Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.
Sorry to hear you're having trouble,
this type of echo is a common side effect of the connection methods used. The intent of an external system is that you would disable the tvs internal speakers, which tend to be underpowered and of inferior quality compared to external speakers.
It would be recommended that you pick one or the other. Using both is not giving you surround sound, it is just spreading the sound across two systems.
As an alternate connection method, I'd suggest running the toslink from the dvr directly to the DAC, rather than from the tv to the dac. That may help to better sync the signals, but in the end I'd still consider disabling the tv speakers entirely to be the best approach here.
Thanks Nathan. I know surround sound is not achieved by using both; it's just that the hi-fi speakers are at a different end of the room from the tv and enhance the sound coming from the tv but give an isolated sound on their own. I tried running the toslink from the dvr but the echo was, if anything, worse. It feels like the tv is not processing the sound fast enough which makes me feel it's not as smart as it's title suggests! Also there is no room for a soundbar where the tv is located so I'm not sure how to proceed without a complete rethink. If you can suggest any additional technology which might help, would be most grateful.
Well the next most likely issue here is that DAC, which is introducing a delay to the system. If you listen carefully, I'd expect you'll find the auxiliary speakers are slightly behind the tv speakers. Given your current setup, there is no adjustment for that. You could try a better quality dac that may have a faster response time. Or you could consider updating the pioneer to a more modern model that has digital inputs, so the converter wouldn't be necessary.
One other thought, Tony: If the tvonics box supports it, perhaps you can try red/white out of it directly to the pioneer, bypassing the dac entirely.
If no change there, you might also consider going with all analog connections here,
meaning component video (red/green/blue+red/white) to the tv (and split off to the amp) from the box, rather than hdmi. Picture quality would be ever so slightly less (1080i rather than 1080p), but on a 32" tv this really wouldn't be noticible.