I need help, couldn't figure out which forum to go to :( Trying to figure out cabling for my set up :X - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-05-2014, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I am not terribly savvy in the area of Home Theater, and am not quite sure exactly what cabling I should be using for what. I will lay out exactly what I have, and exactly what I'm using, and what ideas I have, and I would greatly, greatly, appreciate advice on the matter.

Ok, here goes nothing:

TV: Samsung 55" LCD TV (http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-LN55B650-55-Inch-1080p-Touch/dp/B001WHICF0/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1388956517&sr=1-1&keywords=samsung+55+inch+LCD) I couldn't find my TV exactly, the only difference I think is my TV is only 60hz, not 120hz. Other than that, the inputs are IDENTICAL.

Cable Box: Motorola DCH6200 (http://media2.comcast.net/anon.comcastonline2/support/help/faqs/settopboxes/DCH6200_User_Guide.pdf) I actually have TWC, not comcast, but the box is the box.

Surround Sound: Panasonic DVD player/surround sound receiver. It's the Panasonic SA-PT770 but in terms of ports, it has HDMI, Optical audio, RCA, Component. It's a 5.1 surround sound system.

Currently, here is what we're doing:

Coaxial cable>cable box

HDMI cable from Cable box to Television.



The various speakers in the 5.1 set up have their proprietary inputs into the receiver, which is fine and dandy, but we use RCA (red/white) from receiver to TV. All of our audio manages to go through it, but I'm wondering a few things:

Should we be using RCA? I would have assumed using an HDMI output or optical audio out would have been a better solution. To where should I be plugging things into? Should I go from receiver>TV, or receiver>Cable box>TV, or what? Is my system flawed?

I'm just trying to figure out how to do this with as few cables as possible, and to give myself the highest quality possible. I know I don't have the greatest TV on Earth, but I want to maximize my system.

If there's any info I've messed up on/you need clarification on, please ask, I will give forth any and all information. <3 I just want the best audio/video that I can get!
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-05-2014, 02:23 PM
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Typically it would be coax into the cable box, HDMI from the cable box to the receiver, and then HDMI from the receiver to the TV.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-05-2014, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Huh, that's good to know.

I hate to be depressing, but my audio receiver from panasonic, and my cable box only have 1 HDMI input each, so unless I had some kind of splitter, I couldn't go cable box>receiver>TV. Going from cable box>receiver would kill all my HDMI inputs.

:X Blergh, any advice? I'm really appreciating this by the way, and I appreciate knowing how it was supposed to be done.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-05-2014, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, what I'm grasping is essentially I should just go ahead and plug the panasonic SA-PT770 (my weak little receiver) straight into my HDTV, and then plug my cable box directly into my TV as well. Am I losing out on anything by doing it this way as opposed to going cablebox>receiver>TV?

OK! I have pictures, this might help a bit.

http://www.avsystemparts.com/media/01/a20791e13ad90ba0b1e58d_s.JPG

http://i.imgur.com/4G139kh.png

So, here's what else I thought about doing.

HDMI from cable box to receiver, then optical audio from receiver to TV, but then I lose out on picture, I think.

The cable box has digital audio out, and the receiver has optical audio out. This is a mess -.- blergh.

Hmmm. Tricky tricky.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-05-2014, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Xarmydis View Post

OK! I have pictures, this might help a bit.

http://www.avsystemparts.com/media/01/a20791e13ad90ba0b1e58d_s.JPG

Okay, that changes everything, sorry. I totally missed the "DVD player" part and thought you were talking about a switching receiver with an HDMI input, so I didn't think to look up what the SA-PT770 actually does.

From glancing at the PT770 manual, in particular page 9, I think this is the best way to do it:
  • coax into the cable box.
  • HDMI from the cable box to the TV.
  • HDMI from the PT770 to the TV.
  • optical audio from the TV to the PT770.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-05-2014, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dododge View Post

Okay, that changes everything, sorry. I totally missed the "DVD player" part and thought you were talking about a switching receiver with an HDMI input, so I didn't think to look up what the SA-PT770 actually does.

From glancing at the PT770 manual, in particular page 9, I think this is the best way to do it:
  • coax into the cable box.
  • HDMI from the cable box to the TV.
  • HDMI from the PT770 to the TV.
  • optical audio from the TV to the PT770.

Will this guarantee that my audio is coming out of my surround sound? Should I not put the optical from the PT770 receiver to the cable box? I'm extremely unfamiliar with this stuff, so I'm probably just talking out my ass here, just trying to cover my bases x.x
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-05-2014, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xarmydis View Post

Will this guarantee that my audio is coming out of my surround sound?

In theory the HDMI cable should carry the digital audio and video from the cable box to the TV, and then the TV should be able to send the same audio out over the optical cable to the receiver. You'll have to try it to be sure.
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Should I not put the optical from the PT770 receiver to the cable box?

That would be another option to try if you find that the TV is not passing the audio from the HDMI input to the optical output. One downside to this approach is that if you ever add a third video source to the TV, such as a blu-ray payer or game console, you won't have any way to connect its audio to the receiver.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-06-2014, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not getting any audio. I have my the optical cable connected to the TV, actually, as per the samsung TV's instruction manual: http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/content/UM/201104/20110426134908460/[550_USA]BN68-01883C-02L02-110426.pdf

There is a section called "connecting a digital audio system"

I do exactly as it says, and as you say:

HDMI from cable box to TV
Optical cable from receiver to TV

No audio frown.gif I'll give it a shot going from receiver to cable box, see if that does anything differently.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-06-2014, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xarmydis View Post

There is a section called "connecting a digital audio system"

Looking at the notes in that section, it appears the TV does not pass the digital audio directly from the HDMI inputs. Instead it mixes the 5.1 down to 2.0, which is basically the same thing it does on the RCA connectors. The TV manual recommends connecting the digital audio from the cable box directly to the receiver, so you should definitely try that instead.

You probably still should have gotten some sort of audio from that connection, even if it was only a 2.0 mix. According to page 15 of the PT770 manual, to hear the audio from the digital audio input you have to set "EXT-IN" to "D-IN".



Don't get too discouraged, this stuff is pretty much always a complicated mess these days. HDMI format negotiation, copy protection, port speeds, etc -- even high-end gear can end up having weird quirks in how it can or can't be hooked up.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-06-2014, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dododge View Post

Looking at the notes in that section, it appears the TV does not pass the digital audio directly from the HDMI inputs. Instead it mixes the 5.1 down to 2.0, which is basically the same thing it does on the RCA connectors. The TV manual recommends connecting the digital audio from the cable box directly to the receiver, so you should definitely try that instead.

You probably still should have gotten some sort of audio from that connection, even if it was only a 2.0 mix. According to page 15 of the PT770 manual, to hear the audio from the digital audio input you have to set "EXT-IN" to "D-IN".



Don't get too discouraged, this stuff is pretty much always a complicated mess these days. HDMI format negotiation, copy protection, port speeds, etc -- even high-end gear can end up having weird quirks in how it can or can't be hooked up.

Ok, it's on D-IN, and I've tested HD channels that claim to have DD, and it sounds glorious!

I have optical from receiver to cable box, cable box is HDMI to TV. There is a downside though, which I'm trying to find a way around. I want to be able to plug my laptop into my TV. It has the HDMI ports to allow it, but I can't get my computers audio through the sound system. Any ideas on how I might do that? Or is my only option to put the optical cable from the receiver to the TV instead of to the cable box, thereby killing my surround sound?
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-06-2014, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
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Ok, it's on D-IN, and I've tested HD channels that claim to have DD, and it sounds glorious!

Excellent, glad to hear it's working.
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There is a downside though, which I'm trying to find a way around. I want to be able to plug my laptop into my TV. It has the HDMI ports to allow it, but I can't get my computers audio through the sound system. Any ideas on how I might do that?

Try this: connect the laptop just to the TV, and add your old red/white RCA cable from the TV's audio output to the receiver's AUX input. Then you'll probably be able to hear the laptop audio (as a 2-channel mix) when you set the receiver's EXT-IN to AUX.

Since the receiver treats AUX and D-IN as separate inputs, you should be able to have them both hooked up at the same time. You'll just need to remember to use D-IN when watching something from the cable box if you want the full 5.1 audio to come through.
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