Help for a Noob Setting up Computer 5.1 to a Yamaha AV Receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 07-25-2012, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,

I am kinda new to setting up my AV Receiver with my computer and I am having some issues.

I am connecting my Computer via Analog (3 inputs for a 5.1) to my old Yamaha HTR 5750 [http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/htr/htr-5750_silver__u/?mode=model] with Yamaha 6.1 Surround System.

Note: My computer does not have any other audio outputs. No SPDIF. But I do have a HDMI ( But my receiver does not have a HDMI input)

I am connecting using 3 Y Splitter Cables ( 3.5mm to RCA ) - 1 for the Front Channel, 1 for the Rear Surround and 1 for the Center/Sub. All these are connected to the multichannel input in the AV Receiver.

I am sure all the connections are matched perfectly.

Here's my issue:

1. When I'm playing a movie DVD with proper 5.1 outputs, the sound is channelized beautifully and is very neat. However, the rear surround speakers have a very low volume. Why would this be ? How would I fix it ?

2. When I am playing a stereo file(Video or mp3), the audio is directed only to the Front Left and Front Right Speakers ( I know this is how it should be), but how do I use a Subwoofer to also work in this setup ? I also noticed that if I removed one 3.5 mm (Rear or Front), the subwoofer activates. Why is this so ? Is there anyway for me to use the sub along with the Front channels during stereo playback ?

Note: Also in my speaker configuration on my IDT Control Panel all speakers are listed to be "Small" and Freq Response for the Sub is at 80.

3. Is there any other way I can make this whole setup work ?


Thanks for any help !! I look forward and rely on it !!

Cheers !
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-26-2012, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidrockrulz View Post

1. When I'm playing a movie DVD with proper 5.1 outputs, the sound is channelized beautifully and is very neat. However, the rear surround speakers have a very low volume. Why would this be ? How would I fix it ?
How loud do the rear channels sound when you use the computer's internal test tones?

If the test tones have the same loudness in all channels, then you don't have a problem: most movies have very quiet surround channels.
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2. When I am playing a stereo file(Video or mp3), the audio is directed only to the Front Left and Front Right Speakers ( I know this is how it should be), but how do I use a Subwoofer to also work in this setup ? I also noticed that if I removed one 3.5 mm (Rear or Front), the subwoofer activates. Why is this so ? Is there anyway for me to use the sub along with the Front channels during stereo playback ?
The receiver does not do any bass management when you use the multi-channel analog inputs. I suggest using one of the stereo inputs, too. Get two RCA Y cables and connect them to the computer's front left and right outputs. Connect one leg of the L&R Y cables to the L & R multichannel inputs as you do now. Connect the other legs to one of the stereo audio inputs of the receiver (e.g. the CD input). Select that input device on your receiver when playing stereo sources.

I suspect that when you disconnect one set of inputs, the computer's audio driver can detect the difference and diverts the sounds to other channels.
Quote:
Note: Also in my speaker configuration on my IDT Control Panel all speakers are listed to be "Small" and Freq Response for the Sub is at 80.
That is the right thing to do. This should cause the computer to properly dirvert the low frequencies since the receiver can't do the bass management. I'm not sure why it wouldn't do the right thing for stereo signals, though.
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[3. Is there any other way I can make this whole setup work ?
I hope my suggestions above help a little.

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post #3 of 18 Old 07-27-2012, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello Selden,

Thanks for your reply !

1. Yes, all the speakers sound almost equal in my setup. The rear ones seem to be of a little less volume, but I think this could be because of the distance the Surround speakers are compared to From and Center.

2. Yes, that seemed to have answered my question, when I connect to a stereo source as a DVD now, it fixe my problem.

3. I reset my receiver to factory settings and everything seems to be working fine now !


I have another question:

If I get one of these : http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Blue-External-7-1-Channel-USB-Optical-Sound-Card-Audio-Adapter-Cable-/120809320576?pt=US_Sound_Card_External&hash=item1c20cbf080#shId and connect it to my USB and from it use a Spdif/TOSLINK to connect to my receiver, would I be able to use proper/true 5.1 audio ? The reason I would ask this is because, I unable to use my receiver's capabilities to the max ( Dolby Digital ProLogic IIx and Cinema DSP Digital ).

If I do make this connection, would I be able to get these functionalities working as it would then be a TOSLINK connection ?

Would connecting something like this cause a lower audio quality than an on board 5.1 analog connected to a multi channel input ?



Thanks again !
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-27-2012, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Also,

The rear speakers are connected by what I think is a very thin cheaply made 18 AWG wire and the Front/Center are connected using this: http://www.amazon.com/Monster-XP-Navajo-White-Compact/dp/B000WX5FCI with shielding and a magnetic flux tube, would this cause a difference in quality of sound ?
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-27-2012, 03:08 PM
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It's good to know that your receiver is working well now, and that you've managed to listen to stereo audio the way you want.

I've never used a USB to S/PDIF "sound card", but my understanding is that they should work fine. The unit you link to, however, does not support 5.1 channel digital audio. It only provides a stereo digital signal. As best I can tell from reading its specs, it provides 7.1 audio in exactly the same way your computer does now -- with four two-channel analog outputs.

Unfortunately, the USB-to-SPDIF units that I've found which support multi-channel digital audio typically cost 400 US Dollars or more. Much more. See, for example, http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/USB_SPDIF.htm Inexpensive units, like the one you found, only support stereo.

I suspect the price difference may be related to having to do real-time encoding of multichannel audio into Dolby Digital or DTS multichannel digital signals. S/PDIF connections only support stereo or the Dolby and DTS compressed formats. You have to pay for the digital signal processor chips, the software to do the encoding, and the Dolby and/or DTS licenses.

You might want to investigate digital audio cards with multichannel S/PDIF outputs to replace your current card. I suspect they're somewhat less expensive than a USB solution. I have no experience with them, either. (My current computer is a laptop with an HDMI output, plugged into a receiver with HDMI inputs.)

Sorry.

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post #6 of 18 Old 07-27-2012, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello Selden,

Thanks again !

I was also looking at the specs on the item i had sent you the link to the item I had sent you and read the following in its features list :

1.High quality.
2.Support AES/EBU, IEC60958, S/PDIF consumer formats for stereo PCM audio.
3.Support 48KHz sampling in analog recording and digital/analog audio playback.
4.Fixed 48KHz sampling rate for 7.1 channel playback.
5.Support 32KHz, 44KHz (need driver support) and 48KHz sampling rate in digital recording.
6.Fully duplex playback/recording audio stream without sound card in PC.
7.Compliant with USB specification V1.1, V2.0.
8.Compliant with USB Audio Device Class V1.0, V2.0.
9.Support USB full speed 12Mbit 480Mbit serial data transmission.
10.Support multi channel audio code interface for 7.1 channel playback.
11.Supports conventional audio 2 channels source playback(only L, R, channel active).
12.3 input terminals--MIC IN, SPDIF IN, LINE IN.
13.3 output terminals--SPDIFOUT, FRONT OUT, CEN/BASS OUT.


Of the above features, can you tell me which one helped you decide that it outputs only Stereo on Spdif output ? ( Excuse my curiosity, trying to learn a thing or two smile.gif ).

Would it be the sampling rate or simply Point 2 or something else ?


I also came across this : http://sewelldirect.com/USB-SoundBox-71-and-51-Sound-Card.asp and http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-XFi-Surround-5.1/M/B0044DEDCA.htm

The Sewell one claims Digital 7.1 via Spdif. Is this really true at this price ?

The Creative one seems more "Licensed" With THX certifications and Dolby Digital Live too.

Thanks !
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-27-2012, 06:41 PM
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The Sewell page does claim that their USB audio interface can send 7.1 channels of audio over S/PDIF. I doubt they'd claim that if it couldn't.

I'm assuming that the other device can't, because it does not explicitly say that it can. Multichannel S/PDIF encoding is the kind of feature that they wouldn't be shy about describing, as the Sewell page does.

S/PDIF connections can only transport PCM stereo or Dolby Digital lossy compressed audio or DTS lossy compressed audio. My impression was that this implied only 5.1 discrete channels, or 6.1 channels if the rear channels were matrixed between the two surround channels. This evening's careful reading of the Wikipedia pages about S/PDIF, Dolby Digital and DTS have left me confused about how many discrete channels are actually possible. Older receivers, made before the invention of DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX, might not be able to extract all of the channels, but newer ones probably can. At any rate, the Dolby and DTS encoding methods are designed so that older decoders will extract as many channels as they can, and will just ignore the ones they don't understand.

It also looks like I'm a couple of years behind in my knowledge of what's possible with affordable electronics. Apparently the cost of DSP chips powerful enough to do Dolby or DTS encoding has come down substantially in the past couple of years, and they're now readily available.

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post #8 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply Selden.

I actually upgraded my receiver to a Yamaha Rx V 665 and I have another issue now !

Here starts my issue:

But now, I got myself a Yamaha RX-V665 Receiver.

I am now connected to the receiver via HDMI and things seem to be working fine with all the sound settings.

However, When I am connected from my laptop to my receiver, the receiver is recognized as an external display by my computer and I am having issues with the resolution of my screen. ( I do not have an external monitor ).

My native screen resolution is 1920 x 1200, but the resolution that windows automatically applies on my screen is 1920 x 1080 ( 1080p ). While this is a great resolution, I am kind of uncomfartable working with my lowered screen resolution now. This also leaves approx 3/4th of an inch empty black space on the top and bottom of my display.

I have an ATI 5870 Graphics card, and I was able to stretch the 1920 x 1080 resolution to fit my screen ( through the Catalyst Command Center ), but this looks really ugly and stretched out. Is there any way to force a 1920 x 1200 onto my display ?


Also, If i disable the secondary display that Windows detects( Yamaha Receiver ), the sound is cut off too ( Like the receiver is not connected via HDMI at all ! ).

When connected to Windows, my receiver automatically sets to the "Straight" configuration. Is there any way I can change this so that I may get Neo 6/Pro Logic IIx/Other extra effects while watching a movie ?

Thanks again !
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 05:46 AM
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1. screen resolution: You need to have your TV connected to the receiver and turned on. Then you should be able to configure the HDMI TV as a second display on your laptop. If you have Windows 7, you can right-mouse-click on the backdrop of the desktop and select the option "Screen resolution". Then choose an appropriate option from the "Multiple displays" menu -- something other than "Duplicate these displays". When that has been done, you should be able to use different resolutions for the two displays: builtin at 1920x1200 and TV at 1920x1080 (or whatever it is -- some HD TVs are 1280x720 = 720p).

2. audio: Both audio and video signals are sent over the same wires in the HDMI cable. The video signal determines the bitrate. Computer HDMI audio drivers require both the video (TV) and audio to be connected and functioning in order for any audio to be sent over the HDMI connection to the receiver. When the TV is off, you won't get any sound. This is unlike dedicated BD and DVD players and is quite annoying.

3. audio channels: The number of audio channels sent over HDMI is determined by how you configure the computer's sound options. For Windows 7, you can right-mouse-click on the speaker icon at the bottom left of the desktop, and select "Playback devices". In the popup menu, select (highlight) the HDMI device. Then click on the Configure button, which is at bottom right.

To get multichannel HDMI, select the bottom-most (most capable) Surround option. If you have fewer speakers, let the receiver re-matrix the audio into those you actually have.

If you want to listen to 2-channel audio and have the receiver apply Dolby ProLogic or DTS Neo:6, then you will need to select the "Stereo" option.

You can also use the Control Panel (in the Start menu) to get to the sound options.

My laptop has an Nvidia chipset. The details might be slightly different for an AMD chipset. You should consider starting a new thread to ask for help in the HTPC forum.

I hope this helps a little.

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post #10 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello Selden,

1. screen resolution: You need to have your TV connected to the receiver and turned on. Then you should be able to configure the HDMI TV as a second display on your laptop. If you have Windows 7, you can right-mouse-click on the backdrop of the desktop and select the option "Screen resolution". Then choose an appropriate option from the "Multiple displays" menu -- something other than "Duplicate these displays". When that has been done, you should be able to use different resolutions for the two displays: builtin at 1920x1200 and TV at 1920x1080 (or whatever it is -- some HD TVs are 1280x720 = 720p).

I have only a receiver, I am not connected to the TV ! My laptop however reads my receiver as an external video device as I am connected to the HDMI in on my receiver ( was this wrong ? ) , My computer actually reads and shows the Display 2 ( My receiver ) as RX-V665 !.

On the screen resolution page, I have Duplicate these displays, extend displays, show only 1(Laptop screen), show only 2(Rx-V665). Is there a specific option you would want me to choose ?

I can choose Extend Display and keep my 1920 x 1200 but gaming seems to be a pain to lose the 60 pixels.

Am I missing something while configuring my displays ?



2. audio: Both audio and video signals are sent over the same wires in the HDMI cable. The video signal determines the bitrate. Computer HDMI audio drivers require both the video (TV) and audio to be connected and functioning in order for any audio to be sent over the HDMI connection to the receiver. When the TV is off, you won't get any sound. This is unlike dedicated BD and DVD players and is quite annoying.

Yup, but in my case, my receiver is detected as my display 2 and when I turn off the receiver, the computer is stays at the 1920 x 1080 resolution and under screen resolution I still see Display 2 active and it being on Duplicate display ( I had set it to be so initially, but why doesnt this automatically go away ? Would it help to uninstall and reinstall my drivers ? .

3. audio channels: The number of audio channels sent over HDMI is determined by how you configure the computer's sound options. For Windows 7, you can right-mouse-click on the speaker icon at the bottom left of the desktop, and select "Playback devices". In the popup menu, select (highlight) the HDMI device. Then click on the Configure button, which is at bottom right.

Rigth, for now I have it set up as a 7.1( max output ) , but I was more concerned about the sound display and it seems easier to configure sound than my display resolution

Thanks !
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post #11 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, do you know if there is a way to set an extended desktop setting and overlap the displays ? That would be kinda cool !
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidrockrulz View Post

I have only a receiver, I am not connected to the TV ! My laptop however reads my receiver as an external video device as I am connected to the HDMI in on my receiver ( was this wrong ? ) , My computer actually reads and shows the Display 2 ( My receiver ) as RX-V665 !.
Sorry for my confusion. (I have an external 24" 1920x1080 HD TV that I normally use instead of the 15" 1920x1080 FHD display in my laptop.)

I think that the receiver being treated as a display by itself probably is a feature provided by Onkyo's firmware and supported by AMD's driver. It should be OK. My older Marantz receiver doesn't seem do that with my laptop's Nvidia driver. frown.gif
Quote:
On the screen resolution page, I have Duplicate these displays, extend displays, show only 1(Laptop screen), show only 2(Rx-V665). Is there a specific option you would want me to choose ?

I can choose Extend Display and keep my 1920 x 1200 but gaming seems to be a pain to lose the 60 pixels.
Did you try Extend and see this happening? I'm sure it's the "Duplicate these displays" which is forcing your laptop to use 1920x1080 to match the receiver's fake display.

I suggest trying both "Extend these displays" and "Show desktop only on 1" (assuming 1 is your laptop's internal display) to see which one works best for you. "Extend..." normally lets you open windows on one screen and drag them to the other screen. "Show..." doesn't let you drag the windows from one to the other, so that might be the best option. (You don't want programs to be opening windows on the fake screen where you can't get to them.)
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Yup, but in my case, my receiver is detected as my display 2 and when I turn off the receiver, the computer is stays at the 1920 x 1080 resolution and under screen resolution I still see Display 2 active and it being on Duplicate display ( I had set it to be so initially, but why doesnt this automatically go away ? Would it help to uninstall and reinstall my drivers ? .
Windows XP will only change its physical display assignments when you reboot the system. (I fought with this feature a lot when I was first putting 2 displays on my desktop computer at work some years ago.) Windows 7 seems to have this same limitation. I believe that the fake display will only go away if you reboot the computer while the receiver is off.
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Also, do you know if there is a way to set an extended desktop setting and overlap the displays ? That would be kinda cool !
Sorry: Windows doesn't do that. When you configure Windows with more than one display, you can drag the pictures of the displays around in the "Screen resolution" window so they correspond to how you have real displays positioned (1 above 2, 2 to the left of 1, etc) but the edges of the displays always touch one another, so a pixel at the left edge of one display is exactly adjacent to a pixel at the right edge of the other display (for example). Sorry.

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post #13 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for my confusion. (I have an external 24" 1920x1080 HD TV that I normally use instead of the 15" 1920x1080 FHD display in my laptop.)

I think that the receiver being treated as a display by itself probably is a feature provided by Onkyo's firmware and supported by AMD's driver. It should be OK. My older Marantz receiver doesn't seem do that with my laptop's Nvidia driver.

Guess my ATI / Yamaha can do that !

Did you try Extend and see this happening? I'm sure it's the "Duplicate these displays" which is forcing your laptop to use 1920x1080 to match the receiver's fake display.

I suggest trying both "Extend these displays" and "Show desktop only on 1" (assuming 1 is your laptop's internal display) to see which one works best for you. "Extend..." normally lets you open windows on one screen and drag them to the other screen. "Show..." doesn't let you drag the windows from one to the other, so that might be the best option. (You don't want programs to be opening windows on the fake screen where you can't get to them.)

Yes, I did try to use the extend display function, but the mouse running away into the Fake extended screen while gaming and using it otherwise is annoying !

If I tried to use Desktop 1 only, it completely disconnects the HDMI and does'nt detect the HDMI/Receiver for audio as well !


Windows XP will only change its physical display assignments when you reboot the system. (I fought with this feature a lot when I was first putting 2 displays on my desktop computer at work some years ago.) Windows 7 seems to have this same limitation. I believe that the fake display will only go away if you reboot the computer while the receiver is off.

Oh okay ! I have not tried / noticed this !

Sorry: Windows doesn't do that. When you configure Windows with more than one display, you can drag the pictures of the displays around in the "Screen resolution" window so they correspond to how you have real displays positioned (1 above 2, 2 to the left of 1, etc) but the edges of the displays always touch one another, so a pixel at the left edge of one display is exactly adjacent to a pixel at the right edge of the other display (for example). Sorry.

That sucks too, wish they did have that kind of a feature !
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post #14 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 02:28 PM
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Sorry, when I wrote Onkyo above, I should have written Yamaha.

I'm also sorry things aren't working out quite the way you want them to.

I find it quite frustrating that computer-oriented designs don't interoperate with entertainment-oriented designs as they should. Another person I was trying to help had a very similar problem, but he'd gone one step further and purchased a high-resolution computer display which had HDMI inputs to use with his receiver. Unfortunately, it was not a resolution that the receiver supported, making it even more frustrating. Receivers are only designed to support entertainment display resolutions (e.g. 720x480, 1280x720 and 1920x1080). They simply don't work well with anything else. Some current-generation top-of-the-line receiver models are starting to support "4K" displays (3820x2160) , but those displays and receivers are still ridiculously expensive.

*sigh*

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post #15 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Sorry, when I wrote Onkyo above, I should have written Yamaha.
I'm also sorry things aren't working out quite the way you want them to.
I find it quite frustrating that computer-oriented designs don't interoperate with entertainment-oriented designs as they should. Another person I was trying to help had a very similar problem, but he'd gone one step further and purchased a high-resolution computer display which had HDMI inputs to use with his receiver. Unfortunately, it was not a resolution that the receiver supported, making it even more frustrating. Receivers are only designed to support entertainment display resolutions (e.g. 720x480, 1280x720 and 1920x1080). They simply don't work well with anything else. Some current-generation top-of-the-line receiver models are starting to support "4K" displays (3820x2160) , but those displays and receivers are still ridiculously expensive.
*sigh*

Thats alright about the Onkyo Yamaha confusion. Its a receiver and what Im trying to do is what matters i guess !

I was also reading on the 4k Resolutions, but I did not know if these 4k resolutions allow all resolutions over 1080p as well or do they work only as resolutions at 16:9 upto 4k display ?
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post #16 of 18 Old 08-09-2012, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidrockrulz View Post

Thats alright about the Onkyo Yamaha confusion. Its a receiver and what Im trying to do is what matters i guess !

I was also reading on the 4k Resolutions, but I did not know if these 4k resolutions allow all resolutions over 1080p as well or do they work only as resolutions at 16:9 upto 4k display ?
Sorry: I don't know. I do know that some receivers can only upscale to 4K and are not able to pass through a 4K signal coming from another device. (I've read posts on AVS by people complaining about that.)

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post #17 of 18 Old 08-09-2012, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Sorry: I don't know. I do know that some receivers can only upscale to 4K and are not able to pass through a 4K signal coming from another device. (I've read posts on AVS by people complaining about that.)

I emailed Yamaha support about this and I got a reply from the saying 4K passthrough and upscaling is still only 16:9 and does not support all resolutions.

Here's an extract :

John ✆ supportreply@yamaha.com via aifnegxh0mvzw4r5.xfvg9.3-f1zeae.3.bnc.salesforce.com
5:20 PM (18 hours ago)

to me
Prem,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Yamaha RX-A720 and 4K features. At this point the Yamaha receiver that support 4K will support it in the 16:9 format.

Best Regards,
The Yamaha Customer Support Team
P.S. Please do not remove the " [ref: " in the Email Subject when replying to this email.

Receivers [AV and Stereo]
Model: RX-V720
Hello I am looking to buy a RX-A720 and I currently own a RX-V665.

I understand that the RX-A720 supports 4K resolutions.

My question is that, does it support all resolutions over 1920x1080 , eg 1920x1200 or only 16:9 resolutions over 1080p ?
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post #18 of 18 Old 08-09-2012, 11:02 AM
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Presumably by "16x9 format" they mean 3840x2160 (QFHD). I haven't found any mention of laptops being available with that resolution yet. Maybe next year...

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