I have hooked up my (LG) Surround Sound theater system to my Rogers cable and my TV but I cannot get sound on some of the High Def stations. On regular TV it is fine. I have an HDMI cable from the TV (Insignia) to the cable-TV box, a component-video connection (Red/Blue/Green) from the LG surround sound system to the TV and a digital optical audio connector (akaToslink) from my SS to the cable-TV box.

Another problem I am having is that the SS is brand new but does not sound very powerful for a 1000-watt system. Also, I don't think the subwoofer is working on any setting I try (Theater,Chapel,Music etc.). I am new at this but am pretty frustrated in trying to get the whole thing set up and running properly. I must have something hooked up wrong but I can't figure out what it is. I have been back to the dealer four times and have changed the system to this current one but the problem persists, so it has to be my connections.

Can you help me?

-- Marie


Dear Marie,

HDMI connections sometimes have "issues" because HDMI carries digital video and audio bitstreams together--convenient, but only if HDMI works properly, and half the time it doesn't.

In the interest of getting everything working, let's eliminate the HDMI connection entirely. Your Rogers cable box should have component-video outputs. Use those for the video, from the cable box to your LG surround system, then to the component-video inputs on the TV display. (HDMI is not necessarily better than component video. The latter can carry full HD just fine.)

For audio, use your digital optical (Toslink) from the cable box to your LG surround system.

Go into the Rogers cable box menu, and be sure to designate "5.1" (Dolby Digital) bitstream and assign it to the Toslink output if necessary. Don't select "Stereo" or PCM, if those are possible choices.

Also, in the cable box menu, you may have to select the component video outputs. Some boxes will not output HDMI and component simultaneously (my cable box won't). Besides, you don't want to use HDMI.

In the LG setup, be sure the Toslink audio from the cable box is assigned to the component video input from your cable box. With HD network shows, your LG should now detect the Dolby Digital 5.1 "flag" and the LG should display "DD 5.1" or "Dolby Digital" on its front panel when it detects the 5.1 bitstream.

For Standard def (non-HD) shows, your LG would show "Dolby Digital + Dolby Pro LogicII," which is what you'll get with a simple stereo signal from standard def stations.

I must tell you that the specs for Home Theater in a Box systems are greatly exaggerated (e.g., "1000-watt system") and mislead consumers into thinking they have purchased a very powerful AV receiver, when in fact the actual output is usually a tiny fraction of that figure. Manufacturers can state such figures by adding all the channels together and not mentioning the distortion at which the amplifier's output is measured, which is likely 10% or more to achieve such an outlandish output spec.

If you can get your money back, great. Your room isn't big (less than 2,000 cu. ft) so you could replace the LG home theater with an Axiom Epic Midi/175 system like this:


It may seem expensive compared to the LG SS Home theater, but I assure you the Axiom will vastly outperform the LG. You'd also need a surround-sound AV receiver. Check out our Sherwood Newcastle AV receivers.

Anyway, good luck with getting your connections sorted out. You can also call our toll-free line (1-866-244-8796) to talk to one of our Audio Experts, who may be able to talk you through the correct hookup if my suggestions don't work out.

Kind regards,