Are my connections in the right order?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by DFO, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. DFO

    DFO
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    Hi!

    I originally posted this in the Amplifier section, partly by mistake, and partly because the amp is the part of the setup I know least about. However, I thought I might get more joy in this forum, apologies for the repost.

    Components:

    TV : Samsung PS42Q97HD 42" Plasma
    Amplifier : Onkyo HTR508
    Other : SkyHD, DVD Player, Xbox 360 (Component HD only)

    1. Connections
    I'm imagining the following setup, please suggest alternatives if you see me making mistakes!!

    SkyHD ------(HDMI)-------> TV
    SkyHD ------(Optical)-----> Amplifier
    XBox ------(Component)-> Amplifier
    DVD ------(Component)-> Amplifier

    Amp ------(HDMI + Component) -> TV

    Amp -------------------------> Speakers

    So my video for SkyHD goes to TV, the audio to the Amp. Xbox video and audio go through the amp. DVD player video and audio go through the amp.

    I see this as being a possible setup, but would like to know the pros and/or cons of routing SkyHD through the Amp too (since that amp has HDMI in and HDMI out). If I don't route my SkyHD through the amp, then I'm not using the HDMI inputs/outputs on my amp (but I figure they'll come in use someday?).

    Hope this is clear, I would really appreciate some feedback.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello DFO

    Think of your AV Amp as including a 2x1 HDMI Switch + a 3x1 Component Video switch.

    There is no onboard Video processing or cross conversion in your amp so any signals going in Digitally (HDMI) or Analogue (3RCA) have to come out on the same type of connection.

    There is no 'benefit' in passing your Digital (HDMI) or Analogue (3RCA) SD or HD Video signals via the AV Amp - though it may make for simpler system operation/switching.

    It would be worth comparing the Digital (HDMI) and Analogue (3RCA) HD capable Outputs of your SKY HD box into your Display - if there is no obvious difference between the Digital and Analogue performance then you could make your system operation a lot simpler by using the 3RCA 'Component' connections for all of your Source devices into the AV Amp and a single 3RCA connection between the AV Amp and the Display.

    Each Source will also require an Optical or Coaxial Digital audio connection into the AV Receiver.

    Joe
     
  3. DFO

    DFO
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    Thanks for the reply Joe, my understanding is improving, but I still have a couple of niggling doubts.

    1. Is it worth me buying an amp with video processing/cross conversion, or will this substantially increase my budget? I was under the impression that these types of kit were much more expensive (lots of inputs in, but only one HDMI out or 3 component video out, besides speakers).

    2. You say that each source will require optical/coax connection to my receiver. My SkyHD box has an Optical out, my 360 has an Optical out, and my DVD player (for now) will be SD, and so I can handle that with just Red/White/Yellow RCA connections, no?

    3. Does sending HD signals by 3 component or HDMI make a difference in signal quality?

    4. However I set up my system, is it "better" to send my HDMI signal from SkyHD to the TV for video (and sound as well, but I would reduce TV volume to 0) and sound via Optical to my amp, or just to put the HDMI signal for video and audio into my amp and let it handle the lot?
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello DFO

    01. Video Up and Cross Conversion - lots of Prop's and Cons.

    Some folk love this functionality because of the simplicity of system control and integration and at the top of the market some folk say they see a definite improvement in video image quality using the high quality processing available in the top end units.

    In the 07 Onkyo range you'll need to go to the TX-SR605 (SRP 399.95 GBP) to gain 2x1 HDMI switching plus Conversion from Composite (x4), S-Video (x4) and Component (x3) to HDMI.

    02. Audio - you configure the AV Receiver to look at whatever is the relevant audio Input for the selected Source; Optical 5.1, Coaxial 5.1 or 2RCA for Stereo.

    You must have a very basic DVD player if it only offers you Composite Video (Yellow RCA) + Stereo audio (Red/White RCA).

    03. Analogue vs. Digital video - there ought not to be much difference between SD or HD signals sent over HDMI (Digital) vs. 3RCA (Analogue).

    Then again differences in how Source, Switch and Display hardware manufacturers implement these features means that some devices do favour Digital (HDMI) over Analogue (3RCA).

    For most folk I doubt they will see much difference between the Digital (HDMI) and Analogue (3RCA) HD Outputs from SKY HD.

    04. HDMI Audio - if you connect the HDMI cable direct from SKY HD to the Display plus the Optical 5.1 cable between SKY HD and the AV Receiver you have two 'viewing' options:

    A. Video + Stereo audio on Display without the AV Receiver being switched on.

    B. Video + 5.1 Audio with the AV Receiver switched on and the TV volume set to zero.

    Many folk find it useful to have both options as they don't always want/require 5.1 audio to view every programme they watch.

    The SKY HD box only Outputs Digital Stereo audio over HDMI - you need to connect to the Optical output to get discrete 5.1 from any Channels/Programmes offering that option.

    Lots of AV Receivers that include HDMI 'Switching' don't actually access the audio being sent over HDMI as they don't include the necessary audio decoding to deal with it so you still need to get the Optical or Coaxial signal if you want to listen to the Source through your 5.1 system.

    Joe
     
  5. DFO

    DFO
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    That is spot on Joe, thanks! We'll see how the setup goes!
     

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