For those that have watched this thread, you know I've been back and forth with the AVR247 and the Yammy RX-V661. Well today I have installed a new AVR247 and set the Yamaha aside. Probably will sell it sometime along the way. It is excellent, but the sound quality of the HK just can't be ignored. Having one cable to the TV doesn't hurt either, and with what I'm posting now, versatility is better than I had originally thought. The only two things the Yamaha has that is nice is full 7.1 support (see below), and layering over 5.1 LPCM to fake 7.1. Strangely, even though the Yamaha is power rated much higher, I use lower volume levels with the HK. Proof that all watts ain't equal!
In fiddling this time and previously, here are some settings I use, and some observations.
1. If you want the receiver to do the same massage with each codec, go to the OSD System Default and turn OFF the Default Surround Mode.
2. Look at 720p outputs from your sources vice 1080i. I know, all the 'experts' say there is a huge difference between the two. But to my less-than-expert-eyes, 720p massaged by the 247 looks better with almost everything. That is especially true for the Dish Vip622 HD Satellite receiver. But I also have my BluRay and HDDVD players set for that. One advantage of 720p is that you get the partial OSD when you change sound settings and volume, also sound stays on when you use the full OSD to tweak your speaker level settings.
3. Dolby Digital-EX is one flexible, amazing massage. Here's a few observations with different satellite channels :
Golf Channel : LF/RF/Center/Sub and the 2 back speakers in a 7.1 (not the surrounds though). Gives a very nice fill when watching golf. I'm sure some other channels do the same thing.
SciFi : Here Logic 7 7-Channel Cinema is a butt kicker. Full sound, matrixed for directional sounds.
HD Channels : Dolby Digital-EX gives full 7.1 sound with all these channels
4. BluRay Player - Sorry, no native 7.1 support YET (more on that later) in the AVR247/347. But try the 5.1 PCM or if there is another track, like DTS or DD. With those 2 latter codecs, you can massage them a bit. On some movies, I think the compressed codecs are better sounding. This is a good place to experiment.
5. HDDVD - Using HDMI, these players convert all HDDVD sound codecs to LPCM. So 5.1 is the best you get.
6. BluRay/HDDVD - With SD disks, sometimes there are other tracks besides DD. For instance, Snakes on the Plane has a DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 on it. But you have to select it.
Now about 7.1 LPCM support for the AVR247/347. HK confirmed with me tonight that it WILL happen with a firmware update. When is the big question. If I find it is out, I will post here. I think what happened with HK is that they determined that there really isn't much 7.1 LPCM out there, and that is all too true. So they didn't think anyone would notice or care. Now that some of us have told them that we do, they are responding. I appreciate that.
Here's my total system now :
Harman Kardon AVR 247
(6) Cerwin-Vega Bookshelf speakers (VE Line)
(1) Cerwin-Vega Center speaker (VE Line)
(1) Velodyne VRP-1200 Powered Sub (12")
Toshiba HDA2 HDDVD Player
Sony BDP-S300 Blu Ray Player
Samsung DVD recorder
Sony 5-Disk Upconverting DVD Changer
Dish Vip622 HD Satellite Receiver/DVR