Originally Posted by CountryBumkin
I'm in the market for a new AVR. I know to look for HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, but I am also concerned about "handshaking" issues (which is a problem with my current AVR setup).
There are a lot of posts commenting that some AVRs are better than others when it comes to handshaking. How can I be sure to get a unit the "plays nice with my other devices"?
More specifically, I want to connect my HTPC (and Sat box) to the AVR and then to have the pass signal through to TV without dropping the signal or requiring me to turn off and on a device.
Have the AVR manufacturers gotten any better in past couple of years in this regard?
The 2015 Denon & Marantz models haven't been on the market long enough yet to really know for certain if their new HDMI 2.0a w/ HDCP 2.2 boards are better, worse, or the same as previous HDMI boards.
But one thing I CAN tell you is that I would definitely have Denon & Marantz at the very top of my consideration list for any AV Receiver purchase this year. They made their feature sets dead simple. EVERY 2015 model has HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 on every HDMI port. And if it has 7 amps or more, it's got Atmos AND DTS:X. If it's an 'S'-Series model, it's got Audyssey MultEQ. And if it's a 7-channel 'X'-Series model, it's got MultEQ XT. If it can do more than 7 speakers at once, it's got MultEQ XT32!
So they've made it easy to keep it all straight
Yamaha is the only other mass market brand I'd be looking at right now. Pioneer and Pioneer Elite have no DTS:X support. And Onkyo/Integra have extremely basic auto-setup with AccuEQ (better to never use it, IMO), a weird decision to only put HDMI 2.0a w/ HDCP 2.2 on SOME HDMI ports, not all, on many models, and no models able to run more than 7 speakers at the moment (although I'm sure 9 and 11 speaker models are on the way).
Denon & Marantz are the only brands still supporting Front Wide speaker positions. And they're the only brands offering Auro-3D decoding as a paid, optional upgrade.
Given that Denon & Marantz are very competitively priced this year (often costing less than the closest Yamaha competitor), that just makes it very easy to put them in the pole position for 2015.
Things could easily change next year. These AV Receiver manufacturers often leap-frog each other to take the lead in any given year. But THIS year, I think Denon & Marantz have got the ball and they're running it into the end zone. So let's hope their HDMI boards don't have any major issues!
As to the HTPC connection concern, I just want to mention that you should make sure HDMI-CEC is turned OFF in every device. I don't even know how HDMI-CEC (or whatever trademarked name it happens to be in your brand of TV and AV Receiver) manages to cause some of the troubles that it does. But I can't even tell you the number of times that simply turning off HDMI-CEC has solved some seemingly random issue. So always give that a try
- Rob H. - AV Rant Podcast Co-host