I'm in the market for a new AVR. My current Sony ES STR-DA1000ES has been great but does not even have HDMI in/out let alone a lot of the other new tech out there. I know in a lot of industries start releasing the next year's products late in the year. I'm trying to decide if I should go ahead and pick up something from 2013 or wait a little bit and see if 2014 brings anything new and exciting I might miss out on.
I am thinking right now I am looking at:
7.1 or 7.2 (does the .2 really matter? is it any better than just using a Y out of the AVR?)
Probably do not need multi-zone
I'm thinking budget will be around $500.
Mostly 7.x HT use
Supposedly also Auro3D 9.1|10.1|11.1 decoding (and Auro-Matic upmixing).
And because HDMI 2.0 implementations could support up to 32 channel audio, we might see decoding and|or upmixing to channel counts beyond 7.1 performed in a BD player or outboard processor and not just in the AVR.
•4K@50/60, (2160p), which is 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60 video resolution
•Up to 32 audio channels for a multi-dimensional immersive audio experience
•Up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency for the highest audio fidelity
•Simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen
•Simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to multiple users (up to 4)
•Support for the wide angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio
•Dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams
•CEC extensions provides expanded command and control of consumer electronics devices through a single control point
Even if HDMI 2.0 interfaces were on a AVR, of all the things listed, do you see anything immediately available yet that could be of home theater benefit?
Aside from some CE vendors shipping UDTV displays that can scale up to 4kp60, nothing's ready or released as far as video or audio standards that could be utilized.
It'll be a cold day in Hell before I'd be able to figure out how to get 32 speakers in my theater ( without my wife kicking my butt too ) . Maybe I should have written 32 channel audio into a pre-nup !
I mean just think about it: 15 speakers. If they're just 6-8 feet apart think about the size of the room at just 15. If the side surrounds are 8 feet from the front, 8 feet to the next one and 8 feet to the rears that's 24 feet right there. The same logic for the rear would dictate a space 32 feet wide.
That's a huge room- even with the speakers close together...oh, and SEVEN MORE at the front of the room. Oh. And the voice of god in the center of the ceiling, so call it 16.
32? Sure, why not at this point.
Actual phone call (see pic to left):
Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"
Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."
I would assume that HDMI 2.0 includes 32 channel audio capability because it was agreed that support for the full Hamasaki 22.2 speaker setup under development for NHK's UHDTV1|UHDTV2 system was "mandatory"...?
However the 22.x(?) speaker config in use for the NHK-JEITA UHDTV exhibit at CEATEC Japan 2012 last October (apparently a DSP processing variation from the nominal Hamasaki 22.x layout required to compensate for use of a direct view display . . . and the missing ceiling!) actually used 10 height speakers (8 standard, plus 2 non-standard to accomplish 'dialog lift') although it omitted the center overhead speaker, and lower layer front center. Nonetheless, it all seems to be quite acceptable to the fictional family we are supposed to believe lives there!
And I'm sure some people would like to see the ETRI 30.2 (link) experimental theatrical speaker configuration find its way into South Korean UHDTV broadcasting plans!
Ohhh.mmm..sorry about your luck. They just release Audessey XT65536 + 1. Makes plain old Audessey XT65536 sound like a pile of dog crap :-)
My updated (12/2014)HT set-up