Overwhelmed! <$500 receiver for HTPC and projector? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-15-2012, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I am in a bit of a pickle.

I am about to move but for budget reasons would like to buy a receiver now, i.e. before I actually know the room it will be used in!
Of course the advantage is that I may be able to fit the room around the system... cool.gif

Budget
  • For the receiver alone about $300 - $500.
  • I will put off buying the speakers until after my move. Budget for those maybe $700 - $1000.

Experience
My only experience with surround sound systems is an old 5.1 HTIB, Videologic Digitheatre DTS (specs in the link, note the date! rolleyes.gif).
While I am not an audiophile, I do know that I would like a stronger sound than that.
The Videologic was distorting DTS explosions quite a bit at higher volume in a 11x15' room...

Foreseen usage:
  • 70% watching movies on my 720p projector (mostly DTS core sound). Many action movies.
  • 20% listening to my VERY varied music collection. I listen to literally every "genre" from all over the world.
    About 25% classical, 25% rock, the rest distributed among whatever I feel like at the moment.
    Everything is in MP3 format (mostly 192kbps+), told you I wasn't an audiophile!
  • 10% light to medium gaming. FPS unlikely.
  • I expect it will be used in a regular, medium sized room (say 12x15 or thereabouts). Could of course plan for 7.1 back speakers.

Other considerations:
  • I am putting together a HTPC (most likely Trinity based in case it matters). No other sources planned so I don't need a ton of inputs.
  • I do not want any video processing/upscaling capabilites.
    (My understanding is that you can't avoid having the HTPC process the video beforehand anyway, correct?)
  • Very torn between a 5.1 and a 7.1 system for future proofing.
    The idea of second zone listening is appealing too. Or would I be sacrificing too much quality at my budget?
  • Do not need any particular bells and whistles. Definitely NO Apple stuff (Airplay, iPod connector etc).
  • I may be a newbie, but I know enough not to want a Bose system, thank you very much.
  • Important: for complicated reasons rolleyes.gif I do not want a brand-new model but one that has been available since at least July 2012.

Finally, this is maybe a stupid question, but will any receiver separate HDMI audio from video?
As I mentioned I will be using a projector with an HTPC (that I am planning to hook up via HDMI 1.4 only).

Since this is my first true receiver purchase I am completely overwhelmed.
Newegg seems to regularly have crazy sales on receivers with coupons for 40% off in the mail or whatever - are any of them any good?

THANKS!
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-19-2012, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Uh... did I forget to say please?

Is my question too complicated, too stupid or just uninteresting? I would really appreciate some input...
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-19-2012, 10:30 AM
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I have a Yamaha RX-V473, which is a 5.1, and it fits the bill. There's also a step-up 573 that is 7.1. The 673 adds video processing.

The 473 does have Apple features, but almost all new receivers with networking have that. Don't go looking for one without Apple support; you'll just distract yourself.

That being said, the brand that enjoys the most vocal support on this board is Denon. I'd go to Crutchfield and just start looking at models. You'll get a good sense of which features $500 will buy you.

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post #4 of 4 Old 11-20-2012, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the answer. I have been doing some research - and hit a brick wall.

One thing I forgot to mention (I didn't even think about it) was that the receiver will need to run on 220V.
From what I have found, only Yamaha and Onkyo even make dual voltage receivers.

I wish I could get the Denon AVR-1712 as it seems to exactly fit my needs but I simply cannot find a 220V version!
I can source the AVR-1912 (the international version with MultiEQ XT) at a decent prize.
Unfortunately I would be paying for stuff I really don'tneed, such as all the internet streaming capabilities.
To think the AVR-1712 would only be 2/3 of that price (at 110V only) absolutely kills me.

The only US-based websites selling 220V A/V receivers that I'm aware of are:
www.220-electronics.com/
www.world-import.com
www.jkrnet.com

Unfortunately it seems to me that most of their products in <$500 are a bit lackluster. From reading many reviews, my impression is:
- Onkyo <$500 tends to offer more bells & whistles but also far more "hiccups"
- Yamaha <$500 are too expensive for the feature set offered.

Am I wrong?

So if I have to pick one the receivers from the above sites, what would you recommend?
  • Get the AVR-1912 even if it's "overkill" in terms of bells and whistles (but gives sweet, sweet 7.1 @ 90W and MultiEQ XT)?
  • What about the AVR-1612? (The **OFFICIAL** Denon AVR-XX12 Model Owner's Thread strongly recommends skipping this model for the AVR-1712...)
  • Buy the AVR-1712 as a 110V model and use it forever with a transformer - but where's the savings in that!

One more thing: do these Yamaha models offer 110/220V switching as a standard, or are those special models?
(i.e. could I buy the same thing from cheaper outlets and still get 220V?)
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