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Discussion Starter #1
Ok I am here to gain some perspective on the best possible setup. I do a lot of research and reading but sometimes the more I learn the more I seem to question everything. Ok so later this year I will be finally upgrading my tv and basically getting my "dream tv" after sitting on the fence for 2 years now. I will be getting the 55 inch Sony XBR8. I have a PS3. I will also more than likely be hooking up a stand alone upconvert DVD player, and of course I will have my digital cable box. I will be switching over to an HDMI enabled box. I had my receiver picked out but at the last minute doing some research here I found out it doesn't do pass through like advertised and it has issues with the PS3 full RGB scale so alas I will be waiting a bit on that for the new version but that doesn't matter for my questions. Let us just assume receiver X will have 4 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output.


Ok here is the meat of my question. In theory the easiest way to hook this up would be the digital box, the DVD player, and the PS3 all have HDMI into the receiver and then a single HDMI from the receiver to the tv. Piece of cake. I get it. However this leaves me without being able to fine tune settings on the tv for different inputs. Basically a different setting for tv, than for the dvd player, than for blu-ray through my PS3. Also some people have said that you always want to run the digital box cable as direct to the tv as you can.


Here is where I get confused. Would I say run HDMI from the digital box directly to one of the tv's HDMI inputs, then the DVD HDMI to another of the tv's inputs. Then run a single HDMI from the tv's output to one of the receivers inputs? Would that give me sound in stereo for both cable and dvd's?


Lastly I was also thinking possibly of just running HDMI from the cable box to the tv, from the DVD player to the tv, then just running optical from each of previous said devices to the receiver. This would cover all areas of video and audio.


I'm not a huge videophile or audio phile person. I'm just looking to see what most average people do. For the most part as of right now I know one thing for sure is I want to run HDMI from the PS3 to the receiver, and from the receiver to the tv. I guess I just need some direction on what would be the best way to do the cable box and the stand alone DVD player.


Would my idea work of running the cable box HDMI to the tv, and the DVD HDMI to the tv, then running the HDMI from the tv output to the stereo input?
 

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Quote:
In theory the easiest way to hook this up would be the digital box, the DVD player, and the PS3 all have HDMI into the receiver and then a single HDMI from the receiver to the tv. Piece of cake. I get it. However this leaves me without being able to fine tune settings on the tv for different inputs. Basically a different setting for tv, than for the dvd player, than for blu-ray through my PS3. Also some people have said that you always want to run the digital box cable as direct to the tv as you can.
Don't know who told you all those inputs need separate TV settings. I've never had a problem running everything to the receiver then one line out to the TV.
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Here is where I get confused. Would I say run HDMI from the digital box directly to one of the tv's HDMI inputs, then the DVD HDMI to another of the tv's inputs. Then run a single HDMI from the tv's output to one of the receivers inputs? Would that give me sound in stereo for both cable and dvd's?
Sure, but do you really want stereo for DVDs? If you want 5.1 Dolby Digital surround, you'll have to connect the DVD player directly to the receiver, unless the TV does an HDMI pass-through.
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Lastly I was also thinking possibly of just running HDMI from the cable box to the tv, from the DVD player to the tv, then just running optical from each of previous said devices to the receiver. This would cover all areas of video and audio.
That should work, but it's a lot of switching anytime you change sources. Hope your remote runs macros...
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I'm not a huge videophile or audio phile person. I'm just looking to see what most average people do.
I think most people use the receiver for switching everything...


Regards,

Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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The top priority should be getting the best video and audio from each of your components. The same approach may not work for each of them.


For example, to get lossless audio (TrueHD, dts-MA, 5.1 PCM) from your PS3 you have to use HDMI to your receiver, not the TV. Devices like a cable box or a DVD player can run directly to the TV or through the receiver. Try them both ways and see if you can tell any difference.


Audio has to go from the components to the AVR and should not be routed through the TV because most sets will downmix the digital output to stereo. TVs are not designed to be audio switchers. By the way, unless Sony has done something new, the TV will not have an HDMI output.


If you run everything through your receiver, switching is pretty easy. But, I suggest getting a good remote such as a Harmony. Then, it doesn't matter how you connect things together. You can power devices on and off and switch all of the inputs with the press of a single button.


Again, the aim is to get the best picture and sound and that means working though your connections device by device rather than using one approach for everything.
 

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Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt /forum/post/14223467

Don't know who told you all those inputs need separate TV settings. I've never had a problem running everything to the receiver then one line out to the TV.

My picture settings on my Panasonic plasma are very different for watching HD DVD and Blu-ray discs than they are for watching cable or OTA programming. I can still run through the AVR and have different custom settings for my TV.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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Originally Posted by Buckeye911 /forum/post/14223795


My picture settings on my Panasonic plasma are very different for watching HD DVD and Blu-ray discs than they are for watching cable or OTA programming. I can still run through the AVR and have different custom settings for my TV.


This is pretty much what I have gathered from many people. This is why I was confused as to what to do. Since the receiver only has 1 HDMI output, that means that all of my stuff would be routed to one of the HDMI inputs on the tv. Now I don't have the tv yet but from past models and having read from other people you can program different settings for each of your tv inputs. So basically you have optimal settings for Blu-Ray, regular DVD, and for cable tv.


I was blatantly mistaken about the tv having an HDMI output so scratch out everything I was contemplating and rambling about there. I realize that if i want at least 5.1 I have to go through my AVR. That is why I knew for a fact my PS3 was going to go through my AVR because I want to be able to take advantage of the lossless audio. Ultimately I'm actually going to have a 7.1 setup and want to take advantage of audio the best I can.


I have briefly looked at Harmony remotes but truthfully don't know what they are really capable of. If I were to get one can it be programmed to store different settings even for the same input? What I mean is if I run the PS3, cable box, and stand alone DVD player all via HDMI to the AVR and from the AVR to the tv, even though it is all coming into the same input on the tv, would the remote be able to load the different tv setting I calibrate for Blu-Ray, standard DVD, and normal cable viewing?


Sorry guys I know this is all pretty basic stuff but I really want to make sure I fully know what I am getting into since i'm going to be dropping a decent amount of money.
 

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Originally Posted by uni_panther /forum/post/14223842


have briefly looked at Harmony remotes but truthfully don't know what they are really capable of. If I were to get one can it be programmed to store different settings even for the same input? What I mean is if I run the PS3, cable box, and stand alone DVD player all via HDMI to the AVR and from the AVR to the tv, even though it is all coming into the same input on the tv, would the remote be able to load the different tv setting I calibrate for Blu-Ray, standard DVD, and normal cable viewing?

With a Harmony, you do all the setup on a Logitech website and download the results to the remote. You tell it what devices and inputs are used for each activity. Then, when you want to watch a Blu-ray, for example, it turns on the TV, receiver, and player, switches to the proper input on each device, and defines what the remote buttons control (volume is the AVR, shuttle keys are the BD player, and so on). With a Harmony, you can run most of your video inputs direct to the TV, allowing you to have separate setups for each device, and run the audio to the AVR. So, I don't think you'd need to try to change the TV HDMI input setups on the fly. That might be pretty hard.


The value of the Harmony is how easy it makes switching, no matter how things are wired together. All you have to do is press one button on the remote. My wife and kids are not technically savvy and they'd never remember how to power up and switch inputs on the system. With the Harmony remote, I've only gotten a couple of panic calls at work in three years. I got a lot more calls than that with our old analog TV and an A/B switch for a DVD player and VCR.

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Sorry guys I know this is all pretty basic stuff but I really want to make sure I fully know what I am getting into since i'm going to be dropping a decent amount of money.

It's not basic at the outset. There are lots of issues to work through. So, no problem. We've all been there and I know I'm still learning.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you Islander you have been a big help. I did some looking on the harmony website and did some digging and yeah it seems to be that no matter what type of setup you run no matter how complicated it delegates everything down to one button. I'm liking the sound of this more and more and looks like I may be picking up the Harmony One.


One final question for you and then I feel I will know exactly what I want to do. Basically at this point I'm looking at running the PS3 HDMI through the AVR, and HDMI into the tv. Then for the stand alone DVD player and the cable box I will just make each of those direct to the tv via HDMI, then just run an optical cable from both the cable box and the DVD to the AVR. This will give me separate inputs to the tv on each device and I can have all my settings saved to each particular input.


Now for my final question. Can optical cable pass everything that audio through HDMI can? If the answer to this is yes I am set, otherwise I feel I will end up back where I started.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by uni_panther /forum/post/14223998


Can optical cable pass everything that audio through HDMI can? If the answer to this is yes I am set, otherwise I feel I will end up back where I started.

No, optical is not the same as HDMI. But, the differences won't matter for a set top box or DVD player.


Optical cannot handle multichannel PCM, which is how the PS3 sends lossless, or the new codecs such as TrueHD and dts-MA. That's why you need to use HDMI for the PS3. But, optical is just fine for legacy DD and DTS and two channels of PCM. That's all your DVD player and cable box will be putting out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok that settles it then. I knew about the PS3 needing the HDMI to pass lossless sound. I just wasn't sure about the other stuff. So I will run HDMI from PS3 to AVR and from AVR to one of my HDMI inputs on my tv. For my stand alone DVD and for my cable box I will run the HDMI directly to the tv to two other inputs and then run optical audio for each of those two pieces of equipment to the AVR. I will then get myself a Harmony One remote and have everything programmed so it will be a one touch setup for each thing I want to do and with my tv setting all having different inputs for each device I can have my settings calibrated for each specific setting I want. Thank you, you have been a big help and I feel I know exactly what I need to do now.
 
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