Can anyone help an intense gamer.......

EricDeB

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Hey my name is Eric and this is my first post. I'm not into home theater too much basically because it costs way too much for me. I'm only 15 and I am really into video games and movies. I decided that it is time to upgrade to a surround sound receiver and here are the things I wish it could do:

Be able to hook up my Super Nintendo, N64, Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox all at the same time plus have extra connections for future systems.

Be able to play all of my video games at the very best sound and picture quality.

Be able to play all DVDs and CDs in surround sound.

Do you guys have any reccomendations as far as receivers. I have a price range of about 200-350 dollars. Oh I have one more thing that I would like my receiver to do. Is their anyway a receiver can play both Dolby Digital and DTS because I want a very compatible receiver.

Thanks so much and don't be afraid to straighten me out if I'm way off in what I'm asking

Eric
 

Lev-S

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most if not all receivers have both DTS and DD decoders, so worry not. I would recommend anything from Denon, Harman/Kardon, Marantz, or Yamaha. It is a good idea to stay away from the cheaper Sony, JVC, Panasonic etc. as their entry level stuff is crap.
 

Carl Johnson

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Is $200-350 your budget for a whole system or do you already have speakers?
 

Jack Briggs

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Welcome to HTF, Eric. Since you're asking for specific advice on which receiver to buy, I've moved your thread here. The Basics area is strictly for general discussion at the beginner level, not purchasing advice. Good luck, and I'm sure there are some affordable solutions for you out there.
 

Jimi C

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Do you already have speakers? What kind?
 

Jason GT

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Hello Eric,

Welcome to HTF. First off, congrats on setting yourself a list of AVR wants and needs, and a budget -- that makes things much easier.

Do you already have five speakers? This is quite important.

You certainly have a large number of sources that you'll want to hook up and this can be a bit of a challenge. Keep in mind that you don't *have to* run video connections through your AVR (in fact it's generally advantageous, except for convenience, not to). IN general, as you step up the receiver price foodchain you'll get better connectivity.

As stated above any new receiver will be able to process both DTS and DD (I'm not aware of any new AVR that doesn't).

Finally, but perhaps most significantly, if the main thing you're looking for is switching, try a Pelican (I think, you may already know of this product) multigame switcher.

Sorry to speak in such general terms, but I hope it has been of some use.
 

John Brill

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Wow Eric, and I thought I had a lot of input sources...

1) What type of connections do you use/want to use for your individual consoles? S-Video? Component? Composite? I'm guessing right now you are running all on Composite? Did you want to keep it that way or upgarde to better resolution?

2) Everyone has asked this, but do you have a budget and do you already have 5 speakers?

3) Are you willing to buy online?

Answers to these will help in making a recommendation but the first reply was pretty much spot on, anything 1 up from the bottom of the line in Yamaha, Marantz, Denon, H/K, Onkyo should meet your needs.

Cheers,

JB
 

EricDeB

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Wow I'm surprised to get so much response. This really is a high quality board. Anyway, I don't have any speakers at the moment. I figure I will just add those on as I get money, because I plan to work this summer. As far as the type of connections I'd like to use, I would probably like mainly S-Video or Composite, because I don't have a super high quality television, just your basic tube TV. I am totally willing to buy online. I have saved loads of money on EBAY and that, or some cheap online store, is where I will probably get my receiver. Oh and 250-350 is my budget for just the receiver, the speakers will come as I get money for those. Yes I have heard of this Pelican product, but I would like to be able to get higher quality picture and surround sound on my better systems like my XBOX and PS2. Could you hook up the pelican to a receiver?? Haha I'm such a beginner......
 

Jason GT

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Well a nice AVR will be somewhat useless without speakers


You will essentially always get best PQ by sending video signals direct from your games to your TV; sticking it through the AVR will simply add another item in the signal path.

For best PQ on PS2 and Xbox, you will need a television that can handle HD (certain Xbox games) or at least 480p (progressive scan; many xbox games and a limited number of PS2 games); the best quality connection would be a component connection but your TV must support this. At least S-video would be a jump up.

As far as I know the pelican is simply a giant switch box. You can certainly daisychain a pelican and then your AVR (note that this might be a bit more complex if you're using an optical connection for your Xbox or PS2).
 

EricDeB

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Hey thanks for the advice. Do you guys think I should get one of the Panasonic receivers. The XR50 or the new XR70. Do you guys think that's a good choice for my situation?? Most importantly, does anyone know when the XR70 is coming out??
 

Chu Gai

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I'm not a gamer but I can appreciate your desire to have one device that you run all of your games into and then just one one connection to your TV. Using the device to do switching certainly makes life easier.

To do so without visual degradation, the bandwidth of the device should be 3x the bandwidth of your sources (games). So, if Game#1 only ouputs at say 5 MHz, the switcher needs to have a bandwidth of 15 MHz. Likewise, if Game#2 ouputs at 15 MHz, then 45 MHz is needed. What you need to do is to determine what your various systems are capable of outputting a signal at. That will give you a handle on what type of device you need to consider.

Likely with a receiver, you won't find enough inputs or they may not be of the right type. All is not lost however, as there are many products on the market that offer enhanced switching capabilities. An excellent thread on this subject was one by HTF's Bob McElfresh and can be found here. This should give you something to do besides studying for your finals.
 

Chris Brock

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For your situation i recommend looking at a yamaha HTR-5750. you can pick one up on Ebay brand new for around $275 + shipping. it has 4 video inputs and I would suggest hooking up the higher quality things like the xbox and PS2 to their own input and then use an external switcher for the lower quality inputs like the super nintendo. you could then run a single line to your monitor and let the receiver do the switching. Having bought an HTR-5760 recently I highly recommend the new yamaha HTR line because I have not been this satisfied with a purchase in a long time.
 

Ian C

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As far as a receiver goes, I don't think he really needs anything super fancy. Since most receivers now have S-video/composite video and analog/digital inputs on each switch, he can stagger them like this:

DVD input - Xbox (s-video/optical) and Super Nintendo (composite/analog). It will default to the Xbox (s-video/digital input), and then when the Xbox is turned off it will switch to the Super Nintendo if that is turned on. If both the Xbox and Super Nintendo are on, it should default to the Xbox.

Video 2 - PS2 (s-video/optical) and N64 (composite/analog). Same as above with the Xbox and Super Nintendo, it will default to the s-video input (PS2) and then to the composite input (N64) when the PS2 is turned off.

Video 3 - Gamecube...Just use the s-video and analog inputs.

So basically, he would need a receiver that has three input sites with s-video on each, and at least two digital inputs...not something he would have to really hunt for. This should be found on any standard receiver nowadays.

On my Sony DB830 receiver (which just fried during a lightning storm, have a Harman Kardon 230 on the way), on my "DVD" input I have both my DVD player and my satellite plugged in. The DVD player uses the S-video and optical jacks and the satellite uses the composite and analog jacks. I keep my satellite box on all the time, but when I turn my DVD player on it switches to that...I just have to change the input on my TV from composite to s-video...After I turn the DVD player off, the receiver automatically switches back to satellite. This all might sound a little confusing, but it actually does work.

In addition to the DVD player on the s-video and optical jacks, I also have my Xbox and PS2 hooked up to the same jacks. I do this by using the Audio Authority 1155 switcher - here . This automatically switches between my DVD player, Xbox, and PS2 in descending order of whichever is turned on. So, if any of these is turned on, my receiver switches to the s-video/optical jacks (DVD, Xbox, PS2). If none of these are on, it switches back to the composite/analog jacks (satellite) and I just have to change the input on my TV. All of that is on one set of inputs. My receiver also has two other sets of inputs (Video 2, Video 3) and on those I have my Gamecube and VCR.

Basically, what I'm saying is you don't have to have dedicated inputs for each separate source. If one line of inputs has a digital jack, an s-video jack, a composite jack, and the analog stereo jacks...then you can actually hook up more than one source to that set of jacks.

Confuse you yet?
As a gamer myself, I know this stuff can be a pain...but it is possible to set up with a little work.


Ian
 

PerryD

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The Super Nintendo, N64, and the Gamecube use identical video cables (except for component, which isn't being discussed here). I would recommend getting one quality S-Video connector for the Gamecube and just unplug it from the game system and reuse it for the other Nintendo systems as necessary.
 

Adil M

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The Panasonic digital receivers were very impresive. You might want to check by your local Sears, b/c they were clearing them out there. Based on this ebay should be running them pretty cheap too.
 

John Brill

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Nah, I don't recommend plugging and unplugging S-Video cables. The pins are extremely fragile and as S-Video is not always the easist thing to plug, the pins break (had it happen when I was plugging/unplugging prior to getting an AVR).

Eric, as stated before, any receiver from Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, H/K you can find in your price range with 3 S-Video outputs will suit your needs. You know what, scratch that. Anything from JVC, Kenwood, Panasonic, Sony will suit your needs. You don't have speakers, you're young and by the time you hit college/university (3-4 years?), new technology will come out (firewire?) meaning you'll just have to upgrade again. I'm sure at 15, you could use the $150 you'll save from buying a cheaper AVR with 3 S-Video inputs to get a couple of games... Halo 2 will be out soon...

Cheers,

JB
 

PerryD

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I'm talking about the other end of the cable, that plugs into the game unit. It's a sturdy thick plug that snaps in and out easily from the game unit.
 

EricDeB

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John, ahha good point Halo 2 is coming out soon, so I do need to save some dough. Man that will be great.
 

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