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Skyhi

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i know *absolutely nothing* about home theatre, but am looking at getting in the game.....i'm looking at receivers and i see that they have video inputs. Now i understand that im going to want audio inputs so i can hook my stuff to the receiver, but what are the video inputs for?

Couldn't I hook my HDDVD player up like this:

1. HDMI to TV for picture
2. Optical cable to audio receiver for audio...

What am I missing? Can anyone point to a good tutorial? TYIA
 

jayn_j

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i know *absolutely nothing* about home theatre, but am looking at getting in the game.....i'm looking at receivers and i see that they have video inputs. Now i understand that im going to want audio inputs so i can hook my stuff to the receiver, but what are the video inputs for?

Couldn't I hook my HDDVD player up like this:

1. HDMI to TV for picture
2. Optical cable to audio receiver for audio...

What am I missing? Can anyone point to a good tutorial? TYIA

Well, you could, but then you would need to switch both the TV and the receiver when changing sources. With integrated switching, one switch does it all. Multiple switching is never family friendly.

Now, as you get into it, you will discover other gotchas and features. First, cheaper receivers will only do pass through switching on HDMI video, and you will be forced to run a second digital audio cable from the source to the receiver.

Better receivers will do up-conversion so that that old VHS player with composite output will be converted to the HDMI output of the receiver, so you don't have to do additional video switching for the lower quality stuff.

Low end receivers never have enough inputs. A 2 HDMI input receiver can handle your cable box/sat receiver and a DVD (upconverting or BD). That's it. There is no room for expansion, and it is likely you will want to expand during the life of the unit.
 

teachsac

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i know *absolutely nothing* about home theatre, but am looking at getting in the game.....i'm looking at receivers and i see that they have video inputs. Now i understand that im going to want audio inputs so i can hook my stuff to the receiver, but what are the video inputs for?

Couldn't I hook my HDDVD player up like this:

1. HDMI to TV for picture
2. Optical cable to audio receiver for audio...

What am I missing? Can anyone point to a good tutorial? TYIA

Welcome to our wonderful world. It can be a very confusing game.

As Jay stated, you really don't want to run your video to the TV and optical to your receiver from your HD DVD player for several reasons.
1. As Jay stated, not user/family friendly.
2. HD DVD's have advanced audio codecs that optical can't handle such as Dolby Digital+ and DOlby TrueHD. Your HD DVD player can decode these codecs and send them to your receiver over HDMI.
3. When you start splitting the audio and video, that is when users start reporting lip sync issues.

I do disagree with jay on upconverting (taking an analog signal and converting it to digital). I personally do not like it. It's OK with component signals, but looks like garbage with s-video and composite (yellow cable).

I do agree with jay, when looking for a receiver, you want to make sure it will last you and is expandable as your needs grow. Always make sure you have enough inputs. 3-4HDMi inputs is always a good start. Might be a good idea to look at receivers that also decode the new audio codecs (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-Master Audio) used by HD DVD and Blu-ray.

S~
 

Skyhi

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Thank you guys for the replies...Could you tell me what HDMI switching is? Also, is there a receiver out there for around $300 (without the speakers) that is worth my time? Thanks again..
 

teachsac

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Thank you guys for the replies...Could you tell me what HDMI switching is? Also, is there a receiver out there for around $300 (without the speakers) that is worth my time? Thanks again..

Not for 399.

There's a Yamaha 663 for $549:

RX-V663

and an Onkyo 605 for $599:

Onkyo TX-SR605 - 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver | Model Information | Onkyo USA Home Theater Products

Both have 2 HDMI 1.3 inputs and handle advanced codecs. Of the two, I would go with Yamaha.

S~
 

teachsac

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Not a fan of Sony receivers. Someone else will have to chime in on this one. Anyways, the 810 is being discontinued and being replaced with the 820 in a month or so.

S~
 

jayn_j

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Not a fan of Sony receivers. Someone else will have to chime in on this one. Anyways, the 810 is being discontinued and being replaced with the 820 in a month or so.

S~

Which is why it is cheap. The set only has 3 hdmi/digital inputs, 2 optical and 1 co-ax. Nothing in the description says it will read audio from HDMI, so I would assume it will require connecting both HDMI and audio. It does not mention upconversion of video sources on either the amazon or the Sony site, so I would assume that if you have any non-hdmi sources, you will need to run multiple cables and switch at the TV for these as well.

BTW, the sonystyle site already has the 820 listed instead of the 810, soo I believe it is already obsolete/remaindered. The new one has 4-HDMI plus a few extra features at $399 list.

This is a typical low range A/V receiver.
 

teachsac

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Which is why it is cheap. The set only has 3 hdmi/digital inputs, 2 optical and 1 co-ax. Nothing in the description says it will read audio from HDMI, so I would assume it will require connecting both HDMI and audio. It does not mention upconversion of video sources on either the amazon or the Sony site, so I would assume that if you have any non-hdmi sources, you will need to run multiple cables and switch at the TV for these as well.

BTW, the sonystyle site already has the 820 listed instead of the 810, soo I believe it is already obsolete/remaindered. The new one has 4-HDMI plus a few extra features at $399 list.

This is a typical low range A/V receiver.

The 8XX series does accept audio and more importantly multi-channel PCM over HDMI.

S~
 

teachsac

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bhelms

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Onkyo 605 is being replaced by the 606. CC has the latter for $499 IIRC, perhaps discounted elsewhere on-line. Be careful to buy only from an authorized dealer however...
 

jayn_j

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Onkyo 605 is being replaced by the 606. CC has the latter for $499 IIRC, perhaps discounted elsewhere on-line. Be careful to buy only from an authorized dealer however...

Look elsewhere in this forum. The 605 is currently going for around $270 shipped.
 

Andyman33

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Hey guys...did you think that maybe he would rather spend 300 dollars and not have HDMI audio...he asked for advice, but also gave you guys a budget and you were showing him $500+ receivers. Yes you can spend as much money as you want and get something even better than that but I think he was looking for advice on what he could get for under 300. Jayn_J at least gave him an option for a sub 300 receiver...I think the rest of everyone should do the same.
 

jayn_j

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That was a refurb, IIRC. I don't doubt the 605 will be deeply discounted at numerous outlets as the newer model is phased in. Annual event...

Yep, sure was. I bought one, and will report when it comes in. In a number of ways, I actually prefer refurbed units for the following reasons:

1. Refurb units get a complete tech inspection. Most production units are only sample tested these days.

2. A very large percentage of refurb units are tested NTF (no trouble found). When a customer returns a unit, they will often make up a technical excuse. Mass retailers just send it back. What you are likely getting is a used unit with only burn-in hours.

3. Refurb/B units generally come with full warranty.

4. Most warranty claims occur in the first few hours of operation (infant mortality). A refurb unit has already gone through that testing.

I've bought a dozen refurb units over the years and have had a problem exactly once. That was with a 1982 vintage Pioneer Laserdisc player, the big old gas laser unit. It failed 2 years in due to a manufacturing defect (sloppy soldering caused HV arcing). Cleaned it up and it lasted 2 more years, at which point it was horribly obsolete. I wish I had as good luck with the new stuff I have bought.
 

bhelms

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Being a EE and bench tech by training and experience, I agree with your observations with one exception, explained below, actually one you observed as well. In general, a unit that has made it past the "infant mortality" stage, with or without help, is very likely to live a long, trouble-free life after that. In a sense, the "original owner" has given the unit a good burn-in up to the trouble point, and probably exercised many if not most of the options and features as well. I mentioned in another post in this subforum that I seriously considered a returned 805 at CC that was listed at $750 and could probably be had for about $500, that is until I learned it was thought to have a "mystery problem", and that's where my skepticism/experience kicks-in!

In my present line of work I am responsible for tracking data from repair centers that handle our somewhat sophisticated multimedia delivery platforms and distribution equipment. It is amazing how many are entered into the database as "NTFs" !! To be sure a fair percentage are there by error on the customers' parts, for a variety of issues that are fundamentally that they don't understand how the units should operate. But to be sure - and this is where my bench experience comes into play - there is a finite number of units in that group that truly DO have problems that are intermittent or only appear under certain operating conditions or in specific combinations of interfaces many of which cannot be duplicated on the bench. The more complex the system, the more likely such problems are. So the tech sets them up, runs them for a bit, doesn't detect any problems, "returns them to spec.", and sends them back out unrepaired.

There is some probabability that can happen with any kind of equipment including the A/V stuff of which we're so all so fond! I'm still quite willing to take my chances as long as I can return the unit for a full refund/exchange if something like that happens. In my experience it's only happened twice, both with units purchased from Sears. But otherwise my experience with "second chance" equipment has also been excellent! And I agree, "new" stuff should be so reliable! If one can look past some wear and tear, perhaps a missing box or accessory, the recycled equipment pool is a great place to save some money and gain a long-term loyal "servant" as well!

Good luck with yours, but like you I'm almost certain you won't have any problems...!
 

bhelms

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Hey guys...did you think that maybe he would rather spend 300 dollars and not have HDMI audio...he asked for advice, but also gave you guys a budget and you were showing him $500+ receivers. Yes you can spend as much money as you want and get something even better than that but I think he was looking for advice on what he could get for under 300. Jayn_J at least gave him an option for a sub 300 receiver...I think the rest of everyone should do the same.
I sensed the "bug had bitten"...!

In another thread in this subforum, I started out in a similar quest looking at equipment that was selling for about $900. Took the advice others gave, did some shopping around and...well...so much for that budget! But I don't regret one penny spent beyond my original plan. This is one of those situations where you can stretch your envelope a bit and more than double your pleasure. Once one learns the current "state of the art" and sees/hears what the various features can do to enhance the HT experience, some "expansion of the box" might be appropriate! The OP was also showing - as I did - an ignorance of what the video processing in the receiver was all about, and he seemed eager to learn about it. That will probably move him out of the $300 range very quickly! (Some money could definitely be saved with a refurb or close-out unit however. Obviously there are fans of both here!)

Since these are investments we don't make every day, perhaps it behooves one to at least know what else is out there before making a decision that they might end-up remaking in a few years.

BRgds...
 
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