Question Love video processors, but what about the audio?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by StooMonster, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    A key problem for me with dedicated video processors — absolutely lovely though they are — is the audio aspect. In that, it’s the duplication of functionality with AV Processors / AV pre-amps / AV Receivers (you want a radio in your processor?) that I find difficult to manage.

    For example, consider these two set-ups:

    1. Input switching done on Video Processor: if I run all my HDMI and analogue inputs into the video processor and have one audio output to AV Pre-processor / Integrated AV amp / Receiver it makes all that device's multiple inputs and AV circuity redundant.

    2. Input switching done on AV Processor/Receiver: all inputs into that AV device, one video output to video processor, which itself maybe has two outputs to projector and HDTV means increased complexity of operation, plus all the multiple inputs on the video processor redundant. Moreover, who’s to say that AV Processor won’t screw the image up before the video processor gets to it. Furthermore, this approach will add lots of Display Lag and make it useless for gaming.

    I would greatly prefer to have set-up number 1.

    But to mitigate the redundancy problem with this, what I need is a simple HD audio processor that turns HDMI Audio output passed through by my dedicated video processor into analogue ports to plug into amplifiers. What is more, I would like one of these that doesn’t have built in amps, as I’ve already got separate amps.

    Is there a pre-amp like this? One (or few) audio inputs, preferably no video, and decodes HD audio to say 7.1 outputs. Like a DAC but that handles HD audio decoding instead of just stereo?

    Note: clearly some devices, like my Oppo Blu-ray player have two outputs on HDMI for audio and video that could be plugged into both devices, but Sky, games consoles, etc. do not. Also, again that has complexity of operation (yes, yes, macro controllers).

    What AV processors do people combine with their video processors? Are there audio only HD audio pre-amps that people use with their video processors?

    StooMonster
     
  2. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    I'm currently using a Lumagen Radiance 2041 (excellent piece of kit) which means that video doesn't even touch my AV processor. I'm using a 'stop gap' 8 year old AV processor while I wait to get an Atmos/DTS:X one, probably early next year. When I get that I'll just use the 2041 to switch the HDMI inputs and connect the second HDMI output to the AVP for audio only.

    As you say it will mean that the extra inputs on the AVP won't be needed, but at least it keeps the set up simple; just leave the AVP on HDMI input 1 and just switch inputs using the Lumagen. Effectively I'm doing that already, but I'm just using coax input on my temporary AVP. I don't think there are any AVPs that only have audio via HDMI as not everyone uses a separate video processor, plus it allows another 'tick list' item on the AVP marketing to put video processing on the list.

    FWIW I'm looking at potentially the Marantz 7702 MkII AVP even though I won't use the on board video processing (or room eq for that matter as I have a separate Dirac unit for that). I'll want an AVP that decodes Atmos and DTS:X as I'll be installing ceiling speakers next year for 7.4.4.
     
  3. Mark_a

    Mark_a
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    I wish the Lumagens had three HDMI outputs - two video only outs for your TV and Projector and one for audio only to your AV amp.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  4. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    Would make it easier I suppose, though I've got an old 1 in 4 out HDMI splitter attached to the output of the 2041 that feeds two TVs (in different rooms) and a projector.

    The useful thing is that the 2041 allows me to edit the EDID settings and 'force' DTSMA output so that the AVR in my conservatory can play HD soundtracks from the BluRay player in the same rack as the 2041. Without the 2041 I couldn't edit the EDID so I only get stereo PCM out in the conservatory, so in a way it saved me buying another player too.
     
  5. NonPayingMember

    NonPayingMember
    Previously Liam @ Prog AV

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    The audio processor isn't just lots of inputs and a switch, just the same as the video processor isn't just lots of inputs. You are buying (with your audio processor) highest quality pre amplification stages and DACs, volume control, room EQ, speaker delays and levels, processing features such as Dolby Pro Logic to 2ch sources, DTS-X, all this Atmos/Auro 3D stuff. Just as you actually require better CMS, scaling, video signal management etc of a Lumagen you need the audio equivalent in your processor. Even if you do leave loads of inputs empty.

    My typical installation is legacy analogue audio sources to the AP, analogue video sources to the VP, HDMI sources typically switched via the AP and fed on to the VP. I might choose to switch analogue video via the AP if the client would prefer an OSD for volume control on all sources. I might have no choice but to switch HDMI sources a different way depending on the capabilities of the AP when it comes to doing virtual inputs or passing through 4K for example. But at the end of the day, to think all you need is 7.1 DACs strapped onto a HDMI output I would suggest is grandly over simplifying what an audio processor does
     

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