Is there an agreed upon way to best hook up a surround sound system to your tv? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-29-2013, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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It appears that there are two ways this can be done:

A- I hook up all my components (roku, Streaming box, PC) to the HDMI inputs on my TV then I hook the optical audio out from the TV to the AV reciever.

B- I hook up all my components to the AV receiver and then run a single HDMI cable to the TV.


I tried doing a little research, and I found a single post where someone said option B would be better because of something about a different kind of surroundsound that bluerays use that the TV might not be able to output through the optical audio out, so it's better to do it B over A.

Can anyone confirm if doing it one way or the other matters? Is it (semi) universally agreed that B is better?
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-29-2013, 05:21 PM
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B is the way to go.

Most HDTV's will down convert any incoming audio signals from HDMI to 2 channel stereo thru the optical output. Then you're not taking advantage of the better multichannel sound options available to you when it is passed to the receiver.

If you connect your devices directly to the receiver you'll get Dolby Digital 5.1 from your cable/sat box, Roku and other streaming devices. You'd get DD 5.1 or DTS from DVD's and TrueHD or DTS-MA from blu ray.

If you want better audio quality connect your devices to the receiver first.

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post #3 of 8 Old 08-29-2013, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

B is the way to go.

Most HDTV's will down convert any incoming audio signals from HDMI to 2 channel stereo thru the optical output. Then you're not taking advantage of the better multichannel sound options available to you when it is passed to the receiver.

If you connect your devices directly to the receiver you'll get Dolby Digital 5.1 from your cable/sat box, Roku and other streaming devices. You'd get DD 5.1 or DTS from DVD's and TrueHD or DTS-MA from blu ray.

If you want better audio quality connect your devices to the receiver first.

Thanks, you helped me pick my speakers out the other day, and the subwoofer (which by the way is a monster).

Now it looks like I'm going to need to buy a new receiver because my old one does not support HDMI input, and the Roku only outputs in HDMI. I guess I'm looking for a 5.1 reciever with at least 3 hdmi inputs. I tried looking for one that cost 100-150 bucks, but it looks like the minimum I'll have to drop on one is $200, which puts me way over my budget... but at this point it looks like I have no choice, after spending all that money on everything else...
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-29-2013, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjackel View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

B is the way to go.

Most HDTV's will down convert any incoming audio signals from HDMI to 2 channel stereo thru the optical output. Then you're not taking advantage of the better multichannel sound options available to you when it is passed to the receiver.

If you connect your devices directly to the receiver you'll get Dolby Digital 5.1 from your cable/sat box, Roku and other streaming devices. You'd get DD 5.1 or DTS from DVD's and TrueHD or DTS-MA from blu ray.

If you want better audio quality connect your devices to the receiver first.

Thanks, you helped me pick my speakers out the other day, and the subwoofer (which by the way is a monster).

Now it looks like I'm going to need to buy a new receiver because my old one does not support HDMI input, and the Roku only outputs in HDMI. I guess I'm looking for a 5.1 reciever with at least 3 hdmi inputs. I tried looking for one that cost 100-150 bucks, but it looks like the minimum I'll have to drop on one is $200, which puts me way over my budget... but at this point it looks like I have no choice, after spending all that money on everything else...

Since your receiver does not support HDMI then use option A in your first post. Alternatively you could run the video from your blu-ray player to your TV via HDMI and run the audio out from your blu-ray player via optical to your receiver (assuming you have more then one optical input) on your avr). This way when you watch movies you can still get full 5.1 surround sound, it just wont be lossless, but none-the-less still quite good. If this works, it will buy you time to come with a bit more cash to drop on a new receiver. Something in the $500-$800 range seems to be the sweet spot on most manufactures models.

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-29-2013, 11:14 PM
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Most devices have optical or coax audio outputs that will feed perfectly fine 5.1 sound to your receiver. You should be able to connect your cable box and disc player to the TV using HDMI for video and to the AVR using optical or coax for audio. It makes switching a bit of a pain as you need to change inputs on both the TV and the AVR. The one exception is the Roku, which lacks an optical output. That one has to go through the TV, which likely means only stereo audio.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-30-2013, 08:08 AM
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Really it is way best in your situation to hook all components and the HDTV to the receiver via Digital Coax and/or Optical.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-30-2013, 08:43 AM
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You've received good advice so far. If all you have is 5.1 speakers check and see if your TV can output 5.1 from the digital output. My Pioneer can. I just had to go through the setup menus to switch it from stereo to PCM or something like that. If that's the case everything can connect to your TV and then you can run a single digital cable from your TV to the receiver.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-30-2013, 03:40 PM
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^^ All TVs can output DD 5.1 from audio sources they acquire themselves - things like off air antenna signals and Smart TV apps. But, many will only output stereo from external devices such as disc players and streaming devices. This is easy enough for the OP to test on his TV.
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