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Old 06-15-2008, 05:08 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
2008 27' Safari FB SE
Mesquite , Texas
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 115
Using TV as center channel

Hi -

I have a 2008 27FB with the AV upgrade package. While installing a ground loop isolator to eliminate the extraneous noise in the sub from the CD changer and other electrical sources, I got to thinking about the sound output when watching a DVD.

While the speaker / sub combo sounds OK when watching a DVD with the factory head unit, the center channel is missing. If you are sitting on the couch, the sound is all coming from behind you.

There is line level sound routed to the TV along with the composite video, but the level seems to be VERY low. If you turn the TV all they way up, you can hear it, but the level is nowhere near high enough to provide the desired center channel effect.

When routing broadcast TV sound back through the Sony stereo, the volume from the TV is fine. I didn't test it with a CD in the changer or the IPod coming from the auxiliary input in the compartment by the changer.

I couldn't tell for absolute certainty if there is any component installed between the line out (RCA jacks) that goes back to the TV or not with the "rat's nest" of wiring behind the stereo. I didn't spend any time troubleshooting the issue so I guess there is a possibility for a bad cable. I am really hoping it is just a connection issue or setting on the stereo though.

Any ideas?

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Old 06-27-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
Mesquite , Texas
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 115
Center channel - Resolved!

For those that might be interested --

I had a little "tinkering" time this afternoon and decided to dig into this problem to see if I could come up with a solution.

For the life of me, I don't know why the Airstream folks connected things the way they did to the Sony head unit.

The speakers in the bedroom and in the overhead above the dining table are all connected to the amplified speaker outputs from the head unit.

Originally, the sub-woofer was connected to two RCA cables labeled "Rear Out" The RCA connection that was labeled "sub woofer" had nothing connected to it nor did the one labeled "Center". The RCA cables that were going to the TV were connected to "Front out". Since this is a line-level output and the TV has an amp, I would have thought that it would work, but the volume level was so low as to be inaudible unless you had your ear right by the TV speaker. This was with the TV volume cranked ALL the way up.

I decided to try using the center channel output and just connected both of the cables going to the TV with a "Y" adapter (purchased at Walmart for less than $4).

I went into the system setup for the Sony and turned on the Center channel. I then used the system setup menu SP SETUP to set the levels for the individual speakers. Once that was complete, I put in a DVD and enjoyed something very similar to surround sound!

The system isn't perfect. The "surround" speakers when playing back a DVD are the ones in the bedroom. The "front" speakers are actually behind you when you are watching TV. It does sound much better though since the center channel audio which contains most of the spoken dialog for a movie is actually coming from the TV. Overall, I think it is a significant improvement to the sound for a very minimal investment of money and only a few minutes of time.

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Old 06-27-2008, 01:48 PM   #3
just jd.
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2007 20' Safari SE
San Diego , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 298
Great update, thanks! I've been meaning to deconflict the A/V wiring for a long time. I even took my unit in for warranty service for this very thing and others. (The service folks didn't help here.)

Now armed with your experience I think I'll knock it out myself!

2007 20' Safari SE/LS // 12063 //CA-5// ("ex") 2916
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:43 PM   #4
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Those boys in the AS wiring shop have NO idea how to wire up the stereo system. Wayne, my stereo was wired much the same as yours. The sub circuit was wired to the rear channel stereo line outs, not the mono sub out. Fading out the bedroom speakers completely turned off the sub! Good idea about using the TV as the center channel. I'll go out tomorrow, rewire and give it a go.

What this system really needs is a complete rewire. This could be a true 5.1 channel systems with a little work. I'm seriously thinking about adding three speakers in the kitchen ceiling, adding an amp for a center channel and rewiring the in/out speaker selector to switch between the speakers over the bed and the new speakers in the kitchen.
Chris and Christina- Boerne, TX / Evergreen, CO - TAC TX-7
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:58 AM   #5
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Look at this current thread to see if it gives you any relevant information...just a thought. Chris is already posting on that one... Just a thought,
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