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Looking for new A/V receiver..is HDMI necessary??

by higdawg2000 / May 2, 2007 1:37 PM PDT

A few months ago I bought a Sony KDS50A2000 HDTV which has 2 HDMI inputs. Now I'm looking to upgrade mr surround sound and have started to look for a receiver. I have my HD cable TV through one HDMI slot and my PS3 through the other, but I don't foresee the need for another HDMI slot. Is it worth it to buy a receiver with HDMI switching? Are there any other advantages to receivers with HDMI capabilities other than potentially adding another HDMI connection? Any specific recommendations on receivers?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Not needed
by givemeaname / May 2, 2007 2:18 PM PDT

I got the same tv. Got a yamaha rx-v1500 hooked up too it & run video lines stright to the tv

Good A/V brands:
Denon, Harman, Yamaha, Pioneer & Onkyo

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PROBLEMS RUNNING H.D.M.I. THRU AMP
by stewart norrie / May 2, 2007 2:33 PM PDT

Some hi-def and cable systems will not pass there signal thru the Amp I prefwer to run all my vivio straight to the t.v. and audio straight to the amp. Also a/v/ amps without the h.d.m.i. switching cost less money stewe

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Hi-def audio...
by ..ben / May 3, 2007 11:37 AM PDT

If 7.1 discrete audio means anything to you, you'll need and HDMI connection on the receiver. If the up-and-coming audio codecs aren't really of any concern to you, then I'd say no HDMI isn't necessary. And you can always by a switcher after the fact if something does come up and you require more video connections over HDMI.

The Onkyo TX-SR605 is coming out within a month, and if the 604 was any indication of how it's price will decline over the next year, expect to be able to pick one up for under $300 by next spring (if you're not in a huge rush). If it lives up to its specs, it'll be my next receiver for sure.

HDMI isn't just about digital video. No, seriously! (some of you laughed, I know it) Happy

Your HD cable may have an HDMI output, but that's definitely something that I would plug directly into the TV for video (via HDMI) and use a standard optical audio cable to send sound to the receiver. Why? Because the cable signal can't go beyond a Dolby Digital 5.1 standard, there's no need to waste 1 of the 2 HDMI inputs on the 605. You'd get all the advantages for the video (100% digital and all that stuff), and just-as-good digital audio. The PS3 or a standalone HD player would be something that I would run through the receiver, because HDMI is the only thing that can transfer a 7.1 LPCM or encoded signal to the receiver; an optical cable in this case would compromise some of the new capabilities of the audio available on Blu-Ray/HD-DVD.

Sound for me is important, clearly. But if it's not a big deal for you, then HDMI on a receiver may not be either, saving you some cash... However, if it is important, HDMI may be a necessity, not just a convenience. It depends on how important this stuff is to you.

Best,
Ben

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DEAR BEN
by stewart norrie / May 3, 2007 12:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Hi-def audio...

My blue ray player is hooked up with h.d.m.i. going direct to t.v. and optical audio straight to my Denon 3805 amp and it puts out d.t.s. ext 7.1 and thats good enough for me stewe

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Thanks
by higdawg2000 / May 4, 2007 6:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Hi-def audio...

Thanks for the feedback! Very helpful!

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ben
by jostenmeat / May 4, 2007 6:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Hi-def audio...

are you sure that hdmi (1.1, etc) can handle 7.1 lpcm? I thought I might* have read that it can only handle up to 5.1 pcm? (that hdmi 1.3 was needed for 7.1 lpcm) Or is that bogus. I ask you since you seem to have your finger on the pulse, ear to the ground, foot in the ...

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by ..ben / May 4, 2007 8:38 AM PDT
In reply to: ben

I think I may be out of my league here... lol please, no questions any harder than this Wink

HDMI 1.1 CAN support 7.1 LPCM. Even 1.0 can support it, as you'll see below. But HDMI 1.3 is the only one which can support Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, which is why 1.1 receivers didn't include the new decoders built-in. And I'm glad I didn't get the 604 now. =P

This is a quote from Page 14 of the HDMI white papers:
-------------------------------------------------------------
HDMI 1.3 adds additional support to carry the new lossless digital surround audio formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, both of which cannot be carried on S/PDIF or AES/EBU. In addition, HDMI (since version 1.0) has always been capable of carrying 8-channels of 192kHz, 24 bits per sample uncompressed audio, which exceeds the performance of all these consumer audio formats. This enables the transport of any of the above audio formats as decoded PCM streams provided that the player can decode the audio format into multi-channel PCM. This way, many of the older HDMI A/V receivers which have the ability to support an HDMI input with multi-channel PCM audio can still be used to play back even the newer Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Source: http://www.hdmi.com/pdf/whitepaper/SilicaonImageHDMIWhitePaperv73(2).pdf

Very interesting! I didn't know this until I just looked it up now, so thanks! Happy

Stew, I hate to tell you, but I don't think you're getting a 7.1 ANYTHING (encoded or PCM) over optical. I think there's too much bandwidth. Besides, DTS-ES (Extended Surround) uses BOTH back surround speakers monaurally in a 7.1 configuration, whether it's sent a maxtrixed 6th channel (DTS-ES 5.1) or a discrete 6th channel (DTS-ES 6.1). The new DTS and Dolby codecs are the first to actually have 7.1 discrete channels (barring SDDS and other exotics), and for those you NEED HDMI 1.3.

Best,
Ben

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(NT) thanks ben, very informative
by jostenmeat / May 4, 2007 8:57 AM PDT
In reply to: -
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