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Another receiver discussion thread? You betcha! HDMI related

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Another receiver discussion thread? You betcha! HDMI related

Old 03-23-07, 11:13 AM
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Another receiver discussion thread? You betcha! HDMI related

Okay, so I'm supporting both HD DVD and Blu-ray, and will continue to do so as long as both are producing product. I'm now at a point to where I want to upgrade my receiver so I can hear glorious HD audio.

I've heard Uncompressed PCM on BD when I had the Samsung unit and was blown away. But now I own only a PS3, so getting a good HDMI receiver is now a priority. I also own the Toshiba A1, so I could still achieve TrueHD with the analogs. I'm no audio expert, but I gotta have my PCM. DD sounds good at 640 kbps, but I want the full experience.

I'd like to get something for under $500 if possible. There are 2 receivers that fit my budget. The Onkyo 604 and the Panasonic 57. Both pass audio via HDMI, but the Panny only has 1 in and 1 out, I think. Onkyo is 2/1?

My Sony TV has 1 HDMI, 2 component. A1-HDMI, PS3-HDMI

Is their a receiver for under $500 that will work with my setup?
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Old 03-23-07, 11:51 AM
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There is the thread on the Onkyo 604 in the HD section... Its a great reciever and I know a couple of the HD/BD people are using it. There is also the Onkyo 674 which transfers everrything through HDMI so you could have one connection to your TV. I think its right around $500. I got the 604 for around $350? I cant remember now.
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Old 03-23-07, 12:03 PM
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The previous 5 page thread concerning this exact subject would satisfy your questions.
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Old 03-23-07, 07:43 PM
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You can get the onkyo at http://www.crutchfield.com/S-UUJwTnU...onkyo+receiver
for 370 and it will fit your need as it has 2 hdmi in and one out and it also will fit your budget.
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Old 03-24-07, 07:00 AM
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I just bought the Onkyo 604 from Crutchfield for $319 shipped two days ago. Go to Fat Wallet and lookup the $50 off coupon code. It didn't work for me online, but I called and they honored the code.
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Old 03-25-07, 09:59 PM
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The Onkyo 604 sounds like the best deal overall. I've never used any receiver for video switching. If I use the PS3's HDMI for audio/video with the Onkyo, would that have the same quality as having it directly into my tv?
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Old 03-26-07, 07:23 PM
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Sorry for a dumb question, but what's the purpose of a receiver? I've never been big on the tech side (obviously) but I'll be looking to get my first home theater/surround sound system in the next few months. Are they necessary?
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Old 03-27-07, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee Harvey Oswald
Sorry for a dumb question, but what's the purpose of a receiver? I've never been big on the tech side (obviously) but I'll be looking to get my first home theater/surround sound system in the next few months. Are they necessary?
The receiver processes the audio signals. If you want surround sound, then yes you need a receiver. The addition of things like HMDI ports (or other video ports) allows the receiver to act as a control center. You can switch between sources like a dvd player or satellite receiver with the receiver.
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Old 03-27-07, 09:47 AM
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Sooo...help me out with these new audio's on Blu-ray and HD. I have read and researched but not entirely clear on the subject.

Talking strictly audio,

If I understand things correctly, you don't need HDMI to process these new formats if you player and receiver have the 5.1 analog plugs (and if I understand it, 7.1 is coming).

However if your player does not have the 5.1 analog outputs such as the OP's PS3, then the only way to get the new format is thru HDMI and your receiver must accept it.

Are current blue-ray/HD disc's all encoded with the new format?

So in a somewhat surprising turn of events, HDMI on a receiver is not so important for video switching (an inexpensive HDMI switcher can do it), but it may be needed for audio. I'm guessing most stand alone players have the 5.1 analog outputs, however.

Did I get that all right?

I guess I'm in the same boat as the OP. I have a receiver with no HDMI inputs and a PS3. I was about to order a switcher as I'm now up to multiple items that run on HDMI for the 1st time, but this won't help me in the new audio formats will it? If I want to take advantage of them my only choice is get a receiver that will accept the audio over HDMI.....hummmmm
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Old 03-27-07, 06:43 PM
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What about the,

Marantz SR4001
or
Harman Kardon AVR 247

Seem pretty nice and would fit the bill.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
What about the,
Harman Kardon AVR 247

Seem pretty nice and would fit the bill.
Does the HK 247 process audio through the HDMI? I was looking at that unit and for some reason I think it doesn't. Might be wrong, but good to check it out!
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Old 03-28-07, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by atlantamoi
Does the HK 247 process audio through the HDMI? I was looking at that unit and for some reason I think it doesn't. Might be wrong, but good to check it out!
Yes it does. It appears the HK 247 is a brand new unit that comes out in April.

The current version (245) has HDMI switch but does not process the audio on HDMI.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
The current version (245) has HDMI switch but does not process the audio on HDMI.
Bingo... thanks. I was thinking of the 245.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
If I understand things correctly, you don't need HDMI to process these new formats if you player and receiver have the 5.1 analog plugs (and if I understand it, 7.1 is coming).
This has always been true for any format. Analog is always an option with the right equipment.

BD and HDDVD have 5 new codecs possible. 3 of them are lossless, 2 are simply upgrades to the old DD and DTS, called DD+ and DTS-HD. The 3 lossless codecs are Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD-MA, and PCM, which is a generic term for almost all digital audio, but in this case does mean high quality. All 5 of them cannot use the old optical/coax audio system natively. DD+ is always on the discs, the other 4 may or may not be.

But then the options start flying, it really is crazy. All these players must downconvert to the old DD/DTS standard. Which means you CAN use optical/coax, you just won't get quite as nice sound as the disc actually holds. Esp if you are downconverting from a lossless codec. So that's an option.

You can transfer these over HDMI natively ONLY if you have HDMI 1.3, which is very uncommon so far as it is brand new. The PS3 either has it or is firmware upgradeable, I forget which.

The other option is to cross-convert the Dolby/DTS name brand codecs to high-quality generic PCM (many BDs already have the generic stuff) and transmit that over the HDMI. This can be done (it's possible technically, not mandatory, though) with any version of HDMI 1.1 or higher (which is basically every product around), so this is the most common HDMI solution right now.

So when most discussions happen about HDMI/receiver/audio compatibility, they are talking about whether the receiver can decode high-quality PCM from HDMI. Once again, these products have HDMI that can handle it, it just depends on whether they made use of that capability.

One other possibility is that the 5 new codecs could be down-converted to DD/DTS, then sent over HDMI. But that is not likely to be popular since you can generally use the higher quality PCM instead.

Personally, I'd be happy with a player that does a good job decoding audio, like the Tosh X series, and use 7.1 analog outputs to my current 7.1 receiver that even predates DD-EX. Unfortunately, only one BD player has 7.1 output right now, nothing else.

Last edited by Spiky; 03-28-07 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 03-28-07, 07:36 PM
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Good information. It appears tho that the problem I have is the PS3 has no analog outputs. And from what I read the PS3 does indeed output lossless over HDMI (via PCM). So the only way to take advantage of this lossless audio is with a receiver that will process the PCM audio over HDMI, correct?

Here I was so hung up on not getting a new receiver as I liked the sound of my currently unit and did not need it to do the video switching for me. But it looks like there is an audio component to it as well IF the HD player does not have analog out (which I understand the PS3 is about the only one that doesn't).
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Old 03-28-07, 09:49 PM
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Well, the first players are all pretending to be high-end models. Even though they really aren't all that hot. It didn't take long for Toshiba to put out a model without analog output, generation 2 in fact. I would never expect a game machine to have it.

But yeah, if you are set on the PS3 as a long-term BD player, you may want to consider a new receiver. You should also take into account the quality level of your speakers before dropping a wad on a receiver just to go from DD to TrueHD.
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Old 03-28-07, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
But yeah, if you are set on the PS3 as a long-term BD player, you may want to consider a new receiver. You should also take into account the quality level of your speakers before dropping a wad on a receiver just to go from DD to TrueHD.
Well I had no plans to go Blu-ray or HD-DVD, but my wife really wanted to get my son a PS3 for x-mas and we did. So now I got it and merged into my theater room. I actually like it for blu-ray movies, except for no damm remote, but that is another discussion.

Yea, I don't kow. My speakers are "ok". They are good sounding budget speakers (Celestion) that I'm happy with. I was originally going to buy KEF, but got such a deal on the Celestions and since they are kissing cousins to the KEF's I'm happy with them. Tho I know enough to know they are not the ultimate in audio.

The only reason I'm even considering a receiver is the two I'm looking at are less then $400. Figure was going to spend a $100 on a mono-price HDMI switcher so really only costing my $300. But then again, I've found a couple of HDMI switchers for $50 or so. So might go that route for now.
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Old 03-30-07, 04:12 PM
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I believe Onkyo is releasing a $300 HDMI receiver soon. It's the 505. But I can't find any confirmation that it passes audio though HDMI.
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Old 03-30-07, 04:25 PM
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I'm pretty sure you can pick up the 604 for around $325-375 and it will handle the audio. I'm just not that much of a Onkyo fan on their lower end stuff. Yea, I enjoy their mid and upper end stuff, but not so much on the lower end.


Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
I believe Onkyo is releasing a $300 HDMI receiver soon. It's the 505. But I can't find any confirmation that it passes audio though HDMI.
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Old 03-30-07, 04:29 PM
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Why does the HK245 only have 50 watts per channel? Isn't that way too low or do I have it all wrong? It seems that a similar priced Pioneer has 110w.
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Old 03-30-07, 04:55 PM
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Pioneer inflates its ratings and H/K does not.

Well that is not really, technically true I guess. Most all mass produced receivers (Pioneer, Sony, Panasonic, etc) measure their watts in a way to make it look like they have more then they really do.

H/K is one of the few that does not play the numbers games. They are more then powerful enough for the vast majority of speakers out there. I never even look at the watts when looking at the H/K products. In fact, now that you mention it, that 50 watts would be 10 more watts per channel then my current H/K which is 40 I believe (and I know, no more then 45).

Originally Posted by dick_grayson
Why does the HK245 only have 50 watts per channel? Isn't that way too low or do I have it all wrong? It seems that a similar priced Pioneer has 110w.
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Old 03-30-07, 04:59 PM
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thanks. I figured it was something like that.
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Old 03-30-07, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
I believe Onkyo is releasing a $300 HDMI receiver soon. It's the 505. But I can't find any confirmation that it passes audio though HDMI.
In another thread, I posted a link that confirms that yes, it does only pass through HDMI audio.
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Old 03-30-07, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dick_grayson
thanks. I figured it was something like that.
In reality, with the proper measurements done, I would guess both low-end HK and Pioneer receivers are capable of true output below 30 wpc.
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Old 03-31-07, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
In reality, with the proper measurements done, I would guess both low-end HK and Pioneer receivers are capable of true output below 30 wpc.
Yea, I don't know about that. I think some of these cheap Sony's and Pioneers are much less then that. I know when I got my 40 watt H/K it was noticeably and significantly more powerful then the 85 watt Sony it replaced. The Sony had trouble driving my speakers even to moderate levels. The H/K has power to spare.

I'd think maybe the h/k it 5%-10% off while the cheap Sony and Pioneers are like 90% off!
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