Harman Kardon AVR 247 & 347 discussion thread. - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 5256 Old 07-13-2007, 07:35 PM
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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

Lloyd
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post #62 of 5256 Old 07-13-2007, 07:54 PM
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Thanks for that info lparsons21, I am myself trying to dedice on a new HDMI receiver to go with my Toshiba A20. Did HK state what the firmware update will do exactly? Will it just enable the 247 to accept 7.1 LPCM or additionally allow it to matrix 5.1 to 7.1? Thanks.
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post #63 of 5256 Old 07-13-2007, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efjay View Post

Thanks for that info lparsons21, I am myself trying to dedice on a new HDMI receiver to go with my Toshiba A20. Did HK state what the firmware update will do exactly? Will it just enable the 247 to accept 7.1 LPCM or additionally allow it to matrix 5.1 to 7.1? Thanks.

They weren't specific, but if I were guessing, I would think only 7.1 LPCM. But then, the 645/745 do layering...

Lloyd
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post #64 of 5256 Old 07-13-2007, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lparsons21 View Post

They weren't specific, but if I were guessing, I would think only 7.1 LPCM. But then, the 645/745 do layering...

Thanks, I guess that is a good addition, considering the price of the 247. What was your impression of the sound quality between the Yamaha 661 and HK receiver? I am partial to the Marantz sound which has been described as musical with a good midrange and am wondering how the HK compares. Thanks again.
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post #65 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efjay View Post

Thanks, I guess that is a good addition, considering the price of the 247. What was your impression of the sound quality between the Yamaha 661 and HK receiver? I am partial to the Marantz sound which has been described as musical with a good midrange and am wondering how the HK compares. Thanks again.

I haven't heard a Marantz in many years, so I can't really make that comparison.

Harmon Kardon receivers seem to emphasize the mid-bass and mid-range more than does the Yamaha. Warm is often used to describe the HKs and I think it fits. The sound is full and rich and virtually never harsh.

The Yamaha is more 'natural' I guess would be the best I could describe it. Yamaha has spent lots of time and money is DSP work, so you have all those massagers in them to tweak the overall feel of the audio. It is often described as brighter and it has been said that Klipsch and Yamaha don't make a good match because they are both 'bright'.

That's why when I was doing my original comparisons, I was only willing to look local. That way I could get one bring it home and return it easily if I didn't like it or just wanted to try something else. That did limit my selection, and I did pay more than I could have at an internet shop. I thought it was money and time well spent.

Here's a couple of opinions that aren't about the audio and video.

HK receivers probably would get a good WAF as the engineers spend some time with the look of them. From the dual-color front panel to the pale blue lettering on the panel display, not to mention the blue light in the volume control. The front display is informative enough without being overly busy. It can also be read from 8-10' pretty easily with reasonably good eyes.

Yamaha, OTOH, obviously spends lots of times with the audio massagers. But the look is functional. Plain, flat black front panel and a panel display is orange, with lots of very small icons for all the different things it does. It is almost impossible to look at that display and read it from any real distance. The look is almost the same as it was 25+ years ago. Yamaha seems designed for those that like to play with the soundfield a lot.

Lloyd
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post #66 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efjay View Post

Thanks for that info lparsons21, I am myself trying to dedice on a new HDMI receiver to go with my Toshiba A20. Did HK state what the firmware update will do exactly? Will it just enable the 247 to accept 7.1 LPCM or additionally allow it to matrix 5.1 to 7.1? Thanks.

As a point of information, just how are these "firmware updates" accomplished?
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post #67 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capra1628 View Post

As a point of information, just how are these "firmware updates" accomplished?

Here's the quote about that from my email :

A PC with a physical RS-232 serial port on it
A normal serial cable (not a "null modem" type)

It will require that you download the software upgrade to your computer
and then connect the computer's serial port to the RS-232 port on your
AVR 247.


Sounds simple enough, and thank the good lord I still have an old XP computer to use for this, I knew it would come in handy one day!

If you are a mac user like me, and don't have a PC, find a friend. Macs haven't had serial ports in many years.

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post #68 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lparsons21 View Post

Here's the quote about that from my email :

A PC with a physical RS-232 serial port on it
A normal serial cable (not a "null modem" type)

It will require that you download the software upgrade to your computer
and then connect the computer's serial port to the RS-232 port on your
AVR 247.


Sounds simple enough, and thank the good lord I still have an old XP computer to use for this, I knew it would come in handy one day!

If you are a mac user like me, and don't have a PC, find a friend. Macs haven't had serial ports in many years.

Glad to find another mac user!!! I have been using it since 1991, however, I do use a PC at work (what a drag). I work for GE and they are all standardized on Dell. I have a Dell laptop that I bring home and that is what I use on those occasions that I need a PC. However, right now, I am without a Mac because I sold my Power Mac G4 on Craigslist. I am waiting for the new iMacs to be released. My brother works for Apple and can get me a discount

The new Macs can run Windows too since they use intel processors. The 645/745 have USB ports and that is how I upgraded the firmware on my 745.

Eventually the best way to upgrade software should be through a web interface and ethernet port. Similar to how the firmware is upgraded on wireless routers, etc. It is pretty straight forward to implement and does not require a specific OS. Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, anything.
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post #69 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lparsons21 View Post

I think they are basically JBL designed as HK owns JBL also.




You are correct; Harman Kardon's HKTS systems consist of JBL speakers and probably match well with various JBL fronts if one is so disposed.
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post #70 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for the response on the SQ of the 247 lparsons21, my only remaining concern really is the reliability of the HK receivers, reading some of the issues reported in another HK thread and one in particular which affects my Toshiba A20 I'm not sure if I should make the purchase.
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post #71 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 09:14 AM
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efjay - why don't you try it out (if you buy locally). Then you can make sure you got a good unit that plays well with your A20. If you don't like it return it. If you use an Amex card, you get an extra year of manufacturer's warranty. That takes it to 3 years. I have heard very good things about H/K warranty. While they may have a higher failure rate than other manufacturers, their service has been great (according to reports). I took a chance with my refurbished 745 from eBay (I got 3 years warranty by using Amex) and it has been great.
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post #72 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efjay View Post

Thanks for the response on the SQ of the 247 lparsons21, my only remaining concern really is the reliability of the HK receivers, reading some of the issues reported in another HK thread and one in particular which affects my Toshiba A20 I'm not sure if I should make the purchase.

I read all those issues too. And I read in other forums and threads about other receivers. Nothing in them leads me to believe that HK is worse than others in quality of build. My own experience has been good also.

What was it about the A20 with the 247? I have an HDA2 and mine worked out of box quite well.

I'm with Bommai on the try out, that's why I bought local. While some internet dealers will allow a swap, shipping is not a negligible expense these days. And one of the things I noticed about the 247 is that with rare exception, prices are pretty close to MSRP everywhere. Or at least at places I know about, there are a few cheaper from places I never heard of before, I'm leery of buying from those.

If you are retired or active duty military, you can special order one for a bit better than MSRP. BUT, with special orders, no returns except for product failure.

Lloyd
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post #73 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 03:56 PM
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If you have an HDDVD player, then you know it only does 5.1 LPCM via HDMI. All HDDVD discs are decoded in the player and put out as 5.1 LPCM. And the AVR247 doesn't have the capability of allowing layering so that you can matrix out the back 2 channels.

Well, IT DOES! IF you are willing to do a couple of things.

1. Connect a digital out (coax or optical depending on player) to the AVR247

2. Set the Audio Input for the HDMI you use to whichever optical/coax you've plugged that connector to on your receiver.

The HDDVD player will send out the sound via the SPDIF (coax/optical) as DTS. Using the DTS button on the remote, select DTS:Neo6 and your back speakers are in the mix.

Now for those sound purists out there, yes this will be a lossy codec. BUT, you really may not care after you hear how good this sounds. If not, don't do it!

Lloyd
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post #74 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lparsons21 View Post

I read all those issues too. And I read in other forums and threads about other receivers. Nothing in them leads me to believe that HK is worse than others in quality of build. My own experience has been good also.

What was it about the A20 with the 247? I have an HDA2 and mine worked out of box quite well.

I'm with Bommai on the try out, that's why I bought local. While some internet dealers will allow a swap, shipping is not a negligible expense these days. And one of the things I noticed about the 247 is that with rare exception, prices are pretty close to MSRP everywhere. Or at least at places I know about, there are a few cheaper from places I never heard of before, I'm leery of buying from those.

If you are retired or active duty military, you can special order one for a bit better than MSRP. BUT, with special orders, no returns except for product failure.

I think the HK isn't for me. Receivers are more complex nowadays but things like the delay when changing inputs that has been mentioned, while it may not seem like a big deal initially will probably become more of sticking point after prolonged use. I'd rather get something that works and know its limitations from the onset and not bank on a firmware upgrade that may never come to fix issues or add features.

I appreciate yours and bommai's advice.
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post #75 of 5256 Old 07-14-2007, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efjay View Post

I think the HK isn't for me. Receivers are more complex nowadays but things like the delay when changing inputs that has been mentioned, while it may not seem like a big deal initially will probably become more of sticking point after prolonged use. I'd rather get something that works and know its limitations from the onset and not bank on a firmware upgrade that may never come to fix issues or add features.

I appreciate yours and bommai's advice.

I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill, but that's why we have all these excellent brands out there. The delay is there, but it is also there on the Yamaha RX-V661 too, although a bit shorter. As to the firmware upgrade, I'm certain we'll see it and I expect it to give 7.1 LPCM, but not layering.

If you like the Marantz sound, I would think Marantz should be at the top of the list, with the Denon line in the mix. Reading here, Denon and Marantz compare well for audio quality.

Lloyd
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post #76 of 5256 Old 07-15-2007, 08:07 AM
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So far the 247 is very nice...no popping with HDMI and pretty impressed by the upscale with SD content. I do have a question. It seems to get pretty warm up top. Any recommendations on clearance above the receiver? Right now I have around 1.5" to 2" clearance above it. Thanks!
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post #77 of 5256 Old 07-15-2007, 02:17 PM
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That is how much clearance I have. I have it in an open TV stand though. No doors. It is also in a cool basement.
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post #78 of 5256 Old 07-15-2007, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcoptic View Post

So far the 247 is very nice...no popping with HDMI and pretty impressed by the upscale with SD content. I do have a question. It seems to get pretty warm up top. Any recommendations on clearance above the receiver? Right now I have around 1.5" to 2" clearance above it. Thanks!

It does run a bit warm, doesn't it? Mine is in an open rack with 4" clearance on top and completely open all the way around. I would guess that as long as it doesn't get hotter than your hand can comfortably stand, you are OK.

Lloyd
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post #79 of 5256 Old 07-15-2007, 02:57 PM
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Heh...ok, just makes me kinda nervous...dont want to screw up nice equipment. I was surprised the manual never really states how much clearance the receiver should have. I can set my hand comfortable up there for now...still might adjust some stuff..
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post #80 of 5256 Old 07-15-2007, 04:55 PM
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Can anyone out there tell me if the 247 has the option to sync. audio and video? I'm having this problem with my HDA2 to my Samsung DLP but this is via my HTIB that I'm in the process of upgrading.
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post #81 of 5256 Old 07-15-2007, 05:34 PM
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My 347 has had no sync issues from my cable box, A20, and PS3. It has had some other issues that make me really consider returning the unit. (Mainly it occasionally loses the center channel audio on HDMI Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies. I can play games w/ surround sound for hours at a time with no audio drops.)
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post #82 of 5256 Old 07-15-2007, 05:51 PM
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If it is losing center channel audio occassionally, then you might have a defective unit or something defect in your system. In the 3 weeks that I owned the 247 back in March, it performed flawlessly as far as sound is concerned.
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post #83 of 5256 Old 07-15-2007, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelemming47 View Post

Can anyone out there tell me if the 247 has the option to sync. audio and video? I'm having this problem with my HDA2 to my Samsung DLP but this is via my HTIB that I'm in the process of upgrading.

I believe the 247 and 347 have a lip sync feature where you have the option to delay the audio by several milliseconds.
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post #84 of 5256 Old 07-18-2007, 08:38 AM
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"HK receivers probably would get a good WAF as the engineers spend some time with the look of them. From the dual-color front panel to the pale blue lettering on the panel display, not to mention the blue light in the volume control. The front display is informative enough without being overly busy. It can also be read from 8-10' pretty easily with reasonably good eyes."


The look of the HK receivers is going to undergo a tremendous change by the end of the year. I am being told for the better and how it was described to me sounds nice, but we'll see.

I have a website, but apparently I can't put it here. WTF?
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post #85 of 5256 Old 07-18-2007, 01:40 PM
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I am the proud new owner of a 347 and am having an issue that I am hoping someone can help me with.

I have a Pioneer DV-400V dvd player (upconverting) connected via hdmi to the 347. The 347 is connected to an Optoma HD72. When playing dvds, the 347 shows PCM 48mhz when I fully expected to see something more along the lines of Dolby Digital 3/2/.1 on the display.

I have set the dvd player to output audio and video via hdmi. I set the audio portion of the hdmi output to be 'Auto'. The other two options are 'Off' and 'LPCM (2CH)'.

On the 347 I have the hdmi from the dvd player coming into hdmi 2 and I have gone into the OSD and verified that hdmi 2 is set up to use the audio on hdmi 2. I have not tried hdmi 1. I will try it tonight.

The dvds that I have tried are Finding Nemo and Ghostrider and on both the audio is coming across and linear PCM. Any ideas?
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post #86 of 5256 Old 07-18-2007, 02:55 PM
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Did anyone have issues playing demos from the PS3 online store. Motorstorm defaults back to 480p on me everytime I start it, however some demos work fine Rub A Duck...also Ninja Gaiden Sigma loads fine. So far Motorstorm and Def Jam Icons default back to 480p on me...any ideas? My TV is recognized correctly as accepting 1080p KDS-55A2000 hooked up over HDMI2 to my AVR-247...
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post #87 of 5256 Old 07-18-2007, 10:36 PM
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I recently bought a HK AVR-247 and am having a few problems and was wondering if I might get a little help.

1. My first issue is the video pass through. When I got the receiver last Tues I hooked it up and it looked great. When I was going through some of the settings on the cable box for the digital audio output, the box started passing only 1080i out and of course the 247 just passes this through and the mini OSD goes away in that display. Well I tried to set the cable box back to 720p because that seemed to look better on my TV and no it is saying that the signal is not supported. Something seemed to happen and I cannot figure it out. I have reset the cable box to the factory settings and the 247 back to factory settings but I cannot get the 720p siganl to show up. (I did run the cable straight to the TV and it accepted the signal with no problem at all) I called HK's support center and they could not give me a solution.

2. My second issue or question has to do with volume level. It seems with my 247 I have to turn it up to around -20.5 for it to fill the room up to a modest volume level. I am using the HKTS 18 satelite kit. I am nt hard of hearing but when the mini OSD was working the volume bar would be past half way before you started to hear anything starting to come out of the speakers.

My setup:
(Cable box to AVR) audio = digital coax , Video = component ( I have the cable box turned all the way up and it is set to dolby digital and wide for the audio settings)
(AVR to Samsung DLP) audio = analog cables, Video = component
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post #88 of 5256 Old 07-18-2007, 11:18 PM
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1. My satellite receiver did the same thing when I tried it out at first via component. No matter what I did, it wouldn't set to a different output setting. So I hooked direct to the TV, set the sat receiver to 720p and ensured it worked. Then I plugged it into the 247 and it all worked fine. I don't know if that is exactly what you are seeing though.

2. I use Cerwin-Vega satellites with a Velodyne sub and here are the volume levels for the various inputs I use most of the time:

Default volume -35db (because its on the sat receiver and SD channel) Not loud at all
Sat Receiver - SD channels = -30db HD channels = -25db for quiet sound up to -15db
HDDVD -20db for some, -10 for loud movies
BluRay Same as HDDVD
With SD disks -25db up to -15db

I don't worry about where it is as a percentage of max 'cause I don't think the level indicator is linear anyway.

Lloyd
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post #89 of 5256 Old 07-19-2007, 05:30 AM
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Well the last straw with the 247 was last night....I went to try out a SACD through the PS3 and it sounds like a garbled encoded MP3. I noticed on the 247 post someone had the same issues and HK said there was an issue with the first receivers that went out. The 247 is now going back to Amazon....oh well I already ordered the V661 so time to move on...
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post #90 of 5256 Old 07-19-2007, 07:57 AM
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My HK AVR 347 will be here today. I won't get to set it up until this weekend, but with all of the testing I've done with the 247 in the lab, I'm excited to have it at home.

I have a website, but apparently I can't put it here. WTF?
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