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  #11 (permalink)  
Old November 10, 2008, 09:23 AM
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No. It's the HD-audio compliance that has this reciever sounding as good as it does. HD-Audio requires better OPAMPS and DACs for decoding, whereas SD audio can be a myriad of components.

I'd even say that the video functionality is an add-on, and this AMP is primarily an audio receiver, only present as the HD-Audio can only be passed via HDMI, so HDMI must be there. the exclusion of S-video ports also bolsters this idea...but these are merely my assumptions, as Sony has not gotten back to me with answers yet.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old November 10, 2008, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca View Post
No. It's the HD-audio compliance that has this reciever sounding as good as it does. HD-Audio requires better OPAMPS and DACs for decoding, whereas SD audio can be a myriad of components.

I'd even say that the video functionality is an add-on, and this AMP is primarily an audio receiver, only present as the HD-Audio can only be passed via HDMI, so HDMI must be there. the exclusion of S-video ports also bolsters this idea...but these are merely my assumptions, as Sony has not gotten back to me with answers yet.
Ah, make sense. I don't really care about video up-converting. Right now I need to switch TV inputs and audio inputs to change between devices so getting a receiver with a HDMI repeater would be better than now. Plus it's not exactly affordable in my price range.

All I have are HDMI and Component inputs so I'd only have to switch the TV between those 2 and I was thinking about getting a Harmony remote and programming macros to do that (I believe that's possible?).
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Old November 11, 2008, 11:35 AM
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Yes, the Harmony remote will allow you to use Macros to command both the TV and the receiver at the same time, provided Harmony has the code for this amp(which they should).
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Old November 16, 2008, 08:58 AM
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As some final thoughts a few weeks after having the stereo, and returning to my normal set-up, I miss this stereo!
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old February 14, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Let me start by saying: Great review....
BUT...seeing as I'm a home theater guy (it's what I do for a living), I tend to be a bit pickier than average.

My current system at home is:
Onkyo TX-SR706 Receiver
Panasonic DMP-BD55 Blu Ray
Samsung LN-52A650 LCD TV (HATE IT!!)
Xbox 360
Logitech Squeezebox music server
Pioneer DV-48 DVD player (it has a USB input for a USB key...no more buring movies)
Monitor Audio Radius R270HD left and right speakers with matching center
Velodyne Micro Vee sub (HUGE bang, small package)
Logitech Harmony One Remote...I got sick of reprogramming my Philips Pronto TSU-9600 every time I got a new piece of gear...

I have some input here:

First: Most receivers out there overspec the power ratings...it's USUALLY a 1khz tone out of one speaker at some absurd distortion level....
To get the TRUE power rating of a receiver you need to run pink noise (20hz-20khz full bandwidth audio tone) to all the speakers at once (so 5 or 7 channel stereo) then, you have to hook an A/C volt meter up to one of the speakers outputs and measure the voltage.

Then you use the basic formula W = V2 / R....
So, if you have 8ohm speakers and you measure 20 volts AC you are actually getting 50 watts from your receiver.

Second: Upconverting receivers...BAD BAD BAD. I don't care how much you've spent on it, all the way up to the Pioneer Elite SC-01 at $7000, you're HURTING the video signal. Always set the receiver on pass through. Don't upconvert anything. If you REALLY need to upconvert a signal (why, you would, I don't know) use the DVDO Edge scaler...
Anchor Bay DVDO Edge That's the ONLY way you should upconvert.

If you aren't happy with the picture quality of your DVD player, get a better one, and allow THAT to upconvert.
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Old February 14, 2009, 01:58 PM
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great post, Toronto122, you and I are of the same mold!

Quote:
First: Most receivers out there overspec the power ratings...it's USUALLY a 1khz tone out of one speaker at some absurd distortion level....
To get the TRUE power rating of a receiver you need to run pink noise (20hz-20khz full bandwidth audio tone) to all the speakers at once (so 5 or 7 channel stereo) then, you have to hook an A/C volt meter up to one of the speakers outputs and measure the voltage.

Then you use the basic formula W = V2 / R....
So, if you have 8ohm speakers and you measure 20 volts AC you are actually getting 50 watts from your receiver.
This is EXACTLY how I tested output power, as it's the only way. This why I made mention of the power supply...and audio artifacting is tested using a mic to record to output, and analysis of the audio comparing to a line-level stream fed into Logic. the point at which I noticed problems is the stated max...and hence my comments in this section...because this stereo can output a wee bit more power, but only barely, and not without corrupting the audio.

Being a pc site, I didn't think many would be interested in such testing, as you'll find this is pro audio rags, but if enough people request it, I'll include all data rather than a synopsis.


So, I'll say THANK YOU for your comments, as I do beleive we need standard testing regime, which I have, but at the same time, comparison across a variety of products(HT and HTPC) means that testing needs to be refined so those comparisons are accurate.

I'm a musician; I play piano, keyboard, percussion, and guitar, so audio perfection is something my ears were trained for, but like everyone else, that perception changes over time as I age...but audio is VERY imprtant to me.


In regards to upconverting, given that 99% of DVD players do this now(and BR players on DVDs), while ways of doing this are suspect, watching a SD video stream on a 30-inch tube, then comparing to it unconverted played on a LCD...the tube presents a far clearer picture. Knowing this, and wanting to achieve the same clarity of SD content on a LCD, means up-conversion is something that many people will consider, nevermind the numerous components that offer it. The best I can do is compare them, and not put my personal opinion into it. If companies want to send me products to compare, then I will, but upconversion is still important...regardless of what component does it.
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Old February 15, 2009, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca View Post
great post, Toronto122, you and I are of the same mold!


In regards to upconverting, given that 99% of DVD players do this now(and BR players on DVDs), while ways of doing this are suspect, watching a SD video stream on a 30-inch tube, then comparing to it unconverted played on a LCD...the tube presents a far clearer picture. Knowing this, and wanting to achieve the same clarity of SD content on a LCD, means up-conversion is something that many people will consider, nevermind the numerous components that offer it. The best I can do is compare them, and not put my personal opinion into it. If companies want to send me products to compare, then I will, but upconversion is still important...regardless of what component does it.

LOL...thanks...
Like I said in my reply...it's what i do for a living (big time home theaters)...toys for big boys...

I would argue that upconverting an SD signal to 1080i through a receiver would make much noticeable difference. It's very difficult to tell unless you have two TV's side by side and two sources (identical) to feed the.

I agree that upconverting DVD players do improve the picture, but DVD is digital, and, quite honestly, upconverting is a difficult thing to judge. SD is not digital, it's analog, and when you upconvert it, you're making a bad image even worse.

A tube TV represents an average picture (even the best are only average) when compared to say a Panasonic 720p/1080i plasma such as the TH-42PX80, which can be had right now for about $900... Even on SD, never mind what happens when you feed a good signal into it.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old February 15, 2009, 08:09 AM
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Now, the question remains, in this line of thought...what silicon in the DVDO Edge is doing the upconvert? And how does that compare to ATI and nVidia's?

Using PowerDVD, for example, with ATI/nV plug-ins, the nV GTX280 and ATI 2900XT/3870 offer poor scaling in comparison to say, a PS3...

Then, what resolution are you scaling to? 1376x768, 1280x720, 1920x540(1080i), 1920x1080? the final resolution of the panel is going to affect how good that upconvert is...

M0st SD streams are 320x240...

I used to want perfection in everything, but now I've resigned myself to find "acceptable norms". There are far too many factors to consider...how far away from the panel you are, etc, etc...

My "home theatre" is properly calibrated...seating distance, speaker distance all calibrated...but most people just plop things down where there is room...and couldn't be bothered to even run an amplifier's own calibration...while even speaker height has been accounted for in my setup.

So, with this in mind, some HTIB units are more than satisfying enough for some people, and the products do have some merit...so I can't just dismiss them because they don't meet my standards...
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