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Dark Saint

North Vancouver, BC

1 edit

Surround Sound Setup Help

I've spent hours and can't seem to figure out how to set up this surround sound.

I have an Sony HDTV, Shaw Motorolla DCX3400-M PVR, and a Prima HT-8104 DVD home theater system. I have my t.v connected to the PVR by HDMI. I have the DVD player connected to the DVR by RCA cable (red,white,yellow). And my surround sound speakers (4 of them), sub woofer, and front speaker connected to the DVD player.

1. I can't control the volume of my surround sound while watching tv, when the DVD player is off the speakers are very loud, and when I turn on the DVD player the sound lowers to a reasonable volume but I can't change it, the volume knob doesn't control the sound. But if I'm listening to a CD the volume will change with the knob. Why is this?

2. Only the Sub Woofer, two front surround speakers work. The two back surround speakers don't work and the front speaker doesn't work. From what I've read is I need a coaxial cable instead of the RCA cable. Is that right?

3. I can't seem to figure out how to access the the DVD player to watch movies or to change the settings of the surround speakers. I search through all the settings of the PVR but I can't seem to figure this out.

Thx for anyone's help


Vernon, BC

HDMI from TV-> PVR
Audio only from PVR to Surround
Video from DVD to tv - Audio to Surround

I'm definitely no expert but this is how I setup my own surround. You have to realize though there are a ton of different surround setups so my instructions might only be a sub optimal configuration for your equipment. Or it could also be totally wrong, who knows :P.

I'd say ask this question on digitalhome.ca

Shaw Community Manager

Calgary, AB
reply to Dark Saint

I just looked at this quickly,

But in order to watch a DVD from your dvd player, it is connected to your TV with RCA, you will need to switch the active/selected input on your TV to the correct one (different from what you are using).
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.

Edmonton, AB
reply to Dark Saint

I think one thing that would help is a list of the inputs available on the HTiB and the TV. This will assist in finding the optimal way of connecting everything together. The one big downside of these HTiB is they usually lack in the input department, as they aren't designed to support a setup that one can create with discrete components.

For comparison sake, for my setup I have a onkyo 707 providing all of my audio and video switching. All of my devices plug into it, mostly HDMI, and then a single HDMI cable to the TV supplies the video of the currently selected input on the AV receiver. As ShawSean stated, there is a number of setups, as it all depends on the components in play, and how you want to use them.




2 edits
reply to Dark Saint

Alright, I wrote out a bit of a reply to help, but the more I thought about it the more it looks like your system is a bit old. I assume it has no HDMI inputs or outputs, being that its just a DVD player and not a Blu-ray player.

Now I can't seem to find any information or even so much as a product image for that dvd HTiB system, so I can't tell what it has for inputs and outputs. I will assume however that it at least has optical and/or coax audio inputs. If it has coax input, you can just use one of the RCA cables, pick a color, and connect both ends to the coax output on the PVR, and the coax input on the dvd player. You would then just need to select the input on the dvd player itself which corresponds to the coax input, and you should be set.

You shouldn't be controlling the volume with the PVR at all, that should be something done on either the TV end if your watching TV without needing surround sound, or via the dvd player if you are watching something that you want 5.1 audio for.

Calgary, AB
reply to Dark Saint


I miss read, If your DVD player is connected to your DVR, that is wrong, and will not work at all, I confirmed one of the Pace units will do a pass-through on external video sources, but the DCX series definately does not.

I looked for a manual for the HT-8104, but have not been able to find one, because of this, help will be hard.

You said when the DVD player is off, the speakers are very loud, which speakers are loud?

My guess is that the sound is coming from your TV, not your stereo system, so you can play a CD on it, and use the volume knob as expected, turning the DVD player on, may cause a loop or multiple sound sources on the same input - I have no idea without knowing more about everything connected.

The issue with only the Sub-Woofer and two front speakers working, what are you using as a sound source for this? CD? DVD? PVR? - My guess on this, is your sound source is only outputting sound for those two speakers - I mean it isn't giving any signal for the rear speakers.

My questions about what might be able to do, since we know what doesn't work.

What inputs and outputs are available on the non-Shaw equipment? Is this a seperate DVD player and receiever? Or a combo unit?
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.

Dark Saint

North Vancouver, BC

I've only used the equipment with tv and CD I haven't put a movie in cause I can't acces the DVD player. The non-shaw equipment is a DVD And a receiver combo. It has every input and output except for hdmi. There's two "on" buttons one on the DVD/receiver and one on the subwoofer. I didn't make it clear but all the speakers are connected to the subwoofer and the sub is connected to the DVD/receiver. When the the DVD/receiver is off and the sub is on the sound is really loud but when DVD/receiver is on as well as the sub the sound is reasonable but I can't control the sound either way.

I don't have the tv sound on when the speakers are connected I changed my tv settings for sounds to come out of external speakers only. I have connected the DVD/receiver strait to the tv but it doesn't give me the option of the sound coming only out the speakers and not the tv.



Sounds like you should do this to get proper 5.1:

1. HDMI from DVR to TV (or Component, but HDMI is better)
2a. If you TV has an Audio Out optical/toslink port, then connect that to the DVD/Receiver's optical port. Almost all flat panels I've ever owned have this, it is an audio pass-thru from the HDMI.
2b. If your TV does not have an Audio Out, then connect from the optical port on the DVR to the Optical Input on the DVD/Receiver.
3. Enjoy entertainment. I've run both these setups before myself.