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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I recently picked up these parts for my HTPC-

AMD Phenom 9550

Radeon HD 3470 (going to crossfire it with onboard video)

LG Blu-Ray / HD-DVD player

2 Gig Corsair Memory

750 Gig Western Digital HD

Logitech Wireless Mouse & Keyboard

I also picked up this home theater-
Panasonic SC-PT960

To use with my WestingHouse 37" TV

I also have an Xbox 360 and a Cable Box i'd like to all hookup to the TV and use the home theater sound.

As far as connections relevent to this setup-

TV has 2 Composite, 1 video, 2 DVI, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, and 1 Optical

Xbox 360 is currently using 1 composite but also has an HDMI output, 1 Optical

Cable Box is currently using 2nd composite, has DVI and no HDMI, 1 Optical

Home Theater Receiver has HDMI, and video out

The HTPC has a Motherboard that has 1 HDMI, 1 DVI, 1 VGA, and 1 Optical

I was thinking I could use an HDMI switch of some kind but don't really understand how to hook all this up.

Mainly the HTPC is going to be for HD movies, movies I have on the HD and some light gaming, Xbox 360 for gaming (I also have the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive FYI) Cable Box for watching tv and HD channels (would buying a tuner card of some type make more sense? I don't know much about them) Home theater would player regular DVD's for 1080p upconversion. Any assistance would be greatful.

20 Posts
I think you meant to say "2 component" instead of "2 composite", right? Component is the one with 3 cords (red/green/blue) for video and 2 (white/red) for audio. Composit is the yellow video and white/red audio. The specs for your TV show 2 component and 1 composit (video) too. Having the cable box and 360 connected via composits wouldn't give a great picture either, so it sounds more like you mixed up the terms. Hopefully that's the case since I'm pretty sure that's a good thing.

Sounds like you're going to have to make use of those DVI slots too, which in my case was a pain when setting up things since DVI does not carry sound. Hopefully that doesn't turn into an issue for you as it did me.

This is what I would try for:

Xbox 360 - Component

Cable Box - Component

HT Receiver - HDMI

HTPC - DVI w/ separate sound connection to receiver

HDMI and DVI are digital and give you the same quality picture, but DVI does not carry sound. So if you have issues for some reason and can switch out HDMI and DVI connections and carry the sound separately, that should be just as good.

Components are the analog version of HDMI and the two are usually comparable.

So any combination of HDMI, DVI, and Components that will work for you should be fine.

For sound, connecting the output from the TV to your receiver would be the easiest. You might get better quality running each separate component to the receiver, but obviously that requires more cords and the difference is probably very little if any.

A TV tuner probably isn't going to be a big help or allow you to replace your cable box... Unless you buy a new OEM computer, you cannot get the ones with cablecard support that will allow you to watch/record all HD and premium channels in your package. There are tuners available that will allow you to record over the air HD local channels and the regular channels that you would get through your TV without the cable box. So one could be helpful as an extra tuner for those channels. Unless you only want to watch/record local HD and the regular cable channels though, you're still going to need your cable box for the rest.

6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. yes I did get the two composite and component mixed up, my bad. I've got to double check but i'm unsure if the tv has an optical out.. right now the quality coming from the TV to the Aux input on the Receiver is not very good, the volume can be maxed and I won't hear the sub and the volume sounds more like a normal listen volume over what the system can really put out for power. So..

Xbox > component to TV

Cable > component to TV

HTPC > DVI to TV, Optical to receiver

How do I get the optical from the TV (again I have to double check if there is an optical out) to the receiver if i'm already using the input from the HTPC? I know there are switchers out there, most of them looked kind of cheap and didn't have the best reviews looking on amazon.
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