Importance of *missing* Optical Out ?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by chicagofan, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. chicagofan

    chicagofan Guest

    I posted this in another group which has little activity, so no responses. I
    thought I would try here, to see if anyone has time to help me.

    I am still looking at combo VCR/DVDs, and one unit I like, that has been pretty
    favorably rated, has comments about missing an optical out. What requires this?

    I'm worried about buying something that won't have enough connections for my PIP
    TV... and the players, because I don't understand *what* can be connected by a
    "component" or "composite", etc., hook up.

    Here's a link that shows the back of the unit I'm looking at:

    Hope it doesn't wrap and works, if it does, will this unit handle the PIP
    feature of my TV; and allow me to watch TV on one channel, AND record
    another.... WITHOUT a cable box?

    I know I had to have an A/B switch on my old VCR, to get around getting a cable
    box. Since I don't have a cable tuner, should I be looking for spec's that say
    they have a cable or A/B switch? Or is that something that is standard now?

    Thanks for curing my ignorance... anyone. :)
    chicagofan, Feb 27, 2005
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  2. chicagofan

    Rich Clark Guest

    The digital audio output if for connection to a digital receiver/home
    theater system. It is required to provide a digital audio bitstream to the
    decoder in the receiver, for Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound ("5.1"

    There are two methods for making this connection: optical cables or coaxial
    cables. There is no performance difference. Most AV receivers have one or
    more of both types.

    The lack of an optical digital audio output is not a drawback. In fact, coax
    is not just functionally equivalent, but you can use cheaper cables and run
    them farther. Optical connections are sexy, but offer no performance

    Rich Clark, Feb 27, 2005
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  3. chicagofan

    Invid Fan Guest

    When I bought my new dvd player, I had a hell of a time finding one
    that had coaxial outputs for DD 5.1. All the cheaper models just had
    stereo and optical outputs. Naturally, after I finally got one my
    reciever died and I ended up buying a new one with optical inputs.
    Invid Fan, Feb 27, 2005
  4. chicagofan

    chicagofan Guest

    Thanks for the quick response. :) How about the second part of my question re:

    "I know I had to have an A/B switch on my old VCR, to get around getting a cable
    box. Since I don't have a cable tuner, should I be looking for spec's that say
    they have a cable or A/B switch? Or is that something that is standard now?"

    I can only find VCR's with this feature mentioned, and wondered if the combo's
    don't need it? Or I can't buy a combo because it has a cheaper unit in it, and
    doesn't have one? Am I making any sense? TIA...
    chicagofan, Feb 27, 2005
  5. chicagofan

    Rich Clark Guest

    What's a VCR? <g>


    A/B switches are not standard. And you really don't want to connect this
    thing using RF cable anyway, if you can avoid it, particularly for the DVD
    section. It's more an issue of what inputs your TV and audio system have.

    If your TV has an S-Video (Y/C) input (or better, a component input), use it
    for the DVD output of the player. Then use either a composite ("yellow"
    video line in) or RF (channel 3/4) input for the VCR section.

    You will still need to split the incoming cable if want to connect it to the
    TV for watching one channel while you record another channel on the VCR. But
    you'll only need the A/B switch if you have no Video In on the TV for the
    VCR. Of course, this is no different from your current situation.

    If your TV has no inputs other than an RF (antenna) input, then your
    situation is unchanged. You can connect this unit the same way as your
    current VCR (while keeping in mind that you won't be seeing or hearing much
    of the improvement DVD offers over videotape).

    Rich Clark, Feb 28, 2005
  6. This is only required if you have a digital A/V receiver that only has
    optical digital audio inputs. Most, if not all, of these receivers
    now should have at least one coax digital audio in, so this shouldn't
    be something to be concerned about, provided you get a receiver with a
    coax in.
    All the DVD/VCR combo units I've seen, including this one, have the
    same capabilities as a VCR for PIP and onboard tuning. They all have
    onboard cable for analog nonscrambled stations and OTA tuners. For
    your VCR or the combo unit, an A/B switch isn't required to do what
    you want for the unscrambled analog cable channels. Simply hook up
    the cable from the wall to the antenna in on the unit, the RF out to
    the TV antenna in and the A/V outs from the unit to the TV aux in.
    Use the best vid connection the TV will take, be it S-Vid, composite
    or component. Not all combo players necessarily have their tuner and
    VCR video outputs through component outs, so check for that feature if
    your TV has component inputs that will work with PIP.

    Gary E
    Gary A. Edelstein, Feb 28, 2005
  7. chicagofan

    chicagofan Guest

    LOL... thanks for not ignoring me, because I'm "behind the times". ;)

    OK... that's why I want to be sure whatever I buy, has the same capabilities my
    VCR [that died] had. As my cable company told me, the A/B switch was required;
    unless of course I paid them to come out and install something. :)

    The TV does have an S-video input, but nothing labeled component. It's 4 yrs. old.

    This is what I don't understand. I HAVE recorded with my old VCR and DIRECT
    cable input... no splitter, or cable box... and watched another channel. And
    that is exactly what I want to do most of the time. I only subscribe to the
    expanded basic channels [about 80].

    I do have Video IN on my TV, but I fear my next VCR or combo won't have what I
    need to continue recording while watching another channel... without getting a
    cable box.

    My TV has an Ant A coax, S-Video, 2 sets of video & L/R audio IN, and 1 set
    video & L/R audio OUT. Hope something I've said makes sense. :) Thanks...
    chicagofan, Mar 1, 2005
  8. chicagofan

    chicagofan Guest

    Thanks, I don't have an elaborate home system, just some TVs, and 1 VCR.

    That must be why it had worked before... "Expanded basic" channels is only about
    80 channels, and that's all I have.

    OK... the best connection my TV has, is S-video. However, the Recoton PIP
    installation kit, Best Buy sold me[which the installer forgot to use], has
    everything, but an S-video cable.

    This is what I have: a 4 yr old Philips TV with an Ant A coax, S-Video, 2 sets
    of video & L/R audio IN; and 1 set video & L/R audio OUT.

    Also this Recoton PIP installation kit with all these brand new gold cables; 4
    "F to F" cables, different lengths, l 6ft. RCA to RCA Video cable, and l 6ft.
    Dual RCA to RCA cable... plus, what is attached to my TV and old VCR now.

    Also in the Recoton kit is a 2 way splitter.

    So, if I understand you correctly, The JVC at this link:

    would do the job, but I would probably have to use that splitter, right? And
    you recommend... that for better quality video, I buy the additional S-video
    cable... right?

    The diagrams look simple enough, but when the players don't say the same thing
    as cable IDs mentioned ... I worry. Like I don't know what "RF" means, or "F to
    F". :) Thanks for your patience. I have to get this right, so I don't have to
    pay someone to come out here several times... to help me move this heavy
    furniture, and re-connect everything.
    chicagofan, Mar 1, 2005
  9. Here is basically the same setup I recommended, but perhaps in a
    clearer presentation that accounts for your subsequent posts:

    - Raw cable from wall to antenna in (VHF/UHF in) on combo unit. This
    will use a 75 ohm male 'f' to male 'f' connector.

    - Combo unit to TV: RF out (VHF/UHF out) to TV antenna in with a 75
    ohm male 'f' to male 'f' connector. DVD/VCR composite video (yellow
    RCA connector) and L/R analog audio (red and white RCA connectors)
    outs to TV AUX inputs. Optional: DVD S-Vid out to TV S-vid in,
    provided the TV has separate composite and S-Vid inputs that aren't
    shared. Keep in mind the S-Vid out is only for the DVD player and
    apparently won't output the VCR video. It also may not output the
    tuner video.

    As far as I can tell you don't need an A/B switch or the 75 ohm cable
    splitter. Those are needed only if you have a cable box.

    Gary E
    Gary A. Edelstein, Mar 2, 2005
  10. chicagofan

    chicagofan Guest

    But if I used the TV's S-vid INPUT for the DVD, and the composite INPUT for the
    DVD/VCR combo output... that should cover the video tuner... right?

    I think with the reassurance I've gotten here that the combo should be equal to
    what I have, if I just get the cables right, I should be able to see that it
    gets installed right, this time. I appreciate so much everyone's help, and that
    FAQ for the group helped too.

    chicagofan, Mar 2, 2005
  11. Can you use both the S-Video & the Composite Video together?
    My Toshiba HDTV 'appears' to say you can't use them together, although
    the way it is written in the manual isn't all that clear.
    E. Barry Bruyea, Mar 2, 2005
  12. Yes, combo player tuner should output from one or both I expect.

    Gary E
    Gary A. Edelstein, Mar 3, 2005
  13. If they share an input switch selection on the TV, then if there is a
    video signal in both, the TV will select one or the other as the
    overriding default. If there is only a signal in one, then it should
    select that, but it's possible that TVs vary on that behavior - it may
    not work at all on one of the inputs if cables are plugged into both
    even if there is a signal only in one.

    So, to be sure you get correct operation, plug only one vid plug into
    a shared switched input.

    Gary E

    Gary E
    Gary A. Edelstein, Mar 3, 2005
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