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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trolling the forums here for the past week or so and am ready to hit the launch button. I'm the classic newb starting from scratch, with the possible exception being that I am not a total audio newb (I used to run sound and light boards for a 860 seat theater, but it was a longtime ago!)


My plan is to build a HT over time.... I don't have the $ to just buy everything at once, so I am thinking I will start with the audio. What I want to do first is get a receiver and two speakers (which will eventually be my left and right for the HT).


Here are the room basics: Living room, probably 18 x 10 or so with 9 foot ceiling. TV (to be bought later) will be hung over my fireplace between two bookshelves on one of the 10 foot walls. I will likely use the set up for 50% music, 25% movies, 25% games. I plan to hook a computer into the system (HT Computer which will handle most music, serve as DVR, stream Netflix video and be a gaming platform) and may also get a PS3 for the blu-ray and game factor.


Now to the questions:


1: I am on the fence about getting a 5.1 vs a 7.1 system. In a room as small as mine, is worth the extra coin for 7.1? And what is 7.1 vs. 7.2? If 7.1 is going to be the new standard, I would want to buy it now rather than upgrade later.


2: HDMI inputs. Seems like this is important, but I don't understand why. How many of these do I need given my setup? And folks talk about the 1 cable solution, but I don't get that either. Doesn't everything just plug into the receiver? Or are there other cable routings that you need to run to get the most out of things?


3: What is a good receiver in the $400 and under range for such a set up? I plan to eventually spend more $ on all the speakers than on the receiver, but that is for a different forum (although I am happy for any input here!)


Here are a few I am looking at.


SONY 7.1-Channel Home Theater A/V Receiver STR-DH800

ONKYO 5.1-Channel Black Home Theater Receiver TX-SR507

ONKYO 7.2-Channel Black Home Theater Receiver TX-SR607


I'm totally open to other options too if folks have suggestions. Thanks in advance for thoughts and inputs.
 

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1. If your furniture is against the back wall 6.1 / 7.1 is generall not reccomended.


2. HDMI is decently important if you want access to what is called lossless audio or want the "one cable" solution which is connect all sources to the reciever and then have only HDMI out to the display. I personally still do not recomend the one cable solution, but for many it works fine for them.


3. Lower end Onkyo is more favored on these forums than lower end Sony. You can get a 7.1 reciever and also run 5.1 just fine with it.
 

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Newer receivers are featuring 9 speakers and up to 2 subs. I think DSX and PLIIz are beginning to gain popularity. It's basically an enhancement to the front presentation for movies.


Something to check out in case you are interested, although it might just be a tease with a $400 budget for a receiver.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanchope /forum/post/18209564


What I want to do first is get a receiver and two speakers (which will eventually be my left and right for the HT).

That sounds like a good plan.

Quote:
Here are the room basics: Living room, probably 18 x 10 or so with 9 foot ceiling. [...]


Now to the questions:


1: I am on the fence about getting a 5.1 vs a 7.1 system. In a room as small as mine, is worth the extra coin for 7.1?

There's really no significant difference in the up-front cost. Most AVRs include 7 channels of audio amplification these days. If your listening position faces along the long dimension of the room, with the seating about 2/3 of the way (12' from front, 6' from back wall) having rear speakers would be quite reasonable. If the seating is right up against the back wall, though, then rear speakers usually aren't appropriate.
Quote:
And what is 7.1 vs. 7.2? If 7.1 is going to be the new standard, I would want to buy it now rather than upgrade later.

The suffix is for the number of subwoofers. Very frew AVRs include a second subwoofer output. Most people simply use a Y connector to connect two subwoofers to a single output. Also, that much low frequency audio usually will be frowned upon by your neighbors if you're in an appartment building.

Quote:
2: HDMI inputs. Seems like this is important, but I don't understand why. How many of these do I need given my setup?

Many people have a need for 3 or 4 HDMI inputs : 1 HDMI input for the computer. 1 for a BD player, 1 for HD cable box or satellite receiver. and 1 for a gaming system if the BD player is not a PS3.
Quote:
And folks talk about the 1 cable solution, but I don't get that either. Doesn't everything just plug into the receiver? Or are there other cable routings that you need to run to get the most out of things?

Traditionally, you would have needed separate cables for audio and video for each input source and separate cables to connect audio and video from the AVR to the TV: from 1 to 7 cables the audio and 1 to 3 cables for the video. HDMI is a "single cable solution" because it lets you send all of the audio and video signals from a particular device over a single cable assembly to the receiver (or directly to a TV). i.e. it's a single cable per device.

Quote:
3: What is a good receiver in the $400 and under range for such a set up? I plan to eventually spend more $ on all the speakers than on the receiver, but that is for a different forum (although I am happy for any input here!)


Here are a few I am looking at.


SONY 7.1-Channel Home Theater A/V Receiver STR-DH800

ONKYO 5.1-Channel Black Home Theater Receiver TX-SR507

ONKYO 7.2-Channel Black Home Theater Receiver TX-SR607


I'm totally open to other options too if folks have suggestions. Thanks in advance for thoughts and inputs.

I'll leave it to others to make specific AVR suggestions. My experience is with Pioneer and Marantz.


FWIW, apparently many Onkyos run quite hot, which can be an issue if they don't have plenty of open space above them.
 

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Suggestions for a receiver would be no models on the Onkyo's below 707(in case you want to add an amp later) 607 doesn't have pre-outs. Leave the Sony's alone. If amps are not in your future the 607/RC160 will work. Before those two though if its only 5.1 look into the Denon 590/1610, better Audyssey. Unfortunately Denon's models with pre-outs for this years models don't begin until the 3310 and above. For 7.2 the Denon 690/1910 or 790/2310 are also good options. Yamaha 765 or above. Pioneer Elite 21 on sale would also be one to look into. For the Yamaha go to Newegg on Saturdays for their sales. If you are not against refurb units there is accessories4less for the Onkyo's and Marantz units. Dakmart for the Denon's. Also keep a watch out for the "name your price" sales at 6 ave.com. Good luck and hope this helps in some way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the feedback so far.


Yea, the couch is not against the back wall, so rear speakers would be a good idea. I also like the idea of have a separate set up speakers running off the amp. For example I might put a couple of (outdoor) speakers outside on my back patio. Would be really cool if I could watch the game or play PS3 while outdoors listened to music. I think if I have a 7.x system I could do that no?


I do live in a single family home (no roommates either), so not too worried about having a little bass. Having said that, I can't image ever buying two! Last I checked bass was pretty much omnidirectional.... why would you get two?


I can't see myself getting amps at any point, just seems like overkill for my purposes here. Buy thanks for the tips on where (and what) to buy. I am open to refurbished if it comes from a legit store.... I would feel way more comfortable buying something that way Vs. buying used on Craigslist or ebay. I'll take a look at some of the other models you suggested. Right now I am seeing a Onkyo 7.2 607 for $399 at Newegg.
 
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