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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I have a modest setup in my home (first home = first home theater!). Largely due to the reviews and comments I found in these forums, I purchased a Samsung LN40A550 LCD HDTV a few months ago and I couldn't be happier with it. You guys didn't let me down at all so I decided to repay the charity and let you help me upgrade my home theater the way it deserves to be!
So lets get to it:


Current components:

- Samsung LN40A550

- AT&T Uverse over Component (tech said the boxes "dont work right with HDMI, blah blah" and I havent tested his comments yet)

- Nintendo Wii over Component

- Philips DVP5992 over HDMI 1.3


Future components:

- Playstation 3 over HDMI 1.3

- Possibly DVI-to-HDMI (1.3?) from my nearby PC


I plan on connecting the Uverse via HDMI. I plan on keeping the DVP5992 connected as well as it is a great upconverting DVD player and I'm sure my eventually-acquired PS3 will get plenty of wear and tear as it is. I also plan on obviously connecting the PS3 via HDMI so I can finally watch some true 1080p movies (and games!). I can be happy with only having two of those connected via HDMI though (esp if the price difference between a 2-port HDMI AVR and a 3-port HDMI AVR is significant). As I've looked around I've noticed there is a lot of information (some of which I don't understand) about AVR's that have HDMI "pass-through" or "switching" or both or neither or w/e... they have HDMI that only does video and not audio (wtf) and all sorts of variable goodness.


Bottom line is: I want to be able to plug any of my components (minus the PC as I know audio isnt carried over DVI) into an AVR via HDMI 1.3 cable, and then plug the AVR into the back of my TV via HDMI 1.3 cable.


That seems so simple yet I'm starting to believe it is going to be much more complicated (read: expensive) than that. I don't care so much about which surround codecs I'll have or won't have as I've never had my own HT to compare them in. Obviously.. I'd like the most I can get so that I can compare them and choose the best, but really I just want this to work and work well. I will more than likely be getting two polk R50s to start out (speaker-building friend of mine says their BQ and SQ is unmatched in their price range, and they have great reviews for a decent price), and then build off them into a full 5.1 setup (any speaker suggestions will be considered an appreciated bonus).


So.. if it's isn't clear what I'm looking for here, let me wrap it up. I'm looking for a 5.1 (6.1 and 7.1 sets will definitely be considered for future expansion purposes) AVR with at LEAST 2 HDMI 1.3 inputs that carry audio over the HDMI output. I'm looking for the best performace on my modest budget (who isn't these days). At LEAST 2 component inputs as well. I'm also looking for tips and suggestions from you folk. Perhaps there's something I've overlooked? I'm sure most of you know more than I do about this stuff so I am open to any and all kinds of input (should I care about PCM vs. bitstream since I've read like 3 FAQs and still don't really understand it?).


Thanks in advance (for reading and hopefully helping)!
 

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Just because you are starting from scratch, don't think you can't have an outstanding system for your new home. If it were me and I had a very modest budget I would buy the following from Emotiva.


UMC-1 audio video processor with HDMI.

UPA-7 seven channel amp

www.emotiva.com They are having a super sale according to their website.
www.emotiva.com/news Page down and you will see the UMC-1.


I don't own any of their gear as of today, but I'm thinking hard about buying their top end mono block amps. Price wise, these guys are great.
 

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6ave+25% coupon + denon 1909 +$486 shopped = happiness.


for a few more bucks you can get the 2309ci
 

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I think you'd get a better response if you told people more info. How big is your room? How will you be using your system...more music? more movies? half and half? What exactly is your budget for a receiver? IMO the R50's are a good HT speaker but most owners admit they lack in music SQ. I would say look for a different speaker but they might suit you if you're just going to be watching movies or don't plan on turning it up to any mid to high levels in volume.

Judging by your requirements, most any budget to midrange HDMI enabled receiver will fill your needs...you would do yourself a service by going to a local dealer and auditioning them to get a feel for their looks and sound. Anyway...no expert but I think if you give a bit more info you'll get a bit more back
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielson99 /forum/post/15524927


I think you'd get a better response if you told people more info. How big is your room? How will you be using your system...more music? more movies? half and half? What exactly is your budget for a receiver? IMO the R50's are a good HT speaker but most owners admit they lack in music SQ. I would say look for a different speaker but they might suit you if you're just going to be watching movies or don't plan on turning it up to any mid to high levels in volume.

Judging by your requirements, most any budget to midrange HDMI enabled receiver will fill your needs...you would do yourself a service by going to a local dealer and auditioning them to get a feel for their looks and sound. Anyway...no expert but I think if you give a bit more info you'll get a bit more back

Very good post...Not a Fanboy post like the others
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielson99 /forum/post/15524927


I think you'd get a better response if you told people more info. How big is your room? How will you be using your system...more music? more movies? half and half? What exactly is your budget for a receiver? IMO the R50's are a good HT speaker but most owners admit they lack in music SQ. I would say look for a different speaker but they might suit you if you're just going to be watching movies or don't plan on turning it up to any mid to high levels in volume.

Judging by your requirements, most any budget to midrange HDMI enabled receiver will fill your needs...you would do yourself a service by going to a local dealer and auditioning them to get a feel for their looks and sound. Anyway...no expert but I think if you give a bit more info you'll get a bit more back

Thank you for your input and suggestions. I will try and do that now:

How big is your room?

I'm not exactly sure. The living room is adjacent to the kitchen (carpet-meets-tile) on the right hand side of the seating. So if you're on the couch facing the ent. center.. you have a full wall to your back, right, and front.. and an open space to your right. The viewing distance from the couch is about 6-7 feet. Right now I have an Altec Lansing 5.1 PC speaker setup running from the RCA output of the TV into the 3.5mm aux input of the powered subwoofer (all laughs aside, it was all I had available, it was free, and its MUCH better sounding than the integrated speakers). They fill the room to be sure, albeit not with the greatest audio..


How will you be using your system...more music? more movies? half and half?

Mainly for movies, Uverse HDTV, and gaming. My computer is nearby and I have a nice 2.1 setup on it for listening to music in the room. I don't foresee myself really using it for music, but who knows down the road?

What exactly is your budget for a receiver?

Well I don't know exactly. I'm trying to establish a budget based on the features I'll need in a receiver. I see some great deals on Onkyo's that have HDMI, but then in the reviews I read that they're 'video-only' carriers and I have to keep looking. I'd love to get the R50's, a center channel, and a receiver that meets my needs for under $400. That would be absolutely ideal. Maybe a package deal with a PS3 for $700?
 

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Here are a few suggestions so you have control of your own destiny. All you are going to get here is Fanboys, Haters who usually made bad decisions in the first place and they are going to give you their bad advice…don’t relive there mistakes.
Remember... Fanboy + Bad Information = A receiver that you will not be happy with
I do agree with Danielson99 thoughts



1) figure out what you want to spend and What your needs are. 2) Download all of the manuals for all of the receivers that are in the area (Marantz, Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha, You Fill in the Blank) and READ THEM! 3) Go to the user threads and ask questions, read about that piece of equipment. Then, if you can, see if you can get an audition. With this information you can make an intelligent decision. Just remember, if you are buying over the internet, make sure you understand the return Policies! If you don't like the equipment, return it ASAP!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your reply.


A big reason why I made this thread is because sometimes I can't distinguish which HDMI receiver will actually pass audio and which ones are 'video-only'. The jargon can be deceiving sometimes. I'm not caring so much about insane power or SQ, because I know I have a humble setup in a humble home so the extreme or enthusiasts choice would not really suit me (even if I could afford it, lol). I just want something that will meet my relatively simple needs .
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwright84 /forum/post/15534188


Thank you for your reply.


A big reason why I made this thread is because sometimes I can't distinguish which HDMI receiver will actually pass audio and which ones are 'video-only'. The jargon can be deceiving sometimes. I'm not caring so much about insane power or SQ, because I know I have a humble setup in a humble home so the extreme or enthusiasts choice would not really suit me (even if I could afford it, lol). I just want something that will meet my relatively simple needs .

Understood...but, you gotta start somewhere. You're getting some good advice. First and foremost, HDMI is capable of carrying both audio and video signals. Most current AVRs will upscale component 480 connections to at least 1080i, many 1080p. So, your Wii is covered.


Everything else is already HD capable on the video side.


Your (future) PS3 will decode all the current HD audio codecs (which will be transmitted via LPCM or MCPCM) over an HDMI connection, too.


Video processing or upscaling through an AVR shouldn't be something high on your list of "wants".


Look for something with 4 HDMI inputs (believe me....there will come a point in time you'll want to use them). Clearly, 1 HDMI output will fill your need, too.


You can do well via the big manufacturers. Pioneer, Yamaha, Denon, Marantz.......


And, you should do well with something in the $500 neighborhood. Twice that amount moves you up the ladder with better components, better warranty, etc. But, there's quality in that $500 range, too.


Still didn't see your room dimensions. That would help is with what may be some power requirements. And, don't discount moving from 5.1 to 7.1 in the future, either.
 

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If it says HDMI pass-through, stay away as that means it won't process audio via HDMI. AVRs to consider:

Onkyo TX-SR606/706

Pioneer VSX-1018

Yamaha RX-V663/863

Denons 888/889

and comparable HKs (254 I think)

Obviously, there are a lot more, but these are some of the more popular and give you a starting place.


Check out the specs on these and then ask your questions
 

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Here is the stuff that falls on the lower end of the price spectrum and meets your minimum requirements:


These support at least 5.1, LPCM Audio over HDMI, HDMI inputs in italics. You'll be fine with these and a PS3 even for advanced surround

Sony STR-DG720 3 (I'd stay away, but it meets the bare minimums)

Yamaha RX-V463 2

Yamaha RX-V563 2

Pioneer VSX-918 2

Marantz SR-4003 3


And a step up, 7.1 support and advanced surround decoding, some other features better amps, DACs, etc usually

Sony STR-DG820 4

Onkyo TX-SR606 4

Yamaha RX-V663 2 (7.2 woot!!)

Pioneer VSX-1018 3

Harman Kardon AVR-254 3

Denon AVR-1909 3

Marantz SR-5003 3


I'm assuming at your price point you're not looking for any more functionality than this second group.


Hope that helps. I would wait on the receiver personally, alot fo these companies should be moving more inputs and advanced decoding downmarket some since the technology isn't as 'new' anymore. I know pioneer for one is moving alot of functionality from the 1018 down to the new 919 set to come out in a few months. It's a really good time to buy last year's suff though. You know what you can spend and what names you're probably willing to live with. Hopefully this list makes finding your receiver easier. I've been on the fence for a while, and decided to wait until next spring for the new technology to have all the kinks worked out before i make a purchase personally, but i hope my research helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks like I'll be spending $400 to get what I want. I seriously thought that with the advent of the PS3, Bluray, and HDMI.. it wouldn't be such a big request to find a decent receiver with at least 2 HDMI inputs (that process audio as well.. how stupid is it to have HDMI that doesn't process audio?!?!) for under $400.


I really appreciate these last few responses and recommendations, they have certainly helped me know more of what to look for.
 

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Sony STR-DG720 3

Yamaha RX-V463 2

Yamaha RX-V563 2

Pioneer VSX-918 2



these are all examples already in the thread that are capable of accepting lpcm and mpcm from devices like a ps3 and are under 300. this is what you are calling audio over hdmi. ones that don't do "audio over hdmi" still transfer audio over hdmi it just passes on to the tv without being processed by the reciever. you have to understand hdmi is still a pretty new thing and only just this past year have most manufacturers implimented it and/or provided a working unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've learned a few (not many!) things about this since I posted this thread so I'm hoping to receive some updated information and help from you guys. All your guys' info and help has been greatly appreciated, and I look forward to more!
Here's what I've learned:


- I know now that I don't need a receiver that does all the DD\\DTS codecs because the PS3 is capable of decoding all audio formats and transmitting them via LPCM over HDMI

- I also know that I dont need to output audio over HDMI as that would mean I would be using my TV speakers! The VIDEO is the only thing I want outputted to the TV over HDMI as the AUDIO will be outputted to the speakers via the speaker wire.


My question now is still somewhat similar though, does this mean that I can get a basic 5.1 receiver that has HDMI video pass through only? I see plenty of 5.1 receivers that are $250ish that have 2-4 HDMI inputs, only have video passthrough, and do NOT have DTS-MA or DD TrueHD onboard... I should be able to get one of those and still experience all that BluRay has to offer (minus anything past 5.1 of course, which I'm ok with for now) due to using the PS3 and LPCM, correct?


For example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882115193


Or this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882120068


The 506 reviews say its video pass through only and does not decode audio over HDMI, but if I'm making the PS3 do all the decoding, it'll still accept the LPCM audio being transmitted via HDMI and send it to the speakers, right?
 

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No, you still need a receiver that takes audio over HDMI. "passthrough only" means that it can't do any processing to the HDMI, including "stripping" the audio from the video for processing.


There are three levels to keep it simple:


1. receivers that do switching/passthrough only -- NO AUDIO OVER HDMI

2. receivers that can take audio over HDMI but don't have the HD audio codecs built in (i.e. the player must decode to PCM first)

3. receivers that have full HDMI audio support including the codecs


Those receivers you linked fall into #1, but you need a receiver that is at least #2 to use the audio from your PS3. For the Yammy step up to the 463/465 level, for the Onkyo step up to the 576.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
batpig, awesome.. thank you for the direct answer! I was worried that was the case, but it's ok. So, two things


1. What other receivers from #2 do you (or anyone else here) recommend?

2. What keywords can I look out for when browsing for a receiver specs so that I know for sure I'm at least getting something from #2 (I know to avoid any receiver that states it does HDMI passthrough\\switching ONLY now, thanks)?


Thanks again



p.s. FYI to all who care.. I got my PS3 2 weeks ago and I just picked up a pair of Polk Audio Monitor 40's ($55 a piece!) locally so I'm starting slow and steady..
 

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you need to make sure it accepts audio over HDMI.


These are the minimum "model numbers" that meet your criteria from various manufacturers, assuming you want the best "budget-friendly" models:


Yamaha RX-V463 or the newer 465

Onkyo TX-SR576

Marantz 4002/5002 (cheap at accessories4less.com)

Denon AVR 1908 or 788 (inexpensive as they are last year's models)

Pioneer VSX-918
 

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you need to make sure it accepts audio over HDMI.


These are the minimum "model numbers" that meet your criteria from various manufacturers, assuming you want the best "budget-friendly" models:


Yamaha RX-V463 / HTR-6140, or the newer RX-V465

Onkyo TX-SR576

Marantz 4002/5002 (cheap at accessories4less.com)

Denon AVR 1908 or 788 (inexpensive as they are last year's models, if you can find them)

Pioneer VSX-918
 
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