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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, in looking to build my surround system, I was wondering if there are any decent, inexpensive surround processors available since I have a decent Bryston amp lying around in the house already. I need one that decodes all the newest surround formats like Dolby HD and Dts HD. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Your best bet by far cost wise, is going to be using an AVR for your pre/pro.



The Integra's are some of the most inexpensive full featured pre/pro's out there. It gets mostly good reviews.
 

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Probably the best "surround processor" which decodes the new formats will be an inexpensive AV receiver. HD audio decoding is just now beginning to become a common feature of mid-level receivers, so you are unlikely to find a dedicated surround processor that has this decoding which won't be super expensive (like the Integra 9.8).


Normally going used is a good option, but because this is 1-2 year-old tech for most receivers (at most) the deals aren't quite there yet.


And, unfortunately, a lot of the cheapest receivers with HD audio decoding, like the Onkyo 605/606 or Denon 1909, do not have pre-outs for your external amp.


I believe the Yamaha RX-V663 is your cheapest option for D-THD/DTS-HD decoding with full multi-channel pre-outs. It can be had for under $400 some places. Unless I am wrong this may be your ONLY option for under $500 other than finding a good deal on a used Denon 2808ci or Onkyo TX-SR705.


(EDIT: I see Amazon has the Onkyo 705 brand-new for a very nice price with free shipping. With 3 HDMI inputs, pre-outs, and DTS-MA/D-THD decoding this is a nice option as a pre/pro)
 

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I can. The only HDMI connection I have is between DVD player and HDTV.
 

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If you can wait the emotiva UMC-1 is going to be $699 if you preorder and it will do the hd formats. Looks to be a killer preamp for the money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNnDENVER /forum/post/14208022


Well the OP does have it listed as a prime criteria up there.

RIF.
I'd want at least full LPCM support, don't need decoding at the processor level.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by lexiconthx /forum/post/14208036


If you can wait the emotiva UMC-1 is going to be $699 if you preorder and it will do the hd formats. Looks to be a killer preamp for the money.

This looks like a really good option actually. I'm planning on downmixing all the Dolby-HD information down to two channels though, Would this pre-amp be able to do a good job with that???
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidcan /forum/post/14205985


Hi, in looking to build my surround system, I was wondering if there are any decent, inexpensive surround processors available since I have a decent Bryston amp lying around in the house already. I need one that decodes all the newest surround formats like Dolby HD and Dts HD. Any help would be appreciated.

google 'gefentv hdmi audio processor'.

due out july/august.

should street around $300.

not sure about hd codecs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidcan /forum/post/14208688


This looks like a really good option actually. I'm planning on downmixing all the Dolby-HD information down to two channels though, Would this pre-amp be able to do a good job with that???

I think you may do better having the source do that for you. That is a specific requirement, I am not going to say any particular processor would handle that well without lots of testing.
 

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If you only have a two-channel system, why do you need the processor to decode the new formats? Why do you even need HDMI? Do you need the video switching/processing for your system?


You can send lossless hi-res two-channel PCM over optical/coax from any HD DVD or Blu Ray player AFAIK. Just set the player to "downmixed PCM" or whatever and it will create a two-channel downmix of multichannel content that can be sent over SPDIF. The restriction with optical/coax is that it can't handle multichannel hi-res audio, but two channel is fine. Any other source besides blu ray / hd dvd will not have HD audio so SPDIF will be fine there too.


Unless you need the video switching of HDMI in your pre/pro, for two-channel use you can use pretty much any pre/pro with digital inputs and DTS/DD decoding. This opens up your options tremendously.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I might have a center speakers and/or a subwoofer as I add to my system so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig /forum/post/14208989


If you only have a two-channel system, why do you need the processor to decode the new formats? Why do you even need HDMI? Do you need the video switching/processing for your system?


You can send lossless hi-res two-channel PCM over optical/coax from any HD DVD or Blu Ray player AFAIK. Just set the player to "downmixed PCM" or whatever and it will create a two-channel downmix of multichannel content that can be sent over SPDIF. The restriction with optical/coax is that it can't handle multichannel hi-res audio, but two channel is fine. Any other source besides blu ray / hd dvd will not have HD audio so SPDIF will be fine there too.


Unless you need the video switching of HDMI in your pre/pro, for two-channel use you can use pretty much any pre/pro with digital inputs and DTS/DD decoding. This opens up your options tremendously.
 

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Got it.


Then I would stick with my suggestions:


1. Yamaha RX-V663 if you want the cheapest option with HD codecs and pre-outs

2. Onkyo TX-SR705 for barely over $500 shipped from Amazon for a slight step up in features (basically the 3 HDMI inputs, more power with the THX certification)

3. A Denon AVR-2808ci (aka the AVR-988), either used or a blowout discount from Circuit City or something when the new models come in


That's pretty much it for the under-$600 options with HD codecs and pre-outs, as far as I can see. Of course, once you are willing to spend more your options increase, like the forthcoming Emotiva or a higher end AV receiver like the Denon 3808ci or Onkyo 8xx and up.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the reply Batpig
Has anybody used these emotiva or outlaw audio processors? How do they stack up to the HK, Denons and Onkyos out there. The XMC-1 that's supposed to be coming out has everything that I'm looking for and I think it's still going to be priced under 1K although not positive about that. I just want something that'll do justice to my Revels. I have an old B&K amp that I'll use for the power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig /forum/post/14209727


Got it.


Then I would stick with my suggestions:


1. Yamaha RX-V663 if you want the cheapest option with HD codecs and pre-outs

2. Onkyo TX-SR705 for barely over $500 shipped from Amazon for a slight step up in features (basically the 3 HDMI inputs, more power with the THX certification)

3. A Denon AVR-2808ci (aka the AVR-988), either used or a blowout discount from Circuit City or something when the new models come in


That's pretty much it for the under-$600 options with HD codecs and pre-outs, as far as I can see. Of course, once you are willing to spend more your options increase, like the forthcoming Emotiva or a higher end AV receiver like the Denon 3808ci or Onkyo 8xx and up.
 
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