2 channel receivers with HDMI ? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 37 Old 10-29-2018, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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2 channel receivers with HDMI ?

LIke the topic says, I think there are only 2 receivers that I've seen, that fits this criteria. One was a Pioneer elite and an Onkyo.

These days a lot of us listen to dvd-a, sacds, and cd;s thru our dvd/bluray players. And most importanly for me , I own 2 apple tv's that do not have an optical out any longer. (I rely a lot on my music library from apple music).

I wish manufactures will start making more 2 channel receivers with hdmi

Think before you speak....
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post #2 of 37 Old 10-29-2018, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankees24 View Post
One was a Pioneer elite and an Onkyo.
Same company.

Pioneer Elite also has the SX-S30, which is a slim line 2 channel receiver that also employs Class D amps.

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post #3 of 37 Old 10-29-2018, 02:08 PM
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Hmmm. Most multi channel AVRs have a "Direct" mode, bypassing everything but the amplifiers. That would not work for you?
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post #4 of 37 Old 10-29-2018, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by legierk View Post
Hmmm. Most multi channel AVRs have a "Direct" mode, bypassing everything but the amplifiers. That would not work for you?

That’s what I’m using now. But I feel that I’m paying for features that I don’t need as opposed to putting more quality into the 2 channels and none of the other bells and whistles.

Think before you speak....
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post #5 of 37 Old 10-29-2018, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Yankees24 View Post
That’s what I’m using now. But I feel that I’m paying for features that I don’t need as opposed to putting more quality into the 2 channels and none of the other bells and whistles.
That's a common misconception about how manufacturing works. Production volume hugely influences cost, so packing in more features can actually LOWER cost if you can sell a lot more units. That's how you can have AVRs with umpteen more stuff selling at the same price as a stereo receiver.

Now, a different issue is what all that stuff packed inside does to the SOUND-I've seen two tests showing that HDMI video information corrupts the audio at a very low level. Not due to bits; most likely issues of circuit layout and/or power supply once in the analog domain. My friend has a monster Denon, but I wired his video directly to the display. Problem bypassed! And he got it for $100, like 2 years old.
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post #6 of 37 Old 10-30-2018, 02:34 AM
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There are a few, but pricey. Lyngdorf has a two channel integrated with available hdmi module and room correction (room perfect). With HDMI module it's about 4500 bucks. NAD has the 368 and 388 integrated amps that have an available add on HDMI module as well. More reasonable in price about 1000 for the 368 and around 1500 for the 388. The hdmi module will set you back about another 250. The flagship NAD masters integrated also can be configured with the HDMI module. Arcam also makes a two channel receiver with hdmi and room correction, but it's about 3500. The SR250. Cost wise the Pioneer and Onkyo are your best bets followed by NAD.

I agree about HDMI being needed for more receivers. There are many out there (most probably) who don't have a dedicated home theater and separate two channel music set up. Their system is a 2.x system that functions for both. As such many use their blu ray players for music playback as well, with most blu ray players dropping all analog connections more options are definitely needed for HDMI in the two channel world. My two channel system functions for both movies/TV and music as well. I use oppo blu ray players as my source and hook up to a receiver via HDMI. I wanted a two channel device but the only one with both HDMI and room correction was the lyngdorf. Instead I went with a bare bones AVR, the Anthem MRX-520. It is a basic 5.1 channel AVR with no streaming, no wi-fi, no other real features. But it is a step above most AVRs in terms of audio playback and about a 1/3 of the cost of the lyngdorf and a bit more power in two channel mode to boot. For music playback I'm pretty happy with my choice for music playback.

One problem with AVRs and two channel to get real good quality DACs and audio you usually need to step up to flagship or close to flagship models. With anthem the wasn't a problem, they produced a basic high quality audio 5.1 avr. Most don't, when you get hi quality audio you usually now a days get 9.2 or even 11.2 channel units.
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post #7 of 37 Old 10-30-2018, 01:56 PM
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I have an Integra DTM-7 which is the same model as the Onkyo 8270 as part of my 2.1 home theater system. I really like it; the DAC sounds great, it's quiet [although I don't have particularly sensitive speakers] and reasonably configurable. Since there's no pre out/main ins you can't really get into room correction and the remote is pretty clunky/ugly but otherwise I've really enjoyed it for the year I had it. I'm looking at multichannel AVRs now mainly for more HDMI inputs and room correction options but I've been really happy with it.


I use it with an Apple TV 4k, Blu Ray player, Sonos Connect and PS4 Pro. Happy to answer any questions.
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post #8 of 37 Old 10-30-2018, 02:59 PM
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How much do you have to spend?

There are HDMI Audio Extractors that remove the audio from an HDMI signal and route it out of RCA Analog Connections.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...d=UQ9OIXBOA8RL

There are more high end Stereo that have HDMI - Arcam FMJ SR250 ($3600 Suggest Retail) for example -

https://www.arcam.co.uk/products,FMJ...iver,sr250.htm

https://www.stereophile.com/content/...eo-av-receiver

Generally, HDMI is not needed. Most of those who use Stereos for Movie watching simply take the Optical Out of the TV and feed their Stereo Amp.

For other sources, say a BluRay Player, they feed the Optical/Coaxial Output to a DAC then feed that Directly to the Stereo.

Now perhaps for multi-channel SACD, HDMI might be the only choice. Though the OPPO Universal BluRay Players did have Analog out for all the Channels, sadly though, they are no longer in production.

For TV/Movie this isn't a problem as there are alternate solutions.

But for Audio BluRay Playback in Stereo, a good DAC is all you need.

It is only for Multi-Channel Surround Sound Audio, that HDMI might be of value.

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post #9 of 37 Old 11-08-2018, 03:22 PM
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I purchased a Onkyo TX-8270 when I was looking to do a nice 2.1 setup. At first I kinda thumbed my nose at the idea of a receiver under $500 handling the DAC, streaming, and amplification duties. I was originally shopping for a streaming DAC with volume control and XLR outputs to my Carver amp but after months of shopping for something in my price range (under a grand), I got frustrated and bought this Onkyo.

I have been very impressed this far. It’s stone quiet and drives my Martin Logan SL3s with ease. Streaming Spotify and TuneIn high res stations is fantastic and I’ve put a couple hundred CDs on a usb Drive in Flac format. I play SACDs using the direct mode. Everything sounds pretty amazing. The chassis feels a lil cheap but I never touch it. I use the IPad app 99% of the time.

Btw, my SACD player doesn’t do high res over hdmi so I can’t speak to that. It’s a cheap Samsung HD950 that sounds great and won’t die so I keep using it.

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post #10 of 37 Old 11-08-2018, 03:56 PM
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post #11 of 37 Old 11-08-2018, 08:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankees24 View Post
I wish manufactures will start making more 2 channel receivers with hdmi
Buy a 5.1 ch AVR and simply ignore the channels you have no use for. Your selection of possible receivers to consider will skyrocket in number and contrary to the lies posted in forums there will be no meaningful degradation to the sound and they don't cost more, they cost less because the scale of production is huge compared to two channel units.
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post #12 of 37 Old 11-08-2018, 11:22 PM
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Bryston BDA-3 would be a nice choice, it has HDMI pass-through.

http://bryston.com/products/digital_audio/BDA-3.html

Keep the digital stuff in a separate box away from your analog pre/amp.
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post #13 of 37 Old 11-09-2018, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Buy a 5.1 ch AVR and simply ignore the channels you have no use for. Your selection of possible receivers to consider will skyrocket in number and contrary to the lies posted in forums there will be no meaningful degradation to the sound and they don't cost more, they cost less because the scale of production is huge compared to two channel units.
This is very true with a couple caveats. My old 5.1 Marantz AVR had many dedicated audio features such as 2 channel mode, Direct mode, digital bypass, etc. BUT.... It was nearly impossible to setup and use without the TV being on. Current AVR's with with good App support might solve this issue but YMMV so do your homework.

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post #14 of 37 Old 11-09-2018, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watchdoc View Post
This is very true with a couple caveats. My old 5.1 Marantz AVR had many dedicated audio features such as 2 channel mode, Direct mode, digital bypass, etc. BUT.... It was nearly impossible to setup and use without the TV being on. Current AVR's with with good App support might solve this issue but YMMV so do your homework.
My old Marantz receiver and my current Marantz Pre/pro had a button on the front that changed audio modes, as well as a button on the remote that did the same thing. Perhaps the newest generations don't have that, or the one you had was older than the two that I have had. I have never had to turn on the OSD to change audio modes, only if I wanted to do calibration or something more complicated.

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post #15 of 37 Old 11-09-2018, 11:04 PM
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The AVR route is probably the least expensive option when HDMI is needed. You'll get bass management with all but the very cheapest AVR. I've had the Onkyo TX-8270 for about 6 months. It drives a pair of low impedance Salk monitors, 86db efficient IIRC, or close to that. I could have gotten another AVR for the bedroom but I like the idea of no idle amp channels. And with 100wpc available the Onkyo has, IMO, plenty of power. I use it in the bedroom at low volume most of the time so I'm not driving it hard, but I have cranked it up a few times and the Onkyo sounded fine. I use a 100w 12" DIY sub for the low end, and the built in crossover seems to work very well. I set the crossover to 60hz and it sounds seamless to me.



The 8270 is one of the few Onkyo products I have no qualms about recommending. The only problem, and it's a nit picker, is how slow it reads a thumb drive when first turned on. With a 16gb thumb drive it takes up to 1 minute to read the files and let me select one. I play FLAC encoded music 99% of the time. The OSD is somewhat utilitarian, but it is easy to navigate. Accessories4Less.com has the 8270 refurbed, and new ones can be found for $50 more than A4L.com is asking. I went the new route since I don't think I'll be parting with it for a long time. Other than the slow read speed of thumb drives it works very well.


When Yamaha comes to market with a similar model as the 8270 I might consider changing out the Onkyo. It'll have to come with features the Onkyo doesn't have, and something I need. I needed HDMI for a Yamaha DVD-1700 player, and an Amazon Fire Stick. The DAC in the Onkyo sounds just fine. It uses an AKM 384 kHz/32-bit DAC. Never heard of that brand before, but it does a credible job with digital sources, which is all I use in the bedroom. One of these days I'll connect it into the back room vinyl/CD setup with the Song Towers.
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post #16 of 37 Old 11-10-2018, 06:19 AM
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As I have previously stated, my TX-8270 will load approx 100 full albums in flac format and be playing music in less than 10 seconds. Takes about 3-4 seconds from the time I insert the sandisk ultra 32 usb Drive to see the file tree, then I just select the artist, album, and song and it plays. It’s even faster if I leave the drive plugged in. I’ve tried it from a cold start, switching sources, using the remote or the app, and its always very fast.

I just picked up a sandisk ultra 128 gig that I plan to organize by genre/artist/album but I don’t expect it to be much if any slower.

The file manager interface is sorta clunky using the remote but using the iPad app is much faster and easier. My favorite features are a toss up between the super easy iPad airplay streaming and the usb flac file server. No more getting up and down to swap CDs. No more cluttered coffe table covered with CDs that I have to put away. This unit has really transformed the way I listen to music. Now I’m just trying to decide if the 2nd zone speakers are gonna go in the master bedroom or the main living area!

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post #17 of 37 Old 11-16-2018, 08:42 AM
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I've been following this informative thread. Anyone have any experience with the Pioneer Elite SX-S30 two channel AVR? It has all the features of the Onkyo 8270 but in a more slim design. the only thing I'm worried about is the somewhat meager power rating. It states 85 Watts but that is driving 4 ohm speakers at high distortion and 1 channel. I hate it when they list power specs like that! In a real-world usage however, how would the Pioneer fair say in a 2.1 loft set-up sitting about 7 feet from Def Tech satellite speakers? Mostly for casual TV watching, the occasional movie, and the monsters, err, I mean "sweet toddlers", watching animated shows.

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post #18 of 37 Old 11-16-2018, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cla55clown View Post
I've been following this informative thread. Anyone have any experience with the Pioneer Elite SX-S30 two channel AVR? It has all the features of the Onkyo 8270 but in a more slim design. the only thing I'm worried about is the somewhat meager power rating. It states 85 Watts but that is driving 4 ohm speakers at high distortion and 1 channel. I hate it when they list power specs like that! In a real-world usage however, how would the Pioneer fair say in a 2.1 loft set-up sitting about 7 feet from Def Tech satellite speakers? Mostly for casual TV watching, the occasional movie, and the monsters, err, I mean "sweet toddlers", watching animated shows.

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You’re only going to be using 1 watt in that scenario.
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post #19 of 37 Old 11-17-2018, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cla55clown View Post
I've been following this informative thread. Anyone have any experience with the Pioneer Elite SX-S30 two channel AVR? It has all the features of the Onkyo 8270 but in a more slim design. the only thing I'm worried about is the somewhat meager power rating. It states 85 Watts but that is driving 4 ohm speakers at high distortion and 1 channel. I hate it when they list power specs like that! In a real-world usage however, how would the Pioneer fair say in a 2.1 loft set-up sitting about 7 feet from Def Tech satellite speakers? Mostly for casual TV watching, the occasional movie, and the monsters, err, I mean "sweet toddlers", watching animated shows.

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Interesting little receiver there. HDMI, 2 channel, room correction. It's class D so probably puts out the same power at 8 ohms as well. For a small room for music, tv viewing with 2 channels, not a bad option. Fine with small bookshelf speakers, towers might be dicey. It'd be really competitive in the two channel music world if it put out 100+ watts/2 channels driven.
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post #20 of 37 Old 11-17-2018, 07:07 AM
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Yes, I think so. Or, it will be even better if it had pre-out jacks to add a more powerful amp in the future. I don't know why more of these manufacturers don't put HDMI inputs in their 2-channel receivers.

I might just pick one of these Pioneers up for our loft area if the price is right on A4L.

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post #21 of 37 Old 11-17-2018, 10:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cla55clown View Post
I don't know why more of these manufacturers don't put HDMI inputs in their 2-channel receivers.
Because 95-99% of people using HDMI do so to conduct a video signal, not audio alone [and which is usually more than just 2 channels of sound, should that matter] so it would only cater to a small market.
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post #22 of 37 Old 11-17-2018, 02:59 PM
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I don't know why more of these manufacturers don't put HDMI inputs in their 2-channel receivers.
Unless someone can convince me other-wise I don't see the point/benefit of offering HDMI inputs on a 2-channel amplifier or receiver.

Now if somebody manufactured a range of multi-channel 'audio only' amplifiers with HDMI inputs, that would peak my interest...

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post #23 of 37 Old 11-17-2018, 03:59 PM
 
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Unless someone can convince me other-wise I don't see the point/benefit of offering HDMI inputs on a 2-channel amplifier or receiver.

Now if somebody manufactured a range of multi-channel 'audio only' amplifiers with HDMI inputs, that would peak my interest...
So if I am reading you correctly, the reason buying an AVR is a "compromise" is because they have a tuner and video switching?
[And the cost of those things would have been better spent on just the sound, I guess.]
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post #24 of 37 Old 11-18-2018, 02:28 AM
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So if I am reading you correctly, the reason buying an AVR is a "compromise" is because they have a tuner and video switching?
[And the cost of those things would have been better spent on just the sound, I guess.]
I must admit I've never liked the obsession some AVR manufacturers have with offering video processing (and bonkers CEC) features... Just pass the native video signal through the device!

Anyway, back to the 2 channel Pioneer SX-S30DAB (as it is in the UK). After reading the user manual, it's feature-set is really rather good, ie: Internet Radio, Spotify, Music Server (via WiFi or ethernet), AirPlay, BlueTooth, USB connectivity and an FM/DAB tuner. But even this device is offering '1080p -> 4K Upscaling' and something called 'Super Resolution' along with a host of 'Listening Modes'.

However, the 6 channel Pioneer VSX-S520D is more appealing as it offers the same features as the 2 channel SX-S30DAB but with surround sound (along with a "plan to provide support for the Dolby Atmos audio format through firmware updates for this unit." Which was added in Aug 2017).

EDIT: And a Oct 2018 firmware update has added Dolby Vision and HLG pass-through.

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post #25 of 37 Old 11-18-2018, 03:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMoreDigital View Post
Unless someone can convince me other-wise I don't see the point/benefit of offering HDMI inputs on a 2-channel amplifier or receiver.

Now if somebody manufactured a range of multi-channel 'audio only' amplifiers with HDMI inputs, that would peak my interest...
I know I'm in the minority, but there are folks who have just a two channel system for music and TV/movies (myself). They also use a blu ray player for the movies and music. HDMI in a two channel device would be nice. There a few out there I mention above, a couple with room correction, an Arcam and Lyngdorf. and both are very expensive. Pioneer seems to be the first at reasonable costs. With most blu ray players dropping analog having a consumer priced unit capable of this isn't a bad thing. Is it a huge market, no, but worthy of a few units that can fill it.

I looked for a two channel device with both room correction and HDMI, almost bought the lyngdorf, but settled on an Anthem MRX-520, a bare bones 5.1 AVR, but great sounding unit. It's what I'd want in a two channel device, with three extra channels.

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post #26 of 37 Old 11-18-2018, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
I know I'm in the minority, but there are folks who have just a two channel system for music and TV/movies (myself). They also use a blu ray player for the movies and music. HDMI in a two channel device would be nice.
Perhaps... But as you can see Pioneer also make a (6 Ch) surround sound receiver with the same dimensions. So that's the one I'd go for as it's more flexible and (dare I say it) future-proof

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post #27 of 37 Old 11-18-2018, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Cla55clown View Post
I've been following this informative thread. Anyone have any experience with the Pioneer Elite SX-S30 two channel AVR? It has all the features of the Onkyo 8270 but in a more slim design. the only thing I'm worried about is the somewhat meager power rating. It states 85 Watts but that is driving 4 ohm speakers at high distortion and 1 channel. I hate it when they list power specs like that! In a real-world usage however, how would the Pioneer fair say in a 2.1 loft set-up sitting about 7 feet from Def Tech satellite speakers? Mostly for casual TV watching, the occasional movie, and the monsters, err, I mean "sweet toddlers", watching animated shows.

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I like it alot. I use it as the audio center with the Sony 940E as the display. It drives a pair of Celestion 8" 2-way speakers with ease. They just gave us HLG and Dobly Vision, which I did not expect, so they are keeping the firmware up to date which is nice too. The FM radio is not the best in the world. Seems no one knows how to make a good radio anymore. Have not tried the digital music services, but since I have to update the firmware, I may give them a try and see. It has Pioneers version of wireless audio called Flare Connect .
The video section can upscale to 4K and has image enhancement features. I have not tried these yet, but they are there. Room correction which matches speakers to room. Phase correction for amplified subwoofer. Even a phono preamp for a turntable. There is a lot in the box for the money.
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post #28 of 37 Old 11-18-2018, 07:11 AM
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Unless someone can convince me other-wise I don't see the point/benefit of offering HDMI inputs on a 2-channel amplifier or receiver.
I can think of quite a few reasons to have HDMI in a 2-channel receiver: Chromecast, Amazon music through a fire stick, SACD/DSD output of a Blu-ray player, Blu-ray audio discs, Blu-ray concerts in "proper" 2-channel, etc.

Now I'm not talking about super-duper audiophile Hi-Fi with tens of $thousands of gear. I mean a secondary space say a loft (in my case) or a bedroom. I have full surround sound in the living room so no need for a 5.1/AVR and the dimensions of the box that comes with.

Everybody has a different use case of course and I like that the Pioneer also has MCACC room correction for 2.1. AND decoders for Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD master audio which I don't believe the Onkyo 8270 can do.
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post #29 of 37 Old 11-18-2018, 07:34 AM
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I can think of quite a few reasons to have HDMI in a 2-channel receiver: Chromecast, Amazon music through a fire stick, SACD/DSD output of a Blu-ray player, Blu-ray audio discs, Blu-ray concerts in "proper" 2-channel, etc.
Given that both SACD and Blu-ray Audio also offer multi-channel audio discs I'd still opt for a (6 Ch) surround sound receiver with the same (small form-factor) dimensions.

Indeed, the more I talk about it I might have a listen to the little 6 channel Pioneer VSX-S520D, as it too now offers Amazon Music (via it's remote app) and much more.

If it's any good I'll place it in our Dining/party room and wire a feed into our lounge. And finally get rid of the huge and brash sounding Onkyo TX-NR609
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I SUPPORT 'FAIR USE'. MY MORALS PREVENT ME FROM HELPING ANYONE WHO OBTAINS COPYRIGHTED CONTENT ILLEGITIMATELY
TV: LG 65UH770V | DISC SPINNER: OPPO UDP-203 | STB: VU+ UNO 4K SE
AMPS: 2No Audiolab 8000A, 2No Audiolab M-PWR | SPEAKERS: 4No KEF 103.2, 3No Wharfedale Diamond 10
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post #30 of 37 Old 11-18-2018, 10:54 AM
 
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I must admit I've never liked the obsession some AVR manufacturers have with offering video processing (and bonkers CEC) features... Just pass the native video signal through the device!
Other than offering the optional convenience of on screen graphics to momentarily display the menu, selected input source, and volume setting [a great convenience from my perspective] that's exactly what mine do. Additional processing and upscaling is almost always bypassable for those who don't want it.

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