Onkyo 7700 Vs. 9700THX, and 5.1.2 Vs. 7.1? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-13-2014, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Onkyo 7700 Vs. 9700THX, and 5.1.2 Vs. 7.1?

This is what I'm Looking for in my Home Theater, I wanted to future proof so obviously I'm going to buy an AVR with HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, lots of HDMI and the 9700THX and 7700 have those, so great!

Anyways on to the questions plaguing my mind:

* Ok let's start this off with an easy one,... Am I blind or is there not a concrete release date for the 9700THX?

* I don't know if I should wait on DTS-UHD format that is being worked on to compete with Atmos (Since we all know DTS have a monopoly on our movies, then that would be the preferred option) or maybe the 7700/9700THX can firmware update that in, does anyone happen to have insight on that?

* I can't decide between the 9700THX or the 7700 (which is a 5.1.2 configuration) and can apparently be turned into a 7.1 setup but a rep on Amazon that answered someone else said that the Atmos feature would be disabled if they added two Rears?

Which is odd because from what I understand the Atmos modules are directly built into the Front L/R speakers so why would adding two rear speakers disable that feature... which basically means it is impossible to get 7.1.2 from the 7700 and that seems strange to me especially in light of this:

On the SKH-410 Atmos Speaker Page this is what it says "Dolby Atmos-compatible 2014 Onkyo receivers (7700 model complies) support any layout up to 11 channels." This seems to signify that on the 7700 I should be able to add a couple of rear speakers for 7.1.2 and the upward angle speakers housed in the Front L/R should still fire away no problem. Although I would have no clue how all those connections would be made lol.

* On the 9700THX page it shows that you can use the two Rear speakers as Atmos front heights, this effectively makes it a 5.1.2 setup correct? So if it goes that way then one would assume it might go the opposite since on the 7700 it has the upward firing speakers housed in the FL/R and adding 2 rears switches that to 7.1.2 setup. I've examined both AVR and they are identical on their ports so it's just the guts I'm not sure on.

Well whatever the answers may be, what are your personal opinions on whether to choose a 5.1.2 setup (which there's very few Atmos movies out right now) or just turning the 7700 into 7.1 setup Which there's more than enough content out there.
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-13-2014, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Csbooth View Post
This is what I'm Looking for in my Home Theater, I wanted to future proof so obviously I'm going to buy an AVR with HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, lots of HDMI and the 9700THX and 7700 have those, so great!
Until HDMI 3.0 is released or the mfrs go to DisplayPort I wouldn't worry too much about "future proofing" because there's no guarantee on what's going to be the "darling technology" 2+ years down the road. Are you planning on purchasing a fully compliant HDMI 2.0 tv and blu-ray player as well? I haven't versed myself yet on Atmos (no interest) but maybe if the receiver detects another set of speakers physically connected it channels the Atmos channel from the fronts to the rears. I would think that going with the 7700 as a straight 7.1 would be the most hassle and worry free option. It's all about the quality of the speakers you add to the system anyway.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-13-2014, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your input and yes I do plan on getting a 2.0 compliant tv as well 2.2 HDCP, and I have a capable blu Ray player as well just trying to nail down the best possible solution over the next year haha
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-13-2014, 05:31 PM
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I have not been happy with the way HDMI 2.0 has been represented by some of the tv mfrs this year. Some just bump up the clock speed a bit to be within the lower end of the HDMI 2.0 spec (upper limit of HDMI 1.4) and call it HDMI 2.0. What I want to see is the mfrs list which HDMI 2.0 protocols are supported.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-13-2014, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post
I have not been happy with the way HDMI 2.0 has been represented by some of the tv mfrs this year. Some just bump up the clock speed a bit to be within the lower end of the HDMI 2.0 spec (upper limit of HDMI 1.4) and call it HDMI 2.0. What I want to see is the mfrs list which HDMI 2.0 protocols are supported.
Would you be referring to HDMI 2.0a/b I've been reading about?
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-13-2014, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Guys, I have been doing a lot of reading on the online manuals and I believe that I have finally figured all of this out, and maybe I can help any fellow members in understanding it as well.

It turns out that neither the 7700 or 9700THX supports the 7.1.2 setup as some have thought (I have seen several claim it will work) but it will not as even on the actual back of the AVR you can tell that there's only support for 7 channels and Dolby Atmos takes channels right? (Ya I wasn't aware that the Front Bounce Speakers actually made two connections so call me dumb! That's where all this confused me lol) So at best with those two systems you could only get 5.1.2 and if you want better AVR you gotta let go of that grip on the wallet lol.

Here is a quote from H8nXTC on this very site that figured it out a while back and I guess I was just being blind

"Well, looking over this Onkyo link, it appears there is some rather disappointing news on the new HT-S9700THX / HT-S9705THX HTiB systems. Seems they've downgraded it from a 7.1 to a 5.1 speaker system. Also, the receiver may be Dolby Atmos ready, but the speakers are not. You'll need to purchase additional speakers (either a pair of in-ceiling speakers or a pair of the Onkyo bounce speakers) to enable the Dolby Atmos sound system. I'm wondering if the included receiver will do only 5.1.2 or 7.1.2? <---(It Will only do 5.1.2 I'm afraid as the Back and Height Channels Share a slot and you need separate ones to enjoy 7.1.2) http://www.onkyodolbyatmos.com/" Thank you H8nXTC for that revelation!

In case anyone was wondering I confirmed a few other of my concerns; while these AVR have HDCP 2.2 only input 3 will support it which I guess isn't so bad if you can be ok with using one source for your content or just switching out devices on the fly. Also in addition to that, only the first 4 HDMI IN of the 6 ports will give you 4k Passthrough@60hz AND Upscaling *Which is also limited to 30hz btw for anyone curious* ports 5/6 will pass 1080p and all the common stuff :P

Video Resolution
Pass through: 4K 60 Hz (YCbCr 4:2:0)
Upscaling: 4K 30 Hz

In light of the Upscaling to only 30hz statement...For example; does this mean if I was to try and play Tomb Raider on my PS4, would it upscale the image to 4k but only output 30hz to my TV? *I would have a compliant TV*

If it does this would anyone know if I have the option to choose to pass only 1080p@60 for instances like this or would the aspect ratio be screwed up and I'd be forced to plug into HDMI 5/6? and for that matter would HDMI 5/6 even work either since I would have it plugged up to a 4k TV?

Does the AVR let you disable it's own upscaling tech? I have never used one of this sophistication before which is why I ask.

Lastly, just in case does anyone know of any TVs that upscale content to 4k 60hz?

It obviously wouldn't bother me if it upscaled to 4k@30hz on a game that doesn't exceed 30hz, but I'm sure you all could understand the desire to make sure I get 60hz on games lol.

EDIT: Here is a link of what I figured would happen:

http://forums.onkyousa.com/viewtopic...1d34534dfc4eba

It confirmed that it only passes 4k60hz and upscales 4k30hz so I believe I might need to wait on an AVR that will also scale to 60hz as this is the absolute minimum it should do in my opinion. This has been a headache lol.

In Closing,

I believe if I do go with the Onkyo HT-S7700 HTiB then I would be happy (Will have to think about it in light of the upscaling issue) with a 5.1.2 setup as I have a rather small space I'm setting it up in and it would essentially be a pseudo 7.1 (to me as it is using 7 channels) with heights instead of rears and since I did confirm that on non Atmos content the two front heights would be utilized in a PLII kind of way and it apparently gives off some discrete functions when playing a TrueHD track and even DTS-MA track so thats cool. I could be satisfied with this set.

If all else fails in the event I don't notice enough difference in 5.1.2 then I will just buy a couple of rear surrounds and wire them into my back channels and have myself a 7.1 setup and be done with it until I want to hook up the wires dangling in the back for an Atmos party haha so it's a win/win to me.

Thanks all who took the time to read and hope I helped and please if I'm wrong do let me know!

Last edited by Csbooth; 11-14-2014 at 01:40 AM. Reason: Oops! Just realized I was allowed to edit my posts on here as of a few days ago I couldn't.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-14-2014, 08:41 AM
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I haven't kept up on the HDMI 2.0 specs lately so 2.0a/b sounds like minor tweaks to the underlying 2.0 protocol set. Pass through: 4K 60 Hz (YCbCr 4:2:0) is the upper limit of HDMI 1.4/lower limit of HDMI 2.0 for an 8-bit panel with 8.91Gbps bandwidth. So technically it can be called HDMI 2.0. HDMI 1.4 can have a bandwidth up to 10.2 Gbps so HDMI 1.4 could handle 4k@30fps on an 8-bit panel. Actually, 4k@30fps with a 4:4:4 color on an 8-bit panel could be achieved at 8.91Gbps with HDMI 1.4b. The trick is to have an HDMI 2.0 chipset to run at a bandwidth greater than 10.2Gbps, and to have a tv panel that is at least a 10-bit panel to handle the potential increase in color sampling. Bottom line, it's not easy to determine what you have at this point in time. That's why I wish the mfrs would list the protocols supported for their "HDMI 2.0" devices. And yes, to fully appreciate what HDMI 2.0 and beyond can deliver, all of your devices need to be on the same protocol set or you will only function at the least common protocol. Theoretically, HDMI 2.0 can push the bandwidth limit to about 72Gbps, which would deliver 8k@ 4:4:4 on a 12-bit panel. More realistically, at 17.82Gbps, you could achieve 4k@60fps, with a 4:4:4 color sampling on an 8-bit panel.

I'm not sure about how effective upscaling is but my guess is that it's certainly satisfactory. I think you'll be happy with your choice of receiver.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-14-2014, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Ya alot of people were having trouble with Samsung panels not giving 444 chroma 4k@60fps for 8 bit but I have read that it's being patched in slowly for a lot of the TVs so I guess thats good?

I wonder if these AVR can be patched to pass 444, If not maybe I should wait? I would rather just run HDMI to TV for full spectrum and I guess run optical separately for sound.

Would you happen to know if I wouldn't want to use the upscaling on the AVR if it can be turned off so the TV could do it? For instance playing a PS4 game that can actually do 60fps, I wouldn't want it upscaled to 4k but limited to 30hz, so if possible would like the TV to just do it, if it can be disabled on the AVR is it a port by port basis or just altogether?

Thanks again!
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-14-2014, 02:08 PM
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Can't answer your upscaling question. Part of that I'm sure is what the panel can do. There is some discussion on the LCD forum about someone regretting their 4k purchase, and a couple of other folks are agreeing. I suppose if you needed to buy a new tv now (the old one died, what ever) that getting a 4k wouldn't be a bad idea but it seems that a lot of folks are saying wait till the 2015's come out. Hardware and chipsets are just starting to get mass produced and probably won't appear until next year's models. Personally, I think too many people got caught up in the 4k/HDMI 2.0 frenzy and will be regretting their purchase once the 2015/2016 models are released because of content availability and changing formats/specs, etc.

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-14-2014, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Ya, I mean I wasn't planning on upgrading til 2015 *Interested in the quality of 3D @4k myself* haha but was just wondering if I try and play something on my PS4 will I be forced to 30hz and even 420... Would be nice to know if I could just pass through the video straight to the TV to do it's thing, because I know of like 3 TVs that have been specd to deliver 444 4k60hz upscaling and passthrough so that would be better than letting the AVR do it but still getting Audio ya know?
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Originally Posted by Csbooth View Post
Ya, I mean I wasn't planning on upgrading til 2015 *Interested in the quality of 3D @4k myself* haha but was just wondering if I try and play something on my PS4 will I be forced to 30hz and even 420... Would be nice to know if I could just pass through the video straight to the TV to do it's thing, because I know of like 3 TVs that have been specd to deliver 444 4k60hz upscaling and passthrough so that would be better than letting the AVR do it but still getting Audio ya know?
I know this is the old thread, but I am checking the Onkyo 9700THX system now. I think the 4K 4:2:0 is not an issue right now, as none of the consumer electronics today produce 4K 4:4:4. The only thing that can do that today is a high end PC. When the 4K Blu-ray comes out, then there is a consumer source. For PC, you typically will have HDMI 2.0 and Displayport dual output. You can connect the HDMI 2.0 output to your UHD TV directly for the video, and use a cheap Displayport to HDMI converter cable to route the audio to your receiver. On the 4K blu-ray, I hope they will have two HDMI output or I don't know how to get the Dolby Atmos audio to the receiver. I don't think Toslink and S/PDIF (Digital Coaxial) will have enough bandwidth for Dolby Atmos.
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