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Hey Everyone I'm New, Not To Good With Electronics...Need Some Help!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,

I found this forum by using google to help me find an answer to my problem but I'm still stuck. I have a HTS in a box - Phillips HTS3106, 5:1 surround sound with built in blu-ray player. My TV is a Toshiba 46G300U, non-mounted on a triple deck black stand. Devices connected - TV, HTS, XBOX360. So before I explain the help I need let me tell you guys exactly how I have everything set up - TV is plugged into wall with time warner digital cable. Cable box is connected to TV using HDMI cable only and is plugged into wall for power supply. XBOX 360 is connected to TV using an HDMI only, XBOX has wireless internet device connected to it and console is plugged into the wall for power source. My HTS is plugged into the wall for power, then is connected to my TV using an HDMI cord. My HTS audio in white and red plug connectors are connected to the digital cable box's audio out white and red plug connectors. My HTS's yellow video out is connected to my TV's yellow video in connection port. Now to my question (s) - I want to be able to play my digital cable sound through my HTS 5:1 speakers, I also want to play my XBOX360 through my HTS 5:1 speakers. Now on my manual it says to connect my digital audio coaxial cable audio in which is located on my HTS Blu-Ray to my digital coaxial out port located on my TV. Well my TV don't have a digital coaxial out port on my TV instead my TV has what is called an Optical Digtial Out (it lights up red when the TV is on). Now would I need something like this to make my setup work? - http://www.cablewholesale.com/specs/toslink-to-digital-coax/10tr-08300.htm, this is called an "Digital Fiber Optical (Toslink) to Digital Coaxial (S/PDIF) Converter". This is the site I was following to trouble shoot my problem before I found this forum http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/cpindex.pl?ctn=HTS3106%2FF7&dct=FAQ&faqview=1&new_tmpl=1&refdisplay=QAC_89798&refnr=0089798&scy=US&slg=AEN. If this would work then I would connect my digital coaxial audio in into the "in port of the converter" then from there I would connect my optical digital audio out from my TV in the "out port of the converter". Would this completely fix my issue? If this wouldn't fix my issues would I need a receiver or tuner or something? And if I do can you guys link me to one that you recommend that is good but yet fairly affordable. Again I literally am not very good with electronics when it comes to the really detailed stuff. I played my Blu-Ray and everything worked fine, all my speakers worked and watched Inception on my TV and it worked without an hitch. My digital cable with just my HDMI cable worked rather well and am happy with that. Thanks for reading my very first post here. I sincerely thank each and everyone of you in advance for your help!

Thanks,

Devin Mueller

Quick Notes about 360 - Has: 1 HDMI port, 1 AV cable port and 1 power supply port only.
Edited by dmueller9834 - 12/27/12 at 8:12pm
post #2 of 15
Yes, an optical to digital coax cable will work. However, with most TVs, the digital output is limited to stereo for attached devices. If you want discrete 5.1, you will need to attach your devices directly to the receiver and run a single HDMI connection from the AVR to the TV for video.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Would either of these work with my system?

Onkyo HT-RC360 7.2-Channel Network Audio/Video Receiver, Black ---- 300$ at Walmart

OR

Onkyo HT-RC430 5.1 CH Home Theater Receiver ---- 160$ at Walmart


Now my system is 1000 watts so do I NEED a 1000 watt reciever to make my system work its absolute best? Everything will use HDMI. When I plug my blue ray HDMI into my reciever do I need to run any red or white cables to my cable box or tv?
post #4 of 15
Unfortunately, your HTIB (like most of them) has 4 ohm speakers and a passive subwoofer. The receivers you listed are perfectly fine, but you'll likely need to get new speakers. Download the online manuals to see whether those AVRs have a 4 ohm setting. You would definitely need to replace the sub with a powered one.

When using HDMI, there's no need for any other types of connections.

If you decide to stay with your HTIB and use the optical-coax cable from the TV, try using ProLogic II processing in the sound system. That produces fairly good surround sound from stereo sources. The Blu-ray player will have an ouput setting that will downmix multichannel sources to stereo with surround encoding that is designed to work with PLII processing.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
I see your point. I bought a two year service plan and this was a Christmas present. What I've decided is I'll take it back and return it. Get my money back and buy an all in one home theater that comes with a reciever. Do you have any suggestions? Say 500$?
post #6 of 15
Onkyo HTIBs come with real receivers as their hubs, along with standard 8 ohm speakers and powered subwoofers. I'd start looking there. Denon also has good packages, although they tend to be more expensive than Onkyos. While it is better to buy receivers, speakers, and sub separately - getting what you need in each piece - HTIBs are considerably cheaper. As long as there's a real receiver in the HTIB package, you can upgrade the speakers and sub down the road.
post #7 of 15
Yamaha also makes good HTiB's so you have three to research. Yamaha, Onkyo, and Denon.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Did a quick search on Onkyo HTIBs and I something like this came up. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004O0TREC

Surround placement is in a family room fairly large in size. Would a 5:1, 7:1 or 7:2 be a good range of appropriate options, The above link has an Onkyo 7:1 HTIB for around 310$. I'm assuming with an actual reciever this will make everything much simpler? Since ill be returning my current HTIB and ill browse while in there plus need to return some oter electronics to Best Buy. What are some quick tips to look for in a package - 4 HDMI or more inputs, how many watts?, surround setup? ---> anything 5:1,7:1,7:2?
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Yamaha also makes good HTiB's so you have three to research. Yamaha, Onkyo, and Denon.

Went into Best Buy browsed online for a few hours before I left. Browsed there for a few hours, checked reviews for systems via my iphone' internet. We decided to go with the Yamaha product code: YHT-497BL 5.1 HOME THEATER SYSTEM. Got it for 379.00$ which seems like a good price. Compared it to the Denon that was next to it based on reviews and actually the Yamaha had better reviews. The specs of my HTIB of choice seems to be and exactly what I need. A powered sub with receiver that has 4 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output. Let me know my dad and I made a great choice! P.S. This is a gift for my mom and dad so I hope I made a good one!

Thanks
post #10 of 15
I've had the Yamaha YHT-395 for awhile now and it works and sounds beautifully in our environment ,so yours is a step-up from mine. I'm going to be replacing the speakers this coming year with the MLT-2s so I can't wait to hear what it will sound like then.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
OTTO,

Do you like everything about your system? I feel Yamaha makes a good brand and in all honesty I can customize it if I so choose. Different speakers, different sub etc. Now a few question - I read some reviews about how the speakers are 6 ohms and that the AVR is set to 8 ohms, that is just a simple adjustment correct? Also are there a wide variety of speakers offered in 6 ohms?
post #12 of 15
My system can be set for 6 ohms as well as 8 ohms. It's always best to run speakers at 8 ohms if they are rated for that. The output (loudness) may be a bit less but it is less strain on the speakers. I prefer 8 ohms because it seems that the response is cleaner. I don't run my system to shake windows and rattle the floor so the decrease in volume is not a big deal to me. I do like my Yamaha. For me, I use my receiver for audio only (movies/OTA tv/streaming). I don't care to artificially upscale movies etc because I have a blu-ray player that can handle all of that and my tv is calibrated.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Otto,

Thank you alot! I'm currently living with my parents as I finish my college degree up and my dad and I are weekend gamers (sometimes as well as movies). We also watch movies on the weekends and we are very big into sports via tv(golf, basketball, etc). IF my speakers are 6 ohms and my reciever can go 8 ohms or 6 ohms I can't go 8 ohms on my speakers can I? Also my tv is calibrated in terms of lightness and darkness, refresh rate and all that stuff, current audio output, etc. Only thing id need to do is calibrate the audio when we get this system set up. On the YOPA microphone to balance the surround sound is there instructions? I read some reviews that said they didn come with instructions on this part. Do you recommend using 16 gauge speaker wire to route my speakers? I've read some people's rear speakers cut out due to the 22-24 gauge supplied wire. Now I just need to get me a nice blu-ray player (under 150$) ---- anyone that you could recommend or atleast point me in the right direction? I might go and get a couple rolls of speaker wire if we go that route, maybe some mounting brackets such as these here http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B007F8T5PQ/ref=aw_d_detail?pd=1 or here http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002WN1GOW would this links above work with these Yamaha speakers (I'm assuming you speakers are pretty identical to mine?).
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

My system can be set for 6 ohms as well as 8 ohms. It's always best to run speakers at 8 ohms if they are rated for that. The output (loudness) may be a bit less but it is less strain on the speakers. I prefer 8 ohms because it seems that the response is cleaner. I don't run my system to shake windows and rattle the floor so the decrease in volume is not a big deal to me. I do like my Yamaha. For me, I use my receiver for audio only (movies/OTA tv/streaming). I don't care to artificially upscale movies etc because I have a blu-ray player that can handle all of that and my tv is calibrated.

Otto,

My AVR is 8 ohms and I know my speakers are 6 ohms. Now if my speakers are only 6 ohms can I run them at 8 ohms? On the back of each speaker it says 6 ohms, so I'm assuming thats what I have to run mine at? I am trying my best to help my dad hook this up as I am lucky enough to live with my parents as I finish up my undergraduate degree. This setup is going to be used for movies (friday and saturday nights, gaming on the weekends off and on) as well as for sports events (golf, basketball, football, etc, etc). What about the YPAO microphone, I've read some reviews that stated that the instructions left this part out and that it was difficult to set up). Also I've read that the standard 22-24g wire can make the rear speakers cut out? If so then I would be willing to go and grab some 16g wire to run it to each speaker. For mounting the speakers I was looking at these but I don't know if they will fit, since you have a similar system could you verify for me please. http://www.amazon.com/Videosecu-Universal-Satellite-Brackets-1UP/dp/B002WNAFSU/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1356763178&sr=1-2&keywords=Speaker+Wall+Brackets and here, http://www.amazon.com/TechSol-Essential-TSS1-B-Universal-Brackets/dp/B004QHS9VU/ref=sr_1_9?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1356763178&sr=1-9&keywords=Speaker+Wall+Brackets. Also I am in the market for a Blu-Ray player, would want it to be wi-fi and price range is (150$ or less). Do you have any personal recommendations? Finally a quick set up question, TV is in a family room and I was thinking of the following: Left front speaker on wall next to TV, right front speaker on corner wall across the family room but on the same side as the tv, center speaker on TV stand, left rear on back wall but on same side as TV and right rear speaker on opposite wall from where the TV is.

Thanks alot for your help so far, my father and I are grateful for your input.
post #15 of 15
Running your 6 ohm rated speakers at 8 ohm shouldn't hurt them because you're actually pushing them less than they are rated for (higher ohms = less volume, which is less power and vice versa). You can ask your ohm-related question in the speaker forum where the experts hang out and you will probably get a more detailed and exact response.

Can't help you with the wall mounts cause I don't use them. Our speakers are on stands to keep them at ear level height which is best for small HTS.

I used 16-AWG, 2-wire ribbed for my speakers. The wire is actually heater cord wire which I purchased at our local hardware store for about $0.20 per foot. 16AWG is perfectly fine for runs up to about 30-40' before there is any loss of fidelity. Even at 35', I doubt if you could hear the difference.

Speaker placement can be critical for optimal listening. However, a lot of that is dependent upon room furnishings, etc (carpeted floors vs hardwood, furniture, wall coverings, windows, etc). Typically, but not always, the front sound stage (front R/L) speakers should be at least 6'-10' apart, slightly angled in towards the center listening position, and about ear level height when sitting in the listening position. The sub should be situated so that the sound doesn't seem to emanate from any particular direction. Mine, for example, is about 3' to the left of my L front speaker sort of in a corner. However, the sound, due to the furnishings, etc fills the room and when you close your eyes, you can't really tell where it comes from. Sub placement takes a little experimentation. The sides are equidistant on either side of the couch, at just above ear level and are about 2' further apart than the front R/L.

Speaker calibration can be a bit tricky as well. I had to manually calibrate mine because my receiver doesn't have the automatic Audyssey-like microphone-based calibration system. I'm not toyally convinced on how effective the Audyssey system is for small HTS but again, that would be a question to ask in the Speaker forum. Just keep in mind that no matter how you calibrate your system, once you move from dead-center listening, the acoustics are going to change. However, you should definitely calibrate your system as best as you can. Proper setting of the x-overs, depending on speaker size (drivers), can also dramatically affect your listening experience. Remember, listed speaker specs only go so far. You can't really compare speakers for audio quality based on specs alone because you don't know how the specs are determined (anechoic chambers, etc). If you can hear the speakers first, and mentally transfer that to your listening environment, that's the best. The bottom line is that no matter what anyone tells you, it's what sounds good to you that matters.
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