Proper Home Theater Connections...

Ivan_P

Commendable
Mar 7, 2016
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Hi guys,

I'm going to ask a very amateur question to the audiophiles. I've read on it, but I just want to make sure because I have some doubts. I have a Samsung JS9000 and a HT-E6750W sound system. The receiver and blu-ray player are built into one. The receiver has 2 HDMI IN and 1 HDMI out. Naturally I connected one cable from OUT port to the TV's ARC HDMI port as I was told this was the way to go.

But then I was told everything else should be connected directly to the IN ports on the receiver for the purest form of audio. So that leaves a gaming console and the cable box (should I even connect this? It is currently in the #HDMI (DVI) port on the TV) to the IN ports... and this is where it gets confusing for me.

Is the ARC port bidirectional...? I read about CEC and what the Audio Return Channel does, but for some reason it is still unclear and would like a more simpler explanation. May sound like a silly question but... I am connection something from an OUT port into the TV's one connect IN port.... how is audio performing at optimal level on ALL devices? Is it for EVERY audio sources being played on the TV? How do I even know what audio format am I listening to? Before I plugged everything directly to the receiver and used the ARC port, I had 3 choices in the TV audio options (PCM, Dolby Digital, DTS+ Neo 2.5). I read the latter was a stereo signal on steroids so you hear it on all 5 channels.

But now only PCM and Neo and available. I did launch a game on the console and audio is definitely 5.1, so that tells me the TV is not in control of this anymore using these connections. But then how do I know what kind of audio I am getting from all the choices available that I keep reading? The receiver doesn't seem to tell me (or maybe I don't how how to). Somebody with less experience like myself would have a hard time telling them apart... DTS, Dolby Digital, DTS HD Master and Dolby True HD (the last two I am not even sure if I got them right)? Apparently the system I have supports those formats, but I wouldn't know how to use it properly provided that the content has it.

Is the way I have it set up right now going to give me the best sound available? Even if I don't know how to tell what format is being used... I browse through the receiver options to see if there's something I need to enable, but it's mostly just Home Theater or HD Audio ON/OFF simple option.

Thanks for any wisdom you can share.
 

Ivan_P

Commendable
Mar 7, 2016
4
0
1,510
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Forgot to mention the TV has a total of 4 audio options, but DTS has always been unavailable (grayed out).
 
If possible the best way in general is to connect your external sources (cable box for expample) to the surround sound system directly via HDMI.
ARC is designed to route the audio from the TV to a surround sound system, using wires in the HDMI connection that you use to get the video from the surround sound system to the TV, without the use of an additional cable. It is not turned on by default in the TV. You have to have it in both the TV and surround system. This can be used to get audio from the TV tuner or internet apps into the surround system.
CEC does something similar through the HDMI cable. For instance turning on a disc player selects the input it is connected to on the TV. Since CEC is not standardized it often doesn't work properly. It can be turned off.
If you set the surround system to auto that usually selects the surround sound that is compatible with the sources output. In the case of a source like a cable box setting the surround system to Dolby works better since the auto setting will give you Dolby Digital or stereo where the Dolby setting will give you Dolby Digital or Dolby PrologicII (in most cases). Surround receivers will usually indicate what surround sound mode the audio input is but package systems often leave this out.
 
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