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Old 10-17-2009, 11:19 AM   #1
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Entertainment System - HELP!

I have recently attempted to "upgrade" the entertainment system by replacing the original RCA Home Theater unit with a Sony DAV-HDX275 and adding a Winegard VS-0604/VS-0612 switching box.
It is mostly working, but I have reached the limit of my knowledge and still have a "spagetti factory" and some features that are not working as they should. I am to the point of being willing to pay someone to finish this up.

Has anyone used the services of a home theater tech in the Southern California area? I am in south Orange County.


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Old 10-21-2009, 08:08 AM   #2
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What's not working?

I was able to reduce the spagetti by purchasing shorter cables. Got them at Orvac in Fullerton Orvac Electronics -- 1-800-676-7822* --* Electronic parts, equipment, supplies and tools.

Don't know which TV you have, but if its the plasma or a TV (with 1 component video input) and you want component video from a Sat Rcvr and the Sony, you may need a Component video switch too.

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Old 10-21-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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The best way I have found do this (other than pay an expert and get out of her way) is make a photocopy of the diagram of the back of each box in the system (usually in the owner's manual). Then take all the diagrams and tape them together on a piece of butcher paper or other large sheet in roughly the arrangement of the components in your cabinet. Then draw the lines that are needed for connecting everything, and label them by type (coax, hdmi, component video, 120V, blah, blah, blah).

Now you can make a cable piece count by type, and place a check by each cable as you put it on the list. You can augment the list with min/max cable lengths by taking measurements of each and showing it on the drawing, and noting the length on the cable list.

Check your spaghetti mess of cables & pull out the ones you need. Go shopping for the rest.

Now when stringing cable, just follow the diagram, and place an 'X' over each cable as you install it.
Remember to figure in a few 90 coax connectors where a deep component box makes that a better physical arrangement than looping a coax straight in at the back.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:03 PM   #4
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I agree with EngineerMike, at least somewhat. I learned what I know from reading manuals that came with various components over the years. They do show how to properly set up their component. Some are pretty easy to comprehend. Some are not.

What I have found to be the biggest problem is something that none of the manuals will be able to tell you. Our coaches have more possible signal sources than any home system is likely to have. They are:

Over the air antenna
Cable system in campgrounds
Roof satellite dish
Auxiliary satellite dish
DVD player
VCR (at least in older coaches)

Then it is complicated by the requirement/desire that any one of these video sources be available to the front TV, the bedroom TV, and an auxillary TV outside. And sometimes different ones to each of the three at the same time! No component manual will help you with that! Some home theater guys probably aren't familiar with the requirements either.

Personally I have used all 6 signal choices, and frequently do. (Other than the VCR that I threw away.) And I can view all choices on the bedroom TV or the aux TV that I don't have. So it can be done. Just not easily/simply.

Then to complicate things even more, WRV changed the components they used frequently during the model year. Sometimes they had no choice, as the items they selected were discontinued. Many of the things I put in my system are now obsolete, so don't bother asking me what I used!! And as anybody who has tried to replace any component in his system can tell you, not all components will fit in the limited space. Right angle connectors help, as EMike said. And I highly recommend Cables To Go Mini-coax cables, which are lighter in weight, much more flexible, and come in various lengths.

In fairness to WRV, my coach was wired in such a way to make all of these things work. They even did a fair job of documenting how to make the whole thing work in the owners manual. It worked like they said it would work. And they provided a schematic diagram of the system, although maybe a revision behind. What they did not do was optimize the wiring to improve the picture quality to take advantage of the big screen TV's in the front. That would have been pretty easy to do, but it would have made the system even more complicated to use. Providing a properly programmed universal remote would have solved that. I guess they eventually provided one, but I can't comment on how good of a job they did programming it, as I have my own universal remote control of choice. I have the same remote for my two home systems as I have in the coach. Easy to remember which button to use!

I have one more little wiring change I want to make to eliminate the A/B switch to select between the roof satellite dish and the aux satellite dish. If it works, I will consider myself done!!! Until I decide I want HD in the coach. I am saved on that right now, since the plasma TV is ED, not HD. So until I replace the plasma, HD is not necessary. And the plasma works fine.

Anybody still reading this? I didn't think so....
Jim A
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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Let me guess, you use some model of the Logitech Harmony remote. 880 if your lucky. I use them in the MH and in the house. Without one DW couldn't watch TV at all. I haven't been as good as WRV at the documentation thing.

And yes I read it all!

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Old 10-22-2009, 07:48 AM   #6
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I read it all too; great write-up!

To provide a little more perspective (or add more confusing AV info...)

I took the jump to re-wire my AV to feed the plasma monitor with component video inputs from a new DVD and HD Sat Rcvr.

Notwithstanding its limited native resolution of 852X480, I found the picture quality improvement with a 480p feed to be very significant. No surprise here since 480p signal gives it a 1:1 signal conversion.

With DishNet, I needed their HD receiver/service to get the 480p signal. I also swapped the DVD player with a unit that supported 480p and had a SD card slot for viewing digital pictures. This also provided a significant picture quality improvement and a nice feature to allow viewing our photography at the end of the day. Of course, I had to add a component video switch, given the single monitor input.

I think the Panasonic monitor was at the top of the game, in its day (2004 era) owing more to its video processing than native resolution. While I can see the difference between my 1080p home TV and the 480p fed Panasonic, I think the improvement achieved by recabling the Panasonic was as much, if not more, significant than any single incremental jump from 480p to 1080i/720p to 1080p I made at home. This may not make sense with the math of resolution, but there's more to picture quality than resolution.

Setting aside a jump to HD Sat, DVD players are cheap and I think most would be very satisfied, following the effort to re-cable with component video and feed it 480p. It;s been awhile, but I think this can be done while retaining/minimizing impact to the existing features/cabling.

Here's a great read on the ED vs HD issue with kudos to Panasonic's video processing:

Plasma HDTV vs. Plasma EDTV - Native Resolution explained at Plasma TV Buying Guide

The Panasonic may be old and arguably dated, but it's still capable of a pretty good picture when fed the optimal signal for its native resolution.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:10 AM   #7
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Good guess, unfortunately wrong. I use the MX-500 universal remotes, which cost anywhere from $70-100. They are cheap and have decent sized buttons. And you can program them to do just about anything, including macros to change multiple things with one push. Years ago I found and purchased a computer program to help program it. If I didn't have that software, which is no longer in business, I would probably have gone to the Harmony 880. My wife would be lost without the remote. Me too now!


I agree about the Panasonic. Great plasma monitor. I bought the same professional series monitor for use at home a couple of years ago, except that it is the 50" version and 720 resolution. If it died tomorrow, I would go buy another one, except the newer 1080 version.

And stop tempting me to put HD in the coach! My wife will be looking for you!

Jim A
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