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Fios 5.1 setup questions

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Old 08-12-2009, 10:41 PM   #1
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Default Fios 5.1 setup questions

I have a tv connected to the fios box via hdmi right now. I just added a dvd/5.1 surround system. I connected the dvd to the tv via another hdmi. I would like to get 5.1 from fios so im planning on connecting an optical cable from the fios stb to the surround sound. The problem is that most of the time I dont need a surround sound system and the subwoofer is anoying for everyday tv. Since there is no dedicated button on the remote to turn the sub off, i would like to have a way to switch to the tv's speakers easily.
One option i was thinking about was putting the optical cable going from the tv to the 5.1 and then switch it with the tv remote (or maybe it can auto-detect if the 5.1 reciever is on). The problem with this is that I dont know if the fios stb sends 5.1 through its hdmi and I am not sure my tv(a 52 inch samsung lcd) can recieve 5.1 from an hdmi.
Another option is using the fios stb but I dont think there is a quick way to switch to and from optical. I have not gotten an optical cable yet so I cant test out how each of these configuations would work.
Does anyone have any insight into this type of configuration?
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by solomondg1 View Post
I have a tv connected to the fios box via hdmi right now. I just added a dvd/5.1 surround system. I connected the dvd to the tv via another hdmi. I would like to get 5.1 from fios so im planning on connecting an optical cable from the fios stb to the surround sound. The problem is that most of the time I dont need a surround sound system and the subwoofer is anoying for everyday tv. Since there is no dedicated button on the remote to turn the sub off, i would like to have a way to switch to the tv's speakers easily.
I'd start by calibrating your surround system. The sub should not be annoying for regular TV. In fact, it shouldn't even come into play very often. Most TV shows don't have LFE or much deep bass. I watch TV through my sound system all of the time.

As a matter of curiosity, how do you know the sub's annoying if you haven't actually hooked up your FIOS box to your receiver yet?

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One option i was thinking about was putting the optical cable going from the tv to the 5.1 and then switch it with the tv remote (or maybe it can auto-detect if the 5.1 reciever is on). The problem with this is that I dont know if the fios stb sends 5.1 through its hdmi and I am not sure my tv(a 52 inch samsung lcd) can recieve 5.1 from an hdmi.
Another option is using the fios stb but I dont think there is a quick way to switch to and from optical. I have not gotten an optical cable yet so I cant test out how each of these configuations would work.
Does anyone have any insight into this type of configuration?
Running audio through the TV probably won't work. Most TVs output stereo PCM from their optical ports. They only output 5.1 from their own internal tuners.

So, your best bet is to run HDMI from the FIOS box to the TV, which will give you stereo audio through the TV speakers, and optical from the FIOS box to your receiver. But, you need to check whether the FIOS box will output encoded 5.1 audio over optical while doing stereo over HDMI. Some set top boxes handle that just fine. Others don't and output stereo from both ports based on the HDMI handshake with the TV.

Switching is a bit of pain with any complex wiring scheme. A good remote like a Harmony will cure those ills. Push one button to use the sound system. Push another to leave the receiver off and use the TV speakers.

Last edited by BIslander; 08-13-2009 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:42 AM   #3
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Where can I check if the tv will output 5.1 from its optical? Also I have the option to select a different audio output on the tv and I assume when i get the optical that I can select optical. If this is the case when I shut off the sound system wont it just automaticly switch back to internal speakers? Is there any way I can check if my tv is currently getting 5.1 through the hdmi and just decoding it or if the fios stb is only sending stereo? I think I should wait until I get the cable before assuming I wont like the sound system on all the time.

Last edited by solomondg1; 08-13-2009 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:40 AM   #4
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Where can I check if the tv will output 5.1 from its optical?
Try the manual.

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Also I have the option to select a different audio output on the tv and I assume when i get the optical that I can select optical. If this is the case when I shut off the sound system wont it just automaticly switch back to internal speakers?
Not likely since optical communication only goes one direction. The TV has no idea whether anything is connected to the output. But, again, check the manual for the TV.

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Is there any way I can check if my tv is currently getting 5.1 through the hdmi and just decoding it or if the fios stb is only sending stereo?
Probably not since the TV won't report what format it's receiving. Check with your FIOS provider or the manual for the FIOS box to see what the audio specs say.

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I think I should wait until I get the cable before assuming I wont like the sound system on all the time.
Yes, that seems prudent.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:35 AM   #5
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Finally got the wire. When i connect it to my tv it doesnt not output in 5.1 so either the fios hdmi doesnt output it or my tv doesnt. I hooked up the wire to the fios box and everything works fine. The bass isnt too bad, and since most channels we watch are hd anyway its nice. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
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Finally got the wire. When i connect it to my tv it doesnt not output in 5.1 so either the fios hdmi doesnt output it or my tv doesnt. I hooked up the wire to the fios box and everything works fine. The bass isnt too bad, and since most channels we watch are hd anyway its nice. Thanks for all the help!
Like the other guy said, the tv most likely will only output a stereo signal over an optical cable when the source is anything other than a coax cable hooked to the coax input of the tv. The manual should clearly state this somewhere, as my Samsung manual does.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:12 PM   #7
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I recently connected my A/V receiver with an optical cable from the FIOS STB. I also connected the audio from my DVD player to the same A/V receiver (digital audio coax). While I am able to get 5.1 from the DVD player I do not get it from the STB on FIOS. I flipped around the channels hoping for one that I could get 5.1 from but couldn't find one. Some folks have suggested a couple of channels that may send it like HD net but no joy. Does anyone know if ANY of the channels carry 5.1? And if so, does Verizon pass it along to the end user?
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:45 PM   #8
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I recently connected my A/V receiver with an optical cable from the FIOS STB. I also connected the audio from my DVD player to the same A/V receiver (digital audio coax). While I am able to get 5.1 from the DVD player I do not get it from the STB on FIOS. I flipped around the channels hoping for one that I could get 5.1 from but couldn't find one. Some folks have suggested a couple of channels that may send it like HD net but no joy. Does anyone know if ANY of the channels carry 5.1? And if so, does Verizon pass it along to the end user?
Make sure you go into the Menu --> Settings --> Audio --> Audio Format and change that to Surround.

FiOS does pass the 5.1 along with the channels that carry it, I know as the main TV has a 5.1 surround system, we have FiOS and we get 5.1 sound on channels.

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