How important is 4k pass through in an AVR

Audiolab 6000A Amplifier

gourav

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I've been looking for a home theater system. Being on a tight budget, I was looking at used products as well. The only issue is that most used AVRs don't have 4k support as that's a fairly recent development.

My video watching happens mostly from two sources
1. streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hotstar
2. Local streaming from my Synology NAS

Both of these run directly on my android TV, where the video won't pass through the AVR at all. I'm only concerned about what happens if I get an external media player (say a Fire stick 4k) 2 years down the line (since TV software tends to get slow and outdated). Will my AVR limit me at that point?

Any users with such a setup, please help me decide.
 

msankadi

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I've been looking for a home theater system. Being on a tight budget, I was looking at used products as well. The only issue is that most used AVRs don't have 4k support as that's a fairly recent development.

My video watching happens mostly from two sources
1. streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hotstar
2. Local streaming from my Synology NAS

Both of these run directly on my android TV, where the video won't pass through the AVR at all. I'm only concerned about what happens if I get an external media player (say a Fire stick 4k) 2 years down the line (since TV software tends to get slow and outdated). Will my AVR limit me at that point?

Any users with such a setup, please help me decide.
I recently sold of my non 4k avr and upgraded to a 4k avr. I loved my non 4k avr from denon but it was a huge bottleneck for my projector. I can see very real difference once I have upgraded to 4k yamaha avr
 

vinothmanick

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Hi,
absolutely you will face a issue because 4k become main stream in India and even though there is work around by arc u cannot transmit lossless audio since most of the non 4k pass through avr doesnt have eARC and u can search well in market because for my friend who is very tight on his budget got a used avr for 27k with atmos and 4k passthrough
 

vinothmanick

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I recently sold of my non 4k avr and upgraded to a 4k avr. I loved my non 4k avr from denon but it was a huge bottleneck for my projector. I can see very real difference once I have upgraded to 4k yamaha avr
difference on a positive side ? apologies couldn't understand
 

gourav

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Hi,
absolutely you will face a issue because 4k become main stream in India and even though there is work around by arc u cannot transmit lossless audio since most of the non 4k pass through avr doesnt have eARC and u can search well in market because for my friend who is very tight on his budget got a used avr for 27k with atmos and 4k passthrough
Thanks. That's useful information. I did not know that ARC does not work for lossless audio. My TV itself doesn't have eARC, only ARC.

Any tips on how to go about looking for used stuff? As of now I'm only checking for sale section here and OLX (which is a bit unreliable, especially if I can't check personally). I'm based in Mumbai.
 

Sun4zen

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The pace of developments in Video technologies have outpaced Audio, hence this challenge.
I doubt if you are getting lossless Audio as source from any of the media steamers and streaming apps at present to worry about lack of eARC on your TV. Netflix/ Hotstar/Prime ? Check their terminology carefully. Atmos is the additional layer they provide above existing lossy audio streams.

NAS is exception as you may have bluray rips with 4k/lossless audio source intact.

Coming to your actual challenge of old AVR being a bottleneck for future 4k video pass through, have you explored the option of HDMI Audio extractors with separate Video & Audio output ports ?
 

vinothmanick

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Thanks. That's useful information. I did not know that ARC does not work for lossless audio. My TV itself doesn't have eARC, only ARC.

Any tips on how to go about looking for used stuff? As of now I'm only checking for sale section here and OLX (which is a bit unreliable, especially if I can't check personally). I'm based in Mumbai.
hi,
iam not aware of any dealers in the mumbai area.
Create a post in wanted thread in our forum sure someone ll have it.
 

OM_2K19

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I've been looking for a home theater system. Being on a tight budget, I was looking at used products as well. The only issue is that most used AVRs don't have 4k support as that's a fairly recent development.

My video watching happens mostly from two sources
1. streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hotstar
2. Local streaming from my Synology NAS

Both of these run directly on my android TV, where the video won't pass through the AVR at all. I'm only concerned about what happens if I get an external media player (say a Fire stick 4k) 2 years down the line (since TV software tends to get slow and outdated). Will my AVR limit me at that point?

Any users with such a setup, please help me decide.
Most of the AV Receivers these days, even the budget one, supports 4K passthrough. With more and more titles coming in 4K from various streaming platforms (Netflix/Prime/Hotstar/AppleTv+), 4K support is a must-have.

Edit:- However, it's not the end of the road. If you can't go with a 4K supported AV Receiver, you can always opt for an HDMI switcher, connect it to the TV, and hook the external media player to the HDMI switcher. Now, pass the Audio to the AVR via ARC/eARC from TV, that's all.
 
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Sun4zen

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Edit:- However, it's not the end of the road. If you can't go with a 4K supported AV Receiver, you can always opt for an HDMI switcher, connect it to the TV, and hook the external media player to the HDMI switcher. Now, pass the Audio to the AVR via ARC/eARC from TV, that's all.
A TV normally would have 4 Hmdi inputs(including one for ARC/eARC) already. So can’t see any advantage here to OP’s challenge by bringing in a switcher as it’s just an input expansion device. A better solution, in my opinion, would be introducing a HDMI Audio extractor, between Source device and TV.
That way, if and when the source device supports sending lossless audio with 4K video, it can be passed directly to AVR via hdmi audio output port, overcoming 4K pass through limitation of an old AVR and lossless audio pass through limitation from TV ARC hdmi port.
 
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efernand1

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I've been looking for a home theater system. Being on a tight budget, I was looking at used products as well. The only issue is that most used AVRs don't have 4k support as that's a fairly recent development.

My video watching happens mostly from two sources
1. streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hotstar
2. Local streaming from my Synology NAS

Both of these run directly on my android TV, where the video won't pass through the AVR at all. I'm only concerned about what happens if I get an external media player (say a Fire stick 4k) 2 years down the line (since TV software tends to get slow and outdated). Will my AVR limit me at that point?

Any users with such a setup, please help me decide.

I recall seeing a few AVRs over OLX a couple of weeks back which do support 4K. Check again if you are on a tight budget as it makes sense going for a pre owned one.
New ones are really too expensive at the moment given they have 8K support. if you know the right dealer, perhaps a good deal can be worked out...again it would be on the higher side.

All the best!
 

argho

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The limitation really is audio , rather than video.

You can easily bypass the AVR and connect your source directly to a 4K TV.
However, that means you have to transmit the audio signal to the AVR via Toslink optical cable (output from TV or source device).

Digital audio via optical works fine. However the limitation is that it has enough bandwidth only for DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1. Any codec beyond that (eg Dolby Atmos, or TruHD audio , or uncompressed surround sound audio) cannot be transmitted via optical cable.

If you have a 5.1 system , that should not be a problem. However if you have more speakers than that , you will limit yourself.
I assume that anyway a non 4K AVR is probably 5.1

Ususally I find that movies with Dolby Atmos, also have a 5.1 audio stream as an option.

So you should be fine most of the time.

However, if you are buying now, might be worth spending a little more and looking for a 4K capable AVR.

In my view, ignore the video processing capability of the AVR. All you need is 4K pass-through.
 

gourav

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Thanks all for the responses. I am today going for a demo of Pioneer vsx 300. Though I would have preferred something slightly cheaper, I suppose I'll get a decent price on this.

Will most likely be pairing it with Taga Harmony speakers for the demo, though I've also asked for a demo of Cambridge Audio speakers.

The thread has been helpful in making a decision. I suppose saving money by not buying 4k supported AVR will hurt me in the long term. So I'd rather spend a little more for 4k support.

I don't see myself going for anything more than a 5.1 in the near future. So an entry level product will be good enough. I would like to avoid splitters and extractors for now, as good quality ones will increase the overall cost and cheaper ones might affect sound quality. It will also add another layer of complexity, which I would like to avoid, being a beginner and totally new to AVRs.

Will update on what I decide.
 

gourav

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Found a Pioneer VSX 330 for decent price. I'll be going with that. It has 4k pass through and fulfills my need as a first time buyer of home theater system
 
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