Which receiver is right for me? (VSX921 vs VSX521 vs others)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by htbar, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. htbar

    htbar Auditioning

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    hi ,
    I am buying a home theater system next month (TV , 5.1 speakers and a receiver).
    I don't think that I have any special needs for the system ( just watching regular TV and sometimes HD movies).
    I was impressed from the sound of Pioneer in the store and therefore I am giving some priority to them.
    They have some products like: VSX521 , VSX821 , VSX921 and so on..
    What is the difference between them? what is the best (=cost effective) for my needs?
    I dont need:
    7.1
    ipod/iphone connections.
    MultiZone.
    Lan/wireless (I will use laptop for movies)
    And another question:
    Why do I need video upscaling in the receiver if I have one in the TV?
    thanks ,
    sorry for the english :)
     
  2. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    The major differences I found in the models was that the 821 adds Apple support and the 921 adds 7 channel support; neither of which matters to you.
    The 921 also adds analog to HDMI conversion. Without that feature if you connect a composite or component input to the receiver, you also have to connect a composite of componemt connection to the TV. (They usually convert composite to component, I didn't check for these models). That a nice feature that you quickly get used to, but I don't think it's worth going up two models for. Also, starting this year we'll be seeing less and less analog video connection options; so if you don't have a need now, you won't likely have one in the future.
    If you have video upscaling in the TV (and all of them do), then you don't need upscaling in the receiver. If you had both, you could choose which one did the upscaling better, but that's a rarely used option.
    As far as the English goes, you were perfect; so no worries there. (Although it did make me double-check my post, so as to not be embarrassed - so stop that!)
     
  3. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    I would not purchase a receiver based on how it sounds in a store. It is the speakers that produce the sound and the receiver has less influence that many folks think (claim). Get it based on features and make sure it can power your speakers properly. Pioneer is a top brand along with Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, Harmon Kardon, and Marantz.

    What speakers do you plan on using? If you do not have speakers yet, you should get them first (or at least decide which ones you want).
     
  4. htbar

    htbar Auditioning

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    If I connect some old player in this way:
    old_player -- composite --> receiver (no upscaling) --hdmi --> TV (with upscaling)
    This will work?
    Why do I need to connect the composite directly to the TV?
     
  5. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    Yes you will. The reason is that HDMI is a digital signal, and composite and component are analog signals. Analog and digital signals are processed differently. On mid-range receivers they add circuitry to convert analog to digital; with that conversion they can send it all out on digital.
    The impact is usally not running the cable (unless you're send the cable through walls), it's the "hassle" of changing your TV input from digital to analog. Like I said, it's a nice convenience feature; how much it's worth is depends on how frequently you switch between inputs.
    By the way, the feature is not upscaling, just conversion. Upscaling is another feature you pay for. But since the TV does that anyway (as discussed previously) it's not worth going back to check the manual for wether it does analog to digital upscaling also.
     
  6. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
    HW Reviewer

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    The lowest price receiver on the market WITH HDMI upconversion (analog sent into the HDMI is "HDMI upconversion"...and no, not all receivers that have HDMI upconversion have upscaling...which is a different animal)...
    Is this one(look it up where you are for a price)...
    http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR515-7-2-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B0077V88VI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1348149550&sr=1-1&keywords=nr515
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Basically the 821 adds:
    iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc compatability
    front USB/Audio inputs
    binding posts for all speaker terminals
    perset remote control
    The 921 adds:
    7 channels X 80
    video conversion and up-scaling
    front height or speaker B option
     

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