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TX-SR 674 (What do you folks think?)


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#1 of 21 latrapeze

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Posted October 17 2006 - 10:53 AM

I am looking for an affordable receiver that will upconvert an analog (S-Video) signal to HDMI and also act as a video (HDMI) switch?
I came across the Onkyo TX-SR 674 and was wondering if any of you folks had any opinions on this or any other affordable receivers that will do the upconverting.
Thanks.

#2 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 17 2006 - 01:27 PM

What is your Budget?

For about the same price you could get the Denon 2307ci specs are better and I'm a real Denon FanPosted Image

http://www.usa.denon...etails/3255.asp

Nothing wrong with the Onkyo... just about all the same features and will cover most above average users.

#3 of 21 latrapeze

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Posted October 17 2006 - 11:53 PM

Thanks. The only reason I chose the Onkyo model was that I found a refurbished option online. I will definitely consider the Denon although it is a bit out of my price range.
Any other suggestions?
Do I need an upscaler as I have a HDTV (Sony S-Series)
Thanks.

#4 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 12:43 AM

You are asking an opinionated question and I will never go there..Nobody "needs" an upscaler. That would fall under the Want's category. You "need" Speakers" for surround sound if you "want" to hear it. You "need" a surround sound Receiver if you "want" surround sound. You "need" a Display device if you "want" to watch anything. You "need" and upscaler if you "want" a better picture than you already have. It's all in the Budget Factor and how much of an Audiophile/Videophile you want to be.

The Larger your display the more you have to start to think about upscaling. I wouldn't suggest adding an Upscaler to a 20" TV But I would Suggest it for a 120" Projection Screen. But it would only be a suggestion. I can come up with a fantastic looking picture through Composite Video, I can get you a Better Picture Via Component Video/HDMI. I can get you and outragiously fantastic picture Upsaling everything. You have to see what you really want and need. If you are happy with your current picture from the sources that you are using will spending another $1000 or $5000 or whatever justify in your mind that you "need" to put more into your system. That's your decision on how far you want to take he entire Experience.

You'll find people with HTIB $199 systems that are happy and won't take it any farther and you'll find people with $100,000 systems that still want to improve it a little more. You draw the line wherever you want!Posted Image

I'm into cooking and Bar-B-Queing as another hobby. I just seen a $140,000 Gold plated outdoor smoker/grill/with directional satellite locator and dvd and surround sound advertised on the "I Want That" TV show. Do I need it? No.. do I want it... yes. Will I buy it. No. I couldn't justify it in my own mind, but some people do....have to draw the line somewhere!

#5 of 21 latrapeze

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Posted October 18 2006 - 01:37 AM

You make some really great points. I will say this, I am not satisfied with the picture on my Sony KDL-S402000 when using my DISH receiver (Not HD). I am, however, very pleased with my new Phillips DVD player that somehow cleans up the signal on my old DVDs and creates a wonderful picture.
I am not a millionaire but would like to improve my video for regular satellite picture if it does not break the bank.
Having said all that, what do you think I need for a receiver?

#6 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 01:41 AM

Ok I said I wouldn't go there but here's my Opinionated answer..( I'm just hoping it dooesn't start an opinion war in the thread)

I think the receiver you are looking at will fit your needs and budget, I would suggest that you put the money into upgrading your satellite to HD if you want to start improving your picture. Baby steps, Baby steps... I think your on the right track all the way around. You have to make your choices in the areas that you are most concerned with first.

Checkout the HD forums on this site, check out the Audio/video source sections also. There's lots of options out there... There's lots of opinions out there also. You read forums, sort out the opinions and the options and the features and benefits of all of it and come up with your own concluesion.

Also be sure to check out the Audioholics News/Editorials Forum. Just know what Editorials are. It's someone elses opinion. Read the opinions,but base your decisions on the facts.

#7 of 21 latrapeze

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Posted October 18 2006 - 01:56 AM

Thanks. I am also going to look at a HD Antenna after school (I am a teacher) to see what is available and try to access some free stations.
I want to stay away from the HD DISH set-up because it will be difficult to install (for reasons not worth getting into here) and will be an ongoing expense (much less justifiable to the spouse) Posted Image. If I could get a picture nearly as good as I am getting from my DVD player on my DISH, I would be happy and would not need the HD satellite signal at all.

#8 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 02:06 AM

The nice part of the HD satellite receivers is they have a built in off air HD tuner in them. You would be killing two birds with one stone. You don't have to subscribe to HD satellite even with a HD satellite box. I have Directv HD Satellite box and Dish, but I don't subscribe to any Satellite HD. I use it as you are looking to do.. just for the off air HD receition and it cost me a Whopping $99 to get the HD receiver and have the Directv Installer deliver it to me even though I'm a directv installer myself.!... LOLPosted Image

#9 of 21 latrapeze

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Posted October 18 2006 - 02:16 AM

Nice!
And the DISH works as an antenna? Cool.
Do I have a tuner in my new TV Set? I thought I did.

#10 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 02:28 AM

The Dish doesn't work as an antenna that you will need a regular off air antenna for. Either in the attic, or mounted outside on the roof. I don't know what your situation is. The nice part about the HD Satellite receiver is the built in HD off air tuner. When you program your tuner for the off air stations they will show up in your guide just as if they were coming from the satellite without having to change sources or utilizing a built in HD tuner in your TV if you have that feature in your TV. The problem with the built in tuner in the TV if it has one is you loose the feature of the onscreen channel guide for your local stations. All depends on which features you want. Depending on your TV and how close you are to the digital towers in your area and the signal strength of the digitals in your area... you might be able to pull in the Local HD stations through your TV's built-in tuner (if it has one) with just simple rabbit ears. Believe it our not!. Does your TV have the off air Tuner built in?

#11 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 03:09 AM

I just pulled up the manual on the TV and yes it has a built in off air HD tuner.

Now to determine if you are ok without the onscreen menus and switching sources you can use that tuner for your local off air HD TV.

Do you have any antenna currently connected to the TV?

#12 of 21 latrapeze

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Posted October 18 2006 - 04:34 AM

I am comfortable without the Guide and On-Screen data. I live in Maine, so I do not think there will be that many channels. I am going after school to look at antennas (indoor). Do you have any ideas?
Thanks again for all your patience.

#13 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 04:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by latrapeze
I am comfortable without the Guide and On-Screen data. I live in Maine, so I do not think there will be that many channels. I am going after school to look at antennas (indoor). Do you have any ideas?
Thanks again for all your patience.

Get the biggest and best that you can install. If it's going to be rabbit ear type, save the box... it's all going to depend on the signal strength in your area.
If you have attic access I would recomend that you get one up in the attic. And get the biggest one that will fit. Just make sure it's not too big to make directional changes ( so you can swing it around) and don't forget to get an antenna mast and mount for the attic if you go that route. It's going to be more work but worth it.

#14 of 21 latrapeze

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Posted October 18 2006 - 05:59 AM

Thanks. I will do so. I will also talk to the Radio Shack guy and see what he has to say. I suspect he may have some ideas as to what antennas would be best for our area.
I will let you know how it works. I am a bit leery of wiring it from the attic to the tv although I do have a ton of co-ax I could use. Is there a limit as to how much co-ax I should run (distance) between the antenna and the set?
Thanks.

#15 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 07:03 AM

The less the better!... you get a small db drop for every foot of wire you run. If it's a long run (over 100') then a preamp might be necessary. 100' would drop your db's by about 2-3db (approx).

#16 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 01:49 PM

What part of Maine are you in?

What is your Zipcode there? I can find out what's available in your area

Your best bet if you are far away would probably be an 8-way UHF bowtie antenna....
Posted Image
It's about 3' high and 2'wide. It's made by channel Master I forget the model number.. have to goole that one. If I remeber correctly in has a UHF range of about 50-60 miles. Probably the most powerfull UHF antenna out there.. they sell for about $50.00

I had this one mounted on my house for about 5 years until the digital towers got up to full power. Now I downsized to the smallest one on the market since I'm only about 15 miles from the towers.

Most all digital stations are broadcast on the UHF Band. Yes even channels 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12..etc... that's not their actual UHF digital Broadcast channel..

Like here in Milwaukee

Channel
4.1 is actually UHF28
6.1 is UHF33
12.1 is UHF34
18.1 is UHF 61
24.1 is UHF 25
58.1 is UHF 46

Your TV just shows you see is the channel number as you are fimular with it.. and breaks it down to.. like channel 58.1 has also 58.2,58.3,58.4,58.5. all carried on UHF channel 46... but the User is really not aware of that, it is just more user friendly that way.

#17 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 02:26 PM

The best one that radio shack carriers is this one... rated at 70 miles... ( I personally don't think their specs are correct) I still think the channel master is better, but if the radio shack one is available try that.. you can even set that up in you living room. Same with the Channel Master.. Not that you would want to keep it there.... it's a little big... but it's a starting point before crawling into the attic.

http://www.radioshac....entPage=search

The channel master Model number for the 8-bay bowtie is model- channel master 4228.
http://www.hdtvprime...NAS/cm4228.html

got your zipcode out of your profile... 04901 correct?

These are your available OTA channels.....
Analog Channels.
uhf WPFO 23 FOX WATERVILLE ME 231° 33.6 miles
vhf WCBB 10 PBS AUGUSTA ME 231° 33.6 miles
vhf WABI 5 CBS BANGOR ME 85° 28.6 5 miles
vhf WGME 13 CBS PORTLAND ME 241° 61.1 miles
vhf WCSH 6 NBC PORTLAND ME 245° 72.1 miles
uhf WPME 35 MNT LEWISTON ME 232° 59.8 miles
uhf WPXT 51 CW PORTLAND ME 232° 59.8 miles


Digital Channels
vhf WMEB-DT 12.1 PBS ORONO ME 85° 28.6 miles Broadcasts on VHF (rare) channel 9 (tv will show you 12.1)
uhf WCBB-DT 10.1 PBS AUGUSTA ME 231° 33.6 miles Broadcasts on UHF channel 17 (tv will show you 10.1)

Looks like you only have 2 digital OTA in your area right now... and they are in the opposite compass directions. 12.1 at 85° and 10.1 at 231°

So if you end up going into the attic... make sure you have an antenna that will be able to rotate a full 360° if you want both channels.. then you can just add a rotor and spin it from your living room.. the new digital rotors are great!... you get your signal strength and program the digital "turning" box to that channel and it remembers the compass reading... and they are very inexpensive.

#18 of 21 latrapeze

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Posted October 18 2006 - 11:36 PM

Winslow (Near Waterville - Central Maine)
Are you from Maine as well?

#19 of 21 latrapeze

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Posted October 18 2006 - 11:40 PM

I hooked up a small antenna (indoor) last night in my room and was able to get 2 stations (digital). One was CW (never heard of it) and the other was WABI (CBS). I am going to hook it up in the attic as soon as I can find a way to fish it through the wall to reach the TV. This could be a challenge for someone with limited skills like me. Posted Image

#20 of 21 homthtr

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Posted October 18 2006 - 11:52 PM

Good that's what you should be getting 2 stations. That's all that's up and running in your area..

and No.. I'm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin... and yes it's cold here too!!! Posted Image