Home Theatre Fresh Start ?

Discussion in 'What Is The Best TV For You?' started by shakedown, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. shakedown

    shakedown
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    Hi Guys,
    I would appreciate your thoughts on the best way out of the muddle I'm in...

    I'm currently watching a ten year old Panasonic 40" plasma. I'm getting FTA content through a HUMAX FVP 4000T , and I watch Netflix, Amazon and NowTV through a PS4 . I have an Onkyo TX SR607 AV Receiver that gives me a unreliable 5.1 surround sound mostly falling back to just stereo.
    The internet at the back of my TV is around 50M so decent speed but it's coming over a wireless bridge and because of that I can't use a BT box to access BT premium channels. I've got a Harmony universal remote controller that works on about 90% of the functions ( altho not at all with the PS4) so that means I have to have all the original remotes handy as backups .
    My main requirement is to simplify use of the system for all users - less use of remotes , I'm interested in voice control if it's a mature tech yet perhaps Alexa through FireTV ? otherwise the proprietary voice recognition that screen manufactures include. I'd like a bigger screen definitely 55 possibly 65 . I'd like a source for UHD programmes particularly football ahead of next year's world cup. The PS4 has to stay mainly for Bluray playback. I have no strong feelings about the Humax or the Onkyo. In the spirit of simplification I'm interested in Playbase over the complexity and wires of a 5.1.
    I'm talking a major upgrade programme and would be grateful for your thoughts on what to upgrade to and in what order to do it ?

    My budget is generally the least it costs to get a good result !
     
  2. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    You have a lot to think about so it's hard to make choices with such a broad range of requirements. You mention you want to watch content in UHD but what UHD sources do you currently use or plan to use?

    You mentioned BT premium channels, do you have a youview box?

    Sound wise I'm a little confused, as an owner of a onkyo SR608 what do you mean by sometimes you only get stereo? Are there specific moments when this happens? Are you expecting surround sound for everything you watch? How do you have things connected up?

    Also how important to you is retaining recording? Whilst many tv's come with recording options built in you need to get one with dual tuners to record and watch at the same time. By comparison your humax has 3 tuners and can even record 3 while you watch another provided it's on the same channel multiplex...so it's capabilities are far more powerful.

    With simplicity comes more limited flexibility and compromises have to made somewhere.

    If you can think of what's important to you, what your sources will be and where you're willing to make compromises in your existing setup it would really help.
     
  3. shakedown

    shakedown
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    Ok let me gather my thoughts !

    I don't have any UHD sources now but I believe there may be some Netflix or Amazon Prime content that I could access if i had a UHD screen.
    I don't want to subscribe to Sky or Virgin so my access points would be OTA or via internet.
    I returned my BT Youview box because it requires a wired connection from the back of the box to the wall socket which isn't possible in my house. My Humax isn't perfect but after a couple of firmware upgrades it's now a better machine than the BT Youview box was.

    The ability to record is useful even if it's only for chasing through adverts.

    The Onkyo has always been flaky. It is the hub for the Humax and the PS4. My best chance of success for 5.1 is off a Bluray disc in the PS4 . I do have to manually select a listening mode on the Onkyo but it's so unreliable everyone has more or less lost interest in 5.1 . Occasionally I'm surprised when a HD broadcast on the Humax activates the rear speakers in the 5.1 set up but this is one area where the complexity of the set up has defeated us.

    To recap then:

    the PS4 will stay
    the Humax will stay
    a new screen is a possibility - 55" and future proofed
    a new AV receiver is a possibility especially if set up and auto detection of audio inputs has improved.

    If World Cup 2018 is streamed in 4K then I'll upgrade if possible to whatever kit I need.
     
  4. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    Well, in regards to your Onkyo receiver what it does with each source is dependant on how you set it up. There is very limited surround sound on broadcast tv right now.

    The only channels that have surround will be BBC1HD and BBC2HD and only when there is a show on TV that includes it (for example sometimes they will show films with 5.1, Eastenders and Match of the Day is in 5.1) but most programmes are only stereo still even on those channels.

    Every other channel including all the HD ones will be stereo, they do not broadcast 5.1.

    So on the Onkyo all you have to do is go to your settings and set up what you want the default sound mode to be on each HDMI input. The sound mode your Onkyo goes in to depends on what type of sound it receives.

    So for mine I simply have the listening mode set up on the HDMI port my Humax is connected too as follows: (all of this is in main menu>listening mode preset).

    When the sound mode from my Humax is stereo (which it will be 99% of the time) I have it set up to use the TV logic sound mode which I feel is best suited for watching standard TV. This mode takes the 2 channels and upscales it too however many speakers you have. It won't perform magic and suddenly make 2ch sound sound the same of 5.1 but it will do its best. So analog/PCM set to TV Logic.

    When the sound mode from the Humax is dolby 5.1 I have it set just to Dolby Digital as I know that will play back the original sound format no matter what the 5.1 program is. You might want to also keep this on TV logic or another sound mode like Audyssey if you want programmes that are broadcast in 5.1 to use this by default instead. So DF 2ch set to TV logic (so 2ch dolby is upsacled to to 5.1) and Dolby Digital set to Dolby Digital (so that when there is 5.1 being broadcast it switches to dolby digital mode).

    Then for the HDMI port your PS4 is plugged into you can do the same. You can choose what sound mode you want it to be in when it receives every different type of audio from the PS4. For example when it receives stereo maybe that's because you listen to music through the PS4 so you can set it too a music mode in this scenario.

    When it receives Analog/PCM you set the PS4 input to whatever music mode you want.
    When it receives surround audio such as dolby digiral, dts and HD audio formats you can set it to whatever movie mode you want.
    When it receives multichannel PCM that is likely going to be a game so you can set it to whatever game mode you want.

    So really, there isn't anything you have to do set up wise at all. You may switch between different sound modes for games, movies and music if there happens to be an exclusion to the rule but once you have the defaults set up there is nothing extra for anyone to do. - I know myself as I have it set up this way for my parents.

    Provided there isn't a fault with your receiver this is how it should work, its just the case that you are always going to be limited by the source sound format and many of it only has 2ch. Especially with broadcast tv. This won't change with a new av receiver, you will still have to set up default listening modes based on the input and the type of audio received.

    Something to note, if you buy a TV now, unlike your Panasonic TV it will be able to send 5.1 audio back to your Onkyo via an optical port on your TV, so when you use smart TV such as Amazon prime or Netflix the TV can send the 5.1 audio from shows on those back to the receiver for 5.1 sound.

    Now on to recommendations, you haven't mentioned a budget, if you can get a 65" model the bigger the better, especially when you want to make the most of UHD but the specs of the TV will change depending on how much you spend.

    Future proofing isn't really something you will be able to do and by spending more money you drastically hit diminishing returns in return for plausible features that may or may not future proof. Of course a UHD TV that accepts HDR is going to be easy to find, but the main difference between low end and high end models comes down to support for HDR, with the much more expensive models having HDR capabilities that should be considered the bare minimum if when buying HDR quality is desired.

    Given that most of your watching seems to be broadcast TV and you have an emphasis on football I would recommend that you look at least for a TV with a 120hz panel be it LCD or OLED as they will fair better with motion. I wouldn't really place too much importance on HDR since it seems like your HDR sources are going to be limited only to online streams and only with shows that include HDR. - If you think the number of TV shows broadcast in surround audio is disappointing, you will be even more disappointed by lack of HDR content.

    If you were planning on buying an UHD Blu-Ray player and purchasing UHD Blu-Ray discs with HDR then it may be different.

    If you were planning on using a HDR games console with HDR games it may be different.

    But if you buy something now that is capable with HDR and don't use it for HDR much to begin with then you will be feeling like you wish you would have waited until it was more popular before buying a good HDR TV. By the time you adopt lots of HDR sources, the TV is going to be far out of date in capabilities compared to current TVs on sale anyway and there will be new technology coming in such as HFR (high frame rate) and HDMI 2.1 features like dynamic refresh rate that your TV doesn't support.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  5. shakedown

    shakedown
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    My Onkyo doesn't seem to have the same menu settings as yours but fiddling around with it has brought my surround sound back to life so maybe I don't need a new AV Receiver just yet !

    Regarding screen , if the LG B7 55" got closer to 1500 GBP I would be tempted . why don't we see any discounting on the 65" - that seems to be solid at 3000 GBP ?
     
  6. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    I did have a look in the manual for your model to make sure, the settings at least according to there should be there!

    Well it's good you got the surround back anyway.

    OLED pricing is a lot more expensive at 65" compared to 55". Especially compared to LCDs. There will be discounts on them for sure, but in general 55"is where the best deals are made with the OLEDs.
     

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