Help picking a new receiver with good 2nd zone funtionality - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-08-2010, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking for a new receiver that has 2nd zone capabilities and will let me play digital sources in the second zone. Most the receivers I have looked at will only allow analog source for the second zone.

I am currently using an old Onkyo that works great, but it is only pro logic and doesn't have HDMI. I have XBOX 360, PS3, and PC that I plan to connect via HDMI and I want to play music from my PC in the 2nd zone.

For my second zone I have a passive speaker switch box connected to speaker inputs on the receiver and then speakers going to a second room and out to my deck. I want to be able to run both at the same time, without using a second receiver. Also, I was hoping to spend under $500.
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 11:32 AM
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I gather their were no responses because either it does not exist or your budget is unreasonable for such functionality. I was looking for the same functionality which prompted me to start my search (here and on other sites). I spent a large portion of my time today trying to find a receiver that output HDMI in a 2nd zone. So far I have come up empty. Most will do component in a 2nd zone (and they are much more than $500 I'll add) but so far, Integra, Yamaha, Pioneer, Harmon Kardon, Marantz, Denon, none of them do HDMI from a 2nd zone as far as I can tell.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 11:46 AM
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I was going through the manual of the Pioneer 1019/919 and could not find any statement saying that HDMI sources could not be played back in Zone 2. For the 919 it mentions that iPod/USB and Sirius Radio cannot be played back in Zone 2, but there's no mention of HDMI sources not being heard in Zone 2.

The manual I'm talking about (for the 1019/919) can be downloaded from this page.

Check out pages 69 and 70 of the manual.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 11:57 AM
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It can't

Page 31

MULTI-ZONE listening options
The following table shows the signals that can
be output to ZONE 2:

Sub Zone
ZONE2

Input functions available
Analog audio signals (AUDIO ZONE2
OUT).

With video signals, the composite
video (VIDEO ZONE2 OUT) signals can
be output.
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 12:06 PM
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^ ^ ^ ^

You are right. It can't. I missed that bit. Sorry.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 12:41 PM
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most (if not all) will not output dual hdmi due to hdcp compliance i believe. is there any reason you need it to be digital? you could just run a second analog output in parallel to your dig and it would work fine if just for music.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridcj View Post

most (if not all) will not output dual hdmi due to hdcp compliance i believe.

Then why is an HDMI Matrix allowed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridcj View Post

is there any reason you need it to be digital? you could just run a second analog output in parallel to your dig and it would work fine if just for music.

All my sources are HDMI.

Sources:
My plan was to house 2 DirecTV receivers, Bluray player, PS3, etc in my rack.

Monitors:
My basement will have 4TVs (well, 3 Tvs and a projector).
Dedicated HT, Family Rm area, Bar, and Gym.

Bar and gym can just use the TV audio. HT and Family Room area I was planning on running off the dual out receiver though.


HERE IS MY REQUIREMETN AND THE DILEMMA:
Ideally, I'd like to watch any source in any location at any time. This can be accomplised by taking my 4 sources, passing them into a 4x4 hdmi matrix, and then send the 2 of the matrix outputs to the receiver, 1 to the gym, and 1 to the bar. From the receiver, I would have the HT be zone 1 and the family room be zone 2.

However, since their are no receivers with 2nd zone hdmi out, in order to to accomplish my setup, I would need to run EVERYTHING off of component video and either optical, or coax digital audio, I would also need to get a component switch instead of an hdmi switch. (which believe it or not seem to be more expensive)

Just seems stupid to me to run everything analog and not utilize hdmi at all. I may just get 2 receivers, one for the HT and one for the Family room and call it a day.
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 01:28 PM
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A few receivers have two HDMI outputs with both active simultaneously with the same signals, although not necessarily with the same video resolution. Would this be adequate?

Selden
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 01:32 PM
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Quote:


I may just get 2 receivers, one for the HT and one for the Family room and call it a day.

Don't you have to do that anyhow in order to decode the HDMI so you can drive a display and speakers?

Selden
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

A few receivers have two HDMI outputs with both active simultaneously with the same signals, although not necessarily with the same video resolution. Would this be adequate?

No, I want to be able to Watch a movie (or football game) in the HT while my sone plays PS3 in the family room. Hence, the 2 zone requirement.

Or vice versa, I want to be able to kick some ass playing COD MW2 on PS3 in the HT while my wife watches 'What not to wear' or some god awful crap like that on the TV in the family room (while my dog watches the Dog Whisperer in gym while running on the treadmill and my 8yo watches The Chipmunks on DVD while having a brew at the bar).

I know I'm cracking jokes now but you get the picture. I really want 4 zones in my basement with all 4 sources accessible to all of them (2 of which would be through the receiver).

Uderstand? I still think I'm just goign to have to suck it up and buy two receivers. Anyone have any other ideas?
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post #11 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Don't you have to do that anyhow in order to decode the HDMI so you can drive a display and speakers?

Why? Aren't their several options for receivers where the 2nd zone is powered? Or if I went a pre/pro setup I would just need another amp, not another preamp. I think the Integra DTR 80.1 meets all my requirments with exception that zone 2 video is only component or composite. Bummer Thanks for helping though.
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post #12 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 04:54 PM
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I think denon's 4310 or above do dual zone hdmi. Not sure on the upconversion ability for zone 2 though - it may only do hdmi passthrough. but, if you are running hdmi for everything that shouldn't be a problem. Denon manuals are pretty terrible though, you may be better off searching through the threads dedicated to those receivers if you wanted decent info on them.
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridcj View Post

I think denon's 4310 or above do dual zone hdmi. Not sure on the upconversion ability for zone 2 though - it may only do hdmi passthrough. but, if you are running hdmi for everything that shouldn't be a problem. Denon manuals are pretty terrible though, you may be better off searching through the threads dedicated to those receivers if you wanted decent info on them.

Thanks for the heads up. I did read though at least one high end Denon manual today. I will agree that they are pretty terrible. I'll go back and let you know what I find out. Thanks for the help. I think I officially hijacked this thread. Sorry, Vonalka!

EDIT: It was the 4810 manual I read through today. I'm pretty sure it does not work. I will reference the page when I find it again.
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post #14 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 06:01 PM
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4810 manual, page 105:

NOTE: It is not possible to play the digital audio signals input from the HDMI or DENON LINK terminals in ZONE2 and ZONE3.

NOTE: It is not possible to output video signals input to the HDMI to ZONE2.
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post #15 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 09:04 PM
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Dump all of Denon's manuals in the trash and use BatPig's Denon-to-English Dictionary. He covers most of the Denon receivers. Not sure if he does the higher end ones though. You could always PM him.
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post #16 of 20 Old 01-15-2010, 09:09 PM
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NOTE: It is not possible to output video signals input to the HDMI to ZONE2. is pretty clear. No need to look at Denon any further. Thanks though.
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post #17 of 20 Old 01-16-2010, 07:23 AM
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so you rn a couple of things with parallel component (may need to be less than 1080p) and your video solution is solved. what i read from the manual is only hdmi audio or denon link is crippled. therefore, you run alson run a toslink with the component and problem is solved(maybe).
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-03-2010, 10:15 PM
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I'm in this same pickle though my setup is a little simpler. I've got the sat, dvd, and ps3 in the living room running via HDMI to my Panasonic plasma. The Dish dvr is connected to the receiver via component and the simultaneous HDMI output (both outputs are live) connects to an OWLink extender that runs via a thin fiber line to the tv in the bedroom. I'd like to be able to also view the dvd and PS3 in the bedroom. I've not seen any receiver or processor with a 2nd HDMI output that will output two different sources but there seem to be plenty of receivers and processors that have component outputs for the 2nd zone.

As was noted with the Denon, NONE of the units I've looked at - the new Sony 5500ES, Pioneer's line, Onkyo's line, and Sherwood and now Denon - will down res the HDMI video to output over the 2nd zone component. This is extremely frustrating as it is completely not practical to by another complete set of components for the bedroom. Further to this, I could just run everything as component, but then I'd loose out on the HD audio ove HDMI.
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post #19 of 20 Old 02-03-2010, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotes View Post

NONE of the units I've looked at will down res the HDMI video to output over the 2nd zone component. This is extremely frustrating as it is completely not practical to by another complete set of components for the bedroom. Further to this, I could just run everything as component, but then I'd loose out on the HD audio ove HDMI.

You will not find a receiver or processor that converts HDCP-protected HDMI video to analog. It's specifically prohibited by the licensing agreement.

However, you do not have to buy a complete extra set of devices, nor do you have to just run everything as component video. What you can do is run component video cables along side of your HDMI video connections. That way, you get analog HD video for Zone 2 and still get lossless audio from BluRay.
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-04-2010, 02:53 PM
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I had thought the constraint was not at 1080p but it could output at 1080i or lower. Arrggghhh...

What you propose seems doable but that leaves me short a few inputs as most rcvrs/proc have three component inputs (specifically the Sony's I was looking at) and you have to spend some serious money to get more. The B&K units have plenty of component inputs and in fact two outputs but no 2nd zone support.

Another possible issue is if I ran the PS3 or dvd player through component with HDMI for audio where would it pull the audio for the second zone? Would it downmix the HDMI audio or would I have to change the settings on the PS3 each time.
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