Cables Coming Out of the Walls! Help? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got a house that was pre-wired with speakers in several different locations. To wit:

2 ceiling speakers in the family room/living room:
2 ceiling speakers in the kitchen
2 ceiling speakers in the "study"
2 ceiling speakers in the "office"
2 ceiling speakers on the deck.

All these have in wall/twist knob volume controls.

I'm going to hook up an Onkyo TX-NR515 Receiver in the family room/living room. I want this to just be like a 5-1 set up and use the two ceiling speakers in that room as the rear speakers.

I want to have a second "zone" made up of all the other speakers. Basically, so someone can be in the living room watching the TV and someone else can be in a different room listening to music. They can't all be separate zones because I understand that would be extremely costly, so I'm sticking with 2 zones for now. I bought an amplifier to power the second zone (a very basic AMP-100).

My immediate dilemma is the wires that are coming out of the walls and how to hook them up. Basically, the family room is the hub area and all the speaker wires for all the ceiling speakers for all the rooms come out there. I thought it would be simple enough, but the wires are confusing me greatly. It appears there are 4 separate 4-conductor cables for the speakers designated for the living room (they are labeled "center" "front left" "front right" and "rears"). I have not used 4 conductor cables before and don't know how to hook them up to the Receiver. Should I just use the Red and Black wires from these cables and leave the white and green ones unused, or do I twist them together some way?

Then, for the other Zone ceiling speakers, it appear there are also 4 conductor cables labeled for each of these, but in addition, there are some what appear to be 8-conductor cables as well? I have no idea what these are for or how to hook them up to the receiver and/or Amp.

I thought I was just going to hook the receiver up to the amp and the amp. to the "zone 2" speakers, but there are not enough connections for all these wires.

Help?

Edit: I forgot there is also 1single black cable in there that is not labled and I don't know what it does. "Honeywell P/N 5007"
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post

I want to have a second "zone" made up of all the other speakers. Basically, so someone can be in the living room watching the TV and someone else can be in a different room listening to music. They can't all be separate zones because I understand that would be extremely costly, so I'm sticking with 2 zones for now. I bought an amplifier to power the second zone (a very basic AMP-100).

Depends on your definition of "extremely costly", but you can look at that later (check out the systems at HTD.com for examples). A simple setup with an AMP-100 is a good start.
Quote:
It appears there are 4 separate 4-conductor cables for the speakers designated for the living room (they are labeled "center" "front left" "front right" and "rears"). I have not used 4 conductor cables before and don't know how to hook them up to the Receiver. Should I just use the Red and Black wires from these cables and leave the white and green ones unused, or do I twist them together some way?

The front L/C/R go where? To a wall plate or a bare wire? They just used 4-conductor cable since that's what they were using for everything else. Most likely the red/black pair are the ones connected. If you've got bare wire at the other end, you can twist two wires together to make a thicker-gauge wire (no reason not to!), since you only need 2 conductors. The rear speakers probably chain from one to the other. You'll have to test to make sure you get them in order, but the pair should be red/black and green/white.
Quote:
Then, for the other Zone ceiling speakers, it appear there are also 4 conductor cables labeled for each of these, but in addition, there are some what appear to be 8-conductor cables as well? I have no idea what these are for or how to hook them up to the receiver and/or Amp.

I thought I was just going to hook the receiver up to the amp and the amp. to the "zone 2" speakers, but there are not enough connections for all these wires.

You'll need to verify that the volume control knobs you have are "impedance-matching" before hooking them all up. Take one of the volume controls off the wall and look for a make/model. If there any switches on it that say "1X / 2X / 4x" or similar, you're in luck. If not, you'll need an impedance-matching speaker selector to go between the pairs and your amp, so that you don't overdrive the amp and smoke it.

Assuming the volume knobs are impedance matching, just connect all pairs to the amp. You might want to use a short piece of speaker wire to jumper off the amp and then splice all the speaker cables together (since getting all those connections into the amp can be difficult).
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Edit: I forgot there is also 1single black cable in there that is not labled and I don't know what it does. "Honeywell P/N 5007"

That's a single coax cable, most likely run to a wall plate somewhere in your family room to connect to a powered subwoofer.

Jeff

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post #3 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your reply.
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Depends on your definition of "extremely costly", but you can look at that later (check out the systems at HTD.com for examples). A simple setup with an AMP-100 is a good start.
The front L/C/R go where? To a wall plate or a bare wire?
You know, this is a good question. Right now I see bare cables coming out of the wall in the living room. I don't know what the other end of the cable goes to. I now *think* it might be a pre-wiring deal, where these cables are there to possibly be connected in the future to speakers that would be put in the walls. In which case, I guess I could ignore these cables entirely for now? And I'd just use regular speaker wire to connect my receiver to the shelf speakers I have?
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They just used 4-conductor cable since that's what they were using for everything else. Most likely the red/black pair are the ones connected. If you've got bare wire at the other end, you can twist two wires together to make a thicker-gauge wire (no reason not to!), since you only need 2 conductors. The rear speakers probably chain from one to the other. You'll have to test to make sure you get them in order, but the pair should be red/black and green/white.
I'm not sure what you mean about chaining from one to the other and testing to make sure I get them in the right order? Can you explain that a little better? If you can't tell, I'm a complete novice at this.
You are saying it's okay to twist the red and black ones ("right") and white and green ones ("left") together?
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You'll need to verify that the volume control knobs you have are "impedance-matching" before hooking them all up. Take one of the volume controls off the wall and look for a make/model. If there any switches on it that say "1X / 2X / 4x" or similar, you're in luck. If not, you'll need an impedance-matching speaker selector to go between the pairs and your amp, so that you don't overdrive the amp and smoke it.
These are Truaudio VCK-100, which are advertised as impedemence matching I think?
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Assuming the volume knobs are impedance matching, just connect all pairs to the amp. You might want to use a short piece of speaker wire to jumper off the amp and then splice all the speaker cables together (since getting all those connections into the amp can be difficult).
I'm sorry, you've lost me again with this. As I said, there appear to be two separate cables for each pair of speakers in the other rooms. One is a 4 conductor cable, and one is what looks to be an 8 conductor cable. (the 4 conductor cable is white, and thicker. The 8 (I think) conductor cable is blue, and thinner despite the fact it seems to have more smaller wires in it.) When you say I should connect all pairs to the amp, you mean I should connect the 4 conductor as well as the 8 conductor? How would I match the wires from the 8 conductor with the 4 conductor?

If you can recall the back of the Amp-100, it's got connectors for "Speaker A" and "Speaker B" on the back with 2 red and 2 black, right and left for each. I was assuming (hoping) I could use 1 red and 1 black for each of hte speaker pairs (study, office, kitchen, deck). Is that right/will that work?

That's a single coax cable, most likely run to a wall plate somewhere in your family room to connect to a powered subwoofer[/quote]
I do have a powered subwoofer, but it's older and doesn't have a coax input. So, you think I can ignore this one as well?

Thank you again so much.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post

You know, this is a good question. Right now I see bare cables coming out of the wall in the living room. I don't know what the other end of the cable goes to. I now *think* it might be a pre-wiring deal, where these cables are there to possibly be connected in the future to speakers that would be put in the walls. In which case, I guess I could ignore these cables entirely for now? And I'd just use regular speaker wire to connect my receiver to the shelf speakers I have?

Well, if you don't know where the wires go, kinda hard to use them... And yes, it's just wire. Nothing special, and if you've got speakers already and can run wire to them, go for it. Most bookshelf speakers will sound better than similarly-priced in-walls, assuming that's where those wires go. If the builder did another typical move, those wires may go to the ceiling, which is the last place you'd really want the LCR's...
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I'm not sure what you mean about chaining from one to the other and testing to make sure I get them in the right order? Can you explain that a little better? If you can't tell, I'm a complete novice at this.

Time/labor saving move. 4-conductor cable supports two speakers. You run the wire to the first speaker, hook up the red/black, then splice the white/green to another piece of wire, which runs to the second speaker.

What I meant is that assuming they used the pairs correctly, you'll still need to figure out which speaker is "right surround" vs. "left surround". Hook them up, run the speaker setup/test in your AVR, and swap the connections if they're backwards...
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You are saying it's okay to twist the red and black ones ("right") and white and green ones ("left") together?

I wouldn't combine them that way just by convention - twist the red/green and black/white together - but it's a very minor point. You can just use the red/black and ignore the other two.
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These are Truaudio VCK-100, which are advertised as impedemence matching I think?

Yep, you should be set there.
Quote:
I'm sorry, you've lost me again with this. As I said, there appear to be two separate cables for each pair of speakers in the other rooms. One is a 4 conductor cable, and one is what looks to be an 8 conductor cable. (the 4 conductor cable is white, and thicker. The 8 (I think) conductor cable is blue, and thinner despite the fact it seems to have more smaller wires in it.) When you say I should connect all pairs to the amp, you mean I should connect the 4 conductor as well as the 8 conductor? How would I match the wires from the 8 conductor with the 4 conductor?

4-conductor cable will feed a pair of speakers. Red/black should be one speaker, green/white the other. I usually use red/black for the "right" speaker and greeen/white for "Left", but I don't think there's a standard, so again you may have to swap them once you figure it out. They should be consistent throughout the house, though.

Ah, and I thought I read you had another wire, but missed it (saw the coax and figured I mis-read this). That's good news - that is a cat5e cable to run a keypad. You can replace the simple volume controls in the future with basically any whole house audio system on the market, as you're wired up correctly! A slicker volume control setup is the Aton DLA6, and I've already mentioned the HTD systems which are a great value for a true whole house audio system. There are other choices, too, including using a set of Sonos Connect:Amps or NuVo P3100 systems (which don't use keypads and go strictly mobile-device for control).
Quote:
If you can recall the back of the Amp-100, it's got connectors for "Speaker A" and "Speaker B" on the back with 2 red and 2 black, right and left for each. I was assuming (hoping) I could use 1 red and 1 black for each of hte speaker pairs (study, office, kitchen, deck). Is that right/will that work?

It's essentially the same thing as wiring them all together, but yes, you can just cram two wires into each of the A/B connections (4 rooms, 2 on A, 2 on B).
Quote:
I do have a powered subwoofer, but it's older and doesn't have a coax input. So, you think I can ignore this one as well?

Yes, it does. It's just in the form of an RCA jack instead of the "F connector" on most coax cables. The installer should have terminated that wire with an RCA jack at a wall plate, but if not, you can pick up an adapter for less than $1 from Monoprice (you may need two):

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10430&cs_id=1043008&p_id=4130&seq=1&format=2

Jeff

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post #5 of 14 Old 02-28-2013, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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This has been very helpful. I greatly appreciate the information.

Currently I'm batting .500 on the set up. I got the living room stuff connected up including the rear ceiling speakers and it plays great.

The "Zone 2" speakers, however, are not working. I assume this is because I have screwed something up somewhere and not because the speakers/wiring is faulty. I hooked the receiver up to the Amp-100 via one red/white cable in the location which seemed to be indicated. I then wired the 4 pairs of speakers into the Amp. The way I have done it is twisting the Red/Green wires and the Black/White wires together from each 4 connector cable (making 8 total cables to connect) and then wired those to the Amp in the 8 locations on the Amp.

The Amp has 2 channels: " A" which has red/black/black/red
and ""B which has the same. Wired like this, no sound is currently coming out of the speakers in the other rooms at all. Can you tell me if this *sounds* correct? Should I not have twisted the wires together? Or did I put them in the wrong spots? It is also possible the problem is not the wiring but that I'm not acivating the Zone 2 correctly from my TR-515.I tried to follow the instructions there, and the "Zone 2" light comes on, but no sound comes from those speakers. I am still just getting the same sound from the living room speakers.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-01-2013, 09:07 AM
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Similar Issue

Apologies, I don't want to hijack this thread, but I have a smilar but less complicated problem:

I need to power 2 pairs of backyard speakers off the same amp. The amp is in the living room and has 1 pair of CAT 5E and 1 pair of 4 conductor running to a junction box near the back door. In the junction box, there are 2 pairs (4 total) of 2 wire conductor that run to the 2 pairs of speakers (see attached diagram).

I have the follwoing equipment (see attached picture)

AV Receiver: Yamaha RX 659 with Zone 2 (internal amp with 1 set of Zone 2/Presence speaker connections) (presently powers inside 5.1 setup (Boston Acoustics 8 ohm)

Outside: 2 pairs of speakers (4 total) Yamaha NS-AW390 6 ohms nominal input 40 w, maximum input, crossover 3khz.

2 Volume Controls: 1 for each pair of outside speakers: Monoprice RMS100 Impedence Input 2 channels, 100 watts per channel Output 2 channels, 4 to 16 ohms impedance matching Frequency Response 35 Hz to 20 kHz (+0/-2 db) at rated power

Wiring: (4 wire cable + CAT 5e) x 2 from wall to volume control box, then 2 wire (black/red)x 2 to outside speakers.

Questions so I don't blow anything up!

I can't spend any more money, but if need to, can repurpose a AudioSource AMP100 (Don't want to as it in the bedroom for the squeezebox and will power a second pair for the bathroom speakers).

1. Can I power both pairs of outside speakers without adding another amp using the internal amp on the AV receiver? (has only one L+R) by wring two Rs into the right and 2 Ls into the left, and how do I do this given I have a 4 wire running between the amp and the volume control?

2. What do I set the impedennce matching to on the volume control and the AV receiver?

3. Is there and issue with the 8 ohm speakers on the inside and 6 ohm speakers outside or will the impedence matching volume controls fix this?

4. What's the 2 CAT 5E for? Future proof?

Thanks in advance!

Sunil


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post #7 of 14 Old 03-01-2013, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post

The "Zone 2" speakers, however, are not working. I assume this is because I have screwed something up somewhere and not because the speakers/wiring is faulty. I hooked the receiver up to the Amp-100 via one red/white cable in the location which seemed to be indicated. I then wired the 4 pairs of speakers into the Amp. The way I have done it is twisting the Red/Green wires and the Black/White wires together from each 4 connector cable (making 8 total cables to connect) and then wired those to the Amp in the 8 locations on the Amp.

The Amp has 2 channels: " A" which has red/black/black/red and ""B which has the same. Wired like this, no sound is currently coming out of the speakers in the other rooms at all. Can you tell me if this *sounds* correct? Should I not have twisted the wires together? Or did I put them in the wrong spots?

If there's two speakers at the other end of the 4-conductor cable, you don't twist anything together, as two wires will go to each speaker. One pair for the left speaker, the other for the right one. They *should* be red/black and green/white pairs, but that's not a guarantee...
Quote:
It is also possible the problem is not the wiring but that I'm not acivating the Zone 2 correctly from my TR-515.I tried to follow the instructions there, and the "Zone 2" light comes on, but no sound comes from those speakers. I am still just getting the same sound from the living room speakers.

You also have two sources of volume control - the in-room controls and the volume control on your amp. Start with the amp volume on low, and turn the volume up 100% at the in-room controls, adjust from there once you know you've got sound. If you can hook up a local pair of speakers to your zone2 amp just to make sure you're getting sound out before further diagnosis, that may be helpful...

Jeff

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post #8 of 14 Old 03-02-2013, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

If there's two speakers at the other end of the 4-conductor cable, you don't twist anything together, as two wires will go to each speaker. One pair for the left speaker, the other for the right one. They *should* be red/black and green/white pairs, but that's not a guarantee...
If I don't twist the wires together, then there aren't anough places on the Amp to wire them all in. There are 8 locations on the Amp (4 positive and 4 negative), 2 for each "channel". Doesn't not twisting make it so I can only wire 2 pairs of Speakers, as opposed to the 4 that I have. (It would be like R/B/G/W on the top and the same on the bottom.) I was thinking there was a way to power all the speakers from this Amp.And I could run both the "positives" and both the negatives for each pair to the same hook-up. Wrong?
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You also have two sources of volume control - the in-room controls and the volume control on your amp. Start with the amp volume on low, and turn the volume up 100% at the in-room controls, adjust from there once you know you've got sound. If you can hook up a local pair of speakers to your zone2 amp just to make sure you're getting sound out before further diagnosis, that may be helpful...

Jeff
I will try to wire something differently, just to see if I can get any sound at all.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-02-2013, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post

If I don't twist the wires together, then there aren't anough places on the Amp to wire them all in. There are 8 locations on the Amp (4 positive and 4 negative), 2 for each "channel". Doesn't not twisting make it so I can only wire 2 pairs of Speakers, as opposed to the 4 that I have. (It would be like R/B/G/W on the top and the same on the bottom.) I was thinking there was a way to power all the speakers from this Amp.And I could run both the "positives" and both the negatives for each pair to the same hook-up. Wrong?

First you need to figure out how it's wired, since it's not working. Once you get the speaker pairs working individually, then yes, you can twist like-for-like signals together to connect them to the amp. But until you know what's what - you may be cross-connecting or shorting stuff together...
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I will try to wire something differently, just to see if I can get any sound at all.

Wire two wires at a time until you get each speaker identified. Hopefully they used the same color code for all zones, but there's only one way to find out.

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post #10 of 14 Old 03-03-2013, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Up to 75% success! I now can get sound from all the Zone 2 speakers (which hopefully means they are wired correctly and not about to explode or anything). I got Zone 2 to play the radio while the TV was on and the living room speakers were playing that. Progress!

My next issue is not being able to get the same sound to play from Zone 1 and Zone 2 at the same time. I couldn't get the TV to come out of the Zone 2 speakers. This may not be something I even want most of the time, but I'd like to know how to do it. I read about an issue of not being able to send a "digital" signal to Zone 2 and I'm wondering if this is that issue? Am I going to have the same issue trying to play the internet radio over the Zone 2 speakers (or a docked ipod?) I also seem to recall (if that is indeed the issue) there being some kind of work-around?

Thank you again for all your help.
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-03-2013, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post

I couldn't get the TV to come out of the Zone 2 speakers. This may not be something I even want most of the time, but I'd like to know how to do it. I read about an issue of not being able to send a "digital" signal to Zone 2 and I'm wondering if this is that issue? Am I going to have the same issue trying to play the internet radio over the Zone 2 speakers (or a docked ipod?) I also seem to recall (if that is indeed the issue) there being some kind of work-around?

That is most certainly the issue if you're using digital audio from your set-top box or TV. Run a set of RCA analog audio cables from your set-top box (or from the TV's audio output if you're using the built-in OTA tuner) to your AVR, in parallel to the digital audio cables. Not sure about the iPod dock, but if you're getting any audio from the iPod in Zone2, you should get all of it.

Jeff

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post #12 of 14 Old 03-03-2013, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

That is most certainly the issue if you're using digital audio from your set-top box or TV. Run a set of RCA analog audio cables from your set-top box (or from the TV's audio output if you're using the built-in OTA tuner) to your AVR, in parallel to the digital audio cables. Not sure about the iPod dock, but if you're getting any audio from the iPod in Zone2, you should get all of it.Jeff
With my last AVR, I couldn't run analog out of my zone 2 output. I'm always listening to internet radio or my mp3s through zone 2 (which goes outside).

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

That is most certainly the issue if you're using digital audio from your set-top box or TV. Run a set of RCA analog audio cables from your set-top box (or from the TV's audio output if you're using the built-in OTA tuner) to your AVR, in parallel to the digital audio cables. Not sure about the iPod dock, but if you're getting any audio from the iPod in Zone2, you should get all of it.

Jeff
Hello! I'm back again!

My current issue is still not being able to get the Zone 2 speakers to play what's coming out of the TV. I tried to run an analog cable from the TV to the Receiver in addition to the HDMI, but that did not seem to do anything. I *think* I connected in the correct places. For what it's worth, I didn't have an analog cable that was just Red/White, instead I used one that was Red/White/Yellow, and just left the yellow lines dangling.

Is there some simple way to get everything playing the same sound? I haven't tried running the analog from the Cable box to the receiver yet - do you think that would work?

Also, I streamed some Netflix on the TV the other day and found that that sound wouldn't come out of the room's speakers. It was just the TV's own speaker that would make sound. Is this the same problem, or perhaps a settings issue?
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 10:21 AM
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Hello! I'm back again!

My current issue is still not being able to get the Zone 2 speakers to play what's coming out of the TV. I tried to run an analog cable from the TV to the Receiver in addition to the HDMI, but that did not seem to do anything. I *think* I connected in the correct places. For what it's worth, I didn't have an analog cable that was just Red/White, instead I used one that was Red/White/Yellow, and just left the yellow lines dangling.

The cable is fine. Did you connect to the TV's "audio output" jack? What model is the TV?
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Is there some simple way to get everything playing the same sound? I haven't tried running the analog from the Cable box to the receiver yet - do you think that would work?

That will definitely work for any content coming from the set-top box.
Quote:
Also, I streamed some Netflix on the TV the other day and found that that sound wouldn't come out of the room's speakers. It was just the TV's own speaker that would make sound. Is this the same problem, or perhaps a settings issue?

Same problem. You'll need to figure out what audio output options your TV has. Post the brand/model.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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