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Re: onkyo 6.1 surround
Check the settings on your cable box for "Audio" settings and check the output. Should be set to "Dolby Digital" If you need more help, post a comment with the make and model of your cable box and I can walk you thru setup. Hope this helps
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You don't say if all speakers work with the setup procedure. THAT is step 1. Then try FM as it doesn't require any cabling. Then move on to more complex sources like external analog, then digital (and make sure to assign the ports).
Receivers of this complexity require some patience. I believe the HDMI on this receiver is only for on screen display and video pass through. The audio needs to be separately connected. For digital audio you need to connect either via the digital audio coax or fiber optic input. I replaced my entire 1980s audio system with this unit and have been very happy. It's compact, and I feed it everything via a 35' fiber optic cable (under $20!) tied to a 3-way passive fiber switch (under $10) connected to my computer, a Tivo, and a DVD player. Sounds amazing (make sure to run set up to get the unit to perform with all of your speakers! -- I use an 8 speaker 7.1 surround set up).
That is called a TOSLink cable, it is indeed fiber optic. It is for digital audio only, video is carried by HDMI (which also carries digital audio), component video cables, S-video cable, coaxial cable, or RCA jacks.
For your surround sound from a DVD player, connect your digital audio from the DVD to the receiver's input, then the video out from the DVD to the receiver's input. Now the video out from the receiver goes to the TV and the surround sound should now be coming through your speakers. Post again in this thread if you need more help or explanation.
The fiber optic port on back on your bravia tv is only for when your using a over the air antenna and watching local atsc channels in your local market. You need to run the fiber optic from your hd cablebox if it has one or your hd sat box if it has one. If you don't have a set top box with the fiberoptic port on it you can use a digital coax cable from the cable or sat box to sound system. The only other way to get sound if you don't have a cable or sat box is to run the red and white rca audio cable from the tv to the sound system and got to the audio setup on tv and turn the tv speakers off and you might have to adjust the audio to fixed instead of variable.
Make sure that the place it is plugged into the TV is an output and not an input for the fiber optic cable, and the place it is plugged into the Onkyo is an input and an output for the fiber optic cable. This can be connected backwards very easy. Then you want to make sure that the Onkyo is properly set on the right function to listen to the TV. Check your owners manual on how to set up the optical input and have it assigned to the function you are trying to use. Sometimes these type of receivers have an input mode button that you can set to "optical" or "analog" or "digital" or "auto". Try changing those settings after you make sure the TV optical is an "OUTPUT" and the optical on the Onkyo is a "INPUT".
After you have these thing set right you should be able to listen to it like this.
I hope this helps, if you need more help just reply back on this post, but please give more detail about the connectors and on the TV and the Onkyo, and about the digital input settings on the Onkyo. It would also help to know the model numbers of both the TV and the receiver. There is no way to check out what each of your devices are capable of doing without knowing the model numbers to look up the specs.
It must be about the sound quality need of your amplifier. The sound processor simply needs to get clear signals from sources such as fm/am receiver, dvd/cd players etc. in order to manage'em to give you the optimum surround sound. If the fm receiver has an "FM MUTE" option, I recommend that you turn it on. By doing so, you'll receive only good quality fm stations, furthermore your amplifier will let you get surround sound. The second issue you mentioned has its own answer inside. Use a "new" cd player, you can get optical cables, digital coax cables to improve the performance if you like..