Monster HDMI, Subwoofer Connection, Blu-ray Audio

Monster on a Leash
I currently have a Samsung LN52A650 LCD TV with a Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray player and a Dish Network VIP 722 DVR. Will Monster Cable's Ultra 600 HDMI cables with a speed rating of 4.95Gbps, 8-bit color, and 60Hz refresh rate be adequate with my setup?

Mark Weber Jesup

That cable should be fine with your setup, as long as you limit the length to no more than 16 feet. The cable's speed rating conforms to HDMI 1.0 to 1.2, but it does not meet the HDMI 1.3 standard of 10.2Gbps. How important is this? Not very—the Blu-ray player's maximum output rate is somewhere around 3Gbps with 8-bit color at 60Hz. HDMI 1.3's data rate of 10.2Gbps is intended to accommodate things like Deep Color (up to 16 bits per color) and xvYCC (expanded color gamut), but there is no commercial content with these features, so the ability to carry them isn't important in my view.

Sub Rosa
My receiver is a Yamaha RX-V1800, and I've connected its Sub Out jack to my subwoofer's left-channel input. Does it matter if I use the left, right, or LFE input on the subwoofer?

John Morris

The left and right inputs pass through the sub's internal crossover, which is fine if you're feeding it full-range signals. However, you're feeding it only low frequencies that have been extracted by the receiver's crossover. You don't say what make and model your subwoofer is, but I would guess that the LFE input bypasses the sub's internal crossover. If so, I'd definitely use the LFE input since the receiver is providing the crossover in your case. If you end up using the left or right input, be sure the sub's crossover is set to the highest possible frequency to avoid double-filtering the signal.

No HDMI
I would like to purchase a flat panel along with a Blu-ray player, but my A/V receiver has no HDMI inputs. What the best way to connect the player so I will benefit from the new audio formats?

Franco Morabito

Does your receiver have a multichannel analog-audio input? If so, get a player with multichannel analog-audio outputs, then connect the player's HDMI output to the TV's HDMI input and the player's multichannel audio output to the receiver's corresponding input using six interconnect cables. That's the only way you'll be able to hear the new audio formats in their full glory. Having to switch the TV and receiver inputs to watch Blu-ray is a bit of pain—I'd prefer to have both video and audio going through the receiver for simplicity's sake—and dealing with multiple interconnects is no fun either. But until you upgrade to an HDMI receiver, this is the best you can do.

If your receiver doesn't have multichannel analog inputs, there's no need to get a player with multichannel outputs—you have no way to hear the full measure of the new audio formats. In that case, the best you can do is connect the player's optical or coax digital-audio output to the receiver. You will only hear the "core" audio data—that is, conventional Dolby Digital or DTS—until you get an HDMI receiver.

If you have a home-theater question, please send it to scott.wilkinson@sorc.com.

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COMMENTS
Christopher Sweeney's picture

I have a Sony Bravia 40" KDL-40s4100 1080p and have noticed a backlight Bleeding problem, not major but annoying. I contacted Sony and they said they'd be happy to send me a refurbished set. My question is two-fold, first, is there anything that I can do to solve the problem (I've already lowered the backlight and the power saving mode which helps some)? Second, what can I expect from a refurbished tv?

Scott Wilkinson's picture

I assume you've lowered the backlight as much as you can tolerate; if not, lower it more. In a dark room, you can lower it quite a bit and still have a good picture. Have you adjusted the Brightness control with a setup disc like Digital Video Essentials or HD Benchmark? If it's too high, lowering it would help, but you don't want to lower it too much or the blacks will be crushed. Otherwise, you've done what I would recommend. I have no idea if a refurbished set will be any better.

Harry Brener's picture

Both my old and new subwoofers have only 2-prong, non-grounded plugs. The power cable on the new sub is removable, however. Should I replace the cable with a grounded cable? Any suggestions on what parameters I should seek? (My outlets and surge protector are grounded.)

Harry Brener's picture

Mark, consider cables from Blue Jeans Cables (bluejeanscable.com). Excellent, audiophile quality cables at VERY reasonable prices. Theirs are the only cables I'll buy, and the same is true of several people I know. They make the full gamut of cables for your audio/video needs.

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Harry, if the detachable power cord is 2-prong, I assume its receptacle on the sub is 2-prong as well, in which case a grounded cord is irrelevant, since there's nothing to connect the ground wire to.

Harry Brener's picture

Um, good point. Guess I didn't think that one through too clearly! Thanks.

Jeff Mueller's picture

I just purchased the Pana TCP50G15. Like many bloggers here, I have no HDMI on my Den AVR-3300 (ten years old), but do have M-C Analog Audio inputs on the amp. Are there eight individual connectors on the player as well or only two? I was thinking of getting the Pana DMP-BD80K. Does that player supply M-C Analog Audio Out? Thank you...

Dave Thomas's picture

What's the best way to connect the audio from a Samsung BD-P3600 to my Denon AVR-5700 (buying a new HDMI-equipped receiver is not feasible at this time). My system is 5.1. The Denon has "6ch/8ch EXT IN" jacks but only a 5-channel amp (140w x 5), so there is no power for the SBL and SBR channels even though there are input jacks for them. Can I get lossless Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio sound with my current setup or do I have to have a 7.1 system for that? Secondly, the Denon manual states "the input signals connected to the...EXT IN jacks are output directly...without passing through the surround circuitry." Does that mean that all my surround parameters (speaker size, distance, level, etc.) are bypassed and instead handled by the Samsung? The Samsung manual explains setting speaker size but nothing about distance; how to turn on the test tone, but not how to adjust the speaker level. And last, should the "Digital Output" selector be set on PCM, Bitstream (Re-e

Adam Comfort's picture

On the HDMI cables, how much does the cable really matter? I have some cables that say they are 1.3b compatible but they were $12 vs. Monster Cables at $100. Is it just the shielding, the gauge of wire, or just the name brand? I haven't done extensive watching switching between the two to see if I can tell any difference. I was just wondering if there is any electrical difference and if you can really see it on screen? (I have a Toshiba 46xv648u and a Sylvania NB530SLXa Blu-Ray player, not sure if that helps).

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Jeff, the DMP-BD80 does indeed have multichannel analog outputs.Adam, with short lengths, I don't think the cable brand matters all that much. I imagine that name brands might have better shielding, thicker wire, and sturdier construction, but I really don't think these things give you a better image quality. (Of course, if the cable has no shielding or the wire is 36 gauge or something like that, you might have a problem, but few if any HDMI cables are made so poorly.Dave, your questions are too extensive to answer here. I'll include them in a future Ask Home Theater.

Douglas Fitzpatrick's picture

Dave Thomas, your Denon AVR-5700 receiver will only use the speaker levels (known as Fader in Ext.In mode) that you set when calibrating your speaker levels in the Denon's "System setup" onscreen menus, except for the subwoofer which is adjusted independently in 6ch/8ch Ext.In mode for speaker levels. Any bass management will have to be done by your Samsung BD-P3600. Since you don't have any room correction features like Audyssey, your best bet is to purchase a sound level pressure meter from Radio Shack. Douglas

Paul's picture

I have read a few similar questions to this on your website and I am puzzled by your answers which run pretty much like this"Does your receiver have a multichannel analog-audio input? If so, get a player with multichannel analog-audio outputs,"Now first of all forgive me.i only have a 42 inch LG Full HDTV and LG 903 home theatre, not too impressive but all I can afford.With this system I occasionally need to use my old Samsung DVD player which does not have HDMI so I connect the component video outputs for video and use the optical audio output for full 5.1 audio.Do the current AV receivers and dvd, Blue ray players not have optical audio connectors? If not I can't believe how low tech such high priced equipment is, this seems rather strange to me, or maybe I have misunderstood something?

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

car subwoofer's picture

I notevoli vantaggi da suoi articoli ogni volta che leggo una. Grazie per le informazioni, aiuta molto. Ma permettetemi di rivolgere il mio subwoofer auto, è troppo forte adesso.

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