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post #1 of 5 Old 01-15-2013, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Currently I have an Onkyo receiver and Polk (RM7) speakers in a 5.1 setup. Maybe I'm not the target audience for a good surround sound system, but I find all of the setup more than I really want. I don't do game consoles so all that I have hooked up to the receiver is a BrD player and my cable box.

All of the extra features on the receiver are a bit of a waste. I could run everything directly to the TV then just use an HDMI to the reciever for the surround sound, but that means I have even more wasted features.

I'm looking for a simpler setup. I would love to run everything to the TV and then have an HDMI to a small decoder/amplifier that splits it into 5.1 or 7.1 channels without having the giant box of a receiver and all of it's excess features.

Is there anything like that out there or am I stuck with the full blown receiver?
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-15-2013, 06:32 PM
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Ironically, anything less than "the giant box of a receiver" will probably cost more than the receiver. AVRs are mass-market products, and their makers enjoy mass-market economies of scale. Whereas anything that will only do what you need it to do will be a niche product, of interest to relatively few people, and therefore more expensive. You're better off letting features go to waste.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #3 of 5 Old 01-16-2013, 04:03 AM
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Really, it doesn't get all that much physically simpler than a low end receiver. In one box you get a preamplifier, surround sound processor, multiple channels of amplification, an HDMI switch, possibly an upscaler, possibly room correction, possibly an audio streaming device... And all this for a few hundred bucks.

Now, that being said you can switch to a really low end box, one that doesn't have the upscaling and networking and room correction features. However, I have to say that once things are set up, there isn't a lot that needs to be done in order to actually use even a higher end receiver. Turn on the tv, receiver and source, choose the input if necessary and enjoy. You can even shortcut that with many devices by enabling HDMI control (different manufacturers have different names for this, and it tends to work best if your devices are from the same maker) which can be used to have multiple devices power up in response to one device doing so.

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post #4 of 5 Old 01-16-2013, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Perkins View Post

Currently I have an Onkyo receiver and Polk (RM7) speakers in a 5.1 setup. Maybe I'm not the target audience for a good surround sound system, but I find all of the setup more than I really want. I don't do game consoles so all that I have hooked up to the receiver is a BrD player and my cable box.

All of the extra features on the receiver are a bit of a waste.

Since you don't say which Onkyo of dozens of possible models...
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I could run everything directly to the TV then just use an HDMI to the receiver for the surround sound, but that means I have even more wasted features.

Clearly you're seeing the half empty cup in that receiver. ;-)

I actually run everything directly to the TV, do the source switching there. I use the coax digital audio output of the TV to drive the AVR. The AVR still gives me more than enough value to be worthwhile. I run a 2.1 system so most of the power amps in the AVR are as you probably see them, wasted.

The bass management and system equalization functions of the AVR have dramatically improved the SQ of my system over what I had with a simple stereo receiver.
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I'm looking for a simpler setup. I would love to run everything to the TV and then have an HDMI to a small decoder/amplifier that splits it into 5.1 or 7.1 channels without having the giant box of a receiver and all of it's excess features.

I don't know of any TVs with HDMI outputs. Are you sure that what you want can even exist?
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Is there anything like that out there or am I stuck with the full blown receiver?

Maybe sound quality should be a higher priority for you, so that you would exploit more of the unique features of your AVR. Since you don't say what AVR you have, I've got this image of a huge albatross from the 1990s that lacks many features of a modern AVR. Can't be true since you say you switch HDMI with it. I don't want to tell you what I paid for my AVR but everything simpler cost far more.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-21-2013, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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The receiver is an Okyo TS-SR706. I bought it about four years ago. Unfortunately it's one of the few models where there is an issue where upscaling to 1080p causes blue artifacts throughout the picture. So I'm not totally adverse to replacing it. The TV itself is a mitsubitshi DLP that is dying, the mirror chip is going out, so I will be replacing that soon. I don't remember the model number, it is about six years old and it does have an HDMI out. Is that not common? It's the first HDMI TV I've ever owned.

I'm a minimalist at heart so I was just hoping there was a simple decoder/amplifier system I could use.
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