Answered AV receiver advice - it's complicated

Empaler

Standard Member
Hello,

I am in a bit of a pickle and would really appreciate some help and advice.

First here is my setup:

TV: Sony 65XE9305
Front speakers: KEF Q500 floor standers
Center speaker: KEF Q200
Subwoofer: B&W ASW610
Surround speakers: Q Accoustics 2010i (6 Ohm)
Plan to buy Atmos speakers KEF Q50q in August
Consoles: Xbox One X, PS4 Pro (plus older consoles)
BD: Oppo 103D

Here what happened so far:
I bought a Denon 4400H from PT and traded in my old Denon 3311 back in March. I had problems with the HDR passthrough when gaming. I bought new cables, spoke to Denon, followed their troubleshooting for this issue but to no avail. To get a picture when gaming I had to de-activate HDR on the Sony TV, then everything was fine but that defeats the main purpose of having a HDR TV and the consoles. Then I got the amp repaired through PT for free. The HDMI board was exchanged. However, I encountered the same problem and then sent it back to PT and got my money back.

As I always liked Denon and the 4400H is all I need and want (eARC but more about this later) I (maybe foolishly) ordered ad new Denon 4400H from PT and hoped that it would be different this time. Well, it wasn't. I've only had the amp for a week so I can send it back and I will but what to get instead?

I might also be a bit confused about eARC. Maybe someone can confirm: eARC supports Dolby Atmos (among other things) but this is only necessary if I watch something from an app on the TV, correct? If I watch a movie using a BD player that can do Dolby Atmos eARC is not of importance, correct?

Back to the receivers. I need to buy from PT because I traded in my old amp and I was happy so far with them. They have been helpful.

I shortlisted the following candidates and would be very grateful if someone could help me which one to choose.

1. Marantz SR7012 (£999)
I am aware that this shares a lot with the Denon and that could be a problem with HDR passthrough again.

2. Onkyo TX-RZ830 (£1099)

3. Yamaha RX-A2070 (£1070)
I somehow find the remote a bit strange though.

4. Pioneer SC-LX701 (£949)

5. Yamaha RX-A3070 (£1399)
This is the least preferred option due to price. If this amp is so much better than the other 4 above I could stretch to that price.

I mostly do gaming, the odd movie (BD or Amazon Prime) and no TV. I also don't listen to music with the amp if that helps in helping me.

Many thanks in advance for any help and thanks for reading.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Just doing a general trawl of the interweb, it seems that HDR issues when gaming on Sony TVs (especially on Xbox Ones) are not an uncommon problem. Are you confident that another brand of amp will help? It also seems random between users of the same model of TV, some suffer, some do not. Maybe see if you can get a loaner before you commit to buying something else that exhibits the same issues.
 

Empaler

Standard Member
Just doing a general trawl of the interweb, it seems that HDR issues when gaming on Sony TVs (especially on Xbox Ones) are not an uncommon problem. Are you confident that another brand of amp will help? It also seems random between users of the same model of TV, some suffer, some do not. Maybe see if you can get a loaner before you commit to buying something else that exhibits the same issues.
I thought about that myself but when I connect the consoles directly to the TV there is no problem. This happens on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. That made me think it is related to the receiver as it works when connecting directly.
 

High Fidelity

Active Member
Just doing a general trawl of the interweb, it seems that HDR issues when gaming on Sony TVs (especially on Xbox Ones) are not an uncommon problem. Are you confident that another brand of amp will help? It also seems random between users of the same model of TV, some suffer, some do not. Maybe see if you can get a loaner before you commit to buying something else that exhibits the same issues.
I have had connection problems with Marantz which so far Marantz technical has no answer Denon has same faults ,best Buy is Yamaha
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I might also be a bit confused about eARC. Maybe someone can confirm: eARC supports Dolby Atmos (among other things) but this is only necessary if I watch something from an app on the TV, correct? If I watch a movie using a BD player that can do Dolby Atmos eARC is not of importance, correct?
Sort of.

Firstly for eARC to work both the TV and the AVR have to support it. Will your TV be getting support for eARC via a firmware update? If not, then eARC will not work, even if you get an AVR that supports it.

The concept of ARC and eARC is that you can pass audio through the TV to the AVR. So, as well as by using the internal apps / tuners on the TV, you could also connect your devices directly to the TV, and pass the audio through to the amp. This is an alternative to connecting the devices to the amp and passing the video through to the TV.

The problem with ARC in it's current format is that it is limited to what audio it will pass. eARC widens the formats out, so that it passes through higher quality audio than ARC does.
 

Empaler

Standard Member
Sort of.

Firstly for eARC to work both the TV and the AVR have to support it. Will your TV be getting support for eARC via a firmware update? If not, then eARC will not work, even if you get an AVR that supports it.

The concept of ARC and eARC is that you can pass audio through the TV to the AVR. So, as well as by using the internal apps / tuners on the TV, you could also connect your devices directly to the TV, and pass the audio through to the amp. This is an alternative to connecting the devices to the amp and passing the video through to the TV.

The problem with ARC in it's current format is that it is limited to what audio it will pass. eARC widens the formats out, so that it passes through higher quality audio than ARC does.

Thanks for your explanation.

That's the next question. Will my Sony KD-65XE9305 get the firmware update to support eARC?
I have been using ARC for years with my previous setup and that worked well and I liked it.

I am happy to connect my devices to the receiver and the Atmos signal can be taken from there.

I am asking as I do not intend to change my setup for at least 5 years now so having eARC (which the Denon had or will get through a firmware update) would make the whole thing a bit more future proof generally.

I am aware of the limited bandwidth of ARC and the usual benefits of eARC.

How much should I pay attention that eARC is possible with the receiver when buying it now?
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
How much should I pay attention that eARC is possible with the receiver when buying it now?
If your TV will be getting eARC then I would say an AVR with eARC would be high on my list of priorities, as it does open up a lot of options for the future. But if the TV is not getting eARC and you have no plans to change it, then eARC on the AVR will be pointless.

If I were you, I would contact Sony support and get clarification on the TV.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Just out of curiosity what HDMi cables (type and length) are you using to connect both consoles and more importantly between the AVR and the TV ? I dont believe that you stated this.
 

Empaler

Standard Member
Just out of curiosity what HDMi cables (type and length) are you using to connect both consoles and more importantly between the AVR and the TV ? I dont believe that you stated this.

I am using fairly standard HDMI cables but they support the HDR signal and high-speed. I am not believer in spending £100 or so on a HDMI cable.
Length is short, like 1.5m and I followed the advice here: HDR PASSTHROUGH NOT WORKING

I use the HDMI inputs on the receiver which are located right next to the HDMI out which goes to the TV to have shortet signal travel inside the amp. Point 3 in the linked article.

Between the amp and the TV I am using again a high speed HDMI standard cable which has around 2m lengths.

Do you really think it can be the cables? Which ones would you recommend? I am happy to try this if it's not too expensive (can you send cables back?).

But please bear in mind that it works 7 out of 10 times but not always. I want and need it to work always so not sure if the cables are the reason. Everything is on the latest firmware of course.
 

HeadBanger

Well-known Member
If it was working most of the time then I doubt it was a cable issue but it is of course possible. Does the same occur if you now plug your player directly into the TV? And with both cables (i.e. the one you had from the player to the AVR and also the one you had from the AVR to the TV)?

+1 to @High Fidelity recommendation - go for the Yamaha.

HB
 

Empaler

Standard Member
If it was working most of the time then I doubt it was a cable issue but it is of course possible. Does the same occur if you now plug your player directly into the TV? And with both cables (i.e. the one you had from the player to the AVR and also the one you had from the AVR to the TV)?

+1 to @High Fidelity recommendation - go for the Yamaha.

HB
It works when I connect the consoles directly to the TV. So that fact also shows that the cables are ok.

I haven't touched the cable going from the AVR to the TV. I can try that tonight as last resort basically.

The 2070 or 3070?
 

HeadBanger

Well-known Member
Yes, I would double check the AVR to TV HDMI too just to be sure.

Either the 2070 or 3070 but the 2070 looks much better value at the moment. There's not much between them - the 3070 has supposedly better DACs (technically they are but I doubt whether anyone could actually tell the difference) and a jitter suppression option.

HB
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Sorry to be the word of doom, but just so you can make an informed decision. Yamaha AVR's are known to be somewhat unstable with 4ohm loads, and both the Q Acoustics that you are using for rears, and the Kef Q50a's that you are planning for Atmos, are know to dip down to 4 ohms in operation. You could get round this by adding external amplification for those speakers.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
another thing I would check is the tv's hdmi inputs. Most sony tv's only have 2 full fat hdmi inputs for hdr passthrough. If your avr is connected to one of the other input's it will not work.
 

Empaler

Standard Member
Yes, I would double check the AVR to TV HDMI too just to be sure.

Either the 2070 or 3070 but the 2070 looks much better value at the moment. There's not much between them - the 3070 has supposedly better DACs (technically they are but I doubt whether anyone could actually tell the difference) and a jitter suppression option.

HB
Yes, I have checked both and have seen this. Not sure the better DAC convinces me to part with £320 more... rather invest this into a decent 4k BD player. But that's a question for another time once this receiver is sorted.
 

Empaler

Standard Member
Sorry to be the word of doom, but just so you can make an informed decision. Yamaha AVR's are known to be somewhat unstable with 4ohm loads, and both the Q Acoustics that you are using for rears, and the Kef Q50a's that you are planning for Atmos, are know to dip down to 4 ohms in operation. You could get round this by adding external amplification for those speakers.
thanks for pointing that out. I thought the Q Acoustics had 6 ohms? But you say that might dip down to 4 ohms and that might not be the best pairing then with a Yamaha AVR.

So, which one is left? The Onkyo RZ-830?

I really liked the Denon 4400h as it does all I need and want and for £829 it's for sure the best option...if it weren't for this silly HDR issue. It is very annoying.
 

Empaler

Standard Member
another thing I would check is the tv's hdmi inputs. Most sony tv's only have 2 full fat hdmi inputs for hdr passthrough. If your avr is connected to one of the other input's it will not work.
I am sure I am using the correct HDMI input at the TV. 100%. Thanks for bringing it up though.
 

Empaler

Standard Member

Rambles

Distinguished Member
thanks for pointing that out. I thought the Q Acoustics had 6 ohms? But you say that might dip down to 4 ohms and that might not be the best pairing then with a Yamaha AVR.

So, which one is left? The Onkyo RZ-830?

I really liked the Denon 4400h as it does all I need and want and for £829 it's for sure the best option...if it weren't for this silly HDR issue. It is very annoying.
I have no experience of the Onkyo or Pioneer AVR's. Out of the two I would probably go for a Pioneer due to the Class D amplification (I have a Class D power amp and like it a lot, very light and runs cool), Onkyo's have a bit of a bad reputation for reliability.

I have a Denon 4400 and don't have the issues that you are experiencing. The only HDR source I have though, currently, is a Windows 10 HTPC, and it works fine, switching the TV into 4K / HDR mode automatically when I play back 4K / HDR content.

It might well be a cable issue. I might try a different cable first (certified), before I give up. If you get it from Amazon you can return it if it turns out to be a waste of time.
 

Empaler

Standard Member
I have no experience of the Onkyo or Pioneer AVR's. Out of the two I would probably go for a Pioneer due to the Class D amplification (I have a Class D power amp and like it a lot, very light and runs cool), Onkyo's have a bit of a bad reputation for reliability.

I have a Denon 4400 and don't have the issues that you are experiencing. The only HDR source I have though, currently, is a Windows 10 HTPC, and it works fine, switching the TV into 4K / HDR mode automatically when I play back 4K / HDR content.

It might well be a cable issue. I might try a different cable first (certified), before I give up. If you get it from Amazon you can return it if it turns out to be a waste of time.
There is so much to consider when buying an AVR it's complicated.

Would you also recommend the cables from earlier in this thread or do you have any other recommendation?

I am happy to order them right away as I want to get this sorted. This has been going on since March/April now and that's just too long. All I want is to enjoy my setup and not shipping electronic devices around the country and hooking up everything and setting it up just to remove everything 10 days later. It's utterly frustrating.

Thanks for your help and to everyone else so far. It's all been valuable help and advice.
 

HeadBanger

Well-known Member
Sorry to be the word of doom, but just so you can make an informed decision. Yamaha AVR's are known to be somewhat unstable with 4ohm loads, and both the Q Acoustics that you are using for rears, and the Kef Q50a's that you are planning for Atmos, are know to dip down to 4 ohms in operation. You could get round this by adding external amplification for those speakers.
Where have you heard/read that? Is this perhaps for the lower models? The Aventage series drive down to 2 Ohms. I have the 3070 and it drives MA Gold 200s (which dip to around 4 Ohms) to very high levels with no problems at all (no shut downs, excessive heat etc.).

HB
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Would you also recommend the cables from earlier in this thread or do you have any other recommendation?
Not really, I've been lucky with cables, and the non certified ones that I have just seem to work. The Omars one look as good as any, not too expensive, labelled certified, and a first hand recommendation from earlier on in this thread, and a returns option. Seems like a safe bet!
 

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