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AV Receiver advice

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AV Receiver advice

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Hello

 

I was looking to upgrade my AV Receiver.I own a Kenwood VR-606 which I purchased  from Crutchfield and has  served me well the past 9 years. It came with its own set of very nice looking speakers and still works great other than showing its age.

The local Walmart has a Sony STR-DH520 for $249. which looks really nice and seems more modern but im completely out of the loop as to what new modernized features come in todays AV receivers.

as of now the setup i have is a Samsung 46 inch HDTV connected to the Sony BDP-S270 via HDMI. the bluray player is then connected by the optical toslink to the Kenwood receiver.

 

what im wanting to do and was told its possible with recent receivers...is to connect the bluray player via HDMI to the receiver and from the receiver an HDMI cable to the TV to relay the video. not sure what the term for that is as i said ive been out of the loop since I never felt the need to upgrade until now seeing as how my bluray collection is growing faster than I expected.  .

can the STR-DH520 give me that setup or is there a specific kind of receiver that I need?

as far as budget goes, i do not want to go higher than $400. i dont mind ordering online but thought it'd be quicker and instant gratification to get something from Walmart since i get the convenience of a quick return in case the unit is faulty or lacking what i need.

 

all in all im just looking for a receiver that gives me that setup and last me a good 9 years just as the Kenwood has. dont really care much for any other features since what i want is just to get that lossless HD audio to the speakers while still enjoying 1080p video quality from the bluray to my HDTV. the bluray player i own only has the 1 HDMI port. i wanna do away with the optical connection altogether.

and finally with a new AV receiver would i need to get a new set of speakers as well in order to enjoy lossless audio? or can i still use the nice speakers & powered subwoofer that came with the Kenwood?

 

Hope someone here can get me up to date on things and help me shop for that ideal receiver to complete my home theater experience.

Verified Answer
  • That model will do everything you want to do AND more. Most modern day revievers have digital decoders and such to convert analog signals into digital ones, optical inputs, and HDMI inputs. You can even set up HOW the reciever see's these inputs. Kinda crazy stuff!!! I upgraded mine a couple years ago and litteraly spent a day or 2 setting everything up.

    Basically you will have 6 "inputs" to play with, HDMI's that is. The one output goes to the TV. Everything you own in your home theater system should run thru this. There should be no reason at all your current speakers wouldn't work. If anything, modern day tech will increase your set up ability and ultimatley sound better. I'm not the biggest fan of Sony, but that's a personal prefference. At least if you don't like it you can exchange it after a few days. Have fun and good luck with everything!

All Replies
  • That model will do everything you want to do AND more. Most modern day revievers have digital decoders and such to convert analog signals into digital ones, optical inputs, and HDMI inputs. You can even set up HOW the reciever see's these inputs. Kinda crazy stuff!!! I upgraded mine a couple years ago and litteraly spent a day or 2 setting everything up.

    Basically you will have 6 "inputs" to play with, HDMI's that is. The one output goes to the TV. Everything you own in your home theater system should run thru this. There should be no reason at all your current speakers wouldn't work. If anything, modern day tech will increase your set up ability and ultimatley sound better. I'm not the biggest fan of Sony, but that's a personal prefference. At least if you don't like it you can exchange it after a few days. Have fun and good luck with everything!

  • oh! well thats great news! seems for a mere $22 extra i can get the Sony STR-DH820. would that be the better buy? or just stick with getting the STR-DH520. im a bit fuzzy on what 'Upscale video content to near HD levels via HDMI' means. i had tried researching 'HDMI Pass-Thru' but the results i got just made it seem even more confusing. so im for sure at a loss until i have time to experiment with an actual modern receiver. the 'On-screen graphical user interface makes it easy to set up and control the receiver' is what peaked my interst. though again im not sure if thats a better kind of setup or to stick with the old fashion way. well only time i had a lousy Sony product was a DVR that just literally fell apart after just 2 short years. total waste of $500. but i got a Sony DVD player back in 2001 that was very basic but to this day it still works without a problem. so i stuck with a Sony bluray player that was for a good price. Walmart seems to only have sony and pioneer receivers that are just the receiver and not those cheap looking home theater in box packages. like i said i dont mind ordering online if theres a better receiver at around that same price point but im not really looking for fancy bells and whistles, just something of good quality that will last me several years without breaking my wallet.
  • Well that's your choice I guess. You have a couple of general needs so most new AVR's out there are WAY more than what you need, although nice to have the capability to do whatever you want. Your blu ray player will give the best signal out there. It will be in the highest quality. You should have everything hooked up with HDMI. It delivers the best signal. I guess I should ask, is your TV rated for HD??? 1080i or 1080p....... It will only produce as good a signal/picture as it is capable of......

    With anything, you ALWAYS want to read the manual. It may be overkill for what you are looking for but once you get it and understand a little more on how it works I think you may find yourself using it for more things. Example: I run my cable box, PS3, Wii, and computer all thru the AVR. It's nice, clean, and simple. Once set up, also easy to use. My 6 year old can control it, no joke. Although I do think he is smarter than I am anyways....... Good luck with everything. It's frustrating at times, but fun AND worth it. Beer

  • right. im just wanting to cover all my bases and make sure once i get it that i wont be dissapointed that it wont give me the setup i want. or that a more expensive model has lots of cool stuff but lacking something else a less expensive model has.



    as of now its annoying to have to run the optical link from the bluray player to the receiver. and having to switch that one optical link back and forth between the tv and the bluray player just to get sound thru the speakers when watching over the air HD broadcasts.



    i have a Samsung Series 5 5000 46 inch LED display and it has 4 HDMI ports. though the only one im using is  the HDMI to the bluray player. the problem i had was when i tried to avoid the switching of the optical connection. and had the connection go from the tv straight to the receiver, i would never get the DTS or Dolby Digital output that the bluray had. itd go pro logic. so i guess its not possible to have the audio and video get spit out from the bluray player to the HDTV via HDMI and from the HDTV to my receiver on that toslink. so thats why im kinda uneasy as to how it works with an HDMI only setup on a new receiver.

     


    yea the TV can do 1080p.which is why i bought HDMI cables for cheap online. i originally only had a component cable from my older DVD player. but output was only 1080i. so after about a month i got a couple of HDMI cables.

     


    oh of course. yea i always read manuals several times over just to make sure im aware of all the functionality thats offered. i just wanted to avoid having it all there in front of me and read the manual and have it say that the unit CANT do so and so. thatd just be depressing.



    i think the most id add on to my setup is maybe a ROKU box. sort of gave up on cable tv, so no chance of getting a cable box anytime soon.

  • On most you can set what the input is for audio and video. Example: You can run optical audio and then HDMI video for your blue ray. You wouldn't WANT to, but you can. I checked the specs on that reciever and it states that it supports DTS, which is what you want I'm assuming? I'd mess around with the other surround modes also if I were you. Technology has come a long way in 9 years. Oh, and guess what.... You won't have to go from blue ray, to TV, to Stereo anymore. Blue ray to Reciever (HDMI) and Reciever to TV (HDMI). Less cables, cleaner signals, happier person!!!

    I think this thing will do WAY more than you need..... I can't see you being dissapointed. Check the features of both. If one has better stuff or more goodies for 22 bucks more.... I'd get it. Cheers!

  • right.

    yea im wanting DTS-HD and the Dolby True HD. for the past year or so ive just been using the optical link to get the DTS-HD, not quite the real deal but at least its a higher bitrate than standard DTS 5.1


    "You won't have to go from blue ray, to TV, to Stereo anymore. Blue ray to Reciever (HDMI) and Reciever to TV (HDMI). Less cables, cleaner signals, happier person!!!"

    yes thats exactly the way i want these 3 devices hooked up. i wasnt sure if there was a specific name for that kind of setup. thats why i was all lost as to wether that is just the standard for all recent receivers or if i had to pay a premium price to get that functionality.


    true. the extra $22 gets me an:

    *ipod/iphone dock - which i think would be useful to have.
    *an extra component port -dont think thatd ever get used.
    *On-screen graphical user interface
    *Sound Optimizer - i assume thats like the Kenwoods CINEMA EQ feature.
    *Equipped with 2nd Zone audio/video pre-outs - not sure what that means
    *Dual subwoofer - kind of overkill but good to have i suppose
    *Digital Cinema Auto Calibration

    so thats a lot for an extra $22. so i may just go with that model since itd seem kind of strange to pass that up for that price difference.

    thanks for the info. really appreciate getting some light shed on this.

  • Yeah I'll be honest, it took me a while to "get it" and realize that everything runs into the reciever. It's nice to have one cable to the TV. The zone 2 is used if you want to play lets say the radio in another room while in the main room you are watching a movie. Requires an external amp or reciever to do it though. You could basically set it up that way with your OLD unit. I use mine and run it into the garage for that exact same purpose. Sounds like you won't ever use/need it though..... Given the cost, that's a screaming deal if you are happy with it. Always happy to help, it's frustrating if you haven't had any experience with it before, I was there....

  • yea kinda tricky to get a grasp on things.i had no problem figuring out the Kenwood receiver. but all these new terms its like wow things have changed!

    yea no need for that since itll all just be in one room. i may give my old receiver to my parents. but without the speakers itd be pointless.



    yea that seems ideal for what i want to use it for. the main goal was to just do away with all optical connections and go HDMI. so if that sony receiver can do that then ill be very happy. 

    indeed. i usually am tech savvy but only when ive had experience with the devices. in this case i just kept putting it off. when i saw that sony receiver at Walmart, i was so ready to get it but didnt want to be dissapointed and end up returning it. which is what usually happens when i do a blind buy at walmart.

  • Curious to know how things work out for ya???Beer

  • Hello there,

    I had waited on getting the new AVR until my old Kenwood finally gave out. kenwood still works ok. only issue that came about was that the left surround speaker wire that connects into the AVR, was getting cut up and ruined anytime i tried to clasp it down. not sure why it kept doing that to only that one speaker. after dealing with that for several months, i decided to just go ahead and get that new AVR. though as luck would have it , Walmart no longer had it in stock. i waited and waited but they never managed to get it again. i ordered it through amazon when it went on sale.

    I did get the Sony STR-DH520 and have it connected to my Sony BDP-S270.

    that connection works quite good. now its all done through HDMI. i havent had any free time to sit down and watch a movie in full to tell if i hear a difference in sound compared to how it was with my old Kenwood VR-606. in the end I am just glad to finally have things up to spec.

    doing the setup with the microphone it came with didnt seem to work out too well. after many tries it still got the distance wrong for each speaker. i ended up doing all that manually and i believe i got the speakers setup properly. first time i have seen - and + dB settings. on my old AVR, it simply had 1 thru 10 as a choice of dB for each speaker.  i used a dB meter app on my iphone to try to get each speaker's output to match.

    still not 100% sure if that is how one is supposed to setup the speaker set, but that is how i did it in the past with the old AVR.

    the issue i still have not resolved is the HDMI pass thru setup, where the reciever is put in standby mode, while still outputting audio from when you are watching cable through the HDTV.

    the HDTV I have is a Samsung UN46C5000.

    seems when I go to the AVR's home screen, it takes me to the TV's HDMI 1 port , so I just see the black screen with the AVR's menus. so from there I choose what I want to do next, which of course is going to WATCH and then i have the selection. only things hooked up to the AVR are the bluray player and the tv. when i choose bluray , it will of course turn on the bluray player and after a minute, it is ready to go. very simple.

    but when i go to WATCH and then choose TV. it does not take me to what is displayed on the tv, it instead keeps me on the black screen where all i can see is the menus if i hit the HOME button the AVR's remote.  havent gotten a straight answer if that is how it is supposed to be, or if i am supposed to see whatever cable channel the tv was on before i got switched to HDMI port 1's blank screen that the AVR is displaying.

    i asked around elsehwere, and people tell me that perhaps my HDTV does not support the pass thru ARC feature. they tell me an HDTV needs to support HDMI 1.3 in order to accomplish this. my HDTV's manual says it is 1.3 compatible. the AVR's manual isn't exactly specific either on this matter.

    the way i have had it all this time, is using the old optical cable i have to connect the HDTV to the new AVR. that has the audio play out of the AVR, but only when the AVR is powered on. if the AVR is in standby mode i end up with no audio at all. not even thru the TV's internal speakers. so it is kind of an annoyance now, that i need to have the AVR on everytime when i am watching the news and whatnot.

    if you could be so kind as to shed some light on this issue, would be greatly appreciated. these days i dont have enough time to tinker with it, so i have just sorta put up with it the way its been.