Originally Posted by bfdtv Frequently Asked QuestionsHow do I connect the DTVPal DVR to my TV?
The DTVPal DVR supports both HD and non-HD displays. It outputs full high-definition through component and HDMI, and it downconverts HD channels through coax and composite for those with older TVs.
If you have a HDTV or a 480p EDTV, you should connect the DTVPal DVR to your display with component or HDMI. HDMI carries both audio and video. If you use component for video, you'll also need to connect the analog stereo outputs (red and white RCAs) to your TV for sound. If you have an A/V receiver or surround system, use the optical output in place of analog stereo.
If you don't
have a HDTV or 480p EDTV, then you need to use the composite or coax output from the DTVPal DVR. For the best picture and sound on older TVs, use composite video (yellow RCA) and the analog stereo outputs (red and white RCAs). If you have an A/V receiver or surround system, use the optical output in place of analog stereo.Note the DTVPal DVR does not have s-video, and its component output can only be used on TVs that support 480p, 720p, or 1080i.
While it is true that HDMI carries both audio and video information, it might be good to point out that most (all?) TVs will NOT pass 5.1 audio from an HDMI input on to the optical output from the TV. They will only output 5.1 audio that comes directly from the OTA tuner within the TV. This is apparently a restriction from the movie industry that is *supposed* to prevent high-quality copies. As a result, if you want 5.1 surround sound, you cannot simply run HDMI to the TV and then optical from the TV to your surround receiver. You need to do one of the following:
1) Run the HDMI to a surround receiver with HDMI inputs and outputs. The receiver will play the surround sound and then route the video to the TV via HDMI.
2) Run HDMI from the DTVPal DVR to the TV and optical from the DTVPal DVR to the surround receiver. This is what I have done.
Originally Posted by 1HD_addict
Try changing the audio out of the DTVPal DVR to PCM instead of Dolby Digital from the Setup - Dolby Digital menu.
I had sound problems too when I first hooked the unit up. I use an HDMI connection to the TV and the TV audio output jacks are hooked up to my stereo. Since I only have a 2 channel stereo, I don't need Dolby Digital. Changing to PCM eliminated all sound problems. My guess is the TV only decodes Dolby Digital information from the tuner input...but that is just a guess.
In the near future I will add a Dolby Digital receiver to my setup. I will most likely connect the HDMI from the DTVPal directly into the receiver and switch the DTVPal back to Dolby Digital.
Originally Posted by RegGuheert
Thanks! My TV is configured as yours is. While I have a 5.1 surround-sound receiver, it does not have HDMI inputs and can only decode surround sound from either digital coax OR optical input. Those two inputs are already being used for a DVD and a Blu-ray player, so there are no more surround sound inputs to use for the TV.
While I haven't experienced this problem since the two times that prompted my post, I have just changed this setting as you suggested. We'll see if the sound problems crop up using PCM.
Please note that I get 5.1 surround output from the DTVPal DVR set to output either PCM or Dolby Digital. The setting is found at Menu->Setup(3)->Dolby Digital(4). I'm using PCM now in an attempt to avoid the sound problem I had previously. However, this might not be necessary since I'm no longer using HDMI for audio.
As alluded to previously, the problem with the industry's protections which will not allow your TV to pass 5.1 channel audio is that it defeats one of the main benefits of HDMI: namely that it carries both audio and video. Most audio receivers, like mine, have only one optical digital audio input, while some have two or three. But I have seven components with 5.1 channel digital audio outputs: 3 DVD players, 1 Blu-ray player, 1 HD-DVD player, 1 DTVPal DVR and 1 TV. Based on a private message from rflemin (Thanks!) about inexpensive optical combiners, I decided to look into hooking up more than two of my components to the surround receiver. Here are some things to note:
1) You CANNOT combine the optical output signal from the DTVPal DVR with that from other components using anoptical combiner
. This is true because the optical output from the DTVPal DVR is always on.
2) You CAN use anoptical switch
to switch in the signal from three different optical sources. This is what I have done, and have added a fourth input connected to my receiver through the coaxial input. I will have to be careful to switch *away* from the DTVPal DVR optical input before trying to use the coaxial input to the receiver.
3) I tried to cascade the combiners with the switch to allow two inputs in two of the switch position, thus allowing for 5 optical inputs plus one coaxial input for a total of six. Unfortunately, I failed in my attempt. Apparently having six meters of optical fiber, six optical connections, a switch AND an optical combiner attenuated the signal too much for my receiver to detect it. The optical combiner seemed to be the main contributor to the loss I experienced. The light level was notably dimmer following this device. I don't know if it was because I bought a poor-quality one or if they all would be like this. Now I'm wondering if it might be possible to lower the light threshold at which my receiver detects the signal.
In the end, the switch allows me to go from having two surround inputs to my receiver to having four. The big drawback to the switch is that I bought one that has to be changed manually, which is something I have avoided for my system, so far.
I hope this information is useful to someone else. If anyone has an other ideas how to connect more than four inputs to my surround receiver, please let me know.