AV Receivers, New Format?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Audio' started by Rich, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I am used to Sony AV receivers. I've had them for years and understand how to use them. Rather than go thru a new learning curve, I stick with them. But I just bought a new Sony receiver to replace an old Sony receiver that had no HDMI ports. The tangle of wires I have in my room is so bad that I can't just remove a wire or make a simple change without pulling everything apart. I have an expensive optical wire switcher that I use for the sound and that just adds to the wire clutter.

    Anyhow, I hook up the new receiver and when I power it up, I don't get the expected HDMI 1, HDMI 2, HDMI 3 and HDMI 4 displays on the display panel. I get Cable, Satellite, Game and Video. And some weird acronyms that are supposed to mean something to me, but don't. I can't tell if I'm receiving 5.1 sound or PCM. I don't know if the HDMI ports all work the same and the manual is no help at all.

    So I package the thing up and send it back to Amazon. Then I take a trip to BB and check out the AV receivers. They all are setup for HDMI the same way. Game, Video, etc. And, naturally, nobody at BB knows anything about the AV receivers. Not just the Sonys, but the Denons are the same way. Gave up and went home.

    I have one Sony STR DH800 at home that gives me HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc., on the display. It's simple to label the HRs 1, 2, 3 and 4 and use them in the 1,2,3 and 4 HDMI ports on the back panel and I get a readout on the display that clearly tells me if 5.1 is playing or PCM is playing. But no more blue LED to tell me if 5.1 is playing.

    I found a new 800 on Amazon and ordered it. But what happened? Can the front displays be altered thru a menu to give a different readout than Cable, Game, Satellite, Video? Or did all the AV manufacturers go berserk and decide that someone would only use 1 satellite feed, 1 BD feed, etc.?

    Rich
     
  2. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    Its the dumbing down of technology to allow idiot consumers to hook up their equipment without understanding it.

    I would think the Sony's would allow you to change it. The Denon's do.
     
  3. bobukcat

    bobukcat Hall Of Fame

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    You may have to go to the ES series to get map-able / re-nameable inputs on the Sonys, I'm not sure as I've only bought one Sony AVR and then switched to Pioneer Elite when I saw that the Sony clipped the video signal. The ES model I have does allow you to rename the inputs and I know the Pioneer, like the Denons, allow for that as well.

    Personally I agree with you though, by trying to make it "easier" for the common Joe to connect the system they've made it more confusing.
     
  4. kikkenit2

    kikkenit2 Icon

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    Higher end receivers will allow "renaming" inputs. If you connect hdmi to avr you shouldn't need so much optical audio. Yamaha is the only major brand that just numbers the inputs. I have 7 hr20 so naming is a joke here too. The backside of most receivers still have numbers along with the names at the hdmi inputs.
     
  5. olguy

    olguy Hall Of Fame

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    My Onkyo TX-NR609 also has numbered/named ports on the back. It also allows renaming the displayed inputs. The edited name then appears on the receiver screen as well as on the TV when you select receiver display. You also see what audio output is on the receiver screen. When you select receiver display on the remote it gives input and out put information for both audio and video. The remote does have the inputs labeled with the "user friendly" names. Wish it just had a scrolling input selector. But when I get my new Harmony One set up the labels will be what I want on it and the Onkyo remote will seldom if ever be used again.
     
  6. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

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    All they (mfg) did was to Pre-name the outputs and depending on how much you wish to pay for A/V receiver they will let you re-name the port.

    I too have a Onkyo 609 and it was setup the same way for $399.00 it allows me to name them anything I want-the same receiver is made for world wide distribution so as far dumbing things down a person in a grass hut may have a gaming system as well as the Taliban but that is all they may know :)

    You didn't need to send the sony back , I hope you're happy with your're new learning curve :)
     
  7. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Yamaha RX-V465 that sounds great and comes labeled with HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc. that can be renamed anything from the presets of Satellite to custom names. It's also easy to tell if it's DD, TrueHD, etc.
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    No learning curve on the 800 I just purchased. I've already got one of them and I know how it works.

    Rich
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'm sure the more expensive Sony's would and the one I bought might have. I just have no patience with stuff like this. I want logical, rational names for inputs and I really dislike the Sony manuals. And nobody at BB could answer that simple question about renaming them.

    As I said, I've had Sony's for years. Not the best, not the worst, and since I don't care about music, they've been my weapon of choice. All of a sudden they decide to change everything they always had on them? Why? Is it really a dumbing down thing? I used to really like the blue LED that came on when the receiver was getting 5.1 sound. Even the 800s don't have that anymore.

    Rich
     
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I dunno. The Sony's always seemed so simple. Then I get that thing that only came up with Satellite, TV, etc. One of them was also labeled Cable. Can't help but wonder how many folks have cable and satellite feeds. I almost bought a Denon, then I stopped because at BB you don't get to read the manuals before you buy something and I didn't feel like rewiring another one and having to unwire it and take it back. Easier to stick with something I understand.

    Rich
     
  11. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    All the receivers I looked at had numbers and names on the back. I didn't want to spend a lot on a new one because it's in a room where I usually don't spend that much time. It's kinda like a "junction box" room. Wires all over the place and I'd like to clean up the wiring so I can get a contractor in and have the room spiffed up. I'll be able to do that with the 800 I bought. The 800 I have is in the room we usually use and I really cleaned up a lot of the wiring when I installed it.

    Rich
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Remember the problems I had with that same Yamaha model I bought at Costco?

    Rich
     
  13. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

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    I thought you really branching out :D
     
  14. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member

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    No, but there's the problem...buying electronics from the same place you can buy a gallon bottle of mustard. ;):lol:
     
  15. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Rich,

    Many (most) newer HDMI-equipped receivers work differently than older receivers, because there are just so many differnet ways you might need to connect a source. So, most of them have x-number of composite imputs, y-number of component inputs, z-number of HDMI inputs, etc. You plug your components into them, and then you create a software "patch" using the on-screen menu that tells the receiver which video input and which audio input to use for that patch, and which outputs to route them to.

    Example:

    Blu-Ray
    ======
    Video Input - HDMI 2
    Audio Input - HDMI 2

    Xbox-360
    =======
    Video Input - Component 3
    Audio Input - Coaxial Digital 1

    VCR
    ===
    Video Input - Composite 1
    Audio Input - Analog Stereo 1

    PS2
    ===
    Video Input - Composite 2
    Audio Input - Optical 3


    Instead of trying to guess what inputs you are likely to use (and inevitably being wrong sometimes) and pre-packaging those patches with hard-coded labels and buttons, you now create your own patches using whichever inputs you choose to use, limited only by the number and type of inputs in the AV receiver you buy.
     
  16. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    I think it is part dumbing down and part keeping up with the Jones, or in the case the Denon's, Yamaha's and Onkyo's.

    Given how many consumers don't know you can play a DVD in a BR player, should it be a surprise that they put labels on the ports? Does J6P really know that you can hook up a DVD player to Component In 1 and Optical 2, and if they do know, can they make it work?

    And then every year every manufacturer is doing upgrades, so companies feel the need to upgrade to keep up even if it upgrading for upgrades sake.

    I am currently on the fence about getting a new AVR. I have a Denon 3806 which works great, but my old H/K in the playroom is about done. So I am thinking about moving the Denon in there and getting me a new one. The problem is to get one with Analog Audio inputs, you need to go to the 4311 which is almost twice as expensive as the 3312, and the 3312 is not cheap.

    I like the analog audio as I have been able to keep my 3806 useful past its prime as I can have my BR player decode the newer formats and send them to the Denon. Yes, the BR player cost me about $50 more to get this, but it has been worth it.

    So I keep looking.
     
  17. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    I hardly think this is dumbing down. Making a receiver more intuitive for the Average Joe who has no intention of going into the receiver's menu is not a bad thing. Remember the good old days of stereo receivers when you could pull it out of the box, plug in your turntable and cassette deck, hook up the speakers and then throw a party? You always had a party when you got a new stereo. It took longer to clean out the bong than it did to get the new stereo up and running.

    If you want to, you can re-assign the input labels on any A/V receiver I've seen. It often isn't easy unless you have an on-screen display for the menu, and some companies' bottom of the line receivers don't have this, but it still is possible. On a Yamaha, the brand with which I'm most familiar, you can modify the inputs any which way you want. You can change the labels, along with reassigning the Toslink, coaxial digital, HDMI and component jacks to any of the video inputs. I know this is the case on all Yamaha receivers starting in the middle of their line on up, but I think you can still do at least most of this on their least expensive receiver.

    I don't want to restart an argument that caused a recent thread to be closed by the Mods, but 90% of the people out there are not as technically sophisticated as the folks here. To design a receiver that works easily for them is sensible in my book.
     
  18. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I felt like I was when I bought that newer Sony. Damn thing totally surprised me.

    Rich
     
  19. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I think Costco has become a dumping ground for "iffy" electronics. Since I stopped buying electronics there, I've had few problems. I know it's a dumping ground for watches, all the watches I bought there had little notes in them stating that they were "seconds" and would be repaired or my money would be returned. What really bothers me about the watches is that there are no signs on the watch displays that state the same thing. You have to buy one to find out that they are seconds. And every one I bought failed quickly.

    Rich
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Now I see that. But the 800 I bought just a year ago didn't have that feature. It just reads out HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc. Never occurred to me that everything could change in a year's time. I just got quickly frustrated and found another 800 and bought it.

    Rich
     

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