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Topic # 182530 20-Oct-2015 08:33
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I'm finally going to retire my 9 year old (HD ready...) Samsung plasma with a 4k set of some description and figure I could also upgrade my (nearly as old) Marantz HT receiver as it is a bit lacking on the feature set side of things. 

I don't want to spend megabucks, maybe ~$1k, but nor do I know what a lot of the more useful features in HT receivers are these days.
- I like the idea of network connectivity, but don't mind if it's not there as I have some Sonos gear. I see airplay is an option, does this include full video support, or just audio?
- ARC... why do I want this? I'll be using a Harmony remote to control everything, but can this still help simplify the harmony side of things?
- 4k Upscaling. I read a while back that this can be hit and miss unless I spend my left kidney, but is it as reliant on a decent panel as it is on the conversion hardware in the receiver? I won't be spending my right kidney on a new tv.
- 4:4:4 Huh?

Anyone care to share their thoughts? Maybe you have one you like, why?

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  Reply # 1409592 20-Oct-2015 08:51
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Network connectivity will typically include audio only... typically.
DLNA audio, Airplay audio, Bluetooth, multi-room streaming (being built into some amps and associated products now), Spotify, Pandora etc.
ARC - is horrible, just use an optical cable to take audio back from the TV tuner / smart functionality. While interlinked, ARC has nothing to do with controlling the amp... the acronym for that is HDMI CEC, and your Harmony is far better at doing this.
4k Upscaling = meh. Blu-ray players, amps and TV's can up-scale... just pick the device in your home that does the best job. I find that it's normally the TV.
However if you have analogue cables running into the amp (composite = red / white / yellow) then the ability to up-convert from analogue to digital is handy from a cabling perspective.
4:4:4 = where you need to be if you want to buy a UHD TV that handles the expanded colour gamut that will come our way with the launch of Ultra High Definition Blu-ray players.
Make sure the amp is a 'current gen' unit and you should be fine re: HDMI HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0a connectivity.

What speakers are you driving?
How many of them are there?
How big is your room?
What model is your existing Marantz.
Some (and by NO means all) of the old amps were low on features, but had good quality power supplies on-board. However, you'll be able to enjoy lossless surround sound audio with a new amp, so that may well be a mute point... as the source material delivery has improved somewhat.

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  Reply # 1409597 20-Oct-2015 08:53
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http://www.avalon.co.nz/onkyo/680-onkyo-tx-sr343.html

or go up a model if you have the $$. The Guys at Avalon (the Agents in NZ) are great. 

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1409606 20-Oct-2015 09:10
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LennonNZ: http://www.avalon.co.nz/onkyo/680-onkyo-tx-sr343.html

or go up a model if you have the $$. The Guys at Avalon (the Agents in NZ) are great. 


Hi I am having the same dilemma. That Onkyo is not very future proofed it does Dolby Atmos but not DTS-X ( to be fair you may not want to put speakers in your ceiling to do Dolby Atmos so DTS-X could become very important going forward with the ability to to 3D audio without height speakers ) so I have decided to go with the Denon AVR-X4200W and will be doing 7.1.2 in the very near future due early Novemebr.

This is a link here http://usa.denon.com/us/product/hometheater/avreceiversht/avrx4200w





My gear 55" Samsung 4K SUHD LCD HDR , Denon AVR-4200W Reciever in 7.1.2 Surround , Denon 2 Channel Amp to power ceiling speakers , Combination of Polk Audio Fronts And Tannoy Surrounds plus 2 Cambridge Audio Ceiling Speakers Pioneer Downfiring Subwoofer , Oppo UDP-203 UHD Player , Roku Ultra , Apple TV 3



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  Reply # 1409615 20-Oct-2015 09:24
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Thanks for the tips. 

- I have a Marantz SR5200 now. While being a great receiver it's feeling its age when I see others in the stores.
- I don't need massive output or atmos support really. I've got a 5.1 wharfedale diamond 9/10's? setup and won't be upgrading those as they are fine for me. 
- The space is not large, maybe 4x5m at most. 
- Multi zone might be nice as I am planning on adding some external speakers at some point

The Onkyo looks nice but I suspect I might like more inputs on the back. HTPC+BluRay+Chromecast/AppleTV+PS3/4+whatever

I don't need all the fancy bells and whistles as far as Atmos/DTS-X goes. I just can't see me ever wanting to spend the money on the gear to make the most of it. 

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  Reply # 1409636 20-Oct-2015 09:33
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The Diamond's are 6ohms and not overly efficient... so don't go too cheap.
However, the $1000 - $1500 price range should see you right.
Do your research on connectivity, longevity etc and then make sure you're happy with the remote / apps they use.
Controlling multi-room via the app is very much preferable to using a remote control.

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  Reply # 1409673 20-Oct-2015 10:12
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LennonNZ: http://www.avalon.co.nz/onkyo/680-onkyo-tx-sr343.html

or go up a model if you have the $$. The Guys at Avalon (the Agents in NZ) are great. 


Or wait until JB hi-fi have the next model up TX-NR646(B)) on special as they do frequently. Just finished being $991, but you could probably get them to sell it to you for about that. Not sure that the distributer would like to undercut their retailers but they may do.





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  Reply # 1414341 27-Oct-2015 08:41
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For those who might come across this in the future, what i've ended up with is a bit of a work around for now. 

The TV i bought is a Samsung JU7500 and it comes with a One Connect Mini which is essentially an input breakout box. It means only one cable running back to the TV for all 4 of the HDMI inputs. I've got everything plugged into that, and then use its optical audio out to send audio back to the receiver. 

Essentially, it makes the receiver do nothing but audio processing, no HDMI pass through or need for 4k converting. 

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  Reply # 1414381 27-Oct-2015 09:39
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Typically, any time you input an HDMI cable into a TV - with the aim of sending the audio back via optical... your results may vary.
Basically, the TV will be seen as the 'end point' by the HDMI connection, and as a TV typically only offers stereo audio - then that's what the TV will output via optical cable.
This means your receiver will only be send 2-channel audio over optical...
Obviously, optical can not transmit the lossless formats either.

Note - this is only true if the input is HDMI.
If you're watching Freeview via the built-in TV tuner, or playing anything across the network features / plugging in a USB stick, there's no HDMI input involved - so surround sound is available (where applicable).



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  Reply # 1414449 27-Oct-2015 10:32
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Interesting notes. 

I didn't spend much time fiddling, as I set the TV to DTS audio and the receiver picked it up as 5.1. Is this a kind of conversion that's going on as well?

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  Reply # 1415073 27-Oct-2015 20:43
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There are a handful of TV's on the market that can take HDMI inputs and output multi-channel audio via optical.
Make sure the amp is set to 'straight' or 'thru' so you know what the amp is truly receiving, and not just 'upscaling'.


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  Reply # 1417330 30-Oct-2015 20:19
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I bought a RX-A3040 not so long ago which has 4K pass though, but even though 4K pass through the ports are still HDMI 1.4, so really the concept is marginal for the long haul as HDMI is currently at 2.0a and likely to be 2.1 before long.

I'm not to worried though because I intend to split video and sound when the time comes that I can't transport the video over the AV unit.

For my own needs I really find the AV unit has too many options that I will never use, in fact I wish I could delete all the crap default sound effect modes that I don't need. Mainly because the wife uses the wrong up arrow on the remote and changes mode attempting to alter sound level.

Although some users may use a number of the options of AV units, I believe many don't, so something to keep in mind when they list a squillion features, really the majority use a select few for their own setup. Make sure these will function first.

Future proofing, not sure it is possible past about 2~3 years before any upgrades will become difficult.
If you buy now, buy for current needs and technology, future proof as much as you can, but also remember the tech can change path rendering future proofing a waste of effort.




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www.mastercal.co.nz

 

 

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  Reply # 1417582 31-Oct-2015 10:54
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Masterpiece: I bought a RX-A3040 not so long ago which has 4K pass though, but even though 4K pass through the ports are still HDMI 1.4, so really the concept is marginal for the long haul as HDMI is currently at 2.0a and likely to be 2.1 before long.

I'm not to worried though because I intend to split video and sound when the time comes that I can't transport the video over the AV unit.

For my own needs I really find the AV unit has too many options that I will never use, in fact I wish I could delete all the crap default sound effect modes that I don't need. Mainly because the wife uses the wrong up arrow on the remote and changes mode attempting to alter sound level.

Although some users may use a number of the options of AV units, I believe many don't, so something to keep in mind when they list a squillion features, really the majority use a select few for their own setup. Make sure these will function first.

Future proofing, not sure it is possible past about 2~3 years before any upgrades will become difficult.
If you buy now, buy for current needs and technology, future proof as much as you can, but also remember the tech can change path rendering future proofing a waste of effort.


I suppose there's 4 fixes for the remote control.
1: Buy a spare remote from the likes of a RXV479. It has minimal buttons and should take care of almost all of your day-to-day needs.
http://soundgroup.co.nz/sites/default/files/RXV479_NPB_0.pdf

2: Save your main functions with the 'scene select' function. That way you can short cut the inputs that are the most popular, meaning all your wife will need to do is press the scene button and control the volume. If you save the scene to be using the 'Straight' setting, then that will put an end to the EQ settings you don't like.

3: Buy a Harmony Ultimate and programme it all in, it's a piece of cake.

4: Use the AV Controller App. You can remove all the un-used inputs, re-name the inputs / zones etc and have 12 scenes pre-loaded for ease of use.

A little customization goes a long way to fixing the tricky parts I guess.

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