What would YOU do with the $400 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I'm deciding between either getting my TV professionally calibrated (55ST50) OR upgrading my receiver. I'm pretty happy with my PQ, although I feel it could be better, I have "calibrated" it using Disney's WOW, but that's the extent of it. I currently have an HK AVR 247 from 2007, obviously, no 3D pass through and I'm running all my sound from my blu-ray player (PS3) through optical since I can't use HDMI without losing 3D support. Of course this has a negative effect on my sound quality. I'm currently looking at an Onkyo TX-NR616. SO, what would you do??

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post #2 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 06:47 AM
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100% receiver. No brainer for me.

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post #3 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Just to clarify, my receiver is HDMI compatible, just not 3D, and since I do enjoy watching 3D content I have my PS3 video going direct to the TV and the audio going optical into the receiver. My cable runs HDMI through the receiver all the way since I don't watch 3D content through my cable service, and its funny I get better audio on my cable service than I do through my blu ray haha.

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post #4 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 07:10 AM
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Digital optical provides just as good quality audio as HDMI. I suggest you save your money. A calibration would not be worth it imo. Buy some speakers or diapers or something. smile.gif

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post #5 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 08:56 AM
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As "good" but not the same.... one only has lossy (optical) while the other can / does provide lossless (hdmi) from appropriate sources AND with the appropriate decoders in the receiver WHICH it appears this model of HK DOES NOT have... :-( spend your money wisely Grasshopper and invest in a new receiver if you want to spend some money.
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budwich View Post

As "good" but not the same.... one only has lossy (optical) while the other can / does provide lossless (hdmi) from appropriate sources AND with the appropriate decoders in the receiver WHICH it appears this model of HK DOES NOT have... :-( spend your money wisely Grasshopper and invest in a new receiver if you want to spend some money.

This was on of my concerns, also, I can only receive 2 channel PCM over optical. Basically my only option when watching blu ray with my current setup is Dolby Digital 5.1, and even then it doesn't sound as good as the Dolby Digital I get through my cable service running through HDMI (maybe I'm just imaging things... who knows). My PS3 basically decodes anything, but given I'm running optical, I can't send the PCM signal to my receiver.

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post #7 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 10:07 AM
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Do you mean your receiver is not compatible with 3d and if you enjoy the happiness of 3d you can choose to purchase a support 3d receiver 1.gif
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 10:12 AM
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Definitely get a receiver. If you're not a big audiophile you don't have to spend a lot to get one that handles 3D via HDMI and can do DTS MA etc.

I got the bottom of the line Denon 1312 (pared with Energery Take 5 speakers and a crappy old Sony sub from HTiB set) that does all that stuff and it fits my needs fine. I just wanted HDMI to clear our optical cables and component cables mainly though, and have never been an audiophile type at all. If you're more into audio quality, them maybe spend the full $400 on a receiver and get something a little better. But it's nice having the lossless audio formats and just having one HDMI cable going to the TV. Clears up a lot of wire clutter.
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post #9 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheYC View Post

This was on of my concerns, also, I can only receive 2 channel PCM over optical. Basically my only option when watching blu ray with my current setup is Dolby Digital 5.1, and even then it doesn't sound as good as the Dolby Digital I get through my cable service running through HDMI (maybe I'm just imaging things... who knows). My PS3 basically decodes anything, but given I'm running optical, I can't send the PCM signal to my receiver.
Why can't you set the ps3 to output bitstream? The only thing that you will gain by getting a different receiver is that HDMI will carry "lossless" formats and optical will not. That means with optical you get DD 5.1 but not Dolby HD Master Audio or Dolby True HD. I doubt you would notice much difference.

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post #10 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 03:50 PM
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I cast my vote for a new receiver. Optical out from the tv to the receiver will play discrete 5.1 only if the source is the internal ATSC tuner (not external HDMI) or maybe one of the tv smart apps if the app supports it. And yes, if you enjoy 3D, get a receiver that matches what your tv can do.
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post #11 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 08:40 PM
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If you want better picture quality get a Darbee, but I would get a receiver and enjoy Dolby true HD, DTS HD and get one that up converts your signal to 1080p. It does make your picture better as well.

TV - Panasonic 55GT50 THX, Main Speakers - Klipsch Gallery G28's, Center Channel- Klipsch RC-52, Sub-Klipsch Sub 12, Surround - Klipsch RS-52 II Bluray/Game - HTPC/PS3, Receiver - Onkyo RC-360, HTPC- Intel Core i3, HDMI,Windows 7,XBMC,Bluray,7 TB, Video Processor -Darbee

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post #12 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

I cast my vote for a new receiver. Optical out from the tv to the receiver will play discrete 5.1 only if the source is the internal ATSC tuner (not external HDMI) or maybe one of the tv smart apps if the app supports it. And yes, if you enjoy 3D, get a receiver that matches what your tv can do.
He has an HDMI receiver. It just doesn't support 3d.

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post #13 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

He has an HDMI receiver. It just doesn't support 3d.

Isn't that what I said? "And yes, if you enjoy 3D, get a receiver that matches what your tv can do".
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post #14 of 25 Old 01-16-2013, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Isn't that what I said? "And yes, if you enjoy 3D, get a receiver that matches what your tv can do".
He doesn't need a receiver that matches what his tv can do. I think you're missing the point. Perhaps if you read this thread more carefully...

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post #15 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies, I think I'm going to go with a new receiver, seems like the best thing to do to upgrade my current setup. Overall, I'm not nearly as happy with my sound quality as I am of my picture quality.

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post #16 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 05:30 AM
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Let us know if you notice a significant difference between the optical surround sound and HDMI surround sound.

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post #17 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 06:05 AM
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I would like to know the difference as well between HDMI and optical.
I am running optical from BR, DVD-R, SAT to my ancient Panasonic SA-XR50 and IMO the sound is still amazing.
I run a HDMI cables to the display for video / sound to the display. Component for DVD-R
I just upgraded my display so it will be awhile before I can afford to upgrqade my receiver.

I am on a steap learming curve for all the new tech I havent kept up with.
In regards to the non 3D supported reciever could you use a HDMI split cable (1>2) from your BR running 1 to your display and the other to your receiver?
Would this work? Would this cause sync issues?
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post #18 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Will do Bond!

^Unfortunately, the PS3 won't work via a splitter, I've read about several people attempting this for similar reasons as mine and it didn't work.

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post #19 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 06:21 AM
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A splitter for what? So that you can get lossless?

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post #20 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebor Pyn View Post

I would like to know the difference as well between HDMI and optical.
I am running optical from BR, DVD-R, SAT to my ancient Panasonic SA-XR50 and IMO the sound is still amazing.
I run a HDMI cables to the display for video / sound to the display. Component for DVD-R
I just upgraded my display so it will be awhile before I can afford to upgrqade my receiver.

I am on a steap learming curve for all the new tech I havent kept up with.
In regards to the non 3D supported reciever could you use a HDMI split cable (1>2) from your BR running 1 to your display and the other to your receiver?
Would this work? Would this cause sync issues?
Optical will carry 5.1 but will not support the latest "lossless" formats. Namely Dolby Digital Master Audio and Dolby True HD. That's really the only difference. No sound quality is being sacrificed. Unless you have a properly eq'd higher end system I doubt anyone could tell the difference.

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post #21 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 07:07 AM
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This is the bottom line and then I will bow out of this thread.
If you want a new receiver because you want some of the newer features then I understand. If you are getting one to improve the sound of your system then you are wasting your money. If you have $400 burning a hole in your pocket and want to make a purchase that will make a real improvement to your sound quality then upgrade some of your speakers.

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post #22 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

This is the bottom line and then I will bow out of this thread.
If you want a new receiver because you want some of the newer features then I understand. If you are getting one to improve the sound of your system then you are wasting your money. If you have $400 burning a hole in your pocket and want to make a purchase that will make a real improvement to your sound quality then upgrade some of your speakers.

I certainly respect your opinion, and in all honesty you probably know much more about this stuff than I do, however, I would like more listening options than straight 5.1 DD. When I had my old system hooked up through this system via HDMI (non 3D TV) the audio quality to me did seem much better than it does know, maybe it's just in my head, who knows, but I honestly feel there is a difference from when I was running it through HDMI. I would like to have the ability to run lossless audio. Also, my current receiver has a known LFE issue, and the bass is less than impressive. I feel my speakers are more than capable (see my signature) and with $400, I wouldn't be able to upgrade them as they cost more than that in the first place.

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post #23 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 07:53 AM
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If you decide to go the receiver route, I'd head over to that forum for more advice if you're still considering the tx-nr616. I don't think the level of Audyssey (2eq) it has will EQ your sub.
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post #24 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

Optical will carry 5.1 but will not support the latest "lossless" formats. Namely Dolby Digital Master Audio and Dolby True HD. That's really the only difference. No sound quality is being sacrificed. Unless you have a properly eq'd higher end system I doubt anyone could tell the difference.

Thanks, Bond. That is my thinking as well. I have never heard Dolby Digital Master Audio or Dolby True HD. I have been very happy with the DD 5.1 / DTS / NEO 6.1 I get from the XR50. BR sound, via optical is much more "pronounced" than my old SD DVD.
I would enjoy the convenience of switiching everything thru the receiver but that upgrade is going to have to wait.
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post #25 of 25 Old 02-25-2013, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Just to dig this up from the grave, I ended up getting a Denon AVR1913. What I do like about it the most is the Dynamic EQ/Volume, now I don't have to constantly raise and lower my volume during movies (Not my doing, but the wife is always complaining). The sound quality, again, imo, is better. I feel like I'm hearing a larger range of sound and my bass is worlds better.

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