Phono Cables Sugestions

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by gino_76ph, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    im currently the owner of a Sony 40" 1080p LCD and a Logitech Z5500 5.1 Multimedia Speaker System.
    i was told by Sony that in order for the tv speakers to work whilst my 5.1 is connected is for me to use a phono cable to connect my speakers (Audio In) to the TV's Audio Out. my questions are:

    1. was Sony correct in saying/explaining that to me?

    2. if it was a phono cable will my speakers still churn out the intended sound output it is capable of which is Dolby ProLogic II, DTS & THX?

    3. what type/make/brand of phono cable i need to look for? is it a 2 prong one?,etc.
     
  2. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Your question is a little unclear, are you trying to get sound from the TV onto your 5.1 system or are you trying to get the speakers on your TV working?

    If you are trying to get sound from the TV tuner to the 5.1 system then yes a normal RCA red/white phono cable connected from the TV audio out to the 5.1 audio in will do it.

    That is a stereo feed and your Z5500 can probably apply a fake surround effect to it using Prologic.

    You can't get a true Dolby 5.1 or DTS as the TV doesn't get those sound streams from broadcast TV.

    If you connect a DVD player to the Z5500, probably using an optical cable then it will be able to decode DTS etc.
     
  3. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    so what you are saying that unless the freeview/Sky streams is on a Dolby Surround there is no way my 5.1 can output Dolby? will it instead "simulate" (like you said) a "fake" surround sound?

    and

    what if i connect my Sony DVP-NS78 upscaling DVD player using a phono cable to the TV audio out will my speakers output a Dolby Digital (ProLogic II et al) or DTS or THX? or will i need a optical/coaxial cable? and is a optical cable better than a coxial?
     
  4. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Still a lot of confusion there about what you are trying to connect to what and why.

    Let's go back to basics.

    5.1 sound has to be encoded first and provided to you in some way.

    The most likely ways you'll encounter it will be from a DVD or a Sky satellite channel or a cable channel and computer games.

    The 5.1 signal needs to be decoded before you can hear all the channels and that is where your amp comes in.

    The 5.1 signal can't be send over a stereo cable, it needs a digital connection, usually optical or coax.

    So for example if you have a Sky+ or Sky HD box you will find an optical output, connect that to a suitable amp and you'll get 5.1 sound (if the particular programme has it, not all do)

    If you just use the stereo cable from the Sky box you'll just get stereo. Your amp can do its best to create an approximation of a 5.1 sound field from a stereo input but it is just 'guessing' for the most part.

    For most practical purposes there is no preference between optical or coax for the digital connection.

    I've glossed over a lot of stuff here not mentioning HDMI or Prologic broadcasts but I hope this will help get some focus on your problems. Also THX isn't a sound format as such, it is more of a processing option.

    If you could just explain exactly which sources you have (Sky, Sky+, Sky HD, DVD, PS£, TV tuner ....) and where you want the sound to be heard (speakers attached to amp, speakers attached to TV) then we can help.
     
  5. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    so, is there another cable better than phono?

    if im viewing freeview (via a freeview box) using my connected 5.1 what cable would you recommend? and how do i connect it to my tv?

    and

    if im viewing a DVD from my upscaling dvd player connected to my 5.1 would you recommend the optical/coaxial route? (and considering the dvd has an optional Dolby Audio/DTS setup will it output that sound type using the optical/coaxial cable?)
     
  6. davepuma

    davepuma
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    You will need to connect the TV to the speaker system using a pair of RCA phonos. Don't bother spending a lot on phonos for TV audio, it simply ísn't worth it. Profigold at around £9 are well made good value cables but a cheaper cable would work fine. The TV outputs a 2.0 channel stereo signal which the surround sound system will mix to give you a pseudo surround sound effect like Dolby Pro Logic 2.

    As the freeview box only outputs 2.0 channel stereo, you might as well connect the TV as then you will get audio via the speakers no matter what is playing when you select the TV input. No point in connecting the freeview box up IMO.

    To get true 5.1/DTS from the DVD player, you will need to connect it to the speaker system using either a digital optical or digital coaxial cable. I have the older model, the 76H in my bedroom setup. I'm pretty sure I used coax when it was in the living room. I prefer coax simply as it's a better fit but there is no difference sound quality wise. Optical is preferred over long lengths. Again, I would recommend profigold at around a tenner for a digital coaxial cable.

    For definitions and explanations on the various surround sound types, check wikipedia, dolby.com, dts.com and there is a handy glossary on the avland website. Have a read!
     
  7. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    my Humax 1080i Freeview Box has no phono out as far as i know but if it does you said connecting the speakers to the tv is "the" option for me. that's cool for me.

    but

    the issue of the exact type of phono cables...my 5.1 reciever/amplifier has a "Front - Rear - Center/Sub" out at it's back. and as Sony told me before i need to connect my 5.1. to the audio out of my TV. would that be a 3-prong and a 2-prong end? or a 2-prong to 2-prong end would do?
     
  8. davepuma

    davepuma
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    I have just read the specs of the Logitech here. I think you will need a 3.5mm to phono cable like this connected to either the stereo mini input (side) or connected to the front channel mini connectors of the 6ch input.
     
  9. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    if i connect the phono cable to the front channel out of the speakers receiver/decoder would i still be able to use the other speakers and output the desired sound?
     
  10. davepuma

    davepuma
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    Yes, as it has dolby pro logic 2 decoder.
     
  11. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    so even on a 1 cable connection it still can decode the Dolby,DTS and THX sounds and use ALL speakers?

    also

    i saw the link you sent me. the 2-prong phono end...i need to connect this to the tv audio out? am i right?
     
  12. davepuma

    davepuma
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    No, it will only give you Dolby Pro Logic from the TV as it is only receiving a stereo signal. DD5.1, DTS etc. require a digital multi-channel signal. Dolby Pro Logic will output via all the speakers but it's not true surround sound, it's a mix. You will sometimes hear strange warbling noises from the speakers, which is just DPL.

    Yes, that is correct.
     
  13. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Careful.

    Dave was talking about inputs, not outputs.

    The only thing connected to your speaker outputs should be your speakers, sorry if that wasn't what you were saying but I was getting a little nervous with the mixing of inputs and outputs..

    No, as previously stated, you can't get a Dolby 5.1 or DTS signal over a stereo connection, your amp can handle a stereo signal encoded with Dolby Prologic or it can do a fair job of faking a 5.1 sound field from a normal stereo signal and once again, THX is not a format to be decoded it is a post-processing option.

    Torchwood on BBC is broadcast with a Dolby ProLogic sound track so that will sound quite close to a real 5.1 track.
     
  14. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    i see. so it all depends on the source. but what im trying to establish now is even if im viewing Freeview using the 3.5mm to phono cable (the 2-prong and 1-prong end) with the speakers connected will i still be ablle to use ALL speakers if the source (ie. Freeview) is on Dolby or stereo?
     
  15. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Dave answered that for you here :

    You can set your amp to do the best it can to generate a 5.1 sound field from the stereo input using Dolby Pro Logic processing.

    Some TV programs, like Torchwood, make it easy for the amp by broadcasting stereo sound that has been specially mixed using Dolby Pro Logic so the sound will be even better than when the amp has to guess everything.
     
  16. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    ok. but the main point is: using a phono cable (the 2-prong & 1-prong end i mentioned before) can i still use ALL speakers? (i want to make sure as the 1-prong end of the cable i heard will be connected to my 5.1's "Sub/Center" output at the back of the decoder and im worried only 1 speaker and the sub will work)

    and

    are these like the ones i need?

    http://www.ixos.co.uk/en/ixos-search-detail.asp?Keyword=RCA&PROID=314&Category=12
     
  17. davepuma

    davepuma
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    aaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! :rolleyes:
     
  18. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    No, read what Dave wrote again :

    You will be connecting the stereo mini jack (1 prong) to the front channel on the *inputs* on your amp not the outputs.

    All your speakers stay connected and plug nothing other than speakers into a speaker output
     
  19. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    so if i connect the 1-prong to the "front" input of my decoder and all speakers connected only the front speakers will work? if that's the case will i need a 3-prong phono cable?
     
  20. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    It would be a great help if you would read the manual that came with your speakers system, most of this stuff is covered in there :)

    You have 3 inputs on the back of your system which take the stereo mini jack plugs (1 prong) and they can be used either as a 5.1 input from a PC (6 channels, 2 per socket) or as 3 independent stereo pairs for things like your TV or perhaps an MP3 player. There is a switch on the back to choose which way they are being used.

    If you set the switch to use them as 3 separate inputs then the stereo sound you put in will be processed and played out as 5.1 (fake) using all your speakers if you select Prologic processing on the amp.

    If you have the switch set incorrectly then I would expect the sound to only be played on the 2 front speakers.
     
  21. ben.bayliss

    ben.bayliss
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    I'm amazed you lasted as long as you did! :)

    To ease your pain, I've clicked the thanks button for you! Hopefully the OP will do the same once he's finished reading the manuals of his oddly-matched kit! :)
     
  22. gino_76ph

    gino_76ph
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    i went to the Sony dealer store where ive bought my tv and asked the person(s) my question and they told me the same thing. but what they told me (after seeing the online specs of my Logitech Z5500) that the 1-prong end is the one i need to connect to the earphone jack of the decoder and set it to 2-channel as the tv is only capable of 2-channel output (apparently) when watching Freeview thru a Freeview box. where they right in saying that? would connecting it to the earphone jack make any distortion on the audio?

    also

    if we consider just watching normal Freeview channels is it better to connect my 5.1 decoder to the freeview box "directly" or my 5.1 decoder to my tv? if Yes to the former..what cable would i need? would that be the same 3.5mm phono cable?
     
  23. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Dave already answered this one as well.

    I agree with his view.
     

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