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Advice needed: new VT50, to ARC or not to ARC

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've been out of the AV loop for a few years, but I just made a significant investment in a new Panasonic VT50, which I love except that I'm trying to make things as easy as possible. (i.e. use as few remotes as possible)

My receiver is a Onkyo 606, which is quite a few yearsw old now. it doesnt support ARC that I know of. My speakers are SVS 7.1.

My sources are: TV, Netflix (via TV), XBMC HTPC (HDMI), and PS3 (HDMI)

With my clunky old TV I used to use my receiver as the routing source. But now it seems my TV actually has a better hub than my receiver, and I have gotten everything to output through the TV and the audio goes through the optical out from the TV to the receiver. I can use the TV remote for 95% of everything.

2 Problems:
1) The volume can't be managed except by fumbling for the receiver remote
2) I think I am losing sound quality by having everything converted to linear PCM, and using DTS Neo-6 to spread to my 7.1 speakers. (I think DTS is being transmitted but I doubt its always working properly)

I hate the idea of buying a new receiver to fix this. But I never cared for the Neo-6 sound anyway.

So... what's the cheapest way to make things easy, and get good sound? Can I use ARC effectively? Do most people still use the receiver as a the hub or the TV? Can I get down to one remote or is that a pipe dream? I dont want a solution thats super technical because my girlfriend will kill me. smile.gif

Any advice will be totally appreciated. Favorite brands, models, other off the wall ideas... thanks!
post #2 of 5
Attach everything to your receiver and get a Harmony remote. Using the TV limits you to stereo most of the time. Using the AVR gets discrete 5.1. The Harmony remote runs everything. We have a system with four disc players, cable box, Roku, and AppleTV, along with the AVR, TV, and an HDMI switch. All the device remotes are in a drawer and everyone in the family can run things with just the Harmony. A truly great piece of gear.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I might consider that. I actually did have a Harmony at one point, but it was an 880 which had a horrid design flaw, where it stopped charging on its stand after a while. That left a bad impression. But I take your point about the receiver still being the proper way to route things... I will look into it.

Still, it's kind of ridiculous that the new TVs are all coming with 4 HDMI ports if it's useless to use them as a hub. I sometimes miss the old days when signals were analog and DRM free, and the most challenging obstacle was to get a banana plug to RCA converter. smile.gif
post #4 of 5
Audio from external sources to the TV is generally only PCM 2.0 through either ARC or the optical audio output.
post #5 of 5
Our 880 had the charging cradle issue, too. Replaced it with a One, which was a definite improvement. I see there's a new Touch model now.
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