Should I consider HDMI

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Frank PW, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Frank PW

    Frank PW Stunt Coordinator

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    I’ve recently started to explore the possibility of picking up a new receiver. The ability to decode some EX and ES and increase the power are some of the reasons behind the purchase.

    One option that I’m a little in the dark on is whether or not I should look for one that has the HDMI connections. They seem to be few and far between as far as I can tell.

    Some of the receivers that I’ve considered are the yet to be released HK 635 and the Denon AVR 3805. Neither of which support this new format. The Denon 5803 does support the format but it’s starting to tip the scales at 3k here in Canada. I don’t mind going that route if it’ll future proof me. Can we expect to see DVD players, DBS systems, and SCAD players going this route?

    If so, then I would need a receiver that is capable of accepting the signal from these devices and sending one cable to the TV. My TV supports this format, which I suppose was the reason why I began to consider it in the first place.

    My own thoughts are that it’s primarily for HD and that few if any components will have this ability any time in the next 5 –8 years.

    Here in Canada we’re expecting a new DBS HD receiver that may support this format.

    As you can see I’m a little in the dark when it comes to this format and would certainly be happy to listen to anyone who has experience on the subject.

    Thanks
    Frank
     
  2. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Frank.

    I am an HDMI enthusiast. The interface seems to hold the promise of a true digital Hi Res audio interface which as yet (without HDMI) doesn't exist. I've seen some receivers with HDMI and Universal DVD players (that is a DVD player capable of hi-res audio playback). It is my unverified assumption that you can play back DVD-Audio through HDMI to your receiver, I'd be interested if that assumption is wrong.

    I would personally waiting for HDMI receivers to come down in price. EX/ES isn't worth the extra price of being an HDMI early adopter IMHO. But, so far I believe HDMI really is the cup Jesus himself sipped from at the last supper.

    HDMI should provide the future proof interface between DVD players and receivers with existing established DVD technologies. However, one cannot say when it comes to "blue ray" or HD-DVD who knows, in five years HDMI might look pretty average and there will be some next step just coming into focus.
     
  3. Frank PW

    Frank PW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Wayde, I am a little reluctant to spend the extra money for the technology given the fact that in a few years a 5k receiver will be 2K or the technology has morphed into something else.

    The HDMI site purports that this is the final leg on the way to having a system that will be around for years to come. The move from DVI to HDMI completes the cycle.

    I spoke with a local shop today and the new Denon will support this format but at 9K I’ll take a pass.

    Hopefully the new Starchoice PVR will have the connection.

    I guess it’s back to the Elite VSX55, HK635 or Denon AVR 3805

    Thanks for the insight.

    Regards
    Frank
     
  4. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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    I'm in the same boat you're in. However the only receivers I know with HDMI are the flagship Denon and Onkyo. Its just a wild guess on my part but I think it's going to be a good 2 or 3 years before HDMI becomes real common and is available on receivers affordable to normal people.

    I figure I'll just get a Denon 2805, 3805 or Yamaha 1500, 2500 and then upgrade in a few years.
     
  5. Frank PW

    Frank PW Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm guessing they'll have hubs or multi port units that will handle all the components.

    I guess it's not all that important at this point.

    Thanks

    Frank
     
  6. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    All things considered. It's a good time to wait on receivers with HDMI. IMHO the upgrade to ES/EX alone isn't worth upgrading a receiver with which you're otherwise happy.
     
  7. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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    I would wait but the center channel keeps cutting out on my 8 year old Denon 3200.
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    As far as hi-res audio is concerned, the receiver/processor would have to be equipped with the proper decoders for that format. How many will have those? And at what price point? Three pairs of quality/common sense cables for surround hi-res only cost about 50 bucks, half of what many HDMI cables I've seen cost.
     
  9. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Dave, I don't know the price point of Denon's 3200 but if it's closer to the 5K and you're willing to spend that kind of money again then by all means you're probably primed one of those flagship models. I have receiver that's two years old now and only cost me under $2K (cnd) in two more years or so when I have a TV w/ HDMI ins and DVD players w/ HDMI outs are pretty common, I can see spending the same on a receiver again.

    Is getting the receiver serviced an option? Are you sure the receiver is at fault? Is there regularity to the cutting out of the middle? Is it heat related or totally intermittent? Other things can cause that too, especially cables and wires possibly even the center speaker itself. I don't know how far you've looked into the problem but you never know, it could be fixed.
     
  10. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    I don't think your assumption is a correct one, Wayde. It's my understanding that DVD-A's (and SACD's) hi rez signal is only passed via analog connections for copy protection reasons. The signal passed via other outputs is 'down-rezzed.'

    -p
     
  11. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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    The Denon 3200 was their second receiver with Dolby Digital. It was around $1000 back then and is the price area I'm looking at now. Spending $5K on a receiver/amp would get me killed right now. [​IMG]

    I spent a whole weekend diagnosing and trying to figure if the problem is elsewhere. New cables, switching speakers, sources etc. No matter what the center channel cuts in/out.

    My dealer said $250+ to look at it and get it fixed. I'll just get a new one.

    My guess is that we'll see HDMI on second tier ($1500-$2500) receivers next year and on regular tier ($750-$1500) receivers in two years.
     
  12. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Would this work as an inexpensive option while waiting on a broader array of HDMI-equipped receiver choices? Get an HDMI-equipped DVD player (although I've read unconfirmed reports of problems with its HDMI connection, the Tosh SD-5960 is such a player) and connect it directly to an HDMI-equipped TV?

    -p
     
  13. Don Scott

    Don Scott Stunt Coordinator

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  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Er, what use is one HDMI input and output on that Panasonic?

    You might as well just run the HDMI cable directly to the TV.....right?

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    So you can pass hi-rez DVD-A to the receiver (I dont think it has analog mc inputs).
     
  16. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Trippy. If true, it's interesting that the record labels would not allow the hi rez signal to be passed via optical or coax digital outputs, but permitted it via HDMI . . .

    -p
     
  17. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    This has long been a bone of contention with hi res audio. The corporate marketing machine says the S/PDIF isn't wide enough bandwidth, but that's probably not true. The real reason is it's unsecure. HDMI is securely encrypted and will stop the casual 'recorder' from making hi res copies of his DVD-Audios.

    I didn't know that firewire works too, is firewire secure?
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Rob, I checked out that XR70 receiver & it does come with a 5.1 analog input.

    So I'm still [​IMG]
     
  19. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    While I have not heard the benefits of HDMI for DVD-Audio (but can imagine the potential with top-end componenets), HDMI for video is a no-brainer. I can't watch component video anymore. Seeing SD-DVD through HDMI is prompting a quick upgrade in my system. So far the new Denon DVD-2910/3910s are catching my eye.

    Mike
     
  20. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Michael:

    Do you mind offering your own comments on an HDMI issue and/or pointing those with some basic questions to a good source of information on a subject like connectivity?

    For instance, here's a hypothetical situation for a 2 ch wanker with no receiver who is interested in HDMI video: could one--per my post #12, sans HDMI-enabled receiver--route an HDMI cable from a DVD player directly to a TV and get HDMI video at the same time as using, say, the analog L & R outs from the same player routed to an amp for audio?

    -p
     

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