juggling 2 controllers while I'm channel hopping.
     
  2. MikeHerbst

    MikeHerbst Stunt Coordinator

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    When the signal is coming in over any digital connection (optical or coax) there is no "volume" information conveyed, only the raw data. The receiver is converting the digital sound stream back to analog with its own D/A converters and ONLY THEN is "volume" assigned and amplified.

    The best bet for solving this problem is using "Volume Punch Through" on a universal remote. Depending on what remote came with your cable box, it might even be able to do it.

    VPT is basically substituting the 3 volume keys (+,-, Mute) for your RECEIVER onto the 3 volume keys when you're in "Cable" mode on the remote.

    The One-For-All and Radioshack remotes can be programmed to do this from the keypad. One-For-All is also the OEM manufacturer for a lot of the remotes that come with cable and satellite STBs, so the capability might be there already.
     
  3. MikeHerbst

    MikeHerbst Stunt Coordinator

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    Forgot to add, if your cable remote is a "learning" remote, you could also learn the HK receiver volume controls over the top of the OEM remote. But VPT will still be the easiest.

    BTW, a good universal remote can do this for all of your devices. I have the usual TiVo, DVD, VCR, CD, etc. all running through a receiver and I control the volume for all of these through the receiver, not the source devices.

    One remote control does it all, but most importantly is that I DO NOT HAVE TO CHANGE DEVICES to do it. If I hit the "VCR" device button the volume controls still control the receiver, even though all the other keys control the VCR.

    With a JP1 enabled One-For-All/Radioshack remote you could get even fancier with it, but basic VPT works for most people.
     
  4. Scott Racer

    Scott Racer Auditioning

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    I've been checking out the Harmony 659 and will probably end up going that route. It seems pretty user friendly and looks like it would fit my needs. I'm sure going that route will solve my problems but I'm an old school kind of guy and have a hard time spending over $100 on a remote!!!
     
  5. MikeHerbst

    MikeHerbst Stunt Coordinator

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    Then I highly recommend that you investigate the "JP1" forum and the OneForAll/Radioshack line of remotes.

    http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/

    With a $10-$20 remote and a $15 cable, and a little time invested in learning the tools, you can do anything (and often more) that can be done with a Harmony remote or even a Pronto.

    The software is free, it just takes a little bit of reading to get up on the learning curve. I made my first cable from stuff I had lying around in my garage. My second cable (USB interface) cost like $20 to make.

    With JP1 you can:
    Solve all your VPT needs
    Create new device upgrades for any new equipment
    Combine devices codes (great for combo devices or where you only need one function on a particular device)
    Access functions that aren't neccesarily available on your original remote (which means you can't teach them to the Harmony remotes)
    Make one-button macros that turn on all the right equipment and set to the correct interfaces for watching DVDs, Cable, etc. (i.e. push the "DVD" button to watch DVDs, the TV, DVD player, Receiver, etc. all turn on and switch to the DVD mode)

    Since we have a TiVo, my current favorite is the URC-6131, but that needs some soldering to make it JP1 ready. My other favorites are the Radioshack 15-2116 and the URC-8910 which are JP1 ready out of the box.
     
  6. Scott Racer

    Scott Racer Auditioning

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    thanks for the info. Looks like the Harmony or MX500 are easier to setup but JP1 looks more cost effective. Looks like I'll have to do a little homework and decide which way to go.
     
  7. MikeHerbst

    MikeHerbst Stunt Coordinator

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    The JP1 is tougher to learn, but once you understand the tools, its actually supremely easy to do stuff. I'm at a point now where I've created complete upgrade files for a new device in less than 20 minutes. And once that file is created, it can be used on ANY of the JP1 remotes.

    Best example is my Epson projector. Not one single remote I've heard of supports it with one of the little codes in the book. With JP1 I was able to decode the signals from the original remote and create an "upgrade" code for it, so now all of my remotes can control the projector. Furthermore, now anyone ELSE who has my projector can just download my file and upload it to the remote without any real effort.

    That's the main power of JP1 over a "learning" remote. The learning only has to be one once, then it can all be backed up/decoded/distributed to anyone who wants it.
     

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