Reply
Regular Contributor
ionosphere
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
Accepted Solution

Connecting HD box direct to tv versus channel through receiver

The instructions for my Denon receiver say to connect an HD box with the HDMI to the tv HDMI input and then use the monitor HDMI output to the tv.  Why should I do that instead of just connecting the HD box direct to the tv and just use the optical from the box to the receiver?  The receiver wouldn't be doing anything to the videio signal, but just pass through right, so why pass it through?  Isn't a direct connection the best?
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 586
Registered: ‎09-17-2008

Re: Connecting HD box direct to tv versus channel through receiver


ionosphere wrote:
The instructions for my Denon receiver say to connect an HD box with the HDMI to the tv HDMI input and then use the monitor HDMI output to the tv.  Why should I do that instead of just connecting the HD box direct to the tv and just use the optical from the box to the receiver?  The receiver wouldn't be doing anything to the videio signal, but just pass through right, so why pass it through?  Isn't a direct connection the best?

 

Typically, if you're using a receiver to control everything connect the DVR to the receiver then the receiver HDMI out to the tv's HDMI in.  HDMI carries both video and audio so you wouldn't need the optical out.

 

 

Regular Contributor
ionosphere
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎10-25-2006

Re: Connecting HD box direct to tv versus channel through receiver

My receiver only passes through the video portion of HDMI.  It requires a seperate connection for audio.  I still want to know what the purpose of having a video signal passing through the receiver would be instead of having the video go direct to the tv.  Not only is this more direct, but uses less cords.  With my non Hd box, I have it connected with the composite video/audio going from the box to the dvd recorder, then the component video going from the dvd to the tv, then the optical audio going from the dvd to the receiver.  When I upgrade to the HD box, I plan to connect by using HDMI from box to tv, composite from box to dvd, optical audio from box to receiver tv input, optical audio from dvd to receiver dvd input, and dvd component to tv.  Although my RCA dvd recorder has an HDMI output,  I see no picture on the tv when using it, and I have tried it 2 ways:  1 by having the dvd HDMI going direct to tv, and by having the dvd HDMI go to receiver, then receiver to tv.  In both cases the tv says "no signal" whether watching cable or playing a dvd.  I have had my dvd recorder for about 5 years and had never used its HDMI until now, so perhaps that output is defective.  I would say it is much less likely that my brand new Tv's HDMI inputs are defective.  I have tried it in 2 different HDMI inputs and made sure the tv input was set to the proper HDMI.  I am actually stumped as to why my dvd recorder even has an HDMI output even if it worked, since it is only standard definition, how would an HDMI yield a better picture than the component ones I am using anyway?
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: Connecting HD box direct to tv versus channel through receiver


ionosphere wrote:
My receiver only passes through the video portion of HDMI.  It requires a seperate connection for audio.  I still want to know what the purpose of having a video signal passing through the receiver would be instead of having the video go direct to the tv.  Not only is this more direct, but uses less cords.  With my non Hd box, I have it connected with the composite video/audio going from the box to the dvd recorder, then the component video going from the dvd to the tv, then the optical audio going from the dvd to the receiver.  When I upgrade to the HD box, I plan to connect by using HDMI from box to tv, composite from box to dvd, optical audio from box to receiver tv input, optical audio from dvd to receiver dvd input, and dvd component to tv.  Although my RCA dvd recorder has an HDMI output,  I see no picture on the tv when using it, and I have tried it 2 ways:  1 by having the dvd HDMI going direct to tv, and by having the dvd HDMI go to receiver, then receiver to tv.  In both cases the tv says "no signal" whether watching cable or playing a dvd.  I have had my dvd recorder for about 5 years and had never used its HDMI until now, so perhaps that output is defective.  I would say it is much less likely that my brand new Tv's HDMI inputs are defective.  I have tried it in 2 different HDMI inputs and made sure the tv input was set to the proper HDMI.  I am actually stumped as to why my dvd recorder even has an HDMI output even if it worked, since it is only standard definition, how would an HDMI yield a better picture than the component ones I am using anyway?

I'm sorry but I'm confused. Are you using composite or component cables? You refer to both in your posts. You should be using component cables if not using the HDMI cable. HDMI includes audio and video so if your receiver does not handle both audio and video through the hdmi cable then it is not true hdmi.

 

You can have video directly to your tv and audio through your receiver. There are many reasons an hdmi connection may not work. The most common is a handshaking problem. Maybe your receiver or tv hdmi firmware are not current or have become corrupted.

 

My video goes directly to my tv using component cables and my audio goes to my receiver. With modern receivers and tvs you should not be using composite cables as these will not provide hd.

Recognized Contributor
Posts: 596
Registered: ‎06-27-2006

Re: Connecting HD box direct to tv versus channel through receiver

He may actually be talking about DVI, which is digital video only & requires separate audio connections...

 

The major reason for routing both through an a/v receiver is convenience. This way you're using only your receiver's remote to change inputs going to your tv for both audio & video. In your scenario of HDMI (DVI?) going straight to the tv & digital audio into the receiver (which BTW is how I have my setup configured, but only because my receiver doesn't do HDMI), when you change tv inputs you & I have to change the audio input on the receiver & the video input on the tv. Not a big deal, but definitely less convenient, and could be an issue for those in the house more technically-challenged...

 

It's true that generally speaking a direct connection is better than one routed through other intervening devices. Some receivers don't pass through video signals unaltered, even when the incoming & outgoing resolution is the same. The less obstacles you put in the signal path the less chance for it to be altered....

 

Then again, some a/v receivers were purchased specifically to alter that signal, such as models that can upconvert 720p/1080i to 1080p via HDMI. If your tv (like mine) displays a non-defeatable message box for approx 3 secs every time the incoming video resolution changes & this annoys you, then one way around this is to have your receiver convert everything to one common resolution (hopefully matching that of your display's native mode) before passing it on to your tv. My tv also has a noticeable lag when sensing resolution changes from HD to SD & vice versa which could be eliminated in the same way. Those might be more reasons for routing all video through the receiver...

 

The theory about HDCP handshake issues w/a 5 yr old DVD-R sound plausible given its age. I doubt very much that this DVR is only capable of standard definition resolutions if it has both HDMI ins & outs but I'm not familiar w/RCA DVD recorders...

Regular Contributor
ionosphere
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎10-25-2006

Re: Connecting HD box direct to tv versus channel through receiver

Regarding the connection coming from the Comcast non HD box to my RCA dvd recorder, it is composite (red, white, and yellow plugs).  This is the only type of output this box has and the only type of input the dvd recoder has (besides the crappy coaxial).  When you say handshake problem, would this be like an earlier HDMI versus the current like the 1.3?  So you think that because my DVD recorder is old, probably using the earliest HDMI and my new tv I presume uses the most current, that they would not be compatible?  In any case, it is working with my component and I don't see how an HDMI would have improved a 480 dvd anyway.

 

I hope that the Comcast HD box has all the outputs I will need to connect to my tv, receiver, and dvd recorder.  The box would need to have HDMI for my tv, optical for my receiver (or digital coaxial), and composite for my dvd recorder.

 

Yes, the instructions for my Denon receiver says that its HDMI only passes through the video and that I must use the optical or digital coaxial to receive the audio.

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
Recognized Contributor
Posts: 596
Registered: ‎06-27-2006

Re: Connecting HD box direct to tv versus channel through receiver

Yes, it can be due to ealier vs later standards, or just poor implementation of HDMI in general. Some new components still have HDCP issues so it's not just the older ones, but I think it was much more prevalent 5 yrs ago than it is today. Component is analog in nature & therefore not subject to HDCP which only applies to digital signals...

 

Comcast (assuming you're in a Motorola area, I don't know anything about the SA boxes) has at least two boxes with the connectors you're after, the DCT3412 & DCH3416, both of which also feature built-in DVR's. If you don't need a DVR then there's the DCT5100 (my current secondary HD box) that has DVI, which you could make work w/HDMI via an adapter. I'm sure there are also other HD boxes available. All three do digital audio as well as composite video & all outputs are always active...

 

Still confused about this:  Yes, the instructions for my Denon receiver says that its HDMI only passes through the video and that I must use the optical or digital coaxial to receive the audio. "Passing through" is not the same as "receiving". In other words, HDMI passthrough implies that the receiver acts an an HDMI repeater to pass the received HDMI signal (digital audio & video) onto another HDMI-capable device. To simply receive an HDMI signal, a device doesn't necessarily have to be an HDMI repeater. An example would be a tv set that can receive audio/video via HDMI but can't pass it on via HDMI to another device...

 

What the above is saying is that the receiver not only cannot pass on the audio portion of the incoming HDMI, but that it can't even receive it in the first place. This sounds very strange but I'll take your word for it. Which model Denon receiver is it? Typically there are user settings included in HDMI-capable a/v receivers to prevent digital audio from being passed from those units onto the connected tv's. After all, it's assumed that you've connected that receiver to use its (surround) audio outputs & that you're not looking to use your tv's tiny speakers for audio. But I've never heard of HDMI receivers that can only accept video via HDMI, because this is called DVI which is a different (but related) standard for video only...