Any receivers allow digital source for zone 2? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-14-2010, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry if this is common knowledge but I searched and have been able to find an answer. I am considering upgrading my current receiver (Yamaha htr 5960) to get into the HDMI era and have a question about setting up a zone 2. I have some speakers installed on my back porch that I currently have set up to run as "speaker B" but I am wanting to get a true zone 2 so that I can have 2 different sources at the same time. Example(s):

Living Room (Main Area): kids watching a movie (PS3 with HDMI connection) with 5.1 goodness

Back Porch (Zone 2): grown folks playing cards, drinking beer and listening to music (Boxee Box or HTPC running XBMC with HDMI connection or Fiber Optic)

Are there any receivers that can do this? I have been considering the Pioneer VSX 23 and have looked through the manual but it doesn't actually answer my question. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-14-2010, 06:37 PM
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You'd need to find one with dual DSPs (digital sound processor) - I've not seen one yet but you never know - some day some manufacturer will come out with one. Along with one capable of outputting 2 separate HDMI signals from separate input sources.

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post #3 of 27 Old 02-14-2010, 07:04 PM
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Denon 4810 (zone 4).
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-14-2010, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


You'd need to find one with dual DSPs (digital sound processor) - I've not seen one yet but you never know - some day some manufacturer will come out with one. Along with one capable of outputting 2 separate HDMI signals from separate input sources.

Is that even if the audio stream is PCM? I guess i'm going to have to route all my analog (red white RCA cables) to the receiver... so much for the one cable per piece of equipment solution.

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Originally Posted by locomo View Post

Denon 4810 (zone 4).

I WISH that I could get the wife to sign off on that but it is definitely out of my budget. I was actually stretching it a bit with the VSX-23.

Thanks for the replies guys I guess I'm just expecting a little too much out of the receivers that are within my range.
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-14-2010, 08:11 PM
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If you use optical/coax there are some Denon's that can use digital sources for Zone 2. They are the higher up models, but the 2809/989 has this feature and it might fit your budget? You have to input 2.0 pcm though.

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post #6 of 27 Old 02-15-2010, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post

If you use optical/coax there are some Denon's that can use digital sources for Zone 2. They are the higher up models, but the 2809/989 has this feature and it might fit your budget? You have to input 2.0 pcm though.

thanks for the reply!

I'll take a look at that receiver and see whether or not I can pull it off with the wife.
My other worry is if I am limited to 2.0 PCM whether I am going to be required to change it back and forth from PCM to Bitstream at the source... I guess I just want my cake and eat it too
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post #7 of 27 Old 02-15-2010, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkmunk View Post

thanks for the reply!

I'll take a look at that receiver and see whether or not I can pull it off with the wife.
My other worry is if I am limited to 2.0 PCM whether I am going to be required to change it back and forth from PCM to Bitstream at the source... I guess I just want my cake and eat it too

Your welcome. They are basically the same unit but the 2809 does have some differences in Zone 2 functionality. A second remote, and separate bass an treble controls for the 2nd zone most noticeably.

Here are some links to the 2809/989 from Dakmart. These are refurbished units, but come with a 1 year warranty. Quite a few members here have bought refurb units from Dakmart and have had no problems. They are a authorized Denon seller and if you purchase from them it certainly would help with the waf and $. Good Luck....

http://www.dakmart.com/product_info....ducts_id=11043
http://www.dakmart.com/product_info....ducts_id=11044

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post #8 of 27 Old 02-15-2010, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post

Your welcome. They are basically the same unit but the 2809 does have some differences in Zone 2 functionality. A second remote, and separate bass an treble controls for the 2nd zone most noticeably.

Here are some links to the 2809/989 from Dakmart. These are refurbished units, but come with a 1 year warranty. Quite a few members here have bought refurb units from Dakmart and have had no problems. They are a authorized Denon seller and if you purchase from them it certainly would help with the waf and $. Good Luck....

http://www.dakmart.com/product_info....ducts_id=11043
http://www.dakmart.com/product_info....ducts_id=11044

Thanks for the heads up on Dakmart. I'm going to grab a pair of Sennheiser headphones from there!

Those are good prices for those receivers but I read in the manual and it says that the zone 2 have to be analog as well. Is this a discrepency of some sort? Also what is this years model of the 2809? Or is it one of those "mid level" products that were a little too good and took away from some of the "higher end" products so ended up being discontinued? I know it's a lot of questions but I just want to make sure if I pull the trigger on the upgrade it's going to do what I want.
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-16-2010, 05:12 AM
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Which owners manual did you read that in? From page 67 of the AVR 989's owners manual.

"When the input source to which the digital input connectors(OPTICAL/COAXIAL) are assigned is selected in ZONE2, playback is only possible if the digital signal being input is in PCM (2-channel)format."

I can't actually confirm that it does work, but if you post in the Denon AVR 2809/989 thread maybe another member can? You can also call Denon customer support for confirmation and peace of mind.

Last years model = This years models...
989 = 990
2809= 3310

Sennheiser makes a good headphone. I persoanlly like Grado's and have a pair or SR225's that sound excellent with the 989.

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post #10 of 27 Old 02-16-2010, 06:36 AM
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I was just coming to this forum to as a question, and I read this post. I think this explains my problem. I just hooked up a second zone with Denon avr1706. The only source I can get to pass is the tuner, whenever I switch to dvd, or tv, nothing comes through. These are both hooked up with digital cables. This stinks. It kind of defeats the purpose.
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post #11 of 27 Old 02-16-2010, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post

Which owners manual did you read that in? From page 67 of the AVR 989's owners manual.

"When the input source to which the digital input connectors(OPTICAL/COAXIAL) are assigned is selected in ZONE2, playback is only possible if the digital signal being input is in PCM (2-channel)format."
.

Sorry about that I was actually reading in the 1910 manual but I had mislabeled the PDF file

thanks again for all of the help

Quote:
I was just coming to this forum to as a question, and I read this post. I think this explains my problem. I just hooked up a second zone with Denon avr1706. The only source I can get to pass is the tuner, whenever I switch to dvd, or tv, nothing comes through. These are both hooked up with digital cables. This stinks. It kind of defeats the purpose.

It does suck although it also gives a good excuse to upgrade. you could also try the method discussed earlier of routing some analog red/white cables as the final test.
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post #12 of 27 Old 02-16-2010, 11:28 AM
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I believe the Marantz SR6004 can do that.
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post #13 of 27 Old 02-16-2010, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
It does suck although it also gives a good excuse to upgrade.

upgrading won't really do much because, as this thread has already discussed, no receivers will really take digital audio to Zone 2! Even if you upgrade for the 2.0PCM thing, that ONLY affects 2.0PCM over SPDIF (not HDMI) so it would only really be useful for 2-ch music (e.g. from a CD player or media device) via optical/coax. It's not going to help with a cable box or DVD player, which will probably be sending Dolby Digital.

It's a lot easier, and cheaper, to simply run the analog cables in addition to the digital cables.

Quote:
This stinks. It kind of defeats the purpose.

It's really not that bad just run some red/white RCA cables in addition to the digital cables and you are done! Your components are almost always sitting right next to each other in a console or AV rack, how hard is it to slap in a couple of RCA cables? For 99% of people, you aren't going to need to run more than one or two sources out to the secondary zones, maybe your music players and possible the cable box so you can listen to the ballgame or something.... it's not like you are going to listen to Blu-Rays in the 2nd zone ...

Quote:
Denon 4810 (zone 4).

the problem is that this is a bitstream optical output. It is intended to send multich digital bitstream audio to another receiver in a different room, it will not help if you are simply trying to power a pair of speakers in the back yard with the internal amps of the AVR. Even the mighty 4810 cannot play a multich digital audio signal in Zone 2/3, or any HDMI signal.

batpig's "Denon-to-English Dictionary"
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post #14 of 27 Old 06-23-2012, 07:48 AM
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post #15 of 27 Old 06-23-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkmunk View Post

...


Back Porch (Zone 2): grown folks playing cards, drinking beer and listening to music (Boxee Box or HTPC running XBMC with HDMI connection or Fiber Optic)

...

Other ways to get a digital source to Zone 2 is to use DLNA to stream music stored on your HTPC/NAS, for instance.

It's even better and easier if you use AirPlay (most new Pioneer, Denon and Marantz support AirPlay). Then you can stream from your iPad/iPhone, or Mac, to your AVR's Zone 2. Take a look at something like MOG's music streaming service, which is mostly 320k and which you can stream to your AVR's Zone 2 though AirPlay.
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post #16 of 27 Old 06-23-2012, 12:07 PM
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How odd, i have just come here to ask this very question. I have an Onkyo 705 and wanted to have my Apple TV music play outside on Zone 2. I would happily plug in an audio cable but the Apple TV only has digital output

I see there are digital to analog converters available, are these my best option?
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post #17 of 27 Old 06-23-2012, 12:33 PM
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Yup ... analog only to Zone 2.

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post #18 of 27 Old 06-23-2012, 03:59 PM
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I've just about given up on Receivers giving an analog out from an HDMI source (most can't do any digital sources). With more devices like AppleTV, Roku, etc. coming without analog outs the "analog cable" workaround will only get harder. I'm probably going back to separates, the Emotiva UMC-1 pre/pro looks like it can solve this problem as will hopefully their new XMC-1. The trade off is giving up some do the nice HDMI output options of the new flagship receivers, but I can live without that.
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post #19 of 27 Old 06-23-2012, 04:57 PM
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Using an optical--> analog converter shouldn't be that inconvenient especially if adding an optical switch.

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post #20 of 27 Old 09-15-2012, 05:49 PM
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I returned to confirm that the Emotiva Pre/Pros will send ALL types of inputs out 3 different analog outputs (Rec, Mix, Zone 2); and by ALL I mean analog, digital - S/PDIF, AND HDMI. I've been using their low end UMC-1 for a few months and it's so nice not to have all the analog cables, and be able to handle devices like Apple TV too. Later this year their higher end XMC-1 will have the same features as will the UMC-1's replacement the UMC-200.

There is one caveat for this, Zone 2 can only play digital sources (HDMI & SPDIF) if it is "Synced" with the main zone (playing the same thing). If you want a separate source in zone 2 then the analog limitation applies. So while this might not work in the OPs scenario, it works great for me, I always want the same source in the main room, throughout the house, and outside - and I want to be able to listen to anything. Emotiva has some inexpensive 5 & 7 channel amps to go with them so yo can get in for the price of a mid-range AVR ~$1000. Sound quality is very good.
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post #21 of 27 Old 12-15-2012, 09:25 AM
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Thanks bmcloud. I am taking a serious look at the Emotiva UMS-200. You mentioned Zone 2 can only play digital sources if it is "synced". Does the same apply to Zone 3.

Also am I correct that the unit is not 3D capable ... ie, has only HMDI 1.4 not 1.4a?

Thank you
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post #22 of 27 Old 12-18-2012, 09:51 AM
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This is odd. I have a VERY old Kenwood receiver that can do this. It doesn't have a "Zone 2" but I can output two digital signals into two different sets of speakers, a / b. Works great. I thought that was the norm. I tried out a new Onkyo and I was very, very surprised that I couldn't do it anymore. What the ...

Seriously? Do I have to start looking for an old Kenwood to replace this one or what is going on here?
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post #23 of 27 Old 12-18-2012, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maarek99 View Post

This is odd. I have a VERY old Kenwood receiver that can do this. It doesn't have a "Zone 2" but I can output two digital signals into two different sets of speakers, a / b. Works great. I thought that was the norm. I tried out a new Onkyo and I was very, very surprised that I couldn't do it anymore. What the ...
Seriously? Do I have to start looking for an old Kenwood to replace this one or what is going on here?

Different thing altogether. You're playing the same program to both sets of speakers. The OP is referring to using the receiver to decode and play two separate sources/programs to to separate sets of speakers.


(At least this is what it sounds like you're doing, if they're being referred to as A/B speakers...)
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post #24 of 27 Old 03-16-2013, 07:53 AM
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Hi all - new member

Same thread different goal -

I have a Yamaha RX-V1900 and have a pair of Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800s in my kitchen adjacent to the 5.1 setup with TV in my family room. I want to be able to control the volume of this pair independently of the 5.1, and may want these louder (so a simple inline volume control would not be ideal).

Also will always want the same source as is going to the 5.1 system.

Would love to use Amp2 for this, using the accessory remote control as the volume control, and washoping there would be a way to take the pre-out and route it back in to amp 2 somehow. Would this need a converter or is there possibly a simpler workaround?
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post #25 of 27 Old 03-17-2013, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcazoo View Post

Hi all - new member

Same thread different goal -

I have a Yamaha RX-V1900 and have a pair of Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800s in my kitchen adjacent to the 5.1 setup with TV in my family room. I want to be able to control the volume of this pair independently of the 5.1, and may want these louder (so a simple inline volume control would not be ideal).

Also will always want the same source as is going to the 5.1 system.

Would love to use Amp2 for this, using the accessory remote control as the volume control, and washoping there would be a way to take the pre-out and route it back in to amp 2 somehow. Would this need a converter or is there possibly a simpler workaround?

It would depend on the source of 5.1 that you are trying to use in zone 2. If it has analog out such as a cable box, it would work. I have an rx 1800 and use my cable box, ipod dock and Sonos as audio sources for my zone2.
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post #26 of 27 Old 05-19-2013, 05:34 AM
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Word is out that thatdigital optical through zone 2 is coming soon.......we will see
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post #27 of 27 Old 05-19-2013, 10:32 AM
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Although this feature is on some older Denon and Marantz mid level and higher models up until 2 years ago as noted in a previous post, it was removed from last year's models, and now returns in the new Denon X3000 and X4000 as well as "All Zone Stereo" being featured on all "X" models which will pass the same HDMI audio source playing in the main zone to the other zones, down mixing the main zone source from DD/DTS 5.1 to 2.0 in the process. Refer to the "2013 Denon AVR-E/X Models" link in my sig for more info.

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