Need to update AVR?

Minkey1

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Jan 16, 2012
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Hi all

After years of Google Nexus/Pixel phones, we’ve both just switched to Apple iPhones, and are enjoying the free 3 months of Apple TV+ (Ted Lasso, Masters of the Air, Slow Horses etc). But I can’t take advantage of the sound quality they supply.

Current kit is a 4K Samsung 49KS8000, 4K BT/EE TV box (has the Apple TV+ app), 4K Sony UBP X700 (which doesn’t) and the weakest point I think - a venerable Yamaha RX V371, which doesn’t support 4K pass through.

Speakers are a Boston Acoustics Soundware 5.1 set of satellites and sub.

The Sony has 2 HDMI outputs for audio and video so I can enjoy high quality audio playing discs, but streaming I’m a bit stuck with.

In the early days I had some weird switching anomalies with ARC so I removed the direct HDMI cable twixt telly and amp, and now output TV audio from streaming via optical. But that just gives me Dolby Digital.

Am I right in thinking that to get higher quality audio from streaming sources, where supplied, I’m going to need to retire the amp? For now the TV and speakers are still OK. Been looking at Denon, and - thinking about more upgrades in future - Atmos.

Alternatively, and a lot more cheaply, is it worth trying ARC again? Could that supply better than Dolby Digital from the chain of BT TV box > TV > Yamaha?

Sorry for the long post. Any and all thoughts/comments/ suggestions would be gratefully received.

Cheers, Mike
 

Messiah

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Pretty sure to get better than Dolby Digital from the TV you need eARC rather than ARC.

I too used to have issues with ARC and found that turning of CEC seemed to help.

Some details here - https://www.whathifi.com/advice/hdmi-arc-and-hdmi-earc-everything-you-need-to-know

Having recently moved from a Pioneer receiver (of a similar age to your Yamaha), to a Denon receiver (3700H), it has definitely been a big overall improvement in the whole experience. My TV has eARC in conjunction with the receiver and this has been faultless so far.

To get better than DD audio, the BT box (assuming it supports Atmos etc) will need to be connected to the receiver rather than the TV (at least until you have a TV with eARC).
 
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Minkey1

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Thanks Messiah. I think you’ve nailed it. The TV can’t hand back more than DD audio via ARC (even if I reconnected an HDMI cable), and the AVR can’t support 4k passthrough.

For now I’d be content to use the TV as a monitor for 4k video, and update the amp. When used via BT’s smart hubs their TV Pro box is quite accomplished, but as things stand I can’t make use of its full audio potential.

New amp then. Have to work on the brownie points with the boss 😉

Thanks for the link on eARC. Will be useful re-reading in future.
 
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Minkey1

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HD what? 😂 Every day a school day here.

But yes. If I could split audio and video in the way I can with the Sony UHD BP player I’d have a solution. Better yet, if Sony permitted the Apple app, I’d be good to go.

Will have a think. New, Amazon want thick end of £300 for a whistles and bells HD Fury. That sort of money I’d rather put towards a 4k amp and sell the Yamaha. I’m sure I could pick up a basic one much cheaper on eBay.

One to ponder. Thanks for the tip👍
 
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Minkey1

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Had a meeting of the Committee, and might be able to draw a line under this soon.

TV/speaker upgrades can wait for now but meanwhile can upgrade the amp, to a standard consistent with the rest of the kit now and in future, ie. well rated/budget.

Found last yrs but new Denon AVR X1800 7.2 on offer from Peter Tyson via eBay at £524 and got the OK. I’ll HDMI all sources to it then HDMI out to the TV. Should future proof me and give scope for add ons, ie. Atmos up firers.

Schoolboy question. The amp will pass through A&V from the sources in Standby mode, yes? It doesn’t need to be on for material we don’t want full fat from?

TIA.

Mike
 

Messiah

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Minkey1

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Thanks Messiah. Been looking at Hyperfi. Their 2800 is B grade stock and whilst the co does well on Trustpilot, other online reviews are mixed. I’ve bought from Peter Tyson before and their 1800 comes with a 2yr warranty. Got till Friday to decide. Cheers.
 

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