How many HDMI inputs on my receiver do I need for my system?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by HDReady, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. HDReady

    HDReady Auditioning

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    This is my first post on this very informative forum and I am looking for some advice. I am building a new system from scratch and will likely build it around a 50" Panasonic 1080P plasma. Speakers will be a 7.1 system with in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. My sources will be an HD DirecTivo unit and at least two of the following three players: HD DVD player, Blu Ray player, Denon 1930 universal player (for SACD and DVD-a). All of these sources have HDMI outputs available. The receiver that has been recommended to me is the Pioneer Elite VSX-90 TVX, which has two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. For which of the above sources is HDMI absolutely necessary, and is the above receiver a good fit for me? Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The more HDMI inputs the better, and you have potentially 4 HDMI source devices.

    Assuming the tv will have 2 HDMI inputs on the receiver you could do as follows:

    Sat box--HDMI straigh to tv, optical digital to receiver--the sat box isn't going to need HDMI for audio as it won't do any advanced audio codecs.

    Denon 1903--analog 5.1 to receiver, no video connection--if you have BD or HD DVD you won't need to use it for SD dvd upconversion, only for SACD/DVDA

    BD Player--HDMI to receiver and HDMI from receiver to tv--you need the HDMI from the player to the receiver to get the advanced audio and already have the 5.1 analog inputs on the receiver occupied by the Denon

    HD DVD player--same as above.
     
  3. HDReady

    HDReady Auditioning

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    Thanks for such a concise, well thought out reply, Steve.
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    In that price range I'd first look a slightly different direction for the receiver. The Onkyo SR805 will give you a heftier receiver (over 50lb) w/ THX Ultra2 certification (not a deal maker in itself but a sign of quality) and 3 HDMI inputs (all for as low as $800 online). It also transcodes analog sources to HDMI (which I don't think the 90TXv does).

    If you went with the SR805 you could hook HD-DVD, BluRay, and HD-Tivo via HDMI and the 1930 via 5.1 anaolg audio and component video (you'll want a video connection for DVD-A Menus). From there you would only need the single HDMI connection out to your display, greatly simplifying things.
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'd certainly agree that 3 HDMI inputs on the receiver would be a better solution, and the new Onkyos are very nice.

    I have a Pioneer VSX-82TSX with 3 HDMI inputs with an HD sat box, Toshiba HDA2, and PS3 all going in via HDMI and a single HDMI out cable to my set. I'm not into SACD/DVDA so don't really need the 5.1 inputs.

    If the 805 had been available when I bought the Pioneer I probably would have given it very serious consideration.
     
  6. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I also have the 82TXs and questioned whether I'd use 3 inputs but currently have all 3 filled. I'm not sure if the 1930 passes DSD from SACD over HDMI but if it does you may even want to consider using HDMI for it and letting the receiver transcode component video from the HD box. I was doing this at first while I waited for an HDMI cable box and can say the PQ difference is minimal if any (my display is a 720p projector on 100" screen at 15').
     

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