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Your advice on preparations for the home theater

Wharfedale EVO4.4 Speaker

RAC

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Please advice on the basic requirements and preparations that need to be made to connect the equipment.
1) Electrical points
2) Wires

General details:
- I will also be using the HT receiver for movies and music.
- I plan to buy MX brand cables from SP Road, Bangalore (Am on a thin budget). Any help/advice offered is greatly appreciated. I am sure that there will be 10 different qualities of each type of cable and I do not want to blindly go for the most expensive one. Please be specific on the model, rate, etc.
- I am a complete newbie


POINT 1 - Electrical point:
I have only one 5A electrical point/socket in the room.
Now, I need to plug in:
a) Plasma TV
b) HT Receiver (US model 110v)
c) DVD player
d) Sub??? I think a sub needs a plug point

Somewhere in between, I need to fit in the UPS/voltage stabilizer for the Plasma and the step down transformer for the receiver.

What do I do?
- Connect the 3 pieces of equipment will be connected to the single electrical plug point - do I take a multi pin plug and connect the UPS, step down transformer and the subwoofer to the single plug point. Then I can connect the TV and DVD player to the UPS and the HT receiver to the step down transformer and the sub directly into the electrical point?
- No further scope of adding equipment like iPod or stand alone CDP?
- Does it make a difference if I change the single 5A plug point to a multi 5A plug point box?



POINT 2 - Wires:
I have only a faint idea on the wires I need to connect the equipment. The only wires I know are the regular RCA cables used to connect the DVD player to the TV. And now I know there is something called HDMI cables which are latest tech and better with picture and sound.

Connections to the HT receiver:
a) TV
HDMI cable
RCA cables regular / Dual link / Digital?? - what are these
Coaxial?? - what are these
Optical?? - what are these

b) DVD player 1 (old, better quality but no Divx) and DVD player 2 (Divx, etc)
RCA cables regular / Dual link / Digital??

c) iPod
I know, I know the one with 3.5 mm EP pin on one end and 2 RCA connectors on the other end

d) Speakers
Speaker cables suggestions on the best VFM option from MX. Item codes please, if possible.
Any alternate VFM brand.

I have not mentioned the model numbers of the equipment as the HT is not yet complete but is planned. Let me know if you need the model nos to make the suggestions.

Rishi
 

venkatcr

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RAC said:
POINT 1 - Electrical point:
I have only one 5A electrical point/socket in the room.
Now, I need to plug in:
a) Plasma TV
b) HT Receiver (US model 110v)
c) DVD player
d) Sub??? I think a sub needs a plug point

Somewhere in between, I need to fit in the UPS/voltage stabilizer for the Plasma and the step down transformer for the receiver.

What do I do?
- Connect the 3 pieces of equipment will be connected to the single electrical plug point - do I take a multi pin plug and connect the UPS, step down transformer and the subwoofer to the single plug point. Then I can connect the TV and DVD player to the UPS and the HT receiver to the step down transformer and the sub directly into the electrical point?
- No further scope of adding equipment like iPod or stand alone CDP?
- Does it make a difference if I change the single 5A plug point to a multi 5A plug point box?

If you can draw additional power cables from a second phase, it will be ideal. If not, you have no option but to use the same socket for all uses.

Though I am uncomfortable with this, here is what you do.

1. Connect a good external power strip to the power socket.
2. Use one of the sockets in the strip for the TV. A TV does not need any stabiliser as it has an in built SMPS inside and can handle power surges. If possible, and if budget permits, get a EMI/RFI filter in between the socket and the TV.
3. Connect a stabilser to another socket in the power strip.
4. Connect a second power strip to the output of the stabilisr.
5. Connect a step down transformer to one of the sockets and in turn connect the HT system to the step down transformer.
6. Connect DVD Player, Sub and other units to the other sockets in the second power strip that comes from the stabiliser. If you have more than four sockets you can also use other units such as your iPOD or CDP.

The issue here are the following:

1. You are putting too much load to a single 5 amp socket.
2. Even if you just watching TV, all units will get power. I generally prefer to power off the AVR and DVD Player completely when I am watching just TV.

RAC said:
POINT 2 - Wires:
I have only a faint idea on the wires I need to connect the equipment. The only wires I know are the regular RCA cables used to connect the DVD player to the TV. And now I know there is something called HDMI cables which are latest tech and better with picture and sound.

Connections to the HT receiver:
a) TV
HDMI cable
RCA cables regular / Dual link / Digital?? - what are these
Coaxial?? - what are these
Optical?? - what are these

b) DVD player 1 (old, better quality but no Divx) and DVD player 2 (Divx, etc)
RCA cables regular / Dual link / Digital??

c) iPod
I know, I know the one with 3.5 mm EP pin on one end and 2 RCA connectors on the other end

Please read my following post.

http://www.hifivision.com/audio-video-cables/2608-avr-connectivity.html

After reading you can come back with specific questions. If your DVD Player, HT, and TV support HDMI, all you need are two HDMI cables.

RAC said:
d) Speakers
Speaker cables suggestions on the best VFM option from MX. Item codes please, if possible.
Any alternate VFM brand.

I have not seen nor used MX cables, though I have read some members are using it and are happy. From what I could read in the website, MX has three speaker cables you could use - 2610, 2633, and 2635. All these ate 12 gauge cables and best for speakers. Please check the prices of these cables and come back. If it is around 50 Rupees a meter, there are better cables available.

Cheers
 
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dinyaar

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Hi RAC,
Get a decent electrician to open that 5 amp switchbox and check the wire inside. If its 2.5 sq.mm or higher u may be ok. Just ask him to replace the box with one that acomodates 3/4 sockets from any reputed brand. If its possible then change the cable to 4 sq.mm finolex or polycab.
I dont know the size of stab u need. You need to calculate the total power consumption of all components and then keep a buffer when choosing the size. But anything larger than 2KVA will be a problem as there is no soft start feature on these and can cause tripping of the line. Make an extension box rather than buy some cheap locally available one as they are poor in quality.
Its important to get the electricals right. The last thing u want to do is overload the line.
Rgds
 
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realactivex

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To add to what has been said here, please switch on all your electronics sequentially. This will avoid any unnecessary surges and fuse outs.
For eg, first you must switch on your highest load (most likely this will be your AVR) and give it a couple of seconds to stabilise on power.
Next you could switch on your sub and TV and so on.
The idea is that you will know when your supply point limit has been reached. Personally, a 5A point will soon be overstretched.
As venkat suggests, would it be possible for you to draw from asecond electrical source nearby? you could ask your electrician to take a tap from your lamp? There are advantages and disadvantages which you are the best person to evaluate.
 
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RAC

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Thank you so much for all the advice guys. I am taking it in one by one.

Ok, so as a first step this weekend, we moved the cupboard in the room to another side (cupboard is now the only thing that needs to be moved OUT of the room to make this room a complete and only an entertainment room). The cupboard movememt took one full day for dismantling and re-assembling.
OT: never again are we buying furniture from Big Bazaar :-(

This move gave me access to the mains for the room from where the wires go to the lighting and the power sockets. We pulled a connection from the line and installed a box with 4 plug points.
With this, I can now power up the equipment as required. Hoping not to use all 4 at the same time.

I think this was better than pulling power from the single power plug. What is your opinion.

Next Step:
@venkatcr - first of all - thank you.
You have mentioned that the TV will have an internal SMPS and does not need a stabilizer. I respect you and your words man, but I am still confused on UPS/stab for the TV and the stab for the HT receiver.

I will not yet gone to SP road for the cables and will come back on that.

The DVD player does not have HDMI and has only component out, s-video and optical out for the audio. What are my best options to connect the DVD player to the receiver.

Regards
 

venkatcr

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You have mentioned that the TV will have an internal SMPS and does not need a stabilizer. I respect you and your words man, but I am still confused on UPS/stab for the TV and the stab for the HT receiver.

What I mean is this.

You can connect the TV directly to the wall socket or through a distribution board. There is no need to put a stabilizer in between.

For the HT and sub, you should route the power supply though a stabilizer. The stabilizer could be before or after the step down transformer. Since you may not get a 110 volts stabilizer in India, just feed a stabilized 220 volts to the step down transformer. In other words the chain for your HT will be as follows:

Wall socket >> external distribution board (if needed) >> Stabilizer >> Step Down transformer >> HT receiver.

If your sub is also 110 volts, the chain will be the same as above. If your sub is 220 volts the chain will be as follows:

Wall Socket >> external distribution board (if needed) >> Stabilizer >> Sub.

The DVD player does not have HDMI and has only component out, s-video and optical out for the audio. What are my best options to connect the DVD player to the receiver.

Use a good quality component cable. It is the second best after HDMI. Please go through by detailed note on AVR connectivity at

http://www.hifivision.com/audio-video-cables/2608-avr-connectivity.html#post22708

Cheers
 

RAC

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........... Please check the prices of these cables and come back. If it is around 50 Rupees a meter, there are better cables available.

Cheers

@venkatcr - thanks for the clarification. Can you throw more details on the speaker cable options in that price range i.e. around Rs. 50/pm, the brand and the dealer in bangalore, if possible.

As for the cables/connections, still one confusion on subwoofer cable:

1) VIDEO - DVD > AVR: Component cable
2) AUDIO - DVD > AVR: 3+2 RCA for audio
3) HDMI: AVR > TV
4) SPEAKERS: 12/14g speaker cables
5) SUB WOOFER: RCA???

Do you see anything wrong here.

My planned speakers are:
Wharfedale 9.5+9.0+cs (centre)+sw150 (sub)
HT AVR: Onkyo 605
 

marsilians

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As for the cables/connections, still one confusion on subwoofer cable:

1) VIDEO - DVD > AVR: Component cable
2) AUDIO - DVD > AVR: 3+2 RCA for audio
3) HDMI: AVR > TV
4) SPEAKERS: 12/14g speaker cables
5) SUB WOOFER: RCA???

Do you see anything wrong here.

My planned speakers are:
Wharfedale 9.5+9.0+cs (centre)+sw150 (sub)
HT AVR: Onkyo 605

I would do the following (bolded)

1) VIDEO - DVD > AVR: Component cable

2) AUDIO - DVD > AVR: Toslink (S/PDIF) or Digital Coaxial (75 ohms) This is to get 5.1 surround sound

3) HDMI or Component: AVR > TV

4) SPEAKERS: 12/14g speaker cables. This could be too much. You need 16 or 14 AWG. 12 is definitely overkill

5) SUB WOOFER: RCA 75 ohms (similar to the digital coax above but may be of longer length depending on where your sub is)

6) You also need cables for TV audio. You need a toslink or digital coax

Your connections should be
Video:
DVD --- HDMI/Component --- AVR
STB (Set Top Box ) --- HDMI/Component --- AVR
AVR --- HDMI/Component --- TV

This way AVR can do upscaling for TV and DVD signals.

Audio:
DVD --- Toslink/Digital Coax --- AVR
STB --- Toslink/Digital Coax --- AVR
AVR --- Speakers + Sub
 

RAC

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@marsilians - I have some clarifications as below:

I would do the following (bolded)

2) AUDIO - DVD > AVR: Toslink (S/PDIF) or Digital Coaxial (75 ohms) This is to get 5.1 surround sound

CAN THE DIGITAL COAXIAL CABLE BE CONNECTED TO A REGULAR RCA INPUT?


5) SUB WOOFER: RCA 75 ohms (similar to the digital coax above but may be of longer length depending on where your sub is)

IS THIS A REGULAR RCA CABLE OR DIGITAL RCA?


6) You also need cables for TV audio. You need a toslink or digital coax

I DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OR MEANING OF THIS
 

marsilians

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@marsilians - I have some clarifications as below:

I would do the following (bolded)

2) AUDIO - DVD > AVR: Toslink (S/PDIF) or Digital Coaxial (75 ohms) This is to get 5.1 surround sound

CAN THE DIGITAL COAXIAL CABLE BE CONNECTED TO A REGULAR RCA INPUT?

On the back of your AVR there are inputs that are both optical and digital coax. The connector looks like a normal RCA connector. Thats where this goes. Its not the red/white ones)

5) SUB WOOFER: RCA 75 ohms (similar to the digital coax above but may be of longer length depending on where your sub is)

IS THIS A REGULAR RCA CABLE OR DIGITAL RCA?

This is digital coax not regular RCA (75 ohms. Its also called sub woofer cable or digital coax cable or one strand (out of the 3) of the component video cable or composite cable ...all are the same)
6) You also need cables for TV audio. You need a toslink or digital coax


I DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OR MEANING OF THIS

In your original configuration I did not see a way to use the HT for TV viewing so I suggested this.

Pls. take off the caps when writing. It means rude in any forum etiquette.

Thanks.
 
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RAC

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^^ Apologies. It was not meant that way. Just wanted text of my questions to appear different from the text quoted.

I now need some advice on what would be the best option from the 2 walls to mount the 42" TV.

Option 1:
Width of the wall on which TV can be mounted - 80 inches or 6.50 feet
Viewing distance possible - 130 inches or 10.00 feet

Option 2:
Width of the wall on which TV can be mounted - 100 inches or 8.25 feet
Viewing distance possible - 100 inches or 8.25 feet

With the option 1, I have longer viewing distance but the front floorstanders can be kept 6 feet apart.
With the option 2, I have shorter viewing distance but the front floorstanders can be kept 8-9 feet apart.

What do you think is a better option.

Regards
 
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venkatcr

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The optimal viewing distance for a 42 incher is 5.3 to a max of 10.5 feet. So either wall will do.

I will go for the one where I can place the floorstanders 8 to 9 feet apart. This will give more separation between the sound channels and a larger soundstage.

Cheers
 
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RAC

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I would do the following (bolded)

1) VIDEO - DVD > AVR: Component cable

2) AUDIO - DVD > AVR: Toslink (S/PDIF) or Digital Coaxial (75 ohms) This is to get 5.1 surround sound

3) HDMI or Component: AVR > TV

Hi
I am facing a connection issue where I do not see any image or hear any audio.

As a trial, I am running the cables as in points 1 and 2 i.e. Component from DVD to AVR (for video) and Digital Coax from DVD to AVR (for audio).
As for point 3, I do not yet have the HDMI or component cable and tried using the regular RCA cables [1 yellow for video and 2 for audio (red and white colour)].

I have checked the AVR settings and they seem to be fine but still there is no video on the TV nor any audio from the speakers (HT and TV).

Can you guess what could be wrong.
 

marsilians

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I would do the following (bolded)

1) VIDEO - DVD > AVR: Component cable

2) AUDIO - DVD > AVR: Toslink (S/PDIF) or Digital Coaxial (75 ohms) This is to get 5.1 surround sound

3) HDMI or Component: AVR > TV

Hi
I am facing a connection issue where I do not see any image or hear any audio.

As a trial, I am running the cables as in points 1 and 2 i.e. Component from DVD to AVR (for video) and Digital Coax from DVD to AVR (for audio).
As for point 3, I do not yet have the HDMI or component cable and tried using the regular RCA cables [1 yellow for video and 2 for audio (red and white colour)].

Hi RAC

Thats not the right cable. What you are using is an audio cable (Red/White) for Video purposes.

One option for you temporarily is as follows:

DVD -> Component -> TV
DVD -> Dig Coax -> Audio

In this case you are using the AVR for only audio processing, which is fine.
If you switch on the DVD, everything should work.

FYI, component cable is the 3 strands with Red/Green/Blue colored cables.

Let me know if this works.
 

RAC

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Hi RAC

Thats not the right cable. What you are using is an audio cable (Red/White) for Video purposes.

One option for you temporarily is as follows:

DVD -> Component -> TV
DVD -> Dig Coax -> Audio

In this case you are using the AVR for only audio processing, which is fine.
If you switch on the DVD, everything should work.

FYI, component cable is the 3 strands with Red/Green/Blue colored cables.

Let me know if this works.


@marsilians - Hi. I have not understood your post clearly. Let me rephrase my previous post.

I already have a component and a digital coax cable. Both have been connected from DVD to AVR.

Now from AVR to TV, I am running a 3*3 RCA to the TV (Pana PV8).

The issue is that there is no picture and I do not hear naything from the TV or HT speakers.

Any guesses what cold be wrong.

Regards
 

moserw

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@marsilians - Hi. I have not understood your post clearly. Let me rephrase my previous post.

I already have a component and a digital coax cable. Both have been connected from DVD to AVR.

Now from AVR to TV, I am running a 3*3 RCA to the TV (Pana PV8).

The issue is that there is no picture and I do not hear naything from the TV or HT speakers.

Any guesses what cold be wrong.

Regards

Hi RAC,

Coaxial from DVDP to AVR is perfect. Coming to component cable like mars said directly connect it from DVDP to TV and not via AVR. If you want it via AVR then HDMI is the best option to "pass through" not component cable. Just go with component direct from DVDP to TV. Also, if you want audio via TV speakers then take the RCA Red & White from DVDP to TV (Yellow is for video and not required since you are using component cable). Try this, it will work. Let us know if any other problems...
 

marsilians

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Moser

Thx for the clarification.

RAC - My suggestion is for the interim to bypass the AVR for video only and go straight from DVD to TV. You could still use the AVR fro the sound. If you get sound out of this, you should be good to go by switching on the DVDp, AVR and TV for watching DVDs with the surround sound.
 

RAC

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Thanks for your guidance guys. My home internet connection - meaning telephone cable has been down for last 2 days and could not check these posts.
I have spect a good of the weekend trying to connect the speakers and make this work.

After making this post, I just decided to go out and buy and HDMI cable and connected the HDMI from AVR to TV and with a bit of changing the settings, it works.

However, I will go back and connect the component cable directly from DVD to TV as suggested.

Most of the things are in place now. However, little more needs to be done.

1) Tweaking the AVR to improve the sound
2) Clean up the cabling mess

Regards
 
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