Know a combo that will do these?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by WindBag, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Not sure whether to post here or in Processors and Power Amps:
    I'm starting again with the amp, as the Pio AX10Ai doesn't downconvert digital audio to analogue - which made mincemeat of my system plans.

    Have looked at Yamaha DSP-Z9, but even that doesn't downconvert (but does give a downmixed pre-amp out to Zone 2 - not sure how many components I could parallel out of that together). Happy to go for separate preocessor/power amp split combos if the price doesn't spiral out of control

    Suggestions sought!

    Here's what I need/seek:

    Requirements

    1. Speakers out: 6.1 or 7.1 + room 2 mixed down to stereo (switched variable load) = 8/9 channel amp
    2. Watch Freeview while recording off air & reverse
    3. Enable analogue audio recording with digital audio sources
    eg Freeview->VHS, DAB->HDR (timeshift radio), i-link->Cassette
    4. Enable digital recording of digital audio sources
    eg, DAB->CD-R,
    5. Record any source to any recorder (analogue source to digital output not expected)
    6. Enable use of composite video/analogue audio wireless repeater/transmitter (see/hear on other room TV’s) ie composite video available from any video input (YUC, RGB, S-conn, composite & analogue audio out for any sound source
    7. reasonable range of audio output formats (inc stereo and 5/6/7 channel surround)
    8. Speaker calibration routine
    9. inputs/outputs to meet connectivity table below

    Preferences

    10. Auto Speaker calibration routine with feedback mic
    11. ability to balance up analogue audio source levels
    12. audio-video sound sync facility for poor digital sources

    Connection table: see gif attachment
     

    Attached Files:

  2. WindBag

    WindBag
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    :lease: Gosh, I thought loads of folk would be putting forward their faves.
    Does nobody out there connect newer digital and legacy analogue equipment together via the processor?
     
  3. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    as you have a cracking system why mess around (to do what you want you will need to speak to a pro Custom installer SMC etc) also to do want you want you will be looking at £10,000 controller if you really want to go that way LMK need location and give you some pointers.
    have a look see: http://www.meridian-audio.com/m_800_bro_861.htm
     
  4. WindBag

    WindBag
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    I thought the requirements list was clear enough - maybe not, though.
    When the bits do work, they work great - when they don't, the facility is non-existent. At the moment, I can't even time-shift digital radio (unless I record it on CD-R, not so good for a two-hour programme), let alone watch the DVD playing on the 868 on the TV upstairs via the Philips 1200 repeater.

    The amp is going back for other reasons anyway, so I'm looking at what else could get me to where I hope to be...
     
  5. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    you are after an incredibly complex system which is possible but minimum you need to look at something like the meridian.... £2k ish i think + power amps £800 ish if you go cheapo who the hell time shifts DAB with 2MB ADSL and 3GHz PC's available for a fraction of the cost...............250GB HDD available why not put a HTPC in every room and use a network go wireless even.............
     
  6. BrianC

    BrianC
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    You don't mention budget, but I'm guessing its a large one, and includes money for a cat 5 installation.

    Firstly I'd dump freeview for sky+, this will meet all your requirements for timeshifting DAB and TV, but you will be limited to 2 recordings at once and a single video/audio stream for output that could be distributed throughout your house using the KEENE CAT5BLASTER system - supports high quality video and digital or analog audio. Hook up a DVD recorder or something similar to the Sky+ box and you can do your archiving.

    If you need to display more than one stream at a time then you are looking at a freeview card (some also support DAB) for a dedicated PC and network distribution of the recorded programs onto boxes similar to the Pinnacle ShowCenter hooked up to TVs. This gives truly independant audio/video output, but is limited to a single source recording, you'll have to add additonal PCs to add more sources for simutainus recordings, and these will need to store their data onto a single server, which is accessible via the showcenters.

    Pretty much any amp supports 2 zones for speakers, and some of them are now supporting 3 zones, does this not give you what you need? Do they not squeeze a 5.1 signal down to stereo?
     
  7. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    how about using 2 panasonic DMR-E500 for timeshifting http://www.panasonic.co.uk/dvd-recorders/dmre500hebs/index.htm Or why not use a PACE Twin????? time shift Video and Audio and delver freeview to 2 rooms although the freeview PVR's are becoming so cheap under £200 for a twin have 2


    Also http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/tucth100/tu-cth100.htm will give further options especially if panny make it networkable with DMR-E500 but user interface over multiroom would be horredous without crestron or AMX running the show....
     
  8. BrianC

    BrianC
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    Whats the ethernet port for on the DMRE-500HEBS?
     
  9. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    to connect them together etc for streaming between machines i guess it will feature in more and more kit for home networking, thats the future and panny are going for it.
     
  10. FaxFan2002

    FaxFan2002
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    From what you'd say the new denon avc-a1xv or something like it would be the way to go. It *sounds* like you need to multi zone viewing and inter zone recording. I've done some very crude playing around on multi zone on my 3803 and it's heading the way you are looking.

    I'd say you'd need to setup different zones for different purposes i.e. a viewing zone, a analouge recording zone, a digital recording zone, a listening zone etc.

    Once you get the theory right you can apply it to your requirements.
     
  11. WindBag

    WindBag
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    I think my use of the word “combo” was sloppy and confusing.
    I’m trying to find a straightforward replacement of the Pio AX10Ai – I’m not looking but multiple PC’s, network the entire house or subscribe to Sky, or indeed buy any other non-processor/amp equipment.

    I’m after an integrated unit or a processor/power amp combination that lets me connect my equipment via the best method (digital, where appropriate) and lets me downconvert to legacy analogue media if I need to (stuff you give granny who’s only just got to grips with VHS).

    I have all the functionality already & the rack of equipment in the living room is groaning under the weight of equipment/cables (tho a second freeview might be sensible to juice up the HDD, if I can run two boxes from the one aerial feed).

    If the Pio presented analogue& digital audio outs for digital audio in like every other piece of cheap electronics I’ve come across/got, I wouldn’t seek an alternative (well, apart from the ability to program it’s top level touch-screen keys, an omission I find almost as startling). In every other respect it is a fine piece of equipment.

    £10k budgets are not on – it needs to be in the same ballpark as the Pio. Looking at the manual for the Yamaha DSP-Z9, it seems I may be fighting Japanese integrated circuit design – the block diagram shows no digital-analogue bridge between the functional blocks – and it may be that many possibilities are built around the same functional blocks (I’d guess the Pio range is).

    Unlike the Pio, the Yamaha does acknowledge the user might want the analogue out – but strapping the Zone 2 preamp out to 4 analogue recorders in parallel seems like asking for trouble.

    I did look at the Arcam back in Feb/March, but it couldn’t connect up all the equipment.
    I’d love to see what the Onkyo TX-NR1000 could do; the modular approach might mean the architecture could do what I need - but it seems to be on a rolling postponement.

    I’m happy to study some downloadable manuals, if anyone thinks they know of a potential alternative. This is getting urgent, as I am soon to have an AV system with no way to hear anything in a matter of days…
     
  12. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Thanks, FaxFan2002, I'll try & see if there's a manual to download
     
  13. BrianC

    BrianC
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    I had written a long reply to this but then my pc crashed :(

    I'm confused as to what is the issue with using the majority of amps that are currently available? My yammy 1400 (hardly the most expensive or sophisicated of amps) will quite happly down and up convert composite, s-video and component YUV, in fact the only source type it won't do this is for is RGB, but any digisender I've used will quite happly downconvert that into composite, as will any video recorder.

    My amp also supports 3 zone audio, again, its hardly the most expensive amp, so I am not sure what you are looking for that cannot be supplied by a £550 of av amp, of digisender x2 and a pace twin?
     
  14. WindBag

    WindBag
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    So am I really! (sorry to hear about the PC crash)

    The ONLY thing I didn't check with the Pio AX10Ai before I bought it was that if I used the iLink Audio or any other digital audio input that I could, say, tape it with my cassette. It won't let me, unless I connect in all the analogue audio leads and use the analogue audio out as the source - which means I have to use the DAC's in the source rather than the premium ones in the receiver - which seems to rather defeat the point of having wired up the premium digital source. Same with any other digital-capable source (eg CD, DAB radio.). It never ocurrred to me it could be this obtuse. Every other bit of cheap electronics I have with a digital out gives me an anologue option out too - except the top-end Pio! It does clearly say so - two lines in a 100-page manual (!!)

    The Yamaha DSP-Z9 is the same, according to it's manual.

    If you only connect a digital audio source to your yammy 1400, and connect, say, a cassette via analogue, do you get a signal the cassette can use? Not on the AX10Ai (and nominally the DSP-Z9) you won't. It astounded me! And made mincemeat of how I wanted to set up my system.

    I'm not trying to do anything fancy with RGB/YUC conversions. I could do with that in one instance, but I wasn't expecting that route to be an easy ride.

    The Pio 434 also has a similar problem with HDMI - it goes in, but you don't get even a composite out of the "monitor" output - so when I watch a DVD via HDMI/iLink, I can't continue to watch on the Kitchen TV whilke I make the tea via the wireless repeater as it doesn't get video or audio analogue signals from the TV tuner box.

    I may well go for a "cheap" stop-gap receiver if that will enable such a simple hook-up, until some of the newer receivers come on the market (no manuals for the new Denon or Onkyo, it appears).
    Advice from you guys out there sought!

    Can discuss off-forum if that would help - please leave PM.
     
  15. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    partly its a processing issue when using HDMI, iLink, Firewire for video and audio for remote veiwing can you not connect the S-video/composite outputs as well as the digital connections for the main screen.
     
  16. WindBag

    WindBag
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    The upshot is that having been persuaded to spend £8k on a new AV system, my partner can see that the picture and sound (when you can get it) is better but that a whole load of everyday functionality/ease of control is worse.

    She not happy (she wants to timeshift radio/DAB when she wants to and gets brassed off that it's now so difficult). It also drives me nuts, so I'm doubly not happy either!
     
  17. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Can see HDMI could be an issue as it's sorta going straight to the screen, but iLink? It's being processed in the AX10Ai. There is a pertfectly good analogue audio line signal being presented to the power amp stage input - even in the processed/multichannel modes there is a downmixed stereo signal presented to the zone2 power stage. Why can't these very sophisticated systems let the user access that? The Pio AX10Ai & AX10i doesn't.
    The Yamaha DSP-Z9 does, but only via a single special set of ports (you can see it almost as an afterthought bolted on to the end of the block diagram chain - but I'm not sure if I could parallel the output to multiple recorder in's, and it seems a very botched & potentially unreliable workaround for a premium system.

    Why not buffer/switch this available signal to all the analogue outs?
     
  18. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    hmmm i guess pio designer is the only persin who can answer that..... If you want to time shift radio (not room shift it) why not go for a pace twin? Distributed system are a very very complex set-up and almost all are driven on good old analogue the new digital formats are not so easily distrbuted at the moment Pioneer major in Digital connectivity not distirbution.......... I guess in a few years it wont be an issue... one small thought tho Windbag (steve) do you get a digital stereo output??? If so there may be a suitable workaround for you.
     
  19. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Yeah - and I have asked PIO UK, and they seem totally indifferent - in fairness I think that probably arises from them being just the UK end of a Japanese source design chain - but doesn't get the issue any further or do their public face any good.

    I'm not really into full blown distribution with different sources being sent to different rooms (tho the Yamaha does enable that, which is interesting).
    My 3 sets of passive speakers in other parts of the house are just to mirror the living room audio (2 channel), and the same with the wireless video transmitters, just trying to see/hear what is on the main system too. The speakers are just directly driven by the amp, but yes the transmitters are based on analogue, so no downversion naffs up the entire method.

    Yes, I do, but only for digital stereo in. I haven't checked for iLink, for example - I'll do that in a a bit & get back.
    I'm interested to hear about your workaround suggestion - it would need to supply analogue line level to 6 channels [VCR1/2, HDD, cassette, video transmitter, ad-hoc (eg minidisc)] and would need to provide that whether the AX10Ai source was digital or analogue - which sounds a complicated thing to set up at first thought (almost as complicated as connecting up the receiver!) - but I'm all ears..

    It would all be easy if Pio didn't shut me out of using ther high-quality DAC's that I've already paid for just when I need them.

    I get very frustrated with designers who could have got it right within the resources they had but just didn't think. Why they make me press the unused "CD" or "TV/DVD" buttons on the top level remote screen to get DAB radio is beyond comprehension. A small routine in their programming setup could have let me call the button something rather more sensible, like they do with all the sub-screens and even the front LED display - just not the one you use day in, day out! Now that's what I call not thinking!
     
  20. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    see if digital out does work on iLink etc and gives stereo....
     
  21. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Hmmm. Randomly chosen discs played in 868 with iLink: do I get digital out of the AX10Ai? (I looked at optical as I could easily see that coming out)
    DVD; no. SACD; No. Stereo encoded MP3 disc; No. Stereo CD; Yes.

    Maybe a copy protection thing?

    I can put in a digital connection from 868 instead of iLink, but then have to have a new connection button on the remote just for it - not a big deal in one instance, but undermines the "one source" player/source idea.

    That extra button need is another problem with connecting all the analogues on the other equipment - a new button is required for each method - a sure way to confuse the heck of out me controlling the system..
     
  22. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Sorry to break out of the PM's, but your inbox is full..


    Do I take it you haven't actually tried? It is what I had expected; Every budget piece of electronics I've got with a digital out also gives an analogue out.

    But none of the top end receivers give out an analogue signal when only a digital is input (don't know about Onkyo yet-no manual-but it seems true of the Pio, Yamaha and, a dealer told me today, the Denon). Beats the heck out of me.
     
  23. BrianC

    BrianC
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    Right, after some faffing about I managed to get the microphone socket on my PC hooked up to two of the record phono outputs on my amp. I was able to record the tuner without any problems, but when I switched to CD I was unable to record anything :(

    This means that I cannot record a digitial source with my yammy - a fact not mentioned in the manual.
     
  24. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Thanks for taking the time & trouble to find out. It seems this might be an endemic problem!

    Does it mean that nobody can record analogue when only a digital source is supplied?
     

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