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Home Theatre Blues - Part 2: Things to consider while buying an AV Receiver

  1. #1
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Default Home Theatre Blues - Part 2: Things to consider while buying an AV Receiver

    Things to consider while buying an AV Receiver

    Home theater components (separates) are now finding a lot of takers. Purists scoff at the HTiB (Home Theater in a Box) systems. In my opinion, they are not bad at all. But if you want to attach many devices to your AV system then these HTiB's pose several limitations. Also HTiB's are targeted towards the low end of the market where cost is the biggest consideration. The output wattage of such systems is also limited.

    If you set your your mind for a dedicated separates systems, the AV receiver will play a very important part of the system because it will form the brain, heart and the central nervous system of the whole package. Based on my own experience, I will solicit to list some of the important things to consider while zeroing on the AVR. These are in no particular order of importance - you be your own judge:
    • Built-in Decoders: These are very important for the video system. There are enough audio encoding mechanisms in the market dominated by Dolby and its rival DTS (SDDS, an audio encoding technology by Sony, has not found its way into the home cinema segment). A typical DVD will have the mandatory Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. A Blu-Ray disc (BD) may have any one of the following:
      • Dolby Digital 5.1
      • DTS
      • Dolby Digital EX (6.1)
      • DTS-ES (6.1)
      • Dolby True HD (lossless audio)
      • DTS-HD Master Audio (lossless audio)

      It will be wise if your AVR can process all of the above so that you are as future proof as possible.
    • HDMI connections: Most modern mid and high range AVRs have HDMI inputs as a standard. Typically, the AVR should have 3 to 5 HDMI-in's and 1 or 2 HDMI-out's. 2 HDMI-out's will be available only on the very high end of the spectrum. HDMI-in is absolutely necessary for processing HD audio such as Dolby True HD or DTS-HD Master Audio.
    • HDMI upscaling: Lower end AVR's just have an HDMI pass-through, but mid-range and high-end AVR's will upscale analog and digital video to higher resolutions (1080p).

      If you already have an upscaling DVD player or BD player, you may ask, "why is this necessary?".

      This function will be important if you have a full HD (1080p) LCD TV and have your typical DTH/cable which is SD. You can connect your DTH/cable input (composite analogue RCA) to the AVR and the AVR will be able to upscale it to 1080p.
    • 5.1 or 7.1? This will be a big dilemma. This totally depends upon your viewing dimensions. My suggestion is go for the 7.1 AVR but you can limit your speakers to 5.1. This is because unless you have your surround back speakers at least 2 feet behind the sofa, you cannot enjoy 7.1 channel sound. Leave the surround back speaker to OFF in the AVR configuration in this case.
    • Power output: Check your room size. For a typical room (up to 16' x 16'), a 100~125W RMS/channel will be more than sufficient. Do not consider peak power or PMPO specs. Look out for RMS. Note that the external powered sub-woofer will add another 150-200W. You will never be able to play at volumes more than 1/2 the scale with such a system. So no need to pay extra for the more powerful amp.
    • Input connections other than HDMI: Just as HDMI, analog connections are equally important. We still have a slew of sources that have analog out only such as older DVD player, CD player, DTH/Cable STB, DVR (such as TataSky+), etc. Check that the AVR can accept:
      • At least 3 component-in's (Y-Cb-Cr red-green-blue RCA) each with stereo RCA (white-red) audio-in
      • At least 4 composite-in's (yellow RCA) each with S-Video + stereo RCA (white-red) audio-in
      • At least 3 pure audio stereo-in's
      • At least 4 digital audio in - two optical and two coaxial
      • Outputs: At least one monitor component-out, one composite monitor video out and two composite (yellow-white-red) out for DVR, VCR, etc.

      You never know when these will be required
    • iPod connectivity: Modern AVR's also have an iPod dock. Check whether one is available in the package.
    • Front AV: Front AV connections are important for the game console. Most should have it by default.
    • Zone-2 Speakers: Many AVR's have facility to connect two extra speaker for zone 2 (another room). This may seem less important. But in some AVR's the zone-2 speakers can be used as Front Height speakers (L+R). So, you can have the 7.1 extend to 9.1 as follows:
      • Main front speakers (L+R)
      • Center channel speaker
      • Front Height speakers (L+R)
      • Side surround speakers (L+R)
      • Rear surround speakers (L+R)
      • Sub woofer

      You can have floor standing towers as the main L+R and satellites as front height speaker installed at 6~7 feet above floor level at the room corner. See the illustration below and note the two satellite speakers at each corner at the front:

      May seem unimportant at the moment, but one never knows.


    These are just some of the considerations. There could be few more. Always willing to consider suggestions or answer queries.

    Thanks for reading.

    Continue here to part 3: http://www.innofloorworld.com/home-a...er-system.html
    Last edited by just4kix; 21st July 2010 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Here are the images of the receiver that I recently upgraded to:


    Denon AVR-1910: Front


    Denon AVR-1910: Rear
    Last edited by just4kix; 24th October 2010 at 10:36 AM.
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    Default Guys how abt this one??

    The Moser Baer 5.1 Speakers does an excellent job when it comes to sound quality and built. It basically creates a cinema- like atmosphere inside your home itself. Moser Baer supplements your system with the powerful Moser Baer Home Theatre Speaker. Consisting of a bold center channel speakers with HiFi surround sound, this package adds dramatic to your listening experience. Design to integrate with your home theatre setup, this system looks as great as it sounds.

    Looks kinda kool...dunno abt the quality thgh...

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    Hi Just4Kix.
    I am planning to buy HT with budget around 25-30k. I saw Denon 1311, & came accross Denon 1312 on internet. Should I go for 1312?

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    Check and compare the features. 1312 is likely(?) to be better in features. On the other hand 1311 being the outgoing model will be much cheaper. If the features are more or less same or new features on 1312 are not important to you and price difference is substantial, 1311 can be purchased.
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    What is the power consumption of your amp?
    From the pic which you have posted, I can see that its rated for 120V. So, was this brought from US?? The power consumption is blank behind that??

    Can rms can be determined by knowing this value.. the power consumed by the amplifier??

    Is that 660W, considering the voltage of 120V @ 5.5 Amps?


    Regards
    Nevin.

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    My amp is Indian version and purchased in India. I did not have the correct pic and hence posted the pic of the amp that shows American version.

    The Indian/European/220V version is no different that the US/110V version except that there is a step down transformer added before the PS. I have never bothered to check the power consumed - but I guess it will be 120 V x 5.5 A. Note that this will be the peak power consumed when amp is playing full blast.

    RMS has no direct relation to electrical power. It will be difficult to deternmine RMS power based on volatage and amperes consumed. RMS also depends upon the speakers used. The same model above (AVR-1910) will yield 120W RMS per channel when used with 6Ω speakers and it reduces to 90W RMS per channel when used with 8Ω speakers.
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    Thanx for the explanation bro. The reason why I asked is because I bought the Bose Companion 5 recently. The sound ofcourse is room shattering, but the power consumption is a whopping 300Watts for a computer speaker!!

    Since Bose never mentions their rms, I just wanned to know what would be the rms. Even the sub woofer is vey heavy, with all the heat sinks which I can see throught the ventilation ports!!

    Any rough guess about the rms?

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    Speakers are passive devices with the exception of an active sub-woofer. Speakers draw power from the source (amp) and they have a certain rating. That does not mean that they will draw that much power.

    The active sub-woofer has a built in apmplifier that will drive the speakers. Active sub-woofers are usually between 150W to 400W RMS.
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    AV receivers are vital components in any home theater. They are also huge beasts with many, many different features, and it can be confusing keeping them all straight. There are five important things you need to consider before choosing AV receiver.
    1. Auto Set-up.
    2. Number of Audio Channels.
    3. Sound Enhancement.
    4. Video Capability.
    5. Policies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by just4kix View Post
    Check and compare the features. 1312 is likely(?) to be better in features. On the other hand 1311 being the outgoing model will be much cheaper. If the features are more or less same or new features on 1312 are not important to you and price difference is substantial, 1311 can be purchased.
    What is the market price of 1312? How is the sound quality? Acceptable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevinjohn View Post
    Thanx for the explanation bro. The reason why I asked is because I bought the Bose Companion 5 recently. The sound ofcourse is room shattering, but the power consumption is a whopping 300Watts for a computer speaker!!

    Since Bose never mentions their rms, I just wanned to know what would be the rms. Even the sub woofer is vey heavy, with all the heat sinks which I can see throught the ventilation ports!!

    Any rough guess about the rms?
    How is the sound? I heard Bose Companion 5 in their showroom but it didn't impress me at all. It was like klang and boom and nothing in between. Midrange aka voice seemed missing. But these are very subjective comments.

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    @Rishi

    I have a Bose at home that I use with my TV and the sound is "amazing".
    I dont claim to be an expert in sound but every other thing I have experienced at my friends places is beaten black and blue by my Bose. I agree it is a lot more expensive then other products but if you have the money to spend go for it by all means but value for money? I dont think the price tag on BVose is justified especially here in India where we pay almost double the price as compared to USA for the same make and models.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    @Rishi I have a Bose at home that I use with my TV and the sound is "amazing".
    Sound quality is very subjective. What sounds amazing to you sounds like "wandering around the room" for me. To me sound of Bose is not the sound of a high fidelity system. Recently having auditioned their best floor-stander (INR 1 lakh for a pair) I rated them lower than the sweet sounding Pioneer SP-FS51 LR which you can have for half the price. Of course Bose knows how to advertise.

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    I cant say much about just the speakers. I am talking about the whole package. It wont be fair to compare a lifestyle 48 system with just the speakers from any cmpany or write off the whole range by comparing with a set of speakers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    I cant say much about just the speakers. I am talking about the whole package. It wont be fair to compare a lifestyle 48 system with just the speakers from any cmpany or write off the whole range by comparing with a set of speakers.
    As I said before sound quality is subjective. What you perceive as a great sound may just sound ok to me. I can understand your thoughts. When I was listening to computer speakers and even some boom boxes of Sony and Panasonic, at that time Bose sounded great to me.

    And then fortunately I was introduced to the hifi world, which simply put blew the Bose away. I sold my lovely Bose 2.1 (INR 18K back then) after I got a Norge stereo amp with a pair of Norge bookshelves from Shyam Bajaj's stable. Suddenly the Norge was able to reproduce those intricate detailing and separation which while played in Bose was missing or wandering about. After that Bose systems with its ludicrous pricing are nothing but a waste of money to me.

    But you seem happy with your Bose. And that's completely fair. After all if the owner is happy (which is you) nothing else counts. Enjoy your Bose.
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    It sure is a waste of money and I agree there are lots of other good products available for a lot less money and equally good quality or in some cases even better but I dont really go comparing because if I did I would go buy something else and then some thing else another day. I watch a movie once in a while and the sound comes out great more like the cinema halls so I am happy with with I have. I also have a custom made HT and a Sony HT and the Bose one sounds a lot better so it is doing what it is supposed to do

    I will look at other options once I build a new house in Punjab Hopefully soon.

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    Default Re: Home Theatre Blues - Part 2: Things to consider while buying an AV Receiver

    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    It sure is a waste of money and I agree there are lots of other good products available for a lot less money and equally good quality or in some cases even better but I dont really go comparing because if I did I would go buy something else and then some thing else another day. I watch a movie once in a while and the sound comes out great more like the cinema halls so I am happy with with I have. I also have a custom made HT and a Sony HT and the Bose one sounds a lot better so it is doing what it is supposed to do

    I will look at other options once I build a new house in Punjab Hopefully soon.
    When you build your home I'm Punjab, please do consult me on Audio-Video system. I will get you options that will not break the bank and at the same time will be much better (than Bose).

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    Default Re: Home Theatre Blues - Part 2: Things to consider while buying an AV Receiver

    Bose is the art of marketing and innovation. Bose had led the average consumer believe that they are looking at the world's best sound equipment. But that is where it ends. The Bose cinema system doors not even have a proper sub woofer. What they have is a bass module that cuts off at 120 hz and you loose the punch of 35-120 hz. Bose speakers also seriously lag behind in the mid range - 2000 hz to 8 khz. I am an owner myself and i know. I purchased my own AM-10 speakers in 1998. I had/have severe space constraint and at that time no one manufactured speakers in the small size form factor. Speakers such as Energy take classic, Boston acoustics, paradigm ct, etc. Not only Bose speakers are less performing, they are extremely high priced. But they create a wow factor and impress the neighbors, friends, no end.

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