Connection Doubts: HD + Surround Sound

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by dutchgraham, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. dutchgraham

    dutchgraham
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    Probably a stupid question, but I'll ask it anyway!
    I have an existing HD box connected to a Samsung R74 with no surround system, but want to replace the TV with a Sony 40D3000 + Sony home cinema system (DAVDZ630 or 830?). Would I need to connect the HD box to the amp via optical cable, or is it sufficient to connect it to the TV only via HDMI and let the Sony units sort out the surround sound?
    If I need to connect it to the amp, obviously I will have to buy one with an optical in, which pretty much steers me towards the DAVDZ830 (at £150 dearer than the 630).
    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. Mike Groves

    Mike Groves
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    Whichever equipment you use, if you want 5.1 DD sound you MUSTuse an optical connection from the Sky box - for reasons best known to Sky, HDMI from the HD box does not carry 5.1.
     
  3. dutchgraham

    dutchgraham
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    I'm not that worried about 5.1 DD from the Sky box, in fact I thought Sky only broadcast 2 channel sound. What I want to know is - will the connection between the TV and the amp alone give me the sound from the HD box, seeing as it is connected to the TV via HDMI, if that makes sense?
     
  4. Broadz

    Broadz
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    Yes it does make sense, and yes the stereo audio from your Sky HD box to your TV will then be passed to your amplifier. Whatever you are watching on TV, as long as you can hear the audio with the TV volume turned up, that same sound will be transmitted to your amp when you connect your TV to your amp via stereo or HDMI, and you can turn your TV volume down. Whether you are watching Sky, terrestrial analogue, Freeview, video, DVD, whatever. So, stereo sound, which in almost all circumstances will be upscaled by your amplifier into Dolby Pro-Logic surround sound.
     
  5. dutchgraham

    dutchgraham
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    At last, someone understands me! Thanks Broadz.

    Does that mean it might be better to take the audio out of the TV into the amp rather than directly from the HD Box, either via optical or phono, although I assume phono prevents me from getting DD5.1, as suggested by Mike?

    If I connect the TV to the amp by optical, that should still allow me to get DD5.1 from any broadcasts other than Sky, and from anything else (e.g. PS2) I connect straight to the TV, is that right?
     
  6. Broadz

    Broadz
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    First off, most TVs send an audio out purely through red and white phono cables - not many support optical out, coaxial out or HDMI out. So, you would need to check what audio outputs the TV does support.

    Secondly, even if the TV you are planning on getting does have a digital audio out (say, optical) this is still no guarantee that it will send a Dolby Digital or DTS encoded signal that it receives via (say) HDMI out via the digital audio out. It may still only output stereo - particularly if it does not itself have any Dolby Digital decoding ability itself.

    No other broadcasts are in DD5.1 apart from Sky movies and Sky HD channels via s Sky+ or Sky Hd box AFAIK - certainly no Freeview is in DD5.1.

    If I were you I would still consider connecting each of your individual pieces of kit to the amp using their own cable if at all possible rather than running all audio inputs into the TV, then using a single output from TV to amp when you want surround sound. I use my Sky box for listening to a lot of digital radio - with my Sky box connected directly to my amp, I don't even need my TV switched on to be able to listen to (say) Planet Rock in surround sound. If the only source of audio as far as your amp is concerned is your TV, you will always need the TV switched on, even if there is nothing visual happening on screen. It is also sometimes useful to be able to watch one programme on TV (either Freeview or a DVD) while Sky is feeding an audio signal direct to the amplifier - so that you can hear when something is about to start (i.e. if you only want to watch one of the games on Match Of The Day, but don't know at what point they are going to show that game), and at that point switch the TV reception over to Sky to watch the programme.
     
  7. dutchgraham

    dutchgraham
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    You are the man, Broadz. (unless of course you're a woman!)

    That makes it all crystal clear, especially the obvious bit about having to have the TV on to hear audio from any source!

    Looks like the 830 is the best bet then, with the optical in.

    One last question - if I connect the PS2 to the TV via scart, will the audio come through the surround? I'm assuming the answer is yes, as you have said it works for everything else.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. Broadz

    Broadz
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    As long as the sound from the PS2 is audible through the TV speakers when the TV volume is turned up, the TV should still output that audio to your amplifier, though you may only hear it in stereo.
     

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