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  1. #1
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    Help Still Confused on HD DVR 5.1 Sound via my Cable Company

    Would appreciate some further advice/clarification on 5.1 broadcasts via my HD DVR (doubling as HD receiver) from Time Warner Cable in LA. Following a previous post I have bought a fiber optics cable. My questions are as follows:
    1. As the Cable people connected my HD DVR by components to my TV system, that means my DVR is still recording in 5.1 sound for 5.1 broadcasts or do I have to connect another (fiber optics?) cable to have a 5.1 show recorded in 5.1?

    2. Assuming the show is recorded in 5.1 on the DVR then all I have to do to play the show back in 5.1 is connect my fiber optics cable to the DVR's optic audio out to my 5.1 receivers optic cable input, is that correct?

    3. How many shows are actually broadcast in 5.1 sound? Are any Network Prime time shows broadcast in 5.1 or as a general rule, none? What about movies? Are all HBO & Showtime movies broadcast in 5.1 or is that a movie by movie thing? Is there a way to find out in advance what shows/movies are scheduled to be broadcast in 5.1?

    4. This may just be my personal tastes or my mind playing psycholgical tricks on me, but to me for regular stereo TV broadcasts, the sound still sounds richer, more natural & with better seperation listening to TV from RCA cables from my TV's audio monitior out to my receivers TV in then from my DVR's/Cable receivers audio optic out optic cable to my receivers optic in. For some reason the seperation, crispness, richness & sound isn't as good to my ears hearing it through the fiber optics cable, at least connected the way I've described. In fact the sound seems flattened out. Is this my imagination?

    Anty help, comments is welcome. Thanks

  2. #2
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Would appreciate some further advice/clarification on 5.1 broadcasts via my HD DVR (doubling as HD receiver) from Time Warner Cable in LA. Following a previous post I have bought a fiber optics cable. My questions are as follows:
    Hi Herson. What box do you have? Make and model? Is this a dual tuner model?


    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    1. As the Cable people connected my HD DVR by components to my TV system, that means my DVR is still recording in 5.1 sound for 5.1 broadcasts or do I have to connect another (fiber optics?) cable to have a 5.1 show recorded in 5.1?
    Your HD dvr actually uses the cable connection for it's input signal. Hooking up your Tv via component video cables is just a wise choice for output. But has no bearing on what signal is recorded.
    Using a fiber-optic cable as an output gives you the ability to listen to the recorded DD5.1 sound. As long as your HT receiver has a built in DD5.1 ability.


    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    2. Assuming the show is recorded in 5.1 on the DVR then all I have to do to play the show back in 5.1 is connect my fiber optics cable to the DVR's optic audio out to my 5.1 receivers optic cable input, is that correct?
    Do you have a DD5.1 DVD player? If so...then the cable box will be similar to the set-up for your DVD player. Just be sure that the input is set to some form of auto-detect...select the correct input and you should be set! You should also see a DD5.1 indicator light on your receiver...just as you would for a DD5.1 decoded DVD.


    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    3. How many shows are actually broadcast in 5.1 sound? Are any Network Prime time shows broadcast in 5.1 or as a general rule, none? What about movies? Are all HBO & Showtime movies broadcast in 5.1 or is that a movie by movie thing? Is there a way to find out in advance what shows/movies are scheduled to be broadcast in 5.1?
    There are a decent amount of prime time shows recorded in DD 5.1. But, like many DVD's, very few of them seem to make the most of the 5.1 capabilities. The guide you have on your cable box will vary from system to system and box (model) to box. But hitting the "info" button on a certain show (while in guide mode) this may tell you if it's 5.1 or not. But this will be service area/box dependent.
    I don't have HD HBO or Showtime...so I'm not sure. If you have the dual tuner DVR and "On Demand" is in your area...then you have a few more options for DD5.1 listening. In "On Demand" you can view shows for free that are categorized in channels that you already subscribe to (such as Food network, DIY, Discovery among many other free movie selections) Only some of these selections are DD5.1. But if your a HBO or premium subscriber...you will have some more DD5.1 selections to choose from (at no additional cost). You can also view new releases with On Demand. Nearly all of the new releases come in full screen and wide screen mode (just like DVD's) but both will have DD5.1 available as well. If you like to view a particular new release video in HD DD5.1...check out what's available. More and more video's are being offered in HD too. The new releases will cost you a rental fee that is in line with blockbuster and Hollywood video. HD new releases are a few extra bucks.


    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    4. This may just be my personal tastes or my mind playing psycholgical tricks on me, but to me for regular stereo TV broadcasts, the sound still sounds richer, more natural & with better seperation listening to TV from RCA cables from my TV's audio monitior out to my receivers TV in then from my DVR's/Cable receivers audio optic out optic cable to my receivers optic in. For some reason the seperation, crispness, richness & sound isn't as good to my ears hearing it through the fiber optics cable, at least connected the way I've described. In fact the sound seems flattened out. Is this my imagination?

    Anty help, comments is welcome. Thanks
    Hard to say the reason for this. It could be personal preference...it could be your receivers ability t decoded DD5.1 or this could be a speaker positioning/room issue. If you've never tried to set your speakers up correctly (for your preferences/system/room) then this is time well spent. Yes, it may be time consuming...but give it a whirl. This may or may not help your above comments.

    good luck!

    dan
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  3. #3
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    Sorry for Clarification is the HD DVR Model

    Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8000 HD is the HD DVR suppliedby Time Warner which also acts as my HD cable box. I'm assuming the way the guy from Time Warner installed/connected it- I supplied my Monster Component Cables instead of using the Cable company's, means that its getting 5.1 surround sound for 5.1 broadcasts. My receiver is a 5.1 receiver. I currently for my TV sound have been connecting RCA cables from my HD TV audio monitor out to my receivers TV in. I love the sound but was told by people on this board that the way this is connected means I won't hear 5.1 sound and that I would need to use a fibert optics cable. So I attached a fiber optics 3' cable that I got for $8 online from the DVD's optical output into my receiver's optical input. Right now, playing things back from my DVR (I haven't pulled the RCA cables out of the receivers input) with the optical cable connected to my receiver, the sound quality does not sound half as good as it sounds totally flat and the seperation it not that good. I don't know if this is my mind playing tricks on me or not. Any advice would be appreciated.

  4. #4
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    Thanks My Set Up May Not Be Right I'm getting the Cable People to Look At This

    Thanks for your help. I've now concluded that somehow I don't have my system connected right for 5.1 sound from the TV and am going to have the cable people hook this up right which they should have done in the first place. It'll probably take them all of a minute to do, someone tried to assist me on the phone but without being here it was basically useless. Why the cable guy didn't have this hooked up to a 5.1 set up when he installed the DVR I don't know. In the past 2 weeks I've learned via my friend Paul that somehow I stupidly had my second home theater set up's right rear speakers connected to the left rear jack & vice versa- how in hell I did that I don't have any idea. I was aware that the sound did not seem right but it never dawned on me I'd have the wrong speaker hook up & I now realize my home theater system is only getting stereo TV sound not 5.1 sound. Brilliant!




    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8000 HD is the HD DVR suppliedby Time Warner which also acts as my HD cable box. I'm assuming the way the guy from Time Warner installed/connected it- I supplied my Monster Component Cables instead of using the Cable company's, means that its getting 5.1 surround sound for 5.1 broadcasts. My receiver is a 5.1 receiver. I currently for my TV sound have been connecting RCA cables from my HD TV audio monitor out to my receivers TV in. I love the sound but was told by people on this board that the way this is connected means I won't hear 5.1 sound and that I would need to use a fibert optics cable. So I attached a fiber optics 3' cable that I got for $8 online from the DVD's optical output into my receiver's optical input. Right now, playing things back from my DVR (I haven't pulled the RCA cables out of the receivers input) with the optical cable connected to my receiver, the sound quality does not sound half as good as it sounds totally flat and the seperation it not that good. I don't know if this is my mind playing tricks on me or not. Any advice would be appreciated.

  5. #5
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    I have this same HD cable box... The way it should be hooked up is the red, green, blue component video cables should be conected to the corresonding video output jacks on the HD8000 going to the corresponding inputs on your HDTV (this does *not* effect sound at all, just the video). The optical digital out should be connected to the optical in on your receiver. The only other cable that should be comming into (or out of) your cable box is the coaxial cable from your wall cable outlet *into* the cable box (with nothing going out).

    Disconnect all the RCA connections, as these are unnecessary (all sound should go through the optical cable coming from your SA HD8000 to your JVC -- this will carry the 5.1 audio as well as regular stereo).

    Also, go into your cable box sttings screen, and make sure "Dolby Digital" is selected under the "Audio Digital Out" setting... Also, make sure that you select "Wide" as the choice under your "Audio Dynamic Range" setting.

    Once those changes are made, you should be good to go.

    ---Dave
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  6. #6
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    Oh, by the way...

    Do *not* let the cable company "fix" anything on your system, except as an absolute last resort. Those guys, as a general rule, don't know the first thing about how to hook up an HD Box (or anything else, for that matter). The "installer" of mine screwed up my whole system and I had to re-wire everything (and he scratched my beautifully finished right speaker too).

    The last guy I had come told me he just got out of prison, and they recruited him right away, because the skills he learned in the slammer made him "highly qualified" for the job... I wonder what they were looking for, exactly...? ;-)

    Just follow what I said in my previous post, and I am sure it will work... If not, *then* you may have to risk it... But insist on the cable company sending a "Senior Technician"... That means one they did not drag off the streets yesterday (or worse, as in my case).

    ---Dave
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  7. #7
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    Thanks Drseid

    Thanks Drseid I'm probably going to follow up with you on this as I thinkI did what you said previously but for some reason it didn't work. Oh by the way can you record to your VCR from your DVR?


    Quote Originally Posted by drseid
    Do *not* let the cable company "fix" anything on your system, except as an absolute last resort. Those guys, as a general rule, don't know the first thing about how to hook up an HD Box (or anything else, for that matter). The "installer" of mine screwed up my whole system and I had to re-wire everything (and he scratched my beautifully finished right speaker too).

    The last guy I had come told me he just got out of prison, and they recruited him right away, because the skills he learned in the slammer made him "highly qualified" for the job... I wonder what they were looking for, exactly...? ;-)

    Just follow what I said in my previous post, and I am sure it will work... If not, *then* you may have to risk it... But insist on the cable company sending a "Senior Technician"... That means one they did not drag off the streets yesterday (or worse, as in my case).

    ---Dave

  8. #8
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=hershon]I supplied my Monster Component Cables instead of using the Cable company's, means that its getting 5.1 surround sound for 5.1 broadcasts. [QUOTE]

    HUH? Dude..HUH?

    Ummmm.......no offense man but this statement right here just proves that you might be a bit in over your head. You might need a pro to come hook up your system.

  9. #9
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    I meant that

    I meant that when the cable guy connected everything, instead of him using the cable companys generic componet cables, I had him use my monster component cables. In any case, I'm having someone come by from them. I appreciate drseids help/advice, but for some reason on my settings screen for Time Warner there is no audio settings other than the % of sound volume (mine is at 100%).

    [QUOTE=N. Abstentia][QUOTE=hershon]I supplied my Monster Component Cables instead of using the Cable company's, means that its getting 5.1 surround sound for 5.1 broadcasts.

    HUH? Dude..HUH?

    Ummmm.......no offense man but this statement right here just proves that you might be a bit in over your head. You might need a pro to come hook up your system.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Hi again hershon. Having someone else "check" the connections may not be a bad idea.


    • Hook you component video cables to the component video input on your Tv.
    • Hook your digital fiber line from the DD5.1 audio output on your cable box to the DD 5.1 fiber input on your receiver
    • Now, If you would like the option of listening to the television independent from your HT system and reciever...you can also run a pair of RCA outputs from the stereo output on the cable box to the same input where you hooked the component video cables to on your television.


    Now...when you would like to watch Tv...you can simply turn it on and watch and listen to the television independent from the rest of your HT system. But if you like to use the DD5.1 home theater system for sound. Simply turn the volume of your television all the way down...and select the correct input on your HT system.

    But the only connection (for the cable box) going to the HT receiver will be the fiber cable (dig cable). The RCA will go to your television (same input as the video component cables).

    good luck,
    dan
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  11. #11
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    Yes, I can indeed record to a VCR (or to a DVD-R as I did last night).

    When you have recorded a program you wish to copy, and click on that program (from the list of shows you recorded that pop up after hitting the green "List" button on your remote control), one of the options you will see is "Copy to a VCR." You just pick that option, hit record on your VCR, and then hit the little yellow triangle button to confirm you wish to begin... At that time your HD DVR will output to your VCR through either the S-Video or regular composite video jacks (but will *not* play back video through the component video outs at the same time...).

    This is at least how it works with mine... (Cox Cable).

    Good luck,

    ---Dave
    Integra DHC-40.2 Pre/Pro
    Coda 2 X 200 Watt Amp
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    2 Tyler Acoustics 2 Piece Linbrook Signature System
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    Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD
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    Consonance Droplet CDP-5.0
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    Office:
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  12. #12
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    Oh this explains the difference between TW & Cox

    A few of the things you posted such as the audio screen from my Cable Unit are not I don't think applicable to Time Warner (when I go to settings on the screen, it just says the % amount of volume not if I want to have 5.1 or dolby digital surround sound). I also don't think, unless they changed this recently, that I could record to the VCR until they programmed something into their DVR's. At least this has got me off my butt & I''m calling someone from Time Warner to check this out. Thanks for your help.


    Quote Originally Posted by drseid
    Yes, I can indeed record to a VCR (or to a DVD-R as I did last night).
    When you have recorded a program you wish to copy, and click on that program (from the list of shows you recorded that pop up after hitting the green "List" button on your remote control), one of the options you will see is "Copy to a VCR." You just pick that option, hit record on your VCR, and then hit the little yellow triangle button to confirm you wish to begin... At that time your HD DVR will output to your VCR through either the S-Video or regular composite video jacks (but will *not* play back video through the component video outs at the same time...).

    This is at least how it works with mine... (Cox Cable).

    Good luck,

    ---Dave

  13. #13
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Angry Listen to this guy....

    Quote Originally Posted by drseid
    Do *not* let the cable company "fix" anything on your system, except as an absolute last resort. Those guys, as a general rule, don't know the first thing about how to hook up an HD Box (or anything else, for that matter). The "installer" of mine screwed up my whole system and I had to re-wire everything (and he scratched my beautifully finished right speaker too).

    The last guy I had come told me he just got out of prison, and they recruited him right away, because the skills he learned in the slammer made him "highly qualified" for the job... I wonder what they were looking for, exactly...? ;-)

    Just follow what I said in my previous post, and I am sure it will work... If not, *then* you may have to risk it... But insist on the cable company sending a "Senior Technician"... That means one they did not drag off the streets yesterday (or worse, as in my case).

    ---Dave
    Cable people are cretins... I'm sorry but its true. I've had DD cable on my downstairs main system for 3 years now. All the HBO channels come fine with broadcast in 5.1. Showtime and TMC have certain channels that cut in and out when receiving 5.1 signals. I've switched boxes with the one on the bedroom system, no fix. I've a Digital Cable box upstairs and it has no problem. Time Warner came out 3 times and they can't figure it out. The last guy I had to explain how it was the receiver knew it was supposed to be receiving a DD signal... He'd never heard of DD 5.1.... The problem has never been fixed I'm dropping Showtime in a few months anyway. But the moral of this story is that most cable guys don't know dick about HT and shouldn't be allowed to "fix" anything but broken wires.

    Da Worfster

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