How long until AV Receivers are history & the future of home cinema sound ?

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Once eARC dominates the TV market an AVR, as we currently know it, will become a limited input, niche product along with passive speaker systems.

As @wardieuk predicts the mass market is headed down the Soundbar route and longer term the Unibody Soundbar will dominate the market.

‘Our’ collective hobby will further constrict and likely go with more premium products.

Joe
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
When passive speakers are no longer needed because we can wireless transmit full fidelity sound across the air. I personally think we are very very far away from it.

And the cost, once that happens will be insane.

An AV receiver is for niche enthusiast as it is. I don't know many people who own one. The casual people will just get a bluetooth set of speakers or a normal TV/PC active speakers and connect to TV.

HT enthusiasts like us have read up on it, we know what we want, we want the best SQ etc and prepared to jump through the hoops and costs associated. To make us change our minds, there will have to be a pretty darastic tech evolution involving TVs audio processing powers becoming pretty insanely smart - and TV manufacturers won't prioritise investment into this because its a niche market.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
One thing that annoys me with AV Receivers are all those legacy video connections. And the higher up the range you go the more they cram in.


I guess one of the things that annoys those using older legacy devices is the absence of the means by which to connect those devices to a soundbar?

Despite the fact that they annoy you by their presence, no one is forcing you to use those legacy inputs. However, their absence may not as easilly be excused if wanting to actually use such inputs.

You have the choice as to whether or not you use those legacy inputs, whereas those wanting those inputs do not get such a choice if using a soundbar.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Once eARC dominates the TV market an AVR, as we currently know it, will become a limited input, niche product along with passive speaker systems.

As @wardieuk predicts the mass market is headed down the Soundbar route and longer term the Unibody Soundbar will dominate the market.

‘Our’ collective hobby will further constrict and likely go with more premium products.

Joe


I don't think it is as clear cut as that.

I've had eARC for some time now and have no real desire to use my TV as an HDMI hub. If anything, it complicates matter rather than simplifying things or making things easier.

The practicalities of using eARC do not actually match the way some people portray them.
 
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Pulse1

Well-known Member
I guess one of the things that annoys those using older legacy devices is the absence of the means by which to connect those devices to a soundbar?

Despite the fact that they annoy you by their presence, no one is forcing you to use those legacy inputs. However, their absence may not as easilly be excused if wanting to actually use such inputs.

You have the choice as to whether or not you use those legacy inputs, whereas those wanting those inputs do not get such a choice if using a soundbar.
dante01 you are correct with what you are saying but they annoy me never the less. I guess one day they might start to become less and less?
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I think this is an interesting query, but I would also say not anytime soon.

There have been some moves to make both AV receivers and speakers less intrusive without affecting performance i.e. I think Marantz offered (offer?) a slimline AV receiver and more manufacturers seem to be offering in-wall speakers in their ranges.

Of course, that still leaves the issue with cables being everywhere and difficult to integrate or hide without some form of work involved.

I'm lucky enough to have 5.2.4 for films + a Soundbar (B&O) for general TV viewing, but then I live on my own! I don't mind speakers, but find the cables pretty annoying, the Soundbar is pretty much plug & play and sounds good for what it is.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
dante01 you are correct with what you are saying but they annoy me never the less. I guess one day they might start to become less and less?


The older connections have and are being slowly diminished and you now get less of them than you used to. Yes, there will come a day when you may not have such options at all?
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
Back of my x1700 has 6 hdmi inputs (3 of which are hdmi 2.1) and very few legacy connections compared to the rx-v667 it replaced

eARC would be better if practically all the TV mfrs hadnt knobbled it and let DTS/DTS:X/LPCM 7.1 through. Yes some TVs allow the latter but not all do :)
 

SeanBrothers

Active Member
I, for one, am disappointed that I can no longer get the best quality from my SNES because S-Video is no longer supported on said AVRs. At least it can still be played because composite is still around.
 

Nutty667

Active Member
Whenever I look behind my tv unit and see the amount of cables I start thinking if going down the soundbar route will be a much simpler and yet still a rewarding way to go.

When soundbars have 5/6" drivers from a good quality manufacturer, separate wireless (except for power) surrounds, ability to plug any sub in, and have something like Audyssey built in, I'd probably switch over.

I think separates will go the way of Blu-rays. An ever shrinking market only catering to those that want the best. When soundbars of the future will be more than enough for most people, just like how streaming is more than good enough for most people now.
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
I get the mess of wires but other than wires to front, center, right speakers everything else would still be the same number of connections if you go soundbar or avr route as wireless surrounds isn't a feature just found on soundbars ;)
 

Nutty667

Active Member
Which receivers have wireless surround option, or can you just get an adapter of some sort?

I'm certainly not wedded to the idea of keeping receiver and separates if I can get something I think sounds good in a simpler package.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I don't think it is as clear cut as that.

I've had eARC for some time now and have no real desire to use my TV as an HDMI hub. If anything, it complicates matter rather than simplifying things or making things easier.

The practicalitiesxof using eARC do not actually matcthe way some people portray them.
To be fair previously (pre-HDMI) I did use the TV as the hub, with just a single connection back into the hifi. Now I have a hybrid mess with the TV as the video hub but the AVP doing the audio.

I'd like it if universal adoption of eArc would enable me to go back to using the TV to do what the TV has always done best and most reliably. Then we can throw all of the useless video processing out of the audio device ,and have a dedicated audio device with universal audio support. Assuming of course that the audio manufacturers go this route.

So I hope Joe has got it right. At the moment though, I'm not convinced the world will go this way. It seems to be moving in the opposite direction of ever more complex audio - video devices. Trinnov and Storm Audio are notable exceptions, but are rather restricted as universal audio devices (Trinnov Altitude 32 is perhaps the best).
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
Unfortunately I don't think it will ever get sorted as avr (clues in the name AV) mfrs have always tried to capture all the video processing too and act as the hub. Even before hdmi you only have to look at the back of an avr to see it having multiple composite/component/s-video connections that could be individually assigned to an input :(

At least we seem to be getting away from that and just using hdmi as the interface now :)

As to the age old should the TV which could just handle the video i.e should that ultimately be a huge monitor ;) do so or should the avr/soundbar be the hub. That will run and run too :)
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately I don't think it will ever get sorted as avr (clues in the name AV) mfrs have always tried to capture all the video processing too and act as the hub. Even before hdmi you only have to look at the back of an avr to see it having multiple composite/component/s-video connections that could be individually assigned to an input :(

At least we seem to be getting away from that and just using hdmi as the interface now :)
In the "old days" of SD TV though I could totally ignore all of the AVR connections on the audio kit,. Many manufacturers just treated the whole lot as a video switch, without scaling, deinterlacing, transcoding and the lot. Then with HDMI, we had no choice but to run everything through a universal central hub and the TV couldn't do it as it had no way to forward the audio for external processing. This is where eArc could come to the rescue, then we can revert to having the TV do what it's built to do, and still process the audio through a satellite system if I want more than a (built-in) soundbar, as I have done for over 35 years.
 

Barney Gumble

Well-known Member
Unfortunately I don't think it will ever get sorted as avr (clues in the name AV) mfrs have always tried to capture all the video processing too and act as the hub. Even before hdmi you only have to look at the back of an avr to see it having multiple composite/component/s-video connections that could be individually assigned to an input :(

At least we seem to be getting away from that and just using hdmi as the interface now :)
It's HDMI I want to move away from. Scart was plug and play and HDMI was as heralded as being as simple but, with the benefit of higher resolutions, at first.

However, as more and more components have been able to connect to the internet, so has the increase in components that require an update as they're either not immediately ready for market or able to fulfil their potential as claimed.

HDMI is a mess and just got worse and you only have to look at recent history to get an idea of just how bad it is. HDMI isn't consumer friendly and hasn't been for some time.
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
In the "old days" of SD TV though I could totally ignore all of the AVR connections on the audio kit,. Many manufacturers just treated the whole lot as a video switch, without scaling, deinterlacing, transcoding and the lot. Then with HDMI, we had no choice but to run everything through a universal central hub and the TV couldn't do it as it had no way to forward the audio for external processing. This is where eArc could come to the rescue, then we can revert to having the TV do what it's built to do, and still process the audio through a satellite system if I want more than a (built-in) soundbar, as I have done for over 35 years.

I remember the old days of SD TV :)

I agree HDMI is a mess but I don't see how scart would have been any better as a connection ;)

The problem we have is the sheer pace of change and everyone including mfrs playing catch up. What really hasn't helped is making every single on the hdmi features at a particular version optional as it leads to the mess we currently have with hdmi 2.1 as you can legitimately label any new hdmi device as hdmi 2.1 without providing ANY additional features over that expected of what we used to refer as hdmi 2.0 :(

As to eARC. Again, good idea single able between TV and audio device but badly implemented as the lack of all audio formats isn't down to eARC but down to the TV mfrs not allowing them through penny pinching (licensing)

Old age grump mode on

Why TVs mfs didn't take the dual hdmi approach adopted by some blu ray player mfrs I do not know as you could have just output the audio untouched to an input on the avr/soundbar like the good old days. none of this needing CEC/ARC/eARC or needing a hdmi 2.1 avr instead to get all the audio formats and latest video support mucking about.

Old age grump mode off :)
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
SAMSUNG HW-Q950A is £1199.

Not exactly cheap and whilst I appreciate it's a compromise I just can't see how the sound bar and two wireless speakers can realistically mimic 11.1.4 output it caters for.

On flip side I dread to think the cost of a 11.1.4 capable avr and speaker setup lol

And as to these 3.1.2 Atmos soundbars. I would rather have 2.1 sound bar and wireless surround speakers giving 5.1 that we can better perceive forgoing Atmos than front stage only with the odd atmos height effect as that's not going to be as immersive :)
 
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Cevolution

Suspended
I doubt a day where soundbars make receivers redundant will ever happen.

At this point in time, I certainly do not consider the opinions of those that own soundbars as valid when it comes to evaluating audio quality (I ignore and disregard them completely), for instance, how good or poor an audio track is on a Blu-ray or 4k UHD Blu-ray disc... Soundbars aren't good enough to make a proper determination about this, therefore I can't take anyone that owns them seriously if they have used one, and write a review or give their opinion about the disc, and that includes "pro reviewers" that are paid to write reviews.

Soundbars don't make your setup personal to you either... Soundbar setups are boring, because they all look the same for the most part, there's nothing unique about buying a few devices and owning the same as what a lot of other people own. With a receiver, pre-amp, power amps, speakers, subwoofers etc setup, there are many different brands and models that you can pair together, you can tailor it to yourself as an individual and make it your own, so it looks like no other.
 
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Barney Gumble

Well-known Member
I doubt a day where soundbars make receivers redundant will ever happen.

At this point in time, I certainly do not consider the opinions of those that own soundbars as valid when it comes to evaluating audio quality (I ignore and disregard them completely), for instance, how good or poor an audio track is on a Blu-ray or 4k UHD Blu-ray disc... Soundbars aren't good enough to make a proper determination about this, therefore I can't take anyone that owns them seriously if they have used one, and write a review or give their opinion about the disc, and that includes "pro reviewer" that are paid to write rewiews.

Soundbars don't make your setup personal to you either... Soundbar setups are boring, because they all look the same for the most part, there's nothing unique about buying a few devices and owning the same as what a lot of other people own. With a receiver, pre-amp, power amps, speakers, subwoofers etc setup, there many different brands and models that you can pair together, you can tailor it to yourself as an individual and make it your own, so it looks like no other.
Aesthetics are never a factor for me, not an important one at least. If a speaker happens to look good, it’s a mere bonus. Receivers are largely big black boxes.

I’m more concerned with a speaker and receiver’s sonic ability.
 

Cevolution

Suspended
Aesthetics are never a factor for me, not an important one at least. If a speaker happens to look good, it’s a mere bonus. Receivers are largely big black boxes.

I’m more concerned with a speaker and receiver’s sonic ability.

I agree, I don't place a high level of important on the aesthetics when selecting my equipment either, the performance greatly outweighs this (I wouldn't say it's not a factor at all though), however, plenty of people that purchase soundbars often do put aesthetics at the top of their list, that's why many of them settle for an inferior audio product over receiver/amps, speakers & subwoofer/s setups... Since many that do purchase soundbars value aesthetics, I am saying when they post pics of their setups (whether it be on forums like this, or social medias... People post their soundbar setups a lot in FB gaming groups, their setups aren't very good, but they think they are, and that it and their homes belongs in architecture monthly), that soundbars all look the same, generic and boring, there is nothing unique about them, or peoples setups that own them... Unless you want to count the ridiculous coloured lights that they use to try to make their setups stand out, which I don't.
 
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Barney Gumble

Well-known Member
I agree, I don't place a high level of important on the aesthetics when selecting my equipment either, the performance greatly outweighs this (I wouldn't say it's not a factor at all though), however, plenty of people that purchase soundbars often do put aesthetics at the top of their list, that's why many of them settle for an inferior audio product over receiver/amps, speakers & subwoofer/s setups... Since many that do purchase soundbars value aesthetics, when they post pics of their setups (whether it be on forums like this, or social medias... People post their soundbar setups a lot in FB gaming groups, their setups aren't very good, but they think they are, and that it and their homes belongs in architecture monthly), I am saying that they all look the same, generic and boring, there is nothing unique about them.
I’ll take your word for it:).

I don’t do the whole unsocial media thing I’m afraid.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The AV receiver and indeed the speakers shouldn't or wouldn't be on display in a dedicated home theatre.

People purchasing soundbars aren't buying them for their looks. They simply want something that is better than their TV's speakers that can be discretly located below the TV. As I said earlier, they are lifestyle products.

Why on earth would anyone want a soundbar that is noticanle? You buy both them and AV receiver to do a particular job, not as items of furniture you look at rather than watching the TV.
 
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