Help with surround sound

Old 12-21-07, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: TN
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Help with surround sound


I am new to the home theater world. Here is what I have:

*Newer model Sony Projection Big Screen
*small black comcast box
*Phillips home theater with 2 front, 2 rear, 1 center channel, 1 sub woofer.

So far, I have the sub, center channel, and 1 rear speaker hooked up. I couldn't wait and I turned it on to make sure I had it hooked up right, and I noticed that the rear speaker does not play when I am watching tv. With a DVD, it does play. Is there something obvious that I am doing wrong? Here is how I have the connections:

1. Coax out of the wall into the cable box
2. RCA from cable box to tivo
3. RCA from tivo to "TV IN"
3. RCA from XBOX to "TV IN"
4. RCA from "TV OUT" to home theater.

Thanks for your help.
Old 12-21-07, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Try connecting the audio from the cable box or tivo directly to the home theater system with RCA cables. If you have the option of a digital connection between the two, use it instead. Also, not all TV shows or stations are broadcast in surround sound. There may be a setting that will play audio on all the speaker if you don't have a surround sound source. I only run 2 speakers; someone else may have better advice for you. I wouldn't run the unit without all the speakers connected, but that may not matter.
Old 12-21-07, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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It appears that you don't use the internal TV speakers, and you shouldn't if you have a surround system.

Asking the TV to control the audio won't sound as good as connecting it directly to the surround receiver ("SR"). With the exception of the incoming cable and HDMI, video and audio are two completely different signals. All of the video sources should be routed to the TV, while all of the audio sources should be routed to your SR.

Your description of the system is perfect for the video signals and seems to work well for you. Hopefully the SR has multiple inputs on the back panel such as TV, VCR, Aux, and DVD...

Referring to your list, I would change the audio to do something like this:
3a. RCA from tivo to SR "VCR" input.
3b. RCA from XBOX to "Aux"
3c. Toslink or digital coax (RCA) to "DVD" input.
4. RCA from "TV OUT" to home theater "TV" input. Number four is for those times when you're slumming on live cable.

The drawback is, you'll have to use the SR's remote to change the audio sources and volume. Your wife will probably complain about it. If so, use it as an excuse to buy a $200 universal remote.

Lastly, never turn on any electronic system while you're working on it, or before you've fininished wiring it.
Old 12-26-07, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Don't expect sound form the rears all the time. They are there for ambient sound.

Hook up a front speaker. THEY should be on all the time.

Better yet, connect up ALL of the speakers and get a DVD with a 5.1 set up on it. It will transmit a sound to each speaker in order, one at a time, and you'll know right way if everything is working properly. I've heard some of the Disney disks contain the setup. You may be able to google and find one that you can download or purchase.

Once all the speakers are hooked up properly, there's not a whole lot you can do about the quality of the 5.1 mix. Watching TV, sometimes there's a lot of surround and sometimes hardly any at all.

Good luck,

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