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155 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 27298 21-Oct-2008 12:37
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Hi there. This is another follow-up to my original post - http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=84&TopicId=25391 . I've pretty much finished upgrading my system and have bought a TV. I have 5 pretty decent speakers (Monitor audio) sitting around, and was planning on finally investing in a decent receiver to power them. At the moment, my current 15-years-old-plus pioneer receiver is definately not cutting it - to the point that I'd rather listen to the inbuilt speakers on my new TV than the hissing associated with my speakers (probably due to a combination of onboard, analogue audio, poor wiring, and old receiver - I'm pretty sure my speakers would sound great if supported better!).

This thread is pretty open-ended... Where would you advise that I go for a decent, cheap HDMI A/V receiver? I'd like to pass the HDMI signal out the back of my sapphire radeon 4870 into the receiver, and then from the receiver to my tv. I'll also require some cabling for my speakers (the ones I have are complete crap) and another HDMI cable (longer than 1 meter if possible). To top it off, a decent entry-level subwoofer might be nice.

Does anybody have advice regarding any of these purchases? Which brand is good for entry level equipment? Is entry-level gear worth it or would it be a complete waste of money? Would I notice a big difference using higher quality speaker/HDMI cabling, or is the cheapest good enough? Which store is generally best for this kind of stuff (I'm in christchurch)?

If I didn't give enough information for you to help me, just ask for more and I can take some photos of the back of my speakers or something : )

Cheers!

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  Reply # 172503 21-Oct-2008 12:48
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Alas they are not cheap here. You have to be careful that you are purchasing an AVR that does audio over HDMI. Many of the lower cost ones say HDMI on the front but their HDMI inputs only process video and/or relay audio to the output connector without processing it (relying on your TV).

Cheapest I have seen is an Onkyo TX SR576 which was on special at HM for about $950. You could also look for a Yamaha 661 I think it is now obsolete and has been replaced by the 663. The 661 is still good - processes LPCM audio over HDMI, The 663 has inbuilt proessing for Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master HD but I have no idea if your video card outputs those formats as bitstream or PCM.  Guess it depends on the software player you are using.




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

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, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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155 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 172512 21-Oct-2008 13:20
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Thanks for that : )

I'm not even sure how to find out which audio formats my video card is cabable of outputting! Here's some info I found on the manufacturer's website though:

  • On-chip HDCP
    On-chip HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) makes life easier by allowing you to playback HDCP protected content.**
  • HDMI
    Enjoy the latest audio technologies using HDMI with 7.1 digital surround sound support. Also, xvYCC support allows the user to enjoy a wider range of color when connected to a capable HDTV.

I'm not sure that answers your question!


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  Reply # 172513 21-Oct-2008 13:42
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Two factors in play here. Your hardware and player.

No idea what player you would be using for say BluRay or HD-DVD but let's say it's PowerDVD8. If you want audio over HDMI then your player needs to be able to output PCM or bitstream over HDMI and your video card has to support it.

Then the PCM or bitstream output can be fed into your AVR and decoded.

Sounds like the card can do it - need to make sure the software will enable it. For the best output from BR discs you would need PowerDVD8 Ultra.




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

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, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 




155 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 172516 21-Oct-2008 14:17
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http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-ati-radeon-hd-4870-1024mb-review/3 Ahah! It appears that the 4870 does support PCM.

"...It can pass lossless sound directly through the HDMI connector. This has been upgraded as it's now possible to have 7.1 channel lossless sound, meaning DTS-ES and all other formats have now become a reality. A very nice move indeed as that distance between the living room and your PC is getting smaller each year. Yours truly for example has a nice Onkyo receiver which I connect HDMI to. This receiver will take those 7.1 channel sounds with a lot of interest, process them, and then pass through the HDMI content itself to the HD television. All that over just one HDMI cable.

With the Series 2000/3000/4000 graphics cards you'll receive a DVI-to-HDMI adapter which, and make no mistake here, will carry that sound over HDMI. That's unlike current DVI-HDMI adapters and cables which do not carry sound. Fantastic if you are watching a Blu-ray movie, simply connect HDMI to your HDTV for PCM sound, or connect it through a TrueHD/Dolby HD receiver and get that sound lovin' going on through that receiver of yours. All with one simple cable."

So, provided that I'm using a powerful enough player, I'll be able to output the HD digital standards from my video card.

Just out of interest, does this mean that it should be currently outputting digital audio (to my HDTV)? When windows plays a basic, stereo sound (for instance, when I change my volume using the taskbar icon and it makes a "ding" sound), what kind of signal would it send through my HDMI cable? Is everything sent as the same format? How do I actually go about checking which formats I'm currently sending?

Argh, so many questions! I apologise for sounding like a complete noob Laughing but I fear I probably have more. Cheers for your help so far!




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Master Geek


  Reply # 173280 24-Oct-2008 09:40
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Another noobish question to add to the backlist:

What store is "HM"? :)

Thanks!

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  Reply # 173303 24-Oct-2008 10:59
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Probably meant HN or Harvey Norman




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

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, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 


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Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 173309 24-Oct-2008 11:19
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Denon were running a pretty decent trade in deal not so long ago - $300 bucks off if you trade in an old receiver - I have always like denon and they have some pretty impressive amps for quite cheap




For billions of years since the outset of time, every single one of your ancestors survived, every single person on your Mum and Dads side, successfully looked after and passed onto you life.  What are the chances of that like?



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Master Geek


  Reply # 173312 24-Oct-2008 11:32
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Wow... $300 bucks off? Even with a crazy-old receiver? That would be awesome. How would such a deal work? Would I have to buy direct from denon or just find a denon retailer in my area? Hmm, I'm not even sure which retailers I should be going to. Seems like there are 2 "grades" of retailer - average shmoe (Harvey Norman, Smith's City, Bond & bond, etc etc) and audiophile (The listening post is one that springs to my mind in christchurch). If I don't want to spend several thousand on a receiver, should I limit myself to somewhere like harvey norman?

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  Reply # 173314 24-Oct-2008 11:35
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When I saw it, it was at heathcotes in Hamilton - which is one of those 100% stores - not sure if the deal is still going but yep it was even for a crappy old receiver.

Probably worth the effort ringing around and seeing whats around - when I used to sell audio I always tended to lean towards denon and onkyo for bang for buck




For billions of years since the outset of time, every single one of your ancestors survived, every single person on your Mum and Dads side, successfully looked after and passed onto you life.  What are the chances of that like?

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  Reply # 173871 27-Oct-2008 16:37
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psk20: Wow... $300 bucks off? Even with a crazy-old receiver? That would be awesome. How would such a deal work? Would I have to buy direct from denon or just find a denon retailer in my area? Hmm, I'm not even sure which retailers I should be going to. Seems like there are 2 "grades" of retailer - average shmoe (Harvey Norman, Smith's City, Bond & bond, etc etc) and audiophile (The listening post is one that springs to my mind in christchurch). If I don't want to spend several thousand on a receiver, should I limit myself to somewhere like harvey norman?


In the latter group of retailers (audiophile end) in Christchurch don't forget Strawberry Sound and the Top Hi-Fi Shop.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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