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Fiber Optic Cable ?

04-12-2007, 02:30 PM
Sorry if this has already been answered but I couldn't find an answer in the Search section (no doubt do to a lack of asking the correct question).

Anyway I have an Onkyo TXSR504 Receiver and am using a Sony XBR Bravia HDTV. I have the optical OUT of the Sony connected to the Onkyo's #1 optical IN. I believe I have set the Onkyo correctly (Optical 1) on the menu list for the Video 1/VCR button and the speakers turned off on the Sony. I also have analog patch cords running from the Sony to the Onkyo (for sound out of the TV to the receiver).

What I am hearing is better sound on HDTV when using the Video 2 setting on the Onkyo which I believe is using the analog cables. On video 1/VCR there is no sound from the rear speakers at all. If any of this makes sense (I hope it does), I could use some suggestions so that I can take advantage of the fiber optic cable.


04-16-2007, 07:16 AM
Steve - are you using a cable/satellite set top box?

04-16-2007, 09:03 AM
Thanks for a response. I have no box. I have an OTA HD antenna and basic cable (not HD) directly from the cable modem. Both are plugged into the TV (there are 2 inputs, one for each). From there I am routing the sound via both FOC and analogue patch cords to the receiver. Hope this gives you enough info.


04-16-2007, 09:43 AM
Steve, I can't be sure but it sounds an awful lot like your inputs are switched such that when you think you're listening to the optical link, you're actually listening to the analog link. Like you said, on "video 1/VCR" you're getting no sound from the rear speakers. I would recommend disconnecting the 2-channel analog cables from the setup and work out the optical. Once you're getting sound from the television, revisit the surround modes (and how those are toggled thru) on the Onkyo. I don't have an Onkyo, but this doesn't sound overly complex.

04-16-2007, 10:16 AM
I would double check and isolate your connections like Red suggested. Just a couple questions to clarify things. You do not get SS at all via optical? Only certain programs will be in DD 5.1. Much like HD programs, these will be during prime time. Your receiver should auto detect them (like my Onkyo) and display them in DD. The ones that are not are "simulated surround" and still can be made to play in all the speakers. The same goes for your analog (RCA) connection. It will be "simulated surround" and not DD or DTS and will not be decoded as such. I assume your 504 has a good auto decoder so you should be good there. I would also check to see if there is any digital audio output options in your TV's audio menu. I doubt it but it is always good to make sure.

04-16-2007, 08:27 PM
Well thank you both. I did remove the analogue cables and checked my HDTV OTA channels during prime time. Turns out you're correct and in fact I am getting SS via the optical cable. It was merely a matter of finding program material with SS content. There were so many options when I was initially setting up it was a bit overwhelming.

Thanks for your help.


04-16-2007, 08:38 PM
glad you're settling in nicely.

people who are new to surround sound or at least new to a particular wiring scheme understandably have doubts about their system functioning properly. I would've normally told you "go to discovery HD and see if your sound is up" but with your particular OTA setup, I wasn't sure if my advice would be any good. I've never used OTA HD so I'm not sure what channels you can access (I'm assuming NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox). Discovery's HD content consistently uses the Dolby 5.1 sound format. It's a good test channel.

How do you like your Bravia? What model do you own?

04-17-2007, 11:45 AM
Well again thanks for the help. Being an amateur radio guy the OTA thing was just too easy and cheap too after considering I have a 120' tower in the backyard. I get the typical channels, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, FOX and a few others. PBS seems to have the most SS content unless I'm watching sports on the regular networks.

The TV is a 32" Sony Bravia XBR (the first offering, I see now they have a "newer" version). The TV seems great, I would have gone bigger but the room is relatively small. Most of my viewing is either HDTV or DVD's and I'm still working on building speakers and plan to get a better DVD especially if they ever come to terms with format issues.


04-17-2007, 03:29 PM
Being an amateur radio guy the OTA thing was just too easy and cheap too after considering I have a 120' tower in the backyard.

Jeesh, and I suppose you are only, like, 10 miles from the TV towers? I know you hams like overkill when it comes to antennas! ;) :D

04-21-2007, 06:00 PM
You're right, can have enough antennas:D . I plan to use a stack of UHF antennas to get all the Boston stations. Why not there's plenty of height. I have some new 1" hardline I'll be running this summer to improve the signal (lower loss). That should help too. Like most hams I'm a cheap SOB and hate to pay the cable company for inferior (ie compresses signal) viewing.

Thanks again for the help.