Looking for compact AV pre-amp (power amps unnecessary)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by JulianL, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. JulianL

    JulianL
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    I debated whether to post this in the "Interconnects, Speaker Cables and Switches" section but I'm hoping for something a bit more sophisticated than just a switch (e.g. audio return channel handling) so here I am...

    I only watch TV so am happy with stereo sound and I currently get my sound by taking the coax digital output from my Sky+ box and feeding it into a pair of Meridian Audio DSP5000 active speakers. I actually have 2 sources (Sky box and DVD player) so I use a Felston DD540 to switch the audio sources into my speakers and also give lip sync correction. I'm now looking for something more sophisticated and to also add video switching. A full-on AV receiver would do the trick but my space is limited so I need something no bigger than a sky box in total size plus, with an AV receiver, the power amps would be totally unused.

    My requirements are:

    1) No bigger than a Sky box (as a rough guide).

    2) Ideally with a coax digital sound output since my speakers don't have optical input. I could get a separate coax to optical converter but I'd prefer to reduce clutter so native coax output would be good.

    3) Ability for video/audio switching from at least 3 HDMI inputs to a single HDMI output to be fed to my TV for the video and the audio from the selected source routed to a single digital audio output (ideally coax as mentioned above) to be fed to my speakers. I don't have much cabling space to my TV which is why I want to do all the source switching in my AV cabinet and only run a single HDMI cable to my TV.

    4) Ability to accept the incoming audio on the HDMI audio return channel from my TV and route that to my speaker output. This is because my new TV now has iPlayer/Netflix/Lovefilm/etc apps built in so if I ever use those then I'd like to take the audio output from the ARC on the HDMI cable coming from the TV if possible rather than needing to run a separate audio cable back from the TV to my AV cabinet.

    5) I do have some lip sync issues so time delay functions on the audio would be a bonus. If necessary I could keep the Felston DD540 in the audio output chain to do this but again I'd prefer an all-in-one-box solution if possible.

    6) Pre-amp only. If I could find a full AV receiver (i.e. one with power amps in it) that met all the above criteria then I could live the fact that it had power amps that I would never use so this final criteria is another optional one but I would be much happier not having wasted electronics.

    If the above is possible in a single box (i.e. an AV pre-amp only with a decent feature set) then what would people suggest? Failing that, what might be my most elegant (minimal clutter) multi-box solution?

    My TV is a Sony 46HX853 if that makes any difference.

    - Julian
     
  2. bow79

    bow79
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    Any idea of budget?
     
  3. JulianL

    JulianL
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    Ah. Good question. I want to pay as little as possible because as far as the sound is concerned it's my existing Meridians that are doing all the work so I'd say that if I could find a really neat one-box solution that meets all my criteria then I'd go up to £500. Above that and I'd start looking at what multi-box solutions I might be able to cobble together for less money.

    - Julian
     
  4. bow79

    bow79
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    yes you may be better off in the interconnects forums. I don't think there are any small processors less than £500 at least not new. And I don't know that the small processors I can think of e.g. the Meridian and Cyrus have hdmi.
    if you have a remote control that did Macros you could control any number of boxes essentially with one press. You can even get remote control 3 in to 1 hdmi switchers from Aldi.
    if I have understood what you have said correctly your TV has digital sound out so why not just send everything to the TV and then the sound out to the Meridians via any other boxes.
     
  5. bow79

    bow79
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    Just thought Joytech controll centre. About size of sky box I have one with component input. But I think the later model had HDMI input, both types of digital sound output and analog and could be networked with computers. You used to be able to get it at Curreys/pc world
     

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