First Time AV Setup

Smudger1

Active Member
Hi, I wonder if someone could help.

My wife and I have recently taken delivery of the Samsung LED TV, and while the picture is very good, the speakers are rubbish. So, we thought we'd look at an AV amp to put 2 HDMI inputs (V+ box & Blu-Ray), a Wii on component, andpossibly a Sky+ box (SCART) through. HiSpek in St Albans had a few Yamahas and a Denon at £250 which seemed to do the job, but the salesman recommended we upped the price point to £450 and wait for the new rage of Denon (AVR1410???) and Yamahas (RXV465/565) to come out. He also mentioned the Sony 2400. My question is, is it worth going to the higher price point, considering our lounge is quite small, so we don't need anything massively powerful, and if so, which amp would be the best to go for. We currently have a set of Mission hi-fi speakers and a set of Yamaha 5.1 speakers, which didn't cost much, which we were looking to re-use, but any guidance on gradually building up a speaker collection would be good too. Your help would be most appreciated.
 

kempez

Well-known Member
First of all, the 1410 is a low range AV Amp and should not cost £450!

Take a look around SuperFi/HiFiX and then browse some WhatHiFi reviews too see what sort of product you're after.

Richer Sounds do the Denon AVR 1509 for about £200, maybe a good price point for you?

I would highly recommend listening to an Amp as some do not like the unique sound of certain brands. Personally I love the sound of Denon and Yamaha, but not so keen on the Onkyo Amps I've heard but its personal choice
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
There are advantages, not all off them to do with power, but the output would be better and you'd hear a discernible difference in sound quality even if you don't intend raising the roof and alienating the neighbours.

You'll also gain more options regarding connectivity i.e more HDMI inputs and the ability to access audio via HDMI. There's also the additional codecs such receivers usually come equipped with and the added decoding abilities these codecs give the receiver.

If you are on a tight budget then there is no need to spend as much as the salesperson is suggesting in order to gain many of the benefits I've mentioned. The Sony STRDH800 will give you most of these features for less than £300. The receiver will be available sometime next month and play.com are taking pre orders for it with the price of £280. THe sound quality will not be as good as the more expensive alternatives, but it will be quite acceptable and by no means unacceptable.

The STRDH800 will lack video conversion and upscaling which all the receivers in the £400 plus bracket now seem to possess. This shouldn't be an issue unless you particularly want this type of feature?

Here are a few alternatives you may wish to consider:

Denon AVR 2309 £430
Sony STRDA2400ES £430 (may have some difficulty finding one)
Pioneer VSX1018 £420
Yamaha RXV565 £415
Onkyo TX-SR606 £350


The Onkyo TX-SR606 is particularly good value in comparison to its replacement the 607 (£500).

If you did wait for the new Denons then I'd wait for the 1910 and not the 1410 ;)

You may find this thread of some use:
http://www.avforums.com/forums/av-a...-new-kids-block-battle-lines-being-drawn.html
 
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kempez

Well-known Member
Where have you seen the 2309 for that price??
 

kempez

Well-known Member
Aye, they essentially have about 2 in the country. I've checked :p
 

Smudger1

Active Member
Thanks guys for all your help. We have the money (wedding gifts!) it's just whether it's worth spending it on an amp. The perfectionist in me says go for the best we can afford...

Funnily enough, you say there aren't many Sony 2400s around, but HiSpek in St Albans has at least one, it was what the salesman recommended.

I think a trip to Richer Sounds might be in order, I am leaning towards the Yamaha or Denon.

Another question, actually, is the difference between the RXV465 & 565 just the 5.1/7.1 thing? They seem to have very similar specs on Richer's website, and I can't spot much else that's different.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I think a trip to Richer Sounds might be in order, I am leaning towards the Yamaha or Denon.

Beware the Yamaha. The newer entry models are getting a bad reception in the US. They're apparently of lesser quality than previous models?


Another question, actually, is the difference between the RXV465 & 565 just the 5.1/7.1 thing?

They also have differing power output ratings and the RX-V56 also has 1080p video upscaling.
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
....So, we thought we'd look at an AV amp to put 2 HDMI inputs (V+ box & Blu-Ray), a Wii on component, andpossibly a Sky+ box (SCART) through.


Just make sure you have enough of the right inputs.
Although the V+ box has HDMI, you wouldn't connect that to the amp via HDMI, because that way you'd only get stereo sound modified to Dolby ProLogic. The best way to connect the V+ BOX is HDMI to the TV and Optical to the amp, that way, on BBC HD, you sometimes get dolby 5.1

I think the same is the case with the SkyHD box although I believe some Sky HD boxes have coaxial and optical.

How does the Wii connect for audio? does it have optical out?

The thing is, the new amps for this year are cutting down on older connection formats compared to last years models, in particularly component, optical, coaxial and S-Video (not a big issue for most people).

Just work out how you're going to connect everything first as most new amps have a maximum of 2 optical inputs.

I would recommend getting an amp with HD decoding, then you don't have to worry about the BR player as audio and video would go to the amp via HDMI, and the new amps have millions of HDMI inputs :D

Another thing to consider is video conversion capability, because if you do feed your Wii via the amp, you only need the one HDMI connection from the amp to the TV; the component input from the Wii is converted to an HDMI compatable signal. Without video conversion, you would need 2 leads from the amp to the TV. I don't think video upscaling is required, as your TV will do that.

BTW I know you said Sky+ not SkyHD, but as you had V+, wondered if it was Sky HD, you meant. Same principles apply if that isn't the case re connection requirements.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Just make sure you have enough of the right inputs.
Although the V+ box has HDMI, you wouldn't connect that to the amp via HDMI, because that way you'd only get stereo sound modified to Dolby ProLogic. The best way to connect the V+ BOX is HDMI to the TV and Optical to the amp, that way, on BBC HD, you sometimes get dolby 5.1

I think the same is the case with the SkyHD box although I believe some Sky HD boxes have coaxial and optical.

The V+ box has full HDMI audio abilities and is capable of sending multichannel audio via its HDMI output. No additional audio outputs are required for DD 5.1.

SKY HD requires either digi coax or optical because the box's HDMI interface isn't HDMI audio capable.

SKY is the only one of the two to have this problem.
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
The V+ box has full HDMI audio abilities and is capable of sending multichannel audio via its HDMI output. No additional audio outputs are required for DD 5.1..

No it dosen't. Audio via HDMI is stereo only.


I don't think even the new Samsung box (still in limited install trial basis) has this, though stand to be corrected.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
No it dosen't. Audio via HDMI is stereo only.


I don't think even the new Samsung box (still in limited install trial basis) has this, though stand to be corrected.

I have a V+ box and it must be magic because it streams discrete DD 5.1 audio via HDMI and there is no other cable attached to it!

The new Samsung box is exactly the same.

This is quite well known. Only SKY has the issue you speak of.
 

Tone-uk

Active Member
Think Dante01's right on this one. Seems to be a common misconception thats been understood for a good few months now.
 

dwhite

Distinguished Member
Yes its skyhd which is stereo only over HDMI, AFAIK every other source device capable of carrying audio over HDMI will transmit 5.1 over HDMI.
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
Yes its skyhd which is stereo only over HDMI, AFAIK every other source device capable of carrying audio over HDMI will transmit 5.1 over HDMI.

Think Dante01's right on this one. Seems to be a common misconception thats been understood for a good few months now.


Maybe it was the result of a software update? The last time I read the V+ manual, it said you needed optical (quite a while ago now).

I'll post on the Digitalspy forums to check and if I've missed this, I apologise to Dante01 and everyone else.

Actually hope it's true ---- 1 less optical input required on any new amp purchase, giving more flexibility!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Maybe it was the result of a software update? The last time I read the V+ manual, it said you needed optical (quite a while ago now).


The Scientific-Atlanta Explorer 8300DVB has always had the ability. The US SA box that Virgin have no control over the manufacture of has the ability as factory standard.

The box even sports the Dolby double D digital logo on its fascia.
 
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Passingbat

Distinguished Member
The Scientific-Atlanta Explorer 8300DVB has always had the ability. The US SA box that Virgin have no control over the manufacture of has the ability as factory standard.

The box even sports the Dolby double D digital logo on its fascia.

The software Virgin use can disable certain features of the SA box; there's no doubting it will do D Digital --- it's just connection options.

Anyway, as I said in my previous post, I've posted the question on the DS forums, and as also said, it's in my interest for it to be the case!

Out of interest here's the section from the TV Drive manual (old as you'll see from the text and I guess pre HDMI amps). Software updates may have enabled 5.1 direct via HDMI.

"connecting your Home Cinema Equipment
Your TVDrive can output Dolby 5.1 digital sound if the movie or programme you
are watching has a Dolby Digital audio track. Connect your home cinema
receiver or amplifier to your TVDrive via the Optical Audio Out port. Then on the
Display & Audio screen change ‘Convert Dolby Digital to stereo’ to On. While
your receiver/amplifier is connected and turned on you will hear sound from
your external speakers. If the content you are watching is not Dolby Digital 5.1
you will still hear stereo through your external speakers. (NOTE this feature is
scheduled to be available from mid April 2006.)"
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member


Thanks for the link (as you're the OP, posting it in your first reply may have helped ---- as you say yourself, not widley known or documented anywhere!). I tend to use Digitalspy for anything Virgin related as there seems to be more activity, and only occasionaly use the AV Forums Virgin section; seems like I need to change this! I'll leave my post on there to see what the response is.

BTW when I had Sky movies (don't now) there were quite a few shown in 5.1.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
BTW when I had Sky movies (don't now) there were quite a few shown in 5.1.

I've never subscribed to SKY whilst being a Virgin customer and the last time I was a SKY customer, there wasn't any form of digital audio broadcast by anyone.

The info about DD 5.1, Virgin and SKY movies was a new revelation to me.
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
I've never subscribed to SKY whilst being a Virgin customer and the last time I was a SKY customer, there wasn't any form of digital audio broadcast by anyone.

The info about DD 5.1, Virgin and SKY movies was a new revelation to me.

I meant the Sky movies pack via Virgin. Can't get a Sky dish where I am.
 

Smudger1

Active Member
BTW I know you said Sky+ not SkyHD, but as you had V+, wondered if it was Sky HD, you meant. Same principles apply if that isn't the case re connection requirements.

It is Sky+, we had it before we got Virgin, but kept it plugged in because you can get Fiver +1 on it, which 'er indoors uses if we get in too late for Home and Away...:(

So, as long as my HDMI cables are 1.3, I can put 5.1 into the amp over that cable?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It is Sky+, we had it before we got Virgin, but kept it plugged in because you can get Fiver +1 on it, which 'er indoors uses if we get in too late for Home and Away...:(

So, as long as my HDMI cables are 1.3, I can put 5.1 into the amp over that cable?

There's no such thing as a v1.3 HDMI cable. Any HDMI cable will carry 5.1 digital audio.

If you mean the higher grade cables required for the newer Blu-Ray formats, these are called category 2 "High Speed" cables.

HDMI v1.3 refers to the standards applicable to the interfaces and not the cables.

High Speed (or “category 2”) cables have been tested to perform at speeds of 340Mhz, which is the highest bandwidth currently available over an HDMI cable and can successfully handle 1080p signals including those at increased color depths and/or increased refresh rates. High-Speed cables are also able to accommodate higher resolution displays, such as WQXGA cinema monitors (resolution of 2560 x 1600).

Standard (or “category 1”) cables have been tested to perform at speeds of 75Mhz, which is the equivalent of a 1080i signal.
 

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