How would you set this up

orangepeel

Active Member
I know i don't have it up and running properly but this is my current set up:

Sony vaio F12 holding all music and films.
> connected to a Sony TV KDL-32V4000 by HDMI
then tv connected to Marantz SR6300 by RCA (then out to sub and speakers).

I presume 5.1 isnt make it through to the amp because of the tv? It hasnt been an issue really as i listen to music more but I now want to set it up properly.
As a note both my laptop and amp have optical capabilities.

So how would you do it (with few cables as poss!). I'm just tying myself up in knots here!

Cheers guys
 

EdFoxwell

Standard Member
What do you have available on the laptop to output audio? If you have an optical out like davepuma says, that would be the best solution. Or if you have HDMI out of your laptop this could go direct into the AV amp and depending on your setup could carry the audio too. The first question would be whether your content will support 5.1?

If your laptop doesn't have optical or HDMI out (that supports audio over HDMI, some do some don't) then you can buy a usb external surround sound card that could plug directly into your amp.

Hope that helps!
 

orangepeel

Active Member
Thanks for the replies.
My laptop has both optical out and hdmi and supports 5.1 etc. I can't go optical into the tv but can into the amp.
Am I best doing hdmi to tv for picture and optical to amp for sound? When watching tv, will surround sound carry over the rca cable to amp?

Cheers guys
 

orangepeel

Active Member
The pic is of the optical out on the laptop. I'm having trouble finding the right cable for this as most I'm finding have the square end shape. Any ideas?

ForumRunner_20111127_091910.jpg
 

EdFoxwell

Standard Member
I am assuming you are using your TV for built in freeview and maybe some online content? in which case it is unlikely much of the content you watch on your tv will carry surround sound. The RCA connectors will only carry stereo sound to the amp but given the above it doesn't really matter. The red and white RCAs are left channel and right channel, i.e stereo audio.

You have two options, HDMI to the amp and then HDMI to the screen. You will need to change the input on the amp and on the TV when you want to switch.

Second option HDMI to the screen and optical to the amp. Still have to switch both inputs! Unless your amp is low quality I would not expect you to see any difference in quality with either setup.

It sounds like either option would not make that much difference to you, perhaps it comes down to the cost fo the additional cable? HDMI or Optical. If you go HDMI, don't be fooled into spending more than £15 on a cable less than 5m long it's just not worth it. And when a certain electrical store tells you you need a special Sony HDMI cable or a specific HDMI cable for your XBOX or PS3 that is all just marketing crap.

Sorry about the off topic rant at the end, hope the above helps!
 

EdFoxwell

Standard Member
Unfortunately that is not a surround sound optical out, looks like just a headphone socket to be honest cant think why it would say optical on there... strange, anyone else know?

Maybe HDMI to the amp is your option? Is your content 5.1? Otherwise none of this matters!
 

orangepeel

Active Member
Unfortunately that is not a surround sound optical out, looks like just a headphone socket to be honest cant think why it would say optical on there... strange, anyone else know?

Maybe HDMI to the amp is your option? Is your content 5.1? Otherwise none of this matters!

My amp doesn't have any HDMI inputs, it's a brilliant but slightly outdated Marantz sr6300 so it's analogue or digital.

Some of my content is 5.1 (from laptop, blu ray etc).

That headphone is definitely is an optical out, it's a really decent laptop. I've also found the appropriate adaptor n cable. You do get optical outs like this I'm sure. MacBook Pros have 'em too.

Ta.
 

orangepeel

Active Member
I am assuming you are using your TV for built in freeview and maybe some online content? in which case it is unlikely much of the content you watch on your tv will carry surround sound. The RCA connectors will only carry stereo sound to the amp but given the above it doesn't really matter. The red and white RCAs are left channel and right channel, i.e stereo audio.

You have two options, HDMI to the amp and then HDMI to the screen. You will need to change the input on the amp and on the TV when you want to switch.

Second option HDMI to the screen and optical to the amp. Still have to switch both inputs! Unless your amp is low quality I would not expect you to see any difference in quality with either setup.

It sounds like either option would not make that much difference to you, perhaps it comes down to the cost fo the additional cable? HDMI or Optical. If you go HDMI, don't be fooled into spending more than £15 on a cable less than 5m long it's just not worth it. And when a certain electrical store tells you you need a special Sony HDMI cable or a specific HDMI cable for your XBOX or PS3 that is all just marketing crap.

Sorry about the off topic rant at the end, hope the above helps!

I thought surround sound information can be embedded in the stereo soundtrack and carried through to the amp where the amp decodes it?

I already have a hdmi cable (not a sony cable! 10m, £10 job from Amazon). My first post describes what I currently have, sorry if it's unclear.

Cheers
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
That output on the laptop is a dual function output - it doubles as both an analogue (stereo) output for headphones and speakers with a 3.5mm jack plug, and also caters for optical (light) output, using a 3.5mm interconnect as opposed to a TOS link. Same as my Macbook, and same as most Macs actually. Just just need one of these cables

http://www.tvcables.co.uk/images/items/pgd582.jpg

Or a regular TOS to TOS cable and an adapter;

http://i.ebayimg.com/13/!B9)W6rQEGk~$(KGrHqMOKjcEz,6WG6j6BM6uq(TDZg~~0_35.JPG

Mod Edit: Please don't hotlink to images without the hosting sites permission
 
Last edited by a moderator:

EdFoxwell

Standard Member
Great info Matt, never knew about that! The Rcas from the screen are analogue so you won't be able to embed the digital surround sound on those. As I said though I don't think you will be getting much surround sound content direct from the tv anyway, just from the laptop and it sounds like you've got that sorted.
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Very few TV's, even if they have optical in and outs, support passthrough of bitstream surround sound. Generally they just do stereo. And although you can encode Pro Logic signal and pass it through just a pair of analogue RCA connectors, again it's HIGHLY unlikely that the TV will support that.

So for surround sound using that laptop, you need two things. Firstly, you need an AV Receiver with an optical input and onboard Dolby Digital and DTS decoding (<99.9999% of all AVR's available) and secondly, you need source material that has a 6 channel (5.1) AC3 (Dolby Digital) or DTS audiotrack. Oh, and 5 speakers and a sub, haha connected to the AVR.

You would need to connect the laptop to the TV by HDMI for picture only, and optical directly from the laptop to the AVR for audio only.
 

orangepeel

Active Member
Very few TV's, even if they have optical in and outs, support passthrough of bitstream surround sound. Generally they just do stereo. And although you can encode Pro Logic signal and pass it through just a pair of analogue RCA connectors, again it's HIGHLY unlikely that the TV will support that.

So for surround sound using that laptop, you need two things. Firstly, you need an AV Receiver with an optical input and onboard Dolby Digital and DTS decoding (<99.9999% of all AVR's available) and secondly, you need source material that has a 6 channel (5.1) AC3 (Dolby Digital) or DTS audiotrack. Oh, and 5 speakers and a sub, haha connected to the AVR.

You would need to connect the laptop to the TV by HDMI for picture only, and optical directly from the laptop to the AVR for audio only.

And that is what shall be done. Cables etc ordered (plus new centre speaker on the way too! Merry Christmas to me!)

Thanks for all the input (no pun intended) guys.

OP.
 

Cazbat

Novice Member
I need help setting this lot up?

LG 42LV355U - TV
Sky+HD
Samsung HT-D450 - 5.1 Surround Sound
Xbox 360 + Kinect
PS3 Slim 320g + Move
Wii + Wii Board
My Book Essential 500 GB External hard drive - 480 Mbps
Sony Vaio VGN-FS115B - Laptop (old hahah)
Apple MACBOOK Original white one + TV Cable
Internet WIFI

Looking for the best set up for visual and audio? HELP
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
I need help setting this lot up?

LG 42LV355U - TV
Sky+HD
Samsung HT-D450 - 5.1 Surround Sound
Xbox 360 + Kinect
PS3 Slim 320g + Move
Wii + Wii Board
My Book Essential 500 GB External hard drive - 480 Mbps
Sony Vaio VGN-FS115B - Laptop (old hahah)
Apple MACBOOK Original white one + TV Cable
Internet WIFI

Looking for the best set up for visual and audio? HELP

Your home cinema system only has an analogue audio input, therefore your best bet would be to run an analogue cable from the TV and hope that it passes audio from all the sources connected to it. If it doesn't have an analogue RCA phono (red/white) output you would need to buy either:

a) Switchable SCART adapter (set to out) plus phono cable
b) SCART to phono cable (not the other way around). Some have switches on them, so again switch to out

However, my best advice would be to sell that home cinema on and buy something that has sufficient inputs for all your sources and preferably one that can handle HD audio over HDMI for your PS3. You have several sources, some of which duplicate the others. Do you for example need to connect up the laptops? You could stream content from both if connected to a network to the PS3. If you want something that will result in minimal cables to the TV you would need an AV receiver that can upconvert analogue to HDMI. This feature is also known as video conversion. Sky+HD outputs dolby digital over optical and digi-coax (not HDMI).
 

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