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HDMI vs. DVI on pre-pros & receivers - Outlaw Audio was right a couple of years ago


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#21 of 46 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted August 19 2006 - 11:20 AM

I began this thread by commenting positively on Outlaw's decision to forgo, for now, inclusion of HDMI because of known problems and the fact that the technology was a moving target. Outlaw had felt that the evolving HDMI standards were moving so quickly that anything they might offer might soon be obsolete. But many have argued that their failure to offer HDMI 1.0 or 1.1 was a big mistake, despite the ongoing and continuing issues and changes, (soon even to the connector).

Well for all of the doubters I call your attention to this new article about HDMI version 1.3 It appears that anyone with Version 1.1 will soon have both audio AND video formats that will be increasingly obsolete. While Outlaw did not have all the information two and a half years ago, it appears that their "moving target" concerns have become a reality.

For those that believed they already had their HDMI solution in their living rooms, they should get ready to open their wallets- again. Outlaw never said HDMI was a bad technology. It did argue that it was a bit early to jump in while things were changing I submit the following article for your thoughtful consideration:

http://www.avreview.co.uk/news/article/mps/UAN/791/v/1/sp/
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#22 of 46 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted August 21 2006 - 06:24 AM

With all due respect Robert, the market has spoken, and spoken loudly and clearly. HDMI is it. All the other makers of receivers and TVs got it wrong with HDMI and Oulaw got it right? Feel free to argue with the market. Who else besides Outlaw (and its clones) has adopted DVI? I briefly considered the Outlaw 990, after Steve Simon gave it the thumbs up, however, the combination of DVI and the ongoing lack of support for speaker/room EQ quelched that. Meanwhile, the mainstream is moving ahead with HDMI and 2nd and 3rd generations of speaker/room EQ.

Of course, you are not a main stream kind of guy Posted Image

#23 of 46 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted August 21 2006 - 08:39 AM

So Arthur, what did you buy?

#24 of 46 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted August 21 2006 - 08:49 AM

Not to make this thread any more tense than it already is, but "the mainstream" - helped along no doubt with lots of slick advertising* - has also chosen:

* MP3s as its main music format;

* $20 plastic speakers + a PC for its sound system;

* to buy huge TVs but still only rely on their cheesy internal speakers for sound. And in the rare event they do invest in an HT system, many of them look to a certain speaker company in Massachussetts & their black cubes to provide them with "high fidelity" sound at ridiculously inflated prices.

And looking at the fact we have two incompatible HD video formats, and the fact that a good dvd player + a good monitor can produce a very acceptable image, I really don't think there will be millions of people clamoring for either of these formats. So, I honestly wouldn't worry about the audio aspect of HDMI i.e. its ability to carry hi-res signals and the availability of receivers equipped with the chips to decode them. And sacd & dvd-audio via HDMI? Whatever. Those are (extremely) niche formats - in such a starving market as audio gear is now, why would a manufacturer bother wasting $$$ equipping all their receivers with those format's decoder chips?

And here's the kicker: from what I've read many times here and elsewhere, HDMI doesn't even consistantly produce a better picture than the old-skool component connection method!!! Posted Image

You know something ain't right when even the HDMI plug won't stay securely in its socket...............

* this is part of the reason I tell people they can still achieve an entertaining surround experience with just two properly-sized front mains/two good rear speakers rather than seven(!) speakers plus a subwoofer. IMO dealing with all that gear to a non-audio hobbysist is just too overwhelming

#25 of 46 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted August 22 2006 - 04:39 AM

Joe

I did not buy anything. I won't be buying until at least next year when receivers with HDMI 1.3 start to appear. I will not buy anything that does not have room/speaker EQ.

"According to announcements by manufacturers, new high-definition DVD formats (HD-DVD and Blu-ray) and game machines (including the Sony PLAYSTATION 3 will make use of capabilities added in HDMI 1.3. Digital televisions will be able to present images that are closer to real life than previously has been possible. These will include LCD TVs, plasma displays and rear projection microdisplays. The PS3 which is scheduled to ship in November 2006, will be the first source product to provide such high quality imagery to these displays. It is expected that hi-def DVD players will follow early in 2007 with HDMI 1.3 support. AV Receivers that can decode DTD-HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD will start to show up early in 2007 as well. Please check with manufacturers for details."

For more go to this thread

http://www.hometheat....d.php?t=239564

Lance

I sure wish I had bought some Apple stock 3 years ago Posted Image. I don't gain anything by recognizing the inevitability of HDMI, but I can see the handwriting on the wall.

Lastly, I am not trying to promote an ongoing argument. Someone else can have the last word. This is my last post on this topic.

#26 of 46 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted August 23 2006 - 03:55 AM

So wouldn't you need an HDTV, HD-DVD player, and a receiver that can all accept HDMI 1.3 to get the better picture/sound? Or if I had an HDTV that could accept 1.2, would the DVD player just downscale the 1.3 to a 1.2 signal?

If that is true, then waiting for 1.3 might be way more costly (for ??? gain in video/audio) than just buying a TV, DVD, or receiver that works today and assuming an upgrade a few years down the road when HDMI 1.3 is in every mainstream device.

I'm roundly uninformed about this whole HDMI business, so excuse these questions if they are common knowledge.


Arthur - You don't sound combative at all, this thread is remaining pretty civil. In the end, no one here has any control over the HDMI schemes and is at fault. No worries.

#27 of 46 OFFLINE   FeisalK

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Posted August 23 2006 - 06:28 AM

Arthur, by the time you decide to buy a receiver with 1.3, they'll have released 1.4 specs. its like buying a computer, bite the bullet or forever stand on the brink. the difference is, of course, if you buy a computer with the next to latest processor for example, you can always swap it out for a newer one (within reason)

Someone(?) should make HDMI/manufacturers pay for end-user upgrades within the current version number (1) - most normal software companies offer this or at least a cheap upgrade path - then we'll see how fast they can consolidate and stabilize the specifications. Currently it is in their best interests to continually improve the specs, so that manufacturers will have to incorporate the latest versions, and subsequently causing consumers to upgrade. There'll be no more of this "my amplifier is 20 years old and still sounds great" nonsense...

Maybe the modular build of the Integra TX-NR5000 is the way to go, at least as far as the HDMI board is concerned (rightmost board).
Posted Image
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#28 of 46 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted August 23 2006 - 06:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAF
I began this thread by commenting positively on Outlaw's decision to forgo, for now, inclusion of HDMI because of known problems and the fact that the technology was a moving target. Outlaw had felt that the evolving HDMI standards were moving so quickly that anything they might offer might soon be obsolete. But many have argued that their failure to offer HDMI 1.0 or 1.1 was a big mistake, despite the ongoing and continuing issues and changes, (soon even to the connector).

Well for all of the doubters I call your attention to this new article about HDMI version 1.3 It appears that anyone with Version 1.1 will soon have both audio AND video formats that will be increasingly obsolete. While Outlaw did not have all the information two and a half years ago, it appears that their "moving target" concerns have become a reality.

For those that believed they already had their HDMI solution in their living rooms, they should get ready to open their wallets- again. Outlaw never said HDMI was a bad technology. It did argue that it was a bit early to jump in while things were changing I submit the following article for your thoughtful consideration:

http://www.avreview.co.uk/news/article/mps/UAN/791/v/1/sp/

With all due respect, your opinion here is misguided for several reasons.

First, HDMI, regardless of version, supports YCbCr transmission (and at higher bit-depths) which DVI does not, and thi can provide video benefits if there is video processing earlier on in the chain which is not uncommon especially with upscaling DVD players, etc.

Second, you seem to be misguided about the need for audio support of HDMI 1.3. All HDMI is capable of streaming uncompressed PCM between devices, while HDMI 1.3 is needed for streaming the compressed hi-res audio off the disc. You stated above that SPDIF gave you the best audio quality with current formats, and that's not true. SPDIF is not capable of supporting the high res/lossless forms, while HDMI can, currently, with internal player decoding and output in PCM via HDMI to the external processor for full bass management, etc.

Simply put, Outlaw's choices here are limiting, and there is certainly benefit to having HDMI input on a processor, because without it you are quite limited to what can be decoded in the player and output in analog to your processor, which makes options more complex.

I would agree with those who characterize Outlaw's decision as short-sighted, because it limits both audio AND video performance possibilities by not including HDMI capabilities. The argument that HDMI is a 'moving target' is a fallacious argument, because it ignores the fact that the well-established HDMI specs provide advantages regardless of what other advantages may be supported in future updates of HDMI spec. There are advantages now, there were advantages then, and the choice not to utilize HDMI to provide enhanced capability options is a poor choice in my opinion.

#29 of 46 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted August 23 2006 - 08:27 AM

Did the Onkyo 10000 ever live up to it's promise? Does Onkyo release software and hardware upgrades on a frequent enough basis for this to be true?

#30 of 46 OFFLINE   Levesque

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Posted August 26 2006 - 11:57 AM

HDMI 1.1 can pass up to 1080p60, and up to 8 channels of 24/96 audio.

Actually, I'm using a HDMI 1.1 pre/pro with the Toshiba HD-DVD player (HD-A1), and I'm passing 1080p60 to my projector (Sony Ruby) AND now passing Dolby TrueHD 5.1 with only one HDMI 1.1 cable.

No need to wait for HDMI 1.3. HDMI 1.1 can easily pass 1080p and if the player is doing all the decoding (like the Toshiba HD-A1 is doing now), then all you need is HDMI 1.1.

HDMI 1.3 will let you decode in the pre/pro/receiver. But doing it in the player is EXACTLY the same thing.

#31 of 46 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted August 28 2006 - 04:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
With all due respect, your opinion here is misguided for several reasons.


I do not disagree with all that you have said about the potential for HDMI, even the earlier versions. The specifications theoretically allow for everything you and other HDMI supporters said and more. But you are missing my point. The fact of the matter is that there are still a lot of problems with the actual implementation of HDMI by various component manufacturers and HDMI in practice is not always like HDMI in theory. Some devices are HDMI "compliant" and some devices are HDMI "compatible" and what this means is that you still have a chance of "plug and pray" rather than "plug and play" with HDMI. Granted, a lot of this is sorting itself out a bit and is not quite the horror story of a couple of years ago (when the Outlaw 990 was developed). Silicon Image, for example, is attempting to implement an HDMI certification program to assure "plug and play" for the consumer and other industry watchdogs appear to be implementing similar practices so that HDMI can reach its full potential. Some people get lucky and happen to choose components that mesh nicely with all the HDMI connections. Others have continuing nightmares. I just had one of my HD TVs stop working with the HDMI output from a Dish ViP 622 DVR (My Sharp Aquos) while three other HDTVs are working fine with my other three HD DVRs. Dish attributes this to a recent software upgrade and they said that they are "working on the incompatibility."

My opinions are based on the gremlins that currently haunt a lot of HDMI connections and not on the promise of HDMI. In that regard I wouldn't characterize it as "misguided" in that context. And I would be quite certain (although I'm not privy to any inside information) that Outlaw is currently working on its next pre/pro and the drawing board specs include HDMI input. As I've stated many times, my next processor will definitely include HDMI capabilities. Outlaw chose, at the time of the design of the 990, to offer digital video switching and they went with established DVI to allow this without all the uncertainty of the HDMI connectivity at that time. I still contend that their choice at the time was a good one because I'm not aware of lots of reports of DVI (video only) connectivity issues as there are with HDMI to this day.
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#32 of 46 OFFLINE   Seth=L

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Posted August 28 2006 - 04:45 PM

I am with you Robert, HDMI is a great idea in theory, but in practice it is still a catastrophe. It just needs to catch up with the times

#33 of 46 OFFLINE   Seth=L

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Posted August 28 2006 - 04:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeisalK
Arthur, by the time you decide to buy a receiver with 1.3, they'll have released 1.4 specs. its like buying a computer, bite the bullet or forever stand on the brink. the difference is, of course, if you buy a computer with the next to latest processor for example, you can always swap it out for a newer one (within reason)

Someone(?) should make HDMI/manufacturers pay for end-user upgrades within the current version number (1) - most normal software companies offer this or at least a cheap upgrade path - then we'll see how fast they can consolidate and stabilize the specifications. Currently it is in their best interests to continually improve the specs, so that manufacturers will have to incorporate the latest versions, and subsequently causing consumers to upgrade. There'll be no more of this "my amplifier is 20 years old and still sounds great" nonsense...

Maybe the modular build of the Integra TX-NR5000 is the way to go, at least as far as the HDMI board is concerned (rightmost board).
within reason is just the problem. I don't beleive such an upgrade is possible, if my info is correct. Not only would the HDMI board have to be changed, but the receiver's processor may be inadequate. As far as I know there aren't any firmware upgrades that can implement HDMI 1.3 on any current processor's hardware. That may be the reason so many folks have decided to sit and wait for HDMI 1.3 compatible processors and receivers.

#34 of 46 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted August 28 2006 - 07:32 PM

Quote:
There'll be no more of this "my amplifier is 20 years old and still sounds great" nonsense...
Posted Image

Please don't take this personally but: I don't know how many older receivers, preamps and power amps you've listened to but I can assure you, MUCH gear including brands like Pioneer, Yamaha, etc that is 20 years old - and a lot older - can still sound great & that's comparing it to *modern* equipment. Amplification circuitry pretty much matured years ago & now what's mostly happening is simply voicing it differently (which has been going on since amps have been in existance) or tweaking it a bit, like using MOSFET power output transistors that operate almost like vacuum tubes.

Digital amps? From what I've seen the jury still seems to be out on that one. Heck I don't even trust the ones they use for subwoofers and plan on trying to buy a sub that uses a regular class A/B design. Seeing acres of heatsink fins make me feel better. Posted Image

Tuners in most modern receivers stink compared to what's in a mid-line receiver bought in 1975.

DACs and ADCs? I think they're relatively better than the ones used in the early 90s but nothing earth shattering.

And as far as features go, well, IMO most receivers today have way too many, most of which do nothing to truly improve the sound but *do* increase operating complexity, overall cost......and the length of the features list on their shipping carton you see on the shelf at Best Buy.

#35 of 46 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted August 28 2006 - 07:40 PM

Quote:
Not only would the HDMI board have to be changed, but the receiver's processor may be inadequate
I'll bet the Onkyo's HDMI board does everything needed and then sends a standardized signal out that is just another signal that the processor handles like any other. AFAIK a receiver's processor is mostly just a simple microprocessor (my Technics SA-DA8 uses an 8-bit chip - woohoo!) that switches signals around to the various DACs, Dolby/DTS decoder chips etc, keeps track of shorting or overheating conditions and turns indicator lamps on & off, stuff like that.

#36 of 46 OFFLINE   Kevin. W

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Posted August 29 2006 - 03:03 AM

I'm hoping that down the road Denon will have an upgrade for their 2 top receivers to handle HDMI 1.3. Their already offering an upgrade to change out the HDMI board to pass 1080p and upscale, so why not a HDMI 1.3 board in the future? It already posses 3 TI Aureus processors that should be able to handle decoding off the new audio formats with a firmware upgrade. Until that day happens I'll just let my Toshiba A1 handle the decoding and have it send it to my Denon via HDMI 1.1 as LPCM.

#37 of 46 OFFLINE   FeisalK

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Posted August 29 2006 - 04:32 AM

Lance J - sorry... the sarcasm didn't come across on my posting. it should have been dripping, but hard to do with plain text Posted Image
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#38 of 46 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted August 29 2006 - 07:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeisalK
Lance J - sorry... the sarcasm didn't come across on my posting. it should have been dripping, but hard to do with plain text Posted Image
I'll have to admit I was kind of surprised to see you say something like that so I had a suspicion it might be sarcasm. So no big deal.

As SNL's Emily Litella would say: never mind. Posted Image

#39 of 46 OFFLINE   Theogenes

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Posted August 31 2006 - 02:36 PM

So here's a question, then: I have been intensely reading everything I can get my grubby little paws on regarding HDTV, home theater intros, connection schemes (HDMI, DVI, component, etc) for a little while now, and having read a boatload of threads on here and articles elsewhere I'm still stuck with the same general question (albeit with quite a bit more technical knowledge than before): as a noob to the HT world, should I try to set my system up with HDMI, or is it really ultimately beyond my abilities and/or too risky? The apparently relentless release of changes to the HDMI standard (not to mention the horror stories of incompatibility between devices) has made me somewhat wary. So I guess my question is this: for a new guy, still trying to learn the ropes, is HDMI worth it, or not? I would greatly appreciate any advice you gentlemen (and ladies) might have. Thanks in advance.
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#40 of 46 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted September 01 2006 - 01:29 AM

Just how risky is it Posted Image ? If I'm not mistaken, the worst that can happen is that there will be an incompatibility. Won't damage you gear.

My little experiement with HDMI was as simple as connecting the HDMI cable to the cable box, and then to the TV. I didn't see any improvement over the component cable that came with the cable box, so the HDMI went back.

A more complicated use might involve connecting a source to your receiver and the receiver to your display using HDMI.

People on this forum will help you trouble shoot if you have a problem. Just don't spend a lot of money on the cables. Gold plated from http://www.monoprice....p?keyword=HDMI
is no more than $8.07 for 15 feet.


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