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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My former home theater system just died..so i picked up a cheap receiver to get by for the next few months before I move..but I am having difficulty figuring out exactly what my best options are to connect this thing. Here is what I have:

1. Toshiba 40" LCD
2. Onkyo HT-S3500 5.1
3. PS3
4. Wii
4. STB - Comcast HD box

I have four HDMI cables and one digital optical cable.

My initial setup before my home theater system wasn't the greatest as the receiver didn't have many options. I connected:
PS3 -> HDTV (HDMI)
STB -> HDTV (component cable since HDMI did not produce an image when I connected the STB to the tv)
Wii -> HDTV (component cable)

HDTV -> AVR (with digital optical)

Now my new receiver has many more options for me to play around with, and I was wondering what the best possible connection will be for these different components.

I was going to connect
PS3 -> AVR (HDMI)
STB -> AVR (HDMI)
Wii -> AVR (component) And my

AVR -> HDTV (HDMI)

My questions:
1. Should I scrap the digital optical all together? The PS3, STB, AVR, and HDTV all support the digital optical, but is it necessary to use?
2. Is using an all HDMI setup going to produce the best results?
3. If I connect the Wii using component, will anything be distorted when the image is passed through an HDMI to my HDTV?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

I should also note: I am probably going to use my AVR for all audio. I do not necessarily need my HDTV to produce sound without the AVR turned on. But if it is easy to do so, I will.
 

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According to the product page, the AVR that comes with your HTiB decodes lossless audio (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA), so connect all your components to your AVR, and run a single connection from your AVR to your TV.

If you do it the other way 'round - components to TV, optical from TV to AVR - you'll only get whatever audio your TV sends to the optical output (up to a maximum of DD5.1 and DTS5.1).

3. If I connect the Wii using component, will anything be distorted when the image is passed through an HDMI to my HDTV?
The owner's manual for the AVR will tell you whether it will transcode component video to HDMI. If it doesn't, you'll need to run a separate component connection from your AVR to your TV for your Wii.
 

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What I am asking is, should I even bother with digital optical or is using HDMI the best way?
Don't use optical if you can avoid it because optical doesn't carry lossless audio.

And if I connect something, say a Wii, to my AVR using a component cable..and connect the AVR to my tv with an HDMI, is anything lost in thee signa as it goes from one type of connection to another?
Nothing would be lost if your AVR transcodes component to HDMI. I just had a look at the manual (PDF) and it says that it doesn't (pg. 59). So if you're connecting your Wii to your AVR using a component cable (see pg. 39 re. assigning a component video input) plus an optical cable for audio, you will need to run a component cable from your AVR to your TV for the Wii's video stream. (The Wii's audio stream will be switched to the AVR's HDMI output - see pg. 59.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Awesome.

Thanks a lot for your response. I will be sure to use HDMI for everything...except for the Wii as you mentioned.

Thanks again..very helpful.
 

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I thought the optical out of a TV only was for digital TV channels and that it did not output 5.1 for other sources connected to it.
I'm not sure what gets output by a particular TV's optical digital output, but because it's an optical digital connection he won't get more than lossy 5.1. Which is why I said "you'll only get whatever audio your TV sends to the optical output (up to a maximum of DD5.1 and DTS5.1)." :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I need some more help with my Onkyo HT-S3500 5.1.

I bolded the areas where my main concerns are.

I am trying to figure out the best listening modes for this device

Everything I am using is connected through HDMI.

My Listening mode on my PS3 reads as: MULTICH

Am I to assume that MULTICH means that my audio will be output whatever format my PS3 is recoginizing? Cause usually the receiver would display this information, but I guess the PS3 is deciding what the output is and then it is simply labeled as MULTICH. Is this correct?

Cause I am watching The Avengers on Blu Ray. When I check the audio output on my PS3, it says:
DTS-HD MA 7.1

But on my menu for listening modes on my receiver it reads as: MULTICH

Also, when watching TV from my Cable/Sat box, the Listening Mode reads as Dolby. Is this the best a Cable/Sat will output audio? Cause I don't have any other options other than Dolby.

And just to clarify, my receiver's listening modes are listed as being cable of producing DD,DD+,DD TrueHD,DTS, DTS-HD High, DTS-HD MA, and so on...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, but what does Direct mean?

I understand it is a setting, but the description in the manual doesn't tell me much about what it means.

All I understand is that audio from the input source is output without surround sound processing.

thanks

EDIT: I just checked to see the difference...my receiver won't let me select Direct when the PS3 is on. When I try to, it just reverts back to MULTICH
 

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Thanks, but what does Direct mean?
Direct means that the receiver will play exactly what is sent to it.

EDIT: I just checked to see the difference...my receiver won't let me select Direct when the PS3 is on. When I try to, it just reverts back to MULTICH
Perhaps your PS3 is decoding the audio and sending multi-channel PCM to the AVR? Check your PS3's settings and have it output "RAW" (I think that's the term I saw recently in a PS3 menu) to the AVR.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't see any option to change that.

I am thinking that the PS3 only plays everything in PCM multichannel
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think I figured it out:

I changed the Setting: BD/DVD Audio Output Format HDMI from Linear PCM to Bitstream

Now, when I set it to "Direct," it appears as DTS 5.1 on my receiver.

When doing so, I received a notice message saying that "Some audio from the BD may not be played unless I select Linear PCM"

So should I keep it set to Bitstream even though I received this warning?

What are the disadvantages of using Linear PCM?

And do you suggest to just use "Direct" for everything?

Thanks, you have been a big help
 

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Linear PCM = the player is decoding the audio.
Bitstream = the player is passing the un-decoded audio to the AVR, which decodes it.

I'd go with whichever option gives you the best sound.

When doing so, I received a notice message saying that "Some audio from the BD may not be played unless I select Linear PCM"
My guess is that it's just a caution to you that the AVR the player is bitstreaming to may not be capable of decoding any secondary / supplemental audio that's in the stream. If your AVR handles it, no worries. If you notice audio missing, have your player handle the decoding.

And do you suggest to just use "Direct" for everything?
IMO, yes, unless you want to "matrix" a stereo source into multi-channel surround, in which case you'd switch over to ProLogic II or NEO:6.

Thanks, you have been a big help
Well, since you figured it out yourself, I wasn't really all that helpful... ;) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Nah, you helped me out a lot

I think I will leave it at Linear PCM just in case of a loss in audio...I don't mind that my receiver says PCM or MuliCh

But thanks to you, I know to keep it at Direct
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I hope this is my last post regarding issues with my receiver, but here it goes:

When I go from an HD channel to a non HD channel...or sometimes during Blu Rays, if I go from one section of the disc to another, there is a mechanical clicking sound coming from within my receiver.

Is this normal? people have said that it happens when the receiver picks up different audio signals. But I was watching The Avengers Blu Ray deleted scenes, and from one deleted scene to another, I received the clicking noise, but each deleted scene was in the same audio format..it doesn't happen though when I watch an entire movie or stay on the same channel

Is there anyway to prevent this clicking sound from happening?


Also, on my non HD channels, the image sometimes stutters a bit. This does not happen with the HD channels, only with SD channels...and since I use Comcast, most movie channels are in SD not HD

thanks again for all the help
 
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