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What amp/receiver for Surround Sound only?

asprint

Active Member
Need some advise on AV receiver's.

I have a TV that has enough v1.4 HDMI inputs (4) to satisfy all the external components/sources I have, Blu-Ray player etc.

So what I really require is only the audio surround sound.

Have initially looked at the Sony 810 but then realise that if you don't use/need the 1.4 HDMI's (and as I have a separate Hi Fi system I don't need all the analogue inputs) then the only use of the receiver would be to pass the digital audio signal from the TV via the receiver to provide the surround sound?

This seems to be a rather expensive way of getting surround sound only, so is there another amp/receiver that can provide just the audio surround sound or since I don't need all the 1.4 inputs would the Sony 510, or another amp/receiver, be a better choice just to provide the surround sound?

Or there other factors that I have not been aware of or have taken into account by just using the digital audio output from the TV to provide surround sound via an amp/receiver?
 
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davepuma

Distinguished Member
An AV receiver is considered to be the hub of an AV setup and although your TV might have plenty of HDMI inputs, if you want to hear the latest HD lossless audio soundtracks from bluray, then you will have to route the BD player via the receiver directly.

Audio Return Channel won't pass discrete audio from your sources AFAIK, therefore I would forget about routing everything via the TV, if that is your plan.

If you want to to maintain HDMI v1.4 all the way through your equipment, all of it has to be HDMI v1.4 otherwise it will default to the next level down. That's simplifying it a little. In order to get HD audio, you will need to use HDMI unless your player has twin HDMI out i.e. one to screen for video and one to receiver for audio.

What sources do you have?
 

asprint

Active Member
An AV receiver is considered to be the hub of an AV setup and although your TV might have plenty of HDMI inputs, if you want to hear the latest HD lossless audio soundtracks from bluray, then you will have to route the BD player via the receiver directly.

Audio Return Channel won't pass discrete audio from your sources AFAIK, therefore I would forget about routing everything via the TV, if that is your plan.

If you want to to maintain HDMI v1.4 all the way through your equipment, all of it has to be HDMI v1.4 otherwise it will default to the next level down. That's simplifying it a little. In order to get HD audio, you will need to use HDMI unless your player has twin HDMI out i.e. one to screen for video and one to receiver for audio.

What sources do you have?

The TV will be a Sony 52HX903 and the sources to connect will be a Sony S570 Blu-Ray Player, Panasonic BW780 Freeview HDD/DV recorder/player and a Humax (Freesat) Foxsat HD PVR.

The S570 and BW780 I believe will require 1.4 HDMI cables but the Foxsat was provided with what I assume is a 1.3 cable?

Can you clarify:

if you want to hear the latest HD lossless audio soundtracks from bluray, then you will have to route the BD player via the receiver directly.

Are you not able to connect the Blu-Ray, or any of the other sources, directly to the TV and then use the digital audio output of the TV to the receiver or is not possible to pass the latest HD lossless audio soundtracks through the digital (optical) audio TV connection?

Do you not also start to degrade the video by having to process it through the receiver before it reaches the TV?

I also did not want to be using the receiver all the time, late nights etc, would something like a Sony 810 (510 or 710?) pass through the video and audio when switched off to allow use of the TV speakers alone?
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
The TV will be a Sony 52HX903 and the sources to connect will be a Sony S570 Blu-Ray Player, Panasonic BW780 Freeview HDD/DV recorder/player and a Humax (Freesat) Foxsat HD PVR.

The S570 and BW780 I believe will require 1.4 HDMI cables but the Foxsat was provided with what I assume is a 1.3 cable?

I appreciate it is confusing but there is no such thing as an HDMI 1.3, 1.4 etc. cable. Basically you have cables with or without ethernet. Over short lengths all cables should be able to pass 3d, 1080p, 24fps, HD audio etc. but try and buy from reputable sources. You'll get plenty of recommendations within the cables forum.

Can you clarify:

if you want to hear the latest HD lossless audio soundtracks from bluray, then you will have to route the BD player via the receiver directly.

Are you not able to connect the Blu-Ray, or any of the other sources, directly to the TV and then use the digital audio output of the TV to the receiver or is not possible to pass the latest HD lossless audio soundtracks through the digital (optical) audio TV connection?

Some TV's can output dolby digital over optical (but not DTS) but regardless of the capabilities of the TV, optical cannot pass HD audio as it lacks the necessary bandwidth.

Do you not also start to degrade the video by having to process it through the receiver before it reaches the TV?

In theory, no. The picture should be untouched and therefore exactly the same from disc to display.

I also did not want to be using the receiver all the time, late nights etc, would something like a Sony 810 (510 or 710?) pass through the video and audio when switched off to allow use of the TV speakers alone?

Some receivers will allow you to passthrough HDMI in standby. I don't know if the Sonys have this feature. Use the search function or hopefully an owner of one of the units you mentioned will be able to confirm. There is also a thread on receivers with this feature. Personally I don't know why people can't just use the volume control. Some amps/receivers have a nighttime mode too.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
I also find that due to the increased clarity of sound from my AV reciever I find I can actualy listen to my TV at lower volumes than I could the TV speakers. Hence I can use it loud for a good movie or have it very low if late at night and do not want to disturb the rest of the house. As Davepuma says that is what the volume control is for!! Seems a shame to spend a load of money on a nice sound system and then not use it all the time. In fact due to the fact I never used the inbuilt speakers on my last TV I now do not have any speakers on my current TV.
 

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