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Technologically-challenged & need to connect 4 things...

Read a GAZILLION posts before starting this thread and with all the other posts I feel like I'm being SO redundant here. I just can't find the info I need and my head is spinning! I really could use some expertise if anyone could please...

Not to be too long-winded but I know specifics are needed so here's exactly what I have:

- a new 42" Sylvania Plasma HDTV #6842THG (it's currently wall-mounted), and

- connected with a single HDMI Cable to Comcast Cable via Motorola #DCT3416 (the hi-def box Comcast provides).

- a not-yet-connected Panasonic DVD Home Theater Sound System (or wireless HTBI) #SC-HT640W, and

- an OLD Panasonic VCR, #PV-V402 which I want to hook up too if possible.

The cable comes in from the wall to the Comcast Box and the Box is connected to the TV via HDMI. Right now, that's about it.

As far as jacks, the TV & Cable Box seem to have quite a few of them but both the HTBI and VCR seem really light on input/output connections. I have a fair amount of cords here...component, composite, stereo, etc. and I'm pretty sure I need to keep the HDMI where it is now (TV to Cable Box)'s just the REST of the cords!

The TV has a lot of jacks in groups:
Antenna In; Digital Audio-Out; Audio-Out;
HDMI Cable in a group of 3...1 HDMI Cable (which is the only thing on the TV currently connected) and there's also a L&R Audio along side of it (do I need to use these too???);
TWO sets of Video-In Jacks: L&R Audio; Video; & S-Video all x2
TWO sets of Component-In Jacks: L&R Audio; Y, Pb, & Pr all x2. Even tho it's wall-mounted I THINK I can reach everything as all the jacks are close to the bottom edge.

The HTBI Receiver ONLY has one set of Component Video-Out Jacks; a Video-Out (with yellow cord provided); S-Video-Out; & the Red/White L&R Audio.

The VCR has the White/Yellow Audio-In; White/Yellow Audio-Out; plus what I think are the old RF ports (labeled UHF/VHF "In from Antenna" & "Out to TV"). I have no other RF ports anywhere (including none on the cable box other than what is used for the cable coming in from the wall)...UNLESS I throw my Toshiba DVD Recorder, #D-R4, into the above mix. I could do this but the HTBI has a DVD Player with 5-Disc Changer so I was considering moving the DVD Recorder into a different room.

If anyone can provide any direction I'd REALLY appreciate GREATLY. It will help preserve my marriage (and possibly even my sanity)! THANKS!!!

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In reply to: Technologically-challenged & need to connect 4 things...

if you are as "technologically challenged" as you say...and even if someone tells you step by step on how to hook it up.....actually working all these components together will confuse you greatly.

you probably have all the cables you need at home...with the exception of ONE hdmi cable (for the cable box) and ONE component cable(for the htib). now call an electronics store and as about their professional installation service.

these installers will hook it up for you with no problem. the value here is that they'll also teach you how to work it. think of how many arguements that would save between you and your wife about "how come there is no this this dont you listen to always do this.....blah blah blah". the price will range from $100 to $200 and it will be money well spent.

because you have a HTIB without any digital audio inputs....things might be easier to hook up in the long run.....but it'll get confusing if you're really "technologically challenged". call a professional.

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thank you

In reply to: well..

Yep, well, thank you. While I have no wife (lol!) I'm sure my husband will thank you as well! Perhaps I will be able to figure it out on my own. Again, I thank you kindly for your time and your expertise.

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Connect to the TV

In reply to: Technologically-challenged & need to connect 4 things...

It looks like everything should be connected to the TV, and if you HTIB has 1 audio input (red/white maybe labelled AUX) You could connect the audio output from the TV to the HTIB system.

You would then have to switch from video 1, 2, 3 or whatever they are labelled on the TV to watch the different things you have connected, the HTIB would give you sound from selecting AUX (if it has this).

The weak link in your system is the HTIB.

The cable box can connect via the HDMI cable
HTIB connects with component out to component in on TV, no need to bother with audio, the sound should be played through the HTIB system.
Old VCR would connect to another input on TV with yellow video and audio(white) this may be a slight problem, as it sounds like it will be a mono VCR, not stereo. You may want to think about how much use it will get, I tossed mine about a year ago.

There should be various drawings showing different configurations of connections in the TV and HTIB owners manuals, they might show you what I have described above.

Good luck.

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In reply to: Connect to the TV

I REALLY appreciate the detailed reply & going to try EXACTLY what you outlined.

And you're right - the HTIB's Audio Red/White are marked AUX so I'll hook-up those stereo wires to the TV in addition to hooking up the component wires. I liked this HTIB b/c it's rear-wireless and got fairly good reviews on cnet for the cost ($209 which included the S/H on amazon). Turns out it might have been better to have better connectability w/wired rear speakers I guess, but for now I'm going to give this one a go.

User Manual diagrams were there but could be interpreted a few different ways...HTBI diagram only showed RF w/no HDMI (since there ISN'T one on this unit); TV had DVD diagram but nothing for an HTBI w/o digital audio, etc. Also no diagrams had VCRs in the mix at all.
I'm sure someone could have figured them out...maybe even me thru trial & error...but I didn't know if these differences would mean drastic changes in what my connections should be.

I'm pretty sure this VCR (plus another VCR we have) are both only Mono but I hate to pitch them...need something just so we're able to watch tapes in our old VHS library. One of these days I'm gonna use that other Toshiba DVD-R I have to convert all those old tapes, but that's ANOTHER hurdle at a time here!

Thanks again, sirround - REALLY! - and I'll let you know how it goes...

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Go slow...

In reply to: SirRoundSound, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Work on one input at a time, and check to see that things work the way you expect.

HDMI from cable box to TV. You should be able to turn cable box on, and TV on, then to whatever input # = the HDMI in. At this point you should be able to watch cable TV, and my guess is that the sound should be coming through the TV speakers. There are sometimes issues between equipment using HDMI cables, so if no sound (and the volume from the cable box is turned up) then you may have to run a set of audio cables too.

Run a cable from Audio OUT on TV to HTIB AUX in. While still watching Cable TV, you should now be able to turn on HTIB, go to AUX, and hear the cable box coming through your system speakers.
You may have to check the TV's menu at this point, and may have to do something to tell the TV you are using the audio output connections. Possibly have to turn OFF the TV speakers, or at least make sure the Volume on the TV is set to a level that lets the HTIB get enough sound for it to play back through it's speakers.

The next step would be to connect the HTIB DVD output, using the component out connection, going into the component in on the TV.

Select the input that matches the component in on the TV and you should be able to watch a DVD now. The sound is already in the HTIB, so selecting DVD should bring the sound through the HTIB speakers. The DVD probably doesn't play unless you selected DVD anyway.

At this point you should have both Cable TV and DVD working.

The VCR will connect to another input on the TV, I would recommend checking at Radio shack or other place that sells lots of cables and connectors, you should be able to find a "y" connector. This will let you split the Mono audio out from your VCR, and feed sound to both the right and left in on the TV, which will then feed a fake stereo sound out to the HTIB on the AUX cable you have already connected.
To play the VCR, just select the input # you plugged the VCR cables into, and select AUX on your HTIB, and you should be set.

The models you mention in your post are decent, so I would recommend for a future purchase, a good universal remote control. Without spending a fortune, you could get a remote that has some smarts in it. It should be able to turn equipment on, and when selecting DVD for example, it would change the input in the TV, and select DVD on the HTIB. They can really make a system much easier to operate, when set up correctly.

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SirroundSound ~ I DID IT, I DID IT, I DID IT...

In reply to: Go slow...

...or maybe I should say YOU did it because it was ALL thanks to YOU!!!

Sirround, your instrux were AWESOME and I couldn't have done it without them! I will admit there were a couple of tense moments there but as of 5 minutes ago the TV, DVDs, CDs and VCR all are working, everything plays, and all are (finally!) coming through the HTBI. That was the hardest part for me.

The two things I have left to do are to pick up that Y-connector you suggested (I temporarily connected the VCR just to make sure it would work, so it's hooked up via composite wires with the red one dangling there.) I already have a 12-ft Video RCA so with the Audio Y-Adapter, I'm set. Plus, I'm for SURE taking your advice on the Universal Remote. (That's NO luxury...right now I'm using four different remotes, lol!) I ordered a Logitech Harmony 720 which may be more than I need but the price was right @ $140 on eBay. That should do the trick so I won't have to be using all 4 remotes and keep switching back and forth from HDMI, Component, Video & keep setting the HTBI to Aux.

I can't believe it's all connected and it all WORKS! I owe you a BIG debt of gratitude, SirroundSound...for your expertise, your time and just caring enough to walk someone you don't know thru a WHOLE LOT of stuff! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!

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Your welcome

In reply to: SirroundSound ~ I DID IT, I DID IT, I DID IT...

I design and install systems starting upwards of 25k, and up. Many in the 6 figure range. The majority of posters here would never have been a client, so I'm not hurting my living by helping out once in awhile, and hey, you never know, one day someone may win the Lottery and come on here and get me to design their dream system. I also have asked for help in other forums here like the computer or digital camera one's, so it's just good Karma to offer my expertise. Although there are times when people ask about things that go way below my threshold and I really cannot help. I unfortunatly am the one to come to if you are willing to spend money, not save it.

I have used a few Harmony remotes, it should work fine for your system, plus they are not too bad to set up, just go slow, and fill in all the needed information on the web site. You will want to test it while you are still on line, this will make sure the codes and set up used are correct.

Glad you got things working, enjoy your system.

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New VCR problems!

In reply to: Your welcome

Help me please! I am technically challenged I guess. I managed to get the dvd player hooked up when moved to the tv, then came the Xbox, and NOW I've gotten a new VCR to add to the collection (for taping mostly...I know, I should have just gotten a DVC recorder) but it WAS A gift.

So, I have cords everywhere, and a "switch" I guess back there that the "ex" installed so I can use my inputs for 1/Xbox and 2/ I need to know how to hook this VCR up and the instructions are crazy! I need some BASIC instructions for what cable goes where and will I be able to swich from the VCR, DVD and Xbox when necessary?

HELP! I've had this VCR since Xmas and still haven't gotten it hooked up! (He's been a bit busy I guess LOL)

Any help would be MUCH appreciated! Thank you!

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