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Do I use A/V receiver or TV for audio out?

491 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DMF
I've upgraded my whole HT after many years with my old system.

Currently I now have a Sony RPTV with HDMI-input, Denon AVR with HDMI switching, Toshiba DVD/HDD recorder with HDMI-out, and Pioneer Laser Disc player with S-Video out. I have a 5.1 set-up.

Now my questions. Is is ok to hook the DVD recorder and Laserdisc to the TV and take the TV audio-out into the AVR or is it much preferable to send them into the receiver and send the video out via HDMI into the TV?

If I do send the DVD and Laserdisc signals into the AVR, I will also have to send the signals direct into the TV. Since I often want to just hear TV sound and not 5.1, I don't want to be forced to turn on the AVR everytime I play something on the DVD or Laserdisc.

On the other hand, the DVD has only one HDMI out, so that if I send it to the AVR, I have to use the component outs for the TV direct connection, whereas if I always go direct to TV (and take the TV audio out to the AVR), then I always have the HDMI connection, whether using 5.1 from AVR or just TV sound. But then I don't have any video switching, which I'm not sure I need.

Also, is the audio connection out of the TV inferior to such an extent that the 5.1 sound will suffer. I assume the HDMI switching in the Denon AVR will be of very high quality.

I'm sorry for how complicated this sounds, but I'm trying to put all my questions in at once. Thanks in advance for any adive. .. Jeff
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In all probability you'll need to run to both if you want 5.1 and the ability to use the TV's speakers. Most TVs will not pass through 5.1 sound received from other components, but only output 5.1 they receive on their internal tuner. You don't say explicitly what TV you have, but given it's a Sony RPTV, it would surprise me if it will pass through 5.1 as I have a Sony SXRD and it definitely will not. It will pass through stereo, but not 5.1.

If it were me, I'd likely consider just always using the 5.1 system for sound, but obviously YMMV. Unfortunately if you want 5.1 and the TV speakers to both be options you're going to double your wiring essentially...
I also have the SXRD, so you've answered my question. I have to send the HDMI-out from the DVD to the Denon AVR and have it switched into the TV through another HDMI cable. I can then get the 5.1 from the AVR with highest quality video. Also I'll send component outs from the DVD into the TV so I can use the DVD with TV sound, and slightly less quality video. Do I understand this correctly? Your help is really appreciated. You figured it out for me. Thanks so much. Also, do you suggest quality (and high-priced) HDMI cables (gold-plated contacts) or will cheap cables be as good? I got a cheap HDMI cable with the Toshiba DVD, and have to get at least one more HDMI cable. Thanks again for your great assitance.
No, use Blue Jeans or Monoprice for cables.

I used to be in your shoes regarding just wanting to listen through the TV sometimes, but after switching to always using the 5.1 setup years ago, I don't understand why anyone would want to ever listen through their TV!
Given HDMI is digital, the cable will either work or it won't - i.e. it will be obvious that you have problems w/your picture usually "sparklies". Given that I'd go cheap HDMI cables - I'm using 2 that came w/an HD-Tivo w/no problems in my system. If there's a problem, you'll know it, but I've only heard of problems on very long HDMI runs. I'll second the recommendation for Blue Jeans on cables, although with HDMI you can likely get away w/cheaper w/o any issues...

Sounds like you've got a handle on the cabling requirements. Of course if you decided you didn't want to switch video in the Denon, you could run HDMI to the SXRD & just run a digital coax/optical run from the DVD to the receiver. That would save you a cable, but at the cost of video switching. I presume you realize that in addition to the component cables, you'll need to run analog audio from the DVD to the SXRD, right? So in total you'll have 5 analog connections - 3 component plus the standard red/white stereo - for the DVD to SXRD run.

Depending on your DVD player, the component output may be as good (or better) than the HDMI. The SXRD has a very good scaler in it so it's not a guarantee that HDMI will be superior. In all likelihood both will look great...Good luck.
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I presume you realize that in addition to the component cables, you'll need to run analog audio from the DVD to the SXRD, right?
Yes, I know that. The idea about the digital coax didn't occur to me. Then I'd use the AVR for the 5.1, or I'd use the TV sound, but it either case I'd have the HDMI connection from the DVD to the TV.

after switching to always using the 5.1 setup years ago, I don't understand why anyone would want to ever listen through their TV!
Wife not into too much sound. She likes things quiet and doesn't want sound spinning around her head.
DO NOT use TV audio output unless you absolutely have to.

As rule of thumb, treat the TV strictly as a video monitor. Turn off its speakers and use the AVR for everything, including switching.

If your wife has a problem with the sound volume, then simply turn it down.
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