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1790 posts

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# 261387 25-Nov-2019 09:02
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Hello.

 

I am super happy with my Samsung QLED 4K TV, but now not so happy with my old non-4K Onkyo A/V receiver and PS3 (which I used for games once but then used solely as a bluray and DLNA player).

 

I would like to buy the new 4K/UHD blurays but have nothing to put them in.

 

If Santa is feeling generous, what AVR and player would you recommend I can put on his list that wont break the bank?

 

Thanks.

 

PS I have 5.1 speakers if that's important.

 

PPS There is standard Bluray, then 4K bluray, then UHD bluray, right?





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552 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2360338 25-Nov-2019 10:02
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So, there is UHD (AKA 4k) blu-ray and blu-ray (AKA 1080p). In some cases they will even share lossless sound-tracks between versions, so you are essentially paying for the higher resolution and HDR. Which depends on the source material, as a lot of modern movies are up-scaled from a 2k transfer anyway, but older films may be directly from higher quality film. But i digress...

 

For your setup, I would get either the Panasonic UB420 or as an upgrade, the UB820. Most of the issues with players revolve around Dolby Vision, so congratulations, by buying Samsung, you can go straight to HDR10+. Not a lot of UHD blu-rays support it at the moment (Alita:Battle Angel and Alien are the only two I know of), but it is growing slowly. Both feature Panasonic's awesome image processing, the only difference being DV support on the 820 and slightly more premium finishes, including a front display. Up to you whether the difference is worth it, but I am eyeing the 820 for DV support.

 

You could also get an Xbox one or PS4, but I wouldn't advise it to use for UHD blu-ray. A stand-alone UHD player will be a much better experience.

 

 

 

AVR wise, how much do you want to spend haha?

 

Less than a $1000? If you are not planning on going past 5.1.2 or 7.1 for the time being and aren't too fussed about premium features, go for an 2019 Onkyo NR-686. I have the previous model and it packs in a premium DAC and every streaming service under the sun. Room correction is... meh. Amps aren't the greatest, but I am running notoriously thirsty 4ohm Emotiva L,C,R and it never struggles or overheats driving those in 5.1 at full length movie listening levels. The 2018 Marantz sr5013 also just slots in as well, which I imagine will have a slightly better amp section, but you are paying more for it.

 

$1000-2000? At the top end of that range, the 2018 Marantz SR7013 is a steal at $1999 currently. 5.2.4 onboard capable w 7.2.4 channel processing w/ full pre-outs and external amp. Top notch room correction software (Audysey XT32). Otherwise I would also take a look at the new 2019 Onkyo RZ840, comparable features to the sr7013 for the same price. Closer to $1000, older 2018 Onkyo RZ830 for around about $1500, 2018 Marantz sr6013 also if it is on a decent special to push it down.

 

I would keep an eye out for how the prices move around Black Friday/Boxing day obviously. Note that all the AVRs I have listed vary between HDCP 2.2 and 2.3 support. Which will only matter if you intend to buy anything requiring HDCP 2.3, then you will need it the entire way up the chain.

 

Unfortunately no AVR manufacturer has implemented HDR10+ as far as I am aware, so if you want to utilise it, you will need to split the signal between the AVR for sound and TV for picture.

 

Edit: Editing 




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  # 2360392 25-Nov-2019 11:44
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Thank you @shinychrome 

 

I guess I should have mentioned that because of my old Onkyo I have vowed and declared, on GZ even, never to get another Onkyo. :)

 

I have spent up to $2000 on AVR's in the past.

 

I shall keep an eye on the UB820 and Marantz units.





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Ultimate Geek


  # 2360409 25-Nov-2019 12:18
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kiwifidget:

 

Thank you @shinychrome 

 

I guess I should have mentioned that because of my old Onkyo I have vowed and declared, on GZ even, never to get another Onkyo. :)

 

I have spent up to $2000 on AVR's in the past.

 

I shall keep an eye on the UB820 and Marantz units.

 

 

Solid choices, I believe they are the best bang for buck at the moment. That's most likely where I would be going if I was starting from scratch today.

 

As a relatively new Onkyo owner, I haven't experienced any of the issues of the older units, but once I started to get into HT and heard about their history, I did do an awful lot of research about it!

 

For what it's worth, they seem to have cleaned up their QA. I was eyeing up a RZ-840 myself as an upgrade but I don't really need to and just want pre-outs and better RC, so might wait until CES 2020 to see whats happening in the market.

 

But the issues with the HDMI boards sounded like a real clusterf***, so I don't blame you for souring on them.

 

 

 

Side note: we still haven't received the 2019 Marantz  SR*014 series units in NZ, but from everything I have read, they are physically 99% the same AVR, just with HDCP 2.3 and eARC etc.


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2360606 25-Nov-2019 19:44
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Speak of the devil and he doth appear, Marantz sr6013 for$1499 at Heathcotes

Mad Scientist
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  # 2360656 25-Nov-2019 22:23
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i'd say any modern AVR, don't pick brand, keep eyes open in the next 28 days and you'll score something. i went from a crazy expensive 2008 denon to a triple figure sony str1080 or something and it was 3x as amazing with its features. technology improves by the day. (the denon died one day and the sony appeared on sale within a couple of weeks iirc). was so happy with the sony i gave away the denon. yes it was quite dead - turned on but no sound - must have blown a something somewhere lol.

 

for 4k blu ray i'd get a xbox one s/x depending on if you are a serious gamer, in the next 28 days and you'll score a deal





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Master Geek


  # 2360740 26-Nov-2019 07:32
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I can’t remember the last blu ray I bought.... seem to stream everything now.

Nvidia shield.

552 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2360833 26-Nov-2019 10:39
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Batman:

 

i'd say any modern AVR, don't pick brand, keep eyes open in the next 28 days and you'll score something. i went from a crazy expensive 2008 denon to a triple figure sony str1080 or something and it was 3x as amazing with its features. technology improves by the day. (the denon died one day and the sony appeared on sale within a couple of weeks iirc). was so happy with the sony i gave away the denon. yes it was quite dead - turned on but no sound - must have blown a something somewhere lol.

 

for 4k blu ray i'd get a xbox one s/x depending on if you are a serious gamer, in the next 28 days and you'll score a deal

 

 

Yeah, even at this end of the market they all seem pretty good these days. Marantz just happens to work out the best for features/price with sales at the moment, but that may change. Sony is about the only one that I wouldn't consider since it is beaten by others on value and they only offer one entry-level AVR anyway.

 

Apart from the usual number of channels powered vs processed, room correction and pre-outs are big points of differentiation. Support for 4k60 passthrough, DV, ATMOS/DT:X, streaming services is almost universal at this point. And pretty much all of them will power all but the most demanding speakers.

 

I'd go separates if they weren't so gorydamn expensive, so my next AVR will definitely have pre-outs.

 

 

 

As someone that uses an XbOX for gaming/movies equally, I would say that it works fine if you are mostly gaming with the odd movie for a basic 4k TV/sound-bar setup.

 

But really, unless you like collecting, the only reason to buy blu-rays (especially UHD) now with so many streaming services offered cheaply is for the bump in picture and sound quality. So if you enjoy the full HT experience and are already invested in a high quality TV/projector and 5.1+ sound setup, it seems a shame to let it down with a mediocre player. Even more so if you have a projector, as I have heard Panasonic's tone-mapping does wonders there.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2360852 26-Nov-2019 11:09
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I thought the TV does all the image processing. What had the blu ready player got to do with picture quality?




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552 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2360875 26-Nov-2019 11:42
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Batman: I thought the TV does all the image processing. What had the blu ready player got to do with picture quality?

 

The TV usually does it best, but they all do or can do ultimately. The blu-ray player reads the file off disc and converts it into a signal that the TV displays and at any stage a device in the chain (TV, blu-ray player, AVR) can apply it's own processing to the signal.

 

SDR-to-HDR, HDR-to-SDR, 1080p-to-4k, 4k-to-1080p etc. Then all the usual garbage your TV might pile on ie. motion enhancements, denoising, BFI etc.

 

In this case, the Panasonic's HCX chip remaps the color brightness of each frame relative to the brightness the display is capable of producing. If a signal is mastered for a brightness that your display is not capable of, it clips it to the effective max. Not a huge difference for bright LED TV's that can potentially reach the 4000nits of the HDR spec, but a projector that might barely scrape a 1/10th of that, it makes a huge difference.

 

Higher quality AVRs, streaming boxes, and players can offer the up- or down-scaling to and from 4k, as well as there own processing algorithms. I have heard the new Shield has a pretty good implementation of this, but most displays will do it better.


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  # 2360900 26-Nov-2019 12:14
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I thought all good oleds have dynamic tone mapping which does what the Panasonic does. At least I think mine does. But I guess if your tv is not oled there's not much point in tweaking pictures.




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654 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2360905 26-Nov-2019 12:25
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Batman: I thought the TV does all the image processing. What had the blu ray player got to do with picture quality?

 

It's not so much the Blu ray player itself but the source content. Streamed content will always be a lower bitrate than disc which will translate into PQ. That said, streamed content would meet the needs of all but the most fussy of HT enthusiasts.

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2360907 26-Nov-2019 12:40
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Batman: I thought all good oleds have dynamic tone mapping which does what the Panasonic does. At least I think mine does. But I guess if your tv is not oled there's not much point in tweaking pictures.

 

You're right, most new non-budget TVs will have their own tone-mapping solution. Panasonic's implementation may or may not be better, but the differences will be much less pronounced probably.

 

I would say it is more a benefit for a projector or older TV, since most outside the high-end seem to struggle to get the brightness for HDR and don't have sophisticated processing.


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  # 2360917 26-Nov-2019 13:21
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So the Panasonic knows each tv's specs,strengths and weaknesses and optimises accordingly? If it doesn't know all that I don't see the point.

Me - feed source to Oled it does the rest.




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  # 2360924 26-Nov-2019 13:43
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My viewpoints - I'm happy with the Onkyo receivers, the most bang for the buck (on special).

 

I was affected by the hdmi issue, twice. What that meant for me was a free upgrade to Dolby Atmos with the newer receiver (along with 4 weeks without a receiver). The newer receiver (I upgraded again) now has Atmos and DTS-X and I have had no issues with it.

 

I have an Xbox one S that I am using as a uhd disk player (atmos seems to be only on the UHD discs, not blue ray discs). It's also useful for streaming Netflix in 4K + Atmos + HDR. It has an inbuilt media player that supports bitstreaming, H.264, H.265, HDR etc. I don't play games on it but my kids do. For the price and versatility, I think it's hard to beat.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2360933 26-Nov-2019 14:10
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Batman: So the Panasonic knows each tv's specs,strengths and weaknesses and optimises accordingly? If it doesn't know all that I don't see the point.

Me - feed source to Oled it does the rest.

 

As I understand it has a bunch of generic pre-sets with further user-tweaking possible to dial it in if needed.

 

I don't think it is intended as a one-size-fits-all-hand-wavium-much-better-now feature, as I said before your displays implementation might be superior. It depends on how good your TV/projector is. 


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