Help connecting Laptop > TV > Receiver > 2 Front, Center, and Subwoofer : I'm Audio challenged! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-27-2013, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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My setup is this:
HTPC connected to my Samsung LCD TV by HDMI
Samsung TV connected to Pioneer VSX-818V by optical cable (I tried HDMI direct from laptop to receiver but it seemed worse)

I have some nice older fisher speakers that sound great for my ears. I don't need anything fancy, but I have 2 front, a center, and a subwoofer and would like to hear from them all. I have so much trouble getting the settings right... I have read that my trouble may be because the Laptop is feeding out 2 channel audio via HDMI. How do I prevent this? Is going Laptop > Receiver by HDMI my only option?

Is this the fault of my Receiver? the fault of the user? I actually work in IT and consider myself technical but I cannot figure this out for the life of me. I really appreciate any advice. I'm open to buying a new receiver if you say the Pioneer is the issue too..


thanks!!!
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-27-2013, 11:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machx View Post

My setup is this:
HTPC connected to my Samsung LCD TV by HDMI
Samsung TV connected to Pioneer VSX-818V by optical cable (I tried HDMI direct from laptop to receiver but it seemed worse)

I have some nice older fisher speakers that sound great for my ears. I don't need anything fancy, but I have 2 front, a center, and a subwoofer and would like to hear from them all. I have so much trouble getting the settings right... I have read that my trouble may be because the Laptop is feeding out 2 channel audio via HDMI. How do I prevent this? Is going Laptop > Receiver by HDMI my only option?

Is this the fault of my Receiver? the fault of the user? I actually work in IT and consider myself technical but I cannot figure this out for the life of me. I really appreciate any advice. I'm open to buying a new receiver if you say the Pioneer is the issue too..


thanks!!!

Yep, you should look up Lowest Common Denominator as it applies to HDMI. Basically you'll get two channel output over HDMI when connected to two channel devices, such as your TV. You'll get multichannel output when hooked up to just multichannel devices such as your AVR. The sink tells the source what capabilities the sink has. The source then formulates its signal based on the sink's capabilities.

So hook up to your receiver to get multichannel audio. The receiver will then forward the video to your TV over its HDMI output.

I also noticed you didn't mention surround speakers. While some newer receivers will handle the lack of surround speakers, I'm not sure the VSX-818 can properly output audio if there are no surrounds. Make sure in your speaker setup menu that you have an option not to have surrounds.

So, again your only option for true multichannel is by going through your receiver. What was the problem with doing this?
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-27-2013, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

Yep, you should look up Lowest Common Denominator as it applies to HDMI. Basically you'll get two channel output over HDMI when connected to two channel devices, such as your TV. You'll get multichannel output when hooked up to just multichannel devices such as your AVR. The sink tells the source what capabilities the sink has. The source then formulates its signal based on the sink's capabilities.

So hook up to your receiver to get multichannel audio. The receiver will then forward the video to your TV over its HDMI output.

I also noticed you didn't mention surround speakers. While some newer receivers will handle the lack of surround speakers, I'm not sure the VSX-818 can properly output audio if there are no surrounds. Make sure in your speaker setup menu that you have an option not to have surrounds.

So, again your only option for true multichannel is by going through your receiver. What was the problem with doing this?

I tried connecting Laptop via HDMI > Receiver , Receiver via HDMI > TV, but for some reason I do not get any audio at all like this. Only when I connect the optical out from TV > Receiver do I get sound. Also, while the HDMI picture is passed through, I do not get any onscreen GUI like is referenced in my receiver's manuals. This is one of my biggest frustrations, I can't seem to access the onscreen TV GUI at all

I do not have surround speakers. Doing research some other time, I read my setup was uncommon. I live in an apartment so it would be rather difficult to setup rear surround speakers without some type of wireless rear speaker setup.

Are Pioneer's especially non-user friendly? I always heard good things about them and that's why I bought one years ago. I'm not looking to make a high end home theater, but I was hoping to at least emulate sound in all my speakers.. even if it's not the most legit of setups! smile.gif I think a lot of my problems might be resolved by a new receiver with an onscreen gui that I can actually access. But maybe it's my TV that doesn't support the onscreen GUI?

Thanks for your reply
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-28-2013, 05:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machx View Post

I tried connecting Laptop via HDMI > Receiver , Receiver via HDMI > TV, but for some reason I do not get any audio at all like this. Only when I connect the optical out from TV > Receiver do I get sound. Also, while the HDMI picture is passed through, I do not get any onscreen GUI like is referenced in my receiver's manuals. This is one of my biggest frustrations, I can't seem to access the onscreen TV GUI at all

I do not have surround speakers. Doing research some other time, I read my setup was uncommon. I live in an apartment so it would be rather difficult to setup rear surround speakers without some type of wireless rear speaker setup.

Are Pioneer's especially non-user friendly? I always heard good things about them and that's why I bought one years ago. I'm not looking to make a high end home theater, but I was hoping to at least emulate sound in all my speakers.. even if it's not the most legit of setups! smile.gif I think a lot of my problems might be resolved by a new receiver with an onscreen gui that I can actually access. But maybe it's my TV that doesn't support the onscreen GUI?

Thanks for your reply

Page 87 of your VSX-818V owner's manual:
Quote:
• The OSD will not appear if you have connected using the HDMI output to your TV.

You need to use component video instead (or composite although that will reduce your picture resolution) to see the on screen display. This was not uncommon with receivers from a few years ago.

The good news is that on page 43 the owner's manual states that you don't have to have surround speakers. If you select "no" for surround speakers, the fronts will be used instead. Remember you must select "no" or the surround sound will be lost instead of redirected.

What type of sound output are you trying to send to your the receiver from the laptop? (Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA??) Also have you selected HDMI as the primary audio source in the laptop menu when connected via HDMI?
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-30-2013, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

Page 87 of your VSX-818V owner's manual:
You need to use component video instead (or composite although that will reduce your picture resolution) to see the on screen display. This was not uncommon with receivers from a few years ago.

The good news is that on page 43 the owner's manual states that you don't have to have surround speakers. If you select "no" for surround speakers, the fronts will be used instead. Remember you must select "no" or the surround sound will be lost instead of redirected.

What type of sound output are you trying to send to your the receiver from the laptop? (Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA??) Also have you selected HDMI as the primary audio source in the laptop menu when connected via HDMI?

Ahhhh thank you for that... very important detail about the component video.

I'm not sure my laptop gives me the discretion to choose Dolby DTS, True HD, etc or maybe I just don't know where to look. The odd thing is HDMI only connection doesn't provide sound, but when I connect the optical cable from TV to Receiver it does work.

Maybe component video / onscreen GUI will provide better results, thank you for the tip!
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-30-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machx View Post

Ahhhh thank you for that... very important detail about the component video.

I'm not sure my laptop gives me the discretion to choose Dolby DTS, True HD, etc or maybe I just don't know where to look. The odd thing is HDMI only connection doesn't provide sound, but when I connect the optical cable from TV to Receiver it does work.

Maybe component video / onscreen GUI will provide better results, thank you for the tip!

Sounds to me as if you haven't enabled the sound output over HDMI when connected to the AVR. What you are connected to can change the settings on the laptop audio.

When connected to the AVR, go into the Sound applet (under Control Panel, if using Windows) and make sure the primary audio device is HDMI.
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