New AV receiver help for older HT system

cates

Standard Member
Hello everyone,

Been searching the forums here for a few weeks trying to solve my dilemma. My HT setup is approx 10-11 years old. I'm running an Arcam AVR 280 with B&W 602 fronts, LCR 60 centre and 550 in walls for surrounds in a 5.1 set up. My sources include apple TV 4K, Xbox series S, Nintendo Wii (yes a Wii), Oppo BDP 83 (via Multi channel analogue outputs), Cambridge 640C CD player, IFI Zen DAC for streaming hi res music. My outputs are to a 1080P Epson 6100UB projector and a 22" Toshiba (720p) which sits over the bar at the back of the room.

As the apple TV 4K is only HDMI out and did not have an optical out to run to the Arcam I picked up an audio extractor off amazon and it worked fine for awhile. It recently went all wonky in terms of its colour. I've tried different cables etc. When I remove the extractor from the chain the picture on the projector is fine but that leaves me with no sound. The simple solution would be to get another extractor and be done with it however I don't want to have to keep replacing it at $30 to $50 a pop so I started looking at different work arounds for the apple TV. The first was to pick up a higher end oppo on the secondary market that has the HDMI in port and plug the apple tv into that then use the multi channel analogue outs into the arcam. The used market for the oppo's in canada is not cheap. The lowest I could find was a 103 advertised for $550. This got me thinking about maybe it's time to finally move on from the ARCAM (which frankly I still enjoy).

I began looking for AVR's - the current crop of Arcam's are to expensive for me now even older models. I have been looking at Denon and Marantz. Denon 960, 1700, 2600, 2700. Marantz 5015 and Anthem 520, 540.

There are so many bells and whistles these days it's hard to keep track and with my current block of equipment I can't even take advantage of some them. While I won't be upgrading to a 4K projector any time in the immediate future I may down the road so should I future proof? Do I really need a 7 channel analogue input or would I be happy with simply the HDMI from the Oppo. If I spend a significant amount of money $1500-2000 should I ensure it has pre outs so I can just add an external amp in the future.

In reading some of the other AVR threads I've picked some great info regarding multiple HDMI out downgrading to the lowest resolution for output. I do want to have both devices hooked up so a dual HDMI output is important. I can probably pick up a used one that will suit my current set up..but what is that exactly?

Would really appreciate some suggestions from those with a far greater understanding of all the new formats/codecs etc.

Thanks

cates
 

gibbsy

Moderator
All of today's AV amps, apart from entry level perhaps, will have all the bells and whistles on. AV amps are expensive now, gone at least for the foreseeable future are the good deals that appear at the end of summer. Demand is outstripping supply in many instances as well as other inflationary pressures with more to come by the look of it.

The Denon and Marantz models you list will be a serious audio downgrade from where you are now, especially for music.
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
IMO you don't need a modern AVR at all.

As you're only running 5.1 to a 1080P display any AVR that supports HDMI v1.3 onwards should adequately cover your current switching needs and there are plenty good ones of these around second hand. I would leave the 4K switching capability until you have a 4K display.

These AVRs should also support Dolby Digital Plus which is the highest resolution 5.1 Codec currently available from streaming services. They will also support the uncompressed HD audio formats (Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master) via HDMI from your Oppo on Blu-rays.
 

Pulse1

Well-known Member
Very good and truthful advice from Gibbsy and Mr Wolf, i would also like to add some more and specifically about 4k. Currently the whole 4k HDR situation is a complete mess anyway and especially for Projector owners so my very strong advice is to stick to HD 1080p SDR for as long as you can as the bulk of content that's out there is still HD 1080 SDR anyway and it still looks great on a 1080p Projector and it's set and forget image wise unlike 4k HDR where you'll constantly be having to adjust the image on a HDR capable Projector anyway. About the color issues with your Apple 4k box i would advise you try and swap it over for the HD version as you don't have a 4k display anyway and you won't have color issues with the HD model.
 

cates

Standard Member
Thank you Gibbsy, Mr Wolf and Pulse for the sound advice. I’m going to stick with my Arcam and just pick up a new audio extractor for the Apple TV. By far the easiest and most economical solution for me. I appreciate your insights.
 

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