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Another newb to HD thread

Old 11-27-06, 11:21 PM
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Another newb to HD thread

A few questions which don't seem to have been answered in other threads and just general stupidity on my part.

I just purchased a 60" Sony SXRD. I don't have it yet, but want to be ready for it.

It has multiple HDMI inputs, so it would appear that I can use an HD player with it. My receiver is a few years old and does not have any HDMI inputs. So if I output HDMI to the TV, can I also output some other sort of audio (component? optical?) to the receiver for sound?

I don't have any HD player, but was looking at the new HD-A2 from Toshiba. It says it can upconvert to 1080i (my TV will be 1080p, but the difference is negligible from what I've heard). But it says the upconversion only happens over the HDMI cable, so again the same question I guess as above. Or, can I let the TV upconvert the DVD and still use the receiver for audio?

I posted in another thread asking about upconversion and heard that the SXRD TVs are quite capable at it. So, let the TV do it or the HD-A2?

Can anyone recommend me a good receiver that can accept HDMI inputs? I hear that for a receiver to process HDMI, you'll probably have to spend $1000...a bit more than I want to at this time, but I'm just looking for options.

Thanks in advance!
Old 11-28-06, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Blake
A few questions which don't seem to have been answered in other threads and just general stupidity on my part.

I just purchased a 60" Sony SXRD. I don't have it yet, but want to be ready for it.

It has multiple HDMI inputs, so it would appear that I can use an HD player with it. My receiver is a few years old and does not have any HDMI inputs. So if I output HDMI to the TV, can I also output some other sort of audio (component? optical?) to the receiver for sound?
In order to get DolbyTrueHD and DTS-HD MA, you need either analog cables or HDMI. The HD-A1 and various rebranded models all have analog inputs.

Originally Posted by Blake
I don't have any HD player, but was looking at the new HD-A2 from Toshiba. It says it can upconvert to 1080i (my TV will be 1080p, but the difference is negligible from what I've heard). But it says the upconversion only happens over the HDMI cable, so again the same question I guess as above. Or, can I let the TV upconvert the DVD and still use the receiver for audio?
It will upconvert regular DVDs to 1080i over HDMI, and your TV will probably convert that to 1080p, anyway. Again, you can hook up the HDMI to the TV for video only and use analog outputs for the sound, except that the A2 won't have analog inputs. You either need the A1/XA1, or the XA2. You can get refurbed XA1's on Overstock.com.

Originally Posted by Blake
I posted in another thread asking about upconversion and heard that the SXRD TVs are quite capable at it. So, let the TV do it or the HD-A2?
Try both options. See which one you think looks better.

Originally Posted by Blake
Can anyone recommend me a good receiver that can accept HDMI inputs? I hear that for a receiver to process HDMI, you'll probably have to spend $1000...a bit more than I want to at this time, but I'm just looking for options.

Thanks in advance!
I've heard Onkyo make some good sub-$1000 receivers with HDMI. I don't know the specifics though.
Old 11-28-06, 01:48 AM
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Can anyone recommend me a good receiver that can accept HDMI inputs? I hear that for a receiver to process HDMI, you'll probably have to spend $1000...a bit more than I want to at this time, but I'm just looking for options.
I am still pretty new to the whole HD world, just got my 46" Samsung, My Toshiba A1 and this receiver:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-v1w9rRX...0&I=580TXS674B

Crutchfield has this Onkyo for $574.99 free standard shipping. On sale.

Onkyo.com confirms upconversion through HDMI

http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=...class=Receiver

Its in transit and will be here on Friday. I can't somment on performance yet, but does have HDMI connections and upconverts.

TV looks great via HDMI, and I can't wait to see the HD DVD's.
Old 11-28-06, 08:24 AM
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Don't you know if you hook up a Toshiba HD-DVD player to a Sony TV you will cause a rift in the space time continuum effectively creating a vortex to end life as we know it?!?!
Old 11-28-06, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Blake
A few questions which don't seem to have been answered in other threads and just general stupidity on my part.

I just purchased a 60" Sony SXRD. I don't have it yet, but want to be ready for it.

It has multiple HDMI inputs, so it would appear that I can use an HD player with it. My receiver is a few years old and does not have any HDMI inputs. So if I output HDMI to the TV, can I also output some other sort of audio (component? optical?) to the receiver for sound?

I don't have any HD player, but was looking at the new HD-A2 from Toshiba. It says it can upconvert to 1080i (my TV will be 1080p, but the difference is negligible from what I've heard). But it says the upconversion only happens over the HDMI cable, so again the same question I guess as above. Or, can I let the TV upconvert the DVD and still use the receiver for audio?

I posted in another thread asking about upconversion and heard that the SXRD TVs are quite capable at it. So, let the TV do it or the HD-A2?

Can anyone recommend me a good receiver that can accept HDMI inputs? I hear that for a receiver to process HDMI, you'll probably have to spend $1000...a bit more than I want to at this time, but I'm just looking for options.

Thanks in advance!
Unless you got the XBR, the SXRD TVs look like absolute crap upconverting SD content - have the HD-A2 do all the work to get the image to 1080i. From there the SXRD will do all the work to deinterlace to 1080p. The results will be fantastic.

As far as receivers go, the Sony STR-DG800 is about the cheapest they come ($300) for HDMI switching. If you are looking for HDMI upconversion (all inputs upconveted to digital so you only need a single cable to your TV), the Denon AVR-887 is your best bet at $700. The Onkyo can't pass 1080p at the moment (see AVS thread) so if you plan on going Blu-ray at some point, that may be something to consider.
Old 11-28-06, 09:52 AM
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Thanks for all the replies.

As far as receivers go, the Sony STR-DG800 is about the cheapest they come ($300) for HDMI switching.
I read a review that says that all the DG800 does is pass through HDMI to the TV. It doesn't take the audio and send that to the surround speakers. From what I've heard you need a $1000 or so receiver to actually parse the HDMI signal for audio.

Again, you can hook up the HDMI to the TV for video only and use analog outputs for the sound, except that the A2 won't have analog inputs. You either need the A1/XA1, or the XA2. You can get refurbed XA1's on Overstock.com.
Seriously? Why wouldn't the A2 have analog outputs? It will only output via HDMI? The same review I read of the DG800 said you could send the HDMI through to the TV and then take the sound output from the TV and send it back to the receiver for processing, so I might try that before I get an upgraded receiver to handle the HDMI.

the Denon AVR-887 is your best bet at $700
So what exactly should I be looking for in a new receiver? I guess if I'm going to spend $700-$800 on a new receiver, the DG-1000 would be a nice option - especially considering it's a Sony TV and I do want the option for Blu-Ray in the future:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-E3M6BmJ...20&I=158STDG1K

Also, the Denon says it is HDMI 1.1 compatible - is that the current standard or is 1.2? I've been hearing all this hype about 1.3 (obviously I'm not waiting for it), but should I be looking for HDMI 1.2?

Unless you got the XBR, the SXRD TVs look like absolute crap upconverting SD content
Unfortunately, I did not. The reviews I read said the difference between the two was not that great and I didn't need the picture-in-picture. And when you say SD content - is that 480? I don't care so much about TV signals - I can handle that and I watch a lot of HD content already. But my Wii....will my precious Wii look like crap? Even with component cables? Oh the horror...

Seriously though - how can I take away the upconversion duties from the Sony for SD content? I doubt my HD cable box will upconvert SD signals and the Wii only does 480...wo what are the options?
Old 11-28-06, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Blake
Seriously? Why wouldn't the A2 have analog outputs? It will only output via HDMI?
It also has the regular digital outputs that you have on any standard DVD player. So you can still send the audio to your receiver in ways other than HDMI. But the digital outputs will not pass TrueHD sound.
Old 11-28-06, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Blake
So what exactly should I be looking for in a new receiver? I guess if I'm going to spend $700-$800 on a new receiver, the DG-1000 would be a nice option - especially considering it's a Sony TV and I do want the option for Blu-Ray in the future:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-E3M6BmJ...20&I=158STDG1K

Also, the Denon says it is HDMI 1.1 compatible - is that the current standard or is 1.2? I've been hearing all this hype about 1.3 (obviously I'm not waiting for it), but should I be looking for HDMI 1.2?
Personally, I would go for HDMI upconversion. The idea of having one cable from your receiver to your TV means all switching is done by the receiver and you only have to calibrate one input on your TV. As for the Denon, HDMI 1.1 is all you will need. HDMI 1.2 added some stuff for PCs and SACDs (to pass the unprocessed signal). HDMI 1.1 will handle 1080p and 7.1 PCM audio just fine.

Unfortunately, I did not. The reviews I read said the difference between the two was not that great and I didn't need the picture-in-picture. And when you say SD content - is that 480? I don't care so much about TV signals - I can handle that and I watch a lot of HD content already. But my Wii....will my precious Wii look like crap? Even with component cables? Oh the horror...

Seriously though - how can I take away the upconversion duties from the Sony for SD content? I doubt my HD cable box will upconvert SD signals and the Wii only does 480...wo what are the options?
Unfortunately, I can not comment on the Wii. I am just going on what I have seen of SXRDs taking 480i material. On the non-XBR units, it looks extremely blocky. On the XBR, they have the engines to do a lot of correction. My HD cable box outputs all material at 1080i (it pillarboxes 4:3 material), so you may want to check the settings. As for the Wii, if it does look bad I would consider trading up for the XBR. If not, the only option is a stand-alone video processor like the DVDO VP-50 would be necessary - but you are talking thousands of dollars for that.

The Wii might do better than broadcast TV because it can output 480p, so you may be okay. You'll just have to see how it looks once you get everything set up.
Old 11-28-06, 11:58 AM
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It also has the regular digital outputs that you have on any standard DVD player. So you can still send the audio to your receiver in ways other than HDMI. But the digital outputs will not pass TrueHD sound.
Thanks, I figured as much, but can't find any pictures of the back of the player since it's not released yet. I'm sure I'll find a way. TrueHD would be nice, but I can live without it for a while.

Originally Posted by joshd2012
Personally, I would go for HDMI upconversion. The idea of having one cable from your receiver to your TV means all switching is done by the receiver and you only have to calibrate one input on your TV. As for the Denon, HDMI 1.1 is all you will need. HDMI 1.2 added some stuff for PCs and SACDs (to pass the unprocessed signal). HDMI 1.1 will handle 1080p and 7.1 PCM audio just fine.
So by HDMI upconversion, you just mean that I need a receiver that would handle all of the upconverting...which is what I'm looking for. Even though the TV has two HDMI inputs, it would be nice just to have the one cable running to the TV and adjust the colors and tones for that one connection. I'll be looking into receivers I guess that can handle that - the DG1000 looks promising, as does the Denon.

Unfortunately, I can not comment on the Wii. I am just going on what I have seen of SXRDs taking 480i material. On the non-XBR units, it looks extremely blocky. On the XBR, they have the engines to do a lot of correction. My HD cable box outputs all material at 1080i (it pillarboxes 4:3 material), so you may want to check the settings. As for the Wii, if it does look bad I would consider trading up for the XBR. If not, the only option is a stand-alone video processor like the DVDO VP-50 would be necessary - but you are talking thousands of dollars for that.

The Wii might do better than broadcast TV because it can output 480p, so you may be okay. You'll just have to see how it looks once you get everything set up.
Thanks again for all the input. With the XBR costing about $1000 more than the non XBR, I just couldn't justify the cost for PIP and (apparently) better upconverting of SD content.

Also, another random question - with the HD-A2 HD-DVD player, it says it upconverts regular DVDs to 1080i - and then the TV would convert that to 1080p?
Old 11-28-06, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Blake
So by HDMI upconversion, you just mean that I need a receiver that would handle all of the upconverting...which is what I'm looking for. Even though the TV has two HDMI inputs, it would be nice just to have the one cable running to the TV and adjust the colors and tones for that one connection. I'll be looking into receivers I guess that can handle that - the DG1000 looks promising, as does the Denon.
Yes. It will take the signal and convert it to something that can be passed over HDMI. Basic conversion will simply convert the analog signal to digital. More advanced conversion will deinterlace content. Even more advanced will upconvert the signal itself to 1080. It depends on the brand/model/etc.

Also, another random question - with the HD-A2 HD-DVD player, it says it upconverts regular DVDs to 1080i - and then the TV would convert that to 1080p?
Yes. The HD-A2 will output at 1080i60 (1080 interlaced at 60 frames per second). The display will take that and deinterlace it to 1080p30 (1080 progressive at 30 frames per second) so you have a signal to match your 1080p display. The SXRD has a good deinterlacer, so you'll be good to go.
Old 11-28-06, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Blake
Thanks again for all the input. With the XBR costing about $1000 more than the non XBR, I just couldn't justify the cost for PIP and (apparently) better upconverting of SD content.
I'm going to disagree with the comment that the SXRDs do a terrible job with SD content. I own 2 50" SXRDs, one this generation with 1080p native, and one last generation 1080p upconvert only. And sure, the SD content isn't fantastic, but it does the job as well, if not better, than any other HD television I've owned. I cannot recommend the SXRDs highly enough, there are a couple of reviews online that have some outstanding calibration settings to help out. I'm not going to argue that the XBRs aren't better, I haven't seen them outside of a floor model, but I have absolutely no regrets about either SXRD. They have been tremendous investments, even my wife who usually could care less if it's hooked up to the coax output, has said that they have significantly increased her enjoyment of our home theater. The viewing angles are extremely wide, and I haven't seen any "green blob" effects, which seem to be the main complaint. I watch quite a few shows that are only broadcast in SD and I have no complaints yet.

I also just purchased the Denon-AVR887 and I cannot recommend that highly enough either. The HDMI upconverting is amazing, the ease of use could not be any simpler (especially when combined with my harmony remote), and the sound is almost literally blowing me away. I never would have imagined that this receiver could upgrade my whole system so much. I've also got my HD-A1 hooked through HDMI, both audio and video, and the True HD has performed without a hitch. I've also got an XBox 360 HD-DVD player hooked up to the last generation SXRD and it looks almost as good as HDMI through component. I think you'll be in real good shape.
Old 11-28-06, 01:25 PM
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Many thanks for the input bravesmg. Glad to hear good things about the Denon. I'll try and hunt down some reviews of the Sony as well. Speaking of Harmony remotes, my 880 is a godsend. The best investment I've made in a loooong time.

I just can't wait now for my tv to get here...i guess it'll ship tomorrow and take another week after that in transit...
Old 11-28-06, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by joshd2012
The Onkyo can't pass 1080p at the moment (see AVS thread) so if you plan on going Blu-ray at some point, that may be something to consider.
Or, you know, HD DVD, which can also do 1080p.
Old 11-28-06, 02:41 PM
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Don't even bother looking at Sony non-ES receivers. And I wouldn't spend much time looking at the ES line, either. Sony makes decent games, good DVD players, great TVs, and shit receivers.
Old 11-28-06, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
Or, you know, HD DVD, which can also do 1080p.
And just for reference, the Denon-AVR887 does pass 1080p.
Old 11-28-06, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
Or, you know, HD DVD, which can also do 1080p.
The only players on the market today which pass 1080p are Blu-ray. What is that famous saying that everyone used to post after I talk about Blu-ray in the future? Oh yeah, "If its not here today, it doesn't count." Damn, I've been waiting a while to throw that back in people's faces. Thanks for the opportunity.
Old 11-28-06, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by joshd2012
The only players on the market today which pass 1080p are Blu-ray. What is that famous saying that everyone used to post after I talk about Blu-ray in the future? Oh yeah, "If its not here today, it doesn't count." Damn, I've been waiting a while to throw that back in people's faces. Thanks for the opportunity.
Actually, you're wrong. There's a player/recorder in Japan that does it. And doesn't the add-on?

Last edited by digitalfreaknyc; 11-28-06 at 03:37 PM.
Old 11-28-06, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
Actually, you're wrong. There's a player/recorder in Japan that does it. And doesn't the add-on?

Thanks for the opportunity.
That's great, but we are in the United States - not Japan. And the add-on doesn't have HDMI, so no.

Thanks for the reply, even though we've been warned about that.
Old 11-28-06, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by joshd2012
That's great, but we are in the United States - not Japan. And the add-on doesn't have HDMI, so no.
You may be...but not everyone is. And saying that only BD players will do 1080p is only BD spin and completely inaccurate.
Old 11-28-06, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by joshd2012
That's great, but we are in the United States - not Japan. And the add-on doesn't have HDMI, so no.

Thanks for the reply, even though we've been warned about that.
As Sony is so fond of saying, component can do 1080p as well as HDMI, so, yes, the add-on can do 1080p. Goodnight.
Old 11-29-06, 01:32 AM
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Actually, since the shipping BD players do a conversion to 1080i first, none of them can be claimed to pass 1080p, either.
Old 11-29-06, 11:13 AM
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The Panny does a 1080i conversion, too? Well, scratch that one off the list.

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