Advise me: New Receiver (A/V)

I've bought some stuff from onecall, and they always seemed fine to me. Don't know anything about

Onecall and TheNerds both sometimes have cutthroat prices on receivers. I've had good experiences with both of them.

I'm super-pleased with this entry-level Onkyo. Maybe it doesn't suit your purposes but it's been great for me.

As far as that HDMI/Xbox 360 bug, if I power up the receiver first, I rarely see it. The only problem is when I power up the Xbox first, and then the receiver.

Heh, I just use plasma TVs as my default 'consumption' item because it's easy to type, easy to imagine, and they're expensive. Receivers count too.

Part of it's probably because I'm on the older side -- plasma TVs used to be unimaginably expensive, $6000+.

Malor wrote:

Heh, I just use plasma TVs as my default 'consumption' item because it's easy to type, easy to imagine, and they're expensive. Receivers count too.

Part of it's probably because I'm on the older side -- plasma TVs used to be unimaginably expensive, $6000+.

Now now they're the budget choice (as well as quality choice in many cases) for larger screens. )

Yeah, you can get a nice Panasonic Plasma for less than an equivalently sized LCD a lot of the time, and you end up with better picture quality if you have control of lighting in the room.

Yeah, I was looking at LCDs in Costco the other day -- they are definitely brighter, and seem more vibrant. I understand why they sell better. They have more immediate sizzle, quite a bit of it. The plasma qualities of excellent color, deep blacks, and multiple viewing angles aren't apparent at all under fluorescent lighting. They just look dimmer in a big box store, so they don't sell as well.

Weird that plasma has become the cheap choice in HDTVs.

Inspired by this thread, I went out and bought a Denon 1721 yesterday. A local Best Buy had it for $349.

A question to Malor: how come a plasma TV is "wealth-destroying", but a receiver is not?

On J&R: it's somewhat of an iconic fixture in Lower Manhattan. Apart from B&H (also from Manhattan), that's the only successful, competitive, viable large electronics and computer store which is not a national big-box chain. I heartily recommend you visiting them both next time you're in NYC.

Edit: shore -> store

The HDMI cables from Monoprice are arriving today! Will hook that bad boy up tonight.

Major boner -- I was lead to believe that AVR-1712 upconverts component input into HDMI output. It doesn't. And I still have a big-white-ass 1st Gen Xbox 360. Pay $200 bones for a new "Jasper" 360, or $35 for an HDMI converter from MonoPrice?

Ooh, ouch, the upthread recommendations for the 1712 didn't mention the upscaling issue at all. Can you still return the receiver and get one that will do what you need?

I kinda like this receiver though. Besides two [useless] component ports it two extra [superfluous] HDMI inputs, it also supports 7.1.

Edit: Gotta see how well HDMI performs. Yesterday late at night when the wife asked for a demo how to use it, neither DVR nor DVD wanted to produce a picture -- after working just fine in the morning when I finished the setup! Needless to say, the missus wasn't impressed.

Wha? So -- what does it do with the component input? Pass it along as 480? Flush it down a black hole?

I think most of us were talking about hooking up a Wii component, so upscaling wasn't much of a thought.

Video conversion of analog video inputs into HDMI output, so you can send all video to the TV with one HDMI cable, you need to have model 1912 or higher. The model 1712 does not do this.

Here is the link to avs forum about the Denon receivers. Explains the differences between the models.

Yep, I read that page yesterday -- belatedly.

So, if you can still return it, that would be a good idea.

The question is, what do I buy instead? I am wary of shelling $550 for Denon AVR-1912 (or Yamaha RX-A710BL, or Pioneer VSX-50) now just to get the component upconversion which I won't need in two years when Xbox 720 comes out (or if my current Xbox 360 dies before that). There are cheaper models out there from Sony, Pioneer, and Samsung, but their reviews are inconclusive.

Another quirk discovered yesterday by the missus again, as my luck would have it: when she begins playing back the shows recorded by our Motorola DVR (provided by Verizon FIOS), the TV flat out loses HDMI signal. Here you are, looking at the DVR UI, everything is nice and ducky. You press PLAY, and WHAM! "NO INPUT".

Sony is very hit and miss on their receivers. Best do a loooot of research before you pick one up.

I wouldn't consider Samsung really. They're almost never even in the conversation for receiver recommendations. I have to believe there's a reason nobody recommends their stuff.

As far as the pricing on the Yamaha and the Denon, receivers have always very much been a get what you pay for kinda thing.

Ok, I need the Wii to hdmi thing, too.

What to buy that's less than 500 bones, preferably less than 400.

One more caveat with the 1712 I just discovered: You can't use HDMI inputs as video sources. Meaning if you want to listen to your CD source and just have your TV playing from a STB, you can't if the STB is connected via HDMI. This also was discovered while I was trying to figure out the best way to get analog audio from my 360 for Rocksmith.

For the record, my final solution is to use the BluRay input as my "analog 360" input as I can assign one of the analog connections for audio while using HDMI for video. The Game1 and Game2 inputs don't allow you to do that. Those expect audio from HDMI. So for normal mode I just use Game1 for 360 with HDMI for everything, for Rocksmith I spend <5 seconds in the 1712's menu switching the corresponding HDMI input over to the BluRay input which is configured for analog audio. This effectively is the same as cycling video sources while using a different audio input as desired above.

You can probably still find a Denon 791 for under $400. It will upconvert all video to a single HDMI to your TV.
It has 4 hdmi inputs and is a 7.1 setup.

The Onkyo HT RC260 can do upscaling, and that comes in under $300.

After all my reading, I'm leery of yet another Onkyo with a flaky hdmi board, though.
Rock and hard place. Arg.

That Denon 791 and Onkyo RC260 look solid!

The 791 is nice, just realize that it has basic Audyssey and no on-screen GUI or volume display. You might shop around for a deal on the 1912 if you want the on-screen display. Same Audyssey but the 1912 has other bells and whistles over the 791 too.

[Edit] D'oh! Just realized I have the 790, not the 791. I don't know what changed for the new model year.

The 2 component inputs appear to have to go through the component output. I just messed around with this for the first time a couple of days ago while trying to eliminate HDMI lag for Rocksmith and was surprised component didn't get upconverted to HDMI. My older 790 downstairs does this. The Wii is connected over component and I only have HDMI to the TV.

[Edit] Changed 791 to 790.

I think they fixed up the Audyssey levels in 2011 -- in 2010 it looked like maybe Audyssey had jacked up its license fees, because the better versions of it retreated way upscale on both Denon and Onkyo units. It seems to be back about where it was before, so if it was a price increase, I think it may have been rolled back.

The 791 does have a on-screen GUI to adjust settings and such, but it will not overlay on a hdmi signal. (ie no volume display when watching programs.)
I have had the 791 for about a year and it sounds great.

That looks like a pretty damn good deal actually, given the features.

I will second my earlier recommendation to look at Yamaha's RX-867, which is last year's model but was pretty loaded. Can be had for $399 at Newegg still. I bought one in July and love it. It does all manner of video upconversion, has pre-outs, excellent audio inputs, networking (ethernet), runs very cool, etc. Here's a look at the back to give you an idea of the I/O available.