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rogelio wrote:"The problem with that is you're sending an analog stereo signal to your tv, then trying to send a digital signal to your surround sound receiver. You should get sound, but you're losing channels."
Read this somewhere. Is this true? Would I be losing channels (not having stereo remixing) if I sent audio/video cables to my TV and then sent out spdif from the audio-out of my TV to the receiver?
Go to the products page and you can compare yourself. The S3200 is almost a totally different animal.rogelio wrote:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882120141
This looks to be a cheaper version than this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 20ht-s6100
Though, the cheaper one doesn't have s-video ports. Any other major differences you can discern (to be worth the +$200 value of the latter than the former)?
Oh, and this model also looks interesting:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6882120140
It's only $350. Almost same hookups as the $500 above (no s-video ports), but it's a 5.1 and not 7.1 system (and uses clip-type speaker connections versus the rounded screw-on type).
AFAIK no HD channel broadcast is 7.1. The most they do is 5.1 Dolby Digital. For Blu-ray there are titles that do contain a 6.1 or 7.1 track (but they will also contain a 5.1 track for maximum compatibility). However just matching channel numbers does not mean the end of the story. My research suggested that some titles record the sound in 5.1 anyway, but use software algorithms to make it 7.1, make them "not real". For those titles using the 5.1 track should sound the same if not better (due to the artificial modifications). The receiver+speakers+room setup is also another story. One school of thought like Airman above insists that 5.1 does not have a "true rear" speaker so you can't exactly hear sound coming from straight back. However, you may not have the room to have 7 speakers anyway or the cost of 2 extra speakers is too much (for people who pick more expensive speakers themselves instead of buying a cheap kit). I would say for a not too large room (IMO I am ok with my 5.1 setup in my 10'x15' room), 5.1 is ok. One interesting thing is that if your receiver is capable of 7.1 output but you have 5.1 speakers. The receiver can be configured to use the 2 vacant channels for other purposes, like bi-amping the fronts (can get the bigger tower fronts) or powering zone B (play some stereo music in another room). Most 7.1 receivers should also funnel the 2 extra channels to the surround speakers, but of course you may lose some of the original intent of the recording/mixing engineers (assuming they did not manufacture the extra channels from a 5.1 source).rogelio wrote:What's the deal with 7.1 versus 5.1 with HD television and blu-ray... are there broadcasts and blu-ray movies where the extra 2 speakers will actually be of use? Is it worth it to spring the extra money for the 7.1 versus 5.1?
rogelio wrote:I'm not planning on spending more than $1000 on the HDTV.
As for audio, my goal is to not spend more than half the cost of the TV (i.e. $500)
The correct term you are looking for is "HDMI repeater". As I mentioned above both the 5200 and 3200 are "HDMI passthrough" where you have to use separate cables for audio.rogelio wrote:I had a question about the 3200 system:
http://www.us.onkyo.com/zoom.cfm?class= ... =HT-S3200#
(see rear view)
So, it has no HDMI audio passthrough... so I'll have to buy additional sets of cables (to/from the device->receiver and receiver->TV)...
S/PDIF optical and the coax are both digital audio. So you have 3 digital audio inputs on that thing actually.rogelio wrote:however, I'm looking at the image and its layout and I'm a little confused. There are 3 HDMI Ins, and a single HDMI out. Two component (and L/R audio) Ins and one set of component (and L/R audio) outs. Three composite In's (w/L/R) and one out. Two optical audio In's. .... If you have three devices plugged into HDMI In... how do you pass-out optical audio (spdif) for 3 devices (there are only 2 spdif ins, so I guess you'd have to use a digital in)?
You mean switching inputs? That's the basic function of the receiver. You can select the input on the front panel or use the remote. Download the manual or hookup diagram and you can see a bit more clearly. One of the HDMI input is labeled "DVD/BD" so this is the suggested input for your Blu-ray player. The remote/front panel links their respective "BD" button with that input.rogelio wrote:If I have 3 devices plugged into HDMI and a single HDMI out, how do I set which to display?
You can see more clearly in the hookup diagrams that the inputs are "assignable", meaning you can link a video signal with another audio signal, such as HDMI video in and optical audio in, or component video in and coaxial digital audio.rogelio wrote:Also, is it possible to assign optical/spdif to a non-HDMI video input (ie. component)... or does component have to pair with RCA?
That sounds about right, and this is precisely why the Logitech Harmony can be such a compelling device. The different paradigm of "activity" you can program all the things that need to be turned on and set up, with one click of a button.rogelio wrote:So, let's say that I have 4 devices: BD and PC on HDMI and X-Box and Wii on component (and the appropriate assigned audio matched up with those). Consequently, I would have a single HDMI and a single component going out from the receiver into the TV. If I'm using the BD and need to switch to my PC, then I would hit the button on the receiver remote; however, if I'm using an HDMI device (BD) and need to switch to a component device (X-Box), then I have to know that I need to switch the input on my TV from the HDMI input to the component input, AND also make sure that I hit the right option on the receiver (i.e. X-Box and not Wii).
If I have to nitpick there is a small difference. HDMI repeater means that you can also pass audio via the same HDMI cable, so all your HDMI-capable playback devices can be plugged in to the receiver via 1 HDMI cable each, and then another HDMI cable will be connected to the HDMI out of the receiver into the TV. The receiver will process the audio signal (plus driving the speakers/amps) and "repeats" the video signal through HDMI out to the TV. In order to have one and only one HDMI cable from the receiver to the TV though (instead of component+composite video output for the other device), you actually need the upconversion feature. Normally when you get a receiver with HDMI repeater capability you almost always get upconversion. This is different from upscaling where resolution is scaled up. Upconversion is analog input and HDMI out. So for convenience, the question becomes: should I get a cheaper receiver with a Logitech Harmony to help out with all the button pressing, or get a better (read: more expensive) receiver?rogelio wrote:I guess this would be one advantage of the "HDMI repeater", no? (so that I don't have to remember which devices are on what video connection - HDMI/component/composite - and have to switch them on the TV... in addition to on the receiver).
Not all TV can pass 5.1 audio with its "digital audio out" connector. Plus you can have some issues with the TV lagging with the audio.krazyredboy wrote:Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to chime in, so I didn't read all of the above posts. To put it simply, I will suggest a method that I used for my parents, to help simplify their setup, but keep the quality.
With my parent's TV, they have a Digital audio out connector, via Optical. With this, it was a simple connection to the TV, using HDMI for their Bluray and the regular audio connectors for everything else. The TV acts as a pass-through for the digital signal, but also converts the analog audio to digital, as well. Therefor, only one connector was necessary for the Audio Receiver.
If you get a TV that has this capability and use all HDMI inputs for all equipment, you could use the TV as the switching mechanism for all of the devices, which is what I would generally suggest for most simple setups. Run the single digital line out to your receiver and then, you are set.
For analog SD video I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference. Blowing that stuff up on a HDTV set is not going to be pretty anyway. For the HD stuff, you do need to look for a receiver that either has good upscaling quality (for those 720p/1080i input signals), or a receiver that does not touch the video signal. I bought my Pioneer 1018 receiver the past Boxing Week for $400 Canadian, but regular price it is up in your range.krazyredboy wrote:As for quality, unless you buy a good receiver (I consider decent, usually in the $600-$1000 range), you wouldn't notice much of a difference. Also, most receivers do not transfer video as well as they claim and sometimes, not well at all, so using them as the video switcher isn't always a good idea.
See the post I link. It may or may not work, especially if you have multichannel audio. And if you think you have enough equipment to discern the new lossless formats from Blu-ray, you will be missing out.krazyredboy wrote:So, in essence, if you use HDMI for most things (XBox, PS3, Bluray and so on), and you can get a TV with an optical pass through, then you should be well off, even with a cheaper audio system.
Already covered that above with the passthrough vs repeater discussion.krazyredboy wrote:By the way, even if the receivers offer HDMI switching, not all of them offer the audio throughput, meaning that, in some cases, you still need to run a separate audio cable (Sony's are notorious for this).
While there is a certain geek satisfaction when you can do something for the cheap without compromising too much, I would have to say that this time, you get what you pay for. The job of a receiver is like a central hub to managed your devices, why don't you want to press and keys on it (or the remote)? If you don't want the hassle of changing inputs on both the TV and receiver, pay up for the convenience. Either get a better receiver or get one of those Logitech Harmony remotes.rogelio wrote:I read the past thread about the audio lagging. Getting a cheaper sound system (i.e. the Onkyo S3200) and feeding all into the TV and then passing optical audio out from the TV into the receiver would make the setup easier by never having to change anything on the receiver (assuming that I wouldn't be needing/using the new lossless and 7.1 blu-ray features)...
You have to go to sites like AVSforum and/or go to read the manuals of the TV sets to find out more information. And even then it may not be clear. My Panasonic TH46PZ80U manual was not that clear, but from what I gathered it is either stereo PCM or DD5.1 from broadcast DTV. It makes little sense for it to have a DD encoder in there to route your signals, not a TV's job really. Result? Other multichannel sources may get chopped off (or completely not forwarded) to stereo. Read the audio lagging thread and you can see the OP there seemed to get much better sound routing it through the receiver too.rogelio wrote:but my worry is the lagging. How prevalent/common is this, and is there any way to know beforehand which TV's can successfully pass out 5.1 digital audio (to the receiver). I agree, ideally... it would be better to deal with everything going into the receiver...
S3200 sounds too low end so you may hear a difference. A combination of lower power, cheaper circuits, and crappier speakers should be in effect. As I said IMO you should probably up your budget a little bit to be a better place in terms of quality and convenience.rogelio wrote:but I'm wondering if I'll notice much a difference with let's say the Onkyo S3200 (assuming the HDTV I get can do the audio pass-through job... which may be a big assumption).
The Wii can't do digital audio AFAIK, so you will be using component video and one of the composite audio input. The XBox using component should be fine on the other component video input while the BD and PC is perfect for the HDMI. As for audio, it should not be hard to get either a BD player or PC with coaxial digital audio output while the other 2 devices take up the optical audio connectors. Using existing BD and PC that only does optical output? Apparently there are converters. Price is not that bad but wait, another giant power brick and extra little power sipping gadget? Well, didn't I have been telling you not to go so cheap? Remember though, with optical/coax digital audio the maximum you can do is either stereo PCM or DD/DTS 5.1. Blu-ray by default should contain a DD/DTS 5.1 track so you should be ok, but whether you can hear the difference between that and the lossless TrueHD/MA depends on a lot of variables that I cannot answer. The geek pride should certainly hurt a bit though.rogelio wrote:So, let's say that I have 4 devices: BD and PC on HDMI and X-Box and Wii on component
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