How to keep an old Sony STR-DA4-ES in an HDMI world? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-08-2012, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an old Sony STR-DA4-ES receiver that is still in great shape, but it only has 2 Component inputs - no DVI or HDMI. I love the amp in this thing. It weighs like 50 lbs and is cleaner than many newer amp's I've heard friends using. I want to find a way to handle HDMI and keep using this amp.

The best option I can think of is this:
A 5x1 HDMI converter/switch for about $100
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I've also thought about getting a $250-ish new receiver with upscaling, and just using the amp of the DA4. ...but that seems like overkill.

What prompted this is that my 30 ft component video cable (going to the projector) crapped out, so it's finally time to make a few upgrades...


So, has anyone used the HDMI switcher from my link, or any similar setups to keep using their favorite old receiver/amp?
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 12:48 AM
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I hear that the Sony ES was one of the best sounding series in receivers. I hear a lot of complaints of newer Sony receivers. Some are still okay.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 12:52 AM
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Last time I tried to go to monoprice malware bytes blocked it. Along time ago the site got hacked I heard. I am not sure if it still has issues, but a few months ago malware bytes didn't like me trying to go to it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 03:08 AM
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I posted your question on yahoo answers and a guy named Chris said this.
In simple terms Yes, you can have a HDMI switch handle the video switching and let the amp just handle sound. I think this is a better plan than buying an entry-level receiver with scaling, especially as it's a feature of the more expensive models than those at $250-ish. e.g. Onkyo is the most price aggressive brand out of the major Japanese AV amp manufacturers. Their lowest priced product with the upconversion and scaling features you are looking for is the TX-NR515 at around $380.

Your friend isn't the first person to comment that newer AV amps don't sound as good as the older gear. There is a good reason for this. For the same price point the newer AV amps are doing a lot more: HDMI inputs, HD Audio decoding, probably 7 channel instead of 5, networking or iPod connectivity features etc etc. That all takes money away from the basic amplifier components that dictate the sound quality.

Route all the audio direct to the AV amp. Let the switch handle video. Okay, this won't give you HD Audio decoding, but I'm willing to bet that DD and DTS sound better via your Sony than DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD via the average $600 HDMI scaling AV receiver. It certainly does via my legacy TAG processor/Rotel power amp combo compared to the sub $800 AV receivers I have installed for clients.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 06:39 AM
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Unless the dog chewed up the cable, you probably can fix it by installing new connectors on one end at a time and that will repair it.




Quote:
Originally Posted by seand View Post

I have an old Sony STR-DA4-ES receiver that is still in great shape, but it only has 2 Component inputs - no DVI or HDMI. I love the amp in this thing. It weighs like 50 lbs and is cleaner than many newer amp's I've heard friends using. I want to find a way to handle HDMI and keep using this amp.

The best option I can think of is this:
A 5x1 HDMI converter/switch for about $100
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I've also thought about getting a $250-ish new receiver with upscaling, and just using the amp of the DA4. ...but that seems like overkill.

What prompted this is that my 30 ft component video cable (going to the projector) crapped out, so it's finally time to make a few upgrades...


So, has anyone used the HDMI switcher from my link, or any similar setups to keep using their favorite old receiver/amp?

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post #6 of 11 Old 05-10-2012, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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keyboardcat - thanks for the immense follow up! If I decide I really want HD decoding, I can still use this amp via the 7.1 discrete inputs for SACD. ...but for now, I'm just happy getting 5.1 in my living room.

commsysman - good point! I may need to try that and just put off the HDMI upgrade for a while longer!
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-10-2012, 05:04 PM
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you are welcome Sean. I am a newbie and don't understand as much as a lot of people on this forum. I wish I knew more to help you more. I don't have any hdmi receivers in my house. A lot of stuff I don't understand I google to try to help the person out. I gather info from reading online reviews or let people know if I hear that certain models are having more problems then others. I hear that a lot of hdmi receivers are having problems, so I am afraid of hdmi receivers for now. You are a cool person Sean. I hope that whatever you get sounds good for you.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-10-2012, 06:09 PM
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I've been using a Denon AVR-889 HDMI Receiver for going on four years now and it sounds a whole lot better than the Sony STE-915 it replaced.

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post #9 of 11 Old 05-10-2012, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seand View Post

I have an old Sony STR-DA4-ES receiver that is still in great shape, but it only has 2 Component inputs - no DVI or HDMI. I love the amp in this thing. It weighs like 50 lbs and is cleaner than many newer amp's I've heard friends using. I want to find a way to handle HDMI and keep using this amp.

The best option I can think of is this:
A 5x1 HDMI converter/switch for about $100
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I've also thought about getting a $250-ish new receiver with upscaling, and just using the amp of the DA4. ...but that seems like overkill.

What prompted this is that my 30 ft component video cable (going to the projector) crapped out, so it's finally time to make a few upgrades...


So, has anyone used the HDMI switcher from my link, or any similar setups to keep using their favorite old receiver/amp?

Can't say I've used that specific switcher, but I've had relatively good luck with MonoPrice in the past. I'd probably pass on a "cheap" receiver if you don't direly need some feature it offers, although at a higher price point it's probably worth consideration (something that includes modern room EQ and video features would probably be worth a look, but figure $500+). I also wouldn't suggest "stacking" two receivers, if you can avoid it.

The receiver you've got now has everything but HD audio decoding, so you're set there (the differences to lossless codecs are generally marginal). And it takes multi-channel analog in, so if you really wanted lossless (or some other device, like SACD multi) you could go that route. You'll have to rely on the outboard device for bass management in that scenario though.

So where I'd be asking questions:

- Does your TV/projector/etc handle video scaling of any sort? (And does it take HDMI in?)

- Do you need 5 HDMI inputs?

- Does this Sony meet all of your needs aside from HDMI? Or are there other deficiencies?

Room EQ aside, adding an HDMI switch here is the logical choice. You could add a full video processor if you wanted, but that will probably cost more than a new receiver (once you get to the ~$1000 range you're really talking about what you have, just with better DSP/front-end abilities)).
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 12:10 PM
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I had a DA7ES for a few years and I switched my video for a while using the method you speak of with a Monoprice switcher and it worked fine. I also used the multi channel inputs for Hi Rez audio and that works great too. You'll need to find a BD player that has the Hi Rez decodersin it like a Panny bd55 or an Oppo bd83, and maybe a few others.

My 7ES eventually died and Sony replaced it under warrantee with a 300ES (I think) instead of a 7100 I was lobbying for so I finally gave up and just sold the 300es on ebay and moved up to my current Yamaha. The 4es is pretty much identical except for a few minor features and the remote I believe.
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post #11 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrunow View Post

I had a DA7ES for a few years and I switched my video for a while using the method you speak of with a Monoprice switcher and it worked fine. I also used the multi channel inputs for Hi Rez audio and that works great too. You'll need to find a BD player that has the Hi Rez decodersin it like a Panny bd55 or an Oppo bd83, and maybe a few others.

My 7ES eventually died and Sony replaced it under warrantee with a 300ES (I think) instead of a 7100 I was lobbying for so I finally gave up and just sold the 300es on ebay and moved up to my current Yamaha. The 4es is pretty much identical except for a few minor features and the remote I believe.

The Blu-ray Audio Support thread has a nice list of such players:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1050507

I think both of the models you mentioned (as well as anything I could come up with, like the Yamaha 2900 and 1900/1065) are out of production; .
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