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post #1 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Recommendation for Parents

I need to buy a receiver for my parents, and could really use some help and advice. I've tried reading and searching the forum, but am having trouble finding what I need/value.

What I'm looking for:
1. Easy to use. (top priority, and I can't find much about this.)
2. Small size (I've basically given up hope on this, but the smaller the better)
3. Room/Speaker EQ, e.g. Audyssey (this is practically the only technical requirement)
4. Cheaper the better (looking for $300 max, but hoping for $200 or less)

Input/Output requirements are minimal, 2 HDMI in, 1 HDMI out (2 out would be valuable)
2 HDMI inputs (cable + blu-ray) is all they use and are not likely add any more.
1 HDMI output (projector) is all they need now, but 2 would be future proof (to add a TV)
5.1 or 5.2 audio out. They will never do 7.x, nor Atmos.

From my reading so far, I'm inclined to order Denon S920W from A4L, for $270, but I feel like that is overkill for them and I'd really like to spend less.

Last edited by andy_puiu; 01-26-2018 at 09:01 AM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I neglected to say anything about 4k, HDR, etc...

They have no current need for these. I'd consider it valuable but not required to have the latest capabilities because I expect they won't upgrade the receiver for a very long time, if ever. I'm not sure how much extra I'd spend to get this... +$50 yes, +$150 no
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_puiu View Post
I need to buy a receiver for my parents, and could really use some help and advice. I've tried reading and searching the forum, but am having trouble finding what I need/value.

What I'm looking for:
1. Easy to use. (top priority, and I can't find much about this.)
2. Small size (I've basically given up hope on this, but the smaller the better)
3. Room/Speaker EQ, e.g. Audyssey (this is practically the only technical requirement)
4. Cheaper the better (looking for $300 max, but hoping for $200 or less)

Input/Output requirements are minimal, 2 HDMI in, 1 HDMI out (2 out would be valuable)
2 HDMI inputs (cable + blu-ray) is all they use and are not likely add any more.
1 HDMI output (projector) is all they need now, but 2 would be future proof (to add a TV)
5.1 or 5.2 audio out. They will never do 7.x, nor Atmos.

From my reading so far, I'm inclined to order Denon S920W from A4L, for $270, but I feel like that is overkill for them and I'd really like to spend less.
Then get the S720W. If they ever add a TV, they can simply purchase an HDMI splitter.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 12:55 PM
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I would check out one of these receivers. I'm partial to the Pioneer because that is what i installed in my parents' house but the Denons and the integras may be the better way to go. I would not overshoot when buying on behalf of someone else.


https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/avreceiver/home-audio/receivers-amps/home-theater-receivers/1.html?number_channels[]=5&store_price[]=0-207

Last edited by Rgarc; 01-26-2018 at 01:31 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 01:17 PM
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I wonder what level of "easy to use" you seek.

My late father could never master the concept of switching inputs on his TV to use a BluRay player. (If he found a task confusing, he wouldn't try it at all.) It sounds like your parents are in better shape than that.

I use a Logitech Harmony 700 universal remote to control my system. It supports "activities" that allow you to control multiple devices at once. It's convenient. It's not foolproof: it is possible to get the remote in an undesired state by pressing the wrong button. (There is no handshaking between the remote and the devices controlled, of course.) Also, it can take 15 seconds for a set of commands to be issued, and the remote has to be kept pointed at the devices the whole time.

As regards "small", Marantz makes low-profile AVRs, I believe that their footprints are not smaller than conventional AVRs, but they have lower heights. (And higher prices.)
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't researched this yet, but I'm planning to get them a nice harmony universal remote. I still want to keep things simple as possible though. In fact, I was looking at a Blu ray player with HDMI input, thinking that could save them from ever touching the receiver!

Rgarc, did you mean the 531 or lx 101 pioneer? The first is cheaper than the denon. Any advantage of the other over Denon?

There are a ton of Yamahas listed at A4Lfrom 150 to 300. Anything I should take a hard look at?

What about integra brand? They are cheap, but I've never heard of them.

Last edited by andy_puiu; 01-26-2018 at 04:14 PM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 07:04 PM
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The link I posted was for all the 5.1 receivers under $200. I am familiar with the Pioneer 522 which is an older version of the 531. In AVr's you basically have Onkyo/Pioneer, Marantz/Denon, or Yamaha and then there niche brands. I believe the integer is a specialty version of the Onkyo. 5.1 receivers are generally the entry level models for all of the lines and have fewer bells and whistles than the more expensive models. I would check out models and choose the one with least complicated remote unless you plan on using a universal remote. The pioneer is easy to navigate because you can change inputs by turning one of the knobs rather than choosing a button. The Denon may work the same way but I'm not sure. If you don't need or want Atmos there is no need to spend more than $200 on an AVR.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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So I'm trying to zero in on trying to find the cheapest receivers with and without HDR and Auto EQ. I've basically just been looking at Accessories4Less, so please let me know if I should look anywhere else.

So far, I've found following options:
- $150 Denon S530BT ... (no EQ?) and basic HDR
- $200 Yamaha V675 with YPAO R.S.C.* (but no HDR?)
- $200 Yamaha V383 with YPAO* and "HDR10, Dolby Vision (FW), HLG (FW)"
- $230 Denon S720W, Audyssey MultEQ and basic HDR
- $300 Denon X1300W, Audyssey MultEQ XT and "HDR10, Dolby Vision (FW), HLG (FW)"

*I don't know how YPAO, with or without RSC, compares to Audyssey
I assume "FW" means it is available with a firmware update... are these available today, a promise for the future, or... ?

Any other suggestions?
Anything < $200 with EQ?

Last edited by andy_puiu; 01-26-2018 at 09:56 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_puiu View Post
So I'm trying to zero in on trying to find the cheapest receiver with advanced HDR and advanced EQ. I've basically just been looking at Accessories4Less, so please let me know if I should look anywhere else.

So far, I've found following options:
- $200 Yamaha V675 with YPAO R.S.C.* ... but zero HDR?
- $200 Yamaha V383 with YPAO* and "HDR10, Dolby Vision (FW), HLG (FW)"
- $230 Denon S720W with Audyssey MultEQ and basic HDR
- $300 Denon X1300W with Audyssey MultEQ XT and "HDR10, Dolby Vision (FW), HLG (FW)"

*I don't know how YPAO, with or without RSC, compares to Audyssey
I assume "FW" means it is available with a firmware update... are these available today, a promise for the future, or... ?

Any other suggestions?
The RX-V675 is an old model, maybe from 2013. I'm not sure that it supports HDCP 2.2, the copy protection needed for use with a UHD BluRay player (even without HDR).

The comparison between YPAO and Audyssey is a bit complex. There are at least 3 grades of Audyssey: MultEq, MultEq XT, and XT32. I presume that YPAO RSC is equivalent to XT, but I wouldn't bet a large sum on that.

I don't know about the RX-V383, but the Denon AVR-X1300W has received its DV & HLG update.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_puiu View Post
I haven't researched this yet, but I'm planning to get them a nice harmony universal remote.
There are a ton of Yamahas listed at A4Lfrom 150 to 300. Anything I should take a hard look at?

What about integra brand? They are cheap, but I've never heard of them.
The Harmony 650 is cheap and works great. I have one - I had an 1100 prior to the 650. Sometimes simple is better and I like the 650 much more than I did the 1100.

As for Yamaha AVRs to look at up to $250 the TSR-5810 is a good buy IMO. It's 'same as' the RX-V581 and a hundred cheaper and has more bells and whistles than your parents will ever need or want from an AVR. An even better buy IMO is $50 more - the RX-V779 is the same as the higher premium RX-A850, I think. I have the RX-V773 which is a couple of years older than the 779 and has been solid as a rock. I've been using it in the bedroom for the past 2 years and have owned it 3 years now. The CX-A5000 for a year now and it too has been a solid and easy to use preamp processor. I have my HTPC connected to the Yamaha and my 55" display so having the ability to do just about everything I want to do right at my fingertips.

Integra is Onkyo's 'premium' brand. In reality the Integra is no different internally than the similarly speced Onkyo model they are fashioned after. You do get 3 years of warranty vs 2 for the Onkyo. Those Integras are cheap for a reason - HDMI board failures, and most AV enthusiasts know enough about them to be wary of buying one, especially if you are looking for something reliable. I don't know if Onkyo/Integra's current offerings are more reliable since I haven't had much interest in their product after being crapped on 3 our of 4 times in ownership. Read the sticky here for more info. Since those Integras on Accessories4Less.com have two years of factory warranty if I were looking for something cheap - and you are - then the Integra might be a great purchase. But you have to wonder how much money Onkyo put into those AVRs in order to peddle them for as cheap as they are. Something more reliable such as Yamaha (my first choice) and Denon - second choice might be a better choice for your parents. Last thing they need is to have to try getting around having an AVR in the shop and not working.

I've owned 4 Onkyo/Integra products in the last 10 years - got bit on all but one and that didn't have an HDMI board since it was a stereo receiver. Those Integra units look like a great deal and if I were shopping for a cheap AVR I might bite on something like the DTR-30.4 or the DTR-40.4. With 2 years of manufacturer's warranty about all I'm out if the thing craps out is shipping to a repair center.

You're asking about different audio & visual formats - maybe you should post the audio/visual gear that this receiver will be integrating with and what is expected in the near-term as far as upgrades such as a new TV or additional speakers - Atmos? Dolby Vision?

Your wanting to shop at A4L.com is a good one IMO. I have no interest in A4L - don't work there etc - but I do like good deals and IMO buying refurbished is a good one. I've bought from them 10-12 times for myself as well as friends and family. Only one AVR had problems and they took that back and promptly sent out a working one to replace it. In this day and age when an AVR can be outdated before it hits the market 2 or 3 years is a long run. I still can't figure out why - if an AVR is more computer than amplifier why the manufacturers can't deliver a product with more than 3-4 years as a lifespan!

I've been building computers for friends and family for over 20 years. One of those computers I built about 15 years ago is still being used. The only saving grace for it was Linux! Linux has drivers and software for just about any computer part thats been manufactured in the past 25 years - since the start of the PC craze. Try loading Win 10 on a 10 year old laptop. Good luck even getting it to start loading. It's called planned obsolescence. And MS and big companies like Dell and the like work hand in hand to make sure that planned obsolescence will never go out of style - just like the AV market.

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post #11 of 11 Old 01-26-2018, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all the feedback guys.

I updated my little 'chart' above, before I saw two new posts, so I'll put that here at the bottom.

So far, I've found following options:
- $150 Denon S530BT ... (no EQ?) ..................and basic HDR
- $200 Yamaha V675 with YPAO R.S.C.* .........(but no HDR?)
- $200 Yamaha V383 with YPAO*....................and "HDR10, Dolby Vision (FW), HLG (FW)"
- $230 Denon S720W, Audyssey MultEQ .........and basic HDR
- $300 Denon X1300W, Audyssey MultEQ XT and "HDR10, Dolby Vision (FW), HLG (FW)"

The more I look and think, the more I'm talking myself down to a cheaper receiver. (That's unusual in this forum, isn't it!)

Any other suggestions? Anything < $200 with EQ?

Quote:
I had an 1100 prior to the 650. Sometimes simple is better and I like the 650 much more than I did the 1100.
Can you say more about why you didn't like the 1100? I was thinking about getting them the 'companion' (though I just realized it is twice as much as I thought, unless I buy a refurb one) The appeal with this is largely the RF-to-IR repeater.. which feels like it would be much more fool-proof then an IR remote, plus alexa (smartphone integration sounds nice too.)

Last edited by andy_puiu; 01-26-2018 at 10:34 PM.
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