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Receiver question...

Old 09-15-06, 01:52 PM
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Receiver question...

I'm looking at possibly replacing my 5-year-old Sony receiver with something a little more "modern", one that can handle 6.1 or 7.1 output. I know I'll have to pick up some additional speakers, or just buy a whole new set, so that doesn't concern me, really. But, I have an HD DVD player, too, so I want to make sure I don't buy something that will see me painted into a corner a few months down the line. My budget is about $500, but I'd really like to spend less than that, as I don't need some kick ass, no names taken system. My neighbors would probably kill me. So, having stated all of that, can anyone recommend a good model to check out? Or, what are some features the receiver should have to prevent me from entering that corner? Thanks!
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Old 09-15-06, 01:58 PM
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Well I am not sure I understand your question as it relates to your HD-DVD player? Do you need the receiver to do video switching for you? If so you want a receiver that accepts hdmi.

And for that budget I am not sure you are going to get 6.1 with switching.
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Old 09-15-06, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
Well I am not sure I understand your question as it relates to your HD-DVD player? Do you need the receiver to do video switching for you? If so you want a receiver that accepts hdmi.

And for that budget I am not sure you are going to get 6.1 with switching.
Okay, let me rephrase. If I don't require the video switching, would I need the HDMI connection on the receiver? Does it play any role in the audio department?

Also, my HD DVD player is currently hooked up to my receiver via the analog outs, which only go up to 5.1. For DVDs and HD DVDs that use 6.1+, would the standard optical or coaxial connection to the receiver suffice? Additionally, does doing so bypass the player's built-in decoders, defaulting to the receiver's? Bottom line, I want to use the HD DVD player's decoders, but still get 6.1+ out of the receiver. I can't do that via analog, though, and I didn't know how the HDMI connection factored into it.

Last edited by Vipper II; 09-15-06 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 09-15-06, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Vipper II
Okay, let me rephrase. If I don't require the video switching, would I need the HDMI connection on the receiver? Does it play any role in the audio department?
HDMI carries both audio and video. You should be able to connect the video via HDMI to the display device and the audio to the receiver via fiber or coax. Check your owners manual on the player to verify.

If you do not need switching then your choice becomes easier.
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Old 09-15-06, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
HDMI carries both audio and video. You should be able to connect the video via HDMI to the display device and the audio to the receiver via fiber or coax. Check your owners manual on the player to verify.

If you do not need switching then your choice becomes easier.
For the new high-res audio formats available on HD-DVD (TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, etc.) HDMI or analog is the only way to go. Neither coax nor optical has the bandwidth to transmit the high-res formats. Almost all modern receivers have 7.1 analog inputs.

To get 6.1 or 7.1 using the HD-DVD players DACs, HDMI is the only way to go. All HD-DVD players currently only support 5.1 analog out. I'm not even sure that any HD-DVDs have been released in 6.1 or 7.1 high-res audio...
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Old 09-15-06, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
For the new high-res audio formats available on HD-DVD (TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, etc.) HDMI or analog is the only way to go. Neither coax nor optical has the bandwidth to transmit the high-res formats. Almost all modern receivers have 7.1 analog inputs.

To get 6.1 or 7.1 using the HD-DVD players DACs, HDMI is the only way to go. All HD-DVD players currently only support 5.1 analog out. I'm not even sure that any HD-DVDs have been released in 6.1 or 7.1 high-res audio...
Do you think this one will give me what I'm seeking? I know that some receivers w/HDMI only support video, and that's obviously not what I want.

You're right - no HD DVDs support 6.1 or 7.1, but I have a few SD DVDs that do, and I'd like to be able to take advantage of them, while still avoiding that corner.
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Old 09-15-06, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
For the new high-res audio formats available on HD-DVD (TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, etc.) HDMI or analog is the only way to go. Neither coax nor optical has the bandwidth to transmit the high-res formats. Almost all modern receivers have 7.1 analog inputs.

To get 6.1 or 7.1 using the HD-DVD players DACs, HDMI is the only way to go. All HD-DVD players currently only support 5.1 analog out. I'm not even sure that any HD-DVDs have been released in 6.1 or 7.1 high-res audio...
Thanks Bob I did not know this. All the more reason for me not to upgrade anything!
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Old 09-15-06, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Vipper II
Do you think this one will give me what I'm seeking? I know that some receivers w/HDMI only support video, and that's obviously not what I want.

You're right - no HD DVDs support 6.1 or 7.1, but I have a few SD DVDs that do, and I'd like to be able to take advantage of them, while still avoiding that corner.
It looks like it will work, but I don't have any experience with that particular model. Maybe the owner's manual on available online - that could shed some light on the receiver's HDMI features.
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Old 09-15-06, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
Thanks Bob I did not know this. All the more reason for me not to upgrade anything!
I'm in the same boat as you. I'm not going to upgrade until HDMI 1.3 is finally out and is adopted as the standard. I'm using the 5.1 analog out from my Toshiba HD-DVD player with my Krell pre/pro for HD-DVDs and it sounds great. I use digital coax for regular DVDs (the Krell's DACs are much better than the Toshiba's DACs for SD-DVDs). It's not the most elegant solution, but it works and should tide me over until this HDMI mess gets sorted out.
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Old 09-15-06, 03:00 PM
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Okay, what's the deal with HDMI 1.3? What does it improve upon? Will people without it find themselves in less than stellar situations?
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Old 09-15-06, 03:03 PM
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There is a version of HDMI that can transfer some of the new audio. 1.2 or 1.2a can transfer LPCM, maybe DD+. But 1.3 is what you want to wait for if you are able/willing to wait; to give you TrueHD and DTS-HD compatibility.

Vipper,
You already have an HDDVD player. So you do not have HDMI 1.3. So unless you plan on upgrading the player, too, you don't need to wait for a compatible receiver. You should be fine with the Panny you linked, or another with a 5.1 analog input. That is the only way to easily get the old and new audio codecs working for you, through your analog output.

Bob,
It'll be an even longer wait for you, knowing your taste in processors. The high-end brands won't come out first.
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Old 09-15-06, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
There is a version of HDMI that can transfer some of the new audio. 1.2 or 1.2a can transfer LPCM, maybe DD+. But 1.3 is what you want to wait for if you are able/willing to wait; to give you TrueHD and DTS-HD compatibility.

Vipper,
You already have an HDDVD player. So you do not have HDMI 1.3. So unless you plan on upgrading the player, too, you don't need to wait for a compatible receiver. You should be fine with the Panny you linked, or another with a 5.1 analog input. That is the only way to easily get the old and new audio codecs working for you, through your analog output.
So the HD-A1 cannot pass DD+ and TrueHD though its current version of HDMI? Just analog?

I'm having one of those days where I just can't seem to absorb information, so I apologize if I seem to be going in circles.
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Old 09-15-06, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
Bob,
It'll be an even longer wait for you, knowing your taste in processors. The high-end brands won't come out first.
I'm expecting a 2 year wait; and that is being optimistic! I am very happy using the Toshiba's 5.1 analog outs for high-res HD-DVD audio in the interim.
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Old 09-15-06, 03:21 PM
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Well, don't forget the most important thing about a surround receiver, the sound quality.

I'm a H/K pimp...love them. Yea, they don't have all the bells and whistles of some, but they sound awesome!

H/K is always my recommendation....

Other nice brands include Onkyo, Denon, Outlaw.
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Old 09-15-06, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Vipper II
So the HD-A1 cannot pass DD+ and TrueHD though its current version of HDMI? Just analog?

I'm having one of those days where I just can't seem to absorb information, so I apologize if I seem to be going in circles.

That's correct. The HD-A1 cannot pass hi res audio over HDMI. Those of us with them will need to eventually upgrade our players if we want more than 5.1 channels of hi res audio.
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Old 09-15-06, 04:22 PM
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It passes uncompressed PCM, which can be the highest-rez you can get, through HDMI. I think. Either that or it passes DTS 1.5Mb.
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Old 09-15-06, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Well, don't forget the most important thing about a surround receiver, the sound quality.

I'm a H/K pimp...love them. Yea, they don't have all the bells and whistles of some, but they sound awesome!

H/K is always my recommendation....

Other nice brands include Onkyo, Denon, Outlaw.
I want an Anthem or Outlaw or other preamp in this range. But none of these companies seem to have any plans to join up with the 21st century.
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Old 09-15-06, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
I want an Anthem or Outlaw or other preamp in this range. But none of these companies seem to have any plans to join up with the 21st century.
Or they are just waiting for the dust to settle as am I!
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