Should I, or do I need to, upgrade my AVR at same time as TV?

EliteStu

Active Member
Good evening 🙂
Firstly, please go easy on me. I'm a bit out of touch which is not like me!

As you will see from my signature, some of my kit is a few years old now. Running a 12-14 year old (roughly) 46" Sony 1080P LCD, which I love but it's chunkier than 20 chunky kit-kats and I want to move on to 4K content now. I've had my moneys worth!
I have a spreadsheet running already on the forthcoming TV purchase. Likely to be a 2020 model. Panasonic HZ2000 being top of my list right now or a high end LCD if all this burn-in scary stuff gets the better of me.

I'm actually quite happy with my current AVR. Yamaha RX-A3010. 9.2 Receiver that I have running in 5.1 with Kef R series (bi-amped fronts which I thought would help if I push 4 channels into the two big floorstanders). I intended moving up to 7.1 but haven't got around to it and I'm not convinced my room layout would benefit from rears. Running an SVS sub which I am thinking of upgrading next year.

The main reason I am considering an AVR upgrade is I understand the AVR only has HDMI 1.4 outputs and since all my sources go through the AVR, this, I believe, poses a problem when I want to run 4K HDR content to the forthcoming HZ2000 (or whatever I go for)? Obviously I am not getting the latest sound formats too and Dolby Atmos appeals to me.
If I understand correctly (please chip in) I could possibly retain the current AVR and use eARC back to the AVR from the TV? i.e all my sources go direct to the TV HDMI 2.0/2.1 ports and then a single HDMI (or optical?) back into the AVR for sound only? Not ideal as I didn't want to run all those cables up to the TV. Single HDMI to the TV is far neater.

I'm actually really happy with the sound from the AVR. I listen to a lot of lossless stereo audio too and this is important to me.

I'm fine buying a new AVR (budget for an AVR or Pre/power combo would be £2k-£3k) but no point burning money on one if there is a solution to keeping it in the mix with the new 4K TV. I'd rather put the cash into other aging areas of the system.
By the way, current sources are, Nvidia Sheild, Panasonic 9000 4K BluRay (just purchased but obviously not benefiting from UHD yet), Sonos, PS3 (upgrading to PS5 on launch).

So, main questions, which I would value your input on:

- Solution to retain existing AVR with new TV in the mix? Does my suggestion work etc?
- Also thought about running a HDMI switch. Pro's/Con's?
- If replacing the current AVR, what should I be looking at for a 5.1.2/5.2.2/5.1.4/5.2.4 that would provide quality audio from both 4K movies as well as lossless audio? Another Yamaha? Denon? Marantz? NAD looks appealing. Others?

Sorry for the long post. Thought it best to provide as much info as possible. Appreciate any assitance. Ask away if I have missed any critical details.

Cheers.
 
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Deleted member 39241

Guest
If I understand correctly (please chip in) I could possibly retain the current AVR and use eARC back to the AVR from the TV?
Unfortunately not because your current AVR does not have eARC.

You could connect all devices to the TV and use HDMI ARC or optical back to the amp, but you would not get Dolby True HD or DTS HD MA that way.

You could get 4K / HDR source devices with dual HDMI outputs, one for 4K / HDR video to the TV and one for HD audio to the existing amp.

You can also get some little devices that claim to accept one HDMI input and split it to two HDMI outputs to replicate the same. The only ones that have a good reputation are the HD Fury ones, they are not inexpensive.
 

EliteStu

Active Member
Thanks @Rambles - very helpful.
Interesting idea about the dual HDMI's from source. Looks like the 4K player coming this week has exactly that. The Nvidia Sheild doesn't, which is my main other source, so I'd have to go with a splitter. That solution would be far cheaper than replacing the AVR if there were no other downsides.
 
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Deleted member 39241

Guest
Another option is a HTPC (Home Theater PC) with a graphics chip with dual outputs. But, if you don't already have a PC that you could repurpose for that, it might be more expensive than the HD Fury splitter option.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Your Blu-ray player has both twin HDMI outputs and analogue 7 1 outputs so it would be easy to connect an HDMI to the TV and the second one to the amp for full uncompressed audio from UHD Blu
-ray.

For other devices you'll either not get UHD if connecting via the amp or connect to the TV and get compressed Dolby Digital or similar audio only via ARC or optical from the TV.

EARC isn't applicable as both the amp and TV need to support it, if you had an amp that supported earc we wouldn't be having this conversation as it would have to be a new receiver which would almost certainly support 4K UHD through its HDMI inputs and EARC anyway.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I currently have the same amp and am contemplating the new Yamaha when ever they might come out.

Bi amping is going to add very little as you are still feeding it from a relatively small power supply. I say relatively as am comparing it with a proper 5 channel power amp. That would sound better with the Kefs imho. I did have one in my setup but sold on due to a change in speakers etc.

I would be interested in how well earc works compared to the predecessor as I gave up on that. I use the scene settings on the Yamahas for most things and the a pronto to control. How that would play with earc going forward is a consideration for me.

My last 3 amps have been Yamaha so not sure I will be changing because of wire a lot of the features I use as well as sound. I wonder if there will be an improved version of YPAO though.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
As Jamie pointed out, your DP-UB9000 permits you to run the UHD picture to the TV whilst simultaneously sending HDMI 1.4 output to the AVR, meaning you get to have your cake (watch UHD TV) and eat it (listen to the HD audio).

You don't have eARC on your AVR, so that isn't an option. (Affordable) HDMI splitters are also not an option, as they necessarily force both outputs to the lowest common denominator of the two devices. This means you get the worst of both worlds, and have to pay for the degradation too! Your Panasonic doesn't support HDMI In, so you can't use that as a workaround.

The other UHD source devices would therefore be limited to SD audio (optical / coax to AVR + HDMI to TV) or Full HD (HDMI to AVR to TV). This will remain an issue until such time as you have saved enough to update the AVR as well. Gadgets that provide a full solution will likely cost more than your new AVR, so can be disregarded.
 
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Deleted member 39241

Guest
Gadgets that provide a full solution will likely cost more than your new AVR, so can be disregarded.
That is not the case.

The HD Fury AVR Key costs £125:


A replacement AVR at the same level as the OP has now costs £1600:

 

EliteStu

Active Member
Gentlemen... Thank you all for your input. This is all very helpful and it seems I have options!

Sounds as though at least the 4K Player will fine then due to the HDMI audio out and analogue options (thanks Jamie). As the Shield only has one HDMI I'd have to use a splitter or one of the HDFury options thats been suggested (thanks Rambles). I'd like to avoid a HTPC in the cabinet really.

Jamie... thank you also. V helpful. I don't really want to limit the other sources, as we use the Shield a huge amount (more than any other source). PS5 will be added at launch and perhaps Apple TV at some point. I think I am talking myself into a new AVR aren't I...:lesson:

The HDFury AVR Key looks very interesting. I need to wrap my head around how that works. My concern is more gadgets/modules in the cabinet to explain to my owner. Would I need one per device/source as well?

I did also wonder if I could add an up to date Processor/PreAmp and retain the 3010 for amp only duties? Something like the Marantz AV7705 perhaps at approx £1500.

https://www.marantz.co.uk/uk/produc...&subcatid=avcontrolamplifier&productid=av7705

...or a Yamaha equivalent. Perhaps that future proofs me a little more by splitting things up and opens up the option that Rambles suggested RE having a dedicated amp to run my fronts.
 
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ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
A regular splitter won’t work as it splits the lowest common signal. You need a splitter that does conversion as well.

Also why I love the Yamahas don’t use them as power amps. They don’t have the same level of control as a dedicated amp
 

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