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cada0310 12-28-2007 07:16 AM

Everything through HDMI output?
Hi there,

Relative newbie here - got a really nice Panasonic 50" plasma, and after getting horrendous quotes from Tweeter and Best Buy to do to installation, I did it all myself, including mounting the unit above my fireplace, electrical outlets, drilling holes in the studs to run the wires, etc. Actually pretty satisfying to save so much money doing it myself...but I digress.

I purchased a cheap ($200) Sony A/V switch/amplifier, and was really annoyed to learn that it wasn't sufficient to just run the single HDMI wire to my new TV from the amp, I had to actually run a component set of wires (for component inputs), and a composite set for composite inputs. Could this be true? So when I want to change inputs I have to not only change the input on my amp, but also my TV? Insanity.

So, I returned the amp in search of a real piece of equipment that would do what makes sense - being able to really switch all the inputs regardless of their type into a single HDMI output to my TV.

So what I'm looking for is a suggestion for a nice amp that does just this - I can't seem to find a feature name for this piece of functionality anywhere to see if amps have it...could such a necessary feature be so obscure?

Thanks for any help you all can provide - maybe I'm just missing something.


kennyt 12-28-2007 08:38 AM

Re: Everything through HDMI output?
What you are asking for is called video transcoding, most newer receivers do it, check to make sure the one you are looking at does all different types of video (Composite/S-Video/Component) up to HDMI.

What price point are you looking at for a receiver?

cada0310 12-28-2007 03:12 PM

Re: Everything through HDMI output?
Hi there,

Thanks for your reply. I'm not married to any price point, but I'm by no means an audiophile...I really don't need anything that will knock my walls down as far as power goes. Right now we're listening to everything through the speakers built into the TV, and we're fairly satisfied (I'm sure that gives you an idea of our level!). However, I know that I'd like the ability to add 2 bookshelf and 2 in-wall speakers later I want to be able to continue to pump the audio to the TV speakers, or external speakers when I get them.

I'd like at least 2 HDMI inputs...might someday get a Wii, and I have an old VCR that I have to hook up (component) because some moron gave my son a bunch of old kids movies on video tapes for Christmas! (Kidding of course, but I thought I was finally all DVD!)

Thanks for any suggestions,


kennyt 12-28-2007 05:49 PM

Re: Everything through HDMI output?

Tough to say what would be your best bet.

You speak of adding speakers, do you plan to (eventually) go to a 5(6,7).1 setup?

If not and you want to stay stereo (two channel) and you want to integrate audio/ surround sound then a receiver will do just that. Price runs the gamut, from a few hundred dollars to thousands, and the video transcoding is available at all price points (pretty much)

As for the Wii, does it offer HDMI? I don't know either way, but I would warn you to get as broad an HDMI switcher as fits your budget. Saving a couple dollars for one less input isn't wise if you ever plan to upgrade....

Lotus 12-28-2007 08:29 PM

Re: Everything through HDMI output?
Kennyt is right it's referred to as Transcoding by some and upconverting with others.

The majority of Receivers today will convert all signals to Component (The Red Green and Blue outputs). They may have HDMI but you will hit a price point where all the Receivers start to convert everything to HDMI.

Then you get Receivers that will upconvert the signal as well (yet more expensive).

For $499 at Best Buy you can buy a Denon 1708 which would convert everything to component and also have an HDMI output. Their $349 Receiver the 1508 won't upconvert the signal to component.

It will cost you $850 for their 2308 which converts everything to HDMI (and up to 1080p). The unit also does Dolby True HD.

The Onkyo site is down. However I bet you can find an Onkyo that does the same as the $850 Denon for around $650.

cada0310 12-29-2007 12:23 PM

Re: Everything through HDMI output?
Thanks for all your input...what do you think of this unit?

From what I can see, it does all transcoding to a single HDMI output, which would be perfect for me. Also, it's not so massive as the other receivers - probably meaning it has less power, but I'd think 100W/channel would be plenty for me.

Looks like I can get it for around $450.

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