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AVRant #106: How to shop

December 11th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Last chance to win something from AV Rant. Tom for the win. Apple is a cult, evidence now exists (you’ll have to listen to this to find out more)! Second Life is nowhere to meet your future spouse. A shopping guide not about things to buy but how to shop. If you are looking for AV equipment for you or your loved one, bookmark this episode. We discuss TVs, Blu-rays, amplifiers, receivers, speakers, subs, room acoustics, and more.

Stuff to check out – Emotiva, Seymour AV, Auralex Room Analysis Plus.

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  1. December 11th, 2008 at 16:24 | #1

    Dina, you already have an official title. You just need to use it!

  2. Rob
    December 13th, 2008 at 02:44 | #2

    The FREE Auralex Room Analysis is a no brainer and something that absolutely everyone ought to take advantage of. Always, so much of the focus is on gear – and that’s understandable – but it’s the room that truly determines the final quality of the setup as a whole and people really ought to start there, rather than always getting to it last (or never at all).

    One bit of correction – there are still a lot of A/V Receivers that have HDMI inputs, but do NOT accept the 5.1/7.1 PCM audio that comes out of Blu-ray players (when the Blu-ray player is doing the audio decoding internally).

    The shopping tips were largely aimed towards little bit lower price points. As such, I think it’s very possible that many people may look at an Onkyo TX-SR506, see its very low price and 3 HDMI inputs and wonder why they should pay any extra for the TX-SR576 or TX-SR606. But the problem is that the TX-SR506 is only HDMI switching and pass through and it does not process any audio via its HDMI inputs.

    Similar situations arise with other brands, like the Yamaha, where many of their lower cost receivers (widely available in big box stores) have HDMI inputs, but those HDMI inputs do not handle PCM audio. Some do not handle audio at all and others handle S/PDIF audio, but not multi-channel PCM.

    So it’s dangerous to tell people to just make sure that their new receiver has HDMI inputs. It’s vital that people check that those HDMI inputs handle multi-channel PCM audio at a minimum. I would also suggest that – for the sake of convenience – it’s really nice to have video transcoding so that ALL video inputs (component, S-Video, composite and HDMI) can be sent to the TV using just the one HDMI video output of the receiver.

    So basically, start at the Onkyo TX-SR606 and go up from there. Any less expensive receiver (not to mention quite a few that are more expensive, but not as fully featured) won’t have the vital PCM audio capabilities nor the convenience of video output transcoding.

  3. Raul in HD
    March 5th, 2009 at 17:15 | #3

    Thank you for introducing me to Acoustical Panels/treatment.

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