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Discussion Starter #1
I am upgrading a 10y/o Kenwood 5.1 that made it thru college. My wife and I are looking to upgrade the receiver but dont want to dump more than $350 in one.


Ive looked at the Sony 710 and Denon AVR-1508. Anything else I need to look at?


We currently have a 1080P TV, HD Cable, and Wii. Will be buying an HD or Blue-Ray DVD player once they figure out which is going to be industry standard....and an XBox 360. Can anyone give me some suggestions? I know you guys get random things like this alot, but Im way out of the loop on what is worthwhile.


Edit: Wife is considering a DVD Recorder also....
 

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Onkyo 605 should be put on your list. It's probably slightly over your $350 budget but if you catch a good sale should be really close.
 

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I'd take a look at the Sony 810 rather than the 710. Both handle legacy audio (5.1 DD/DTS) via HDMI. The 810, however, has 3 HDMI inputs (710 has 2) and will handle high def audio sent as multichannel PCM via HDMI from your future Bluray/HD-DVD player whereas the 710 will only give you 2 channel high def PCM. You can get it from an authorized dealer for well under your price.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Receiver.html


For about $50 more than your stated price from the same vendor, the 910 will do all of the above plus convert analog video signals (composite and component) to HDMI (digital). That way, even with non-HDMI sources connect to the AVR, you only need a single HDMI cable from the 910 to the TV.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...1_Channel.html


At that same price point, you might also consider Harman Kardon AVR 247:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Receiver.html


You also might do some research on the Yamaha RX-V661.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ive given up the Sony710.... but still have some question of the worth of the 810 over the Denon I mentioned. Is the 6.1 and tech of the 810 better than the 7.1 Denon? Meaning more bang for my buck?


Also.... any comments on the Onkyo 505?


The primary use will be movies and gaming.


also.....anyone know if BestBuy matches pricing with BH?
 

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505 doesn't handle audio over HDMI. That means you need a separate audio connection from every source to the 505. It also means it's impossible to get lossless high def audio like True HD via HDMI.
 

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Ah... budget creep. While I generally recommend staying within budget, if you could squeeze some more money into your budget, you would be able to jump into a much nicer range of choices that should keep you happy for quite some time. I was shopping in the exact same budget as you. I wound up finding a factory refurb 605 on the shoponkyo.com website for within your budget, but those deals are tough to come by.


For around $100 more, you could be looking at an Onkyo 605, the Sony 910 (which looks to be a big step up from the 710), and others mentioned earlier. You will really appreciate the extra money you spent when it comes time to plug in that Blu-ray player. Support for at least multi-channel PCM will make a huge difference. If you could find your way to spending $500, then put the RX-V661 from Yamaha on your short list.


I usually hate to tell someone they should spend more money, but in this case I think it makes sense if you could at least move up to the Sony 810 or Onkyo 605. Otherwise, I'm worried that you'll find yourself with upgrade-itis pretty soon.


Oh... I'd skip the 505, lacks the features, and I don't believe Best Buy price matches online dealers, only brick and mortar stores.
 

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The 505 will only play the multichannel HD audio from the analog inputs. You can get a 605 for around your budget if you shop around. Also check into the Yamaha RX-V661, it accepts audio from the HDMI port, has preamp outputs for separate power amplifiers, and it even sports a phono preamp. The two things it doesn't do is upconvert video from the analog video inputs to HDMI (the Onk 605 and up do, as do the Yamahas from the 881 on up) and display the onscreen display over HDMI. If you have any video sources that are analog output only (composite, s-video, or component) you'll need to run a set of component video cables from the 661 to your TV as well as the HDMI cable. You'll also need to run component or composite to your TV when setting the unit up. The receiver will still switch the video sources, but you'll have to select the component input on your TV to watch those sources, then switch back to HDMI to watch HDMI sources. The 605 will eliminate that step, any analog video sources are upconverted to HDMI for output to the TV. Just be aware of the 605's need for ventilation, and give it lots of breathing room...I've been shopping in this range also and the 605 runs hotter at idle than I like to see in a piece of electronic equipment. Yamahas run a lot cooler, and their digital audio processing has always been excellent (I'm a fan of their digital mixing consoles, and a longtime user of their synthesizers.) You can sometimes find a 661 refurbed on ubid for less than your stated budget.


Good luck!
 
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