Worth upgrading to a receiver with HDMI? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Yamaha RX-V2400 receiver. No HDMI. I am using a digital coax cable to connect it to my HTPC. With that I believe it is only 5.1 and it doesn't support higher resolution on the channels (i.e. Dolby TrueHD)

So, I was thinking about upgrading to a receiver with HDMI or to add a soundcard to the HTPC and use the HTPC as a preamp.

However, I was wondering if this even makes sense. I don't think there is any TV broadcast that would require HDMI for sound. Also, how many movies are actually produced with higher "audio fidelity"? With other words: do I really experience a limitation? I am a Netflix Bluray user...
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post #2 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 03:40 PM
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I can't speak for others but I am a big believer in HD audio although not every movie benefits from HD audio. With certain movies, the difference between lossy and lossless is amazing.

Personally, I would not use a htpc as a preamp and that's why I use a receiver with hdmi inputs.
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post #3 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

I have a Yamaha RX-V2400 receiver. No HDMI. I am using a digital coax cable to connect it to my HTPC. With that I believe it is only 5.1 and it doesn't support higher resolution on the channels (i.e. Dolby TrueHD)

So, I was thinking about upgrading to a receiver with HDMI or to add a soundcard to the HTPC and use the HTPC as a preamp.

However, I was wondering if this even makes sense. I don't think there is any TV broadcast that would require HDMI for sound. Also, how many movies are actually produced with higher "audio fidelity"? With other words: do I really experience a limitation? I am a Netflix Bluray user...

You don't need a soundcard. Just get a video card that can pass HD Audio over HDMI ($15-$45).


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post #4 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

You don't need a soundcard. Just get a video card that can pass HD Audio over HDMI ($15-$45).

I think the OP was referring to his receiver not having hdmi inputs and outputs.
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post #5 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 03:49 PM
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if you want to improve the sound buy new speakers first

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post #6 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

I think the OP was referring to his receiver not having hdmi inputs and outputs.

Yes, the receiver has no HDMI input. I could buy a new receiver with HDMI input. But I am trying to figure out if this even makes sense. i.e. do Netflix Blueray's even come with better audio than my SPDIF can support....
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post #7 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

Yes, the receiver has no HDMI input. I could buy a new receiver with HDMI input. But I am trying to figure out if this even makes sense. i.e. do Netflix Blueray's even come with better audio than my SPDIF can support....

yes

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post #8 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

Yes, the receiver has no HDMI input. I could buy a new receiver with HDMI input. But I am trying to figure out if this even makes sense. i.e. do Netflix Blueray's even come with better audio than my SPDIF can support....

I think Netflix tracks would be fine via spdif since they do not include TrueHD or DTS-HD. HD audio tracks can range in size from 5 to 7 gb in size.
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post #9 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

I think Netflix tracks would be fine via spdif since they do not include TrueHD or DTS-HD. HD audio tracks can range in size from 5 to 7 gb in size.

Every Netflix bluray I have ever rented included a TrueHD or DTS-HD track

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post #10 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post

Every Netflix bluray I have ever rented included a TrueHD or DTS-HD track

My apologies. I thought you were referring to their streaming service rather than their disc rental service.

I'm in Canada and we only have the Netflix streaming service, no disc rentals.
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post #11 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post

if you want to improve the sound buy new speakers first

Yup, speaker quality pretty much is king for sound, one of the reasons I get upset with the ever increasing speaker count as it gets really expensive.
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post #12 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

I have a Yamaha RX-V2400 receiver. No HDMI. I am using a digital coax cable to connect it to my HTPC. With that I believe it is only 5.1 and it doesn't support higher resolution on the channels (i.e. Dolby TrueHD)

So, I was thinking about upgrading to a receiver with HDMI or to add a soundcard to the HTPC and use the HTPC as a preamp.

However, I was wondering if this even makes sense. I don't think there is any TV broadcast that would require HDMI for sound. Also, how many movies are actually produced with higher "audio fidelity"? With other words: do I really experience a limitation? I am a Netflix Bluray user...

Does your motherboard have 5.1 analog outs?
Try using those line level outputs as inputs to your AVR and see how you like it. Your software player will have to do the audio decoding.
For the most part, it will sound just fine; perhaps even better than plain DD/DTS over SPDIF.
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post #13 of 43 Old 04-06-2012, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent View Post

Does your motherboard have 5.1 analog outs?
Try using those line level outputs as inputs to your AVR and see how you like it. Your software player will have to do the audio decoding.
For the most part, it will sound just fine; perhaps even better than plain DD/DTS over SPDIF.

Wouldn't the decoded audio be downsampled from the original HD bitrate without a PAP? I personally don't know the answer.
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post #14 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

Wouldn't the decoded audio be downsampled from the original HD bitrate without a PAP? I personally don't know the answer.

My mobo has analog outs (5.1). But I doubt the analog's are better than my Yamaha.

My options that I am considering:

1.) do nothing
if there are not many Netflix Blueray's with better audio
Based on the feedback here it looks like that Netflix TrueHD sound or similar included. Also, I noticed if the disc has 7.1, my receiver will play it as 5.1, not even as 6.1. Although, my receiver is supposed to be 7.1.

2.) buy a new receiver

3.) buy a sound card as a preamp and keep the receiver. The amplifier capabilities of the receiver are not bad. Getting a sound card like a Asus Xonar.
In theory cheaper. than buying a new receiver. Don't know how the analog circuitry compares to new receiver.
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post #15 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

My mobo has analog outs (5.1). But I doubt the analog's are better than my Yamaha.

My options that I am considering:

1.) do nothing
if there are not many Netflix Blueray's with better audio
Based on the feedback here it looks like that Netflix TrueHD sound or similar included. Also, I noticed if the disc has 7.1, my receiver will play it as 5.1, not even as 6.1. Although, my receiver is supposed to be 7.1.

2.) buy a new receiver

3.) buy a sound card as a preamp and keep the receiver. The amplifier capabilities of the receiver are not bad. Getting a sound card like a Asus Xonar.
In theory cheaper. than buying a new receiver. Don't know how the analog circuitry compares to new receiver.

Are you referring to playing actual BR discs from Netflix or streaming from Netflix?

Do you have a 7.1 speaker arrangement?

I still recommend getting a new or used receiver. Newer receivers have better sound equalization too. Too much hassle using a sound card as a pre-amp.
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post #16 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

Are you referring to playing actual BR discs from Netflix or streaming from Netflix?

Do you have a 7.1 speaker arrangement?

I still recommend getting a new or used receiver. Newer receivers have better sound equalization too. Too much hassle using a sound card as a pre-amp.

- Actual BR discs from Netflix
- Yes, I have a 7.1 speaker setup
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post #17 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 07:48 AM
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HDMI in itself isn't normally a justification as it's just a cabling standard. The most important feature for modern receivers is DTS and TrueHD. Starting in the late 90's, most movies were produced with an HD audio track as they integrated DTS audio into theatres. Because of this, almost all blu ray movies have an HD audio track. Whether it's worth it or not is up to you as it's entertainment and not a necessity. HD audio is petty enjoyable if you're a modern action movie aficionado.
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post #18 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

My mobo has analog outs (5.1). But I doubt the analog's are better than my Yamaha.

My options that I am considering:

1.) do nothing
if there are not many Netflix Blueray's with better audio
Based on the feedback here it looks like that Netflix TrueHD sound or similar included. Also, I noticed if the disc has 7.1, my receiver will play it as 5.1, not even as 6.1. Although, my receiver is supposed to be 7.1.

2.) buy a new receiver

3.) buy a sound card as a preamp and keep the receiver. The amplifier capabilities of the receiver are not bad. Getting a sound card like a Asus Xonar.
In theory cheaper. than buying a new receiver. Don't know how the analog circuitry compares to new receiver.

[1] All Netflix Blu-Ray discs are original discs, with original quality and original HD audio.
Some newer blockbuster movies have rental-only versions which the studios crank out to prevent rentals from eating into sales. Even then, the rentals still have an HD audio track. And compared to 5.1, there are fewer movies with 7.1 tracks.

[2] If you have the money ($300 & up), go for it.

[3] Waste to buy a sound card. Onboard analog audio on motherboards is far better today than in the years past. Realtek, Analog Devices etc. have chipsets which deliver HD audio through the analog ports (in this instance, HD refers to the sampling frequency and bitrate delivered by the chip, it does not refer to Blu-Ray audio codecs).


I still think your best bet is to buy some 1/4" to RCA cables and hook them up from your onboard audio outs to your AVR's Analog Inputs.
Use it for a while and see how you like it. Then you can upgrade to a newer AVR if you want to.
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post #19 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent;21878959

[2
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If you have the money ($300 & up), go for it.

[3] Waste to buy a sound card. Onboard analog audio on motherboards is far better today than in the years past. Realtek, Analog Devices etc. have chipsets which deliver HD audio through the analog ports (in this instance, HD refers to the sampling frequency and bitrate delivered by the chip, it does not refer to Blu-Ray audio codecs).


I still think your best bet is to buy some 1/4" to RCA cables and hook them up from your onboard audio outs to your AVR's Analog Inputs.
Use it for a while and see how you like it. Then you can upgrade to a newer AVR if you want to.


I think I am catching up to waht you are trying to tell me...

[2] money is not the real objective (within reason). I just hate to throw out something that still works. Also, the amp part of the RX-V2400 is pretty good. In fact, some of the newer, more expensive ones don't have the same amp quality.

[3] I have a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P mobo. Currently, I am using the digital out. I did not realize until now that it has 7.1 analog out. I thought it is only 5.1.
With that solution I should have no more problems to use all my 7.1 speakers.

What is the difference of this solution vs. Asus, Auzentech,.. sound cards? The opamp maybe. But can the mobo actually process TrueHD? Or is this the remaining difference?
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post #20 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

[3] I have a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P mobo. Currently, I am using the digital out. I did not realize until now that it has 7.1 analog out. I thought it is only 5.1.
With that solution I should have no more problems to use all my 7.1 speakers.

What is the difference of this solution vs. Asus, Auzentech,.. sound cards? The opamp maybe. But can the mobo actually process TrueHD? Or is this the remaining difference?


HD Video on a PC

HD Audio on a PC

What do you use to play your BDs?
The decoding is done by the software player.
Your board has the Realtek ALC889A chipset which can support HD audio; meaning it can transmit high frequency (up to 192KHz) signals over the analog ports.
BD => Software player (PDVD/TMT/WinDVD) => Decoding HD audio stream to analog signals => Analog Outs => AVR Multichannel In => Amplifier => Speakers!
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post #21 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I have PowerDVD 11 Ultra. I will get some canles and give this a try. Sounds like chances are high that this will sound better than my current coax cable....
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post #22 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

I have PowerDVD 11 Ultra. I will get some canles and give this a try. Sounds like chances are high that this will sound better than my current coax cable....

Good!

Here are PDVD's supported audio chipsets:

HD Audio Compatible Sound Card and Codec List


Realtek ALC679X (support up to 192kHz/24bit 2-6 channels)
Realtek ALC898 (support up to 192kHz/24bit 2-8 channels)
Realtek ALC899 (support up to 192kHz/24bit 2-8 channels)
Realtek ALC672 (support up to 192kHz/24bit 2-6 channels)
Realtek ALC885 (support up to 192kHz/24bit 2-channels or 96kHz/24bit 4-8 channels)
Realtek ALC889 (support up to 192kHz/24bit 2-channels or 96kHz/24bit 4-8 channels)
Realtek ALC669 (support up to 192kHz/24bit 6 channels)
Realtek ALC670 (support up to 192kHz/24bit 6 channels)
Realtek ALC892 (support up to 192kHz/24bit 8 channels)
VIA EnvyHD Vinyl VT1818S codec (support up to 192kHz/24bit 8-channels)
VIA EnvyHD Vinyl VT1828S codec (support up to 192kHz/24bit 8-channels)
VIA EnvyHD Vinyl VT2020 codec (support up to 192kHz/24bit 8-channels)
Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD (supports HDMI 1.3a bit-stream lossless pass-through)
AMD Radeon HD 5000 and 6000 Series graphics cards supporting lossless pass-through
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 400 Series graphics cards supporting lossless pass-through
Intel Core i3/i5/i7 with integrated audio and graphics
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post #23 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

Wouldn't the decoded audio be downsampled from the original HD bitrate without a PAP? I personally don't know the answer.

Not if you have the right chipset, which OP does.
The 889 is supported by PDVD for HD decoding.
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post #24 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, I think my receiver does not have 7.1 analog in's. It appears to be only 5.1 (6 connectors).

www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/av/english/re/RX-V2400_e.pdf

Since it has 7.1 outs, and 7.1 amp I would have expected 8 inputs...
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post #25 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

Unfortunately, I think my receiver does not have 7.1 analog in's. It appears to be only 5.1 (6 connectors).

www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/av/english/re/RX-V2400_e.pdf

Since it has 7.1 outs, and 7.1 amp I would have expected 8 inputs...

Yeah, the older models didn't have 7.1 multichannel inputs.
You are putting too much emphasis on 7.1 when the truth is that most movies don't even come with 7.1 and even if they do, PDVD should have some algorithm to mix the 7.1 into 5.1 outs correctly (I'm guessing).
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post #26 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 11:39 AM
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post #27 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropole View Post

Unfortunately, I think my receiver does not have 7.1 analog in's. It appears to be only 5.1 (6 connectors).

www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/av/english/re/RX-V2400_e.pdf

Since it has 7.1 outs, and 7.1 amp I would have expected 8 inputs...

Your receiver only has 6 inputs because you cannot have a 7.1 soundtrack without DTS-HD or TrueHD. Maximum is 5.1 with lossy audio. It's your receiver that is re-mixing the original 5.1 to 7.1.
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post #28 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent View Post

Not if you have the right chipset, which OP does.
The 889 is supported by PDVD for HD decoding.

So PDVD would decode the signal from 48/24 to analog without downsampling to 44.1/16 first? I didn't know that. Thanks for the info.
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post #29 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

Your receiver only has 6 inputs because you cannot have a 7.1 soundtrack without DTS-HD or TrueHD. Maximum is 5.1 with lossy audio. It's your receiver that is re-mixing the original 5.1 to 7.1.

Actually you can, SPDIF can transmit up to 7.1 (AFAIK) of DD/DTS. There are many DVDs with 6.1 DTS or DD; LOTR being the most famous of them. I used to use Optical to transmit 6.1 to my AVR.
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post #30 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent View Post

Yeah, the older models didn't have 7.1 multichannel inputs.
You are putting too much emphasis on 7.1 when the truth is that most movies don't even come with 7.1 and even if they do, PDVD should have some algorithm to mix the 7.1 into 5.1 outs correctly (I'm guessing).

I learned a lot today. There reason for my 7.1 quest is that I actually have a good 7.1 speaker setup. But so far I couldn't really take advantage of it with my current receiver/setup.

So I might be looking at a new receiver after all.
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