Why put video signals through a surround amp?

Justafan

Novice Member
Question I've wondered for a while. I've always been taught to believe that the less you put in a signal chain then the better the end result is. So would it not figure that if you were to put anything through an amp (DVD, console, cable box etc) then the pictures from those sources wouldn't be as good if you had connected them directly to the screen?
 

Foster1984

Well-known Member
Not neccesarily. Alot of the good Amps have pass-through technology, so they literally pass the signal on as if they weren't there. Some others have up-conversion built in to them so they can actually improve the video signal. So, yes and no, your theory is correct, but in practice it isn't always true, depends on the quality of the goods.
 
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davepuma

Distinguished Member
In theory yes, but if you have several sources using the same connection type e.g. component, the chances are you will need to route the video via an amp to switch it as TV's usually only have one. Some amps/receivers will upconvert the analogue signal e.g. s-video or composite (not so common now) to component video or on newer amps to HDMI resulting in a single cable to the display for convenience. HDMI carries both video and audio and if you wish to benefit from the latest HD audio formats, then you you have to route HDMI via the amp to extract the audio and pass the video to the display. If you don't need to (or can't without external converters e.g. SCART to component) connect via the amp, then I would always agree and advocate a direct connection to the display but as everything is shifting towards HDMI, then HDMI amps/receivers will be used more and more for video switching/upconversion.
 

Justafan

Novice Member
I can see how it would be a good solution if your amp had pass through circuitry and therefore it doesn't affect the source at all. But how would you know whether the circuitry on your amp is as good or even better than the source and/or screen? I guess I'd just have to experiment to see what looks best.

I'm only just getting into the proper home cinema set up. Plasma is getting delivered tomorrow and surround amp and speaker set up to follow. I do eventually plan to have everything connected via HDMI, but I always like to make sure I have the absolute best picture quality from all my sources.
 

Foster1984

Well-known Member
Well I have all my sources connected to my Denon 1909 and have not noticed any lack of picture quality as opposed to connecting it directly to the screen (whether by analogue signal or digital) but that is just IMO. Have a play when yours arrive, and use the set-up you think gives you the best results. Hope ths helps. :smashin:
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
What you have been taught is correct and your conclusion is also correct. The convenience of a single cable may also be an overriding consideration. Some expensive devices do offer almost perfect transmission.

When using HDMI, you don't have much choice, as it is a combined video and audio transport. This is the main reason why high-end audio manufacturers have been so slow to implement 8 channel audio over HDMI - it's very hard to do so without the video adversely affecting the quality of the audio.
 

FX_Munkee

Standard Member
There's also the fact that almost all LCD or plasma TV's can store different display settings per input, so as to get the best out of your various inputs. If all your input devices are connected to your AV amp then you will only have 1 set of settings for all your sources (the Amp output). Which will either mean compromise settings on all your inputs or constant fiddling every time you change inputs, which kind of defeats the object really.
Swings and roundabouts I guess :rolleyes:

Andy
 

huntere

Well-known Member
There's also the fact that almost all LCD or plasma TV's can store different display settings per input, so as to get the best out of your various inputs. If all your input devices are connected to your AV amp then you will only have 1 set of settings for all your sources (the Amp output). Which will either mean compromise settings on all your inputs or constant fiddling every time you change inputs, which kind of defeats the object really.
Swings and roundabouts I guess :rolleyes:

Andy
Yep and one of the reasons I dont put video through my amp - not as convenient but Harmony sorts that out.
However on the flip side you could use different user settings in the plasma LCD to get round this (which would be only one click).
 

Grumpy Boy

Novice Member
Sorry to reserect an old thread but I wanted to clarify something.

I follow what has been asked and opinions depend on kit/personal preference, but if I was to connect all my HDMI sources direct to the TV, and pass the audio into my amp via digi Optical/Coax would this help keep the quality of the picture "better" as the HDMI cable will be carrying only video direct into the TV?.
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
No as HDMI basically handshakes with the equipment to establish what can be carried and if the other end i.e. TV only accepts 2.0 channel audio, that's all that is sent. The signal is digital so can't see how it would be "better" but some switches/splitters and occasionally AV receivers can affect the signal but this usually means it works or it doesn't. Remember optical/coax doesn't have sufficient bandwidth to carry the new HD audio formats, so if you want them you must use HDMI.

If you don't need to connect HDMI via a switch etc. and can connect directly, by all means do it as, as stated above direct connection will allow you to callibrate individually and also allow quiet listening i.e. with the amp off at nighttime.
 

Grumpy Boy

Novice Member
Thanks for clearing that up. I wasn't aware HD audio needed to go through HDMI, so when I get my new kit I will be better of routing everything through the amp and then running one cable from the amp to the TV.
 

Grumpy Boy

Novice Member
Just another quick (and I think stupid question), currently my Xbox360 is connected to my TV via component lead.

Are there any issues/benefits to connecting the component to the amp, with HDMI going into the TV, or am I better off getting a HDMI lead for my xbox and using that through the amp.
 

Alkali

Novice Member
Just another quick (and I think stupid question), currently my Xbox360 is connected to my TV via component lead.

Are there any issues/benefits to connecting the component to the amp, with HDMI going into the TV, or am I better off getting a HDMI lead for my xbox and using that through the amp.
If you use a HDMI cable from the xbox360 I imagine you would get a better source signal (and therefore better picture going via amp). It shouldnt be too far off though, just that your amp would need to upconvert (and/or upscale depending what the game supports).
 

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