Receiver Advice ($550 Ceiling)

reed hunt

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Hello all.

I am doing some early research on AV receivers and would appreciate input on the following...

My HT room is about 12x16 ft, I will be running a 6.1 setup, Polk front speakers (S4s FL/FR and the CS200 C), probably also some in-ceiling Polks for surround, and someone's 10" sub (I have a couple in mind).

I am looking for a receiver that will upconvert signals to 1080P. I also want as much/all of the signals to run via HDMI, two-room switching, and enough power to fill my (relatively) small room.

I have not yet chosen a TV, but it will have 1080P capability...I'm sure I have forgotten a few things (and probably even misstated some!), as I'm working my way into the whole HT scene (was a "stereo junky" in the '80s/early '90s, but have been somewhat out of the loop since).

The unit that seems to stand out, at least at this point, is the Onkyo TX-SR674.

Other input much appreciated.
 

Alon Goldberg

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I'm not aware of any receivers that can upconvert to 1080p for under $1,500 at this time. The best you will find on your budget is a receiver cable of HDMI switching/passthrough, and possibly with the ability to scale component/s-video/composite to HDMI.

Please keep in mind that on this budget you will be sacrificing audio quality for bells and whistles. The Onkyo TX-SR674 may be your best bet, as there are no Denon, Yamaha or Pioneer receivers with HDMI upconversion within your budget. I don't believe this receiver is capable of multiple zones.
 

reed hunt

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Thanks Alon.

I'm sure I used the wrong terminology...

I think what it actually does is convert analog, composite, and S-video signals to HDMI (my bad). That's attractive to me.

I'm not necessarily looking for bells and whistles, but as you mentioned, comparably priced units from Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer, and HK don't seem to offer the same functionality.

With regard to 1 versus 2 zones, and according to CNET, the zone 2 speakers can be fed a different source while the main 5.1 system is playing a DVD, for example. I'm not sure if this qualifies as true multiple zone capability or not...?
 

DaveHo

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How many sources do you have? Do you really need video switching? Would you buy used? Given that you are looking for 6.1, I'd strongly consider a used Outlaw 1050.
 

reed hunt

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Wow, I've only heard of Outlaw since visiting this forum...And, I don't know exactly how many sources I will have.

For an historical reference point, my current "stereo" inventory includes a really old NAD 7140 receiver (that I love - glad to see the NAD is still around), a DBX cd player (circa 1986) and a Technics jukebox cd player.

Going WAY back, I also have an old Denon turntable and JVC KD-A7 (which used ANRS, not Dolby, for noise reduction) but neither has been in use for 10+ years. Finally, I have some old Polk speakers - Monitor 10Bs and S4s, both of which have also been in storage for 10 years, though I plan to use the S4s as my FR and FL speakers, at least for a while...(wish I could put the Monitors somewhere, I loved those, too).

So, with all that being said, I really don't know what my inputs will be!!!

I am not a gamer, though I have young kids and there is a reasonable chance they may be...

I guess I'm a bit confused by what would be considered "essential" inputs and what might be nice-to-haves. Do I need some type of cable/satellite box, regardless of whether I get a plasma/LCD with a built-in tuner? Beyond that, I will initially have a DVD player, though that will need to be purchased so I am open to advice here. For example, would it make sense to get a unit that can both play and record DVDs/CDs and do so in HD (assuming these exist)?

I don't see a Tivo-like device as essential, at least not right away, though having the flexibility to add this later might be nice.

And, can you define video switching for me?

So, as you can see, I really am starting from square one - thanks for your patience, and pardon my ignorance...
 

Seth=L

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Video switching just means that you can connect multiple video sources to your receiver, say a dvd player, gaming system, digital cable, vcr, laser disc player
, and you can use the receiver to switch the video along with audio. Each video input is accompanied by and analog 2 channel input, either composite and S-video. Component Video, HDMI, and digital inputs may or not be assignable, but most often are. So if you want to connect your dvd player to DVD input, and a playstation to Video 1, when you switch between sources it will switch both video and audio simultaneously.
 

reed hunt

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Thanks Seth.

Based on your description, this sounds like something I would want. According to the CNET review, the Onkyo SR674 offers HDMI video and multichannel audio switching for two HDMI sources. Again, I think this is what I want...?
 
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read the individuals that posted a review at cnet. They are complaining about the lack of 1080p passthru. I want this reciever as well. In fact im on the phone with onkyo right now. Problem is i dont think thier staff know what the hell im talking about.
 

Stephen Hopkins

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Another thread is reporting that after talking to Onkyo technicians there are some SR674's that have problems passing 1080p but it's an "isolated problem" and that "odds are the one you buy will work fine". I'm strongly considering the SR674 as well as the SR803 but haven't made a final decision yet. The 1080p issue isn't major for me because I'll be using a 720p projector which will probably be around longer than the receiver.
 

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