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Help needed: Best way to connect Panasonic TX-P42V10 + Harman Kardon AVR255 & rest!

Jeggamegges

Standard Member
Hi everyone!

Needing a bit of help when it comes to wiring up my current setup...

I recently bought a new surround amp and am looking for opinions as to how the best way to set it all up.

So, I've got bought a Harman Kardon AVR255 to go with my Panasonic 42V10, Sony BDP-S350 and XBox.

There's a coupe of ways that I can see doing this:

Either use the amp as a true AV receiver and run HDMI video and audio into and through it and to the TV. This was what I initially tried but I don't know if my head is playing games with me in that the video seems to have degraded just a little amount, I did notice that I had to pop a little bit of brightness onto the amp's settings. Will running them this way drop the visual quality of the TV?

Or, run HDMIs into the TV and let the amp handle on the audio side of things through optical or digital coax. Will setting them up in this way loose out on any audio quality? If I were to go down this route is there any advantage or disadvantage with either optical or digital coax? If I keep the audio side separate to the video side is it best to link in each on their own line or run the audio out of the TV?

I'll be honest and say that I sometimes get a little lost with all the Dolby and DTS jargons so am not sure what way will give the optimal quality for all the gear that I have amassed.

I've got enough cabling to do either way so buying any more isn't going to be an issue - I'm just looking to see if anyone else has similar experiences in how they've set up their gear and the advantages / disadvantages of each so any pointers would be greatly appreciated!
 

safcalibur

Distinguished Member
Hi everyone!

Needing a bit of help when it comes to wiring up my current setup...

I recently bought a new surround amp and am looking for opinions as to how the best way to set it all up.

So, I've got bought a Harman Kardon AVR255 to go with my Panasonic 42V10, Sony BDP-S350 and XBox.

There's a coupe of ways that I can see doing this:

Either use the amp as a true AV receiver and run HDMI video and audio into and through it and to the TV. This was what I initially tried but I don't know if my head is playing games with me in that the video seems to have degraded just a little amount, I did notice that I had to pop a little bit of brightness onto the amp's settings. Will running them this way drop the visual quality of the TV?

Or, run HDMIs into the TV and let the amp handle on the audio side of things through optical or digital coax. Will setting them up in this way loose out on any audio quality? If I were to go down this route is there any advantage or disadvantage with either optical or digital coax? If I keep the audio side separate to the video side is it best to link in each on their own line or run the audio out of the TV?

I'll be honest and say that I sometimes get a little lost with all the Dolby and DTS jargons so am not sure what way will give the optimal quality for all the gear that I have amassed.

I've got enough cabling to do either way so buying any more isn't going to be an issue - I'm just looking to see if anyone else has similar experiences in how they've set up their gear and the advantages / disadvantages of each so any pointers would be greatly appreciated!


Hi mate,

Its strange you say that you find the PQ worse running through the amp. Upscaling is one of the things this receiver is good at! Have you turned that function on or maybe play around with the amp settings?

You could connect your xbox straight to your TV via HDMI or Component and then connect it to your amp via optical for sound.

You could then attach you BD player to the amp via HDMI and then a HDMI lead from amp to TV. Connecting your BD player to your amp this way is the only way you will be able to get HD audio from your BD's. HD audio can only be transmitted via HDMI as optical does not have the required bandwith. If you set your BD player to 'Bitstream' the audio your amp will do the decoding for the sound.

I wouldnt route my sound through the TV as then you will not be able to hear the HD audio from your BD player. It would be better to attach each component to the amp seperately.

So just to recap:

Xbox --> TV via HDMI/Component
Xbox --> Amp via optical

BD Player ----> Amp via HDMI
Amp ----> TV via HDMI

Change sound settings on xbox dash to Dolby Digital
Make sure BD player is set to 'Bitstream'

and that should be fine.

Regarding optical/coaxial there really isnt any difference between the two, they both transmit sound digitally. Some people prefer coax as the leads are more durable than the optical ones.

Hope that helps

Cheers

Saf
 
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Jeggamegges

Standard Member
Hey mate,

Thanks for the reply so quick, I'll have a play about with what you've mentioned and get back to you about it over the weekend - it'll take me that long to find my old comp cable hehe

It did seem to drop a little in brightness I posted on here to find out what the best way to connect was as I think I've just gone a little OCD with getting it set up properly (as you do! :p).

All the pieces of this AV puzzle are turning out to be incredible so just need to get them to fit the best way :p
 

SH00T

Active Member
i noticed the 360's brightness dull a little, when I connect my 360 to the 255, over component though.

Stick with 360 Vid -> TV and Optical to 255.
Might also avoid some video processing lag too.

Look into a Harmony remote, to handle the video switching for you.

You might have OCD, but not from this issue. lol
 

safcalibur

Distinguished Member
Hey mate,

Thanks for the reply so quick, I'll have a play about with what you've mentioned and get back to you about it over the weekend - it'll take me that long to find my old comp cable hehe

It did seem to drop a little in brightness I posted on here to find out what the best way to connect was as I think I've just gone a little OCD with getting it set up properly (as you do! :p).

All the pieces of this AV puzzle are turning out to be incredible so just need to get them to fit the best way :p


Yeah let us know how you get on with that mate and any probs let us know, i'm sure you'll get the help you need :smashin:

Cheers

Saf
 

Jeggamegges

Standard Member
Had a play about over the weekend and it seems to be a lot slicker now. I've stuck with putting video from the 360 through the 255 for just now and just pumped the brightness back up to level it off. I guess it'll be six and half a dozen with the audio through digital out though?
 

safcalibur

Distinguished Member
Had a play about over the weekend and it seems to be a lot slicker now. I've stuck with putting video from the 360 through the 255 for just now and just pumped the brightness back up to level it off. I guess it'll be six and half a dozen with the audio through digital out though?

Good to hear you got it sorted. Optical from Xbox to amp should be fine. With the BD player you would need to connect it to your amp via HDMI if you want HD audio.

Cheers

Saf
 

Jeggamegges

Standard Member
Yeah still have the BDP through HDMI. You were saying something about 'bitstream' Saf - it didn't have that option but had a different one. I've selected something on the same line and I'll let you know what they were when I get home as I'm skivin it up on the forums in work :p
 

safcalibur

Distinguished Member
Same here mate!! Boss isnt around so free reign on the AVforums!! Yeah let us know of the settings.

Cheers

Saf

Edit: You'd need to change the settings to this on your BD player:

S350 Audio Settings
HDMI Audio ---> Auto
BD Audio ---> Direct

that should have your BD player bitstream the audio to the amp.
 
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safcalibur

Distinguished Member
You took the words right out of my keyboard. That's the options I was going to double check with you. It's all sounding peachy!

:D nice one mate, glad you got it sorted! Enjoy HD in all its glory!!

All the best

Saf
 

SH00T

Active Member
Good to hear you got it sorted. Optical from Xbox to amp should be fine. With the BD player you would need to connect it to your amp via HDMI if you want HD audio.

Cheers

Saf
Unfortunately, The Sony 350 Blu Ray, Does not support HD audio.
But if it has the Bitstream out option, your Amp will indicate DD or DTS, if it does not, you'll get the same audio quality ( arguably ), its just harder to tell which you are listening to. DTS or DD. It'll just show as PCM.
If there is an info button, that should indicate your soundtrack.
 

safcalibur

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately, The Sony 350 Blu Ray, Does not support HD audio.
But if it has the Bitstream out option, your Amp will indicate DD or DTS, if it does not, you'll get the same audio quality ( arguably ), its just harder to tell which you are listening to. DTS or DD. It'll just show as PCM.
If there is an info button, that should indicate your soundtrack.

Just checked the specs mate and it does

http://www.sony.co.uk/product/blu-ray-disc-player/bdp-s350#pageType=TechnicalSpecs

If the BD player is bitstreaming the audio over hdmi to your amp, your amp is doing the decoding and the pretty light on your amp will switch on indicating that you are getting HD audio! This sony BD player has a Dolby TruHD decoder built in and is also capable of bitstreaming TruHD and DTS-HD. So if you've set it to bitstream you should be getting HD audio.

Please correct me if I am wrong but dont most if not all BD players have the capability to either decode the hd audio and send it via LPCM over HDMI or send the HD audio encoded in bitstream and let an amp do the decoding.

Cheers

Saf
 
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SH00T

Active Member
Many, Many apolagies,:confused:.

Many aussie units were not capable of this, but thats good news.
Sorry to be a bother. Good Luck.:thumbsup:
 

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