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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my current thought process.


I have a Panny 50PX80U plasma and a PS3. I'm still using my somewhat older Panny 5.1 receiver (SA series, can't remember the exact model number and I'm posting this from work) with a newly acquired Polk RM6750 5.1 setup. I run the video out of my PS3 directly into the plasma via HDMI, so the picture is excellent in that regard. What I'm wondering about is the supposed need to upgrade my receiver to improve my audio.


Like many others, I've been looking at the Onkyo SR606 but have read mixed reviews on just how well it processes video (the old pass-through ploy) aka if I run my PS3 through the 606 and then into the 50PX, will there be a noticable difference in video quality? I'd think that the most direct sort of connection would yield the best result, so then should my focus just be on a good receiver with which to process the audio from the PS3 (and my satellite box) and save some money? If so, any recommendations?


Thanx all!
 

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check out the "sub $400 receiver thread", tons of good info for you.


Denon receivers do perfect HDMI video passthrough. All you need is a receiver that can handle multichannel PCM from your PS3 over HDMI, so check out some local Circuit City's or Fry's and see if the have an AVR 788 or 888 on a closeout bargain deal. You should target the AVR 788 at less than $275 or the AVR 888 at less than $350. Even if you buy an open box from CC or Fry's you will still get full 2-yrs mfgr's warranty.


Also look info refurb Marantz models from accessories4less.com, the Marantz 5002 on refurb has been available for $299 and it's an awesome bargain at that price.


If you don't understand the whole "multichannel PCM" thing, read up in the AVR FAQ at the top of this forum and also check out the FAQ section of my website, there is a section on the PS3 + Denon AVR's:
http://batpigworld.com/fadq.html#section_04
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig /forum/post/15572838


check out the "sub $400 receiver thread", tons of good info for you.


Denon receivers do perfect HDMI video passthrough. All you need is a receiver that can handle multichannel PCM from your PS3 over HDMI, so check out some local Circuit City's or Fry's and see if the have an AVR 788 or 888 on a closeout bargain deal. You should target the AVR 788 at less than $275 or the AVR 888 at less than $350. Even if you buy an open box from CC or Fry's you will still get full 2-yrs mfgr's warranty.


Also look info refurb Marantz models from accessories4less.com, the Marantz 5002 on refurb has been available for $299 and it's an awesome bargain at that price.


If you don't understand the whole "multichannel PCM" thing, read up in the AVR FAQ at the top of this forum and also check out the FAQ section of my website, there is a section on the PS3 + Denon AVR's:
http://batpigworld.com/fadq.html#section_04

Great info! Question though: will my 720p plasma benefit from having the video processed to 1080p even though it doesn't display it that high?


Definitely checking into the Denon's though, they apparently slipped under my radar!
 

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the video won't be processed over HDMI, it will just be passed through at 1080p just like you have it right now with a direct HDMI connection from PS3 to TV. You are probably giving it 1080p over HDMI right now from your PS3 so it will be identical in terms of video.


Plus, your TV is actually 768p, feeding it the highest resolution possible and then letting the TV scale down to fit the 768x1366 native res is always the best idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah! I guess I was thinking about something I'd read previously about how since I'm running my PS3 into a 720p display I should deselect the 1080i and 1080p settings on the PS3 in order to get the best compatible picture. Is that information accurate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig /forum/post/15572838



Denon receivers do perfect HDMI video passthrough. All you need is a receiver that can handle multichannel PCM from your PS3 over HDMI, so check out some local Circuit City's or Fry's and see if the have an AVR 788 or 888 on a closeout bargain deal. You should target the AVR 788 at less than $275 or the AVR 888 at less than $350. Even if you buy an open box from CC or Fry's you will still get full 2-yrs mfgr's warranty.

Found the Denon AVR-589 at CC for a cool 299.00 and am wondering if that'd fit the bill? I can't really go the 7.1 route by way of speaker setup in our apartment, so 5.1 would suffice. CC does have the 788 and 888 available but by online order only, which means I probably wouldn't be able to get any sort of open box deal on them. Then again, CC is totally going bottoms up soon, so maybe liquidation sales are on the horizon?
 

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no audio over HDMI. For the '09 models you need to start at the 789/1909 level and up.


I recommended the 788/888 because they are last years models, and you stated you are on a budget. Buying last year's model is a good way to get HDMI audio for a discounted price. Forget about the online stuff, physically GO IN to a CC and browse the shelves, look for open box units. CC will have lots of stuff on discount.


You need at least the 788/1908 (from last year) or the 789/1909 (from this year) for HDMI audio.


Check the model numbers section of my website for more info:
http://batpigworld.com/models.html
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gridbug /forum/post/15573274


Ah! I guess I was thinking about something I'd read previously about how since I'm running my PS3 into a 720p display I should deselect the 1080i and 1080p settings on the PS3 in order to get the best compatible picture. Is that information accurate?

Your TV will not accept 1080p and will show a blank screen if you try. 1080i is the highest input it will take and that will be re-scaled to 720P by the TV.

My Onkyo TX-SR606 passes video untouched from HDMI to HDMI, and converts component input to HDMI output with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs /forum/post/15573538


Your TV will not accept 1080p and will show a blank screen if you try. 1080i is the highest input it will take and that will be re-scaled to 720P by the TV.

True. Which is why I'm not so much concerned with getting a receiver to send the video through, just one that will handle Dolby TrueHD / DTS-MA audio from the PS3.


The saga continues!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig /forum/post/15573504


no audio over HDMI. For the '09 models you need to start at the 789/1909 level and up.


I recommended the 788/888 because they are last years models, and you stated you are on a budget. Buying last year's model is a good way to get HDMI audio for a discounted price. Forget about the online stuff, physically GO IN to a CC and browse the shelves, look for open box units. CC will have lots of stuff on discount.


You need at least the 788/1908 (from last year) or the 789/1909 (from this year) for HDMI audio.


Check the model numbers section of my website for more info:
http://batpigworld.com/models.html

Understood! Got two CC's to choose from in my area (heading to one on my lunch break, the other on the way home if need be) and will be sure to check for the models you've listed so I can eyeball them live and in person.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs /forum/post/15573538


Your TV will not accept 1080p and will show a blank screen if you try. 1080i is the highest input it will take and that will be re-scaled to 720P by the TV.

Say what? Panasonic consumer plasmas have been able to accept a 1080p input since the 60/600 series. His PX80U will most definitely accept 1080p over HDMI, and simply downscale it to 768p.


Anyway, that's largely irrelevant to the thread -- just make sure the receiver you get passes through HDMI video untouched, and takes audio over HDMI, and you are all set!
 

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Check out accessories4less for great deals on Marantz receivers. Lots of options, great audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs /forum/post/15573538


Your TV will not accept 1080p and will show a blank screen if you try. 1080i is the highest input it will take and that will be re-scaled to 720P by the TV.

Semi related tangent to this thread: so if I select 1080i from my PS3 video settings menu, will I get a better picture on my 720p display than if I just leave the PS3 video setting at 720p? It would seem to me that if the TV is taking the picture from 1080i and downconverting it (correct term?) to 720p (768p) then it's an extra step that's pretty much getting the image back to the native display. If the highest resolution I can get on the display is 720-768p, wouldn't it be better to just have the PS3 send the video on through at 720p?


I've experienced the "black screen" effect with setting it at 1080p before and want to ensure that I'm getting the best picture possible. It may be a little while before I upgrade my AV receiver, so this info helps me out as well...

 

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again, the receiver is totally irrelevant to your video questions as it will just "pass through" the HDMI video to the TV


you just have to try it out and see what you like better. there is no right/wrong answer. I generally just let the PS3 auto-detect the HDMI video and let it pick the highest res available.


But since the PS3 is native 1080p for blu rays, I would leave it at 1080i. If you set it at 720p the PS3 scales down from 1080p to 720p, and then your TV has to scale up again from 720p to 768p. The 1080i output still preserves all the resolution of 1080p blu rays.


That all being said....... it doesn't matter because YOUR TV DOES ACCEPT 1080p!!! Like I already said...
 

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here is what CNet said in their review of the 42" 80U model:
Quote:
Video processing: As with most HDTVs we've tested, the TH-42PX80U was unsuccessful at correctly de-interlacing 1080i film-based material, so we recommend you set your high-definition sources to 1080p if available. If not, we recommend you stick with 1080i for this TV, because when we looked at 720p resolution patterns they appeared a bit softer than 1080i.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig /forum/post/15575174


But since the PS3 is native 1080p for blu rays, I would leave it at 1080i. If you set it at 720p the PS3 scales down from 1080p to 720p, and then your TV has to scale up again from 720p to 768p. The 1080i output still preserves all the resolution of 1080p blu rays.

Thanks for the clarification on that... as much as I love "gettin' with" the latest technology, I'm still working that learning curve as we go.



BTW I hit the CC here in Glendale and they had some Denon 588's on clearance but no 7 or 888's available in store. Hit BB on the way back to work and they have some Denon AVR's but they're priced a bit too high for my liking. Just read that CC's liquidation fire sale begins tomorrow so I'll hit the CC in my neighborhood then and see what's what. Maybe scout out Fry's too, though according to their website they don't even carry any Denon receivers. Not sure how reliable that is anyway.

 

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the Denon AVR's don't show up on Fry's online but they definitely carry them, I bought my AVR 888 at Fry's in San Diego. They will probably even show up in your local paper ads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, the AV Gods must've been smiling down on me today. Stopped into the neighborhood CC and stumbled upon a Denon AVR-888 on the open box table. No remote, no manual, and no Audyssey microphone (ouch) but I got the receiver for a cool 216.39 out the door. Thanks very much for all the great info in this thread... wouldn't have been this fortunate if I hadn't have gotten your feedback!


Gonna wait until tomorrow to switch out my old Panny receiver and start noodlin' with the Denon. In the process of downloading the manual for the 888 and I've got a Harmony remote so that's no biggie... I guess the only real area of concern is not having that Audyssey mic. How big a stumbling block is that gonna be for me to get some sweet sonic satisfaction out of this thing?

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE: Okay, got the Denon in place. Had to manually run the settings etc (couldn't figure out how to get the OSD to show up in the monitor... any tips?) and updated my Harmony 550 remote with the 888 control scheme, then proceeded to test 'er out with selected scenes from the Dark Knight Blu-ray. In a word: OMFG. Actually, that's technically four words, but you get my meaning. The difference was staggering. The picture is better than before (and I was pretty pleased with it before the receiver upgrade) and the new sound is stunning. HUGE props to batpig and his wonderful Denon guide! Really helped me through some tough spots, and even though I have yet to run the auto-calibration mode (anyone know where I can find an Audyssey mic for the 888 on the cheap?) I'm thrilled, excited, and beside myself with my home theatre setup. Been a long time in the making, but it's such a joy to be able to sit back and enjoy super HQ cinema and gaming (satellite is still SD but I'm sure that'll be upgraded soon enough) in the comfort of my own home. Er, apartment.


AVS Forum, you are an indispensable ally and I'm damn glad to have found you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gridbug /forum/post/15589063


... (anyone know where I can find an Audyssey mic for the 888 on the cheap?) ...

Gridbug, so nice to hear how thrilled you are: those are always wonderful moments in any person's audio life! Congratulations!


Now, about that Audyssey mic: Does the receipt from CC mention anything about open box or what not? Have you tried to register the unit with Denon? If it has any warranty at all, I would attempt contacting c/s saying that you just bought an AVR and that there is no mic or remote in the box, and see what they say. Omit the remote, if you wish, since with the Harmony you will never use it ... if you think that improves your credibility. You never know: you may get lucky with c/s.


Otherwise, I can't see why they would charge a million bucks for that mic. You could also try eBay. It's nice to have the mic, but you can do without if you use a SPL meter (amazon.com Radio Shack ...).
 
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