HT Setup- Future Proof & VFM

Wharfedale Evo 4.2

prakasse

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Dear Members,

I am a silent member in this forum for last one month. First thanks to you all for making this forum such an interesting one. I would say that i have learnt a lot regarding Audio/video technologies in this forum :)

I have been doing some groundwork for the last one month(in the internet/magazines) on a HT setup. I still have a lot of queries and would be great if you people can help me in this.

My Requirements:

  • Future proof AVR - should have all the decoders in built. HDMI(1.3a) compatible, HDMI pass through.

  • Value for money - "Not the Best brands give you the best buck for your money"

  • Video upscaling to 1080P. I am most confused in this part for sure. Here are my queries...

- Is it good to have upscalers in Source or AVR or Destination(TV'S). Does Television video upscalars costlier than AVR's? Which will be VFM?​
- I would need to upscale dvd's to 1080p(this feature is mostly available in most of the dvd players now)​
- Cable tv(DTH - Need to upscale component outputs to 1080P from the setop box to 1080p, all the setopboxes in India has only component or composite output).​
- I don't play video games ;), don??t have any VCR sources.​

  • - 65% Movies, 35 % Music. So hunting for Onkyo/Yamaha

The story so far...

After going through many of the posts in various forums and going through various websites, I have shortlisted these models.

1. Onkyo TX-SR606 ( Doesn't have 1080P upscaling, will decide on this model based on your answers to my video upscaling query above)
A/V Receivers : TX-SR606 | ONKYO Asia and Oceania Website

2. Onkyo TX-SR706 ( Does have 1080P upscaling, The website says "HDMI Video Upscaling up to 1080p with Faroudja DCDi ". But will it upscale my DTH's component input too? A/V Receivers : TX-SR706 | ONKYO Asia and Oceania Website

3. Yamaha 863SE - Yamaha Music UK Ltd [whathifi has awarded this as the AVR of the year]. I am not finding this model in US site. I find RX-V863.
RX-V863 Hope these two are same. Also am not sure what upscalar chip does yamaha use.

  • Positives in Onkyo 606 - Has all the decoders but lacks upscaling to 1080p
  • Positives in Onkyo 706 - Has all decoders, 1080P upscaling(but not sure about component & composite signal upscaling to 1080P), uses superior DCDi cinema, THX select plus certification.
  • Positives in Yamaha 863SE - AVR of the year, Burr brown DAC's, 2 Sub outs(though i will use only one). looks like Yamaha doesn't have local service centers here in India... is it so ?

Are Burr brown DAC very superior to Cirrus logic DAC's? Also is Reon technology very superior to DCDi cinema that improvements will be seen through our eyes?

My idea is to finalize the receiver and then speaker followed by TV.

Would like your valuable comments on these AVR. Which one will suit my requirements best?

Thanks, Prakash.
 

venkatcr

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prakasse said:
- Is it good to have upscalers in Source or AVR or Destination (TV'S). Does Television video upscalars costlier than AVR's? Which will be VFM?

Most TVs have very basic scaling engines. You get good scaling engines in either the DVD Players or the AVR. The TVs expect high quality signals to be sent to them. If you are expecting to upscale a number of sources (DVD Player, DTH, etc), it is better to have the scaling engine on he AVR.

prakasse said:
- I would need to upscale dvd's to 1080p(this feature is mostly available in most of the dvd players now)

This feature is available in many DVD Players and AVRs.

prakasse said:
- Cable TV (DTH - Need to upscale component outputs to 1080P from the setop box to 1080p, all the setopboxes in India has only component or composite output).

The standards of Cable TV and DTH is India is not yet very good. Even if you get a set top box with Component video, it will be better to upscale upto 720p and leave it at that till you get good digital signals. There are a number of threads on DTH. Please look under Digital Cable and DTH.

prakasse said:
- 65% Movies, 35 % Music. So hunting for Onkyo/Yamaha

Yes either of these brands will be excellent for movies.

prakasse said:
1. Onkyo TX-SR606 ( Doesn't have 1080P upscaling, will decide on this model based on your answers to my video upscaling query above)

2. Onkyo TX-SR706 ( Does have 1080P upscaling, The website says "HDMI Video Upscaling up to 1080p with Faroudja DCDi ". But will it upscale my DTH's component input too?

An AVR with a scaling engine will upscale all input signals that come in. It really does not care here the signals come from.

prakasse said:
3. Yamaha 863SE - Yamaha Music UK Ltd [whathifi has awarded this as the AVR of the year]. I am not finding this model in US site. I find RX-V863.RX-V863 Hope these two are same. Also am not sure what upscalar chip does yamaha use.

Yes they are. Yamaha uses differen model numbers for different countries.

prakasse said:
Are Burr brown DAC very superior to Cirrus logic DAC's? Also is Reon technology very superior to DCDi cinema that improvements will be seen through our eyes?

Burr Brown vs Cirrus Logic. If you look at the specifications, both chips will have very close capabilities. So the difference comes from the way the chip is integrated and implemented.

Yes the Reon technology is far superior to Faroudja's DCDi. Though DCDi is also very good, Silicon Optrix's Reon processor does the following:
  • Four-Field Per-Pixel SD/HD Deinterlacing
  • Film Cadence Processing
  • Multi-Direction Diagonal Filter (MDDF)
  • Detail Enhancement
  • Random Noise Reduction
  • Mosquito and Block (CODEC) Noise Reduction
  • Color Spectrum Control
  • True 10-BIT Processing
  • Dual-Channel Processing
  • eWARP VX Geometry Processing

Faroudja's DCDi stands for Directional Correlation DeInterlacing. It was designed for fast motion and to eliminate jagged edges. When two fields are combined to form a single screen, you create a large number of jagged edges along the diagonal lines. DCDi uses advanced mathematical routines to create new information which is super imposed on the jagged edges. This creates a smooth transition from one screen to another, particularly when there is fast motion.

Cheers
 

prakasse

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Thanks Venkat for your informative reply and detailed explanation on DcDi & Reon :)

I have few more queries...

  • Can you tell me the approx price of Onkyo 606, Onkyo 706 and Yamaha 863 in India?

  • One more question i wanted to ask is that Onkyo 706 has 50 MHz component video section. Will it affect the video quality in any way? How is this compared to 100 MHz ?

  • THD of 606 and 706 is 0.08%, and that of Yamaha is 0.06%. Will it make any difference. What would be the recommended THD value for an AVR?

  • Whether this configuration is possible in Onkyo 706? Set top box component out---> AVR component in ---> convert to HDMI ---> AVR HDMI otuput ---> HDMI input of TV.

  • I also came across this model from Pioneer - VSX-1018AH-K. Looked to be similar to 706, but doesn't have DTS NEO and DTS High resolution decoders. But upscaling reviews are bit encouraging. Any comment on this model compared to 706?

  • Does 706 support this below conversions? Sorry i couldn't find this info in the website and wanted to be sure before deciding on this model...
 

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venkatcr

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prakasse said:
Can you tell me the approx price of Onkyo 606, Onkyo 706 and Yamaha 863 in India?
Here is the list of prices for your reference. These prices are approximate.

Onkyo
906 1,35,000
876 1,10,000
806 65.000
706 54.000
606 36,000

Yamaha
863 60,000

prakasse said:
One more question i wanted to ask is that Onkyo 706 has 50 MHz component video section. Will it affect the video quality in any way? How is this compared to 100 MHz ?

This is called the refresh rate. This is more relevant for TVs than for AVRs. It will not make any difference if it is 50MHz in AVRs.

prakasse said:
THD of 606 and 706 is 0.08%, and that of Yamaha is 0.06%. Will it make any difference. What would be the recommended THD value for an AVR?

The lower the THD, the better. But you need a very sharp and experienced ear or a oscilloscope to make out the difference between 0.08 and 0.06. THDS will vary from some 0.05% onwards to about 0.09%.

prakasse said:
Whether this configuration is possible in Onkyo 706? Set top box component out---> AVR component in ---> convert to HDMI ---> AVR HDMI otuput ---> HDMI input of TV.

Yes. The 706 upscales all inputs with DCDi technology to 1080p. If you have a Full HD TV, and are able to take component out from your set top box, you can see the TV signals in 1080p resolution.

prakasse said:
I also came across this model from Pioneer - VSX-1018AH-K. Looked to be similar to 706, but doesn't have DTS NEO and DTS High resolution decoders. But upscaling reviews are bit encouraging. Any comment on this model compared to 706?

I have no idea about this. Let me do some research and get back to you. But Pioneer cannot hold a candle to the three main players - Denon, Onkyo, and Yamaha.

prakasse said:
Does 706 support this below conversions? Sorry i couldn't find this info in the website and wanted to be sure before deciding on this model...

The 706 video signal flow chart is shown below.



QUOTE from 706 Manual
Video equipment can be connected to the AV receiver/AV amplifier by using any one of the following video connection formats: composite video, S-Video, component video, or HDMI, the latter offering the best picture quality.

Video input signals flow through the AV receiver/AV amplifier as shown, with composite video, S-Video, and component video sources all being upconverted for the HDMI output. The composite video, S-Video, and component video outputs pass through their respective input signals as they are. When you connect audio equipment to an HDMI or COMPONENT input, you must assign that input to an input selector.
UNQUOTE

Cheers
 

prakasse

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>>>>>>>I also came across this model from Pioneer - VSX-1018AH-K. Looked to be similar to 706, but doesn't have DTS NEO and DTS High resolution decoders. But upscaling reviews are bit encouraging. Any comment on this model compared to 706?
>>>>>> I have no idea about this. Let me do some research and get back to you. But Pioneer cannot hold a candle to the three main players - Denon, Onkyo, and Yamaha.

Venkat, Thanks for your time wonderful reply. Here is the link for Pioneer - VSX-1018AH-K.
Pioneer USA - Pioneer A/V Receivers

Here is a review to this pioneer AVR
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver - Product Profile of the Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K Home Theater Receiver

Also surprisingly this pioneer model passes all the upscaling tests set by Silicon optix test cd.
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K 480i/480p Deinterlacing and 1080p Scaling Conversion Test Results

Whereas Yamaha 863(Costlier and whathifi product of the year award winner) fails all the upscale tests.
Yamaha RX-V863 480i/480p Deinterlacing Conversion and 1080p Upscaling Test Results

I couldn't find about any results for video upscaling performance of Onkyo 706 in the internet.

Thanks.
 

reju

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  • I also came across this model from Pioneer - VSX-1018AH-K. Looked to be similar to 706, but doesn't have DTS NEO and DTS High resolution decoders. But upscaling reviews are bit encouraging. Any comment on this model compared to 706?

This could be real VFM!

VSX-1018AH-K.
Digital Engine Freescale
Dolby TrueHD Yes
Dolby Digital Plus Yes
Dolby Digital EX Yes
Dolby Digital 5.1 Yes
Dolby Pro-Logic II Yes
DTS-ES Yes
DTS-HD Master Audio Yes
DTS-HD High Resolution Yes
DTS-Express Yes
DTS 96/24 Yes
DTS NEO:6 Yes
WMA9 Pro Yes
XM HD Surround Yes
Neural THX Yes
 
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venkatcr

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I also came across this model from Pioneer - VSX-1018AH-K. Looked to be similar to 706, but doesn't have DTS NEO and DTS High resolution decoders. But upscaling reviews are bit encouraging. Any comment on this model compared to 706?

The Pioneer does seem to handle both DTS Neo 6 as well as DTS HD High Resolution and Master Audio. The specs and the ABOUT.COM review looks promising. Sometimes a manufacturer, to capture a part of market, will bring out some wonderful products at good prices. The Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K seems to be one such case. Some questions that come to my mind are:

  • Is it available officially in India? Pioneer, as far as I know, only sells its TVs in India. They don't even distribute their popular DVD Players in India.
  • Does Pioneer have some kind of service network in India?
  • Is there someplace we can audition the unit in India?

I will check with the Pioneer showroom in Chennai and see if they have any answers.

Cheers
 

Sujit

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Dear Members,

My Requirements:

  • Future proof AVR - should have all the decoders in built. HDMI(1.3a) compatible, HDMI pass through.

  • Value for money - "Not the Best brands give you the best buck for your money"

  • Video upscaling to 1080P. I am most confused in this part for sure. Here are my queries...

- Is it good to have upscalers in Source or AVR or Destination(TV'S). Does Television video upscalars costlier than AVR's? Which will be VFM?​
- I would need to upscale dvd's to 1080p(this feature is mostly available in most of the dvd players now)​
- Cable tv(DTH - Need to upscale component outputs to 1080P from the setop box to 1080p, all the setopboxes in India has only component or composite output).​
- I don't play video games ;), don??t have any VCR sources.​

  • - 65% Movies, 35 % Music. So hunting for Onkyo/Yamaha

I went through the same process and have narrowed down on the Denon 1909. It does everything you want - and well! (according to reviews in What HiFi, AVForums etc)


Do the experts have any views?
 

reju

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The Pioneer does seem to handle both DTS Neo 6 as well as DTS HD High Resolution and Master Audio. The specs and the ABOUT.COM review looks promising. Sometimes a manufacturer, to capture a part of market, will bring out some wonderful products at good prices. The Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K seems to be one such case. Some questions that come to my mind are:

  • Is it available officially in India? Pioneer, as far as I know, only sells its TVs in India. They don't even distribute their popular DVD Players in India.
  • Does Pioneer have some kind of service network in India?
  • Is there someplace we can audition the unit in India?

I will check with the Pioneer showroom in Chennai and see if they have any answers.

Cheers

Yes it is officially available in India.
Contact Pro Audiotronics in Bangalore:ph: +080-41529090 Mobile: 09945204615, 09845430919.

I understand that the main distributor is Alfa Radios in Delhi.

It is available in grey market in Mumbai for 33.5K.

Demo maybe difficult as it is not seen anywhere!
 

prakasse

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  • Is it available officially in India? Pioneer, as far as I know, only sells its TVs in India. They don't even distribute their popular DVD Players in India.
  • Does Pioneer have some kind of service network in India?
  • Is there someplace we can audition the unit in India?

Venkat, Most of the pioneer products in our market are grey!!!. even most of the pioneer car stereo players for that matter. Went through pioneer India website and i see that they have only car audio and video products in their product profile. I just brought this pioneer AVR to your notice so that our forum will be aware of an VFM receiver.
 

prakasse

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I went through the same process and have narrowed down on the Denon 1909. It does everything you want - and well! (according to reviews in What HiFi, AVForums etc)


Do the experts have any views?

Looks like the price of Denon 1909 is 43,000 and that of Onkyo 706 is 54,000.

The only difference i see is that Onkyo has THX select plus certification. Any other difference?
 

venkatcr

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Venkat, Most of the pioneer products in our market are grey!!!. even most of the pioneer car stereo players for that matter. Went through pioneer India website and i see that they have only car audio and video products in their product profile. I just brought this pioneer AVR to your notice so that our forum will be aware of an VFM receiver.

Prakasse, based on the information provided by Reju, I contacted one Mr. Suresh at Pro Audiotronics in Bangalore. He says he has the complete Pioneer AVRs in stock and would be glad to give a demo. Can you spend some time and audition the VSX-1018AH-K in detail? Mr. Suresh's contact number is 98454 30919. If the ABOUT.COM review is correct, and the Pioneer sound good, it may be a very good alternative for many of the members here.

If you are game, let me know and I will give you a list of movies (and music if you want) you must have and what to look for when you are auditioning. I will also see if I can make a one day trip in December first week or so and audition the AVR. But since you are in Bangalore, it will be easy for you.

Cheers.
 

reju

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How much does Pro Audiotronics quote for 1018?
As already mentioned, it is available for 33.5 in grey.
They had quoted approx 17-18k for 518, whereas it is 11k in grey.
 

prakasse

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Prakasse, based on the information provided by Reju, I contacted one Mr. Suresh at Pro Audiotronics in Bangalore. He says he has the complete Pioneer AVRs in stock and would be glad to give a demo. Can you spend some time and audition the VSX-1018AH-K in detail? Mr. Suresh's contact number is 98454 30919. If the ABOUT.COM review is correct, and the Pioneer sound good, it may be a very good alternative for many of the members here.

If you are game, let me know and I will give you a list of movies (and music if you want) you must have and what to look for when you are auditioning. I will also see if I can make a one day trip in December first week or so and audition the AVR. But since you are in Bangalore, it will be easy for you.

Cheers.

Hi Venkat,

If you are coming here on Dec, i shall accompany you for the audition and i can learn a bit from you too :). I prefer that way. If you are not coming then i shall audition the system and give a review here. But i am just begining my travel in to audiophile area and am not sure i shall be able to grade the system like you people do.

Thanks, Prakash.
 

venkatcr

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Hi Venkat, If you are coming here on Dec, i shall accompany you for the audition and i can learn a bit from you too :).
Thanks, Prakash.

OK. I shall plan for a trip in early December.

Spirovious, I have never heard the Pioneer in my life, and that is why I am interested in auditioning it. After that I can compare with Onkyo, Denon and Yamaha. I am familiar with these systems.

Reju, I am not looking at prices at this juncture. I will audition the system, and then worry about prices later.

Cheers
 

reju

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OK. I shall plan for a trip in early December.

Spirovious, I have never heard the Pioneer in my life, and that is why I am interested in auditioning it. After that I can compare with Onkyo, Denon and Yamaha. I am familiar with these systems.

Reju, I am not looking at prices at this juncture. I will audition the system, and then worry about prices later.

Cheers

I had a chance to listen to music on a very basic Pioneer 416S and compared with a Denon (sorry I don't know model). It had crisp & deep sound. Denon I felt was more loud & not very soothing?

What makes Pioneer special is its low pricing, packed with powerful features!
This is what made me look towards this otherwise relatively unknown AVR.
 

sid_lochan

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OK. I shall plan for a trip in early December.

Spirovious, I have never heard the Pioneer in my life, and that is why I am interested in auditioning it. After that I can compare with Onkyo, Denon and Yamaha. I am familiar with these systems.

Reju, I am not looking at prices at this juncture. I will audition the system, and then worry about prices later.

Cheers

Hi Venkat,

Waiting for your auditioning of Pioneer and opinions...

:)
Sid
 
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