Why do people route video thru a receiver?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by porscheman, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. porscheman

    porscheman
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    Guys, just a very quick and simple query.

    I am sure I read somewhere years ago that for the best picture quality, one should try and connect the source (blu ray player etc) directly to the tv or projector. This begs the question, why connect sources thru the home theatre AV receiver?

    I just connect my blu ray direct to my tv, and route the audio-out from the blu ray player to my pioneer receiver so it can decode dts and DD.

    Am I the only one who does this?
     
  2. dante01

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    The video signal these days is digital and passing it through a receiver has no effect upon that signal's quality. Having the signal passthrough the receiver makes in easier to both switch sources and connect devices. Why run two cables from a source when one will suffice? IHaving multiple connections going to a TV isn't always viable these days anyway, especially if your TV is hung on the wall with just one HDMI cable buried in that wall with which to convey signals to that TV via.

    How are you connecting your player to the receiver? You can only convey the HD formats such as DTS-HD Master Audio and TrueHD associated with Blu-ray via HDMI. S/PDIF cannot convey the HD formats or multichannel PCM. This again is another reason to have just the one HDMI connection from a source to a receiver.

    There's no advantage to having a direct video connection to a display and another separate audio connection to an AV receiver, in fact this kind of arrangement can give rise to audio and video synchronisation issues.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  3. porscheman

    porscheman
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    My amp is dts and dd only. I don't have any of the latest kit. If I bought a new amp, does this dts-hd master audio and Truehd (is that dolby?) still work with a 5.1 speaker setup?

    I have a dedicated cinema garage conversion, build about 9 years ago, but I rarely watch any films these days, so my system is still the old 5.1 setup with no easy way to upgrade it to 7.1 or whatever is the latest these days (all my speaker cables were buried in the walls when the room was built - but if I lift the floorboards in the room above the cinema I could potentially run in new ceiling speakers?)
     
  4. porscheman

    porscheman
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    I currently connect my blu ray audio-out to the amp via the old 75ohm co-ax.

    "There's no advantage to having a direct video connection to a display and another separate audio connection to an AV receiver."

    with regards to above, surely there is less signal processing by hdmi-ing straight from blu ray player to tv/pj? (which is what I do currently)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  5. dante01

    dante01
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    Yes, both DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD will work using a conventional 5.1 layout. The HD formats also facilitate discrete 7.1, but not all titles have this and even those that do can still be played back via a 5.1 speaker configuration. I myself only currently have a 5.1 layout even though I do have a 7.1 receiver. In the absence of back speakers the associated channels are mixed down into the rear channel audio when dealing with discrete 7.1 audio.

    An AV receiver capable of decoding the HD formats will still include the ability to deal wth the older non HD formats.
     
  6. porscheman

    porscheman
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    But I guess only certain blu ray movies have these latest audio mixes?
     
  7. dante01

    dante01
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    All Blu-ray discs now come with at least one of the HD audio options. The HD formats have been used on Blu-ray releases for as long as Blu-ray has been in existence and this isn't something new. Most discs use DTS-HD Master Audio. There is also new object orientated formats coming along such as Atmos and DTS:X, although you would need more speakers to be able to benefit from these. Blu-ray discs include both the HD and the SD audio in order to secure backward compatibility for those who do not have the capabilities to deal with the HD and or the newer 3D object orientated formats. A disc encoded with DTS-HD Master Audio or DTS:X will still include an older SD DTS version of the soundtrack.
     
  8. porscheman

    porscheman
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    Many thanks dante ! You certainly know your stuff. I am very rusty with all the latest tech ( with my two kids using the cinema room mostly at present, I have not had much chance to get back to enjoying all my movies. Did you notice a big improvement in sound quality with these new hd audio formats? To be honest I am still blown away with my current setup!
     
  9. dante01

    dante01
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    There's not the obvious improvement associated with the transition from analogue Pro Logic to digital discrete surround, but there are marginal improvements in terms of fidelity. You get more of a noticeable improvement the better your speakers are. The differences aren't huge, but they are there.
     
  10. porscheman

    porscheman
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    Thanks matey. I guess the av receiver one buys makes a difference too? I remember when I upgraded my old yammy rx-v795a to my current pioneer thx receiver, the sound improvement was huge! mind you the pioneer has one of those auto calibration microphones which is a godsend ! :)
     
  11. dante01

    dante01
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    All the receivers now include auto calibration and room EQ. The room EQ systems vary from manufacturer to manufacturer though. You can spend a small fortune on a receiver in order to get marginal improvements in terms of audio performance.
     
  12. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    There's a big difference between the HD audio formats from blu-ray compared to Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 with my AV receiver (Yamaha RXA-840) and a KEF 5.1 system. DTS 5.1 is superior to DD5.1 having less compression but not as good as DTS-HD . There is little difference between 5.1 and 7.1 unless you have an awkward shaped viewing area.

    If you have seen Game Of Thrones on Sky with it's very poor audio. Listen to the DTS-HD audio on the blu-ray disks it's a revelation.
     
  13. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    The weakest link in the chain is generally the loudspeakers. A £500.00 AV receiver with a £1000.00 plus speaker system is likely to sound better than the reverse. The auto setup on my Yamaha always sets the subwoofer too high (it needs the volume backing off a little).

    As to prologic versus a proper 5.1 system there is simply no comparison. Listen to the attack on Pearl Harbour in 5.1 and you duck as the zeros come in the back window and exit by the front one :)

    Using pro-logic (non discrete) it's totally underwhelming.
     
  14. dante01

    dante01
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    The audible difference between SD Digital 5.1 formats such as DTS and Dolby Digital when compared to the newer HD formats are not that noticeable. There is an improvement, but it is marginal and nowhere near as noticeable as the improvement digital made over analogue surround.
     
  15. Member 581642

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    but whatever you do dont watch the rest of the film :)
     
  16. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Of course not, but Blu-ray is capable of much higher fidelity lossless audio formats. ac3 and DTS is heavily compressed so a coaxial or toslink s/pdif connection can handle the bitrate. To use the lossless codecs a HDMI connection is required to a AV receiver. The best AV receivers also have the capability to upscale analogue inputs to digital and output over a single HDMI cable to the TV. The scalers in a high quality AV receiver are likely to significantly outperform the one in your TV.

    Add multiple zone HD outputs you can watch one source in one room and a totally different one in another room (multiple zone capability). You can watch the Footy on your 65" OLED and send the missus to the bedroom to watch Corrie in HD on the 40" LCD :)
     
  17. grahamlthompson

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    I agree the rest is dire :). The Arizona blowing up really shows how good your subwoofer is.
     
  18. dante01

    dante01
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    This is not the case. The scaling capabilities of most AV receivers tend to be no better than those built into a TV. It is usually suggested that video processing not be engaged onboard AV receivers when and wherever possible.
     
  19. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    I suggest you need a decent system. There's nothing wrong with analogue audio just like SD analogue PAL TV given a decent signal the picture is superior to DVB-T (It ought to be it requires a full UHF carrier for a single channel). Some Blu-ray players output DTS-HD as multichannel LPCM to a AV amp lacking DTS-HD decoding (My £1400.00 Denon AVR4306 required this) and it's just as impressive as the processing being included in the AV receiver. In the end the loudspeakers have to have analogue audio ?
     
  20. dante01

    dante01
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    I suggest you stop making assumptions and misleading people.

    Not at all sure what the decoding of the HD formats by the player as opposed to using a receiver had to do with the differences in quality between the HD and the SD digital formats?

    The differences are marginal irrespective of your attempt to derail the topic onto something entirely different.

    Both my systems cost more than yours. This has no relevance anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  21. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Complete rubbish, are you really suggesting your TV can outperform a quality AV receiver from Denon or Yamaha ? I can only think you have never used a decent system. How much in total did your AV receiver cost ? What speakers and AV receiver have you actually used ? And how many such systems have you actually heard ?
     
  22. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    It's not me that's misleading anyone. It's you making blanket statements without any sort of posting what kit you have actually used or listened to.

    Basically you are saying that all the extra space on a Blu-ray allocated to improving the audio is a waste of space. That's just plain wrong, because you clearly do not have the kit to gain any advantage is the misleading point.
     
  23. dante01

    dante01
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    Meanwhile you are making statements that are categorically incorrect and by no means considered to be the case by the majority of AV enthusiasts.

    The differences between digital SD and HD surround are marginal and the video processing capabilities of AV receivers are no better than those associated with TVs.


    Yes.


    If you want superior video processing then buy a dedicated video processor and not an AV receiver.
     
  24. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    How about some evidence and actually answering the question as to what you are actually using ?

    Have you actually tried using a AV receiver with analogue kit connected by a single HDMI to the TV and not electing to allow the receiver to do the scaling (or are you suggesting the TV should also have analogue connections as well as HDMI ?. Apart from the quality there are other issues particulary when switching sources. It's clear you have never used such a system, analogue sources on even the most expensive kit can only be output as composite video or HDMI (RGB connections simply do not exist on AV recievers).
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  25. dante01

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    I'm using an AV receiver that superceded yours. Why is this of any importance and if it is then I win because my receiver is better than yours. In fact both my receivers are.

    Please pray tell, how do the AV receiver manufacturers manage to incorporate superior video processing into products that actually cost less than a TV? The primary function of an AV receiver is not video processing and it is ordinarilly suggested not to use an AV receiver to scale or process the video signal. More often than not, the TV makes aa better job of it. The only real feature worth using is an AV receivers abiility to convert old analogue sources to HDMI for the convenience of conveyance of a signal to a display of PJ.

    By the way, where's the evidence that supports your claims? And please stop trying to imply tou've superior knowledge or more experience than me. You simply don't have anything to make this implied superiority stick. Your comments so far posted make this apparent to anyone who has the experience you try to imply you have. You are basically assuming and your assumptions are what most people in the know expect of people who have had no experience of AV receivers i.e. you think HD audio vastly superior to SD digital and you think AV receivers are video processors with capabilities well beyond their pricing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  26. porscheman

    porscheman
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    To give some info on my kit, my 5.1 system is monitor audio fronts, centre and surround/rears (£1100 some ten years ago) - here is a review of the front pair ! -- Monitor Audio Silver 5 Floorstanding Speakers reviews - Audioreview.com

    plus a tannoy subwoofer (mx sub 10 I think?) and the AV receiver is Pioneer VSX1017av


    Like I said guys, very old system !
     
  27. dante01

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    Your speakers are still what most would consider higher grade than what most have at their disposal. A simliar set of speakers would set you back about £2K now without adding in a sub. It is usually suggested you budget at least twice the cost of the AV receiver for the speakers inclusive of the sub or more preferable 3 to 4 times the cost. This would give you a well balanced setup.

    I've Monitor Audio BX5 fronts and a BX centre with BXFX rears. These are technically lower grade than what you have and lower grade than what either my Yamaha RXV2065 (second room) or my Denon AVR3313 (main room) deserve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  28. porscheman

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    Thanks bud !
     
  29. dante01

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    How do you find the Monitor Audio speakers with the Pioneer? Most rate both as being clinical in nature and this sometimes means that the resulting audio can become tiring to listen to over long periods and less imersive than the audio associated with warmer sounding components?
     
  30. Nayfne

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    I picked up Clint Eastwoods "unforgiven" blu Ray not so long ago..only plain Dolby Digital 5.1, no HD audio. Very disappointed with it.
     

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