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Help me pick a new AV receiver, folks

Discussion in 'Home Theater Audio' started by farmermike, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Dec 7, 2008 #1 of 78
    farmermike

    farmermike Cool Member

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    Now that I have my satellite situation resolved (switched from DirecTV to Dish) I'm ready to buy a new HDTV and AV receiver (and probably a BluRay player).

    All my hardware is kinda old: Sony KP-57HW40 rear projection TV, Sony STR-DE675 receiver, neither of which have HDMI. I also have an older Sony DVD player, a VCR and AppleTV.

    I know which TV I'm gonna buy: Samsung HL67A750. I think rear projection gives a lot of bang for the buck and since I have a 57" set now, I sure don't want to downsize to go with an LCD or plasma.

    But I can't decide on an AV receiver. I like Sony products a lot, and they've trotted out some super new receivers, but I don't want to spend $2K on a receiver after I just laid out $2K for a TV.

    I also like Onkyo and Denon, but don't know as much about them.

    Since I'm going to be buying so many new components I guess I might as well buy new speakers, too. I have a set of Polk Audio speakers that are decent, but I might as well upgrade everything to 7.1.

    So, let's say I want 7.1 surround, lots of HDMI connectivity (4-6) and really good video processing and want to spend $500 to $1K. What are my best bets? I'd be willing to go more than $1K if the difference between a $999 unit and a $1,299 unit was substantial, but I'd like to stay under a grand if possible.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.
     
  2. Dec 7, 2008 #2 of 78
    phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    This is a tough choice. I love my Yamaha RXV2700 AV Receiver, but it only has 3 HDMI inputs.

    Every one in your price range lacks something, but the Sony STR DA5300ES looks good. Sony is selling refurbs for $899.95 which is 53% of the original MSRP.
     
  3. Dec 7, 2008 #3 of 78
    BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Sony STR-DG920 is the top standard-line model at $600. 4 HDMI inputs, 1080p (both 60p and 24p), deep color, etc. Decodes all audio formats via HDMI, including the new HD and lossless codecs. Upconverts SD sources and converts component to HDMI. 7.1 support, etc.

    If you need something higher-grade, Sony's ES line will support most of these features and more, and uses higher-end internal components. Price goes up fast, though.
     
  4. Dec 7, 2008 #4 of 78
    dave29

    dave29 DIRECTV A-Team

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  5. Dec 7, 2008 #5 of 78
    Sirshagg

    Sirshagg Hall Of Fame

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    I second the Onkyo 606. I've got one of these and I'd say it's goy the same type of bang for the buck as the HL67A750 - also has 4 HDMI inputs.
     
  6. Dec 7, 2008 #6 of 78
    farmermike

    farmermike Cool Member

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    I looked into the 606, and although it has great audio, including decoders for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, CNet did not like the way it handled video. In fact they called its video processing "subpar." So that's not a good thing.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2008 #7 of 78
    farmermike

    farmermike Cool Member

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    I looked at the 5300 and liked what I saw, but it's last year's model, so even though you can buy it refurbed for real cheap, you are getting last year's technology. It's been superceded by the 5400, but it has an MSRP of $2K (ouch).

    I didn't understand one thing CNet said:

    It packs a walloping six HDMI inputs, which is more than we've seen on any other receiver in this price range, and it comes with onboard decoding for the latest high-resolution soundtracks, namely Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio (although you can't use that decoding yet).

    What do they mean that it has the decoding but you can't use it? I don't get it.

    Yeah, I think the Sony ES series looks like some really serious AV tech, but boy are they pricey.
     
  8. Dec 7, 2008 #8 of 78
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I recommend against lots of money spent on video processing in the AV receiver. Spend the money on a better TV or an outboard processor.

    I'm personally feeling a renewed interest in the offerings of Pioneer and Yamaha recently. The recurring Denon HDMI issues have soured me on that brand.

    In any event, I wouldn't buy anything until you've seen what comes out of Las Vegas in about a month.
     
  9. Dec 7, 2008 #9 of 78
    Sirshagg

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    Their issue in this regard has to do strictly with scaling and upconverting composite, svideo, or component from from lower resolutions such as 480i to 1080p over the HDMI output so that you only need to run one HDMI cable to the TV. For me, all my devices are HDMI so this is a non-issue. Lets say I connect my Wii to this TV I'll just run component connections to the TV and it will still not be an issue.

    All they are really saying is that the scaling/upconverting is really cool but it doesn't perform that great. It's easy to work around by not asking the receiver to do it.
     
  10. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Which begs the question about buying an upscaling A/V receiver in the first place. If it does a "sub-par" job, what's the point?
     
  11. Sirshagg

    Sirshagg Hall Of Fame

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    Fo me it was not even a consideration when buying the receiver since I will never use the feature.
     
  12. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

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  13. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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  14. MadManNBama

    MadManNBama AllStar

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    Some of these suggestions are ok, but I'd go with Onkyo as IMHO Sony recievers suck and are overpriced. In fact the newer version of my reciver the Onkyo TX-SR706 is on sale at Crutchfield.com or Newegg.com for around $599 or less and is THX certified. The SR606 is even cheaper and both have HDMI passthrough and upconversion on the 706 model.

    For your speakers, it would depend on which Polk speakers you have now. I have Monitor 30's and the CSi for fronts and surrounds and the PSW12 sub. Not the best sound, but pretty solid for my home theater in my Man Cave.

    I shake my wife out of the house when watching a movie with lots of action or The Unit on CBS. The Monitors and even the floor standing models are on sale at newegg.com also, so for about $1200 or less you can be enjoying some good home theater.

    Then there is a good Mirage set of speakers on sale at many websites and most Polk speakers if you want to go higher than the Monitor series.

    Just shop around online and fine a good deal. Now is the right time to upgrade.
     
  15. jlast01

    jlast01 Cool Member

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    I like the Onkyo 606 as well... Lots of research prior to purchase, and now six months, no problems. And I agree, video processing is not an issue. If you'll feed it HD, don't concern yourself with upconverting.

    I'll be surprised if you hear anything negative about the Onkyo receivers from anyone who's had them. I've used Sony and Onkyo receivers.

    Look at the PS3 for Bluray... Upconverting with the PS3 is great for SD dvds.

    Look at B&W speakers... Expensive, but beautiful sound.

    We have a 60" Sony LCD/projection TV, but wish we had gone with a slightly smaller plasma.
     
  16. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    I have a Denon AVR-5803A that I bought on eBay fo $1K in early 2008. Retaled for $5K a few years ago.

    Honestly, I'd go the used route.
     
  17. PokerJoker

    PokerJoker Godfather

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    I'll be surprised if you hear anything negative about the Onkyo receivers from anyone who's had them. I've used Sony and Onkyo receivers.

    Well - I have an 875. The current 876 is almost identical.

    It runs so hot that it will eventually go into shutdown if placed inside any kind of cabinet, even one with open sides. Same thing will happen if you have anything stacked on top of it. I had to place it out in the open, on top of the cabinet, to get enough cooling.

    And I'm not the only one with this problem. Read the many threads on the issue.

    It does sound nice, I'll grant you that.

    Keith
     
  18. bobukcat

    bobukcat Hall Of Fame

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    Crutchfield is currently offering the 4300 (which only has 3 HDMI inputs but may be enough) for $700 (non-refurb) and free shipping. I'm not a big Sony Receiver fan but for that price it has me considering it.
     
  19. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    That review is from a year and a half ago. At that time there weren't any BD discs with lossless audio IIRC.
     
  20. jlast01

    jlast01 Cool Member

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    Nov 19, 2008
    I don't disagree with that... My Onkyo runs hot too. But it hasn't been a big issue for me.
     

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