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Home Theatre resurrection


Content:

  1. Introduction, old Home Theatre
  2. New big Screen TV arrives
  3. Setup receiver and BD player
  4. Setup HTPC
  5. Setup HTPC, MPC-HC
  6. 4K test pattern and Android TV apps
  7. Test with a Raspberry Pi4 as a HTPC
  8. Chromecast and Raspberry
  9. Coming Soon

Note:
I take no responsibility or liability for what are written here, you use the information at your own risk!


3, Setup details:

Network and antenna:

I had already connected the network cable and the antenna cable in the step before.

Home Theatre Setup details

The network cable is the yellow cable, connect it to LAN input on the TV on the backside, have it in correct orientation ! The other end of the cable is connected to our router. The antenna cable which in our case is the cable to the cable TV connects to the input ANT-TV, check that the cable contact is correct, it should be a male (pin). If you force a wrong connector into the input of the TV it will destroy it ! The aerial antenna use the same input connector as the cable TV. You can only have one of them connected at the same time.

Our network is a 100 Mb/s and will soon be upgraded to 1000 Mb/s. But already 100 Mb/s is enough for 4K TV over internet.


TV sound:

Optical SPDIF out

From the beginning I thought that it were enough with only the HDMI cables and no extra cables. After a while I understood I must add at least one extra cable to have the SPDIF bitstream sound as I want it.

In Sweden and maybe other countries in Europe the 2-channel audio is normally mpeg-2 compressed. That is something not all receiver can decode, it must be converted in the TV and decoded to PCM 2-channel. But when there are multi channel 5.1 which we have on HDTV channels it use the Dolby Digital system (AC3). That's what I want the TV to pass through to the receiver. It looks to do it but the receiver doesn't decode it. I have to ad an extra cable, from the TV to the receiver and passthrough the audio signal. I connect them to the separate SPDIF output / input to see if that works. On this TV it's an optical output with name Optic Out in the image above. More about it at the HTPC setup page.


Receiver:

Home Theatre Setup details

My receiver is an old Pioneer model VSX-921. It has HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) connectors which supports both the video and audio signals. Very handy when working with multi channels system. There are different quality of the HDMI cables, for 4K signals they should be of High Speed quality. The sound capabilities are very good on this receiver but the video switch is of old standard.

Here are more information about the HDMI standard at Wikipedia:

This receiver has one output HDMI connector which I use to connect to the TV.


Home Theatre Setup details

These are the HDMI 2, 3 and 4 connectors on the backside of the TV. To save some cables I plan to use the ARC function. ARC stands for Audio Return Channel, it let the TV send its signal to the receiver backwards. Even all other equipment connected to the TV can send its audio signal through this ARC function.

I got a problem here, normally it's only one of the HDMI connectors on the TV that can handle ARC, in the manual for the TV (Hitachi 65HL8000) it says that HDMI 2 and HDMI 3 can do this. I of course connected the HDMI cable to HDMI 2 and didn't get any signal back to the receiver. I thought that maybe my receiver was too old to handle this or the HDMI cable I had was of too low quality. Later I changed the input to HDMI 3 and then everything start working. You must also setup the TV in the system menu to output to amplifier, not to TV speakers.

The ARC can also let the TV's remote control other devices, ex my BD player. It also start the receiver automatic when turning on the TV. You have to enable this function in all equipments that talks to each other. Much has happens since last time I had a Home Theatre.

This receiver has a 7.1 standard, 7 amplifiers and one low level output for the sub bas. Today it's setup only for 5.1 system. The two spare amplifiers I can use to biamp the two main speakers or as two roof speakers with synthetic sound. Nowadays there is a new sound system, Dolby Atmos  with a special function for speakers that are placed in the roof. This old machine can not handle that and it will be hard to convince my girlfriend about roof speakers too.

Here are more information about Dolby Atmos at Wikipedia:


DVD / Blu-Ray player (BD):

Home Theatre Setup details

I also also a Pioneer DVD / Blu-Ray model BDP-430, also called BD (Blu-Ray Disc). This one is also old but it can handle 3D movies but not 4K. My Hitachi TV can handle 4K but not 3D. I can connect the BD player either to the receiver or direct to the TV. I'm not sure what's best in my situation, but I start with it connected to the receiver which handle the audio better.

Here are more information about Blu-Ray at Wikipedia:

This BD player can deliver 24 fps (frames per second) which is the theatre standard since ages ago. And also 50 and 60 fps. There are no such a thing like HDR (High Dynamic Range), it only works with 8-bit per color channel what I know. If I find a not too expensive 4k BD player maybe I replace this one with that.

Here are more information about the HDR standard at Wikipedia:

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