I'm going to get a new AVR after a LONG time, my last and current AVR is a 12 year old Pioneer, and I bought it for around 200 in a discontinued model sale in early 2001. So a lot of the wide world of AVRs is brand new to me--like multi zone, upscaling or Audessy etc.
Initially, I've looked at the Onkyo 818 and the Denon 1913 (though I can't really see that there's much difference between the 809 and the 818 other than the 809 being $400 cheaper). But I'm worried about overbuying, or missing out on other manufacturers that haven't pinged on my radar during my first weeks of research.
I won't be buying until May or June, probably, so I'd like to know if new models are going to come out I should wait for, or wait for the new models to depress the prices of the current models.
Currently I have only Audio routed through the receiver, with HDMI & component going to the TV (Panasonic GT55 inch).
PS3 (pretty much only a bluray player)
headphone-jack-to-RCA for connecting phones/ipod to play music (I have a Galaxy, wife has an iPhone5)
AM/FM antenna for radio
TV has an optical audio out, but no RCA audio out, so if we watch something streamed through the TV (which is convenient and way easier than the PS3 or Direct TV) we have to use the mediocre TV speakers, which is annoying (because my old ass receiver only has one optical and one coaxial input and both are used)
We will also occasionally plug our still camera to the TV via an HDMI to HDMI-mini cable, it records 1080, and video is stunning on it.
So I don't need a lot of ports, I'm not going to get an XBox or apple TV, we might upgrade to Wii U in a few years, maybe, we will probably get a 4K TV in 5-10 years. We'll never have more than one TV in the house, we're both pretty adamant and in agreement on that point, living room only.
I do still have some old game consoles and a VHS player that I may occasionally want to hook up for either something obscure/rare I've rented or for a retro gaming party/night. A front port that still has an analog option would be nice, but it's not especially difficult to connect them to the back of the receiver on the rare occasion we'd bust them out, but we would need the analog connections and upscaling since the TV is component and HDMI inputs only.
I may upgrade to 7.1 eventually but that would be after I finish upgrading the existing surrounds, subwoofer, mains and receiver.
I don't give a damn about wattage/channel, I'm in an duplex, so I can't blast things at maximum volume anyway. The speakers are a mixture I've picked up over the years and will slowly be upgraded (I got a Martin Logan Motion 6 Center last fall, 12 year old JBL N24s for the surrounds and I forget what the mains are, KLH I think, are since I inherited them from a roommate and didn't buy them myself, Jamo subwoofer, eventually I plan on upgrading to more of the Martin Logan motion series).
The HT is situated in the living room, hardwood floors, plaster and lath walls, it's about 24x12 rectangle with the TV above the fireplace on one of the 12' walls), the room opens on one of the long walls, semi-open-concept into the dining room via a large archway.
Budget is supposed to be 500ish, but I'll stay under 1000ish if the features are right and the sale seems good enough. I want to buy new, not a refurb.
HDMI renders the Coaxial and Optical connections obsolete, correct? Other then sending TV-originated audio to the receiver via optical, I have no need for these connections, nor need them on the receiver.
Audessy renders my trusty SPL meter obsolete, correct? It will do all the calibration and balancing for me, automatically? Or is Audessy just there to turn all the DTS/DD signals into ProLogic?
Multi Zone isn't truely multi zone right? You can't watch a movie on the HT and send the radio to Zone 2? You only get the same sound in multiple locations, correct?
If so, I don't need/want Multizone as it's basically worthless, but if it allows me to diversify sources so that we can listen to the radio or the iphone in the bedroom while one of us watches TV in the living room, then I'll be happy to hook that up (since we won't ever have multiple TVs, I'm only interested in sending audio).
Line out multizone means sending an RCA cable, correct and you'd have to have speakers with a separate power cord for this to work?
But some receivers send the extra "two" channels of a 7.1 system as powered speaker cable to speakers in the second room, right? And again I doubt this would allow you to use multiple sources for multiple playback. If not, we'll just put an ipod/iphone dock/speaker in the bedroom.
When a receiver like the Onkyo 818 has all the different analog and digital connections are these all different inputs or are they 'shared' inputs? If I hook up the SNES to the RCA in on input one would that invalidate the HDMI connected to HDMI 1? Does upscaling take up the slot of an HDMI input?