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post #91 of 408 Old 06-04-2008, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by toby10 View Post

Hey there Michael.

What do you mean by "customize video"?

Sorry for the poor wording. I am referring to custom video settings on a per input basis. Some TVs allow for this. I don't think of this as important in a digital world, but some videophiles may feel differently about it.

Ideally, a digital video source is not modifying the video in objectional ways. So if your colors, brightness or contrast are objectionable, it's an issue with the source. And your happiness could change for each channel, DVD or game you are viewing.

With analog sources, you may be able to deal with global source video issues such as a VCR with an objectionable video output. And make those settings on the input dedicate to the VCR.

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post #92 of 408 Old 06-04-2008, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Sorry for the poor wording. I am referring to custom video settings on a per input basis. Some TVs allow for this. I don't think of this as important in a digital world, but some videophiles may feel differently about it.

Ideally, a digital video source is not modifying the video in objectional ways. So if your colors, brightness or contrast are objectionable, it's an issue with the source. And your happiness could change for each channel, DVD or game you are viewing.

With analog sources, you may be able to deal with global source video issues such as a VCR with an objectionable video output. And make those settings on the input dedicate to the VCR.

Very good point and very true!
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post #93 of 408 Old 06-04-2008, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby10 View Post

Hey there Michael.
...The other draw back to using the AVR for any/all video switching is that there are many instances where having the AVR powered up is overkill. Example: watching sitcoms, news, SD cable, etc... it's kinda silly to have a 140 watt x 7 ch amp powered up for such shows. I'd guess most people would run two feeds from a cable box. HDMI or Component to the AVR and then run Component or Composite or S-video direct to TV for non AVR use (and simpler for wife to operate )

Thanks everyone especially toby10 and MichaelJHuman.

I suspect what Toby said is true. I'll have to take the video with the audio whether I use it or not. Toby also suggests I might like the video switching through the AVR. Maybe, but why am I buying a TV with 4 hdmi inputs. If I video switch through the AVR I have to make sure it passes 1080p, 24 fps, and x.v.color. Ideally it would pass the digital video portion whatever the format without doing ANYTHING to it. If I wanted an external video scaler I would buy one. Otherwise why can't we let the TV do it?

Cons (video through AVR):
- can't use the TV's ability to customize video settings on a per input basis
- overkill. Example: watching sitcoms, news, SD cable, etc
- not all digital video formats supported by all AVRs.
- TV sound simpler for wife to operate

Pros (video through AVR):
- it's impractical to split the two (audio & video)
- reduces cables and clutter
- can play HD audio, TV won't pass it

In my case I plan to have only Fios and a DVD player. That's 2 hdmi cables if I hook straight to the TV or 3 if I route through the AVR. Using the TV as an AV switch requires an optical cable from TV to AVR, so I guess that's the third cable.
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post #94 of 408 Old 06-04-2008, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I can totally understand reasons for switching video from the TV. I just recently want all HDMI for video sources. That is to say my DVD player, XBox and Tivo are all hooked up with HDMI into my receiver.

It's working perfectly, with cleaner wiring and very simple switching. My AVR offers no conversion on HDMI which I am 100% ok with. I just want it to switch the video along with the audio.

My remote control life is not quite as simple as I like. My receiver remote can control my DVD player, but for my Tivo, I use the Tivo remote as it's such a nice remote and has such specialized buttons. Maybe I will get another Harmony remote one day like in the bedroom. I think they make one that doubles as a Tivo remote.

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post #95 of 408 Old 06-05-2008, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgolde View Post

Thanks everyone especially toby10 and MichaelJHuman.

I suspect what Toby said is true. I’ll have to take the video with the audio whether I use it or not. Toby also suggests I might like the video switching through the AVR. Maybe, but why am I buying a TV with 4 hdmi inputs. If I video switch through the AVR I have to make sure it passes 1080p, 24 fps, and x.v.color. Ideally it would pass the digital video portion whatever the format without doing ANYTHING to it. If I wanted an external video scaler I would buy one. Otherwise why can’t we let the TV do it?............

Yup. But keep in mind an AVR with video switching does not mean it will process the video at all (deinterlacing, scaling, NR, etc...).
My AVR is set to HDMI pass through.

All of your points are valid and everyone's needs will be different. For me all my video sources except one are solely switched at the AVR as I would not or could not operate that source without the AVR.

AVR switched sources:
- DVD/CD player (with SACD & DVD-Audio)
- VCR (rarely used, but benefits from AVR upscaling)
- HD-DVD player
- Digital STB HD Tuner (QAM & OTA)
- Cable Box/DVR

The last one, Cable Box/DVR is also run direct to the TV as I often am watching shows that just don't need AVR audio and is the most often used source. Both TV's are setup to default to the direct cable input when powered on (wife friendly).

We guys will never understand the wife's issues with AV gear. "If you would just press these six buttons in this particular sequence you would not have these problems! It's so simple!". But then, the wives don't understand why we can't wear the same color socks!

One other draw back (con) to AVR video switching is another potential device in the "chain" to go bad or have issues.
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post #96 of 408 Old 06-05-2008, 04:10 AM
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Cons (video through AVR):
- can't use the TV’s ability to customize video settings on a per input basis
......* can usually be overcome by different Memory settings in TV, but adds another step
- overkill. Example: watching sitcoms, news, SD cable, etc
......* Totally agree, run another set direct to tv (audio L&R, video), set this input as DEFAULT for the wife & kids
- not all digital video formats supported by all AVRs.
......* True but few few are passing video beyond std DVD and HD DVD
- TV sound simpler for wife to operate
......* Yup

Pros (video through AVR):
- it's impractical to split the two (audio & video)
......* And splitting them can actually introduce Lip Sync issues, though usually correctable via AVR audio delay settings for that source
- reduces cables and clutter
......* Indeed
- can play HD audio, TV won’t pass it
......* No other way around it, unless you want to settle for the core (legacy) DD or DTS
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post #97 of 408 Old 06-05-2008, 09:50 AM
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One thing the OP missed in answering is how to configure the speaker settings on most AVR's this would be helpful to people who have bought used avr's with no manual.

I don't have his problem because I set my system up so quickly that I wouldnt be able to answer the question. But I would try going through the menus which are kind of cryptic on most AVR's although most have on-screen menu's to help do so.

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post #98 of 408 Old 06-11-2008, 02:44 PM
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Michael,

Your posts are amazing! Please excuse my ignorance but I need some help. I'm trying to put together a home theater and music system. Here are the components I will use:

HDTV - Samsung 6 Series TOC LN46A650
Blu-Ray - Panasonic DMPBD30K
Cable - Time Warner cable high def box (with HDMI)
AVR - UNDECIDED (but I have a 7.1 Onkyo AVR with HDMI pass through, no Dolby HD or DTS Master)
DVD Player
6 Disc CD Player
HiFi VCR
Tape Deck
7 Polk Audio speakers
1 JBL subwoofer

RECEIVER QUESTIONS
---------------------

1. What is the best way to connect these components via AVR?

2. Is the current AVR listed above sufficient to get the best possible outcome for these components?

3. Is an AVR with 1080p upconversion necessary to get best possible picture?

4. If video source is already in 1080p (blu-ray), what role does the 1080p AVR play? If it's just pass through, isn't that a waste?

5. If the video signal has already been upscaled or upconverted from the video source (i.e. playing a regular dvd on a blu-ray player), then is it necessary to still upconvert at the AVR level? If not, what would it do, pass through the video? If so how does it know what the quality of signal is?

6. Will a 1080p upconverting AVR upconvert my cable signal broadcasted in 1080i to 1080p? Does this mean that I can watch all my cable channels in 1080p? why or why not?

7. What can a 1080p AVR do for vcr video? To what extent can it improve the video? All the way to 1080p? If not, is it worth it?

8. Is it better to send signal to 1080p AVR direct or via bitstream? What is the difference and why choose one over the other?

9. Why connect HDMI component via AVR when you can connect direct to HDTV? What are its benefits and drawbacks? Do you lose any signal quality going through the AVR?

10. Based on my equipment, do you think I need a 1080p receiver? If yes, should I wait for the new Denon series (xx09) scheduled to release this summer? Someone recommended the Onkyo 705, but that only has a 720p upconversion, otherwise I like all other features on it including the Dolby HD, DTS Master and THX.

VIDEO QUESTIONS
------------------

11. Does an HDTV automatically upconvert or upscale all video signals it receives? If yes, then what's the point of having a 1080p AVR?

12. Currently, on my regular TV (SDTV), some of my cable channels are not getting clear reception while others are perfect. The cable tech has been over my house 3 times and he can't improve the reception. I'v also switched boxes 3 times without success. The main cable drop is split 3 ways, with one of the lines going to my TV. Is there anything I can do to improve my signal so that all channels are clear, not just some? Could it be the splitter causing some channels to drop in quality? If yes, then how come other channels are crystal clear? I want to perfect my reception before connecting the cable to the new HDTV. Any ideas?

At the end of the day, I want the best possible combination, video and audio output given my equipment. I have a budget of $600 to spend on a new AVR if it would drastically change things. I know this is a lot to post but any help from an experienced expert will be greatly appreciated! If you want to take this off-line, you can email me at pamnyc2010 at yahoo dot com. Thanks in advance.
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post #99 of 408 Old 06-12-2008, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I am going to assume your TV is 1080p. I did not look it up. If it's not, none of this makes sense.

I also want to state a very important fact. I don't know the answer to most of your questions because every 1080p upscaling receiver is not made alike. I have no way of knowing whether any given receiver can do a better job of video processing than your TV.

I think you may have missed that point in the FAQ, because I think I mentioned it a few times. You 1080p TV MUST convert to 1080p if it's not already getting a 1080p signal. That requires deinterlacing, and scaling. These are different tasks.

You could deinterlace at the source device (e.g. a DVD player,) the AVR, or let the TV do it. You can scale at the device (e.g. a so called upconverting DVD player), you could scale in the AVR, or let the TV scale to 1080p. Pick the option that looks best.

There are AVR reviews which cover their video processing quality. But they won't compare it to your TV. So you are living with imperfect information here. I believe I discuss this in the FAQ.

1. What is the best way to connect these components via AVR?

Connect your HDMI sources with HDMI if possible. It avoids a digital to analog conversion, and an analog to digital conversion. HDMI's main downside is potential lip synch issues.

2. Is the current AVR listed above sufficient to get the best possible outcome for these components?

I don't know. I am not familiar with that model.

3. Is an AVR with 1080p upconversion necessary to get best possible picture?

1080p conversion is no gaurantee of the best possible picture. See my introductory explanation.

4. If video source is already in 1080p (blu-ray), what role does the 1080p AVR play? If it's just pass through, isn't that a waste?

None.

5. If the video signal has already been upscaled or upconverted from the video source (i.e. playing a regular dvd on a blu-ray player), then is it necessary to still upconvert at the AVR level? If not, what would it do, pass through the video? If so how does it know what the quality of signal is?

There's no "necessary". See my introductory explanation.

6. Will a 1080p upconverting AVR upconvert my cable signal broadcasted in 1080i to 1080p? Does this mean that I can watch all my cable channels in 1080p? why or why not?

Depends on the AVR. If it can upscale you can watch in 1080p. But your TV will ALWAYS scale to 1080p no matter what you feed it.

7. What can a 1080p AVR do for vcr video? To what extent can it improve the video? All the way to 1080p? If not, is it worth it?

It MAY improve it. That's the best I can say. It could reduce noise. It could do a better job of deinterlacing to 480p than your TV. I don't know. You probably see a pattern here. I don't know, and no one else does either, because it depends on testing the specific AVR and your TV with your VCR to see if it makes a difference.

8. Is it better to send signal to 1080p AVR direct or via bitstream? What is the difference and why choose one over the other?

I am not sure what you mean. I suggest using HDMI where available, unless you run into issues. One issue would be unsolvable lip synch issues. My DVD player occasionally has the lips moving out of synch with the audio. I can correct this, sometimes by hitting stop and start. So HDMI is not perfect. In theory, it's the best option, especially for digital video sources; you would ideally not convert DVD into analog and feed it to an LCD TV, as that involves multiple conversion steps.

9. Why connect HDMI component via AVR when you can connect direct to HDTV? What are its benefits and drawbacks? Do you lose any signal quality going through the AVR?

Two reasons; audio and switching. If you don't hook your DVD/Blu-ray player into an AVR, you won't get surround sound, even if you run your TV audio back to your AVR. In general, you easily split audio and video if you choose to use HDMI. If you buy a receiver with HDMI upconversion, you can switch all audio/video using your AVR. The FAQ covers these. It also clarifies the use of the term upconverting and upconversion. They mean different things. The FAQ explains that upconversion is a confusing term because the term means something different when used for DVD players then when used for AVRs.

10. Based on my equipment, do you think I need a 1080p receiver? If yes, should I wait for the new Denon series (xx09) scheduled to release this summer? Someone recommended the Onkyo 705, but that only has a 720p upconversion, otherwise I like all other features on it including the Dolby HD, DTS Master and THX.

I don't think you need one. I do think, if you want the BEST video quality, and you have the cash, look at receivers using the Realta chip. But first you should find a review where the receiver was tested with a video benchmark, like HQV. Make sure it perform excellently in the review on a known benchmark.

VIDEO QUESTIONS
------------------

11. Does an HDTV automatically upconvert or upscale all video signals it receives? If yes, then what's the point of having a 1080p AVR?

The FAQ goes into detail on this. I think I would give the same verbage as in the FAQ. So I am not sure what else to add. Short answer, because the TV may not have the BEST quality deinterlacer and/or scaler. Oppo's web sight also answers this question, you can look to see what they said.

12. Currently, on my regular TV (SDTV), some of my cable channels are not getting clear reception while others are perfect. The cable tech has been over my house 3 times and he can't improve the reception. I'v also switched boxes 3 times without success. The main cable drop is split 3 ways, with one of the lines going to my TV. Is there anything I can do to improve my signal so that all channels are clear, not just some? Could it be the splitter causing some channels to drop in quality? If yes, then how come other channels are crystal clear? I want to perfect my reception before connecting the cable to the new HDTV. Any ideas?

Blame the cable company. Not much else you can do. They are almost certainly feeding you a bad signal. My Fox used to look HORRIBLE. One big reason I replaced my Tivo with an HD model was because of that issue. The HD feed was excellent.

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post #100 of 408 Old 06-12-2008, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamnyc2010 View Post

.............
5. If the video signal has already been upscaled or upconverted from the video source (i.e. playing a regular dvd on a blu-ray player), then is it necessary to still upconvert at the AVR level? If not, what would it do, pass through the video? If so how does it know what the quality of signal is?

6. Will a 1080p upconverting AVR upconvert my cable signal broadcasted in 1080i to 1080p? Does this mean that I can watch all my cable channels in 1080p? why or why not?

7. What can a 1080p AVR do for vcr video? To what extent can it improve the video? All the way to 1080p? If not, is it worth it?

8. Is it better to send signal to 1080p AVR direct or via bitstream? What is the difference and why choose one over the other?..........

As Michael has already mentioned, your new HDTV will probably handle all video processing (deinterlacing & upconverting) better than anything else in the video chain. This is especially true when comparing cable boxes or low-to-mid level AVR's. I'll bet your best overall PQ will result from sending your HDTV the basic video signal and letting the TV do scaling.

What you definitely don't want is "over processing" the video signal (deinterlacing & upconverting several times in the chain). Find what device in the chain handles video processing the best for each input type and let ONLY that device do the video processing ONCE. Again, I'll bet your TV itself will do the best.

As for the AVR just make certain it will pass all video (including 1080p) unaltered.
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post #101 of 408 Old 06-12-2008, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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p.s. Did you read the whole FAQ. I know I tried to answer some of those questions, especially about deinterlacing/scaling. No offense intended. I just wondered if my explanations sucked, or you just missed some parts ?

In fact, one of the main points I wanted to cover in my FAQ were many of those exact questions.

Your feedback is welcome on why the FAQ did not address some of that sort of question. For example, the general question seemed to be "Why would I want deinterlacing/scaling on my AVR." My section on 'What is scaling', addresses that concern.

Maybe I will look at that section again, and rewrite the topic as 'Why would I want an AVR with scaling capability.'

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post #102 of 408 Old 06-12-2008, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I edited the section on connections/cables. Could still use some work I imagine, though. I barely get into cost vs. performance.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #103 of 408 Old 06-12-2008, 03:54 PM
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Awesome that your still helping people out and keeping this very great thread alive!

KUDOS

super dirty , super clean , pow
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post #104 of 408 Old 06-12-2008, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

IMHO..
Multi-channel music put more demands on an AVR's amplifier/power supply section than a movie with a multi-channel sound track..
Yes a movie may have a high dynamic sound impact but typically it is in a single channel...
Whereas when playing multi-channel surround music there is a constant demand of power output in all channels..

In the higher quality, priced multi-channel AVRs (>$750 SRP) these tend to do better for their all channels driven capability.. Whereas the budget, economy multi-channel AVRs tend to fall short for this specification.. We have found a popular, budget priced multi-channel AVR could put out >100W into a single channel but when all channels are driven the power per channel dropped to 14W/CH..

Just my $0.02..

I have a Sony STR-DA 1000ES AVR (pre-hdmi)..i'm using Multichannel Input from my Toshiba X-A2 HD. I have to increase the volume WAY above where I would normally have it set just to get it loud enough. Is this because of the reason(s) stated in the above quote? I feel I am really taxing my AVR by having to use almost 90% of my AVR's power...is this a normal condition when using multichannel in jacks??
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post #105 of 408 Old 06-12-2008, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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If I understand you correctly, you have to set your volume control higher for your multi-channel source than other sources to reach the same sound level ?

The readout of your volume is related to overall sound level AND the level of the input signal. Unfortuntately, there's no real standard for average input voltage. One device may require that you set your volume higher than another to get the same volume. It would be rare if your volume control did not let you turn your volume up until just below clipping, which would be the highest setting you would ever want.

Some receivers have input trim settings, which can help equalize these differences.

If I misunderstood your question, let me know.

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post #106 of 408 Old 06-13-2008, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

p.s. Did you read the whole FAQ. I know I tried to answer some of those questions, especially about deinterlacing/scaling. No offense intended. I just wondered if my explanations sucked, or you just missed some parts ?
...
...
Maybe I will look at that section again, and rewrite the topic as 'Why would I want an AVR with scaling capability.'


Michael,

Actually your FAQ is by far the best literature that I have found on the web! Your ability to explain in high terms without losing the technical aspect is uncanny. I spent hours going through it but I posted some questions to learn more about how things would specifically apply to my situation with the equipment I have.

Your idea about rewriting the topic as 'Why would I want an AVR with scaling capability.' is a great one and I think it would help many moving forward as it seems like most new AVRs will have some type of upscaler/upconverter (All of Denon's new AVRs xx09 scheduled to release this summer will have it). Since your FAQ is widely received well, I hope you will continue to expand and keep it up to date.

At the moment, I'm trying to get my cable reception problem solved before moving on to theater install/setup. But I still have questions on your feedback:

1. How would I try the upscaling/upconverting via device (blu-ray), AVR, and HDTV (yes, it's a 1080p 60Hz)? Can I shut off/on at HDTV level? What should I look for to determine best scaler? Would I have to keep trying for different channels or movies that I play?

2. How do you know if your "over" processing or coverting a video signal?

3. I'm still confused about your statement that "But your TV will ALWAYS scale to 1080p no matter what you feed it." If that's so, how come some channels look better, crisper and clearer than others even on HDTVs??

4. "..Oppo's web sight.." What and where is this?

5. I watch a lot of cable (all channels) and less of DVD, VCR etc. My #1 goal is to receive the BEST possible reception on the cable channels first. What specific AVRs do you think would go good in this situation? What AVRs do you like that use Realta chip? And finally, can you explain what you mean "video benchmark, like HQV"? What are some other known benchmarks I can research?

6. Do you have an opinion about the upcoming 2009 Denon AVRs? Or any other for that matter that can be purchased for under $700?
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post #107 of 408 Old 06-13-2008, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby10 View Post

As Michael has already mentioned, your new HDTV will probably handle all video processing (deinterlacing & upconverting) better than anything else in the video chain. This is especially true when comparing cable boxes or low-to-mid level AVR's. I'll bet your best overall PQ will result from sending your HDTV the basic video signal and letting the TV do scaling.

What you definitely don't want is "over processing" the video signal (deinterlacing & upconverting several times in the chain). Find what device in the chain handles video processing the best for each input type and let ONLY that device do the video processing ONCE. Again, I'll bet your TV itself will do the best.

As for the AVR just make certain it will pass all video (including 1080p) unaltered.


This is part that's still confusing: If your HDTV is already upscaling/upconverting the video signal, why would one ever need the same in an AVR or DVD or a VCR and pay all that extra $$$?

The HDTV I will be using is Samsung 6 Series TOC (LN46A650). It's a 1080p 60Hz unit and I can't find anything on the specs or docs that states

1. The TV has an upscaler / upconverter
2. What type is it?

Is this suppose to be implied?
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post #108 of 408 Old 06-13-2008, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamnyc2010 View Post

This is part that's still confusing: If your HDTV is already upscaling/upconverting the video signal, why would one ever need the same in an AVR or DVD or a VCR and pay all that extra $$$?

The HDTV I will be using is Samsung 6 Series TOC (LN46A650). It's a 1080p 60Hz unit and I can't find anything on the specs or docs that states

1. The TV has an upscaler / upconverter
2. What type is it?

Is this suppose to be implied?

This is exactly my point! People rush out to buy "upconverting" devices (DVD players, AVR's etc...) cuz it's "the latest and greatest techy stuff". Yet they overlook the idea that they very well may not need such video processing beyond their new HDTV.

There are areas where external upscaling would be better (even necessary) in some instances:
- older model or very cheap HDTV's with poor video processing
- front projector TV's (most if not all have no scaling capabilities and simply display what it is fed)
- souces like VHS at 280i
- scaling "mismatch" where an HDTV will do great at upscaling most input resolutions, but has trouble with one resolution (example 720p input)

I've personally seen examples where a $40 WalMart upconverting DVD player made a HUGE improvement in PQ on a real cheap HDTV. On the other hand, I've seen examples where an excellent upconverting DVD player (like the suggested OPPO's) costing hundreds of dollars made no difference whatsoever in improving PQ on a good HDTV.
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post #109 of 408 Old 06-13-2008, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I myself was confused about the these upconverting DVD players when I first encountered them. That got me interested in the whole topic of upscaling.

Most HDTVs use some sort of addressable pixels. That is in contrast to the venerable technology used in cathode ray tube televisions. Because each pixel is individually set, and there's no such thing as interlaced scanning, these addressable pixel display TVs must "map" each pixel in the incoming signal to it's own set of pixels.

An example; incoming signal is an analog interlaced signal, such as from a VCR (often referred to as 480i.) Analog is not helpful, so the TV first converts that signal to the digital domain. This gives the TV a set of pixels, but those pixels don't map into it's native 1920x1080 resolution. So the chips in the TV must use mathematical interpolation to "guess" what the best color values are for each of the 1920x1080 pixels addressable by the TV.

Research topics like deinterlacing and 3:2 pulldown, and you will find that many devices don't do a good job there. There's less talk of scaling errors, but there's a number of scaling "algorithms" with varying results.

Some devices in the signal chain can do some or all of these video processing steps. Some will do a better job than other devices at certain steps in this process.

Your TV may be better at deinterlacing and scaling than your other devices, including your upscaling AVR. In that case, turn off video processing in your other devices if possible. Or your DVD player may have a great deinterlacer that's known to pass the HQV benchmarks. But maybe it's scaler is not better than your TVs. In this case, switch on the DVD's deinterlacer (conversion from 480i to 420p.) You can probably independently turn that on while keeping any scaling setting off.

The point is that you can try out your various options to see what looks better to you.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #110 of 408 Old 06-13-2008, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamnyc2010 View Post

Michael,

Actually your FAQ is by far the best literature that I have found on the web! Your ability to explain in high terms without losing the technical aspect is uncanny. I spent hours going through it but I posted some questions to learn more about how things would specifically apply to my situation with the equipment I have.

Your idea about rewriting the topic as 'Why would I want an AVR with scaling capability.' is a great one and I think it would help many moving forward as it seems like most new AVRs will have some type of upscaler/upconverter (All of Denon's new AVRs xx09 scheduled to release this summer will have it). Since your FAQ is widely received well, I hope you will continue to expand and keep it up to date.

At the moment, I'm trying to get my cable reception problem solved before moving on to theater install/setup. But I still have questions on your feedback:

1. How would I try the upscaling/upconverting via device (blu-ray), AVR, and HDTV (yes, it's a 1080p 60Hz)? Can I shut off/on at HDTV level? What should I look for to determine best scaler? Would I have to keep trying for different channels or movies that I play?

2. How do you know if your "over" processing or coverting a video signal?

3. I'm still confused about your statement that "But your TV will ALWAYS scale to 1080p no matter what you feed it." If that's so, how come some channels look better, crisper and clearer than others even on HDTVs??

4. "..Oppo's web sight.." What and where is this?

5. I watch a lot of cable (all channels) and less of DVD, VCR etc. My #1 goal is to receive the BEST possible reception on the cable channels first. What specific AVRs do you think would go good in this situation? What AVRs do you like that use Realta chip? And finally, can you explain what you mean "video benchmark, like HQV"? What are some other known benchmarks I can research?

6. Do you have an opinion about the upcoming 2009 Denon AVRs? Or any other for that matter that can be purchased for under $700?

1. Compare those sources with upscaling and without, switching between your source or AVR or TV inputs.

2. Over-processing means you are performing video processing (deinterlacing/upscaling) several times in the chain. Sometimes over-processing results in no degradation of the video signal, sometimes it does. Think of putting your music through several different DAC conversions unnecessarily. An extreme example:
480i cable signal, cable STB upscales to 1080i, AVR upscales (or donwconverts) to 720p, your TV upscales to it's native resolution of 1080p. So now the original video signal has been "processed" three times at three different devices.

3. No matter what signal you send your tv your tv can only "display" a picture in it's native resolution. If you send a 480i signal to a native 1080p tv the tv must convert this to 1080p in order to display the image. At least I think this is how it works.

4. http://www.oppodigital.com/ for the money the best and most versatile std. def. DVD player on the market!

5. If you primarily are watching std. cable (i.e. mostly non-HD source broadcasting) than make sure you see THAT displayed on your HDTV at the store to see how it will look. Most any HDTV will do great at displaying HD content, but many do not display 480i sources very well. The stores all pipe HD content to all of their displays, and rightfully so as this is the big selling point of these tv's. Ask them to switch to 480i non-HD content like sat or cable (if they can). It's like buying a new car: those black colored cars look great in the showroom under the lights, now go outside and look at the same black car that has been sitting outside for two weeks.
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post #111 of 408 Old 06-13-2008, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morg999 View Post

I have a Sony STR-DA 1000ES AVR (pre-hdmi)..i'm using Multichannel Input from my Toshiba X-A2 HD. I have to increase the volume WAY above where I would normally have it set just to get it loud enough. Is this because of the reason(s) stated in the above quote? I feel I am really taxing my AVR by having to use almost 90% of my AVR's power...is this a normal condition when using multichannel in jacks??

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

If I understand you correctly, you have to set your volume control higher for your multi-channel source than other sources to reach the same sound level ?

The readout of your volume is related to overall sound level AND the level of the input signal. Unfortuntately, there's no real standard for average input voltage. One device may require that you set your volume higher than another to get the same volume. It would be rare if your volume control did not let you turn your volume up until just below clipping, which would be the highest setting you would ever want.

Some receivers have input trim settings, which can help equalize these differences.

If I misunderstood your question, let me know.

I was talking in generalities, when dealing w/ multichannel analog inputs, as needing to turn the volume up. I believe others have posted similiar experiences when dealing with multi/analog ins. I understand the fact that you will have different volumes w/ different inputs...but it is the AMOUNT of add'l pwr. needed to get the volume acceptable that is concerning to me. I was just looking for a possible explanation why this might be. I have no other issue w/ my AVR except this one..I was just wondering if this is because my particular AVR isn't "good "w/ multi/analogs or just a common issue w/ multi/analog ins in general....
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post #112 of 408 Old 06-13-2008, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I may be totally misunderstanding your question. My point here, is that the volume readout does not tell you how much power your receiver is consuming. But let me try another tack.

Set your receiver to a stereo only source. Measure the SPL from one speaker at a fixed distance, say 1 meter. Run your SPL up to 90 dB or so. Look at the volume readout.

Now connect up your multi-channel player, and play a two channel source, like a CD. Using the same measuring technique, once again run your sound up to 90 dB. Look at the volume readout.

Now, I can almost gaurantee you that your receiver is consuming the same amount of power from the wall outlet. Because it should take (roughly) the same amount of power to drive two channels at 90 dB no matter what the source is and no matter what the volume readout says.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #113 of 408 Old 06-18-2008, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I edited the section on HDMI for more detail. I need to improve the section on potential lip synch issues.

I have noticed them myself, on my DVD player. But it's unclear who the culprit is. It seems HDMI itself is not to blame for lip synch issues. It's most likely some video processing step in the chain.

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post #114 of 408 Old 06-22-2008, 06:32 PM
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I'm not sure if this is the right place for this or not, but here goes.

I have a Harmon Kardon 147 and Dish Network Vip622. They are connected by a HDMI and an Optical cable for sound.

The HD channels seem lower in volume then the none HD channels. I have to turn the sound up to around -17 to -12 or so for HD, but for regular channels -30 to -24 is ok. I've also noticed the AVR says Dolby PLII Movie on the regular channels, but only Dolby Digital on the HD Channels.

Is that common or have I done something wrong in setting up the reciever?

Or maybe I'm just deaf.
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post #115 of 408 Old 06-22-2008, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Volume inconsistencies on a per input basis are common. Even with digital outputs, Nothing to worry about.

Dolby Digital is used for HD. It's a digital encoder. It can encode stereo or 5.1 (surround.) DVDs often use the same encoder.

Sounds like some of your channels are being output as two channel PCM rather than Dolby Digital. You have selected the Dolby Pro Logic II processor to play back two channel sources (DPL II can produce 5.1 channel sound from any two channel source.)

For whatever reason, your Dolby Digital sources are quiter than your two channel PCM sources, at least that's my best theory. Hard to say why. I know of no reference for average audio level in digital signals. You may have noticed this when playing one CD vs. another one.

Commercials can be very annoying when they are much louder than the program you are watching.

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post #116 of 408 Old 06-23-2008, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myshap View Post

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this or not, but here goes.

I have a Harmon Kardon 147 and Dish Network Vip622. They are connected by a HDMI and an Optical cable for sound.

The HD channels seem lower in volume then the none HD channels. I have to turn the sound up to around -17 to -12 or so for HD, but for regular channels -30 to -24 is ok. I've also noticed the AVR says Dolby PLII Movie on the regular channels, but only Dolby Digital on the HD Channels.

Is that common or have I done something wrong in setting up the reciever?

Or maybe I'm just deaf.

Try changing temporarily to PLII on your DD HD sources and see if this changes the volume level. If it does than you may be able to turn up the gain on DD sources via your AVR's surround menu's. If the volume remains the same or very similar than it may be the audio signal being sent to your Dish box and there is little you can do.
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post #117 of 408 Old 06-23-2008, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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You may have a dynamics setting on Dolby Digital. Turning that to min or night, or whatever your minimum setting is may give you a louder sound with a reduction in dynamics.

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post #118 of 408 Old 06-24-2008, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I edited the section on output power for clarity. I added some more examples. Hopefully it now covers all the usual questions.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #119 of 408 Old 06-26-2008, 05:09 PM
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There's ANY way to use the sound on HDMI on the HK445?

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| CRT 32"HDTV, DVD, PS2 & PS3, HTPC
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post #120 of 408 Old 06-26-2008, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I took a brief look at the manual, and it the 445's HDMI inputs appear to be useful for video switching only. For audio, it looks like you need to run another connection.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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