Looking for a receiver with HDMI - as cheap as possible?

The Belgain

Standard Member
I've been trying to look for a receiver to enable me to use my existing speakers (which have only 5.1 analogue input) with my current AV equipment (see below). I've been slightly surprised at how much receivers actually cost to get a decent one with good connectivity. I would like to be pretty future-proofed with whatever I buy and I can't seem to find anything below around the £300 mark which satisfies this - I'm hoping someone can enlighten me?

I've currently got an Xbox 360 with HD-DVD drive (component + optical audio), and a V+ box (HDMI), and a Panasonic 37" plasma (2 HDMI inputs, 1 component). I'd like to be able to get additional equipment (eg. a PS3/ bluray player) without having to shell out for a new receiver. I'd also like to have the receiver handle all my video, so that I don't have to play about with inputs on my TV and my amp when changing sources.

So my requirements are:
- 2 or more HDMI inputs.
- 1 HDMI output.
- 1 or more component inputs.
- Ability to output everything (component inputs, HDMI inputs, ...) over the HDMI.
- Ability to take the sound from the HDMI inputs.
- 1 or 2 optical inputs, which I can assign to the component video input).
- 6-channel analogue input would be a bonus.
- 5.1 (I'm not fussed with 6.1/7.1 as my room isn't big enough for that).
- DD/DTS decoding (I can live without support for the HD audio formats, as I won't be getting speakers expensive enough to need them any time soon).
- Available in silver.

I'm currently going to be using my existing 5.1 speakers, which cost me £100 when I bought them a few years ago, but I'd like the amp to be good enough to do justice to 5.1 speakers in the £300-400 range when I eventually upgrade at a later point.

What receiver should I be looking at here? Is there any way I can stay below, say, £200 on this or not?
 

Mark Botwright

Distinguished Member
If you want the benefit of the PS3 then you'll want one that accepts sound over HDMI. The cheapest to my knowledge is the Sony STR-DG910.

If you look at the "todays offers" at the top of the threads page it can be had for about £260.
 

The Belgain

Standard Member
Thanks for the replies chaps. As I feared, it looks like the Sony STR-DG910 at £260 ish is about as cheap as I'm going to manage. Is the consensus that this is a good amp then overall? Are there any negatives that may not be obvious (for example, are there any features it lacks compared to more expensive amps, or is the difference beyond that mainly one of output power and quality)?

Another question - I've going to be using the receiver to power some all-in-one 5.1 speakers directly (i.e. the speakers currently take 6-channel analogue input, and the sub has an amplifier for the 5 speakers; I'll be connecting the sub to the sub out on the receiver, and the 5 speakers to the outputs on the amplifier). What to I need to check to make sure this will work (eg. impedences, power ratings, ...)?
 

lazymatt

Active Member
AV amps are prolly a bit too powerful for those speakers. As long as you set the cross over to a suitable level (and keep the volume down) the speakers will probably be o.k. for a while.

TBH I'd probably wait until you can afford to replace the whole lot - HDMI amps will come down in price, and you really won't be doing the amp any favours sound wise with those speakers.
 

The Belgain

Standard Member
I'm beginning to think that might be sound advice. I'll probably hold off then and buy the lot at the same time.

What sort of budget do I need to be looking at to get decent speakers? I live in a flat, so won't be running them really loud or anything. Due to the way things are set up, I'd be looking at small speakers rather than floorstanders (and ideally smaller than bookshelf speakers too). A lot of people mention the entry-level Kefs - are they good (eg. would it be a slight improvement over a £200 all-in-one home-cinema system, or completely different league)? Anything worth looking at below that price range?
 

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