|Sunfire Theater Grand Processor V|
|Home Theater Preamplifiers AV Preamps|
|Written by Ken Taraszka, MD|
|Thursday, 01 March 2007|
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I would like to see expansion of the HDMI switching to include at least three inputs – four would be ideal – and a second HDMI out for the second zone or complex systems that utilize both a plasma and projector. Having HDMI inputs that passed digital audio and video would have added to the ease of use and simplicity of set-up as well.
I loved the inclusion of balanced outputs, but would have liked a pair or two of balanced inputs as well. Video transcoding is a huge convenience for connecting various video sources to your display and the TGP-5 does it well, but I would have liked Sunfire to transcode video to the HDMI output, thereby allowing a single digital connection to my display, and to enable the use of the set-up menus via the HDMI output to make them easier to navigate.
The Sunfire Theater Grand Processor V provides amazing theater sound. It was able to clearly discern a wide range of dynamics and gave smooth transitions for an exceptional home theater experience, reproducing voices clearly through all my TV and movie use. It has a strong analog section, video transcoding, a powerful tuner, an independent second zone, a vast array of inputs and balanced and single-ended outputs with the ability to control up to four subwoofers, a great new look and abundant advanced control options for both the main and a secondary zone. Add in HDMI switching and even a high output MC phono input and you have the most versatile processor on the planet that even a home theater newbie could manage to set up solo.
The Sunfire Theater Grand Processor 5 is unquestionably the easiest preamp/processor I have ever used. From set-up to day-to-day use, you couldn’t ask for it to be simpler. The surround effects offered by this processor are a joy to listen to, and the video transcoding makes its use with older video sources a breeze, obviating the need for multiple connections to your display. I wish the video transcoding went to HDMI and that the set-up menus were output to this format, allowing a single digital video connection to your display with the use of set-up menus.
If you are in the market for a reasonably-priced home theater processor and tuner, want ease of use, loads of flexibility and future-proofing with HDMI switching, along with a strong analog section and excellent surround effects, you owe it to yourself to listen to the new Sunfire Theater Grand Processor 5. It comes full of treats, with no hidden tricks.