Question

Best arrangement for optimal HDTV clarity

Hi, I have been receiving conflicting feedback on what the best way to set up my home theater to optimize picture/sound. Two options:

Should I?

Run a 4k HDMI to my receiver HDMI out and then feed HDMI cables from my various devices (cable box and Apple TV) to the receiver? Thus, I will switch inputs using my receiver. Or option 2:

Run a 4k HDMI to my receiver HDMI out and then feed HDMI cables from my various devices (cable box and Apple TV) to the external 4K connect device that came with my TV, thus changes inputs on my TV ?

What do you all think?

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Comments
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Answer
Even on 4K I use the classic setup.

1. Run all sources to the receiver.
2. Run one return optical link from HDTV back to the receiver.

Doesn't matter if the TV is SD, HD or UHD 4K.

Are your sure yours is 4K? Most are UHD 4K.

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I stand corrected ...

It is UHD 4K. Does that make a difference?

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Don't forget about room lighting/glare/audio reflections

Make sure you minimize glare and too many audio reflections whenever possible Wink

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HDMI ARC?

Would anyone recommend an HDMI ARC hookup rather than an optical connection?

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I don't. Mostly because it can work for a time then pfft.

My brother does home theater setup and has no love for HDMI ARC. It's fine if it works but it can work for a time then stop. Dealing with consumers that want it to work or "Why?" has not made me a fan.

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Also...

Considering most streaming audio from any built in smart tv app is at best DD5.1, you don't *need* the additional bandwidth of an HDMI cable. A digital optical connection more than suffices for <= DD5.1 audio tracks. You get the added benefit of not having to deal with any lingering HDMI bugginess too(!) Wink

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Almost Exactly What I've Done

I have a Samsung UN65HU8550 UHD Smart TV and a Sony SDR-TN1040 7.2 AV reciever. I plug all sources into the AV receiver -- video sources via HDMI, other sources as appropriate. I have the AV receiver connected to the TV both with an HDMI cable (which I use as the primary "in" connection) and via component video cables. I have the TV linked back to the AV receiver via an optical link.

I normally use the HDMI connection for watching TV (I have Verizon FiOS) or a Blu-Ray disk with the picture and sound from the components directly to the AV receiver, and thence from the AV receiver to the TV, via HDMI. When I am watching a TV picture but want sound from another source out of my speakers (like watching a Washington Nationals baseball game but listening to the far superior radio announcers), I use the component video connection for the video from my set-top box to the TV and set the source on the AV receiver as appropriate. When I am watching features from my Smart TV like Netflix for which the TV is the source, the sound originates from the TV and goes via the optical link to the AV receiver, and the AV receiver plays no part in the video aspect of it.

Of course this is all greatly simplified by a properly programmed remote control. I recommend one of the Logitech Harmony remotes. Everything is one-button.

This setup works well for up to 4K (and 3D), 7.2 source material from any source. Because the pictures and sound are digital, there is no degradation from any point to any point.

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Answer
What about HDMI ARC

Would anyone recommend an HDMI ARC hookup rather than an optical connection?

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Answer
However, an expert at an electronics store just told me ...

Now that I have everything set up through me receiver, a guy who seems to know what he's talking about, who owns an electronic store, just told me he connects everything through his TV and then runs one HDMI from the out on the television to the receiver. He said having additional components, like a receiver, in the middle of the television connection can detract from the quality. Any truth to that?

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There's a lot of debate on that point.

You can find folk that think anything you want. If you find the HDMI to work and sound great, do that and get it done.

When you deal with hundreds of setups like I have, you learn what tends to stay working. I've yet to "hear" any difference from optical to HDMI ARC if the encoding is the same.

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Answer
absolutely no info

the reality is, without knowing exactly what equipment you have, there is absolutely no way to give a specific answer. The only thing you can do is to try different setups to see what works for your. All you can be given is general answers that may or may not be the best for you.

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Answer
My equipment if it helps ...

If this helps, my equipment is a new Samsung 4k: UN65JS8500FXZA.
Receiver is an older model, but still with multiple HDMI inputs and an output: yamaha rx v1600
And I have a Dish Hopper and Apple TV.

With a new 4k television and older receiver, does this make a difference in connection?

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For this one, it's splitting hairs.

You'll have to try it to see if you hear a difference. I've had clients that claim to hear the difference in O2 free wiring. I can't detect that with my ears.

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Sound advice

For all the insight. Aside from the audio, I am wondering if the video will be better if I plug HDMI's straight into my 4k television, instead of a receiver that doesn't support 4k. Not sure if there is a loss of video quality by connecting HDMIs to the receiver.

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Older Receivers

Your older receiver may not be capable of passing 4K or 3D material through it.

Indeed, your Yamaha RX V1600 definitely cannot. It only supports HDMI 1.1, which has insufficient throughput for higher-bandwidth sources like 4K. You will have to go to Plan B -- hooking your sources up to the TV and then sending the sound from the TV to the receiver via the optical link, to get the full use of your TV's capabilities.

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So to be clear ...

A few follow-up questions:

The supposed 4k HDMI cable I bought won't work to convert the signal to 4k/

And also what about the 4k connect box, which is supposed to convert the signal to 4k?

And lastly, will sound quality suffer using an optical in your proposed setup as opposed to an HDMI?

Many thanks.

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*All* makes models please

Otherwise, we do not know to which actual hardware you refer.

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My makes and models

Pepe7, if you're asking for my makes and models, they are:

TV: Samsung, UN65JS8500FXZA
Receiver: Yamaha RX V1600
Dish Hopper
Apple TV

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You forgot about ...

...this magical '4K connect/converter' box/cables. More info on that too.

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Answer
My last question (I think!) in this chain ...

It's actually two, actually:

Would buying a new 4k receiver solve my dilemma? In other words, if I did buy one and I hooked my sources (cable box and apple TV) into the new receiver, would the video quality act the same as if I plugged an HDMI straight into the TV?

Lastly, if I am going to buy a new receiver, what would you recommend for around $500 give or take?

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