Video section of new AV receiver... any way to override it? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-22-2013, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Well, although this is my first post in this forum, I have been reading you quite often, and I have to say that I learnt a lot from you guys.

Ok, so here is the thing. After over 8 years of loyal service, I was thinking of replacing my old Denon AVR-3805 for a new one plenty of HDMI connectors.

Right now, all my video sources, BD player (Pioneer BDP-LX71), Xbox 360 and HTPC are connected, via HDMI, directly to the TV set (Pioneer PDP-LX5090H). Regarding the audio section of those video sources, the BD player is connected to the AV receiver thru RCA audio cables, and the Xbox 360 and HTPC are both connected the AV receiver thru optical digital cable.

In this scenario, the BD player is decoding the HD sound (DTS HD MA, Dolby TrueHD) and sending the signal to the AV receiver…

First thing I want to clarify is that my current A/V receiver is working like the first day… NOT a single problem in those over 8 years but as I really think that a new A/V receiver may be a good idea. Right now, my main candidate is the Pioneer SC-1522-K, but I am also considering models from Denon and Yamaha in this range of price (1200-1500€ in Europe).

The idea is to let the new AV receiver to handle the audio section by connecting all the above mentioned sources (BD player, console and HTPC) directly to the Denon thru HDMI, and then to connect via HDMI the AV receiver to the TV set.

And here comes my problem: I am completely in love with picture quality of my Pioneer PDP-LX5090H Plasma TV. Watching a BD with this Pioneer combo is an amazing experience… and, on the other hand, I have never used my receiver's video section at all (except for setting it up)…

So here is question: do I have to expect changes in the picture quality of my video sources by sending the video signal thru the AV receiver??... How bad those potential changes will be??...

I mean, by replacing my current AV receiver for a new one, I expect to get a bunch of new (cool?) features, a cleaner installation with less cables hanging here and there and (maybe) a better sound quality with HD audio formats in the case that the new receiver is able to handle a bit better the sound rather than the BD player… BUT under any circumstance I am willing to sacrifice picture quality to get all this…

So please, just tell me: is the receiver video section a feature to avoid in terms of picture quality?

Thanks a lot.

PS: sorry for my poor English.

TV: Pioneer PDP-LX5090H; BD player: Pioneer BDP-LX71; AV receiver: Denon AVR-3805; CD player: Cambridge Audio Azur 640c; HTPC: ASSRock ION330HT; Console: Xbox 360 250 GB ("Slim"); Speakers: Focal-Jmlab Chorus S; Sub: Mordaunt-Short MS907W; Universal remote: Logitech Harmony Ultimate.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-22-2013, 01:16 PM
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You can always bypass the video section and pass through unadulterated signal. But for some sources the upscaling can improve picture quality. I find upscaling my cable HD to 1080p gives a better picture. But of course, there is no reason to do anything with an already 1080p bluray so I just pass it through.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-23-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodnerb View Post

You can always bypass the video section and pass through unadulterated signal. But for some sources the upscaling can improve picture quality. I find upscaling my cable HD to 1080p gives a better picture. But of course, there is no reason to do anything with an already 1080p bluray so I just pass it through.

Thanks nodnerb, that was exactly what I wanted to know, if you can choose to bypass de signal coming from the BD player, but upscale the video coming from other non-1080p sources.

TV: Pioneer PDP-LX5090H; BD player: Pioneer BDP-LX71; AV receiver: Denon AVR-3805; CD player: Cambridge Audio Azur 640c; HTPC: ASSRock ION330HT; Console: Xbox 360 250 GB ("Slim"); Speakers: Focal-Jmlab Chorus S; Sub: Mordaunt-Short MS907W; Universal remote: Logitech Harmony Ultimate.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-23-2013, 11:33 AM
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You have to look in detail at the specs of the receivers you're interested in.

Some of the less expensive receivers have no video scaler at all. They just pass through whatever video inputs are provided. They can't even transcode analog video to HDMI, for example.

Some of the more expensive receivers provide controls to disable the video circuits for each input and some don't. Some have the ability to scale incoming video to another selectable resolution, some always upscale to 1080p, and some don't.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

You have to look in detail at the specs of the receivers you're interested in.

Some of the less expensive receivers have no video scaler at all. They just pass through whatever video inputs are provided. They can't even transcode analog video to HDMI, for example.

Some of the more expensive receivers provide controls to disable the video circuits for each input and some don't. Some have the ability to scale incoming video to another selectable resolution, some always upscale to 1080p, and some don't.

Nice tip Selden Ball, thank you... actually I've reading the Pioneer SC-1522-K manual (one of my favorites candidates to be my next AV receiver), and on page 72, under the "Setting the Video options" chapter, you can read that "all of the setting items can be set for each input function". Among those "setting items" you can tweak the "digital video converter", the "resolution" and many other usual (and not so usual) video parameters, so I guess that I will able to bypass the video section for the signal coming from the BD player, and tweak the signals coming from other sources like the Xbox 360 or HTPC...
This way I will make sure that I still get the best picture quality from the TV set (Pioneer PDP-LX5090H).

I cannot wait to get my new toy, but to be completely honest I feel bad for my old Denon 3805: this beast still rocks and works very well... doubts, doubts...

Thanks all again for your help!!

TV: Pioneer PDP-LX5090H; BD player: Pioneer BDP-LX71; AV receiver: Denon AVR-3805; CD player: Cambridge Audio Azur 640c; HTPC: ASSRock ION330HT; Console: Xbox 360 250 GB ("Slim"); Speakers: Focal-Jmlab Chorus S; Sub: Mordaunt-Short MS907W; Universal remote: Logitech Harmony Ultimate.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 07:27 PM
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You're making assumptions which may not necessarily be true.

1. Keeping input and output resolution the same does not mean vp is bypassed completely. It only means there's no scaling. There may be color space, bit depth conversions internally.

2. Setting the video adjustments to 0 does not mean there is no processing. Compare different viewing modes on the TV and you see they are all different even when their own settings are at 0.

3. There may be other unexpected bugs.

Unless you actually measure the HDMI output you can never be 100% sure if output = input bit for bit.

Having said that I've read no particular issues with Pioneer AVRs on here.
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Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-28-2013, 04:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

You're making assumptions which may not necessarily be true.

1. Keeping input and output resolution the same does not mean vp is bypassed completely. It only means there's no scaling. There may be color space, bit depth conversions internally.

2. Setting the video adjustments to 0 does not mean there is no processing. Compare different viewing modes on the TV and you see they are all different even when their own settings are at 0.

3. There may be other unexpected bugs.

Unless you actually measure the HDMI output you can never be 100% sure if output = input bit for bit.

Having said that I've read no particular issues with Pioneer AVRs on here.

Thanks for the clarification Kilian... as you may notice I am not an expert at all in those matters...
My old Denon 3805 has a "Pure Direct" mode that, in short (pls correct me if I am wrong), bypasses all DAC's and other digital manipulation of the AUDIO signal to give (or at least to try) a better sound quality... I thought that an AV receiver could have a similar "Pure Direct" mode but related to the VIDEO signal...
Anyway, I realize that I may be a bit obsessed with this matter, I just love the picture quality of my Kuro and the idea of having to pass the video signal thru the receiver did not like very much... but I guess this is the prize that I will have to pay if I want to update my old receiver...

TV: Pioneer PDP-LX5090H; BD player: Pioneer BDP-LX71; AV receiver: Denon AVR-3805; CD player: Cambridge Audio Azur 640c; HTPC: ASSRock ION330HT; Console: Xbox 360 250 GB ("Slim"); Speakers: Focal-Jmlab Chorus S; Sub: Mordaunt-Short MS907W; Universal remote: Logitech Harmony Ultimate.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-28-2013, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodnerb View Post

You can always bypass the video section and pass through unadulterated signal. But for some sources the upscaling can improve picture quality. I find upscaling my cable HD to 1080p gives a better picture. But of course, there is no reason to do anything with an already 1080p bluray so I just pass it through.

There is another reason for bypassing the AVR, which is to keep the AV system operating like it always did before the AVR was added for the benefit of less technical users. Video inputs continue to be selected by the TV. Since I'm running a 2.1 system I patch the digital downmixed output of the TV to the AVR without any loss of surround quality.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-28-2013, 07:38 AM
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Keep in mind..
When bypassing the AVR for video streams, one now loses the OSD for setup, surround mode settings and volume level..


Just my $0.02... 👍😉
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-28-2013, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergreen4 View Post


Thanks for the clarification Kilian...

Anyway, I realize that I may be a bit obsessed with this matter, I just love the picture quality of my Kuro and the idea of having to pass the video signal thru the receiver did not like very much... but I guess this is the prize that I will have to pay if I want to update my old receiver...

You're very welcome.smile.gif

Your concern is legitimate because some AVRs DO mess up the video.

Someone asked about the audio direct modes recently and I said again there is no certainty it is completely bypassed, unless you examine the schematics. The only absolutely sure way to avoid the digital circuit is not to connect to the AVR by using an analogue pre-amp.

The Kuro displays are most accurate when fed by RGB rather than YCbCr. I've found that AVRs usually output RGB to the Kuro based on HDMI handshake, so when you pass video to the AVR have the source send RGB to the AVR and hopefully it will not undergo color space conversion inside, provided of course the source sends RGB accurately.

The top Pioneer AVRs now use the Marvell chip which a lot of people like (but in the Oppo players, some find it 'soft' and has some sharpening halos) so if you go that route give it a try and see for yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Keep in mind..
When bypassing the AVR for video streams, one now loses the OSD for setup, surround mode settings and volume level..

The workaround would be to connect the AVR to TV using another input on the TV and switch to it when GUI is needed (not often once set-up is complete).

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #11 of 12 Old 04-28-2013, 08:28 PM
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The workaround seems very clunky and complicated.....
Also when switching HDMI sources one now has to switch both the AVR for HDMI input (audio)and the HD display for its respective HDMI input (video)...
The whole idea of using the AVR as a control hub is so that it switches both the HD audio and HD video with a single control.
I would think if one is that concerned over HD video performance when run through an AVR, simply purchase an AVR that has a true, electrical video bypass mode.. confused.gif

Just my $0.02... 👍😉
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-29-2013, 01:51 AM
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The difficulty is knowing which AVRs can bypass video completely or do not molest it as nobody has measured HDMI output or do other tests. Some AVRs (Onkyo/Integra, Arcam) have the 24p bug in both HDMI outputs in 1080p (now fixed in the Onkyo 818) and demonstrate convincingly that video processing cannot always be bypassed even with no upscaling.

For people like myself who use a dedicated video processor bypassing video is a very minor inconvenience. I'm used to switching A and V separately, not complicated really. It's actually handy for those who like to listen to something else while watching another source on TV without having to dig into the AVR menu.smile.gif

We (vp users) are mostly confined to using AVRs as there aren't that many audio-only processors that are affordable and with features matching AVRs. I get all the info I need from the front display and the last time I had to use the GUI was months ago for the 24p bug troubleshooting.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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