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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi! I just purchased my first home theater system and am confused on what I need to do to hook it up, and what is the best WAY to hook it up. I've looked through the forum and suggestions and it's helped some, but I'm still confused :( I'm not terribly technical so I'm not looking for the most super duper setup but just a good basic set up if possible. The HTS receiver is a Onkyo HT-R590; my (HDTV) is a Samsung HL-S6187W; I have Comcast dual DVR box model DCT 3416 I; my DVD player is a Panasonic DVD-RV26; and my CD player is a Yamaha CDC555.

I'm going to try to attach pictures of the back of all the boxes (except the CD, that's pretty basic). Currently, I have the coax cable line going to the "RF IN" connection on the cable box; a Y/Pb/Pr/Audio L&R component cable going from the cable box OUT to the Component 1 IN on the TV; and an old RCA connector (I think that's what it's called, it has just yellow [video] and red and white [audio]) going from the video/audio OUT on the DVD to the video/audio input jack (AV IN 1) on the TV. My current cables I have on hand are the one component cable, a couple of the old RCA connectors, and a newly purchased Optical cable -- I currently don't have any HDMI cables.

here is what each of the 4 boxes have on the back:
picture of the Samsung TV jacks:

Electronics Technology Electronic device

description of the Samsung TV jacks:

Text Font Illustration

picture of the Comcast jacks:


Text Diagram Font Parallel
Diagram Text Technical drawing Circuit component Plan

picture of the DVD player jacks:

Text Font Diagram Parallel Drawing

picture of the HDMI jacks on the new Onkyo HTS receiver:

Text Font Line Design Parallel

pircture of the other jacks on the new Onkyo HTS receiver:

Text Technical drawing Drawing Line art Diagram

and description of the other jacks on the receiver:

Text Font Line Number

SO....my questions are:

1. do I just hook the optical cable to the Digital Audio Out (optical) jack (#11 on the TV description) on the TV and run it to the Digital In - Optical #2 for tv/cd (#4 on the receiver's description) on the new receiver and leave the other connections as they are?

2. would it be better to have everything go through the receiver? if so, how the would I set all that up? As a guess, would I:
a. keep cable in to the RF IN on the cable box
b. run the Y/Pb/Pr component cable from the cable box OUT to the receiver IN (#5 - Component Video IN 2 cbl/sat on the receiver description picture) -- or use HDMI or ?
c. use another Y/Pb/Pr/Audio L&R component cable from the receiver OUT (#5 - Component Video Out on the receiver desc picture) to the Y/Pb/Pr Component IN 1 on the TV (#5 on the TV description) -- or is HDMI or something else better?
d. use another Y/Pb/Pr/Audio L&R component cable from the DVD player Component Out to the BD/DVD IN (#6 -BD/DVD IN on the receiver description picture)
*** if I do this, where do I use the Optical cable?? from the TV Optical Audio Out (#11 on the TV description) to the receiver Digital In - Optical #2 for tv/cd (#4 on the receiver's description)?

3. would it just be easier to purchase 3 HDMI cables to connect all of them together?? They're not cheap...

I apologize this is so long and most likely very confusingly written :( I need a HTS set up for Dummies book or something... :(

Thanks in advance for any help!!!!
 

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Let's see if I can take a stab at it. Given the cables you currently have:

DVD to TV = component for video
DVD to AVR = red/white RCA cables for audio (will be an unused yellow RCA)
Cable box to TV = yellow RCA for video
Cable box to AVR = optical for audio
CD to AVR = whatever you've got left

Note that this setup would not give you any sound from the TV. All sound would be played through your Onkyo. Furthermore, it doesn't look like you can get the benefit of Dolby or DTS surround from that DVD player. If you want surround, I'd recommend a new DVD player and either another optical cable or RCA coax to hook it up to the AVR. As it stands, you can use the Prologic II mode on the Onkyo to convert the incoming 2 channel signal into surround sound (at somewhat less impressive an effect) if you're not ready to buy a DVD player.

FYI: for video quality, HDMI & component are generally the best, S-video is next, then the yellow RCA is last. Therefore, you should hook up the component cable to whichever device you want the best picture quality from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi and thanks for the quick replies!!!

If you want to get HDMI cables, you can get them pretty reasonable from Monoprice -
wow, that's GREAT info -- all the ones I saw in the stores were at least $30 or more, not sure why so expensive there? :dontknow:

anyway....I ended up hooking JUST the optical cable from the AUDIO Digital OUT on the TV to the Digital IN on the receiver, and it works -- we can use just the audio on the TV if we want, or both if the receiver is on.

that being said, however, I'm guessing that's far from the most optimum way to use the receiver :)

so, my question I guess is should everything be run into the receiver and then out to the TV? Since the HDMI's are a lot cheaper then what I had seen, I can buy the ones I need now.

would the best route be:

HDMI from cable box to receiver (into #3, HDMI Cab/Sat)
component cable from DVD to receiver (into #1, BD/DVD)
HDMI from receiver (using the OUT port) to TV (into the HDMI 2 port)

correct?

if it is,

what the do I do with the optical cable that's currently sending the audio from the TV to the receiver then? do I still need it since (if I understand correctly) the HDMI cable sends BOTH the video and the audio? (BTW the guy at the store said to use optical over HDMI, which is why we bought that instead).

Would I instead use it from the "Optical SPDIF" jack (if that's what it's even for!) on the cable box to the Digital IN -Optical (#4 - Digital IN/Optical/#2 TV/CD on the receiver picture)? or is it even needed?

sorry again for more questions :(
 

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You are on the right track, run everything to the receiver and then to the TV. HDMI is your best route and it does carry both audio and video. Don't know what the salesman was trying to say, optical over HDMI? The optical cable is bandwidth limited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You are on the right track, run everything to the receiver and then to the TV. HDMI is your best route and it does carry both audio and video. Don't know what the salesman was trying to say, optical over HDMI? The optical cable is bandwidth limited.
who knows! maybe he makes a commision if he sells optical :dontknow: :rofl2:

so I would not need the optical at all, anywhere, if we go HDMI? it won't add anything?

thanks again and sorry for all the questions!
 

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wow, that's GREAT info -- all the ones I saw in the stores were at least $30 or more, not sure why so expensive there? :dontknow:
Most of the HDMI cables you find in the box stores are Monster - and Monster does a great marketing job of telling us their cables are superior. In truth, at the end of the day, they are all pretty much similar.

As far as the optical, I believe you do not need it at all, but I would let Mark confirm that for sure.
 

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No, not really. Off the top of my head I can only think of three reasons to use an optical or s/pdif connection.
1 - To connect older equipment that does not have HDMI.
2 - If you have a smart TV or receiver that does not support HDMI 1.4, then you could connect your TV's optical audio out to your receivers audio input and output web based audio through your receiver.
3 - If your receive over the air TV signal and your receiver/TV does not support HDMI 1.4 and you want to listen to TV broadcasts through your receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No, not really. Off the top of my head I can only think of three reasons to use an optical or s/pdif connection.
1 - To connect older equipment that does not have HDMI.
2 - If you have a smart TV or receiver that does not support HDMI 1.4, then you could connect your TV's optical audio out to your receivers audio input and output web based audio through your receiver.
3 - If your receive over the air TV signal and your receiver/TV does not support HDMI 1.4 and you want to listen to TV broadcasts through your receiver.
our TV has HDMI and we're going trhough Comcast, so #1 and #3 are ok -- but....well, I looked all over but cannot find out what version of HDMI the TV has. It was purchased either in 2007 or 2008 so it's a number of years old :( guessing it's 1.2 or 1.3 at best. Is there any way I can find out what version it is? If it is in fact less than 1.4, you're saying I will need it? and if so, would it be better from the cable box to the receiver or TV to receiver?
 

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You should be able to enter the specific make and model into google and find the technical specs (and hence HDMI version) of your TV.

Well, maybe it's not so easy. I just did a quick google search and didn't see HDMI version mentioned... do you still have the manual?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You should be able to enter the specific make and model into google and find the technical specs (and hence HDMI version) of your TV.

Well, maybe it's not so easy. I just did a quick google search and didn't see HDMI version mentioned... do you still have the manual?
I do have the manual, but it doesn't say in there either, at least that I could find :(
 

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If you buy the HDMI cables, the only thing you would want that optical cable for is if your TV has internet & streaming functionality, and/or you have an antenna connected to it that allows you to watch over the air programming.

If either is the case, the optical cable from the TV to the receiver allows the sound signal to be played through the receiver and associated speakers.
 

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When setting up your system, just remember that every component that provides the signal (DVD player, cable box, etc.) will have both a video and audio signal to transmit. CD players and other audio only devices are the exception, of course! Since HDMI is the only connection type that transmits both audio and video in a single cable, if you're using anything else you need at least one video cable and one audio cable from each source device.

As a rule of thumb, video cables are ranked:
1. HDMI
2. component
3. S-video
4. RCA

Similarly for audio cables:
1. HDMI
2. digital coax
2b. Toslink/optical
3. RCA

For each source device, if you connect it to your TV and/or receiver, as necessary, with the highest "ranking" cables you should be pretty much set.
 
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