Recommendations for a receiver for a $400 budget

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lenny, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. Lenny

    Lenny Auditioning

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    My current receiver is a Pioneer VSX-D508.

    I just got HD signal through my cable provider and realize that I will have to upgrade my receiver. Let me explain a little... The new cable box (SA 3100HD) outputs via component cable / s-video for video and digital coax / composites for the audio. So if I'm watching a show in HD, I have to set my TV (Toshiba 57H81) to the right video input (my receiver doesn't do any video switching) and then also set the receiver to the digital audio input. But not all channels have digital audio, so when the channel carries only analog audio, I have to change the receiver to a different input, because I can't set the receiver's TV setting to accept digital and analog. Once I program the receiver's TV setting to digital, the analog inputs don't work. I can sit and change all the settings when I switch to watch HDTV, but this is too much to ask my wife to learn.

    So I need to get a new receiver.

    Here are my wants :

    - HD-level component switching
    - some sort of automatic input selection. In other words, if I have digital coax and composite cables plugged into the same inputs, I want the receiver to automatically use the analog signal, if no digital signal is present. And if there is a digital signal present to automatically use that signal.

    I have a VCR, PS2, CD, Tape, DVD, and Cable box that will all be connected to the receiver.

    My budget is in the $400 - $500 range, but I think I can get what I want for close to $400.

    I have a short list of receivers, including the Pioneer VSX-D811S, Yamaha HTR-5560, and Onkyo TX-SR600. But I would like some more input. I have read alot of previous threads and I think the Pioneer might be out, because it doesn't do HD-level component switching (can anyone verify this??).

    I really want the only connection going into my TV to be a set of component cables leading out from my receiver.

    This receiver's primary use is for movies / HDTV. I rarely listen to music.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    As a general suggestion, if the biggest stumbling block is your wife's difficulty dealing with the complexity of switching (and, unfortunately, you may still have this problem with a new receiver -- many receivers can automatically adjust to a particular digital datastream, whether DD or DTS, but I'm not sure if any automatically sense whether an input is analog or digital and adjust accordingly), consider getting a learning remote with macro capability.

    You could program it so a single button click would switch from analog to digital input on the lines from the cable box. Likewise, another click could go back from digital to analog for that same pair of inputs.

    Denons are a bit pricey, but it would be a good idea to give one, such as the 1803, a listen before making making your final pick.

    By the way, congratulations on moving up to the HD connection.
     
  3. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    If your trying to hook the receiver up just using Component Video for everything I don't think it's going to work in the price range that your talking about. Most lower priced receivers DO NOT up convert regular composite video & S-Video to Component Video output. So you would still have to use at least 2 video connections to your tv. What I talking about is that no vcr has component video outputs so you would have to use composite or S-Video. I would also add to you receiver list the Panasonic SA-HE200 which can be had for under $400 & has been getting very good reviews & from what I understand the Component Video output bandwidth is a high 100Hz which should be more than enough.
     
  4. Lenny

    Lenny Auditioning

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    Iver, I do have a learning remote with macro capability. Currently use the macros to switch to and from DVD viewing settings, power on/off the whole system, etc.

    I just wish I didn't have to setup a macro and use it all the time when I'm switching channels on cable. I really wanted to just be able to flip channels and have the receiver choose the appropriate input.

    Bill, I wasn't sure or not if the receiver would output everything via component cables to the TV, regardless of the source of input. What price level are we talking about to get a receiver that could do this ??? ... and can you give me a couple models. I will look into the Panny.
     
  5. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    Lenny, there are not too many receivers that will up convert "ALL" video to a component video output & you would be talking about at least 3 times as much as you want to spend or more likely 5 times as much because this feature so far has been limited to top-of-the-line receivers or near top-of-the-line receivers. Again, check out the Panasonic SA-HE200 which can be had on-line for around $370 Do a search on it on this board and www.avs.com for info on it. You might also want to check out www.crutchfield.com because they are giving the specs. for the component video output on most of the receivers. The Panasonic though is not listed for some reason but I'm pretty sure that on the avs forum sombody stated that it was 100.
     
  6. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    You might want to check out the HK320. I don't think that you can get everything you want, but for the price (399.99) at jandr.com you might give it a look.
     
  7. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Lenny,

    Even if you found a receiver that upconverts composite and S-Video to component, it may very well be the case that your TV's picture settings may need to change for a subset of your sources. If your set has multiple memories for picture settings that can be applied to the component input, then it shouldn't be a problem (and a few well-designed macros would make switching a cinch). Otherwise...

    Doug
     

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