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  Reply # 187623 5-Jan-2009 19:39 Send private message

Jaxson: Hi all,

Just to report back, I plugged in the Onkyo last night, watched Kungfu Panda with the wife.  Has a Dolby True HD soundtrack.

Onkyo 576 works flippen amazingly great. 
No other way to say it.
Just set PS3 to decode to PCM and receiver lights up with 7.1 or 5.1 lpcm input lights and shows the sample rate too, awesome.
Interface is on the unit only, no video out but this is fine as it's actually really easy to configure from there.
Remote also works on my Philips HDD recorder and Samsung TV, great...


Cool. And now you make feel guilty for not having installed mine yet :-(

I think my connections might be a bit trickier since I need to wire in 3 HDMI connections and also repropram a Harmony 880 remote which is one of the reasons I have been holding off. But your experiences have got me motivated now!




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR running on Gigabyte Brix, Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Logitech Revue, Pioneer AVR, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player, Roku XS media player

Check out my blog at lchiu.blogspot.com

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  Reply # 187706 6-Jan-2009 08:53 Send private message

Hi lchiu7.  Yeah good luck with yours.  The receiver is not so fully featured as a receiver in that it doesn't output analogue input signals out over the hdmi for instance, and can't output a digital input over the zone two outputs, only analogue etc.  If you were trying to use the receiver for this sort of thing then the Onkyo 606 is the way to go, was $1099 I think on sale, but normally $1799 or so.

For me I simply wanted access to the HD audio formats and this receiver has done that perfectly.  The new formats are zipped using different techniques and either your bluray source or your receiver need to know how to extract the raw info out of them.  Given the PS3 does all of them and can only decode itself, can't bitstream to a receiver to extract, then this receiver is the perfect fit.  It's got a very good/easy interface on the front screen, very clear and I don't miss not having a setup menu on the tv screen as well like my last Pioneer receiver had.

Big thing I've noticed is that the sound stage seems more complete.  In the past the rear speakers were mainly for effects but the new formats seem to use them more to enhance the whole sound.  Even though the formats can handle sound up to 18-24 Mb most of the movies sit around the 3-4 mark with occasional spikes up to 7 where needed.  Either way it beats 0.7 max from DVD days.

Thanks for your help,
Jackson.

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  Reply # 187859 6-Jan-2009 19:09 Send private message

Jaxson:.. and can't output a digital input over the zone two outputs, only analogue etc.  If you were trying to use the receiver for this sort of thing then the Onkyo 606 is the way to go, was $1099 I think on sale, but normally $1799 or so.
Thanks for your help,
Jackson.


That is probably the one function that I would have liked to have. This is because I have speakers that need active equalisation and in the pre-digital age you would route the tape monitor out to the equaliser and then back to the amp, or if you were lucky the amp had pre out and mains in for all channels (only need fronts of course). But AVR's these days don't have tape monitor loops and even if they did, they only function on analogue signal. Similarly if Zone 2 had outputs from digital sources also, I could have disconnected the main front speakers, routed zone 2 through the equaliser and then to the speakers and use zone 2 as my main fronts.

But glad to be able to have helped. Noticed today they were back to $1099 at HN




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR running on Gigabyte Brix, Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Logitech Revue, Pioneer AVR, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player, Roku XS media player

Check out my blog at lchiu.blogspot.com

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  Reply # 188400 9-Jan-2009 15:49 Send private message

Hello All,

HN had the Onkyo SR576 for $595 just prior to the New Year.  They have once again gone down the 30 Month Interest Free path and pushed prices back up.  If one was purchasing for cash perhaps they may still do the $595 deal.  PS3 decode of TrueHD & DTS-HD with LPCM output (and a budget constraint) tipped the scales on purchasing the 576.  Future proof enough for me.

Have a crack at HN at $595 cash, one never knows ....

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Geek


  Reply # 188795 11-Jan-2009 14:29 Send private message

Hey all,

I have been watching this thread with interest and I would like to ask if anyone know if there are any receivers available at the moment for a reasonable price like the Onkyo 576 as forementioned? I have recently purchased a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player and am on the lookout for a receiver to complete my Home theatre but I am on a somewhat limited budget.

I have found the below information on www.avrev.com while browsing though endless pages online and was hoping that some of you might be able to point me in the direction of a suitable receiver to fulfill my needs. And from what i have read, it will need to have the HDMI repeater feature am I correct?

 "The Audio Setup menu provides three options that allow you to configure the player’s digital audio output to suit your system’s capabilities. The PCM setting utilizes the player’s internal decoders -- Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby TrueHD – and can output up to 7.1-channel PCM audio over HDMI. Secondary audio cues, like menu sound effects and PIP audio, are mixed in, so you do get to hear the complete audio package. However, the player doesn’t have an internal DTS-HD Master Audio decoder; so, when you select PCM, the player decodes the core DTS stream in a DTS-HD MA soundtrack and passes it over HDMI. This choice is best for someone who has an HDMI-equipped receiver that lacks high-resolution audio decoding but will accept uncompressed PCM.

I will be hooking it up to my BD-P1500 and my Samsung 46"Series 5 Full LCD.

Any help will be much appreciated!

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Master Geek


  Reply # 188841 11-Jan-2009 20:25 Send private message

MCONZ: Hey all,

I have been watching this thread with interest and I would like to ask if anyone know if there are any receivers available at the moment for a reasonable price like the Onkyo 576 as forementioned? I have recently purchased a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player and am on the lookout for a receiver to complete my Home theatre but I am on a somewhat limited budget.

I have found the below information on www.avrev.com while browsing though endless pages online and was hoping that some of you might be able to point me in the direction of a suitable receiver to fulfill my needs. And from what i have read, it will need to have the HDMI repeater feature am I correct?

 "The Audio Setup menu provides three options that allow you to configure the player’s digital audio output to suit your system’s capabilities. The PCM setting utilizes the player’s internal decoders -- Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby TrueHD – and can output up to 7.1-channel PCM audio over HDMI. Secondary audio cues, like menu sound effects and PIP audio, are mixed in, so you do get to hear the complete audio package. However, the player doesn’t have an internal DTS-HD Master Audio decoder; so, when you select PCM, the player decodes the core DTS stream in a DTS-HD MA soundtrack and passes it over HDMI. This choice is best for someone who has an HDMI-equipped receiver that lacks high-resolution audio decoding but will accept uncompressed PCM.

I will be hooking it up to my BD-P1500 and my Samsung 46"Series 5 Full LCD.

Any help will be much appreciated!


hi mconz, like yourself i'm also new here but i have been an avid long reader of this forum and finally i had the courage to register :D

anyway, the price of the onkyo 576 is really really hard to beat. there are some denons on tardme from trader hifionline which have very very sharp prices, but it's still not close to the onkyo's price tag. mind you, those denons there have the capabilty of internally decoding DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD and DD+, so the spec is better than onkyo. (PS : i myself used to have denon 3808 which i found a very fantastic unit and very user friendly, but now i'm using onkyo tx-nr906)

i don't see why you need an hdmi repeater. AFAIK, you only need a repeater if you want to use long run cable, eg.10m+, or if you are combining 2 or more cables. you could do away without this repeater if you're using a very good cable. i run 10m qed hdmi-p cable with no repeater and picture is fantastic. i used to use cheap cable before this, and the colors were washed out, signals dropping out, etc.



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Geek


  Reply # 189065 12-Jan-2009 19:08 Send private message

Hey GReX, I had been registered on here years and years ago, but have not logged on for probably  three quarters of that time so i had to re-registerSmile

Well from what I understand, the repeater allows the digital sound signal through the HDMI cable to be split thus allowing the audio to be output by the receiver whilst sending the video through to the tv, whilst HDMI switching simply passes both video and audio through the receiver thus not splitting the two and so an optical cable would need to be used to process the audio by the receiver. Am I correct?

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Reply # 189066 12-Jan-2009 19:23 Send private message

MCONZ: I had been registered on here years and years ago, but have not logged on for probably  three quarters of that time so i had to re-registerSmile


User accounts are not deleted so you should have it still around here...

PM if you want the accounts merged.





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Master Geek


  Reply # 189077 12-Jan-2009 20:57 Send private message

Well from what I understand, the repeater allows the digital sound signal through the HDMI cable to be split thus allowing the audio to be output by the receiver whilst sending the video through to the tv, whilst HDMI switching simply passes both video and audio through the receiver thus not splitting the two and so an optical cable would need to be used to process the audio by the receiver. Am I correct?


hdmi carries audio and video signals together in 1 single cable. when you plug in a bluray player into your receiver via hdmi, your receiver receives both audio and video signals, so you won't need an optical cable to feed the sound... well you could but you're not getting the "HD-quality" sound, only normal DD or DTS signals. as far as i know, all receivers equipped with hdmi inputs, will give you an option in the menu whether you want to output the sound with the receiver itself or through the tv (providing the tv has got hdmi connection).

my understanding for hdmi switching and repeater is :
- switching : receiver will have more than 1 hdmi input hence it can switch between inputs. you can plug in your dvd into hdmi 1, your bd-player into hdmi 2 etc, and at a press of a button (in the remote or the receiver) you can switch between dvd or bd-player or else.
- repeater : it acts like an amplifier. im not very technical person, but in the past i have experienced using a repeater. the repeater will maintain the signals strength especially on very long run distance and average hdmi cable. this to avoid quality degradation on the receiving end which could be an audio drop outs, flushed colors, etc etc.

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Geek


  Reply # 189084 12-Jan-2009 21:28 Send private message

GReX: hdmi carries audio and video signals together in 1 single cable. when you plug in a bluray player into your receiver via hdmi, your receiver receives both audio and video signals, so you won't need an optical cable to feed the sound... well you could but you're not getting the "HD-quality" sound, only normal DD or DTS signals. as far as i know, all receivers equipped with hdmi inputs, will give you an option in the menu whether you want to output the sound with the receiver itself or through the tv (providing the tv has got hdmi connection).

my understanding for hdmi switching and repeater is :
- switching : receiver will have more than 1 hdmi input hence it can switch between inputs. you can plug in your dvd into hdmi 1, your bd-player into hdmi 2 etc, and at a press of a button (in the remote or the receiver) you can switch between dvd or bd-player or else.
- repeater : it acts like an amplifier. im not very technical person, but in the past i have experienced using a repeater. the repeater will maintain the signals strength especially on very long run distance and average hdmi cable. this to avoid quality degradation on the receiving end which could be an audio drop outs, flushed colors, etc etc.


Thanks for that, that makes it a lot easier to understand for a HD noob like meSmile

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  Reply # 189087 12-Jan-2009 21:39 Send private message

While HDMI can carry audio and video there are many AVR's out there that only process video over HDMI. So while you can connect several components to the AVR and have it switch them to one TV, you will need a separate connection for audio. The more expensive ones will carry both audio and video (though one doesn't necessarily want to carry audio to the TV) and even better, process the audio over HDMI as bitstream or PCH depending on whether or not they can process Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master or just decode PCM.




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR running on Gigabyte Brix, Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Logitech Revue, Pioneer AVR, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player, Roku XS media player

Check out my blog at lchiu.blogspot.com

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  Reply # 189137 13-Jan-2009 09:08 Send private message

MCONZ:However, the player doesn’t have an internal DTS-HD Master Audio decoder


Think of the bluray sound formats, and even DVD ones too, as being like a zipped file format.  Only each on requires a different bit of software to unzip/expand to the raw sound data.  Kind of like mp3 sound format, and the windows sound one etc etc which all have to be converted back to basic wav format before they can be played.  Or like jpeg, bmp, gif, tiff picture formats etc.  At some stage all the sound files need to be converted back to LPCM before the can be played.

Now you can either buy a very expensive Amp that has the ability to decode these itself, or you can buy an expensive bluray player which has the ability to decode these itself.  It has to be decoded somewhere. 
The Samsung 1500 can either:
a) bitstream the audio, which means don't process it, just pass it on to the receiver.
b) decode it internally and pass the raw LPCM to a receiver.  It can decode all formats except for DTS-HD Master.

I went with the PS3 because eventually I hope PlayTV arrives and it will be my video recorder/bluray player one device to do it all sort of thing.  The PS3 can not bitstream out the bluray audio formats, it can only decode them itself and output the raw LPCM.  There is no benefit in getting an expensive amplifier to connect to the PS3, other than the more power/extra sound features it will have being a more expensive model.  Fundamentally though it's not required to gain access to the bluray HD audio.

So in short/general: a cheap bluray player will not internally decode and you'll need a flash receiver.
A fancy bluray player/PS3 will internally decode to LPCM so you don't need such a fancy receiver.
The Onkyo 575 works fine if you pass it LPCM, so is a great match for a PS3/expensive Bluray Player. 

Plan b:
Sony and Panasonic have two models of bluray player, a base one that can't decode internally, and a top of the range that does and often has analogue outputs as well.  the samsung 1400 did this.  Some older amps with no hdmi eg Pioneer 816 etc have 5.1 analogue inputs that can be connected to a bluray player that decodes internally and outputs as 5.1 or 7.1 analogue audio.  In this case though it's straight pass through and none of the receivers settings apply, like microphone set equalisers, distance to speakers, speaker size etc, so not really ideal.

Sorry, huge post but hope that kind of helps?
Cheers, Jackson.

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  Reply # 189139 13-Jan-2009 09:12 Send private message

lchiu7: So while you can connect several components to the AVR and have it switch them to one TV, you will need a separate connection for audio.
Isn't it a real stupid pain in the asr that Sony have chosen to not allow the PS3 to output audio/video over multiple outputs at the same time?!

With the Onkyo Zone two only being analogue output, I'd love to connect both the hdmi and the analogue output of the PS3 to the receiver at the same time, in case I wanted to play music in the lounge plus Zone 2 at the same time etc.  You get this sort of functionality on most other devices. 

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Reply # 189681 15-Jan-2009 08:18 Send private message

Thanks for that Jaxson. So either way, I could purchase an Onkyo SR576 or a SR606 and both would work almost as fine as each other, depending on the sound output setting being set in my BD-P1500 to either LPCM or Bitstream respectively.

This really makes it easier to choose a receiver.

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  Reply # 189685 15-Jan-2009 08:38 Send private message

Yeah in concept the different audio formats are pretty easy to understand, it's just hard to get all the info in one place.  It all boils down to either letting the player decode or the receiver.

Basically there's 3 levels of Bluray audio:
The lowest is a fairly similar copy of what we currently get on DVD, which is Dolby Digital and DTS.
Then are less compressed formats which sounds better, but are still compressed.  eg Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution
Then are the 3 uncompressed formats, which is really what you want if it's available.  These are: PCM, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA

DTS-HD MA format is not included on the 1500 and lately it has been on a few FOX studio titles I've watched.  The 606 can decode all current formats itself, so you'd need this to get DTS-MA going with a 1500 player.  If you don't have it, it's quite a clever format though, in that it gives you a base DTS like you got on DVD as well, so it's not like you get no sound altogether, just a compressed lower quality one.

Anyhow, it's great when you get it all sussed and up and running.  Really good with the new generation of HD displays etc.  Just costs a bit to set it all up, especially if like me you only fairly recently upgraded the receiver in the first place!

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