email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wiring And Cabling

Darn I hate wiring and cable connections.  Give me a shovel and a pile of dirt to move anytime!  There's nothing complicated about shovelling dirt.

But I've had 2 run-ins with wiring stuff lately.  Both annoying, but at least one finally solved.  I'll mention the successful one today.

I've struggled to connect my TV to the stereo system a few times the past decade.  It has never worked. Mostly, the audio and video haven't matched up.  Watching people talk and having the sound even a half second off is disturbing.

Even with the new HDTV, I couldn't get it to work.  The wiring diagrams in the manuals showed wires from the cable box to the stereo.  I pulled the TV stand and the stereo cabinet out many times to look at all the possible connections.  And I don't mean to say that I understand what all those color-coded plugs mean.  But they ARE all labeled better than 20 years ago.  Or 10 years ago.

My Pioneer VSX-42 tuner is a wonder.  It allows more possibilities than I can even comprehend.  I don't even know what "pandora" IS, but I could access it if I wanted to.  Maybe I will soon.  But the problem was that "audio out" from the cable box did not match the timing on the TV picture.

So, I sat back there and stared at the back of the HDTV and stereo system for a while.  There JUST wasn't an "audio out" from the TV that I recognized.  Not even an modern HDMI  audio outlet   I stared, I fumed, I yelled.

But eventually, I saw a weird looking plug on the HDTV labeled "Digital Optical Audio Out".  No idea what that meant.  But I searched the back of the stereo tuner.  The print was so small even my reading glasses weren't enough, I had to crawl out to get a magnifying glass! 

Whoever thinks that it is easy to read orange print on white, or blue on green should be summarily executed.

But I did eventually find a similar plug on the tuner.  It was labelled "Digital Optical Audio In".  I immediately searched the manuals for the HDTV and the tuner.  66 pages of the Pioneer tuner and 35 pages of the Samsung HDTV (estimates) didn't explain WHAT "digital optical" was. 

But I figured, if there is a delay in the audio from the cable box through the stereo (and I wasn' getting any sound from the DVD player), if I could get sound direct from the HDTV to the stereo speakers, that would work for all components AND stop the audio delay.

Keep in mind that I had already spent $40 on various cables I THOUGHT would connect the HDTV to the stereo properly...

So I drove to Best Buy.  Explained the problem.  Asked about "digital optical audio"  He said "you need this" and showed me a cable.  I said "that doesn't look like the plug, and I even pushed the gateway open with a toothpick".  He said that if it has that gateway, this cable WAS the right one cuz that's the only one with a gate.  I bought it and went home.

The TV and the stereo cabinet were still pulled out for access.  I unplugged the red/white "component cables".  I attached the new digital optical cable and turned on the HDTV and the stereo.

And got NOTHING!  But the Pioneer tuner has many choices.  I rotated the knob (and remembering that the first time I got ANY sound from it took 15 seconds ).  When I turned the tuner knob to "TV", I GOT SOUND!  From the TV.  In perfect synch!

But only one speaker was giving sound.  GLOOOOM!

I dragged out the soundless speaker, and it immediately gave sound.  Oh man, just a loose wire connection!  I fixed that right off.

You want to know something odd about modern tuners?  They don't seem to have a speaker balance dial.  Matbe it exists and I haven't found it yet, but I've read and re-read all the "speaker" parts of the manuals.  OK, I pushed the chair, TV, and speakers around a bit, and NOW it is balanced.  It's almost funny, I adjusted myself an the TV to balance the speakers.

Oh and I mentioned previously that I couldn't find the remote control for the Pioneer tuner?  I found it.  Sitting right on top of the old tuner that died. Buried under other stuff in the computer room. 

But now, I am watching great TV AND listening to audio that matches the picture.  And since it comes directly off the TV, it works with all components I have.


ANGEL ABBY said...

You may have already figured this one out but Pandora is Internet Radio. You can do a lot of specialized settings. I only use the FREE edition which is limited but nice.

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

Yay! So glad you got it all working! I agree, when the voices dont match up, it messes with your head and is hard to watch, ick.

Mariodacatsmom said...

Congratulations. I would have given up long ago and probably smashed the thing. I just don't have patience for things that don't work and are too difficult to figure out. I give you lots of credit for your determination and success.

Megan said...

Yes - I'm with Mariodacatsmom: well done for determination and perseverence.

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