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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Spending between $300 and $900 on a HT AV Receiver. Will also be Buying speakers at the same time. Will also be buying a new DVD player soon.


Room: 14x20

PS3: (320GB) for Streaming Netflix,Hulu,Games,Ect...

Music: I-Pod (not that often)

Mostly Watch a lot of DVD's


Leaning towards the "Onkyo TX-NR809" for the following features:

(not in any order)

1) Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital Plus, DSD decoder, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Pro Logic IIz(Must have), Dolby TrueHD

2) Audyssey DSX, Theater-Dimensional Virtual Surround

3) THX Select2 Plus certified

3) Dolby Volume

4) Audyssey Dynamic EQ

5) Source direct

6) Audyssey MultEQ XT

7) I-Pod ready

8) Audio Return Channel (ARC)

9) Wide Range Amplifier Technology (WRAT)

10) Audyssey Dynamic Volume

11) Auto sound calibration

12) Analog to HDMI up conversion

13) HDMI to HDMI scaling


Quedtions:

1) Are #10 and #4 the same thing?

2) Do I need #12 and #13 both?

3) Are ther any other products that would cost less and have the same or similar features and power for less or the same $$$?
 

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Dynamic Volume and Dynamic Volume are different things that can be used independently from one another. Having Analog to HDMI Upconversion is unbelievably handy in that 1 Cable to your TV will handle any Source Components be it a VCR, Laser Disc Player, or any other pre HDMI Source.


If you have a large number of Components, you can also use the Component Inputs for even more HD Switching as well. Given the On Sale price for the 809 it really is tough to beat and also uses both the HQV Vida Processor and the Marvell Qdeo both of which are excellent.
 

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The prior poster(audiodork) made a typo...


Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ explained(briefly and not completely)


Dynamic volume is a "variation" of Dynamic Range control(not exactly) in that it constantly monitors the incoming signal and compensates to attempt(which it does a pretty good job of) to keep the volume consistent..regardless of whispers through "bombs going off".


Dynamic EQ takes care of our inability(as humans) to hear low volume bass as effectively as midrange. So, as the volume goes down, the bass curve is picked up to make it easier to hear the bass.


I thought somebody had explained that already in this thread, but it is gone now...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You guys really know your stuff. thanks for the replies. Looks like I'm getting closer to pulling the trigger on the 809 and getting speakers in the $700-$1000 Range. Small to med size living room (approx 14x18). Not looking to blow the roof off, just good quality sound on Movies & stuff. I alraedy posted for help with speakers in the speaker area but feel free to chime in, if you would like, on speaker options as well. Please remember that there are some 9 yr olds that know more about these things than I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm considering going with a 5.1 AVR instead of a 7.1 AVR. Someone in the speaker section recommended the(7.1) Denon AVR-991(for about $150 less) instead of the Onkyo TX-NR809.


Three more questions:

1) 5.1 or 7.1? Or does it really matter. I could go with either.

2) If I go with the 7.1 ..... which one should I get?

3) If 5.1 .... Any recommendations in the $300 - $800 range of 5.1 Avr's with similar features as the ones above?


Here are the links that I have been using to compare the two above:


Onkyo TX-NR809: http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers...-34846787.html


Denon AVR-991: http://usa.denon.com/us/product/page...5-27bf8efeb48d
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum87 /forum/post/20844550


Quedtions:

2) Do I need #12 and #13 both?

Yes and no. If you have a player that doesn't output full resolution or similar via HDMI, and want the receiver to scale/process it, then yes. For example, the Toshiba HD-A2 will not output 1080p, it will output 1080i though, so you could use the receiver to deinterlace that (your TV will probably do this as well, or accept the 1080i signal natively).


Most all modern receivers include both, and generally take care of everything for you. This is a nice convenience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum87 /forum/post/20851878


I'm considering going with a 5.1 AVR instead of a 7.1 AVR. Someone in the speaker section recommended the(7.1) Denon AVR-991(for about $150 less) instead of the Onkyo TX-NR809.


Three more questions:

1) 5.1 or 7.1? Or does it really matter. I could go with either.

Doesn't matter, won't change the price, etc. Very common line of thinking among first time buyers - that getting a 5.1 product somehow saves a mountain of cash. It won't. Generally receivers that are 5.1 only are entry level products (at least today), and there's nothing at all that says a 7.1 or 9.1 or whatever receiver (you are considering a 9.1 receiver currently) cannot be configured for 5.1 (and if you're using 5.1 or 7.1 only, you aren't using Pro Logic IIz or Auddessey DSX, at all).



The Onkyo will probably be fine for your needs, so would the Denon, so would Yamaha and Marantz's products in the same price range. I'm sure Pioneer also has something that works with iPod/Airplay/whatever, but you'd have to investigate that on your own. Most of your "must have" items are marketing speak, and most of them don't mean a whole lot.


To condense your list for you, the things that actually matter based on what you've described (5.1 speaker set-up, iPod usage, DVD/etc playback):


3

7

8

11

12

13


Everything else is marketing or irrelevant for your proposed set-up (for example Pro Logic IIz, which you can't even use with a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker array). The Audessey volume/EQ features are along the same lines as Dolby Volume (not the same thing, mind you), one or the other (or neither, truthfully) is suitable enough - no reason to avoid any of it though (more features is not bad, and does not mean you're over-paying, but don't spend a mountain of cash just to get another badge on the thing's faceplate).


Since you mentioned DVDs primarily, what's the emphasis on HD codecs (like DSD, TrueHD, etc)? None of that makes any difference for DVD playback.


Quite honestly, a ten year old AV receiver would probably meet all of your needs - it would decode Dolby and DTS, you could still hook the iPod up to it, and it would drive your speakers. I'm not saying to go find a used component, more trying to give you perspective against modern devices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Walbert. That was a very good reality check! Now I think I'm confused once again. This clearly points out exactly how much I don't have a clue!! Can I use the 7.1 system to take advantage of the Pro Logic IIz or Auddessey DSX in the future? How many speakers can I use with this AVR? The reason I am looking into the extra features is because I want to get an AVR that will meet my needs now and 5-10 years from now without upgrading anything(just adding speakers). Is Blue Ray going to be the standard? If so, would TrueHD be nice to have?


So far, Your post's have been a huge help in my education and decision making process. I feel sorry for anyone who has gone this journey alone without seeking advice from forums like this one. Thank You for your continued advice and your patience in this matter!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by trumbull247
The prior poster(audiodork) made a typo...


Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ explained(briefly and not completely)


Dynamic volume is a "variation" of Dynamic Range control(not exactly) in that it constantly monitors the incoming signal and compensates to attempt(which it does a pretty good job of) to keep the volume consistent..regardless of whispers through "bombs going off".


Dynamic EQ takes care of our inability(as humans) to hear low volume bass as effectively as midrange. So, as the volume goes down, the bass curve is picked up to make it easier to hear the bass.


I thought somebody had explained that already in this thread, but it is gone now...
Hello,

That was a typo indeed. However, I was not explaining either EQ or Volume just stating that they were independent of each other. Regardless, both do require Audyssey MultEQ to be run before being accessible.


Also, when engaging Dolby Volume, Audyssey MultEQ XT is turned off and needs to be turned back on if wanting to use Audyssey. I found that DV worked wonders on the Center Channel, but caused a major reduction in low bass. When I first got a TX-NR3007, I could not believe how well my Martin Logan Stage sounded and used it for the first few weeks.


However, when I switched back to Audyssey, I was utterly stunned at how much more Bass was being output. Perhaps it might be different for others.

These days, all I use is Audyssey XT32/SubEQ XT and neither Dynamic Volume or EQ with my TX-NR3008. Apologies for the mistake and any confusion it might have caused.

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Wow, I never knew that Dolby Volume didn't work with Audyssey. Thanks for the info. That was one of the features I wanted to have on my next AVR but now it doesn't really matter if it disables Audyssey. That also makes me wonder if ARC is still active when using Dolby Volume on the Anthems. I'll have to go check out the owners thread and see.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum87 /forum/post/20858789


Thanks Walbert. That was a very good reality check! Now I think I'm confused once again. This clearly points out exactly how much I don't have a clue!! Can I use the 7.1 system to take advantage of the Pro Logic IIz or Auddessey DSX in the future? How many speakers can I use with this AVR? The reason I am looking into the extra features is because I want to get an AVR that will meet my needs now and 5-10 years from now without upgrading anything(just adding speakers). Is Blue Ray going to be the standard? If so, would TrueHD be nice to have?

Generally with receivers, worrying about 5-10 years down the line isn't as a big of a problem as it would be with, say, a computer. Having the latest codecs supported, like TrueHD and DTS-HD, would be a huge advantage. As far as Pro Logic IIz and DSX - these aren't decoders, they're synthesis programs - they take a 5.1 or 6.1 or 7.1 input, and perform processing to create a 9.1 or 11.1 output. They will not future proof a thing.


To break down the Dolby features:

Dolby Pro Logic II will take stereo content and convert it for playback on a 5.1 system.

Pro Logic IIx will take stereo or 5.1 content and convert it for playback on a 6.1 or 7.1 system.

Pro Logic IIz will take stereo, 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 content, and convert for playback on a 9.1 system.


DSX does similar things up to 11.1. Yamaha has their own feature called CinemaDSP 3D or HD3 that can create 9.1 or 11.1 as well, its speaker map does not align exactly with PLIIz or DSX (especially for 11.1).


They can all be neat features to have, but they do require more speakers and space to set-up. Most content is 5.1, especially from DVD, some DVDs and Blu-rays are 6.1 (either matrix (DD EX/DTS ES Matrix), fewer are discrete (DTS ES Discrete), and fewer still are 7.1 (TrueHD/DTS-HD). All can be "downmixed" to 5.1 (so for example, Tron Legacy, which is 7.1 on Blu-ray, will play properly on a 5.1 system).


If future-proof is your goal, something that supports at least 5.1, and can decode at least Dolby and DTS, will be suitable (that will actually support Blu-ray); HD codecs (and therefore HDMI), multi-channel analog inputs, multi-channel pre-outs, and 7.1 support will probably be better options (I know of no receiver that does 9.1/11.1 that can take 10 or 12 channels in via multi-channel inputs though).



Quote:
So far, Your post's have been a huge help in my education and decision making process. I feel sorry for anyone who has gone this journey alone without seeking advice from forums like this one. Thank You for your continued advice and your patience in this matter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Decided to go with the 809. Everybody is saying to spend less on an AVR but I havn't been able to find one with the features I want (THX Select2 Plus certified, Dolby Volume, I-Pod ready, Audio Return Channel (ARC), Auto sound calibration, Audyssey DSX, Analog to HDMI up conversion, HDMI to HDMI scaling, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Audyssey MultEQ ) for less $$$. I would love for someone to offer me a suggestion of an 5.1 AVR that has these features for less than $500.00. Thanks again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum87 /forum/post/20975310


Decided to go with the 809. Everybody is saying to spend less on an AVR but I havn't been able to find one with the features I want (THX Select2 Plus certified, Dolby Volume, I-Pod ready, Audio Return Channel (ARC), Auto sound calibration, Audyssey DSX, Analog to HDMI up conversion, HDMI to HDMI scaling, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Audyssey MultEQ ) for less $$$. I would love for someone to offer me a suggestion of an 5.1 AVR that has these features for less than $500.00. Thanks again.

Having it say 5.1 will not reduce the cost, and maintain the features you want. The THX Certification means nothing.


You cannot accomplish all of those features for less than $500 brand new. You can, however, follow some of the advice given to you and drop a few needless features and bring the price down some, otherwise buy the 809.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert /forum/post/20980077


Having it say 5.1 will not reduce the cost, and maintain the features you want. The THX Certification means nothing.


You cannot accomplish all of those features for less than $500 brand new. You can, however, follow some of the advice given to you and drop a few needless features and bring the price down some, otherwise buy the 809.

What features would you recommend he drop (the needless ones) and then, what would you recommend he buy? I am looking for essentially the same thing; A simply 5.1 surround sound receiver to watch my blue rays through...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by webdzynes /forum/post/20982808


What features would you recommend he drop (the needless ones) and then, what would you recommend he buy? I am looking for essentially the same thing; A simply 5.1 surround sound receiver to watch my blue rays through...

There are very few receivers (new production that is) that are explicitly 5.1, and those that are are all very much entry level components - they're a huge step down from components otherwise discussed in this thread.


Anything in the mid-range or above will be 7.1 or higher (top of the line models today are 9-12 channels, that's just the reality of the market - it's not a question of getting them with less amplifiers to save money, as that simply doesn't exist (TOTL being 5.1 was probably ten years ago)).


So, knowing that, you'll be buying a 7.1 (or greater) receiver unless you want an entry level machine (and there's nothing wrong with that, per se, but it may not meet your performance targets). This is not going to "run up the cost" on features you won't use - you simply can't avoid those features without compromising a lot of other things (like inputs, decoder abilities, amplifier quality, etc)


Things I would not worry about (which may have an impact on the price):


Audyssey DSX/Pro Logic IIz/CinemaDSP HD3/3D (these all require far beyond 5.1 speakers to be installed, they're 9.1 to 11.2 configurations - you cannot use them with 5.1 speakers)

THX certification (doesn't mean it should be explicitly avoided, but it means next to nothing in terms of product quality)

DSD decoding (matters for SACD and nothing else, usually requires a higher end receiver)

iPod/iPhone and networking features (usually found on more expensive models, but this is slowly changing and many mid-range products have some level of integration ability)


In a mid-range price segment, the Yamaha RX-V867/RX-A700/RX-A800 are all very nice choices, so is the Onkyo TX-NR709 (and I would assume 809), as would be the Harman/Kardon AVR7550HD (if they're still available on close-out that is). There are other options, of course, the Sony STR-DN1000 posted very good numbers in review, and I would assume the 1010 and 1020 were derived from it, the DN2010 has a lot of nice features found on the ES models; the one thing the Sony units lack is pre-outs (which can hamper expansion). There's also a Pioneer option (I think 1120K is the correct model, may be somewhat off on Pioneer's nomenclature), and a Denon option (3312). You'll notice that some of these violate a few of the suggestions above, they offer extra features, but none of them are terribly expensive as receivers go; compare the less expensive models (like the Yamaha 367) to these to get an idea of exactly what you're giving up to save maybe $200.


Basically what you're looking for in a good AVR:

- Reasonable power output abilities (enough to satisfy your output targets)

- Multi-channel pre-ins (for future expansion)

- Multi-channel pre-outs (for future expansion)

- Enough video/audio inputs to serve your needs (with a single source this is more or less irrelevant)

- All current decoders supported

- Some sort of decent calibration/correction ability

- A price that you can afford


With the pre-outs, the internal amplifier abilities are somewhat less relevant; you can add amplifiers to satisfy esoteric output targets or for personal preference.


If you know more about the room and speakers you're using, you can figure out (or at least get a better idea of) power requirements using a calculator like this:
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html


Room acoustics and whatnot will of course change the overall output, but it gives you some idea of what you "need." Bigger rooms will need more output (I should say, further seating distances). Ideally you'll be looking at 85 dB SPL at the listening position with the capacity for 105 dB peaks; with most average speakers in most average rooms this is maybe a few watts per channel on average (and most receivers will handle the task quite well). If you have exceptionally inefficient speakers (less than 85 dB/W, for example) or a very large room, this can change dramatically. I would suggest considering different speakers as well as new amplification if this is the case.


See the link in my signature for more about power and some links to reviews of at least a few of the receivers mentioned here. If your budget is higher, I would probably suggest purchasing a somewhat higher end unit, but not neccisarily the most expensive component you can afford. For example, if the Yamaha RX-A1000 or A2000 on close-out are reasonable, I would at least consider it (just like the HK7550, which is probably a bit more than anything else I mentioned above). While they *will* be an example of paying for features you aren't using, they will also come with higher quality amplifiers and some higher quality features (you usually get better room correction suites on the $1000+ products, again, this is slowly changing) - this will translate into better overall quality for the features you do use (I'm not sure how much of an audible difference this really will make for you; I'd basically look at it that if you can afford it and the extra price isn't a problem for you, it won't hurt, but don't put yourself into debt just to step-up in this case; there's other places the money could be better spent as well (as an example, the V867 and an Emotiva XPA-5 will probably do 5.1 better than most receivers at the same $1500-$2000 mark (like the Sony STR-DA4600ES or one of the Integra units))).
 
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