Installation of New Harman Kardon AVR 141 AV Receiver – Help Required

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By: New Receiver Owner

I recently saved some money and I finally decided to buy my own full-fledged home theater system. Besides buying an HD TV, I also bought a receiver and a set of 5 speakers.

This is my first time dealing with a home theater system, so I barely know how to do the many tasks required to set it up.

So far, I managed to connect my cable TV to the receiver and the receiver to the TV, I’m getting the image, but my problem is that I’m only getting sound from the TV speakers.

I already checked all the speakers and they are correctly striped and connected to the back of the receiver, also they are connected in the right polarity.

I also tried connecting different sounds sources (cd player and also my laptop) but still I can’t make the speakers work.

My receiver: Harman Kardon AVR 141 (system 14118)
Speakers: Model Spark

Thank you in advance for your time.

Comments for Installation of New Harman Kardon AVR 141 AV Receiver:

Harman Kardon connections
by: Ringmaster

Without me looking up the manual, how many HDMI “Inputs” & “Outputs” do you have on your receiver?

I am assuming that you have either your Cable/Dish/Antenna connected to your receiver.

Normally you would take one HDMI Output from your receiver and connect it to your HDTV Input. Check your Receiver and HDTV manuals first, it may tell you which HDMI input on your HDTV to use; it may not be Inputs 1 or 2.

Your other components should be connected to your Receiver; either via HDMI if your component has an HDMI output; if not, use your Component Outputs from your Player, and connect it to your Receiver’s Component inputs.

Normally, all of your devices should be connected to your Receiver, rather than the HDTV; There are other circumstances wherein you would connect your Blu-ray player directly to your HDTV, but the sound would not come through your surround system.

See if this works.

Reply to Ringmaster
by: New receiver owner

The receiver in question has 3 HDMI inputs and 1 output.

Right now, the only things connected are the cable tv connected to the receiver and the receiver connected to the HDTV. The only thing connected to the HDTV is the receiver.

My HDTV is receiving the signal from the cable tv, but my problem is that I can’t hear anything from the surround speakers I bought.

The only sound heard is the one from the TV. I tried using different sources (without the HDTV being connected) and simply I get no sound at all.

All the speaker’s cables have been peeled and connected to the right polarity in the back of the receiver, but I still can’t find a way to make them work.

Thanks for helping!

No Sound
by: Paul (Site Editor)


I can’t find much information on the Harman Kardon AVR 141. It seems a receiver only available as part of a package?

Anyway, since I can’t find a manual I am guessing here but:

  1. Have a look at the audio menu of the receiver and see if it generates test tones. If it does, enable this and you should hear some tones from your speakers regardless of the external devices you have connected. This will prove if the speakers are working.
  2. Maybe your AV receiver is HDMI audio pass-through only? This is possible, as you say you are getting audio on the TV. If so, you won’t get audio into the receiver via HDMI, you will have to connect your cable TV box (and any other device) with an optical or coaxial digital connection – depending on the outputs of your devices (probably optical). Or you could use stereo analog, but this won’t give you 5.1 surround sound.

Hope that helps.


Harman Kardon – HDTV Hook-up
by: Ringmaster

Let’s just work with your Cable and DVD/Blue-Ray Player first. (I’m not sure whether you have a DVD or a Blu-ray player. We’ll get to your other devices later.

Do you have the ability to turn the speakers in your HDTV off? If so, turn them off. If you do not have this feature on your HDTV, don’t worry about it; it just makes it a little less confusing.

I have a feeling that you have your Blu-ray player connected to the wrong input on your HDTV; for instance, my HDTV tells me to use the output from my receiver to input No. 4 on my HDTV.

You need to set-up your Blu-ray player so that NO processing is done by your DVD/Blu-ray PLAYER. In your Blu-ray player set-up, use the “Bitstream” setting as this is what allows the signal to pass through the Blu-ray, directly to the Receiver. This will let the Harman Kardon do all of the processing of the Blu-ray Player and the Cable (Video and Audio) signals; you want your Harman Kardon to do all of the processing).

If both your Blu-ray player and your cable are connected to your Harman Kardon (Receiver), you should at least get AUDIO from your player, and Cable through your Receiver to your new speakers.

The HDMI cable from your Receiver, to your HDTV, usually sends both the AUDIO and VIDEO signals to your HDTV.

After you have completed the above operation, make sure to press the button on your remote control for your Harman Kardon unit to select the HD/DVD setting; then, you have to use your HDTV remote, to select the input to which you have connected your receiver and set-up your HDTV per the recommended settings in your HDTV manual.

No Sound via AVR 141
by: Hammad

Hi. I am having the same problem with AVR 141 from HK. I am receiving both image and audio through the DVD player as I have attached both HDMI and Coaxial inputs into the AVR.

However, I have tried connecting my laptop and satellite tv through the HDMI inputs but I receive Video ONLY and NO sound through the Speakers system. However sound does come only through the tv speakers rather than the home theater system.

I know attaching another optical or coaxial input will also provide sound but is it not possible to receive BOTH Audio and Video through the HDMI only as its the last thing I need to have another wire hanging around. And yes my laptop supports both audio and video thru HDMI.

I desperately need help in this regard

Pass-through audio only?
by: Paul (Site Editor)


Please see my reply further up the page. It sounds as if this receiver is pass-through only for HDMI audio. This means that you won’t get audio into the AV receiver via HDMI – the audio will only be passed through to a TV.

You will have to make an optical audio connection to the receiver to get surround sound. It is annoying I know, but it’s only one more little cable.

As I said, I can’t find a manual for this receiver, so cannot be sure this is the reason – but this is what it sounds like. Check your manual that came with the receiver and it should confirm this somewhere.

Hope that helps.


The solution is…
by: prasanth

In the AVR 141, the HDMI carries only the video. You will have to use a digital coaxial or an optical connection for the audio to play from the connected 6 speakers…

I have just bought the AVR 141. Not connected it yet, but the shopkeeper told me this.

no sounds on speakers, in AVR 141
by: amir

I am not an amateur in hi-fi components. I had a Yamaha Dolby digital home theater system since 14 years ago and I never had any problem with that.

However, I bought a Harman Kardon AVR 14118 system just for use HDMI cables – to hear and watch better sound and video quality. When I connect the DVD with HDMI cable to AVR 141, I cannot hear any sounds from my speaker system, and just hear the sound from my tv speakers.

You have to know that in my country, you never can to take back all electronics components to any dealer you buy. Please tell me an easy way to fix this problem.



Please read the thread
by: Paul (Site Editor)


Read the rest of this thread for the answer to your issue.

You will need to connect to your home theater system with an optical cable to get audio through the speakers.

All the best.


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Using AVR 141 HK to receive sound played on TV
by: Samit

I have a Panasonic TV – TH L42U30M which has a USB port. But it does not have Optical Out connection, but only HDMI ( ARC)… and composite red-white-yellow.

I need to connect my TV to the AVR 141 HK receiver to play the sound from files being played through the USB. But after connecting through the HDMI in port, the speakers do not play sound.

Speakers are connected properly as it plays DVD player through speakers …

Please suggest how to play the sound from TV through the receiver.

how to connect avr 141 to a monitor without HDMI cables
by: cabugao

Is it possible to connect Harman/Kardon avr 141/230 to tv monitor without HDMI cables?

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About The Author

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has been a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.

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