5.1 Surround Sound Issues due to previous Owner's Set Up?

MrScruffsPenguins

Novice Member
Hi folks,
I'm new to this Forum and have a couple of issues, but will be posting the other one on the general tv forum, I think.
Ok, so I have a new Philip PUS6754 and I am very happy with it. I have it connected via a SkyHD+ box to a Sky Soundbox and I'm also happy with that. I have it connected to the Skybox via HDMI and the tv via Optical. All works well, though annoyingly, if I switch from Sky to Amazon Prime, I have to switch the Soundbox to Optical.
But now here is the real problem.
The previous owner sold us his Samsumg 5.1 CH Blu-Ray Home cinema system (HT-BD1250 series - about 10 years old) with the house. Alas, since he had the living room gutted and refloored and a false 2cm thick MDF wall put on the main wall, all of the speaker cable and connections are buried under the floor, in the walls, or behind the unopenable false wall.
It gets worse in terms of problem solving, because he decided to replace the original speaker wires with better cables (I can see why he might) and so he chopped 4 of the cables running from the home cinema device about 6 inches from the box. He left the centre speaker and bass unit with the original wiring, so that's fine.
So, I have these thicker wires coming from speakers, coming out of a hole in the MDF wall near the device and needing to be attached to the original 6 inches of thinner wire near the device. He did this by simply coiling the two wires together by hand - no connection process, just a simple, wrap the loose copper wire from the thick cable around the silver wires from the copper cable and then double up to kepp them connected.
The problem is, he didn't label the wires, and even as we moved in, some were loose. Granted 2 out the 6 are not a problem, but I have no idea which of the other 4 leads are supposed to connect to which socket. I can't follow the wires because they are all hidden. I can't pull them out and start again with making a mess of the walls etc.
So, on loud noises, the player sometimes cuts out if we turn the sound up much beyond minimum. It is entirely possible that i have the wrong speaker attached to the wrong ouputs - rear right to front left etc.
Is this cutting out to do with the wrong wires being connected to the wrong speaker?
If so, how do I connect one speaker at a time - front (right and left), rear (right and left) and know they are in the right spot? Is there a dvd or something else to put on to failsafe test these and get them right? Or is there a type of sound that gives away what should be through each speaker? If so, I can label them myself so they are always correct after first fixing.
Of course I may be able to route the Blu-ray/DVD through the sky soundbar via optical, but I've not figured out how to make that work yet, and in any case I quite like having a change for a different medium.
PS, I think the device cuts out less when accidentally, some of the 4 probelm speakers were not attached and had come loose without my knowledge....less speakers worked, but it didn't seem to cut as much, and of course I didn't get the full surround sound.
I do not want to replace the speakers. Too much messing. I'd rather fix these as first option, or worst case, run the Blu-ray through the Soundbox via Optical or buy a new Blu ray player.
Many thanks.
 

MrScruffsPenguins

Novice Member
The other issue is about connecting HDMI to the above mentioned Blu-ray home cinema system. Currently, it won't work through HDMI 2, so I have to pull out HDMI 1 (in the Sky Soundbox) and put it into the home cinema to make it work. I imagine that is fiaxble or I could use HDMI 3 perhaps (currently untested). Advice welcome.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Your problem is more than likely to the wiring. The Samsung may have come with wire already bundled in with the speakers and they do tend to be very thin. The likelihood is that they are in some way damaged and are of a poor quality. Personally I wouldn't trust them and install my own. The Samsung itself is not very good and a just an entry level to surround sound. Not what you want to hear but I would go back and start from scratch. It does sound as if a really poor job of installation was also carried out.

Without looking at the manual I don't know if the Samsung has a speaker test tone so that you could check to see if the correct speakers are wired up. A modern receiver will have onscreen speaker set up wizards which makes life a lot easier. You also have the problem of not knowing if the speakers are wired in phase, ie, positive to positive and negative to negative. This would give rise to some of the volume problems you are experiencing.
 

MrScruffsPenguins

Novice Member
Thank you, Gibbsy. I appreciate your taking time to answer.
I doubt I could pull the silver wires out of the back and just use the better ones as the connectors are wrong. So, I guess I could either try to buy a different surround sound blu ray player with bulldog spring connectors and connect the existing speakers up via their existing copper wires. I don't know if such a purchase is possible and how that would sound.
Since I don't want to rewire due to the impracticality, I guess I could buy a new and better system and unplug the current speakers (all have bulldog style springs) and put new speakers there using existing wires (whether as separate speakers and player or as part of a new integrated system purchase).
Or simpler again, I could buy a new blu ray player and run it through the Sky soundbox via optical.
Any thoughts on the merits of these options?
 

MrScruffsPenguins

Novice Member
Two more new pointers:
esterday, I looked at an article on What Hifi suggested on the Philips Forum here to help set up the tv for optimal picture quality. It certainly helped the picture quality!
However, now when I try to use the HDMI 1 lead that did work for DVD and surround sound as well as Sky, it no longer does for DVD. I wonder if this is something to do with changed settings?
2. I read somewhere last night that it's worth making sure that bare contacts from exposed wires on speaker connections don't touch each other. Given the messy set up I explained, I will have a go at protecting the contacts with wire tape and see if that stops the cutting/shorting.
 

b1g1an

Well-known Member
If you don't have test tones, just pull all the cables from the box bar one and see where the sound is coming from, repeat until you've checked them all. Turn the player off whilst changing them about though just in case.

The wires should have some sort of marking to show which is which at either end though it might just be a tiny marker every so many inches or a small ridge running along the length of one of the pair. Mark the tagged ones at each end and then just make sure all marked ones go into the red connectors. This will make sure you connect them in phase as mentioned by @gibbsy
 
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MrScruffsPenguins

Novice Member
Great. Many thanks. I will try that. If I bind the connections between silver and copper cable too with wire tape I may get it all working with no cut outs.
Currently though I am having to take HDMI 1 (used for Sky) out and put it in the surround sound/Blu ray player. HdMI 2 just does not do anything. Haven't tried HDMI 3.
Be good not to have to use just one HDMI port and keep swapping. Any advice?
 

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