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The 4 Devices
The 4 Devices  
Sony TV (KDS-55A2020; 2007)
DirecTV+HD DVR (HR24-200; 2010)
Sony Blu-Ray/DVD (BDP-S590; 2012)
Onkyo AV Receiver (HT-R940; 2008)

I would appreciate information as to how best to connect these 4 pieces of equipment (short of buying a new Receiver) such that I get the best picture and sound quality. The TV, Sat Box and Blu-Ray all have HDMI ports but unfortunately the Receiver does not.

I'm guessing that a component connection would be better than a composite connection, but I'm also wondering about digital coax, or an S-video with fiber optical sound connection.

I've read online that some people use a toslink switcher since the TV won't pass through 5.1 Dolby (I actually want 7.1 Dolby) out of the optical out on the TV unless it's an over the air channel. So, the suggestion is to connect all the optical outs from the devices to the switcher and run the optical out from the switcher to the Receiver. Does this make sense? My problem is that I want surround sound and not simply 2ch (which I think you get if you run fiber optic, right?). I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, that I'd get 5.1 if I ran fiber optic from the Sat Box though, right (like an Over the Air Antenna or air feed)?  I don't have an Over the Air Antenna.

Hope this isn't too much of a ramble, I'm just trying to get the best set up with the devices that I currently have.

Thanks in advance!

Answer
System hookup is a very personal thing and it depends greatly on what you want to do with the system.  But, for best tv picture using hdmi is good and so is component.  Composite connection (yellow, red and white cables) is not the best picture but it the most reliable and friendly to use.

For the receiver it may be the best idea, since it is not hdmi compatible, to just use it for audio and connect the rca analog audio inputs to it....

You may have to do some trial and error hookups to get what you want it to do.  Your commentary about the toslink is valid consideration but I don't know the compatibility of your components without looking through all the owner manuals.  So, again, you might have to experiment a little bit until you know the system architectures.

Good Luck.  

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Cleggsan

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Audio Design Engineer; systems, loudspeakers, cd/dvd players, etc. I am knowledgeable in all high end audio equipment and installations. MAKE SURE YOU GIVE A MAKE AND MODEL NUMBER AND CAR IF IT IS AN AUTO QUESTION. Note: I am getting some who ask good questions that take a lot of time to research but then the questioner fails to read the answer. Please don't ask questions unless you are seriously looking for an answer. If you find an answer to your question otherwise then let me know with your reply. Thank you.

Experience

Have been associated with audio design, standards, testing and component systems for over 40 years.

Organizations
Life Fellow Member of Audio Engineering Society Life Senior Member of Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers

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Review technical manuscripts for IEEE Spectrum Write occasionally for high-end audio publications

Education/Credentials
BSEE/MSCS/MBA

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Past Employee/advisor to several well known audio products manufacturers

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