FAO John Dawson



Hi John,

I am looking at taking my next step in HC and it involves probably a processor or better reciever. I am looking seriously at the AV8 and by the early reviews it looks like a winner. I wonder if I could trouble you for a few quick questions.

1. Can it convert component video to Svideo? An application maybe where you had component from DVD to the processor and wanted to take component out to a PJ and also Svideo out to a TV. This is not a big deal but would be useful.

2. Are there any plans to include a direct digital link other than electrical/optical? I guess I am asking what your opinion of Firewire is. This is supposed to be the new standard for direct audio transfer (according to those selling it). I know many people prefer HDMI etc.

What is the upgradeability like on the AV8 if say, in 3 years, iLink (or other) is the industry standard?

3. Lastly, are the 7.1 inputs direct or is it possible to apply bass management etc. to them?

Thanks in advance


John Dawson

Novice Member
Hi Steve,

In answer to your questions:

1) There is no video format conversion in the AV8. However in the application you mention you could output both component and s-video simultaneously from the DVD player. With a DV27 you can output PS video and interlaced simultaneously too (most DVD players can't do this).

2) I can bore for England on the subject of high definition digital interconnects. Suffice to say it is some time away - at least 2 years - before we see an open-standard system capable of transmitting both digital video and hi-res digital audio simultaneously (it will be the second spin of HDMI). Having said that, the AV8 is modular in design, so in principle it would be possible for us to support such a format in the long term - but, believe me, it is a major project to do this. Incidentally there is no guarantee that a hi res digital audio link is any better sonically than an all-analogue one, if the DVD player is properly designed (ours are!).

3) The 7.1 inputs are "clean" and do not go through an A/D and D/A process, so if you need bass management here it will have to be done elsewhere. If you have reasonably wide range speakers this need not be an issue for DVD-A. Level adjustment between speakers is possible; the 7.1 input tracks the settings you make when using the main DSP system. (If you wanted different ones you could do this by using a different system preset for the 7.1 input).


John Dawson (Arcam)

PS - There is another review just out in What Hi-Fi? today - suffice it to say we are very pleased with it.


Hi John,

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

The video conversion is not a big point as I said and, as you point out, there are other ways around it. I was just curious.

In terms of digital connections, I appreciate that it is extremely risky for a company like yourself to invest in technology that is subject to the whims of the big Japanese players. I agree that it would be foolish to commit until a clear standard emerges. Let's hope it's something that can do hi-res video and audio in one lead. The main reason for asking is that I have a large collection of SACD disks and with one set of 7.1 ins, I would be looking at a combined player such as the Marantz 8300 for the time being. I would be unwilling to give up on SACD altogether although I would like to be able to use DVD-A as well. Just one of those 'format wars' quandries which in the long run, you can't really worry about.

As for bass management, it simply means buying a good source machine I guess. Something that should be a goal anyway.

I'm glad the machine is being well recieved. You have certainly created a very attractive unit, something that is quite important to me. I will be arranging an audition in the near future. Can't wait.


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