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How important is HDMI when buying a new receiver?

Old 10-10-06, 11:39 AM
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How important is HDMI when buying a new receiver?

I'm looking at purchasing the Yamaha 980W 7.1-Ch. XM Satellite Radio-Ready Digital Home Theater Receiver. It has plenty of inputs and the YPAO sound feature that I like. However, it has no HDMI inputs. How important is this? My new TV, the Samsung 1080p DLP, has dual HDMI inputs. So I don't need the receiver to work as a splitter, as I have enough HDMI inputs already.

I am also looking at getting the Toshiba A1 HD DVD player. I know it has optical outs for HD Audio, but down the line, will these outputs be phased out for HDMI outputs? Do I need to buy a receiver with HDMI inputs to take advantage of superior sound? Will I in the near future? Below is a link to the receiver I am looking at.
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Old 10-10-06, 12:09 PM
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I personally would say it is very important to have HDMI connections, but it also depends on how often you upgrade. HDMI 1.3 is/has/will be rolling out soon, and if you upgrade often, and you don't want to drop a lot right now, you may be better off waiting. But, then again, your TV may or may not support the new HDMI standard, and the only thing you will get out of the 1.3 spec is the audio. But, then again, if you are like me and buy a little above average so that you don't have to update for some time, then HDMI is very needed, IMHO.

Denon just came out with a new set of recievers, and they might be worth a look. the AVR-2307CI is just about $250 more then what you are spending now, and is twice the reciever.

Even the RX V1600, which is the model above the one you are looking at, is only about $100 more, and has HDMI.

Anyway, just some thoughts.
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Old 10-10-06, 01:03 PM
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First, you are going to have to try to understand the audio outputs for HDDVD and Bluray. It is a little tricky, at least right now when all the HDMI stuff isn't worked out in the industry, yet. The new codecs are called Dolby Digital + (compressed), Dolby TrueHD (uncompressed), DTS-HD (compressed or uncompressed). Uncompressed is the best quality. Here are some additional points about connectivity.

1) The old optical/coax digital audio outputs cannot handle any of these three new codecs natively.
2) All of these can be down-converted to DTS by the players. This DTS signal can be sent over the old optical/coax system. It may still sound better than an older DVD version, but not as good as the next 3 options.
3) They can also be converted to PCM, which is a more generic digital audio format that has been around for years, similar to good old CD, but higher resolution. This can be sent over pretty much any current HDMI setup. For Bluray discs, they generally have the PCM right on the disc instead of TrueHD or DTS-HD, and HDMI works for them, too.
4) The three new codecs can only be sent natively (without conversion) over HDMI 1.3, which isn't quite out, yet.
5) Also, these three new codecs can be converted to analog right in most of the players and sent over a 6-wire analog connection (or 8-wire in some) to a compatible receiver. This is usually called a 5.1 input/output on spec sheets. This should be at least as good as an HDMI connection, even if some like to claim digital is better. It often isn't.

So, to get the best benefit from the new HD sound, you need one of:
-HDMI 1.3 on both the player and receiver
-HDMI with high-rez PCM compatibility in both player and receiver
-5.1/7.1 output on player and input on receiver.

It looks like that Yamaha doesn't have any of these, you would only get DTS from the new audio formats, which wouldn't be horrible. The Toshiba A1 has PCM over HDMI and a 5.1 output, so if you get a different receiver, you should be able to get the best sound with either of these options. The 2 receivers gijon213 listed both have the analog inputs, and both appear to be compatible with high-rez PCM over HDMI. So they would match the A1 well.

So, is it important to have HDMI? Yes, no, maybe. You have to pick your poison.
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Old 10-10-06, 01:14 PM
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how important is hdmi on a reciever if i have no intentions of getting hd dvd or blu ray. The system im planning will be used for hdtv, standard dvd, and video games (xbox, 360, ps2, cube).

is hdmi important on a reciever for an upconverting dvd player? what it the tv has hdmi connections?
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Old 10-10-06, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pjh7676
how important is hdmi on a reciever if i have no intentions of getting hd dvd or blu ray. The system im planning will be used for hdtv, standard dvd, and video games (xbox, 360, ps2, cube).

is hdmi important on a reciever for an upconverting dvd player? what it the tv has hdmi connections?
The gaming factor would be the main reason you would want HDMI. The PS3 connects via an HDMI, is 1.3 spec compliant, and will handle most if not all audio HD formats. So, a gaming console it may be, you just bought yourself a Blu-ray player too. Also, the 360 supports HDMI, although I am not sure what spec and audio support it offers.

To sum up, if you want the best out of your games, HDMI is the way to go.
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Old 10-10-06, 05:41 PM
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Pretty much all HDTVs from now on will have HDMI. It won't really be an issue. And if you want to upconvert your DVDs in the player, it will have HDMI. Most of these seem to be coming out with upconversion and HDMI, another moot point, I'd say.

And if you have more devices than HDMI inputs on the TV, then you need a switcher. A receiver is most convenient if all the switching you need is already built in.

I don't recall the 360 having HDMI. It has component video and VGA.
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