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Old Nov 26, 2012, 08:43 AM   #1
wordoflife
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Just got an HDTV, Need help setting it up

Hi all,
Just got a new HD tv and I'm a bit confused with how to set it up.

So basically, I have a Samsung HDTV and Samsung Soundbar ... and would like to connect my cable box, Bluray player (when I get one), Wii, and occasionally my laptop.

The problem is that the TV only has 2 HDMI ports and the soundbar only has 1 HDMI in port, so I can't connect all of my devices with HDMI

Ideally, I would like to use all the devices through the soundbar but it doesn't seem that it will happen that way.

Anyways my questions are
1) If I plug a toslink Audio cable from my TV to the soundbar, will all sound go to the soundbar? (ex: Wii is plugged into tv via Rwy (red,white,yellow) cables or cable box into tv via HDMI ... sound will always come through?)

2) Is there any sound quality differences between using toslink, HDMI, and the white/yellow to 3.5 mm cables?
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 08:49 AM   #2
mattopotamus
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really the best thing to do is trial and error. There is definitely a difference in sound quality between HDMI and RCA cables.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:15 AM   #3
MacUser09
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Would something like this be any good to you?
http://www.maplin.co.uk/3-way-automa...-switch-265062
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:48 PM   #4
JAT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wordoflife View Post
Anyways my questions are
1) If I plug a toslink Audio cable from my TV to the soundbar, will all sound go to the soundbar? (ex: Wii is plugged into tv via Rwy (red,white,yellow) cables or cable box into tv via HDMI ... sound will always come through?)

2) Is there any sound quality differences between using toslink, HDMI, and the white/yellow to 3.5 mm cables?
1) That depends on the TV. You would have to try it, or check the manual, to see what is output. It may only do digital sources (HDMI) or it may only be for TV actually decoded by the TV. As in, from an antenna, not a cable box.
2) The short answer is: probably no quality difference with your 2 channel setup. It could mean a noticeable difference between 5.1 surround and 2 channel if you had a surround setup.
Longer: You listen in analog, but these all start in digital these days, so somewhere is a digital-analog-conversion (DAC). The difference comes in what machine converts it, and that difference may or may not be audible to humans. None of your machines contain a high-end DAC, so there should be negligible difference.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:03 PM   #5
donrsd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wordoflife View Post
Hi all,
Just got a new HD tv and I'm a bit confused with how to set it up.

So basically, I have a Samsung HDTV and Samsung Soundbar ... and would like to connect my cable box, Bluray player (when I get one), Wii, and occasionally my laptop.

The problem is that the TV only has 2 HDMI ports and the soundbar only has 1 HDMI in port, so I can't connect all of my devices with HDMI

Ideally, I would like to use all the devices through the soundbar but it doesn't seem that it will happen that way.

Anyways my questions are
1) If I plug a toslink Audio cable from my TV to the soundbar, will all sound go to the soundbar? (ex: Wii is plugged into tv via Rwy (red,white,yellow) cables or cable box into tv via HDMI ... sound will always come through?)

2) Is there any sound quality differences between using toslink, HDMI, and the white/yellow to 3.5 mm cables?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018DQYQ2

I use that flawlessly for over 2 years now on my Plasma tv.
No inout switching or anything. It just works

I have 3 HDMI inputs.
HDMI 1 = Directv & bluray player (using above link)
HDMI 2 = Pioneer SC 27
HDMI 3 = Apple tv

the reason I dont use Apple TV on my switch is because the Apple TV technically never turns off, it sleeps.....thus its always sending a signal to the switch.
The switch works by the last HDMI input to be turned on = what is passed thru to the tv.


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Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:41 PM   #6
Michael CM1
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My best recommendation would be to ditch the sound bar and get an A/V receiver with like six HDMI inputs. I'm guessing that's not an option, but that is the best option.

I run my devices through my Samsung HDTV that has 4 HDMI inputs. I then send the sound to an A/V receiver through toslink. Everything produces sound, but I think you're only getting Dolby Pro Logic sound running it through the TV. I did this with my Wii using component video and RCA audio.

I would run something through my receiver if one of its two HDMI ports didn't mess up all the time. I tried this a year ago and the sound was amazingly better. But I deal with what I've got.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 11:48 PM   #7
wordoflife
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doublepost

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacUser09 View Post
snip
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattopotamus View Post
snip
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAT View Post
snip
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrsd View Post
snip
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael CM1 View Post
snip
I'm quoting all of you so that you know that I responded, for those interested. Makes it easier to respond to everything as a whole.

The HDMI switch is a perfect idea
***I'm assuming that I'll plug my Wii, Cable box, and Bluray player (when i get one : P ) into the switch, and the switch into the HDMI IN in the soundbar, and then an HDMI out cable from the soundbar into the TV.

It seems like Michael's comment about the toslink was what I wanted to know as well. But if the setup i wrote above will work (in theory), I'll probably go for that instead.

I understand that perhaps quality wont be the best through a switch but I guess it doesn't matter to me. RCA cables sound fine right now, haha. And yeah, not really interested in the A/V reciever. I actually have one right now but it's waaaay too old so I'm not even using it. But I actually quite like the form factor of the soundbar and such. I know it's not the greatest sound, but I dont really have that much space and it's decent enough. In fact, I only got it because I've heard reports that the speakers are weak on thin (plasma, led, lcd...etc) TVs but they're actually ok. But I do notice the difference when playing movies or songs... and its good enough.

So basically two questions that I have:
1) will the setup with the three asterisks work?
2) so basically picture and video goes through the soundbar when using the HDMI IN and HDMI OUT function ports
3) The Wii can transfer audio via HDMI. (i think it does)

Thanks again all for the help
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:07 AM   #8
KevinC867
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donrsd View Post
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018DQYQ2
...
the reason I dont use Apple TV on my switch is because the Apple TV technically never turns off, it sleeps.....thus its always sending a signal to the switch.
The switch works by the last HDMI input to be turned on = what is passed thru to the tv.
Great idea. I like this product because it can be controlled via IR. I just program my Harmony remote to control the switch explicitly and it works reliably and transparently with any of my devices.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 05:51 AM   #9
mattopotamus
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Originally Posted by KevinC867 View Post
Great idea. I like this product because it can be controlled via IR. I just program my Harmony remote to control the switch explicitly and it works reliably and transparently with any of my devices.
How is that harmony remote and which one do you have? I am always contemplating those when I see them. Also, can you set them up without a PC or Mac?
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:33 AM   #10
KevinC867
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How is that harmony remote and which one do you have? I am always contemplating those when I see them. Also, can you set them up without a PC or Mac?
I think the Harmony remote is great. I have the 890, which is similar to the current 900 model. It can use RF signals to send the commands to an IR "beamer". That allows me to use it from another room, and also not worry about keeping it pointed it at the equipment during a command sequence which might take a few seconds.

With the Harmony, you create "activities" (e.g. "watch BluRay"). When you press the soft-button for that activity, it turns on the appropriate equipment, selects the right sources, and customizes the buttons to control the stuff you are using (e.g. TV, receiver and BluRay player).

You definitely need either a Mac or a PC to do the setup.

Last edited by KevinC867; Nov 27, 2012 at 11:53 AM.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:41 AM   #11
mattopotamus
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Thanks for the remote info. I may have to go another route then since I'm not rocking a computer anymore...although the iMacs are crazy tempting. Can it learn functions of remote or have codes to get around not having a computer? I know I wouldn't be able to use the macros, but that is not a big deal to me
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:42 AM   #12
donrsd
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Originally Posted by KevinC867 View Post
Great idea. I like this product because it can be controlled via IR. I just program my Harmony remote to control the switch explicitly and it works reliably and transparently with any of my devices.
Interesting.
Ive never been a fan of the 'remote control switching', but I added the item to my amazon wishlist for future reference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinC867 View Post
I think the Harmony remote is great. I have the 890, which is similar to the current 900 model. It can use RF signals to send the commands to an IR "beamer". That allows me to use it from another room, and also not worry about keeping it pointed it at the equipment during a command sequence which might take a few seconds.

With the Harmony, you create "activities" (i.e. "watch BluRay"). When you press the soft-button for that activity, it turns on the appropriate equipment selects the right sources, and customizes the buttons to control the stuff you are using (i.e. TV, receiver and BluRay player).

You definitely need either a Mac or a PC to do the setup.
Harmony remote is the way to go
I have 2 harmony ONE's (got them for $50 each on a price mistake @ Best Buy a few months ago) and thus moved my older 720 to my sons room.

Tweaking the harmony is the best part of having it. They also pass the WAF (Wife Approval Factor) as they are so easy to use.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 12:04 PM   #13
KevinC867
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Thanks for the remote info. I may have to go another route then since I'm not rocking a computer anymore...although the iMacs are crazy tempting. Can it learn functions of remote or have codes to get around not having a computer? I know I wouldn't be able to use the macros, but that is not a big deal to me
I really don't think a Harmony remote can be used without having a computer to use for the setup. If you can borrow a computer, you just need access to a USB port and an internet connection. You will create an account with Logitech/Harmony which will save all your settings, so you can later modify them from any other computer.

The Harmony can learn the odd IR commands which are not in their extensive database, but it's not like other universal remotes which allow you to directly enter a code representing a particular device to be emulated.
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