Surround Sound Oddity

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Old 09-04-04, 02:32 PM
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Surround Sound Oddity

Let me see if I can explain this correctly.

I recently hooked my Toshiba TV to my Kenwood Receiver using the RCA type A/V cables. When I tune the TV into a station that broadcasts surround sound (MTV for example), I only get sound out of my center channel speaker. When I tune into the same station on my Phillips/Magnavox Stereo VCR (which is connected to my TV via RCA cables) the surround sound plays through the receiver as expected.

Any comments or ideas?

Thanks,
Brian
 
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Old 09-07-04, 05:08 AM
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cant get surround sound from analog input

Well, the audio experts haven't replied yet, so I will put in my couple of cents.

First, what is the sourche for the signal - satellite or cable? If cable, do you have regular, digital, or HD cable?

2nd - you need a digital connection to get true surround sound. What you are getting from the analog stereo input is being processed by the receiver and spread to all the speakers. So when listenening thru the tv, play with the receiver's dsp settings.

3rd - running the sound thru the TV first will remove any true surround sound, even if it is getting to the TV. Run the sound to the receiver first.

Finally - perhaps I'm showing my age (music preference), but I didn't know that MTV was broadcasting in HD (only get true surround sound from a HD broadcast).
 
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Old 09-07-04, 05:06 PM
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Let's see. I guess I'm using the term surround sound to generically. Everything I'm speaking about is in the analog domain. When I refer to surround sound, I just mean that sound is coming out of all speakers as opposed to just the center channel or just the front left and right.

Since I posted this I've done a little more research and I've determined that the problem resides in the cable box (or in the connection to the tv).

My setup is as follows:
coax cable from wall to vcr
coax cable from vcr to digital cable box
coax cable from cable box to tv
analog rca av cables from vcr to tv in
analog rca av cables from tv out to receiver in

When I was using the vcr as the tuner, the sound was being passed to/through the tv (tv set to video input) to the receiver via rca av cables and the sound was being processed to all speakers.

When I was using the cable box as the tuner, the sound was being passed through the coax cable to the tv (tv set to channel 4) and then to the receiver via the rca av cables and was only being processed through the center channel speaker.

As a test, I connected the rca cables from the cable box to the tv (tv set to video input) and then from the tv to the receiver. The sound was once again processed to all speakers.

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply.

Brian

Originally Posted by BobF
Well, the audio experts haven't replied yet, so I will put in my couple of cents.

First, what is the sourche for the signal - satellite or cable? If cable, do you have regular, digital, or HD cable?

2nd - you need a digital connection to get true surround sound. What you are getting from the analog stereo input is being processed by the receiver and spread to all the speakers. So when listenening thru the tv, play with the receiver's dsp settings.

3rd - running the sound thru the TV first will remove any true surround sound, even if it is getting to the TV. Run the sound to the receiver first.

Finally - perhaps I'm showing my age (music preference), but I didn't know that MTV was broadcasting in HD (only get true surround sound from a HD broadcast).
 
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Old 09-09-04, 09:22 PM
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There is only one thing that will cause this problem, your tv is not receiving stereo broadcast. Most likely it is set to mono mode. Check your settings. You should have: mono, stereo, sap. Make sure it is set to stereo. Anytime you have a mono signal only the center channel will put out sound. You could also have something wrong with the stereo decoder circuit inside the tv.
 
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Old 09-10-04, 09:19 PM
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just adding my 2cents here...please correct me if I am wrong, shouldn't the coax from the wall go primarily to the digital cable box, then to your vcr first? The rest seems fine. (going from memory here before I had my opti cables). Hope it works out for you! A tv w/o surround is a world w/o color!
 
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Old 09-10-04, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by steve340
There is only one thing that will cause this problem, your tv is not receiving stereo broadcast. Most likely it is set to mono mode. Check your settings. You should have: mono, stereo, sap. Make sure it is set to stereo. Anytime you have a mono signal only the center channel will put out sound. You could also have something wrong with the stereo decoder circuit inside the tv.
That is the thing. The TV is set to stereo and the tv receives the stereo signal when delivered by the vcr to the tv via the video input. It is when the signal is being delivered to the TV via the cable box coax cable that is not working.
 
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Old 09-10-04, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by GlassesRx
just adding my 2cents here...please correct me if I am wrong, shouldn't the coax from the wall go primarily to the digital cable box, then to your vcr first? The rest seems fine. (going from memory here before I had my opti cables). Hope it works out for you! A tv w/o surround is a world w/o color!
I have it connected this way so I can record "basic" cable on the vcr while watching whatever I want on the cable box.
 
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Old 09-11-04, 06:48 AM
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As you have learned, regular coax will not carry stereo sound.
You have a choice:

1. Upgrade to a better surround sound receiver. The Onkyo 502 is around $250-300 and is an ecellent choice. Run the sound and pic to the receiver first then only the video to the tv. A good receiver will have stereo input from multiple sources.
2. Physically switch cables so you always have stereo going to the TV.
3. Live with mono on one of the inputs.
 
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Old 09-11-04, 07:20 PM
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I have a question. Does the cable box have stereo audio output jacks? Do you leave your tv on channel 3 or 4 and use the cable box as the tuner? This is probably your problem. Some cable boxes do not receive stereo broadcast. No cable box will put out stereo out of the RF output. Try hooking up your TV directly to the cable TV wall jack and tune to a regular station with your TV. I'll bet you will get stereo then.
 
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