First time setting up system. Purchased Mitsubitsi HDTV rear projection tv,Denon AVR-4800 reciever ,Pioneer Elite DV-37 cd/dvd player,Hsu Research VTF2 subwoofer, (2)ACI Safire LEII for front speakers and (3) ACI Emeralds for center and rears. My problem is how to set this all up. I am thinking of purchasing D.H. LABS T-14 speaker cables and other interconects from them but have no idea what I need for leads on the different lines(banana plugs,rca,ect.)have been reading about power conditioners wondering if this is nessasary, being a rookie I would appriciate any and all feedback.

Okay, this isn't as hard as it seems if you break it up into digestable chunks. Let's start with speakers. Your Denon will accept bananas, bare wires or spade lugs, and of the three, I'd suggest spade lugs. Bananas are convenient, but unless you plan to change equipment alot, spades are your best bet for long-term use. So, we're done with speaker wires at the amp end--let's move to the speakers themselves. I'm not familiar with this brand, but I suspect that the binding posts will accept bananas, bare wire or spade lugs--same deal here; use spades. Now that we've got our speakers hooked up, let's test it by selecting the tuner and turning up the volume a bit. Even without an antenna, you should be getting some noise (static) to confirm you have the speakers hooked up.

You have a decision to make now--will you use the Denon as your video switcher or will you use your TV as the video switcher. Essentially, you can use either, but it will change how you select between sources (VCR, DVD, Cable, SAT, etc.). I personally like to hook all my sources directly to the TV, and use the TV source switcher. This selects both the appropriate video and audio feeds. Then, I have the TV feed the audio signal to the receiver. As such, the receiver is always on Video 1 for example, and I select the source using the TV remote. This also allows you to set the volume on the receiver and forget it, using the tv remote to control volume. Of course, this only works in a Dolby Prologic setup in which there are no digital audio streams to deal with. Since I haven't gone AC-3 or DTS yet, it works for me.

Where this doesn't work is when you get into AC-3 and DTS, because they require that the digital output from the source (DVD, LD and Satellite) go directly to the receiver, as most TVs can't pass a digital audio signal. In that case, you need to hook all your sources up to the appropriate inputs on the Receiver. You'll then use the receiver to select source for both audio and video, and the receiver will feed the video signal to the TV. This is done by running the Monitor 1 Output to your television. You'll then control source selection and volume using the receiver's remote.

Each source may have a choice of outputs. A DVD should have digital out (optical and/or coax). Given the choice, use the coax output instead of the optical. You should NOT use a regular interconnect (the cables with RCA plugs on either end), but a digital interconnect which has 75 ohm resistance (they are commonly available).

For your other non-digital audio stream sources, just use whatever choice you have, which is either S-video or composite video (again, looks like an RCA jack, but usually colored yellow). You'll want to use 75 ohm video transmission cables for these video connections as well.

I know it's a lot, but just hook up each component, and then test the connection before moving on. I'd start with the DVD, and I'd connect the S-video out from the DVD to the DVD S-video in on the receiver. Then, I'd connect the Digital Audio Output of the DVD (may be labeled PCM) to the Coaxial Digital In 1 on the receiver (below and just to the right of the fan). Page 28 of your manual will explain how to assign this digital input to the DVD Selection on your receiver. That way, when you select DVD on the receiver, it will know that the digital audio stream from the DVD is coming in on Coaxial Input 1! Next, you'll still want to hook up regular audio left and right from the DVD to the Receiver, but you MAY want to hook these up to the CD inputs! Why? Because, when you are using the player for CD, you can (a) select CD on the receiver and get sound, and (b) the Pioneer Elite may have a very good Digital to Analog converter section that you'd prefer to have converting the signal. You can do more research on this later.

You'll hook up each of your remaining sources in a pretty straight forward manner. Last is to hook up the TV, and this is easy.

Just run a S-video cable from the Monitor 1 output of the receiver (near the top, just left of the fan) to the S-video 1 input on the TV. You'll also need to run a composite video cable from the same Monitor 1 output of the receiver to the same composite video input on the TV. This is because the receiver will pass an S-video signal when one is present from the source (such as your DVD player), but won't create an S-video signal from a non-S-video source (like most VCRs). It should however, pass the composite signal from the same output (Monitor 1). You may have to dig into your manual a bit to clear this up.

Turn on the TV, select whatever video input you have connected from the receiver, and then use the receiver to select the various sources. I suggest you do this with each source before moving along to the next. Good luck, be patient and don't worry.

If this is the way you want to go, then you simply plug each of y
Robert Harley's book on Home Theater is good place to start. You can get it through AudioAdvisor, the link is

Did you buy your equipment from a local dealer? I'm assuming you didn't because if you did he should be helping you. Do you know where the equipment is going--not just what room, but precisely where each component will be placed. If you aren't sure, buy some inexpensive (you can get bulk Monstor cable at Home Depot) and experiment a little with speaker placement. Eventually, you will want to get better cables, but don't invest in them until you have equipment location nailed down. Then buy high quality speaker cables and interconnects that are the correct length for your set-up. As to your question on bananas or spades, I don't know the speakers you mentioned, but many speaker terminations accept both as do most Denon AV receivers. I recommend spades because of the higher surface area, but you may not have this option for your speakers.

Invest $20 in the book--it can give you far more information than I or anyone else can post.
Hi Dave. You might consider the DH Labs T12 for your system and save some money, given the amount you'll likely be using. The T14 is a great cable for the money but the T12 is positioned for HT applications and, IMHO, I doubt that you'll notice any drop in performance given your system/application. Maybe go with the T14 or Q10 for your mains if you plan on any 2 channel only operation. Also, check out the Monster HTS200. It's a nice unit for the money and does what it's claimed to do. I bought two as surge protection for my 2 channel system and was surprised at the noticeable positive effect (YMMV). Good luck.
Re: previous post... I meant the HTS2000.
Dave- Kweisner gave you a fantastic, detailed explanation. The only thing I might add is that you may want to consider sending the DVD video signal directly to your TV. I believe the DVD and TV have component video out and in, so connect them with 75 ohm video cables (doesn't necessarily have to be "component video" set up which is just 3 color coded 75 ohm video cables bundled together, but it does cut down the the spaghetti. Then send the audio signal from the DVD to the receiver. You will loose picture quality when you use s video and if you route the signal thru the receiver; the trade-off of going direct to TV is that you have to do some remote juggling when you change inputs. Also, if the subwoofer is powered, you would hook that up from the LFE (or subwoofer) line-level output from the receiver, via a male RCA terminated cable to the line level input on the HSU. If its not powered, then you would go with RCA cable to whatever amp you are using, and then speaker wire to the subwoofer itself.

Have fun.
Way to go kweisner! Great guy for helping out like that! And +2's for all of you others too for being such helpful people.
One potential problem with denon's and spades is that some denon's (at least mine) have a little plastic shield around the speaker cable connector that would make it require a very small spade to work. Just make sure you get small spades if you go with spades. Some semi-sage advice: 1) before you turn everything on, re-check all the connections. 2) label the cables with little tags. It really does help if you start having to make changes. 3) buy those little plastic cable bundlers at radio shack to keep things clean ($2 for 25 or so), and 4) when you power the system up, make sure the volume is at zero, then slowly turn it up while keeping your hand near the power switch. This will allow you to shut it down if you start to hear static, or other problems.

I would buy at least a surge suppressor.
Have fun !
Kweisner for President!!!