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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I will soon have a new Sony KDL-52?5100, so I want to check with the experts (you guys) about how to connect it.


My mix was:

1. Sony KF-50WE610 (Component connections only)

2. Cox HD DVR connected via Component cable

3. Playstaion2

4. Sony STR-D590 don't be jealous


5. Technics SB-CR55 10" floor speakers

6. PC connected via GeForce 7950 on Component cable


Now that I will get to step up to HDMI, I was looking at my options.

1. TV will be KDL-52?5100

2. Cox HD DVR connected via HDMI

3. Playstaion2

4. Sony STR-D590 don't be jealous
- Should this be upgraded to a new AVR or HTIB? How would I benefit?

5. Technics SB-CR55 10" floor speakers

6. PC connected via GeForce 7950 on ?? cable
I can connect this PC via a Component cable, or a DVI - HDMI cable.

Or would it look better through my newer PC that has HDMI onboard video?

Can I even hook this TV to my old receiver via composite sound?

How would I benefit from having a AV Receiver or HTIB connected via HDMI?


Other items to throw into the mix (this may just complicate things)
Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 Computer Speaker - currently hooked up to the PC that has HDMI.

Has (2) 3.5mm connectors.

Set of Advent outdoor speakers - not in use

Both of these could be audio zones with the right connections on a Multizone AVR.
 

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HDMI can simplify AV switching especially when you start mixing video connection types and desiring to amplify your audio.


My AVR can convert all analog to HDMI. This gives me flexibility which I don't currently need, but like to have. For example, I go back and forth on whether to connect my Tivo with HDMI or component-S/PDIF. If I do use component-S/PDIF, I can convert them to HDMI. This means I only need an HDMI connection to the TV.


I can get TV audio via HDMI as well in standbye mode. I have my AVR fixed to Tivo. So if I put the AVR in standbye, my TV will get audio/video from the Tivo.


In general, I use the receiver for all audio. Trying to use your TV for some audio, outside of the HDMI standbye mode is a real pain. I don't recommend it. It's so painful with some setups, I would rather not go into it - and I think your setup qualifies as painful. If you just want audio for TV/cable/sat, then get a receiver that does HDMI audio in standbye with full analog to HDMI conversion, and inputs for all your gear. And your life will be simple.


Economics might be an issue for you, so compromises might have to be made depending.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply!


I agree, I plan to use my receiver for all audio.

Also, I do like to play music without the TV on from DVR box or PC. So that is the Standby you mentioned right?


full analog to HDMI conversion
- Nice, I would have taken that for a given on all receivers, glad to know I need to look for it specifically.


So does that narrow me down to AVR (not Home Theater in a Box)?


Do you have any input on the preferred input from a PC? I would mainly be watching movies and hoping to use it to browse the web occasionally.


Oh, and I am thinking less than $500. Or maybe hoping...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by investmentcar /forum/post/17017298


Thanks for the reply!


I agree, I plan to use my receiver for all audio.

Also, I do like to play music without the TV on from DVR box or PC. So that is the Standby you mentioned right?


full analog to HDMI conversion
- Nice, I would have taken that for a given on all receivers, glad to know I need to look for it specifically.


So does that narrow me down to AVR (not Home Theater in a Box)?


Do you have any input on the preferred input from a PC? I would mainly be watching movies and hoping to use it to browse the web occasionally.


Oh, and I am thinking less than $500. Or maybe hoping...

You will need a new AVR if you want to be able to have a single HDMI connection to your TV and use the AVR for all source switching purposes.


You'll need to budget at least $500, preferrably more like 700-800. You need a receiver that does HDMI Repeating or HDMI switching, they sometimes call it different things.


Edit: Also wanted to mention, for your home theater pc. You can pick up an ATI Radeon 4350 for ~$50 or so online. They are the only cards i know of at this point that have actual HDMI outs, and more importantly can do lossless 7.1 LPCM audio. Most good receivers should have no trouble getting the LPCM data and outputting it to your speakers.
 

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The Village Idiot
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The Harman Kardon 254/354 sounds like something you might take a look at.


The Marantz 7001 is another one.


Or an Onkyo sr706 .


There are others in your budget - the ones above are all refurbished. I find nothing wrong with refurbs but some people want only new. Thats fine but you can't get those kind of prices and get a new receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So in what ways is this an improvement over my 15? year old Sony Receiver?

1. I don't have to switch inputs on receiver AND the TV.

2. 7.1 Surround capabilities

3. Ipod dock

4. Multi Zones (Could it send a signal to my Klipsch speakers via 3.5mm? not a priority though...)

5. Satellite radio

6. what else? I am in the AVR stone age... please enlighten me
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by investmentcar /forum/post/17017714

Explain Like I'm an 8 Year Old


I have been trying to read up on this to make sense of it, but so far it is not working...

Ok, Basically the difference is that HDMI Switching can take the data from any input source, and pass it through its output, this is important so you dont have to have multiple connections to your TV, just a single HDMI.


So, for example. I have a PS3, an Xbox360, and an HTPC all connected to my receiver via HDMI. Rather than have to change the input on my tv AND on my receiver every time i wanna use a different source, i can just switch it on my receiver.


So, my TV stays on the same Input (HDMI 1 in my case), and when i wanna play the PS3, i just switch the source on the AVR.


The problem with a "switching" only setup (these almost never exist btw, its usually either a basic passthrough, or a repeater), is that the switching doesnt actually seperate the sound from the signal, it still sends it to the TV, this is where HDMI Repeating comes in.


HDMI Repeating is actually what you *really* want to have in a receiver, the reason is that the HDMI repeater will actually seperate the audio signal out, and pass only the video through to the TV. This is important as you obviously want your expensive, awesome AVR to be taking care of the sound, right?


After you confirm that its a repeating, and again most of the $500+ receivers should have HDMI repeaters, then its a matter of how many inputs you need. Some receiver have as few as 2, others as many as 6. Usually the more inputs the pricier the receiver though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by investmentcar /forum/post/17017756


So in what ways is this an improvement over my 15? year old Sony Receiver?

1. I don't have to switch inputs on receiver AND the TV.

2. 7.1 Surround capabilities

3. Ipod dock

4. Multi Zones (Could it send a signal to my Klipsch speakers via 3.5mm? not a priority though...)

5. Satellite radio

6. what else? I am in the AVR stone age... please enlighten me

If you like that AVR, go for it, i looked up the specs and for the price its a good buy. 75wx7 with all channels driven, so its got a good amp in it. Its HDMI 1.3a (latest HDMI standard), and has HDMI Repeating, so its covering the bases for what you need.


As for gains,


1 is correct, you'll be able to leave the TV alone the whole time.


2 is again correct, though personally i wouldnt bother with 7.1 as very few DVD's and Blu-rays even have 7.1 tracks on them.


3 is also a nice thing to have if you have an ipod.


4. Meh, this is somewhat useful if you plan on picking up a second set of l/r speakers to put in another room, so IMO you could toss a couple bookshelves in the garage and use your receiver to power them, rather than having to buy a second receiver/etc.


5. Satellite radio, again meh, depends if you use it or not.


6. You will gain a FAR, FAR FAR FAR better quality amp, this will aid in dynamics, amongst other things. You gain the ability to use modern sound processing modes, most importantly Dolby Digital and DTS, which almost all DVD's have. Basically if you have a 15 year old AVR you need to take it out back and shoot it to force an upgrade. You're not doing yourself ANY favors trying to recyce it.


Also, www.monoprice.com is your friend. Do NOT, i repeat NOT waste money on HDMI cables at bestbuy or anywhere else. HDMI is a digital signal, that means all the extra fancy connectors and super thick jacketing, mean all of squat.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by investmentcar /forum/post/17017714

Explain Like I'm an 8 Year Old


I have been trying to read up on this to make sense of it, but so far it is not working...

Maybe I can explain with a brief history of how devices have been hooked up to receivers.


Before the DVD player component video pretty much did not exist. If you hooked up a VCR and a cable box, and maybe a video game player to an audio video receiver (AVR,) you did it with analog audio and composite video. You could then run a single composite video cable to the TV and use your AVR to switch between the source components.


This was pretty simple.


Then along came the DVD player. It added component video. They produced AVRs which could accept component video. However, there was a gulf between component video output from the AVR and composite video output. There was no way to convert the composite video to component. So you needed to run both a component video cable to your TV and a composite video cable. Now, you could not conveniently switch video. Times were tough.


Then they came out with receivers which could convert composite video, like from a video game or VCR to component video, like from a DVD player. Life was good again. Simple connect up all your AV sources to your AVR, run a component video cable to the TV, and switch both audio and video from the AVR. All you needed to do with the TV was switch it off or on, assuming you did not need to change TV channels on it.


That state of affairs lasted a few years until HDMI crashed the party. When HD players came out, HDMI was the preferred connection. As it sent both audio and video you needed to hook it up to your AVR to play back audio. Not all AVRs would play back HDMI audio - some were just like switch boxes. But whether your AVR could play HDMI audio or not, we were back to needing two cables to the TV - one for component and one for HDMI ( some receivers still did not convert to component I think in which case you could be stuck needed more than two cables to the TV.)


It's now a pretty standard feature to convert analog video to HDMI. Seeing as how you run your HDMI through your receiver before being sent to the TV, it's also nice to convert something like an old XBox with component video or an old DVD player to HDMI. In this way, once again, you can switch all audio and video through the receiver.


Of course, you can decide you don't care about convenient AV switching. In which case, you have options.


Of course, you don't have to do it the way described above. You can connect some devices to the TV, some to the AVR, and even connect some devices to both. That's a mess in my opinion, which I would try to avoid.


Economics is a factor, of course. The features of an AVR depend a lot on price. The most budget receivers won't convert analog to HDMI. You can run both audio and video through them, but would need a separate cable for HDMI and for whatever analog video connections you made. This could result in it being easier to just connect video directly to the TV in some cases.


If down the road you want a Blu-ray player, I definitely suggest an AVR with HDMI audio capabilities and switching video from your Blu-ray player. That's the simplest connection option. So the future is a consideration.


I am not sure all of this is coherent, sorry
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hrimnir - I read about monoprice.com on another thread on this forum just tonight - pretty stoked! I am mostly pleased to see that wall mounts are made of common metals. Unlike the ones at bestbuy - I guess those are made of 18k gold...


Michael - thanks for the rundown. The google results I was reading were all several years old. I didn't know if the info was currently valid...



Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by investmentcar /forum/post/17017859


Can a 3rd zone be had for a relatively small increase in price? Is this a common feature?

I cant recall an AVR with a third zone, sorry ;-(
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrimnir /forum/post/17017956


I cant recall an AVR with a third zone, sorry ;-(

I think there are a few, but they are pricey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
 Looking at the back of the HK AVR 354 and the Onkyo SR706 and the Marantz 7001 , it looks like zone 2 can be powered or unpowered.

So - it could feed the unpowered outdoor speakers I have or connect to the powered Klipsch system. Right? Or maybe both if the outputs are always on!

"The Harman Kardon 254/354 sounds like something you might take a look at.

The Marantz 7001 is another one.

Or an Onkyo sr706."



I thought 1 of these had 2 remotes.... An extra for the second zone. When AVRs have these, are they normally RF? Are dual remotes only on higher end models?


Looks like the differences in these 3 are:

1.) Power - HK only has 75, the Onkyo has 100w and the Marantz has 110w.

2.) 4 HDMIs on the Onkyo and Marantz

3.) Any other obvious differences?
 

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Both might be active at the same time. I know my Yamaha manual discourages you from using both a pre out and an internal amp for the same channel at the same time though. I assume that's due to putting an additional load on the pre amp stage.
 

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The Village Idiot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by investmentcar /forum/post/17018270




Looks like the differences in these 3 are:

1.) Power - HK only has 75, the Onkyo has 100w and the Marantz has 110w.

2.) 4 HDMIs on the Onkyo and Marantz

3.) Any other obvious differences?

The HK 354 is quite able to keep up with those other AVRs in the power department. Read the specs - HK uses the phrase "all channels driven" meaning it will deliver 75 watts to 7 channels at one time - the others kind of 'cheat' their specs. What it all boils down to is they are all pretty much equal.


If you really need 4 HDMI inputs then the Onkyo or Marantz will serve you better.


The best buy on AVRs these days is the
HK 254/354 on Harman's ebay auctions. The 254 can be had for $225 and up - the 354 for $360 and up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Hrimnir "lossless 7.1 LPCM audio"

hmmm...

I have the Biostar TA790GX Currently running with HIS HD 4350 512MB unfortunately without HDMI

I can't tell if this board will output 5.1 and/or 7.1 via HDMI (not that I have the speakers yet)

Or can it be transferred from the onboard Realtek ALC888 7.1+2 Channel High Definition Audio Codec into the back of the Onkyo 354 ?


While I am at it on the connection types?

I have:

TV

1) AVR

2) Cable Box

3) PC

4) PS2


Looks like I need:


1.) AVR to Sony TV - 1 HDMI Cable


2.) Cable Box to AVR - 1 HDMI Cable


3.) PC to AVR:

A.)Biostar TA790GX HDMI cable or DVI - HDMI Cable

Currently running with HIS HD 4350 512MB unfortunately without HDMI

B.)ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe with XFX 7900GT 256MB connected via DVI - HDMI cable and 6FT Optical Toslink Cable
For the PC audio connection - see question at top about Realtek etc.


4.) PS2 to AVR - 4 in 1 Component Cable For Wii Xbox 360 PS3/PS2 (maybe a little more than needed...) and 6FT Optical Toslink Cable



So, what is the most beneficial way to connect a PC?

Also, are the cable types I mentioned correct?


Sorry for so many questions, but I am pretty excited about all this...
 

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I can't find a link for the life of me on google, but i know there is a special DVI -> HDMI converter that has extra pins or something like that which are needed to do the LPCM via the HDMI, otherwise you will only output video through that.


Truth be told, as long as your onboard audio has either a coax or optical spdif connection, you can still output dolby digital and DTS from your comp. You just wont be able to do the HD/lossless formats. Unless you have a BD player in your HTPC, this isnt going to be a big deal.
 
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