how to get sound from tv's built-in speakers
November 7, 2009 2:51 PM   Subscribe

How do I set up my home theater to let me use my tv's built-in speakers?

I normally use a Bose 5.1 surround speaker system, but would sometimes like to use my tv's internal speakers instead.

My main home theater components -- all connected by HDMI -- are:
-- Onkyo TX-SR674 Receiver
-- Tivo Series 3 HD, and
-- Panasonic TH-42PX60U Plasma TV

The tv's speakers definitely work. I've tested them by connecting a VCR directly. But I've never been able to get any sound from them when I use the receiver. So I figure either the receiver or the tv is cutting off the audio signal.

The TV automatically shuts off its speakers when it detects that external speakers are connected. But the TV's set-up menu has a setting to turn the speakers on. I've done that, but no success.

I've also screwed around with the receiver settings, like turning on HDMI audio out. I've even tried running composite audio cables from the receiver to the tv. Still no luck.

Any suggestions?
posted by anonymice to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You have a couple of choices, and I'm not sure which one you want.

#1: TiVo video/audio feeds Receiver, Receiver video/audio feeds TV.

Under this scenario, you should be able to hear audio from the TiVo if you turn up the receiver, or if you turn up the TV speakers. The one thing I wouldn't recommend trying for in this scenario is pushing your TV's audio back to your receiver, as a bad combination of input choices can produce a feedback loop.

#2: TiVo video/audio feeds TV, TV feeds Receiver.

If I were you, I'd be doing this; however, it sounds like you're already doing this, inasmuch as you say "the TV automatically shuts off its speakers when it detects that external speakers are connected" -- but that sounds odd, because you should be connecting to the TV's audio out, not to speaker outputs.

So can you advise HOW the components are connected (what feeds what?)
posted by davejay at 5:30 PM on November 7, 2009

How is the TiVo hooked up? Are you going TiVo -> Receiver -> TV? You may want to try plugging the TiVo directly into the TV via HDMI, then using the Optical Out to go back to the Receiver. That is how I have mine set up.

This way when I choose "internal speakers" on the TV it uses them, when I choose "external speakers" it passes the audio to the Receiver.

(On Preview --> What davejay said)
posted by stew560 at 5:40 PM on November 7, 2009

I have noticed that an increasing proportion of programs on TV these days actually have surround sound, so you may want to reconsider.

Just a thought.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:14 PM on November 7, 2009

You're probably going to have to forgo HDMI and go Component (or composite) up to your TV from your receiver (and possibly even from the A/V devices hooked to the receiver).

You could also be trying to pass surround up to your TV via HDMI which the TV probably can't handle, thus no audio - try putting your receiver in stereo mode and see if you get sound?
posted by wongcorgi at 8:22 PM on November 7, 2009

seconding going from Tivo->HDMI->TV
posted by kenliu at 9:31 PM on November 7, 2009

According to the specifications on this page your receiver does not have any pre-amp outputs. That means, it will not output audio at line level. It doesn't specify anything about audio over HDMI, but it wouldn't surprise me that it strips the audio out of the signal, just sending video up over HDMI.

If you want this audio, I would add one thing. Your TIVO should have an L/R phono (red and white barrel plugs) audio output, probably as part of the component video output cluster (5 barrel plugs, 3 are video, 2 are audio). Run the two audio cables to your TV, hopefully the HDMI input you are using accepts a seperate audio feed. (My TV has an additional audio input for HDMI input 4 for example).

You may have to then switch the TIVO from digital audio to analog, after that, you should have TV audio. Switch the TIVO back to Digital for receiver audio.
posted by defcom1 at 2:40 PM on November 8, 2009

Response by poster: Interesting suggestions, thanks everyone. I probably won't be able to test them til next weekend, but will follow up then.

More specifics about my set-up:
- Tivo's HDMI out connects to Receiver's HDMI in.
- Receiver's HDMI out connects to TV's HDMI in.
posted by anonymice at 7:41 AM on November 9, 2009

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