post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
Will try to keep this short yet give you enough to go on. I have a HT in my living room, Pio AX 200u (still beaming great movies after years and numerous lamps), Focal Sib-Cub 5.1 ceiling mounted speaker, center replaced with in-ceiling directional JBL. For components, we run a blue ray (needs upgrading), Comcast PV and X-Box for the most part along with blue tooth through a dongle that plugs into an aux input (stereo modified to multi-channel thorugh receiver). The receiver is a Pioneer VSX don't recall the number but shouldn't matter a lot - it has served us fairly well but was about a year before HDMI so has no inputs or outputs. I run everything through componenet with digital coax or opticals for sound and all works ok. Harmony Remote.

Reason to upgrade are threefold and in order of importance and below explanations of specifics on each:
1. Better / easier handling and control over center channel for clear voice.
2. Network performance.
3. HDMI switching (this one needs no discussion unless what you are recommending has some severe limitations, all I need are 4 or more HDMI inputs and one out so most have more than that, and of course they should have 3D pass through and be whatever the latest HDMI version (2.0?) for maximum future-proof quality).

Specifics:
1. Though the Pio handles sound quality very well overall and has plenty of power for our needs, our room is non-ideal and though HT sound powerful, rich and punchy - dialogue is often either too soft or not distinct enough to understand with the din of the rest of the sound effects. I have attempted upping the center channel to max but it has not worked well and is many key strokes into the menu so makes it quite difficult (though I have never tried mapping it as a Harmony special feature which may be possible), and tried many times to use the "dialog enhance" but never had it seem like it did anything so either not working, or too minimal a change or I never hit it while in the right sound mode. ANYHOW - I would think by now SOMEONE has created a receiver that deals with this prevalent issue since movies were mainly created for a movie theater and need to be sound tuned for living rooms - though the answer MAY be we need a different center speaker and I am open to that, but since my screen is not acoustically transparent and it is retractable (so can't have a speaker hanging in front of it), it would need to be another in-ceiling so a lot of work and would need to be convinced it would be enough better to be worth it).

2. I am open to thoughts here - not sure if I am just in lala land or it is simply that for some marketing or other reason Receiver manufacturers are 10 years behind the times, but it seems to me that the handling of network streaming (if not full on internet streaming) ought be handled by the receiver, no? It is as important these days (more?) than "radio" and is in the same league as any other component. I have had the X-Box 360 since it came out and used it as a network player to stream music, and I want this level (or better) of network streaming and organization of music but without having to load the overly hot and slow to boot X-Box. For that matter playing Netflix on X-Box has a great user interface but again takes minutes to load especially if you are in Media Center. So here the main questions are: Do ANY current receivers handle network streaming in an elegant and full featured way, and if not please recommend the best stand alone component - for that (some Blue Ray DVD player, or a Roku or Hulu or fru-fru or whatever?! I should not have to pay as much as the cost of another receiver but another 100 to 200 for an amazing fast easy to use and with X-Box or better user interface for organization etc. would be worth the investment and release the Receiver from the task ;-)


I read that the Yamaha TSR 6750 has a good easy dialogue enhancement feature and decent network control and was excited when I saw it at Costco for $380 last week, but when I phoned Yamaha I learned to distressing points that I did not see mentioned in all the reviews I had read: 1. The interface for playing music over the network is extremely limited, no organization by genre or album or anything, just alphabetical I believe. 2. The netwrok interface is limited because it does not allow simultaneous use of wired and wifi - where I want to (a duh!) use hard wired for the streaming of the music for maximum throughput and security, and simultaneously use the wifi since their phone/pad interface (we are Android not Apple users) requires wifi. I have not looked to see if there is a wifi to wired adapter that might solve this issue (hmm - ok, will look) but otherwise this is a deal breaker - I need wired for my streaming and in Yamahas case the important hand held device interface only works on wifi.

So if you recommend taking the streaming portion away from the receiver and placing it on another component, then please give me your recommendation for receiver only based on your PERSONAL EXPERIENCE fixing the pervasive issue with dialog not being understandable during many movie playback.

Thanks in advance for your time, and have a lovely holiday!

Peter the Hologram Man