In search of A/v Receiver with HDMI operation that 'WORK'S!!

cctyu

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Oct 8, 2006
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Charles Yu
Regular readers of this board will notice that for the past few weeks I have been seeking feedback from fellow members on an A/V receiver for my updated home theater system. Based on research to date, I have noticed that almost all reviews of so called 'award winning' receivers, may it be the Denon AVR-2807, the Pioneer Elite VSX-82TXS, the Marantz SR-5001 or the Onkyo TX-SR674, all reported HDMI operation hick-ups. ( mostly audio)Question: Is HDMI technology really THAT unreliable? If so, shall I just close my eyes and pick a receiver from one of the aforementioned 'reputable' manufacturers? I can't back out now since I have already taken deliver of the new OPPO 981 Universal player which only accepts HDMI. Recommendations anyone?! Thanks in advance!
 

Nick:G

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Nick Gallegos
[rant]First of all, it's completely stupid for a company to manufacture a player that only outputs HDMI for video. This is called cost-cutting, and it's totally unnecessary. Some of the best-performing DVD players in history (Denon anyone?) have achieved great results without even utilizing digital video! Good video deinterlacers (the Faroudja DCDi chip is actually quite good, but the Silicon Optix HQV is FAR superior) almost always a make a bigger impact on image quality and accuracy than any HD upscaling device common on modern DVD players.[/rant]

Now, the reason why HDMI has been such a complete disaster has a lot to do with the implementation of HDCP (High Definition Content Protection). When a manufacturer includes HDMI switching in an AVR or pre/pro, that switch has to act as a HDCP repeater.

What this means is that if your DVD player is sending an HDCP-encrypted signal to the receiver's repeater FIRST, the DVD player and receiver have to initiate a handshake with each other, and then a second handshake must take place between the receiver and TV. This is generally where things go start going south. I've seen numerous instances of HDMI-equipped receivers screwing this process up so much that you were forced to power-cycle the DVD player and/or the TV for the HDCP process to wake up and start functioning correctly. Manufacturers generally include HDMI switching/repeating in their higher-end receivers as an afterthought and really don't spend the time engineering for HDCP properly. After all, to them, it's Silicon Image's fault.

I know that all sounds negative, but it's the TRUTH. And to be honest, I haven't seen an HDMI-equipped AVR yet that does HDCP repeating without hiccups. If you have two HDMI inputs on your TV, just run your HDMI sources directly into the set. It WORKS.
 

cctyu

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Charles Yu
Wow! Many thanks for your detailed response. Novice like myself will definitely learn more from helpful and knowledgeable members like yourself. Have a happy holiday!!
 

cctyu

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Charles Yu
Thanks for your info.,. Actually, I did look at the Sony. I also did an A/B comparison between it and the Pioneer Elite VSX-82TSX at my local electronic store. Technology between the two were very similar. 3 HDMI inputs, 1080p, Fajouda processor, XMI radio etc., However, the Pioneer did sound better, has a bit more power and cost a bit less. Anyways, yesterday, I took the big plunge and bought myself the Pioneer Elite and the Sharp 52" 1080p LCD. Hope together with my new Oppo 981HD, they work out fine....!!! Fingers crossed, no banding problem and HDMI that works.
 

Nick:G

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Nick Gallegos
Good stuff....

The Sharp LC-52D62U is a great buy, isn't it? Color isn't quite as good as the Sony KDL-52XBR2/3, but the Sharp has a faster response time and it's a hell of a lot cheaper!

Enjoy your new gear and good luck with the HDMI thing. I'm crossing my fingers for you...

- Nick
 

cctyu

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Oct 8, 2006
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Charles Yu
I havn't hooked up the system yet since I'm still awaiting the delivery of the TV and the equipment stand. Both were sold out and on back order due to the X'mas rush. Will try posting a report after my 'test-drive'.
 

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