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Looking for replacement for Onkyo SR503E - Need more inputs

NewToyForXmas

Standard Member
I've currently got a Panasonic 42PWD8 Panel. The only feed into this is from an Onkyo SR503E, via a Van Damme 3RCA to VGA cable. Into the Onkyo, I have Sky+, via a JS Tech RGB to Component (YUV) converter. I also have a Panasonic E500 hard-drive DVD and a Wii, both connected via component.

The problem I have run into is a desire to bring a PS3 into the equation, but I have run out of Component inputs. And I also see Sky HD being involved soon. I also have a slight annoyance with my current Amp in that as I only have Component out so can only have Component in. ie. it would be nice if the Amp could route / convert so that one input could be output via a different means. So it seems like a good opportunity to replace my AV Amp and switch to HDMI for some / all of the connections. The panel will be replaced soon but would be nice if I could do this in stages. So I guess I would be looking at HDMI inputs for the PS3 and Wii. Component via the JS Tech for the time being for Sky+, but HDMI when I move to Sky HD. Existing DVD player does not have HDMI so that will need to stay Component. So I need minimum 3 HMDI inputs, 1 Component and the option of output'ing by Component for now, moving to HDMI when I upgrade the panel. I've been really pleased with my Onkyo, just hitting some connectivity issues. Any ideas of potential models?
 

rwniel

Novice Member
What sort of budget? Bear in mind that hdmi connected sources won't be converted to component output i.e. they have to be output over hdmi since analogue to digital conversion doesn't work the other way around. Given the requirement for 3 hdmi inputs (- most budget models only have two although of course you could ally these with a hdmi switcher) I would suggest the Onkyo SR606 as being the obvious choice (- it has 4 hdmi inputs) ~ £400. With only two hdmi inputs, you do otherwise have options such as the Yamaha DSP-AX761 or Denon AVR1908. Both around £300.

Robert
 

NewToyForXmas

Standard Member
Hi, thanks for your reply. So, if I want HDMI inputs then I need to change my screen now as well to one that accepts HDMI?

Also, I have just seen an Onkyo SR576 which seems to have 3 HDMI inputs. Apart from an extra HDMI input, what does the SR606 give me? £400 would be my budget figure, but obviously less is always good.
 

rwniel

Novice Member
The two main differences between these av amp models is the lack of Linear PCM surround output over hdmi and no analogue to digital video decoding. The former is useful with the PS3 since it means you can output surround sound along with video over a single hdmi cable, plus take advantage of the new formats associated with blu ray specifically. These can't be output over optical digital connection (because it doesn't have the necessary bandwidth) which is otherwise an option with the PS3 i.e. you would be limited to DTS or Dolby Digital.

The lack of analogue to digital video conversion knocks out the ability to output component video sources over single hdmi (from the amp). Regarding the hdmi issue, is it not possible to add a hdmi terminal board to the 42PWD8. As long as it supports HDCP then you'd be good to go.

Robert
 

NewToyForXmas

Standard Member
Thanks again for the reply. I think I like the sound of the SR606 now I understand the differences. And I will need to check re the HDMI terminal board. It might be that this represents a good opportunity for me to move to a 50", latest gen HD panel.
 

rwniel

Novice Member
At under £400, the SR606 does offer a great deal of future-proofing especially in terms of hd surround sound support. If I am being picky, the lack of multi-channel pre-outs does let it down a little (but something had to go at that budget and once you take everything else into account) - it's useful for hooking up a separate stereo amp since music tends to be the weakness with av amps (although this doesn't appear to affect you I thought I'd mention it). Increasingly as more sources support hdmi, the 4 hdmi inputs will become useful. Bear in mind though that with the PS3 as a source, the in-built 'hd' decoding on the SR606 will remain unused (since it's not capable of sending these formats for the amp to decode).

If you don't mind waiting, Sony's STR-DG720 could be an option - 3 hdmi inputs (no analogue video to hdmi though), price 'around £200' (due most likely in July). Now if Sony could only sort out their other replacement av receivers (like the STR-DG820/920) and availability in the UK it would open up some other choices more comparable to Onkyo SR606 (and put a bit of pricing pressure on it at the same time).

I thought I should add that you can use the component output with both SkyHD and the PS3; in the case of the latter you lose out on the ability to upscale SD dvd content but it otherwise does work. At the moment, there doesn't seem to be a limitation on using component output on the SkyHD box (just as you do with Sky+ currently). But at some point they may introduce some sort of content protection limiting the output in some way.

Robert
 

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