Have receivers improved over the last 5 years? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-29-2013, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been away from this forum for quite a while. I was a very active poster for about 5 years but then I had kids and I finally got to the point where I just enjoyed my system instead of always tweaking it.

I bought a Yamaha VX-663 when they first came out and I am still using it with a full set of ERA Design 4 speakers. I also have a 5x100 watt Rotel amp that pushes these power hungry little guys.

So my question is “Should I buy a new receiver or just stick with what I have”? I have a new TV now that does 3D. I just bought a Blu-ray player with dual output HDMI so the receiver does everything that I have wanted so far.

The only thing that I don’t like is that the receiver displays “Straight” instead of DTS-MA or Dolby True HD on the front. I can’t tell if it is getting the DD/DTS signal or the DDTHD/DTS-MA signal without putting on the onscreen guide. However, I have lived with that for 5 years so I guess it is not that big a deal.

So if everything is working right now what improvements would a new receiver give me? I think my RX-V663 was about $450 when I bought it brand new. Is it true that they don’t put pre-outs on receivers less than $800 now?

It just seems like after being away for 5 years nothing has really progressed with the receivers. It just seems like they hit a point where they really couldn’t do much more to improve on what they already had?
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-29-2013, 01:58 PM
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The main improvement is the more sophisticated Room EQ employed in receivers nowadays.

I find the one I use (Trinnov Optimizer in Sherwood R-972) very valuable in my environment, but depending on your room, your mileage may vary.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-29-2013, 01:59 PM
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Aside from 3D HDMI support, I think the biggest improvements would be networking and Airplay. Those features have changed my life. I love just being able to dial up any song/album I want with minimal effort. It's also neat being able to listen to Internet radio stations from all over the world.

As far as per-outs, it does seem to be a feature that is disappearing from lower-end receivers. However, if you're patient and don't mind doing a little work and research on the boards, this time of year tends to be a good time to pick up clearance receivers at good prices. Two years ago, I got two Yamaha receivers at Best Buy (an RX-V867 and an Aventage RX-A1000) for around $400 each. I also grabbed one of the $599 Pioneer SC-1522K receivers from Costco.

If you absolutely need something now, one of the lower-end Aventage units should be under $800 and offer pre-outs.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-29-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
It just seems like after being away for 5 years nothing has really progressed with the receivers. It just seems like they hit a point where they really couldn’t do much more to improve on what they already had?

I recently switched from a Denon 4310 to a 4520. I think there have been quite a few imrovements in the last 5 years - Audyssey XT32, 9.2 and 11.2 speaker set ups ( I'm running 11.1 - love it ! ), Airplay has been mentioned. There may be more improvement at the higher end models, although the newest and greatest features slowly trickle down to the less expensive models over time. Anyway, I'm very glad I upgraded.

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post #5 of 14 Old 07-29-2013, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhelder View Post

Aside from 3D HDMI support, I think the biggest improvements would be networking and Airplay. Those features have changed my life....

I also love AirPlay, but frankly, investing in an $89 (discounted) Apple TV 3 will provide better AirPlay capabilities (mirroring) and better UI than any networked receiver I know currently on the market.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-29-2013, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

I also love AirPlay, but frankly, investing in an $89 (discounted) Apple TV 3 will provide better AirPlay capabilities (mirroring) and better UI than any networked receiver I know currently on the market.

But you have to be in front of your receiver, turn it on, set it to the proper input, and then start your airplay. My new Pioneer SC-72 will actually wake from standby mode, and start playing immediately (ok...within a few seconds) when selected as an airplay target from my iphone or ipad. I don't need to even be in the same room to start it playing. The whole point about the UI is a bit meaningless, since a receiver's airplay is intended as a "tv/screen off" function for music. I never understood why people use video airplay to stream from a phone or tablet, when the video quality will be much better coming from a dedicated streamer or htpc.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-29-2013, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jcruse View Post

But you have to be in front of your receiver, turn it on, set it to the proper input, and then start your airplay. My new Pioneer SC-72 will actually wake from standby mode, and start playing immediately (ok...within a few seconds) when selected as an airplay target from my iphone or ipad. I don't need to even be in the same room to start it playing. The whole point about the UI is a bit meaningless, since a receiver's airplay is intended as a "tv/screen off" function for music. I never understood why people use video airplay to stream from a phone or tablet, when the video quality will be much better coming from a dedicated streamer or htpc.

If this works for you, that's great.

The reason I like Apple TV (which is a "dedicated streamer") is because I actually use it to stream video (like Netflix and stuff from my NAS-residing iTunes library) to my main TV room, but also to stream audio to my living room. It is actually simpler than using Plex on my HTPC, at least IMO.

But I can also AirPlay photos from my SmugMug app to my TV, as well as pretty much any other video, photo or audio service. Or if I or a visitor wants to show photos or video from their phone. The video quality is as good as you feed it. For audio, I mostly use MOG to Room 2.

I have an RF universal remote set up, since all of my equipment is hidden from view, so it's still a one button operation from a user perspective. Apple TV is just much more versatile for my purposes than using a receiver for AirPlay or to stream.
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-29-2013, 06:35 PM
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1. Better DAC.s.
2.Better DSP
3.Improvements in room correction.
4.Better amps (some models)
5.More HDMI inputs/outputs (some models) with ARC.
6.USB inputs (some models)
7.Ethernet port (think firmware upgrade,DLNA, Internet radio etc etc)
8.iPod,iPad,iPhone integration (some models)
9.More channels,zones and in some cases zone 3 or 4 HDMI out.
10.Some offer better video up conversion
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-31-2013, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

1. Better DAC.s.
2.Better DSP
3.Improvements in room correction.
4.Better amps (some models)
5.More HDMI inputs/outputs (some models) with ARC.
6.USB inputs (some models)
7.Ethernet port (think firmware upgrade,DLNA, Internet radio etc etc)
8.iPod,iPad,iPhone integration (some models)
9.More channels,zones and in some cases zone 3 or 4 HDMI out.
10.Some offer better video up conversion

I have no use for any of these things. I simply need 7.1, pre-outs, and a couple of HDMI inputs. It doesn't look like anything in the $400 price range is going to improve on what I already have.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-31-2013, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

1. Better DAC.s.
2.Better DSP
3.Improvements in room correction.
4.Better amps (some models)
5.More HDMI inputs/outputs (some models) with ARC.
6.USB inputs (some models)
7.Ethernet port (think firmware upgrade,DLNA, Internet radio etc etc)
8.iPod,iPad,iPhone integration (some models)
9.More channels,zones and in some cases zone 3 or 4 HDMI out.
10.Some offer better video up conversion

I have no use for any of these things. I simply need 7.1, pre-outs, and a couple of HDMI inputs. It doesn't look like anything in the $400 price range is going to improve on what I already have.

I would humbly suggest that you may only think that you don't have a use for any of those things. And, I agree that frankly I have no need for many of them, as well. Some of them like better amps, are rare and there may even be a few downgrades in the amp department.

But items 2 and 3 pay real dividends for most of us who use them. Now if you are a REW wizard, you get a pass.
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-31-2013, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

The main improvement is the more sophisticated Room EQ employed in receivers nowadays.

Agreed, with a bullet!
Quote:
I find the one I use (Trinnov Optimizer in Sherwood R-972) very valuable in my environment, but depending on your room, your mileage may vary.

I think that there's plenty of opinion posted around here, with good substantiation in many cases that the room EQ benefits are well, minimal.

The big benefit of these features is IMO better labelled as system optimization and involves such operations as tweaking the effects of unavoidable glitches such as the frequency response of speakers and more rarely electronics.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-31-2013, 08:41 AM
 
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wait 2-3 years before upgrading and you can get a receiver with HDMI 2.0 and real 4k capabilities. I don't think it's worth it for you to upgrade now.
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-31-2013, 09:33 AM
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My own opinion is that, as long as you have HDMI connections and some sort of Dolby and DTS decoding, there aren't any cogent reasons to upgrade an AV receiver unless you seek gadgets and features. My AV receiver is now 7 years old. It handles things as well as it always has. My online streaming is handled by my blu ray players. The heralded technology breakthroughs are of subtle importance in my view.
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-31-2013, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

My own opinion is that, as long as you have HDMI connections and some sort of Dolby and DTS decoding, there aren't any cogent reasons to upgrade an AV receiver unless you seek gadgets and features. My AV receiver is now 7 years old. It handles things as well as it always has. My online streaming is handled by my blu ray players. The heralded technology breakthroughs are of subtle importance in my view.

I was going to post that 3D Blu-ray players can almost always handle streaming from a network source.
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