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  Reply # 847665 1-Jul-2013 12:09
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NonprayingMantis: 

unfortunately my wife doesn't work like that.

It's not that I don't have the money, I could spend $5k if I didn't have a marriage to worry about. My wife refuses to believe that spending more than $500 on a home theatre is 'worth it'  (this despite her quite happily spending $1k on a pari of curtains for our bedroom, when we already had perfectly serviceable curtains in there in the 'wrong' colour)

although,  maybe I could withdraw $50 a week in cash, save it up, then when I come to buy the HT I could put $500 on eftpos and the rest in cash.  when she looks at the bank, it will look like $500.  I would just have to hide the reciept...


If you are just getting the audio through the horrible TV speakers and want to improve the situation, then your options are;
1) do nothing
2) pay more than will be agreed by 'her indoors' and suffer
3) buy a basic HT in a box with at least 1 HDMI input and a 4 port HDMI switch 

3 is probably at pretty good step forward and something you could live with.

That said http://www.jbhifi.co.nz/jb-hi-fi-home-audio/receiver/sony/7-2-channel-home-theatre-receiver-sku-237475/ at $396 - down from $677 would be worth a look wouldnt it?
They also have a 5.1 Wharfdale speaker pack for $277 - though the amp says its 7.2 I presume it can run in 5.1 mode....





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 847673 1-Jul-2013 12:56
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NonprayingMantis: I was going to use the HDMI inputs for:

PS3 (for games and bluray)
WD Live media player (for content I definitely didn't download from pirate bay)
TiVo (for freeview/PVR)
Apple TV (for airplay from my ipad/laptop)


Right, the PS3 would need to go to the receiver first, so you can get HD audio (buy a receiver that can handle this) and then on to the TV from there.

TIVO could go direct to the TV, with a coax/optical cable to the receiver.  This also gives you the option of watching TV via TV speakers only, (which I do for many shows such as prime news etc), and then turning on the home theatre for genuine 5.1 shows, (like CSI for example).

WD Live and Apple TV would probably be best to go to the receiver via hdmi.  It all really depends on what you play from these as to how important this will be.

Anyway, that lets you get a 3 hdmi input receiver and still watch/listen through the best quality audio and visual formats possible.  That bit of info might open a few doors to alternatives for you.  I wouldn't let a requirement for 4 hdmi lead your purchasing in this case.



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  Reply # 847677 1-Jul-2013 13:00
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Jaxson:
NonprayingMantis: I was going to use the HDMI inputs for:

PS3 (for games and bluray)
WD Live media player (for content I definitely didn't download from pirate bay)
TiVo (for freeview/PVR)
Apple TV (for airplay from my ipad/laptop)


Right, the PS3 would need to go to the receiver first, so you can get HD audio (buy a receiver that can handle this) and then on to the TV from there.

TIVO could go direct to the TV, with a coax/optical cable to the receiver.  This also gives you the option of watching TV via TV speakers only, (which I do for many shows such as prime news etc), and then turning on the home theatre for genuine 5.1 shows, (like CSI for example).

WD Live and Apple TV would probably be best to go to the receiver via hdmi.  It all really depends on what you play from these as to how important this will be.

Anyway, that lets you get a 3 hdmi input receiver and still watch/listen through the best quality audio and visual formats possible.  That bit of info might open a few doors to alternatives for you.  I wouldn't let a requirement for 4 hdmi lead your purchasing in this case.


so to be clear then,  putting everything into the TV, then optical to a receiver = bad.

Will the sound from, say, the Ps3 be downgraded by doing that?

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  Reply # 847680 1-Jul-2013 13:07
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Yes it will, the PS3 can take advantage of the lossless audio tracks on BluRay discs via HDMI, however it cannot produce this audio when you take the sound the receiver via an optical cable.



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  Reply # 847685 1-Jul-2013 13:18
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Dunnersfella: Yes it will, the PS3 can take advantage of the lossless audio tracks on BluRay discs via HDMI, however it cannot produce this audio when you take the sound the receiver via an optical cable.


does that apply for just bluray movies, or games too?  Because I very rarely actually watch blu-ray movies (what with netflix, bittorrent and the pirate bay...)
but I do play games quite a bit.

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  Reply # 847686 1-Jul-2013 13:21
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NonprayingMantis:

so to be clear then,  putting everything into the TV, then optical to a receiver = bad.

Will the sound from, say, the Ps3 be downgraded by doing that?


Just to be clear, I'm not saying that necessarily. 

I am saying that you can chose to send the video only component to the TV and the sound only component to the receiver if you want to.  This (apart from possible picture/audio syncing delays) will be absolutely fine as long as the source is not HD audio (probably relative to bluray via the PS3 component only).

What typically happens with HDMI is the source component has a discussion with the first connected component as to what audio and video types it can display.  If it goes to the TV first the TV says it can handle stereo only (as it's only got two speakers).  Then, even if you are watching a 5.1 DVD, the TV will only pass 2 channel stereo on to the receiver.  The receiver will then try to fake 5.1 and it will sound like crap.

If you then fed the same source to the receiver first, the reciever will say yes I can handle 5.1, so the source will feed it 5.1 and everything will sound great.  The picture/video component will be the same either way.  So....

Mate, it's over to you, but in some instances feeding audio to the TV first and then on to the receiver won't work particularly well. 

PS3 can do HD audio, which can only be transmitted via hdmi.  So, whatever you do, make sure you connect the PS3 and any bluray device directly to the receiver via hdmi.  The rest, it's over to you.  The TIVO though is a classic opportunity to feed hdmi to the TV but also an optical / dig coax cable to the receiver for times where you want to run the freeview audio via the receiver.

If you watch torrent TV shows etc then you're likely talking about 2 channel stereo compressed audio.  In which case, you could once again do hdmi to the TV for video and optical/dig coax to the receiver for audio.  The main point of raising this was to show that you don't really need 4+ hdmi inputs to connect this all up.



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  Reply # 847697 1-Jul-2013 13:32
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Jaxson:
NonprayingMantis:

so to be clear then,  putting everything into the TV, then optical to a receiver = bad.

Will the sound from, say, the Ps3 be downgraded by doing that?


Just to be clear, I'm not saying that necessarily. 

I am saying that you can chose to send the video only component to the TV and the sound only component to the receiver if you want to.  This (apart from possible picture/audio syncing delays) will be absolutely fine as long as the source is not HD audio (probably relative to bluray via the PS3 component only).

What typically happens with HDMI is the source component has a discussion with the first connected component as to what audio and video types it can display.  If it goes to the TV first the TV says it can handle stereo only (as it's only got two speakers).  Then, even if you are watching a 5.1 DVD, the TV will only pass 2 channel stereo on to the receiver.  The receiver will then try to fake 5.1 and it will sound like crap.

If you then fed the same source to the receiver first, the reciever will say yes I can handle 5.1, so the source will feed it 5.1 and everything will sound great.  The picture/video component will be the same either way.  So....

Mate, it's over to you, but in some instances feeding audio to the TV first and then on to the receiver won't work particularly well. 

PS3 can do HD audio, which can only be transmitted via hdmi.  So, whatever you do, make sure you connect the PS3 and any bluray device directly to the receiver via hdmi.  The rest, it's over to you.  The TIVO though is a classic opportunity to feed hdmi to the TV but also an optical / dig coax cable to the receiver for times where you want to run the freeview audio via the receiver.

If you watch torrent TV shows etc then you're likely talking about 2 channel stereo compressed audio.  In which case, you could once again do hdmi to the TV for video and optical/dig coax to the receiver for audio.  The main point of raising this was to show that you don't really need 4+ hdmi inputs to connect this all up.


cool, thanks that helps.

It's all bloody confusing, and having to explain this second hand to my wife in laymens terms is even harder.

At the moment my main justification for buying this (to her) goes something like:

"you know how explosions are really really loud but then you can barely hear voices? that is because we are watching is stereo. watching in 5.1 will stop that because you can increase the centre speaker volume to the right level which handles the voice"

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  Reply # 847700 1-Jul-2013 13:39
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NonprayingMantis:

At the moment my main justification for buying this (to her) goes something like:

"you know how explosions are really really loud but then you can barely hear voices? that is because we are watching is stereo. watching in 5.1 will stop that because you can increase the centre speaker volume to the right level which handles the voice"


Oh come on man....  Your requirements are jumping all over the place Wink 

You want to enable 'midnight' mode or dynamic range compression etc.  That will allow you to reduce the volume difference between the two.  You can do this often in dolby digital soundtracks, but not DTS versions.

But yes, that is a benefit of a receiver, in that you can significantly boost the centre speaker volume so you can 'enhance' the dialogue. 

The main reason they are different is that in real life an explosion is somewhat louder than a casual conversation volume.  ie it's meant to be that way.  But yes, a receiver does allow you to tweak that sort of thing.  It's nothing to do with being in stereo is all...

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  Reply # 847707 1-Jul-2013 13:50
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wasabi2k: Put your 500 away now.
Save 50 a week (or fortnight, or month, depending on income) for a few weeks/months.

Spend 700-900 dollars on something decent.

A good receiver is the heart of your home theatre, you can upgrade speakers later. Read the reviews, find something decent in a realistic price range, then save.




Terrible advice. Almost all your money should be spent on speakers. Good quality speakers will improve the sound of a poor quality source far more than poor quality speakers from a good quality source.

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  Reply # 847749 1-Jul-2013 15:24
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i think it doesnt matter which way you spend your money, speakers first or receiver first, i mean if he only has $700 bucks and buys half a good speaker what use is it to him. but yes, speakers most important. but you are talking about someone looking for something to plug 4 hdmis thru, and here we are trying to sell him $5000 worth of speakers? i think it's a bit off topic, but yes your advise is spot on for someone buying a home theatre system

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  Reply # 847758 1-Jul-2013 15:51
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tukapa1: I'm not sure why you woudl buy 2nd hand to save a few bucks when you get this Pioneer for $347 with a full warranty to boot.

From what Ive seen on TradeMe the 2nd hand ones aren't going for much cheaper than that - especially once you add shipping.


For what it's worth I got one of these with a basic Pioneer 5.1 speaker setup for $399 on Boxing Day. Hesitated for hours about buying such a basic amp but eventually bit the bullet. I don't regret it at all - while it's definitely light on features, it's absolutely reliable, easy to operate and fills all of my actual "needs" (as opposed to wants). The sound from the included speakers is good enough for now, and I'm 100% sure the receiver is nowhere near being the weak link in that chain.

It is obviously not a good fit for a high-end setup with loads of expensive gear, and I expect to upgrade it whenever I get around to dropping serious money on my A/V setup. But, if your actual needs are similar to mine (4x HDMI inputs, hookups for 2 front, 2 rear, 1 centre and 1 sub, and the ability to send your digital signal to all 6 speakers in a variety of ways) then it's more than enough. Sure, it'd be nice to have an OSD and fancy speaker calibration tools, but after I spent the 30 minutes setting it all up the day I got it, then I'd never touch those features anyway. It's so easy to get sucked into spending significantly more than you need to with this stuff.

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  Reply # 847782 1-Jul-2013 16:55
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1080p:
wasabi2k: Put your 500 away now.
Save 50 a week (or fortnight, or month, depending on income) for a few weeks/months.

Spend 700-900 dollars on something decent.

A good receiver is the heart of your home theatre, you can upgrade speakers later. Read the reviews, find something decent in a realistic price range, then save.




Terrible advice. Almost all your money should be spent on speakers. Good quality speakers will improve the sound of a poor quality source far more than poor quality speakers from a good quality source.


Terrible advice?
The phrase goes...
Rubbish in, rubbish out.
Fact - good speakers CANNOT improve a poor quality source whatsoever. They are pushing sound waves into the room, that's about it. Saying otherwise is just 100% off.
If it's crap, it's crap.
Better speakers may alter the tambre, or provide different bass extension yadaya, but they won't do anything else. EQ / resamplinf at the amplifier end can improve things, but trust, me it won't turn vinegar into wine (occasionally it'll turn it into water) - however it may well leave it as vinegar.
Source first.

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  Reply # 848115 2-Jul-2013 10:04
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Dunnersfella: Looks like you're well versed in the art of 'successful management of shared funds'...
I wouldn't touch the VSX322 either, it's under powered and over priced. HN's in Chch has a VSX527 (two models up with networking) for $399 on Saturday, which makes the 322 look like a bad deal for a VERY basic amp, with very basic power capabilities.


Is this a special at all harvey norman's this saturday ? I am down in Dunedin and need a new amp as my very old onkyo sr501 has no hdmi's !

Other option I am looking at is this sony

http://shop.jbhifi.co.nz/hi-fi-home-audio/amps-receivers/sony-strdh740-7-2ch-4k-a-v-receiver/71034

Or else wait for jb hifi to have 30% off receivers and get an onkyo 626 for around $700

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  Reply # 848336 2-Jul-2013 17:03
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Honestly mate, I wouldn't know if Dunedin / Chch have the same specials.
If JB's have both amps in stock, listen to them both and see what you prefer. It's the one thing that should help you make your mind up - reviews / forums etc are just places to get ideas, but listening is the key. If a store isn't keen to demo the gear, go elsewhere. However, I wouldn't go in for a demo at lunchtime on a Saturday! Choose a late night where the store will be relatively quiet.

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  Reply # 848446 2-Jul-2013 22:45
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