Confused about receivers

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Bradley_Z, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. Bradley_Z

    Bradley_Z Agent

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    I have a dedicated theatre room that will have 7.1 speakers, a projector, a receiver, high definition cable or satellite, a DVD player, a universal remote, and maybe a computer or gaming console. I've decided on the Sony VPL-VW100 projector, and have 5 speakers already that came with the house, but am missing 2 of the wall speakers and subwoofer. Right now I am trying to figure out what receiver to get and have a lot of questions. I tried reading reviews of receivers but I don't know anything about them so its tough to decide anything when the reviews sound like a foreign language.

    It seems like the main difference between receivers is how much power they have per speaker and the types and number of inputs that they have. Another thing I have seen is that a lot of receivers say that they will upconvert standard DVDs to high definition, and that confuses me for 2 reasons. The first iisdon't understand how its possible to take a video shot with a low quality camera and turn it into a high definition video, and the second is what is the point of getting a receiver that can do it when a lot of the high def DVD players make the same claim?

    Another question I have is about high definition video. I don't currently have it, but I've read that you have to get a high definition receiver, which you connect to your tv. Would any receiver that I buy take the place of that, or would I still need it and would connect from their receiver to mine?

    My final question is about connecting your computer to a receiver. Most of these receivers don't seem to have a DVI input, so what should I look for in order get both the video and audio from my computer to the system? I'd be willing to spend up to $4,000 on the receiver, but don't want to spend that much if its not worth it. I'd really like to know what kinds of inputs I'll need, how much power I need per speaker, and any other factors I should be considering when buying a receiver. I see a lot of receivers have 2 or 3 HDMI inputs, that doesn't seem life enough all my inputs are going to use HDMI. Do you have any suggestions for what I should get?
     
  2. Gabriel.H

    Gabriel.H Stunt Coordinator

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    Well as far as the computer connection goes, I use a dvi-to-hdmi adapter to connect to my tv....so I figure do the same and use the hdmi connection on the receiver.
     
  3. Bradley_Z

    Bradley_Z Agent

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    Wouldn't that put only the video on the screen without any audio? I'd like to be able to play videos that are on my computer through my home theatre speakers. Since everything seems to take HDMI wouldn't I need a lot of those inputs? I'd like to buy a receiver this week and am still very confused.
     
  4. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    You're right that a big difference between receivers is the amount of clean power they produce. Don't scrimp here.

    There are few, if any, receivers that are receommended to be used for upconverting. You're right about upconverting -- the point isn't to make a SD picture HD. That's impossible. However, some scalers and deinterlacers are better than others and do a better job of it. For dvds, the Oppo 971H at $200 is widely recommended as one of the better units.

    You will need a HD receiver for your projector. This is different from your audio video receiver or AVR. The HD receiver (in virtually all circumstances) will be the cable or satellite box you get from your programming provider and decodes the HD video signal. They are free, leased for a monthly charge or as much as $250 from your cable/satellite provider, depending on what you get, e.g., an HD DVR or tivo. Just make sure it has connections you want to go into your projector. N.B., in many projector setups, it is more convenient to route video from dvd and satellite/cable through the receiver so that only one very long, potentially expensive cable, has to be purchased to run from the receiver to the projector. Make sure that your receiver has all the appropriate inputs/outputs to do this, and that it also will allow those connections to be used properly. For example, if your dvd is component video only, and your projector is hdmi only, your receiver must have the ability to convert component video to hdmi, or whatever the case may be. Receivers and other components usually have multiple connections, but you should make sure ahead of time that they will match up.
     
  5. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    The video and audio signals can be "split" although split is probably not the right term since they probably start out independent of each other. If you are running your video through your receiver with hdmi, it will be one connection. In an application where without the receiver used as a video switch, it isn't necessarily so. E.g., I have my directv hd tivo directly connected (not through the AVR) to my television via component cables for video. My dvd player is directly connected to the tv with DVI (video only). I also have them connected with the red/white analog stereo audio cables to the tv. I almost never use the tv's speakers, but I can if I want. The red/white cables are capable of transmitting only stereo or mono sound. No dolby digital. I also have the dvd and hd tivo connected to the AVR with digital cable. I use the digital optical audio cables, but the equipment could also use coaxial digital cable. These connections allow the dvd and hd tivo to transmit digital dolby 5.1 to the AVR, so that I can use those sound options with either my dvd or satellite programming that is broadcast in 5.1. Both the dvd and hdtivo output audio over the red/white and digital optical audio simultaneously so you can "split" the audio from the video if you want.
     
  6. Bradley_Z

    Bradley_Z Agent

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    Ok, I think I'm going to get the Denon AVR-4306 because it has a lot of features and is under $2,000. Are there any major probelms or anything I should be aware of before I buyit?
     

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