Connecting the Home Theater Components

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,502
    Home theater expert Keith Harmon discusses how to connect all the components when installing a home theater.

    Hi, this is Keith Harmon and we are back to hooking up our high definition home theater. We looked at all the cables in the last segment, so now we are going to look at how do we get all those things hooked up. We have got three components here, a DVD player, a satellite box receiver, well, four if we count the speakers. So, when we look a hooking this up, we have got a couple of options, so, let us look at, we are going to do two options on this one and just so we can show different ways for you to hook up. So, we are going to take this DVD player, we need to get the video, so we take our red, green, blue, composite to our component video. So, even I screwed it up, so do not feel bad if you do. We hook that into component video one, the red, green and blue. So, now we are going to get component video from our player to the receiver and then we need to get the audio too.

    So, we are going to take that audio take the optical audio, put that into the optical audio one in and we notice these little plugs that are over some of these that cover up those openings to keep dust from getting in them. Sometimes, we will have the automatic covers like this one that pops back from the opening. So, now I have hooked up the DVD player, it is getting a high definition video and it is getting a digital audio. Now, instead of doing that another thing we could do is just to do and we would not do both of these, so I will go ahead and unplug that. Instead of doing that, we could do HDMI, so we plug the HDMI in here. It gives us our digital video and digital audio. Now, we plug that into the HDMI here, input one and now we have HDMI. Now, the important thing here to recognize you have got HDMI coming in, when you come out and go to your display, it is only going to come out of HDMI out.

    Do not expect anything that comes in HDMI to come out of the component out over here, because there is a copy protection that is enabled with the High Definition Multimedia Interface as well as the DVI that prevents you from getting outputs anything other than HDMI. So, next we look at our satellite receiver, satellite receiver again we need to get video and audio. So, I am going to go ahead and get video, sorry the digital audio, we have got the digital audio out. So, we take our single RCA plug, plug that into the digital audio out and then we go down and find the digital audio in, coaxial in one. So, now we are getting our high definition sound, the digital sound. Then I said, "Well you want to use HDMI," but I can not, I do not have an HDMI, but I have the DVI here.

    What I can do is take a HDMI to DVI convert a table, plug that in and then that will send the video only, digital video only to the input here. Now, you are going to have to, now, later on, we will take a look at the setup videos, setup menus in the receiver and that will let you assign the HDMI-1 to the Digital Set Top Box, HDMI-2 would be assigned to DVD players so that all those things will get sorted out inside the receiver, so, that when that comes out of the HDMI out you get the right signal when it comes out of the speakers, you get the right signal. Lastly, we are going to look at hooking up the speakers. So, we have got, a lot of times we are going to have just a bare cable here. So, we look at taking that, stripping off the last half inches up using a common wire stripper and then we can either take that and plug that right into this UCN to plug right into the speaker, using these push plugs.

    Push on the red, insert it in, push on the black, insert it in and now you have the speaker hooked up on one end of the cable. Then, when we look at the other end of the cable, I will just use this same end again. We may want to hook up a Banana plug. It is a different style than the one we saw in the last segment and sometimes it is a good idea to just twist these around, so they are easy to fit in there. You take your Banana plug, stick it in there, screw it down, you got your negative, you got your positive. Again, we have to make sure that you get those straightened out as to which side of the wire is which. Now, you have the Banana plug-ins; plug those in, red to red, black to black. You are all set. Sometimes, you will have the speaker ends so do like that. Same deal here on the back of the speakers.

    Just check the Banana plug, plug that in and you are hooked up. One nice thing about that is you may end up getting your speaker hooked up to the wrong one, the right to the left, left to the right, the front left to the rear right and get those mixed up, very easy with the Banana plugs to change those around if you make a mistake and now that we are all set, once you do that, labeling your wires will really help. You have got five or seven wires out there; they are usually all going to be the same, so a nice label on those can save you a lot of headache. So, that takes care of all the hookups and the only other thing that we need to make sure that you do is when you look at these - some of the components will have vents on the top. Especially, your surround sound receivers that have the amplifiers in them. Those amplifiers put out heat and that component needs to breathe a bit so that that heat can come out.

    So, placing another component on top of it like this, you are going to cover up all those vents, get extra hot, you are cooking both the receiver and whatever is above it. So, typically what you want to do is either have this on top or do something to have a shelf or something that is going to give it some room to breathe above it. It is going to definitely make your equipment last a lot longer. Another important component that you are going to have is a good quality line conditioner and a search protector. This is a nice one because the plugs are on two different sides, so if you have any items that need to have the voltage converter, the big box - things that will change or the AC power into DC power, you can put that on either side so you can fit more of them on there.

    This is going to protect your equipment. It has got a $50,000 connected equipment warranty, so you are protected from that standpoint. That actually can make your picture better and your sound better because this is going to filter out all the spikes in the voltages, the noise in the power that can translate into noise or lines, various lines or interference on your video signals. So, this is a good idea to have for those reasons at least.