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  1. #1
    CompuPhotoGeek Amarand's Avatar
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    Question Replacing Sony STR-DE935 with HDMI unit

    I have a Sony STR-DE935 which I bought years ago, and it's still running. The problem is, it doesn't do HDMI switching, so my receiver does the audio switching, and the TV does the video/HDMI switching. This is a bit annoying but it works.

    Sometime over the next few months, I'd like to purchase a comparable unit, so I can connect all of my devices, existing speakers, and TV - and have the receiver do all the switching.

    I have:

    PS3 with HDMI and digital optical S/PDIF
    WD TV Live Hub with HDMI and digital optical S/PDIF

    My speakers (5.1) are from the Yamaha CS-200 kit, containing five NS-A200X satellite speakers and an SW-5 powered sub-woofer. I am running digital coax (RCA) from the receiver to the sub, and flat Monster Cable to each of the five satellites.

    I'm happy with everything, except for the receiver/HDMI issue.

    If I can find a receiver that pretty much allows me to use the existing DD/DTS 5.1 set-up with existing wiring, and cabling, between all devices (input and output), that would be awesome.

    I'd like the quality and functionality to be similar or better as far as ergonomics...the kids are used to the physical buttons on the front with the LED array to tell them which one they pressed.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I would look at Onkyo and Yamaha. In my opinion both would be better than Sony. Keeping your wiring might be an issue, I'd run HDMI from all units to the receiver then one HDMI from receiver to TV. You should also consider next a speaker upgrade.

  3. #3
    CompuPhotoGeek Amarand's Avatar
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    I think Yamaha might be the way I'd lean. Any particular models you'd recommend?

    When you say keeping my wiring...do you mean the speaker wires, or the cabling between the output devices, the receiver and the TV? I'm already using HDMI between each of my two devices and the TV, but I could just as easily route the HDMI to the HDMI-friendly receiver. As long as it can strip the 5.1 audio and send that out through the speakers, that's fine. And, of course, I'd then run a single HDMI cable from the receiver to the TV, which means that the TV wouldn't have to do any switching, just the receiver, which is exactly what I was looking for.

    I hope I wouldn't have to replace the speaker cables themselves, as they are a bit expensive and challenging to re-run.

  4. #4
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    I was just referring to your cables, the speaker wire would be fine, and you are correct about having HDMI so you may need to just pick up another one.

    Yamaha is a pretty good value but Onkyo receivers have come on strong in the past several years and fairly easy set up.

    No particular model, just decide if you will stick with 5 channels or ever want to upgrade to 7, what features would you need, video upsampling so you could pass VHS or other 480 video via HDMI, 3D, any streaming or mp3 connectivity, preamp outputs for maybe adding an external amp down the road, etc.

  5. #5
    Charm Thai™
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    Welcome from Ohio! I'm not very up to date on AV Receivers as most of the other guys on here but historically I've always liked Onkyo and Marantz. I bought my one and only receiver (Onkyo) 20 years ago and it never failed me.

  6. #6
    CompuPhotoGeek Amarand's Avatar
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    Cool Next step...

    I hear a lot of folks saying Onkyo, which is cool. So the specs of my current receiver are 110w all around, but that's a super old unit. I'm guessing that the efficiency/quality has improved over the years, and a 100w or even a 80w unit might be the same/similar as my previous unit? Is my guess correct?

    So here are a few I've been looking at:

    Onkyo TX-NR414 5.1-Channel Network A/V Receiver(Black)
    Benefits: 5.1 only, so I won't be wasting three channels
    Possible issues: Only 80w per channel, whereas previous unit 110w.

    Onkyo TX-NR515 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver(Black)
    Benefits: 7.2, so I can upgrade later, has 115w - might be overkill?
    Possible issues: I have no idea how downmixing works. If the receiver is 7.2, is there a way to set it to 5.1 only, or am I going to be having issues with that?

    They also have a pretty Sony with an Input Selector knob:

    Sony STRDH820 7.2 Channel 3D AV Receiver (Black)
    Benefits: 7.2, so I can upgrade later, has 110w - which matches (or exceeds?) previous model. Sony for Sony.
    Possible issues: I have no idea how downmixing works. If the receiver is 7.2, is there a way to set it to 5.1 only, or am I going to be having issues with that? Also, I've always believed you're "paying for the name" with Sony. Is that still true?

  7. #7
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    Onkyo may be rated at 80 watts but their amp section is high current which means it controls the speakers better and will have better and harder hitting bass response, the Onkyo's 80 will sound louder or at least more powerful than Sony's 110.

    Any receiver will adjust to how many speakers you have, you just tell it, yes, I have a center channel, yes, I have rear surround, no, I don't have back surround, yes, I have a subwoofer, etc. So if you buy a 7.1 but set it up for 5.1 the receiver will compensate.

    You should go out to listen to a few brands and get a feel for them. Although Yamaha may not be as strong as Onkyo either, I have set some up for friends who seem happy with them and the sound is good for a receiver. I am not a Sony fan, I found them unreliable and sound bright but that's my opinion.

  8. #8
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Truth be told, the New Onkyo's Yammies, and Marantz are all very good. There is even a following of the new Sony home theater receivers out there.. You just have to figure out which is a better fit for you. And the best way in my opinion is to ask those who really use those products day in and day out, what they really think. Here's is a thread that can take you to where there are multitudes of people using all those amps, far more than those here....AMPs, Receivers, and Processors - AVS Forum
    So if I where in your shoes, I would visit that site.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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