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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, need some help here.


I'm what you call a "NEWBIE" in every sence of the word when it comes to any type of Home Theater set-up. After many hours of research as well as reading on here, I've finally purchased the Panny TH-42PD25U/P.


Now, here is where I'm totally lost at. Just for the sake of actually being able to watch "some" tv, I have my DirecTv box hooked up via S-cable (no component hook up, time to upgrade my receiver). I've had work all weekend so I havn't been able to get anything else connected. Well, work and just an utter lack of knowledge when it comes to hooking everything up together. My old set only had one coaxil hookup, so you can imagine what looking at all these inputs/outputs are doing to me:(.


After searching online for some sort of schamatic (sp) I believe to have found pretty much what I "think" I need to connect everything properly.


However, my questions are.


1.) Is it ok to run EVERYTHING through my surround sound receiver or will I loose PQ?


2.) Wouldn't it be better to run my video straight to the TV and just run the audio to the receiver?


and 3.) If I did just run everything to the receiver, then straight to the tv, does that mean that anytime I watch the TV it will have to be in surround sound?


Sorry, I realize some of these are freshman questions and are probably pretty basic. Like I said I'm pretty new to all of this.


Thanks for any and all the help! Hopefully I can have everything hooked up and working just fine by the Tuesday night World Series game (the first one I'll finally be able to watch).


Thanks again!

Ryan
 

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With most receivers sold these days you won't lose any significant quality in the image if your run the video through the receiver and use it as a video source selector as well. Keep in mind that if you play different sources into the same input on the TV then the basic black/white/colors/sharpness settings you use for that input may need to be adjusted for each device. Receivers that switch S-video well are pretty common.


However receivers that switch Component video (three cables per device) are more expensive, and it's REALLY tough to find a receiver that switches digital video connections (DVI or HDMI).


If you only have a few source devices, and have enough high quality inputs on your TV to devote one to each source device, you may very well find it better to cable video direct to the TV so that it's easier to set the basic levels and leave them set for each device.


Meanwhile the audio from each device would still go to your receiver. So switching sources means changing the input on the receiver AND on the TV. A programmable remote control is a help here.


Most folks who have invested in surround sound speakers run all their audio through their receiver (or other audio processor). The receiver figures out on it's own whether the audio is coming in as two channel stereo or as multi-channel surround sound and steers the right signal to the various speakers accordingly. So for typical TV watching, it will see stereo sound and will steer most of it automatically to your center channel speaker with the left and right front speakers getting some of the sound as necessary for stereo effect.


Most receivers allow you to select audio processing modes to control how it does this job. Usually there will also be a non-processed mode that uses only the front left and right speakers for high quality music listening for instance. Your receiver will also typically manage a subwoofer -- steering bass to the subwoofer as necessary. So listening to TV via the receiver is usually a "good thing".


If you are watching High Definition TV, you definitely want surround sound processing, since many HDTV programs include the same multi-channel sound you get off of DVDs.

--Bob
 

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Quote:
I have my DirecTv box hooked up via S-cable
Try using Composite cables, you may find the Panasonic scaler prefers that connection over the SVideo connection. Make sure to unplug the SVideo cable when testing the video since SVideo takes over when the 2 cables are in use on the same input.
 

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exphorher64: Also, if you are within 50-60 miles of digital transmitting towers (UHF) be sure to have a indoor antenna (up to 15 miles) or an outside antenna. UHF signals are highly directional. From the networks you will be able to obtain quite a bit of HD programming over your new display. You can split your incoming UHF signal to your plasma set and to your Directv set top box. There should be an input for 'antenna' on backside of set top box. That way you will get audio separate for your playback system and, also, you will have audio for your plasma if, at times, you may want to use same as a simple 'tv'. Happy viewing and listening.
 

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Ryan,


Here are some suggestions which, unfortunately, involve buying some more stuff! Now that you have an HDTV you are *that close* to an incredible audio/video home theater experience. I'm watching the World Series in HD right now and it's unbelievable.


- You really should get the HD DirecTivo for your setup. It's $1K but worth it. I imagine prices will fall in the new year. You would need the HD oval dish on your roof to receive HD programming. When/if you do this, get 2 LNBs connected to the HDTivo so you can watch/record or record two shows at once.


- With your current setup, I would try connecting the Tivo directly to the TV via S-Video first, then composite, like PDP suggests b/c Panny's sometimes do better with this. See which one looks better. However...


... You should connect your DVD player directly to your TV via component (the 3-in-1 type cable with red, blue, green on the ends). You want a progressive scan DVD player for your panny - no need to go extremely high end necessarily, a decent one can be had for $150. I wouldn't buy one of the new upsampling "faux HD" DVD players b/c 1. you're going to use your TV HDMI connection for your new HD DirecTivo (upsampling DVDs require you use your HDMI connection) and 2. true HD DVD players are going to start showing up at the end of next year (2005). By that time there may be some affordable HDMI switching receivers as well...


- In general, video connections go in this order, from best to worst:

-- HDMI or DVI (digital connection, usually the best, can handle HD)

-- Component (red, blue, green, looks great, can handle HD)

-- S-Video (OK quality, cannot handle HD)

-- Composite (generally pretty bad quality, cannot handle HD)


- I agree with Bob that a good universal remote will make your life really easy. You'll first program some macros to switch between TV and DVD (it will switch the TV video input and receiver settings with one button push which is, I'm guessing, why you're considering running all this through your receiver). I recommend the URC MX-500, can be had for $65 online, it is a great product.


Here's how I would connect your components:


Progressive scan DVD Player:

----> Direct to Panny via component cables

----> Direct to surround receiver via optical cable (will carry surround as well as regular mono/stereo)


Regular Tivo:

----> Direct to Panny via S-Video or Composite

----> Direct to surround receiver via RCA L/R


HDTivo Option:

----> Direct to Panny via HDMI (digital) cable

----> Direct to surround receiver via optical cable


Good luck!


BobDyl
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow!!


Bob....Thanks!!! That is exactly what I am looking for. Seeing as how my receiver (Yamaha HTR-5740) does not have the S-Video Input/Output, my question was will hooking up my DirecTv via composite do just as well as the S. But seeing now two responses saying the Panny works just as well if not better w/ the composite I guess no need to worry.


Now correct me if I am wrong (bob) but the way you are suggesting is to hook all video up directly to the plasma and audio to the receiver?


Looks like I have some shopping to do tomorrow :D


Thanks again for all the info guys!!
 

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Ryan,


Yep, that's what I'm suggesting. With the MX-500 universal remote, switching between TV and DVD becomes really easy. Generally, direct video hookups will give you the best quality.


Enjoy!


Regards,


Bob
 
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