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JVC-RX401S (HDMI switching/upconverting reciever)

post #1 of 413
Thread Starter 
Hello all,
For those interested, here is a quick review of the new JVC RX-401S. Which is the same as the RX-402B, only difference is the color. Let me forewarn that I am not an audiophile, I only use this for watching movies. This reciever has no analog mulitchannel inputs, so SACD and DVDA owners look elsewhere. All I care about is the ability to plug my old analog devices and upconvert to HDMI and HDMI switching. Therefore having only one cable running to my 50" plasma. If there are things you'd like me to test or try, please reply and I will try my best.

So far everything is running as advertised. Every option is accesible through the remote. It did take me awhile to figure out how to set up the reciever to upconvert the analog inputs. The manual is detailed, but not enough for a person like myself who just skims through.

I plugged a 16 ft HDMI cable from the JVC to my plasma. Manual states that using a HDMI cable over 15 ft may be unstable, so far no issues. Plugged in my Toshiba HDMI DVD player on one of the HDMI inputs for both audio and video. Also ran my HDTV cable box in the component inputs. When I finally figured out upconvert analog inputs to HDMI, all is working as expected.

Audio

I only run 5.1 speakers, but watching fight scenes in Pearl Harbor was amazing. As long as I can hear bullets coming from all sides and the deep boom of exploding torpedos, than I'm sold. Can't wait to add more speakers for the 7.1 effect. This reciever also has all the 7.1 decoders except THX. It has the ability to adjust equalization and several DSP modes which are also adjustable, but does not interest me. There is a lip synch delay option. There are 4 SPDIF ports, 2 optical in and 1 coax in and 1 optical out. Also there is a USB input to plug your computer and play music to this reciever, something I don't plan on using.

Video

This reciever carries the DCDi chip for deinterlacing, I do notice less artifacts on music video channels and news ticker is smoother. Still need more time on this.

Given that I spent a little over than a standalone HDMI switcher, I am really happy with my purchase. Not only did I gain a 7.1 audio reciever, but I am able to switch/upconvert to HDMI and not worry about several cables going to my display


Aud
post #2 of 413
Hey I'm glad I found this. I was looking into some kind of HDMI switch box but this JVC receiver looks like an interesting idea instead for a reasonable price. I was wondering how it handles up-conversion and what the options are. For example does it allow simple pass-through on one HDMI input and allow 1080i on the other? I was just wondering how flexible it is in use? Also can individual component inputs be designated for specific up-conversion settings as well? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-Jerry C.
post #3 of 413
I just got the 401s myself and I pretty much agree with Audball's review. This is a very nice receiver with an incredible feature set for this price ($400). I'll just add some of my thoughts/observations:

I have a Samsung DLP with only 1 DVI input and no discreet codes for switching inputs, so I have really been waiting for something like this. Being able to push one button on the remote and switch from the HD TiVo to the DVD for example is a HUGE hit with the wife :-). Also, the Samsung DLP can only accept 480p/720p/1080i (no 480i) through its DVI port so it was a big deal to me that this receiver be able to deinterlace a 480i input via an s-video or composite and send it through the HDMI port.

This receiver has the Faroudja DCDi chip for deinterlacing. According to the manual it only deinterlaces analog inputs. I hooked a SD DirecTV TiVo up to the s-video input on the receiver and it upconverted it and sent it through the HDMI port just as advertised. There are no settings for resolution that I could find so I am assuming that it deinterlaces 480i to 480p and passes everything else in it's native resolution. I also tried hooking a DVD player up via component and sending it a 480i signal, again it upconverted it to 480p (I assume) and sent it thorough the HDMI port. I hooked my HD HR10-250 TiVo up to HDMI and verified that it did not deinterlace 480i via the HDMI input.

I did notice one odd thing that doesn't affect me really, but could be a problem for others. I set the HD TiVo to output 1080i and I only got a black screen on my TV. I also set a Toshiba upconverting DVD player hooked up via HDMI to output and 1080i and again no picture. Finally, I connected my modded Xbox (with XBMC) via component and set it to 1080i and again no picture. It appears from my testing that the receiver can't pass 1080i at all. Audball can you confirm this? That's not really a problem for me since my TV is 720p anyway, but I could see this being a huge problem if your TV only accepts 1080i.

A couple of other points:

It's been miss-reported on this forum that this receiver has only two digital audio inputs. It has 2 optical inputs 1 coax input and two HDMI inputs for a total of five. I have my HD TiVo connected via only HDMI and it passes digital audio via HDMI just fine. Where I do find it lacking is that there are only three discreet input choices for switching (DBS, VCR, DVD). You can hook more than three components up (as I did) by using different input settings and scrolling through the choices, but that is really inconvenient.

Still, this receiver is an incredible value given the feature set and price.
post #4 of 413
so what does the step up to the 702 add that the 401 doesn't have, is it the capability to stream music from your pc ?
post #5 of 413
AFAIK, streaming wirelessly from the PC (note: the 401/402 have USB for streaming wired) and more power, 150 watts per channel instead of 110, are the main differences. We may not know for sure until the 702 hits the market in a month or so though.
post #6 of 413
Are you able to get 5.1 audio from your stb to the receiver. From what I have read, HDMI allows only 2channel audio or 5.1 audio only from DVD-A and SACD - NOT from DVDs with video and audio. Please confirm. Thanks.
post #7 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by aamsergie View Post

Are you able to get 5.1 audio from your stb to the receiver. From what I have read, HDMI allows only 2channel audio or 5.1 audio only from DVD-A and SACD - NOT from DVDs with video and audio. Please confirm. Thanks.


If the source and AVR are HDMI 1.1 compliant, you should get 2 channel audio, 5.1 channel audio from Dolby, DTS and DVD-audio. To get 5.1 SACD audio the HDMI compliance needs to be 1.2, note that this is the brand new and latest HDMI standards. To my knowledge at this time no such product (HDMI 1.2) either as a source or AVR is available yet.. Most likely these will be available by Spring 2006...
post #8 of 413
Yes, I can confirm that I get 5.1 from my STB (HR10-250) via HDMI.
post #9 of 413
Thread Starter 
Kbcrowe,
I can confirm that my reciever does pass 1080i with no issues. I have my cable HD PVR box set to 1080i via component all the time and have no issues. Not sure why this is happening to you. I also have an upconverting dvd player via hdmi and that passes 1080i. I can confirm this because my display will tell me exactly what the resolution the source is outputting.

I do have one question:
I have the decoding set to auto. When tuning to a HD channel broadcasting 5.1 sound, it is perfect. When tuning to a channel like analog or even digital 2.0 surround, I am getting sound from the L and R speakers only. I thought Dolby Digital Prologic is suppose to upconvert the sound to 5.1. The display also shows only the L and R. Am I missing something?

Thanks,
Audball
post #10 of 413
Sounds like the 1080i issue may be a compatibility issue between my TV and the JVC then. One of the components I had the issue with was a Toshiba upconverting DVD player. Since my set is 720p anyway, it doesn't really matter anyway.

Yes, I get sound from all speakers even with analog content. I have mine set to Auto as well. The display is just showing what you are receiving, so it should only show L R when that's what you are getting. How do you have your Surround speakers connected.? Since its a 7.1 system and I have a 5.1 setup I had accidently connected my surround speakers to the surround back terminals. The manual didn't give any insight on how they should be connected. I wasn't getting back sound on two channel input until I switched them.

One gripe I have is with the manual, it seemed setup was a bit overly complicated because the manual is written more like a Cliff Note, it doesn't go into much detail or explanation, of course, I'm a novice at this so that didn't help
post #11 of 413
Audball and Kbcrowe,

Thanks for your input on this receiver. I been looking at this real hard for the last two weeks and I am still sitting on the fence as to wether to pick it up or not.

If you don't mind what speakers are you using with this receiver? I just picked up the Polk Audio 6750 5.1 surround speakers and wanted to how they will compare to what the two of you are using.

Thanks again for the great write up.
post #12 of 413
I've read that JVC 201/301 models run very hot. I've also heard a couple of people report their JVC suddenly went dead with a puff of smoke.

Is 401 running very hot playing movies?

Another complaint I heard about 201/301 is that they are not very powerful at all and can't get high volume levels with average speakers, worse than panasonic XR SA55, for example.

And PULEEZE, try the USB input and report what kind of playback software, resolution is possible. For example, can the JVC play Flac files playing on Foobar from the PC? Apple Lossless from iTunes?

BTW, JVC 301 models have WIRELESS USB input, which 401 does not have. The catch is 301 does NOT have HDMI switching. It's a real PITA having to choose between HDMI switching vs. wireless USB streaming. 701, so far, appears quite a bit more expensive...

For 301 users. Is the wireless connection able to stream Flac resolution without glitches (I don't use MP3's) and what's the wireless range?
post #13 of 413
I am really intrigued by this unit as it might fit my needs perfectly. But I cant find much info about it. Does anyone have a picture of the rear panel of the unit?

It has 2 HDMI inputs right? How many component inputs?
post #14 of 413
Newegg.com has many pictures of it from all angles, the 402 black model that is. They are out of stock though.

-Jerry C.
post #15 of 413
thanks guys, thats exactly the info i needed
post #16 of 413
Does this have an OSD and does it show volume controls and etc? What video options are there for the DCDi (if any)?
post #17 of 413
Thread Starter 
No OSD at all, but the 701's may have this. No DCDi options as well, not sure if that is important. My DVD player with DCDi only had option of enabling and disabling. My 401 does run hotter than my other components, but so far so good. I use this for my everyday TV, watching sports, movies, shows and cartoons. Might be a bad idea to stick this in an enclosed area with no breathing room and definitely not stack any other components on top of this.
post #18 of 413
I also hooked an SD DirecTivo up to the s-video input on the receiver, and it's being output via HDMI to my TV. However, I get a pretty nasty interlace flicker from graphics on the screen (like the TiVo Guide for example). Is that what you guys are seeing too? Or is something wrong with my setup? (My TV accepts 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i as input).
post #19 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeWays View Post

I also hooked an SD DirecTivo up to the s-video input on the receiver, and it's being output via HDMI to my TV. However, I get a pretty nasty interlace flicker from graphics on the screen (like the TiVo Guide for example). Is that what you guys are seeing too? Or is something wrong with my setup? (My TV accepts 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i as input).

If you haven't already, make sure you turn on the DCDi deinterlacing so that your composite/svideo inputs are deinterlaced to 480p. I saw an option for this in the manual.
post #20 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ja Phule View Post

If you haven't already, make sure you turn on the DCDi deinterlacing so that your composite/svideo inputs are deinterlaced to 480p. I saw an option for this in the manual.

I can't find this option (in the manual or in the receiver). Can you point me at this feature? Thanks!
post #21 of 413
My mistake, I was looking at another receiver manual, it wasn't the same as the one linked above. I'm guessing the DCDi is automatically converting any 480i video signal you receive.
post #22 of 413
Well I just pulled the trigger and bought the JVC RX401S. Once it arrives I should be able to add to this growing list.

My setup consist of the following.

TV: Samsung HLP6067W
DBS: Hughs HD-250 TIVO
DVD: SamSung HD 850
SPK: Pork Audio RM6750.
RMT: Harmony 676

My plan is to run the Tivo and DVD player though the 401S via HDMI and then HDMI to the TV and that will be all the hookups I'll need except for the speaker and sub wires .
post #23 of 413
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbcrowe View Post

One gripe I have is with the manual, it seemed setup was a bit overly complicated because the manual is written more like a Cliff Note, it doesn't go into much detail or explanation, of course, I'm a novice at this so that didn't help


I agree, I just found out how to enable Dolby prologic. Doesn't state how to do this in the manual, you just got to keep tinkering....
post #24 of 413
Silver would be cool. I ordered the black one from vanns, but I haven't heard a hint that this thing is ever actually hitting shelves.
post #25 of 413
Nope, just black according to the rep at our training.

Also, just an opinion, but the user interface on this line JVC's is abismal. I would really urge first time receiver owners to look elsewhere. One big flaw is that the component video and optical/digital coax inputs are not fully assignable. The other is that you have to tell the reciever if you are using component video or composite/s-video; it doesn't just freely switch between them. There's also no distance setting for the subwoofer and no bass/treble controls (unless you count bass-boost ).
post #26 of 413
Where did you buy this receiver from ? I've searched and can't find it anywhere !
post #27 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdOnes View Post

Where did you buy this receiver from ? I've searched and can't find it anywhere !

I got mine on sale at Fry's last weekend for $399.99. They had both silver and black.
post #28 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireshoes View Post

Nope, just black according to the rep at our training.

As all the other RX-D's come in both black/silver, it seems illogical that this model won't.

Quote:


Also, just an opinion, but the user interface on this line JVC's is abismal. I would really urge first time receiver owners to look elsewhere. One big flaw is that the component video and optical/digital coax inputs are not fully assignable. The other is that you have to tell the reciever if you are using component video or composite/s-video; it doesn't just freely switch between them. There's also no distance setting for the subwoofer and no bass/treble controls (unless you count bass-boost ).

According the specs on the JVC web site, this model has DSP EQ. If it's the same as other JVC models with which I'm familiar with, I can tell you that this should be more capable than simple bass/treble controls, not less. ie multi-band EQ (eg RX-8040B is five-band).

Distance setting to subwoofer - that's one I'm not familiar with. Why would this be a big deal?
post #29 of 413
is there any link to the pdf manual of this receiver ?
also I wonder how it compares with panasonic SA-XR70 or SA-XR55 as far as the sound quality (I know the pana doesn't have hdmi switching or upconverting features)

does this thing gets hot ?
and just to make sure I got this right, there is no way to adjust the treble/bass settings on this receiver ?

I just ordered SA-XR70 and I'm having buyer remorse; thinking to send it back and getting the JVC but since is new I was not being able to find allot of info about this thing on the net
post #30 of 413
That's exactly what I did, sent back XR70S and got 402b. Can't say much about audio since I'm not an expert. What I can say is that the top (jvc) heats less than XR70S top.
JVC: You can't adjust treble but there is 'bass boost' function - on/off. Look manual, there was a link somewhere on this forum.
I still have time to sent this one back
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