Help with HT & Tivo set up please (TV doesnt have arc)


Standard Member
Hi Guys,

Hoping you can help get my system set up in the best way it can be, for some reason the surround sound doesn't seem to have the same impact it used to before re connecting, (I have had it set up in a few different ways and now can't find best method) I have checked all the connections are secure. As you will see I am not that knowledgeable when it comes to this area of tech.

The kit is a few years old and not the greatest; The home theatre (HT) is an all in one system however for my small living room it does what I need for now (however it just doesn't seem to have the same impact it had when I had it set up last year).

TV: lg lx6900 (very happy with picture, downside is no hdmi arc)

HT: Sony BDV-E880 (does what I need, decent pic and sound, has enough inputs incl hdmi arc out however sound seems to be lacking a little with new set up apart from playing blu ray disks inside the unit)

Virgin Tivo Box: this is the main sound issue

PS4: working great sound & picture quality


I have everything connecting in to the HT (I have tried in the past linking Tivo to TV first then HT) at the moment I have only one lead connecting the TV-HT which is the hdmi going from my HT hdmi arc out to TV hdmi(dvi) in (not arc). I don’t think the lack of arc on TV should be a problem though as all audio goes to HT and just use the one hdmi to deliver picture to TV...

This is how they all are connected at the moment although I have tried swapping around but not heard any difference in sound quality:

Tivo connects to HT by hdmi out to in the hdmi cable is just a standard older one not sure if that matters (but it is also connected by an optical cable at moment??) and the PS4 connects to HT by hdmi out to in.

I press hdmi1 on HT for Tivo TV and hdmi2 for PS4 (when rarely watch a blu ray it auto starts) so I have found this quite an easy set up to use.

I do it this way as I think (could be wrong) it makes most sense as

A) The HT can upscale so I think running Tivo to the HT first may result in a better picture (i'm sure when tried both this way looked better unless was just a setting issue).
B) TV doesn't have hdmi arc, but not sure if this matters set up this way or why/if I would need the video/audio going to TV before HT...

As far as I am aware the Tivo can delivery 5.1 surround via hdmi so in theory I should just need a hdmi from Tivo to HT...? however at the moment I also have the optical cable linking the Tivo to the HT (not sure why) just in-case that helps with sound (I have also tried linking optical cable from Tivo to TV and tried it linking TV to HT basically not sure what I should use it for if at all, I bought it when realised TV didn't have hdmi arc).

PS4 connects direct to HT by single hdmi, PS4 is set to Linear PCM, the PS4 is the one thing I am happy with sound wise, oh and blu rays played in the HT sound good also.

So really the issue is getting the Tivo 5.1 content to sound better (half as good as the blu rays sound would be a start) I know blu rays may always have the edge on Tivo content sound wise and that only content that is broadcast in 5.1 hd surround will/should sound good but the problem is that it doesn't, however I remember last year watching Tivo content (same box) and HD programmes and movies sounded a lot better and close to how the blu ray disks do now.

For example I have the film Limitless both on Blu Ray and recorded from film4hd from Tivo however the Blu Ray sounds so much better.

I currently have the level of my speakers set to: front 0 (they go in to minus or plus with 0 being the standard and the level the calib mic set them all to) sub +2 and rear +4! I do this so can just about hear the deepness of the sub on explosions and surround action from rear speakers when watching Tivo films, however if I then put a blu ray in the sound is almost too loud and I can feel the vibration from the sub and rear speakers are a little over powering (especially if watch inception) so then have to change levels back to 0 where they should be, surely this shouldn't need to be the case? Like I say i'm sure I remember the Tivo ‘surround’ sound being much more noticeable than it is now with the HT....

Any ideas what the problem could be or how I can improve it, set it up in a better way? Thanks in advance...


Distinguished Member
Firstly, the TiVo only needs an HDMI connection and can convey both stereo and 5.1 audio via its HDMI output. The additional optical connection is surplus to requirements. Secondly, go into the TiVo's audio settings and ensure the audio is set to Dolby Digital and not Dolby Digital to PCM. Lastly, not all content broadcast will be anything more than two channel stereo so configure the source input on your HT associated with the TiVo to use Pro Logic II if available. This will apply Pro Logic to stereo content to create pseudo surround in relation to it, but will be overridden whenever discrete Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded audio is detected.

A Blu-ray will be encoded with higher defination audio that what you'd expect to get via TV broadcasts. The two are not directly comparable in terms of quality and BD titles will be superior to the audio soundtracks you hear in association with TV broadcasts.


Standard Member
Thanks Dante,

I have removed the optical connection (I did think that I thought just in case the hdmi lead isn't great it may do something but i have took that out)

Checked Tivo that is set to Dolby Digital not DD to PCM.

HT is set to Dolby PLII Movie. Also:
At the moment Audio Output is Speaker only (is that right) rather than HDMI or Speaker+HDMI... and HDMI settings I have control for HDMI off at the moment and Audio Input Mode = HDMI but can change that to HDMI control on, Audio Return Channel Auto and HDMI Audio Input Mode to HDMI or TV...?

Yeah I have been checking the audio info on the Tivo broadcasts I was testing and made sure they were HD 5.1 broadcasts, i'm not to bothered about the usual TV programmes just want the newer films to sound better (I seem to remember them sounding better than they do now).



Distinguished Member
Your current HDMI settings appear to be as they should be so no alterations need to be made.

I can only surmise that your experience is based upon expectation as opposed to real world perceptions? It isn't unusual to get superior audio via Blu-ray and not all Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded soundtracks are exemplary. You could try boosting the volume whaen viewing such broadcasts to see if this improves matters?

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'it just doesn't seem to have the same impact it had when I had it set up last year' - was the set-up in the same room and same speaker/seating layout?



Standard Member
Maybe Dante, maybe I was just more easily pleased when it was newer and now its time to upgrade : )

Yes its in the same room Joe, speakers are in same place just didn't connect it for a while after decorating so couldn't remember how had it connected exactly but if it is connected the way it is supposed to be maybe its time I just get a better set up : ) Was just in the past I remember not having to have the surround/sub on such a high level for it to have any impact with Tivo movies etc but maybe it's just me thinking it should be better and remembering it from certain movies that had better sound than ones watched recently, at least you have confirmed it seems to be set up in the right manner that was the main issue I wasn't sure about,


Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
‘after decorating’ – if you made big changes in terms of soft furnishings, hard flooring etc. that can have a marked effect on the audio.

maybe I was just more easily pleased when it was newer’ – that is definitely possible.

Time to go listen to a few systems and decide if they offer you more of what you are looking for.



Standard Member
I think so too, its a good enough excuse for an upgrade I think : )

Just been looking online I think I may try a separate system this time however I can get this LG HX906 for only £150 (used as new) would that be much of an improvement or not? It states 1100W and seems cheap at £150 but not sure if it will be enough of an improvement or pretty much the same...?

I think if went for a separate system I wouldn't want to be spending more than £250 seeing as though I would need everything (got no decent speakers etc) so not sure if could get better with a separate for the price...?
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Panasonic JZ2000 Final Thoughts - TV Calibration: Should you? And More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom